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Climate Change and Shipping

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By Keith Wagner 03-15-2021 11:20:00 Satellite Image showing a winter-time bomb cyclone off the U.S. East Coast, January 4, 2017 (courtesy CIRA, NOAA/NESDIS RAMMB) While frequent debates occur over the causes of climate change, the reality of a changing climate over the past 50-70 years cannot be disputed. Across the globe, data shows increasing average temperatures. Average global surface temperature has increased 1.14 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, with increased frequency of extreme temperatures. Global average temperature and temperature anomalies (degrees C) from 1980-2016 (data courtesy NOAA/NCDC and NASA/JPL-Caltech) From a meteorological and oceanographic perspective, there have been other “signs” of changing weather patterns and warming oceans:

1) Increasing frequency of “bomb cyclones” across many parts of the world, including off the U.S. East Coast (image at top) and across the Aleutians and Gulf of Alaska. A recent storm off the Aleutians in late December set a record low pressure for this region, with a minimum pressure equivalent to a Category 4 Hurricane.

2) Record-breaking Atlantic Hurricane season in 2020, with 30 named systems setting a new seasonal record, and with multiple hurricanes impacting the U.S. Gulf Coast. Ocean Heat Content continues to rise comparing overall average […]

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