Climate Updates: 84 degree near Arctic Ocean

The climate related data point milestone that has quite rightly provoked lots of media coverage was the level of CO2 within our atmosphere hitting 415 ppm. Of related interest is not the data point itself, but the consequences we face by having an unprecedented level of CO2.

An article by Meteorologist Jason Samenow within the Washington Post highlighted the CO2 415 milestone, but also pointed out a few other points of interest such as this …

The observation is that a steamy 84-degree reading was posted in Arkhangelsk, Russia, where the average high temperature is around 54 this time of year. They then go on to point out …

In Koynas, a rural area to the east of Arkhangelsk, it was even hotter on Sunday, soaring to 87 degrees (31 Celsius). Many locations in Russia, from the Kazakhstan border to the White Sea, set record-high temperatures over the weekend, some 30 to 40 degrees (around 20 Celsius) above average. The warmth also bled west into Finland, which hit 77 degrees (25 Celsius) Saturday, the country’s warmest temperature of the season so far.

The abnormally warm conditions in this region stemmed from a bulging zone of high pressure centered over western Russia. This particular heat wave, while a manifestation of the arrangement of weather systems and fluctuations in the jet stream, fits into what has been an unusually warm year across the Arctic and most of the mid-latitudes.

What else is currently happening?

Jason points out a few other data points of interest that highlight our new abnormal …

One big shock regarding the 415ppm CO2 measurements is not simply the observation that we have now reached that level, but also the related observation that despite our plans and efforts, the rate at which CO2 is building up is not just continuing, but increasing …

Climate Action

All of this, and much more, renders the claims promoted by climate denialism utterly irrelevant. The discussion is not “Is it happening?”, but rather needs to be “What exactly are we going to do about it?”.

In the context of climate the new normal now comes with the rather alarming turn of phrase “record breaking”, and so far there is no sign of that changing.

In the context of the greatest threat our species has ever faced we stand at a pivotal moment.

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