Technology US

2020 was a preview of hotter years to come

2020 ranks among the hottest years on record, several science agencies said today. NASA said that 2020 shares the top spot with 2016, following a similar determination by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service last week. The World Meteorological Association (WMO), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and UK Met Office all released figures putting 2020 within the top three warmest years recorded.

They all agree that 2020 continued a trend of climbing temperatures, which is changing what’s considered “normal” on our planet. The warmest six years in recorded history have all taken place since 2015. We just climbed out of the hottest decade on record, and it already looks like the decade ahead will get hotter.

“We can basically expect more of the same,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “We’re not going back to temperatures in the 1980s.”

Each agency uses its own methods to come to independent conclusions, which is why there are slight differences. But the differences between the three hottest years — 2020, 2019, and 2016 — are “indistinguishably small,” according to the WMO, which incorporates findings from regional agencies to make its call.

NASA tends to land at slightly higher global average temperatures than other agencies. That’s because it uses readings from nearby weather stations to estimate temperatures across regions with limited data collection — like the Arctic. That’s significant because the Arctic has warmed at a rate more than three times faster than the rest of the globe since 1970, according to NASA. So including more of the region into its global analysis gives NASA a more comprehensive perspective. It corrects for a “cold bias” that can affect other data sets that are missing figures from the Arctic.

What was even more alarming about 2020 compared to previous years was that it was exceptionally hot despite a La Niña event, which typically has a cooling effect on the planet. Had a La Niña not developed toward the end of last year, 2020 might have won the title for hottest year on record hands down.

The world as a whole in 2020 was about 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter than it was from 1850–1900, the preindustrial period that’s considered a baseline. The goal of the Paris climate agreement is to keep warming well below 2 degrees Celsius in order to prevent the most severe effects of climate change.

Climate-related disasters, however, are already here. “A small increase in the global temperature can lead to big changes in extreme weather events. We’ve already seen some of those,” says Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, a physical scientist at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. The US experienced the most active Atlantic hurricane season and the most active western wildfire season last year.

The world isn’t transforming evenly. Some places are hit harder and faster by climate change because of their unique vulnerabilities. The Arctic, which also experienced unprecedented blazes last year, got up to 6 degrees Celsius hotter in 2020 compared to the average temperature from 1981 to 2000, according to Copernicus. It’s heating up faster in part because warmer weather means less ice and snow to reflect sunlight. Darker surfaces, revealed by melting ice, absorb more heat. And because the world’s seas are heating up faster than land, warmer water is also speeding up change at the sea ice-covered poles.

Similar phenomena take place in other regions with vast shorelines and snowy winters. Take the US Northeast, which is warming at a faster rate than the rest of America and is projected to keep doing so. “It’s important to realize that two degrees Celsius [of warming] globally, means three degrees Celsius warming locally in the Northeast,” says Ambarish Karmalkar, a research assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

We are heading “quite strongly” toward the temperature thresholds set by the Paris accord, says Schmidt. “All of these things are making an impact now on sea level, on all sorts of things that real people are having to deal with right now,” he says. “It’s only going to get worse.”


Hotter in New Brunswick than in Florida!

It was warmer in New Brunswick than in Florida over the Christmas break!

A low pressure system accompanied by warm winds from the southern United States pushed mercury to temperatures never seen in the province on December 25 and 26.

Environment Canada weather reports show numerous heat records were shattered Friday and Saturday in several communities.

In fact, the mercury indicated Christmas Day and the day after Christmas three to four degrees higher in the center of the province compared to the City of Orlando, in the middle of the state of Florida.

On Friday, mercury soared to 16.2 ° C in St. Stephen as the temperature stood at 13 ° C in central Florida.

On Saturday, the mercury was 15.4 ° C in Bouctouche, compared to a meager 12 ° C in Orlando.

Heat records were easily shattered Friday in the areas of Bathurst, Charlo, Doaktown, Kouchibouguac, Miramichi, Saint-Jean, St. Stephen, Point Lepreau and Woodstock.

In several cases, the old record maximum temperature mark dated back to as far back as 1964.

A similar scenario unfolded on Saturday on Boxing Day as the mild temperatures continued to plague New Brunswick.

A daily hot temperature record was set on December 26 in Bathurst, Charlo, Bouctouche, Doaktown, Fredericton, Kouchibouguac, Miramichi, Moncton, Saint-Jean, St. Stephen, Point Lepreau and Woodstock.

At Point Lepreau, the old record mark of 10 ° C recorded on Boxing Day dates back to 1932.

This wave of mildness that invaded New Brunswick at the very end of last week, however, early Saturday at the end of the day gave way to another weather system accompanied by temperatures that are much more like our Canadian winter. .

The mercury suddenly dropped by about ten degrees on Saturday afternoon in the Acadian Peninsula, and in just a few hours.

Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing by daytime Tuesday in the southern portion of New Brunswick, however. Regions further north will have to deal with significantly lower mercury and a minimum during nights that could drop to -17 ° C.

Another chapter of warmth is to be expected on Friday, however, when mercury is expected to be between 3 ° C and 10 ° C in New Brunswick on the first day of the new year 2021.


