the worrying triple record of May 23

by time news

2023-05-26 18:29:57

Three records broken in one day and it’s not good news: Tuesday, May 23, data collected by the Climate Change Institute of the University of Maine showed that the temperature on the surface of the Earth and that of the surface of the oceans reached a maximum never observed for this date of the year. At the same time, sea ice extent had never been lower. A heightened simultaneity in a tweet by Leon Simons, an entrepreneur and researcher member of the Dutch Club of Rome.

“Breaking records is no wonder, analyzes Françoise Vimeux, climatologist at the Institute for Research on Development. In a single day, it’s chance. But over time, the impacts of global warming are intensifying. »

In recent weeks, scientists have observed “sea surface temperature records between latitudes 60° North and 60° Southcontinues the specialist. For sea ice in Antarctica, it seems to me that this is an absolute record, or else we are close to it”.

The temperatures in 2023 already stand out from those of 2022

This first graph shows the evolution of the temperature on the surface of the planet. The year 2022, shown in orange, stands out from most of the previous ones: depending on the dataset consideredshe appears at the 5e or 6e place of the warmest years ever observed. Since mid-April, the year 2023 has been even more extraordinary, since it beats all previous years, even before El Niño, expected for the summer, still pulls global temperatures up.

Earth’s average temperature

Recorded daily on its surface since 1979.

The map below represents, compared to the average for the period 1979-2000, the temperature anomalies recorded at two meters above the ground on May 23, 2023.

At the surface of the oceans, the end of the cooling due to La Niña

The warming trend of the surface waters of the oceans (excluding polar waters) is even clearer: they have never been so warm for this time of year since satellite temperature readings began at the end of the 1970s, which worries climatologists. Asked by the GuardianDr. Mike McPhaden, a researcher from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believes that this means that “the three years of local cooling of the Pacific due to La Niña have ended”.

Average ocean temperature

Recorded daily since 1981 between 60N and 60S

“What we’re seeing right now is a warming signal that highlights our growing interference with Earth’s climate system.”believes for his part Matthew England, climatologist at the University of New South Wales, in the British daily.

The temperature anomaly at the surface of the oceans for the date of May 23, 2023, compared to the period 1971-2000 is projected on the following map.

At the poles, sea ice at the lowest

These unprecedented temperatures, the records of which are broken year after year, have worrying consequences on the thickness and surface area of ​​the polar ice floes. According a podcast broadcast by ABC Newsthe melting of the ice observed in recent months in Antarctica leaves scientists ” agape “. In this area of ​​the Southern Hemisphere, as the winter solstice approaches, sea ice that should be expanding seems to be declining. Researcher Edward Doddridge of the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies assesses the situation “very unusual. In areas where we have seen less ice this year, especially in the Bellingshausen Sea, last week there was a persistent wind from the North. And normally when you have that wind in the winter, it forms more ice that piles up on the coast. But this year we haven’t seen any ice in that area, which is extremely surprising and really worrying and makes us suspect that something has changed around Antarctica.”explains the scientist.

Land sea ice area

Sum of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice areas, recorded daily since 1978

In addition to monitoring the surface area of ​​this sea ice, scientists are also very attentive to the thickness of this ice floe, which is steadily decreasing, which has an impact on its resistance to global warming. The map below shows precisely the difference in thickness of the Arctic Ocean sea ice.

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