Thongchai Thailand

THE ARCTIC FIRES OF 2019

Posted on: July 27, 2019

SIBERIA

SIBERIA

 

ALASKA

ALASKA

 

GREENLAND

GREENLAND

 

THIS POST IS AN EXAMINATION OF THE CLAIM THAT THE JUNE/JULY 2019 WILDFIRES IN SIBERIA, ALASKA, AND GREENLAND ARE THE RESULT OF TEMPERATURES PUSHED UP TO RECORD LEVELS BY AGW CLIMATE CHANGE. 

 

Large wildfires broke out in the Arctic regions of Siberia and Alaska along with a small fire in Greenland in July 2019. The media, NASA, and the WMO have claimed that the fires had been caused by climate change by way of rising temperatures. The climate change signature  is presented as the hottest June ever in the Arctic. The media reports are as follows:

THE GUARDIAN: The Arctic is suffering its worst wildfire season on record, with huge blazes in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska producing plumes of smoke that can be seen from space. The Arctic region has recorded its hottest June ever. Since the start of that month, more than 100 wildfires have burned in the Arctic circle. In Russia, 11 of 49 regions are experiencing wildfires. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations’ weather and climate monitoring service, has called the Arctic fires “unprecedented”. The largest blazes, believed to have been caused by lightning, are located in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Buryatia. Winds carrying smoke have caused air quality to plummet in Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia. In Greenland, the multi-day Sisimiut blaze, first detected on 10 July, came during an unusually warm and dry stretch in which melting on the vast Greenland ice sheet commenced a month earlier than usual. In Alaska, as many as 400 fires have been reported. The climatologist Rick Thomas estimated the total area burned in the state this season as of Wednesday morning at 2.06m acres. Mark Parrington, senior scientist with the Climate Change Service and Atmosphere Monitoring Service for Europe’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, described the extent of the smoke as “impressive” and posted an image of a ring of fire and smoke across much of the region. Thomas Smith, an environmental geographer at the London School of Economics, told USA Today fires of such magnitude have not been seen in the 16-year satellite record. Arctic wildfires emitted as much CO2 in June as Sweden does in a year. The fires are not merely the result of surface ignition of dry vegetation: in some cases the underlying peat has caught fire. Such fires can last for days or months and produce significant amounts of greenhouse gases. “These are some of the biggest fires on the planet, with a few appearing to be larger than 100,000 hectares,” Smith said. “The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from Arctic circle fires in June 2019 is larger than all of the CO2 released from Arctic circle fires in the same month from 2010 through to 2018 put together.” In June alone, the WMO said, Arctic fires emitted 50 megatonnes of CO2, equal to Sweden’s total annual emissions.

BBC:  Wildfires are ravaging the Arctic, with areas of northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland engulfed in flames. Lightning frequently triggers fires in the region but this year they have been worsened by summer temperatures that are higher than average because of climate change. Plumes of smoke from the fires can be seen from space. Mark Parrington, a wildfires expert at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (Cams), described them as “unprecedented“. There are hundreds of fires covering mostly uninhabited regions across eastern Russia, northern Scandinavia, Greenland and Alaska.

SCIENCE ALERT: Wildfires Ravaging The Arctic Right Now Are So Intense, You Can See Them From Space. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and after the hottest June ever recorded on Earth, the region is literally on fire. From Greenland to Siberia to Alaska, huge swathes of flame and smoke are wrapping themselves around the upper Northern Hemisphere of our planet, like a suffocating scarf.

CNN:  More than 100 intense wildfires have ravaged the Arctic since June, with scientists describing the blazes as “unprecedented.” New satellite images show huge clouds of smoke billowing across uninhabited land in Greenland, Siberia and parts of Alaska. The wildfires come after the planet experienced the hottest June on record and is on track to experience the hottest July on record, as heatwaves sweep across Europe and the USA.

 

UAH Satellite temperature data for land surfaces in the the Arctic region are presented graphically below for each calendar month from January to June. July temperatures are not currently available but projected values are shown below in the charts labeled “July”.

 

FIGURE 1

LOWER TROPOSPHERE TEMPERATURES OVER ARCTIC LAND SURFACES01T02T03T04T05T06T07T

 

FIGURE 2

5-YEAR AND 10-YEAR TEMPERATURE TRENDS IN A MOVING WINDOW

01020304050607

 

FIGURE 3: TREND SUMMARYSUMMARY

 

DISCUSSION

  1. Figure 3 summarizes the trend data for the seven calendar months presented. The chart shows close agreement between the full span trend and the mean of the decadal trends indicating little or no violation of OLS assumptions and reliability of full span OLS trends. The 5-year trends may be over too short a duration to render meaningful data. The comparison of the full span OLS trends for the seven calendar months presented shows that the highest trends, 0.03C to 0.035C per year are seen in the spring and summer months of April, May, and June providing some credibility for the high rate of warming in June as a rationale for the attribution of the fires to AGW climate change.
  2. Figure 2 shows decadal  temperature trends on the right frame of the charts for each calendar month. These trends are computed in a moving 10-year window that moves through the time series one year at a time. The decadal temperature trends for the decade ending in 2014 to 2019 show a cooling from 2014 to 2016 at rates of 0.005C, 0.015C, and 0.004C per year turning to warming in 2017 at rates of 0.031C, 0.025C, and 0.0075C/year in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. These results imply that that the rate of warming in June went up from 2014 to 2017 but thereafter declined. The average for June is 0.03C/year. The results indicate that 2018 and 2019 are not unusual in their warming rate for June with 2019 showing a particularly low rate of warming. These data do not support the contention that rising rates of AGW climate change warming rates triggered the wildfires.
  3. Similar results are seen in the moving 5-year window in Figure 2. Here  we see that the warming rate was very high at in 2012 (0.359C/year) which declined to cooling in 2014 to 2017 returning to lower rates of warming 0.114C/year in 2018 and 0.16C/year in 2019.
  4. An examination of the temperatures in Figure 1 presents a similar pattern. Temperature anomalies from 2012 show temperature declining from 1.09C in 2012 to a low of 0.02 in 2014 before rising to 0.73C in 2018 and again to 0.89C in 2019. This figure is higher than the recent past but much lower than the 1.2C temperature anomaly of 2007. Thus the 2019 temperature cannot be described as unprecedented.
  5. The analysis presented shows that neither the lower troposphere temperature over land surfaces in the Arctic region nor its rate of warming in 2019 is unprecedented. The attribution of the wildfires to AGW climate change on that basis is therefore not supported by the data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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