Riscaldamento globale, il luglio più caldo in 136 anni

di Michele Costanzo 39

Effetti del riscaldamento globale ed eventi specifici determinano il luglio più caldo da quando esistono rilevazioni sistematiche. Un altro tassello in un 2016 già su livelli record.

Riscaldamento globale Luglio 2016
Ennesimo record in un 2016 che sembra ormai solidamente impostato per diventare uno degli anni più caldi della storia. Anche a luglio il progetto GISS della NASA ha rilevato una elevata anomalia termica su scala globale ritoccando al rialzo i valori limite già toccati nel 2015. Riscaldamento globale ed azioni transitorie sul clima del pianeta sommano ormai da molti mesi i relativi effetti generando una situazione tra le più anomale e caratteristiche da quando esistono dati sistematici e diffusi sulla temperatura.

Riscaldamento globale, il caldo luglio 2016

Il mese di luglio 2016 è destinato a restare ben evidenziato negli annali del GISS di New York. Questo mese ha infatti stabilito un duplice primato in termini di temperature medie sulla Terra. Anzitutto quello da poco terminato è risultato il mese di luglio più caldo negli ultimi 136 anni, vale a dire a partire dal 1880 da quando esistono dati sufficientemente completi. L’anomalia termica rilevata a luglio 2016 infatti è risultata di 0,1 gradi superiore ai precedenti livelli record registrati sempre a luglio nel 2015 e nel 2011.

Considerando inoltre che sulla media annuale luglio risulta statisticamente il mese più caldo, il luglio 2016 risulta essere anche il mese più caldo in assoluto sempre a partire dal 1880.

Come spiegano gli studiosi NASA/GISS, i dati dello scorso luglio portano a 10 il numero di mesi consecutivi che toccano nuovi record mensili di temperatura. A partire da ottobre 2015 ciascun mese ha segnato un nuovo valore di picco nella rispettiva sequenza tanto che l’andamento termico del 2016 sembra essere una sorta di curva superiore di inviluppo di tutti i dati precedenti.

Nell’Artico le anomalie più intense

Analizzando più in dettaglio i dati del GISS di luglio si può osservare come l’effetto combinato del riscaldamento globale e delle anomalie annuali come El Niño ha generato un gradiente termico positivo in molte regioni del pianeta (v. immagine). Rispetto ai dati medi del periodo 1951-1980, luglio ha registrato una anomalia termica di 0,83°C con una distribuzione piuttosto singolare che concentra le variazioni più intense nelle zone polari.

Proprio l’Artico è da tempo sotto stretta osservazione in tema di riscaldamento globale. Per le complesse dinamiche che regolano il clima terrestre questa regione sembra infatti risentire in maniera più rapida ed intensa dei fenomeni del cambiamento climatico che grande preoccupazione hanno destato anche durante i lavori della conferenza del clima COP21 di Parigi.

Sempre rispetto alla media, si sono registrate anomalie positive fino 7,7°C che hanno interessato in maniera più intensa le regioni artiche nel Nord America, alcune regioni del nord della Russia ed alcune aree dell’Antartide. In senso opposto si sono registrate anche anomalie termiche negative fino a -4,8°C concentrate anche in questo caso su parte dell’Antartide.

L’Italia come gran parte dell’Europa Occidentale ricade in una regione in cui si sono registrate anomalie termiche positive tra 1 e 4 gradi. Recenti dati ISPRA riferiti al 2015 mostrano la medesima tendenza con un generale innalzamento delle temperature ed una riduzione delle precipitazioni.

Il passo record del 2016

Nel corso delle scorse settimane gli scienziati del Goddard Institute for Space Studies sono intervenuti a più riprese per segnalare il riscaldamento del clima sulla Terra. Già a febbraio si era registrata una vistosa anomalia termica con una temperature di ben 1,35 gradi al di sopra della media del periodo di riferimento (1951-1980).

Risalgono invece a poche settimane fa i dati medi del primo semestre 2016. L’elaborazione del GISS mostra come nell’arco dei sei mesi si sia registrata una anomalia termica di 1,25°C e picchi fino a 8,7°C. Tali effetti si sono concentrati soprattutto nelle regioni artiche e nelle zone continentali del Nord America e della Russia. Nello stesso periodo anche la calotta polare ha raggiunto la minima estensione dal 1979.

A tali effetti globali contribuisce una base stabile generata dal riscaldamento globale a cui si sommano ormai dal 2015 gli effetti della corrente de El Niño.

Mentre gli accordi sul clima di Parigi faticano a tradursi in azioni concrete di grande respiro, lo scenario preoccupante del clima sulla Terra ha trovato ulteriore conferma anche in un dettagliato studio della National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration che ha analizzato il 2015 sotto diverse prospettive. Emissioni di gas serra, effetti del riscaldamento globale, livello degli oceani, estensione dei ghiacciai montani, siccità estesa e caldo diffuso; aspetti differenti ma concordi del descrivere uno stato di forte sofferenza che non ha precedenti nella storia recente.

Il caso di Shishmaref in Alaska

In questa calda estate del 2016 sta destando grande attenzione anche la vicenda del villaggio di Shishmaref in Alaska. Questa cittadina sorge in una regione particolarmente sensibile al cambiamento climatico e da molti anni subisce una profonda erosione delle proprie coste.

Shishmaref è tornata al centro delle cronache -come raccontano tra gli altri ABC News e The Guardian– per aver indetto una consultazione sulla possibilità di trasferire l’intero villaggio in una zona più sicura.

Shishmaref è un vero e proprio caso di studio in tema di cambiamento climatico e riscaldamento globale. Il territorio posto poco a sud del Circolo Polare Artico ha registrato una progressiva riduzione dell’estensione e della permanenza stagionale del ghiaccio marino; allo stesso tempo anche il permafrost ha cominciato a scongelare rapidamente. Per effetto di questi due eventi la costa si è ritrovata esposta all’azione erosiva del mare con la conseguente rapida perdita di territorio. Una situazione che ha reso sempre più difficile la vita dei poco più di 500 abitanti del villaggio.

Photo Credits | GISS/NASA

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