The heatwave on the East Coast is a sign of climate change, and likely to happen more often. This post has all the numbers, including a chart near the end showing an anomaly of around 20F over a large area on February 21. Note that large chunks of the air over the frozen Arctic Ocean had anomalies twice that high on the same chart.
–Where did all that heat come from? The chart in this link shows that sea surface temperatures off this coast and the Gulf of Mexico were also well above normal, enough to make a significant difference on land. The same is true for the northern parts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, adjacent to the Arctic.
Steps are being taken toward electrifying the world’s shipping fleets. Shipping is one of the most intractable sources of carbon emissions, but apparently there are solutions, and efforts to promote those solutions can be found in northern Europe. Otherwise there is a great deal of obstruction and stonewalling. “The technology is there,” says Tønnessen-Krokan of Norway’s Forum for Development and Environment. “Incentives have worked to make it happen, but there have to be sticks as well as carrots. Shipping should have been subject to emissions targets years ago.”
A commentary on the problem of plastics pollution. The problem gets less attention than climate change but is thought by many to be just as threatening to the natural world, which happens to be a critical support base for humanity. The article points out that there have been treaties in place for a long time which, like the Paris Agreement, were supposed to prevent this from happening, but were ignored.
Climate science: New research finds a significant role for dust as a cooling agent during major glaciation episodes, especially in the deepest stages. There is evidence that about three times as much dust was in the atmosphere during glacial maxima as during interglacial periods, and that would be enough to account for about one degree of the total temperature decline by adding to the reflection of solar radiation. In addition the dust would have a fertilizing effect on oceanic plankton which would result in an extra drawdown of the CO2 level in the atmosphere for still more cooling. The direct albedo effect of the dust is important because it means the combination of reduced greenhouse gas and ice sheet albedo can no longer be given total accountability for the entire temperature drop of about 5C at the very bottom. The authors of the study find that ordinary climate sensitivity estimates may need to be reduced as much as a half degree for that reason.
–The full study is available at this link, with open access, not terribly technical at first glance: