The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA for short) has published an article on the stormy weather we experienced over the winter. They say that:
In the North Atlantic [there have been] an unusually high number of hurricane-force storms. Between October 25, 2013, when the first hurricane-force event of the season occurred, and March 8, when the most recent one to date occurred, 43 unique hurricane-force events have blasted their way across the North Atlantic. Thirty of them underwent rapid intensification. The most intense system occurred on December 24, 2013; pressure in the heart of the storm dropped to 929 hPa as the storm lurked north and northwest of the British Isles.
and show this chart of wind speed anomalies over the North Atlantic compared to the 1981-2010 average:
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Last week the United Kingdom's Committee on Climate Change "launched a call for evidence in order to identify relevant published information of the risks and opportunities to the UK from climate change". Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, last night I attended a talk organised by Transition Exeter entitled "Climate Change Update – The Pathway to Two Degrees Warming" and subtitled "Can Global Warming be Limited to Two Degrees?" The evidence was presented on the night by Dr. Jeff Ridley from the Met Office's Hadley Centre here in Exeter and consisted of an overview of the results of the UK Government funded AVOID research programme, followed by a question and answer session with the members of Transition Exeter. The brief executive summary of the answer to today's headline question is :
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It has just been brought to my attention on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum that edX are offering a free 12 week online course on the topic of climate science, starting on February 19th. The course is (provocatively?) entitled "Global Warming Science", and is led by three lecturers from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It provides:
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After all the hullabaloo in the "popular press" recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC for short) have now started issuing information following the meeting in Stockholm this week discussing the contribution of their Working Group I to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 for short). According to the initial press release:
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We've been following the approaching cyclone in the Arctic for a few days, and this morning the predictions are starting to come true. Out of all the various forecasting models we've looked at so far only ECMWF offers a "nowcast". That's the model's idea of what's happening in real time in the real world, and here's how it looked over the Arctic first thing this morning, as visualised by the Danish Meteorological Institute:
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I first met Kevin Vallely in a rather unusual location for both of us. The British Ambassador's residence in Oslo! We were both holding a small glass of red wine, and started talking about Arctic sea ice. We agreed it was disappearing quickly, and Kevin assured me that he "wasn't crazy enough to try and walk to the North Pole" this year. He did however explain to me a bit more about his plan to row through the Northwest Passage, which he had earlier explained to the delegates attending the Economist Arctic Summit. He assured me that he and three companions would attempt to row through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in "the last world first!". They were planning to start on July 1st 2013, rowing in teams of two for 24 hours a day, for about 75 days.
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Following a suggestion by "arcticio" on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum we've just constructed a small cluster of Raspberry Pi single board computers and set it to work simulating the climate of Planet Earth. Consider it as the econnexus.org contribution to Earth Day 2013!
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As I've recently been reporting over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, I inadvertently found myself having lunch with the Chinese delegation to the Economist's Arctic Summit in Norway last week. Amongst other things I learned about the voyage of the Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon in English) right across the Arctic Basin last summer:
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I'm currently engaged in a debate on Twitter with @Cornishview. His avatar doesn't reveal a gender, so I'm guessing here, but it does suggest that he understands the part that coal and the latent heat of vaporisation of water played in the beginning of the industrial revolution down here in not so sunny South West England. Cornishview says over on Twitter that:
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Prompted by a conversation over on Neven's Arctic Sea Ice blog I happened to glance at the Department of Energy and Climate Change's shiny new web site this morning, and discovered evidence strongly suggesting that Ed Davey is suffering from selective schizophrenia.
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