Climate Letter #1149

Two new studies describe a weakening of the Gulf Stream current (or AMOC) in the North Atlantic.  One of them shows that it is currently at its weakest point in the past 1,600 years.  The other sees it “rapidly weakening since 1950 as a result of rising temperatures linked to global warming.”  They both detect an amount of weakening of at least 15 to 20 percent.  Continuation means that weather patterns in Europe and elsewhere are likely to be affected.
—–
How climate change could trigger more volcanic eruptions.  This is an old idea that is now the subject of new research.  One new twist is that massive landslides caused by excessive amounts of rainfall can destabilize a potential volcano in a manner not unlike that of the melting away of glacial overburden.  “As landslides tend to be caused by heavy rainfall – which is expected to increase due to climate change – these events are likely to become more common in the future.”
—–
This story describes Greenland’s “dark zone,” which speeds up surface melting.  It measures 250 miles long and up to 62miles wide, and is said to be growing even larger.  “The fact that a large portion of the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet has become dark means that the melt is up to five times as much as if it was a brilliant snow surface.”
—–
Arctic ecosystems are changing because of the greater melting of sea ice.  Scientists are now venturing out to examine the effects during those long periods when there is no daylight.  This six-minute video is well made and worth watching.
—–
The virtues of perennial grains are gaining attention.  This post makes an especially strong case for a type of deep-rooted wheatgrass known as Kernza which is ready for scaled up production.  Beside avoiding the need for plowing, replanting and herbicide application, “Perennial crops are robust; they protect soil from erosion and improve soil structure. They increase ecosystem nutrient retention, carbon sequestration, and water infiltration, and can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Overall, they help ensure food and water security over the long term.”
Carl
This entry was posted in Daily Climate Letters. Bookmark the permalink.