Forget snow, rain will become main precipitation in the Arctic

Climate researchers Richard Bintanja and Qinghua Ding found a 50% to 60% Arctic precipitation increase (mostly rain) between 2091 and 2100, using 37 climate models.

“No matter where you are in the world, a temperature increase means the air can hold more moisture.”

Sea ice coverage in the Arctic has been plummeting for decades, and the region has repeatedly set record lows in recent years. When sea ice retreats, it uncovers vast open waters. This massively increases evaporation, leading to more clouds and more precipitation. But instead of snow, the Arctic will receive downpours of rain. The cycle feeds itself – warming temperatures lead to more rain and more melting ice, which leads to more open water and even more rain. “If the current trend proceeds – and all indications are that it will go even faster than predicted – then we’ll have a sea-ice-free Arctic,” Bintanja says.

Eighty years from now, we don’t know how much CO2 there will be, but I’m sure it will be very warm in the Arctic. And anthropogenic causes will overwhelm anything else,” Ding says.

The rise in rainfall will cause a cascade of effects, he says. Rain can melt snow that usually reflects light, leaving the land to absorb more heat from the sun. The run-off from melting snow can alter the salinity of the Arctic Ocean, which can harm marine species.

Globally, precipitation is projected to increase by 2 per cent for every degree the planet warms, but in the Arctic that figure is double. By 2091, the Arctic will see a dramatic increase in overall precipitation and most of it won’t come in the form of snow – instead it will be rain.

...  the North Pole is likely to see the amount of yearly rain that usually falls at the edge of the Arctic in places like northern Norway or Alaska. [order changed] [emphasis mine]

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Network broadcasting news stations continue to call climate change 'contriversial.'

Entertainment at it's worse.

Trump budget

The White House’s budget proposal for 2018, released Thursday, seeks cuts in science and health agencies across the board. Congress has final approval on this request from the president. Some budgetary wallets would be lightened more than others. Here is the breakdown.

Environmental Protection Agency: 31 percent cut
2017: $8.2 billion
2018: $5.7 billion

The Environmental Protection Agency gets hit with the largest reduction in terms percentage for an agency or department. The move eliminates more than 50 programs, including infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native Villages and the Mexico Border as well as Energy Star, which sets efficiency standards for consumer products. While the budget promises “to finance high priority infrastructure investments that protect human health,” it would also slash $330 million for Superfund cleanup programs, which remove pollution from some of the nation’s most contaminated land. The proposal also eliminates funding for the regional restoration efforts across the nation. Those projects keep human runoff from contaminating waterways like the Great Lakes.... As some expected, the Clean Power Plan is discontinued. The EPA’s grants and research divisions lose about half their funding. Overall, the proposed budget would clear out 3,200 jobs.

National Institutes of Health: 19 percent cut
2017: $31.7 billion
2018: $25.9 billion

The federal agency responsible for funding the training of doctors and scientists as well as developing treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, mental health disorders and a range of other maladies would face a $5.8 billion cut under the proposed budget. The budget calls for a major reorganization of the NIH’s institutes and centers. The move would close the Fogarty International Center, which creates partnerships between American and international research ce.... The NIH budget has has been stagnant for years and has failed to keep pace with inflation since 2003. The NIH employs 5,200 scientists at its various campuses and its grants support 300,000 researchers at 2,500 universities and organizations in ever.... The Department of Health and Human Services, which encompasses the NIH, faces the largest monetary cut — $15.1 billion — of all the departments and agencies mentioned the White House budget proposal. However, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which handles some but not all national programs geared toward tackling the opioid epidemic, would witness a $500 million increase above 2016 enacted levels.

U.S Department of Agriculture: 21 percent cut
2017: $22.6 billion
2018: $17.9 billion

The agricultural department’s programs for wastewater management and food aid for the impoverished living in foreign countries hits the chopping block in the proposed budget. The Water and Wastewater loan and grant program — $500 million — provides funds for water infrastructure in rural communities. The White House budget stated these services can be replaced by private sector financing or through EPA support. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education, which claimed to have fed 3 million children and their families overseas ..., loses its $200 million support. Wildfire preparedness would receive full support to the tune of $2.4 billion, but the National Forest System would lose an unspecified amount. Food stamps would not be cut, though the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) would see a $200 million reduction.

Department of Energy: 6 percent cut
2017: $29.7 billion
2018: $28.0 billion

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science loses $900 million under the proposed budget for projects directed toward innovations in energy efficiency and infrastructure. For instance, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which has provided support to companies like Tesla, gets axed. The office backs research at 300 universities and 10 national labs. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility would receive $120 million.

NASA: 1 percent cut
2017: $19.2 billion
2018: $19.1 billion

While a 1 percent cut represents the smallest slash among the field of science agencies, NASA would shutters its $115 million Office of Education. So long to space camp and a long list of classroom projects geared toward engaging students in science, technology, engineering and math. NASA’s Earth Science branch faces a $102 million reduction, with most cuts targeting climate change research. Robotic satellite refueling missions lose $88 million, but the budgets for deep space exploration, including for the the Orion crew vehicle and Space Launch System, remain well-funded.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: 1 percent cut
2017: $5.8 billion
2018: $5.6 billion

NOAA, part of the Department of Commerce, sees a relatively small reduction of $250 million for grants and programs that target coastal and marine management, research and education. The budget maintains funding for national weather surveillance, including for polar and environmental satellites already in the process of construction. But the proposal appears to cut funds for two Polar Follow On satellites, dues to launch in 2024 and 2026.

Chemical Safety Board: 100 percent cut
2017: $12.4 million
2018: $0

The Chemical Safety Board is nation’s independent overseer for chemical spills. It’s charged with investigating chemical spills and accidents at fixed industrial facilities. The board doesn’t hand out penalties, but makes recommendations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry organizations and labor groups. The budget document does not expand on why the White House is seeking the cuts.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unclear

The budget listed no specifics for the CDC, except for $500 million to help the public health agency respond to state emergencies like last year’s Zika outbreak in Florida.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add the number of people supported by the NIH and to include the potential cuts to the Chemical Safety Board.

appalling!

Trump and his cadre seem to be anti science. Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education) appears to promote religious indroctonation under the guise of education.

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