Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break, warming woes remain - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break, warming woes remain

Posted:
  • More Local NewsMore Local NewsMore>>

  • Traffic delays on U.S. Route 60

    Traffic delays on U.S. Route 60

    GAULEY BRIDGE (WVVA) -A tanker truck rolls over in Fayette County, causing traffic delays. Emergency dispatchers confirm it happened at Chimney Corner...More >>
    GAULEY BRIDGE (WVVA) -A tanker truck rolls over in Fayette County, causing traffic delays. Emergency dispatchers confirm it happened at Chimney Corner...More >>
  • A Pedestrian is hit late Thursday night in Beckley

    A Pedestrian is hit late Thursday night in Beckley

    RALEIGH (WVVA) – One person is sent to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle.More >>
    RALEIGH (WVVA) – One person is sent to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle.More >>
  • Coal miners/ Environmental groups protest outside EPA hearings

    Coal miners/ Environmental groups protest outside EPA hearings

    (WVVA) -Coal miners and Environmental groups protest outside EPA hearings held in Pittsburgh, Pa. The miners marched in front of the federal building shouting "hey, hey EPA don't take our jobs away."More >>
    (WVVA) -Coal miners and Environmental groups protest outside EPA hearings held in Pittsburgh, Pa. The miners marched in front of the federal building shouting "hey, hey EPA don't take our jobs away."More >>

WASHINGTON (AP) - The rapid melting in the Arctic eased up this year. But the government says global warming is still dramatically altering the top of the world, reducing the number of reindeer and shrinking snow and ice, while increasing certain fish and extending the growing season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its report card for the Arctic on Thursday, portraying 2013 as moderate compared with the roasting 2012.

Overall Arctic temperatures didn't soar quite as high, and Greenland ice sheets and summer sea ice didn't melt as much.

"The Arctic caught a break, if you will, in 2013, but one year doesn't change the long-term trend toward a warmer Arctic," said report card editor Martin Jeffries, a University of Alaska geophysicist who is the science adviser to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

"The Arctic has shifted to a new normal," Jeffries said at the American Geophysical Union scientific conference in San Francisco, where the 136-page report card was released.

While 2013 looks a tad cool compared with the last six years, it is unusually warm compared with the 20th century, he said.

Central Alaska's summer was one of the warmest on record, coming months after its coldest April since 1924, NOAA said. Fairbanks experienced a record 36 days of more than 80 degrees. And snow cover in May and June was near record low levels in North America and broke a record for the least snow in Eurasia.

But one of the biggest climate change indicators, summer sea ice, wasn't as bad as expected. Sea ice in 2013 reached its sixth-lowest level in the three decades that NOAA has been keeping track. That's up from the lowest ever in 2012.

But the seven lowest levels have all occurred in the last seven years.

The 2013 figure "is simply natural variability," said National Snow and Ice Data Center director Mark Serreze, who wasn't part of the NOAA report but praised it. "There is nothing about the year 2013 that provides any evidence that the Arctic is starting a path toward recovery."

He added: "Looking back 20 years from now, the world will be warmer and we'll have much less sea ice than today. We'll see that 2013 was just a temporary respite."

More ominous are long-term trends, NOAA's report card said.

Average Arctic temperatures have increased 3.6 degrees since the 1960s, rising twice as fast as the rest of the world. The growing season has lengthened by nearly a month since 1982.

Fish species are moving north, permafrost is melting, and shrubs are greening in ways that weren't seen before.

While some fish and muskox are doing better, other animals associated with Arctic, like polar bears and walruses, are not. The report cited severe declines in the size of reindeer herds.

"Many of the herds at the overall level are at all-time lows," said study co-author Michael Svoboda of the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Jeffries and University of Virginia environmental scientist Howard Epstein, another study co-author, warned that changes in the Arctic reverberate around the globe.

White ice reflects solar energy, but because it is melting away, the oceans and the land are warming up more, Jeffries said.

He also cited a relatively new and evolving theory that is still dividing meteorologists. It says the loss of sea ice makes the jet stream meander and kink more, triggering more extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

"The Arctic is not like Vegas," Epstein said. "What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic."

