> Global temperatures have increased, and continue to do so.
Global temperatures follow Sea surface and sub surface temperatures, which have been on their way down since 2003.
This is not a seasonal blip, weather, or internnual variability. Get ready for another cold summer and winter.
> the polar and alpine ice worldwide is melting rapidly and has been increasingly for about 20 years.
Many alpine glaciers have started growing again, and there's no shortage of snow on them at the moment. Look out for the photos I took on the way back from Sardinia at the weekend in the photo gallery section.
Global sea ice extent is near record levels since records began. Antarctic sea ice extent broke the record two years ago. Arctic 'first year' ice is significantly thicker than expected and is melting more slowly this year. It is currently very close to the 30 year average.
Given the rapid increase in antarctic sea ice this year, and the slow meltoff of arctic ice, I would expect to see the global sea ice extent record broken in the next few weeks.
We will, as you say, keep our eye on the ice, as our friend Skots suggested too.
Tony B, thanks for the link, when i get the chance to download the 37 meg pdf I will. My network will have a fit if I do it over my mobile phone though.
In the meantime, a general comment:
> How might water availability change as the planet warms?
A warmer planet will mean more evaporation and more rainfall. Colder weather and climate brings drought. Ice ages see very little rainfall.
>in the absence of warmer weather why would evaporation increase? The problem is a simple lack of rainfall, which is widely suspected to be due to climate change,
Absolutely. Climate change warmer, or climate change colder?
It looks like eastern Australia is getting a double whammy of a cyclic dry phase followed by low precip due to colder sea temperatures. Meantime, we are having a damp and cold time of it in England, but with little proper rain. More signs of a cooling planet. We last had a proper drought in 1976, but minor ones come around every 18 years or so. It's linked perhaps to the lunar metonic cycle, or possibly the solar inertial torque changes caused by the sun's motion about the centre of gravity of the solar system.
There's a lot more to climate variation than the vageries in concentration of a trace gas comprising 0.039% of our atmosphere after all.
How else would we explain why global temperature has been level, then falling as Stuart pointed out, while human produced co2 emissions have risen 15% over the same period??