A major source of the water for the sea level rise already affecting Savannah and Jacksonville is melting Arctic Ocean sea ice. WMO Press Release No. 966: 2012: Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt, Multiple Extremes and High Temperatures,
“Naturally occurring climate variability due to phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña impact on temperatures and precipitation on a seasonal to annual scale. But they do not alter the underlying long-term trend of rising temperatures due to climate change as a result of human activities,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
“The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth's oceans and biosphere. Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records,” added Mr Jarraud.
15 September 1982 vs 16 September 2012
The Arctic reached its lowest annual sea ice extent since the start of satellite records on 16 September at 3.41 million square kilometers. This was 18% less than the previous record low of 18 September, 2007. The 2012 minimum extent was 49 percent or nearly 3.3 million square kilometers (nearly the size of India) below the 1979—2000 average minimum. Some 11.83 million square kilometers of Arctic ice melted between March and September 2012.
WMO noted other effects of climate change outside the arctic, including:
Extremes: Notable extreme events were observed worldwide, but some parts of the Northern Hemisphere were affected by multiple extremes during January—October 2012.
- Heat waves: Major heat waves impacted the Northern Hemisphere during the year, with the most notable in March—May across the continental United States of America and Europe. Warm spells during March 2012 resulted in many record-breaking temperatures in Europe and nearly 15,000 new daily records across the USA. Russia witnessed the second warmest summer on record after 2010. Numerous temperature records were broken in Morocco in summer.
- Drought: According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly two-thirds of the continental United States (65.5 percent) was considered to be in moderate to exceptional drought on 25 September 2012. Drought conditions impacted parts of western Russia and western Siberia during June and July, and Southeast Europe, the Balkans and some Mediterranean countries during summer. In China, the Yunnan and southwestern Sichuan province experienced severe drought during winter and spring. Northern Brazil witnessed the worst drought in 50 years. The April—October precipitation total, in Australia was 31 percent below normal....
Tropical Cyclones: Global tropical cyclone activity for the first ten months was near the 1981—2010 average of 85 storms, with a total of 81 storms (wind speeds greater or equal than 34 knots, or 63 kilometers per hour). The Atlantic basin experienced an above-average hurricane season for a third consecutive year with a total of 19 storms, with ten reaching hurricane status, the most notably being Sandy, which wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and the USA East Coast. Throughout the year, East Asia was severely impacted by powerful typhoons. Typhoon Sanba was the strongest cyclone, globally, to have formed in 2012. Sanba impacted the Philippines, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula, dumping torrential rain and triggering floods and landslides that affected thousands of people and caused millions in U.S. dollars in damage.
This AP news article makes a useful comparison. Arctic sea ice larger than U.S. melted this year, but devolves into the same old lame excuses,
"We are still in the process of industrialization. We are also confronted with the enormous task of poverty eradication," said Wei, acknowledging that the country's emissions won't peak by 2020.
"In order to eradicate poverty, to try to improve the living standards, certainly we need to develop our economy," he said. "So the emissions will need to grow for a period of time."
That's from a member of the Chinese delegation to the Doha talks. That delegation might want to check with the home front. Jamie Yap wrote for ZDnet China's solar power investment to hit $39.5B by 2015,
China's National Energy Administration said investment in solar power generation is expected to reach 250 billion yuan (US$39.5 billion), as part of the country's 12th five-year-plan spanning 2011 to 2015.
China Daily reported Thursday the government expected some 500,000 people to be employed in the solar industry.
Sounds like solar investment in China means jobs in China. There's plenty of private money wanting to invest in solar in Georgia, once we get the 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act out of the way. Oh, and Savannah and Jacksonville will be less likely to be underwater.