___

Online:

NOAA report card: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard

  • NEWSMore>>

  • WVVA SPECIAL REPORT: A look inside the Summit Bechtel Reserve

    WVVA SPECIAL REPORT: A look inside the Summit Bechtel Reserve

    MOUNT HOPE (WVVA) -- During July 2013, WVVA was your home for all the happenings inside the Summit Bechtel Reserve for the National Boy Scouts Jamboree. This summer, the site is a little more quiet...More >>
    MOUNT HOPE (WVVA) -- During July 2013, WVVA was your home for all the happenings inside the Summit Bechtel Reserve for the National Boy Scouts Jamboree. This summer, the site is a little more quiet...More >>
  • Officials Review East River Tunnel Fire

    Officials Review East River Tunnel Fire

    WYTHEVILLE (WVVA)- First respondents from Bland and Mercer Counties along with West Virginia and Virginia Department of Transportation Officials met on Friday at Wytheville Community College.Kenneth King with V-DOT says, "Just like any good football team would do in terms of reviewing the film after the game to see how the game went this is sort of the exercise."Friday's meeting was held to discuss the Tractor Trailer Fire inside the East River Mountain Tunnel on Friday, July 25, 2014. Offici...More >>
    WYTHEVILLE (WVVA)- First respondents from Bland and Mercer Counties along with West Virginia and Virginia Department of Transportation Officials met on Friday at Wytheville Community College.Kenneth King with V-DOT says, "Just like any good football team would do in terms of reviewing the film after the game to see how the game went this is sort of the exercise."Friday's meeting was held to discuss the Tractor Trailer Fire inside the East River Mountain Tunnel on Friday, July 25, 2014. Offici...More >>
  • List of 2014 School Start Dates

    List of 2014 School Start Dates

    WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESFayette County: August 13Greenbrier County: August 18McDowell County: August 18Mercer County: August 7Monroe County: August 18Raleigh County: August 20Summers County: August 13Wyoming County: August 21VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESBland County: August 15Giles County: September 2Tazewell County: August 21Wythe County: August 13More >>
    WEST VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESFayette County: August 13Greenbrier County: August 18McDowell County: August 18Mercer County: August 7Monroe County: August 18Raleigh County: August 20Summers County: August 13Wyoming County: August 21VIRGINIA SCHOOLS START DATESBland County: August 15Giles County: September 2Tazewell County: August 21Wythe County: August 13More >>
  • New construction turns eyesore into the 'American Dream'

    New construction turns eyesore into the 'American Dream'

    BLUEFIELD W.VA. (WVVA) - A project to offer new and renovated housing to low income families is now complete.Dozens of people gathered on Highland Avenue...More >>
    BLUEFIELD W.VA. (WVVA) - A project to offer new and renovated housing to low income families is now complete.Dozens of people gathered on Highland Avenue...More >>
  • Raleigh Co. Schools free/ reduced meal prices

    Raleigh Co. Schools free/ reduced meal prices

    NEWS RELEASE: Raleigh County Schools today announced its policy for (free and reduced price meals) (free milk) for participants who are unable to pay the full price meals or milk served in schools, centers, institutions or homes that participate in the National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs...More >>
    NEWS RELEASE: Raleigh County Schools today announced its policy for (free and reduced price meals) (free milk) for participants who are unable to pay the full price meals or milk served in schools, centers, institutions or homes that participate in the National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs...More >>
  • Man is arrested on drug trafficking charges

    Man is arrested on drug trafficking charges

    Curtis TreadwayCurtis Treadway
    OAK HILL, W. VA. (WVVA) -A man is jailed after pills, a large amount of cash and several guns were confiscated from his home.Curtis Treadway, 54, of Oak Hill is charged with...More >>
    OAK HILL, W. VA. (WVVA) -A man is jailed after pills, a large amount of cash and several guns were confiscated from his home.Curtis Treadway, 54, of Oak Hill is charged with...More >>
  • Traffic delays on U.S. Route 60

    Traffic delays on U.S. Route 60

    GAULEY BRIDGE (WVVA) -A tanker truck rolls over in Fayette County, causing traffic delays. Emergency dispatchers confirm it happened at Chimney Corner...More >>
    GAULEY BRIDGE (WVVA) -A tanker truck rolls over in Fayette County, causing traffic delays. Emergency dispatchers confirm it happened at Chimney Corner...More >>
  • New dog waste stations installed in Bluefield

    New dog waste stations installed in Bluefield

    BLUEFIELD, W. VA. (WVVA) – City officials in Bluefield encourage pet owners to help keep pet waste from entering the storm water system...More >>
    BLUEFIELD, W. VA. (WVVA) – City officials in Bluefield encourage pet owners to help keep pet waste from entering the storm water system...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.