Terry Watts (sirterrywatts) wrote,
Terry Watts

Rain in Antarctica - Climate Science

Recently there has been a lot of speculation about the cause, impact, about the rain events in Antarctica. Most journalism and media web pages have stated that; 'it has scientist concerned'. However, there is probably a bit more behind the news than just spin and hype. Scientist have been concerned for decades about global warming and climate change, but that seems to have been overlooked.

The cause of the events lay in El, Nino climate pattern events. Over the past decade, the level of these events has been increasing. This brings storms and intense weather events to South America, but also can now be attributed to rain events in Antarctica. These rain events are of concern to the scientist as they rapidly speed up melting events when they occur, but also the frequency of these events seem to be on the rise in trend with predictions about global warming.

Damage to Ross Ice Shelf by rain in 2016;

This noticeable pattern was seen In 2008, a La Nina event, was seen to cause the east coast low that caused widespread storms and destruction over the east coast of Australia. This was a fancy word for a low power cyclone. The system was powerful enough to push a bulker off its morning and it landed in Newcastle. The system reached as far as South Sydney, and that is very unlikely to have happened normally. Climate scientist around Australia had concluded that climate change will include an increase in the severity and the likelihood of these events in the years to come. This was a direct warning from all of the science community to the world, but nobody seemed to listen.

Photo; Newcastle Herald

In 2009, an El Nino event began a widespread drought in Australia. However, it also was attributed to a rainfall event in Antarctica. Later in January 2016, Rain fell over the Ross Ice Shelf, causing widespread melting and damage to one of the largest ice shelves. These events seem to be speeding up the deterioration of the Antarctic ice, but it is now an inconvenient fact that Antarctica can now expect these events on a more frequent basis. The Climate has changed for Antarctica and the world needs to take note.

Photo; Melt-water on the ross shelf 2016

In 2017, we saw a year of record-breaking extremes across Australia and the world. Temperatures were exceeding records by 1 and two degrees each consecutive year, and 2017 was a year that continued that trend. Now breaking long-held records on a predictable level. 2017 made for a hot and dry year like none before. What was most concerning was that the climate was dominated by high-pressure systems that pushed rain events away from Australia. The cold fronts that normally bring rain events to Australia simply never left the southern ocean. If this is going to become a climatic norm, it could mean dire consequences for Australia in the future. As our fresh water mainly comes from rainwater.

Isograph; BOM, Australia Temp 8 January 2018

In 2018, Sydney on the 8th on January was the hottest place on earth. Breaking another record for high temperatures. The year ahead will be another to break records as climatologists have issued a statment that La Nina, is in effect. The reversing of the El Nino, means that warm waters will cause the ocean currents to reverse. Widespread rain, flooding, and cyclones can be predicted this year for Australia. Extream weather events, and alike will continue across Indonesia and the effects will be noted in the months to come. This climate shift will be interesting to observe as it is the first with the added knowledge that carbon levels in the atmosphere are at their highest in human history.

Photo; NASA, Eastern Australia

In summary; 2018 will be a year of weather extremes as our global climate changes. In my lifetime so far, and over the past decade alone, I have seen huge shifts and major events that seem to go unnoticed. Carbon level at their highest in human history, ice shelves melting to the shorelines, glaciers in retreat, and ancient permafrost melting, all mean that global average temperatures are on the rise.Climate change is real and it is happening. There is more than enough evidence and it is time to except the paradise and reality of our future. It is certainly overdue to start listening to qualified scientist too.

Tags: climate change australia antarctica rain
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