Extreme Heat Update

Unparalleled warmth is changing the Arctic and affecting weather in US, Europe (Part 2)

Blog note:

… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).

… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)

… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)

… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)

Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.

Unparalleled warmth is changing the Arctic and affecting weather in US, Europe (Part 2)

By Brandon Miller, CNN Meteorologist. Updated 5:47 PM ET, Tue December 11, 2018

Sea ice continues to decline

As you would expect with the trend of record warm temperatures, sea ice has seen dramatic declines over the past 20 years as well, with 2018 continuing that trend.

According to the 2018 Arctic Report Card, this year featured the second-lowest winter sea-ice extent — the amount of the Arctic Ocean that is covered with sea ice — since the satellite record began in 1979. The summer minimum sea ice was the sixth-lowest over the same time period.

While winter sea ice extents have decreased at a much slower rate compared to the ice extent during the summer, there has been a significant change to the ice pack during the winter.

The ice is much younger than it used to be. According to the report, fewer than 1% of Arctic ice is considered “oldest ice,” meaning it is at least four years old and has survived multiple melt seasons. Older ice tends to be thicker and more resilient to changes in temperature.

Since scientists began measuring the age of the ice in the mid-1980s, multi-year ice in the Arctic has decreased in size from 2.54 million square kilometers (roughly the size of Mexico and all of Central America combined) to 0.13 million square kilometers (roughly the size of Nicaragua in Central America) — a 95% reduction in a little over 30 years.

“Sea ice cover has transformed from a strong, thick pack in the 1980s to a more fragile, younger, thinner, and more mobile pack in recent years,” the report states, where “the thinner, younger ice is more vulnerable to melting out in the summer and has contributed to the decreasing trend in the minimum ice extent.”

Red tides and reindeer

The warming of the Arctic climate and the decline of sea ice have led to some drastic changes in the biodiversity of the region.

The report’s authors found notable increases in harmful algal blooms, often known as red tides, which can affect human, wildlife and ecosystem health and lead to mass die-offs of fish and marine mammals, such as was observed in Florida during much of the summer this year.

As the Arctic warms, new toxins are being introduced to the region. This map highlights the location and kind of toxins found in marine animal species from 2004 to 2013 in the Alaskan Arctic.

While normally confined to warmer climates, the toxin-producing phytoplankton have been shifting northward as ocean temperatures rise, posing a risk to the local populations and economies that depend heavily on fishing for food and tourism.

Other native wildlife species are feeling the heat, as well. Reindeer and caribou populations continued to decline in 2018, according to the report, with their total populations dropping by more than 50% over the past 20 years.

While climate change isn’t the only factor likely behind the decline in these herds, it is a driving force for a number of threats the animals face. Increased heat stress, food shortages, disease and parasites — climate change overarches each of these challenges, the report states.

 

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