Heat: 2014 breaks global temperature records, 2015 could be hotter

by Gareth January 18, 2015

Last year was the warmest year on record for the planet, analyses by NASA and NOAA show, and it’s possible that 2015 could be warmer still. 2014 was warmer than previous record holders 2005 and 2010, and comfortably ahead of 1998. 13 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 2000. Remarkably, […]

20 comments Read the full article →

This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2

by Gareth November 20, 2014

Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in the northern hemisphere, and the seasonal change in CO2 levels as the northern hemisphere summer […]

94 comments Read the full article →

PIG and pals pass point of no return – West Antarctic ice melt inevitable

by Gareth May 13, 2014

Two new papers published this week suggest that the West Antarctic glaciers draining into the Amundsen Sea — the Pine Island, Thwaites, Haynes, Pope, Smith and Kohler glaciers — are melting rapidly and are now committed to collapse, adding up to 1.2 metres to future sea level rise. In the NASA JPL video above, Eric […]

37 comments Read the full article →

Lost in the flood

by Gareth March 9, 2014

This morning’s NASA Earth Observatory image of the day shows the impact of last week’s heavy rain in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula on the sea around. The light blue colours show sediment washed off the land. If you visit the EO page, they provide a helpful reference image: the region snapped from space in late […]

34 comments Read the full article →

Record Arctic Sea-ice minimum 2012 declared – it’s the Silly Season!

by Gareth September 23, 2012

In early August I posted my predictions for the “sceptical” response to the record sea ice minimum. Time to call myself to account. I had planned to do my own analysis, but John Mason at Skeptical Science has done such an excellent job of ploughing through the mountains of bullshit that I asked his permission […]

33 comments Read the full article →

Ice bottom blues

by Gareth September 19, 2012

According to the latest bulletin from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the US, Arctic sea ice is likely to be at or about its minimum extent for the summer (as of Sept 17th). The animation above shows how the ice melt proceeded through the summer (up to Sept 14th), and the graph […]

8 comments Read the full article →

This is our planet

by Gareth June 30, 2012

A wonderful video to start the weekend — time-lapse photography from the space station compiled by Tomislav Safundžić. If anyone ever tries to tell you that man’s influence is too puny to affect our great planet, point them at this. The world is littered with our lights, and much else besides. Watch the full HD […]

3 comments Read the full article →

Polar projections

by Gareth June 22, 2012

This stunning view of the Arctic and the northern hemisphere was captured by the Suomi-NPP satellite a couple of weeks ago. You can clearly see where the Arctic sea ice is beginning to melt and break up (the bluish bits of offshore ice). More on the image at the Earth Observatory. Meanwhile, new research indicates […]

1 comment Read the full article →

High and dry

by Gareth June 9, 2012

From NASA’s Earth Observatory: yesterday’s Image Of The Day (RSS feed) was this stunning picture of an intense high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight to the southwest of Tasmania, acquired by the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite on June 5th. In high pressure systems, dry descending air suppresses cloud formation, in this […]

5 comments Read the full article →

The unseen transit

by Gareth June 6, 2012

It’s been snowing most of the day chez Hot Topic, so any chance I may have had of viewing the transit of Venus across the sun earlier today was lost in a haze of snowflakes and cloud. However, thanks to the fact that the sun provides the energy that drives the climate system, I can […]

2 comments Read the full article →