Headline USA

The biggest mystery of the Sun: why its corona is much hotter than its surface | The NY Journal

The team led by astrophysicist Patrick Antolin Tobos published a study that helps explain how it is possible that the solar corona is hotter than the surface

Astrophysicists who study the Sun have faced a mystery that contradicts logic for decades.

They wonder how it is possible that the solar corona, the outermost layer of our star, is hotter than the surface itself.

While the crust has a temperature of approximately 5,500 degrees Celsius, the corona can reach millions of degrees.

Imagine that you are sitting by a campfire. Close to her, it is nice and warm and when you move away from the fire, it is colder. This is the opposite of what seems to happen on the Sun ”, explains NASA.

Now a new find gives new clues to solve the riddle.

Unraveling this mystery is important because the influence of the corona is not limited to the space around the Sun.

The particles of that layer move so fast that they escape the gravity of the star and its influence extends throughout our solar system.

Earth is like a kite suspended in space at the mercy of the winds. The sphere of influence of the Sun is very large and we are within it. We are at the mercy of that solar wind, ”Franco-Colombian astrophysicist Patrick Antolin Tobos, from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, UK, explains to the BBC.

What happens in the solar corona affects the Earth.

This mass that is transported by solar winds can affect communications, satellites, aircraft navigation systems and even electrical systems.

And if we talk about space conquestUnderstanding how these currents work is essential.

Hence, there is a field of science dedicated to studying solar storms and that in many countries the activity of the star is considered a matter of national security.

The great difficulty is knowing how this solar wind is created and why its particles appear to be released as explosive jets.

The answer is that there something that warms the crown, but what is it?

2,000 nuclear bombs

One of the explanations, which has now become more plausible, is that the corona’s magnetic field twists and reconfigures.

This event releases an energy equivalent to that of 2,000 nuclear bombs like the ones in Hiroshima.

It is a phenomenon that lasts less than 10 seconds and that it occurs at a speed of 500,000 kilometers per hour.

Photograph of the nanojets

Nature Astronomy
This is the photograph of the nanojets found by Antolin Tobos’ team.

This phenomenon is called magnetic reconnection.

Was described theoretically by astrophysicist Eugene Parker, which gives its name to the NASA probe that is currently orbiting the sun.

Parker never had in his hands the scientific evidence that the Sun’s magnetic energy is converted into thermal energy and heats the solar corona.

However, the team led by Antolin Tobos, published this week in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy the first detection of a phenomenon that confirms Parker’s theory: nanojets.

“The magnetic field shapes the solar corona and heats it. There are magnetic field lines everywhere and they are anchored in the sun. That means they are constantly being moved from one side to the other. They are like threads tied to the Sol“Says Antolin Tobos.

What Parker was saying is that those magnetic field lines they have to split because they store so much energy that it has to come out somehow.


Getty Images
According to scientists, the Sun’s corona looks different when viewed closely from how we see it from Earth.

Magnetic lines break to reconnect through another site. They are reconfigured in other ways and as that happens they emit energy ”, explains the Colombian scientist.

This is one of the theories that explains why the temperature of the corona, but until Antolin Tobos’ team made its discovery, there was no evidence of the mechanism responsible for it.

500 kilometers wide

The flashes or nanojets a series of small, but numerous, explosions in the atmosphere of the star, could be observed thanks to the advancement of technology.

It’s something Parker didn’t count on.

Using observations from NASA’s IRIS and SDO satellite telescopes and another called Hinode that orbits the Sun, the team learned that nanojets can have up to 500 kilometers wide and 1,500 kilometers long.

Patrick Antolin Tobos

Patrick Antolin Tobos
Patrick Antolin Tobos is a researcher and professor at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

And they verified how the temperature of one of the solar sections increased while the phenomenon took place.

“That was the first time they were detected and we saw an avalanche effect. A few are given at first and then they reproduce throughout the structure. In a range of about 10 minutes, that structure heated up millions of degrees“Remembers Antolin.

NASA itself recognized the contribution of this research in which its observation satellite has been key solar IRIS.

“In a paper published today in Nature Astronomy, the researchers report on the first sharp images of nanojetsthin, bright lights that travel perpendicular to the magnetic structures of the solar corona ”.

Parker solar probe

NASA / Johns Hopkins APL / Steve Gribben
The shipment of the Parker Solar Probe is one of NASA’s most ambitious missions.

More exploration

But this explanation, Antolin says, might not be the only one that answers the scientific enigma.

“The solar corona is so rich in physical processes that you are likely to see these nanojets in certain parts, but not in other parts. This Parker’s theory had never been directly observed. This is a big step towards solving the problem. It is not the final one. There is still a littleSays the astrophysicist.

In scientific terms, he believes for the mystery to be completely solved, science has to photograph nanojets everywhere And for that, a technology that allows to cover larger areas is necessary.

“These nanojets they are so small and so fast that they are in one photo and no longer in the next. But my intuition tells me that as soon as we have more resolution, we are going to see them in the central part of the distribution ”, believes this Franco-Colombian astrophysicist.


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