Tropical Cyclone Oli swirled over the South Pacific in early February 2010, some 200 nautical mies (370 kilometers) west-northwest of Bora Bora. At 15:00 UTC February 3 (4:00 a.m. February 4 in New Zeland), the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Oli had maximum sustained winds of 65 knots (120 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 80 knots (150 kilometers per hour). The JTWC forecast that the storm would strengthen over the next 48 hours.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image at 21:00 UTC February 2 (10:00 a.m. February 3 in New Zeland). Storm clouds fill most of this scene. Islands in the French Polynesian island chain appear in the lower right quadrant of the image.
- Joint Typhoon Warning Center. (2010, February 3). Tropical Cyclone 12P (Oli) Warning. Accessed February 3, 2010.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team. Caption by Michon Scott.
- Terra – MODIS
- Tropical Storm Oli : Natural Hazards
last updated: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 22:24:57 GMT
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NASA: Arctic melt season lengthening written by Jeremy Hance
February 03, 2010
Newly released images from NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the Arctic’s melt season has lengthened significantly over the past few decades.
The melting season—i.e. the length of time in which continuous melting occurs—has increased on average by 6.4 days for every decade between 1979 and 2007. Around the lower-latitude edges of the ice pack, however, this lengthening was far above the average.
According to NASA, researchers collect this data by using satellite observations of the microwave energy radiated from the Arctic ice, which reveals the appearance of even small amounts of melt water.
According to the press release: “This trio of images shows changes between 1979 and 2007 in the average date of melt onset in the spring (left), the first autumn freeze (center), and the total average increase in the length of the Arctic sea ice melt season. The color scales show the trends in days per decade. Red indicates trends consistent with warming: earlier melt onset, later freezes, and longer total melt season. White indicates little or no change.” Image courtesy of NASA.
According to the press release: “The graph […] illustrates how the length of the melt season varies significantly from year to year, but the long-term trend is clear.” Image courtesy of NASA.
NASA: Arctic melt season lengthening – mongabay.com http://bit.ly/b6JFih
Relax News Sunday, 24 January 2010
The US space agency also found that 2009 was the second-warmest year on record since modern temperature measurements began in 1880. Last year was only a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest yet, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with the other hottest years, which have all occurred since 1998.
According to James Hansen, who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, global temperatures change due to variations in ocean heating and cooling.
“When we average temperature over five or 10 years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated,” Hansen said in a statement.
A strong La Nina effect that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean made 2008 the coolest year of the decade, according to the New York-based institute.
In analyzing the data, NASA scientists found a clear warming trend, although a leveling off took place in the 1940s and 1970s.
The records showed that temperatures trended upward by about 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit (0.2 Celsius) per decade over the past 30 years. Average global temperatures have increased a total of about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 Celsius) since 1880.
“That’s the important number to keep in mind,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist with the institute.
“The difference between the second and sixth warmest years is trivial because the known uncertainty in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years.”
Last year’s near-record temperatures took place despite an unseasonably cool December in much of North America and a warmer-than-normal Arctic, with frigid air from the Arctic rushing into the region while warmer mid-latitude air shifted northward, the institute said.
The analysis was based on weather data from over a thousand meteorological stations worldwide, satellite observations of sea surface temperatures and Antarctic research station measurements.
But the newly released figures were unlikely to quell a heated climate debate.
The so-called “climategate” controversy that exploded last fall on the eve of UN-sponsored climate talks unleashed a furor over whether the planet was heating and, if so, at what pace.
Hundreds of emails intercepted from scientists at Britain’s University of East Anglia, a top center for climate research, have been seized upon by skeptics as evidence that experts twisted data in order to dramatize global warming.
World powers agreed at the Copenhagen climate summit last month to seek to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (two Celsius) above pre-industrial levels in order to halt the most devastating effects of global warming.
“There’s a contradiction between the results shown here and popular perceptions about climate trends,” Hansen said. “In the last decade, global warming has not stopped.”