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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Arctic Oscillation Index, Surface Temperature Anomalies, Polar Vortex, Chris Mooney's "Water World"

Dear Readers,

Here is a link to an animation of the past 30 days' surface temperature anomalies (note the red color over Greenland):

Here is a link to NASA's Earth Observatory of how hot air was belched out into the stratosphere over the North Pole in February 2009 (the 7-Mb animation takes a very long time to load, but I guarantee you it is worth the wait and is scary to watch).

Link to NASA article:

Link to QuickTime animation (by way of explanation, please note that the image on the right shows temperatures at an altitude of about 30 kilometers. The temperatures begin at a low of negative 88 degrees centigrade (-88 °C).  As the heat is belched through the polar vortex, splitting it in two, temperatures rise to a positive 12 degrees centigrade (+12 °C) . Note also that the heat is coming from the southern latitudes just north of the equator.):

Here is a link to NOAA's National Weather Service's Climate Predition Center's daily graph of the Arctic Oscillation Index:

Graph as of January 6, 2009:

Observed Daily Arctic Oscillation Index.

And, just for fun, boys and girls, a link to the Western Hemisphere and (some of the Eastern) water vapor streams over the past 24 hours:

And, a quote from Chris Mooney's book "Storm World" (page 57) that Susan A. was so kind to send to me:

"The 'most important and obvious' positive feedback identified in the Charney report involved atmospheric water vapor. Due to a physical law known as the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, the amount of moisture that can be carried by the air increases along a steeply sloping curve as temperature rises."

Emphasis and underlining are mine.

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