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fredt34

Waow. I'm not sure to appreciate when sect leaders jump in some wagon. "Her Holliness" is on http://www.godsdirectcontact.org/, and, surprise, she sells stuff on http://www.thecelestialshop.com. There's no Polar Teddy Bear yet, but it should come soon!

Quite interesting however... googling "Her Holiness" "global warming" brings other results. Some millenarist fears again!

Still digging this... Have you already used Google Trends on "global warming", here : http://www.google.fr/trends?q=%22global+warming%22? It's very surprising IMHO.

Neven

fredt34, I've fixed the link in your comment. What exactly is surprising, that the press reports less on Global Warming? Or do you mean that huge peak at the beginning of 2007? Perhaps due to An Inconvenient Truth?

About that shop: I was wondering what the catch was in the Supreme Master propaganda. God, I hate it when people go on about 'saving the planet'. It just shows how detached they are from physical reality, as if they do not live on this planet themselves. " Let's save the planet together and then have a coffee in Starbucks."

It's not about saving the planet, it's about saving as many humans as possible. If we're going to be egoists, then let's at least be rational about it.

Account Deleted

I agree it's egotistical - the planet will survive long after the (semi) intelligent ape goes extinct. I live in a semi-developed nation and know that the affects of CC will be felt much more severely here than in most developed nations. I hate to think how the poorer nations are going to cope - the 2008 food and petrol price spike caused riots in many of the surrounding countries, as governments were forced to remove subsidies . That was only a temporary problem – the impacts of CC will lead to my hardship and social unrest.

fredt34

Well, from here at least (France), Google reports Indonesia,Philippines, India, South Africa, New Zealand as the five first countries searching on this topic. Searches in tagalog and indonesian are first by far... I wouldn't have guessed that - or are there armies of guys there, paid for searching for posts on the Net & answering with some comments? I'd be curious for any explanation.

I would also have thought that the curve would go up - but it doesn't, people don't seem to worry more now than in 2005.

And finally, I compared with other popular words : "Paris Hilton" appears before "global warming" year after year... So, really, a mass movement probably won't appear soon, and real (political) decisions aren't for tomorrow either.

Neven

I see what you mean now, Fred. That is interesting indeed. Perhaps they are playing catch-up over there and will be as bored and numbed by the climate change scare as we are in about two years from now?

And what I'd really like to know: do they have any pseudo-skeptic think tanks in Indonesia, the Philippines and India?

Account Deleted

Not sure about Indo, Phil or India - but in Malaysia there do. These are generally the same think-tanks that argue about bringing in a minimum wage i.e. many workers in Sabah get paid about USD100/month for 6 day/week, 12+ hours/days job.

Evan Lyn

Actually, I think it IS about "saving the planet" - or more accurately, preserving the planet in a relative physical-chemical balance that is sustainable for the biosphere - which in turn, sustains humanity. Preserve the planet = preserve ourselves.

Historically, we've prioritized our own welfare before that of all other species & the planet. That's why the human population is nearing 7 billion while the rest of the planet is currently undergoing a mass extinction level event. This is Humanity First = Everything Else Second (in service of Humanity). Self-interest before the interest of the Greater Common Good. This paradigm is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place.

Artful Dodger

Hi Nevin, you asked about polar cyclones over at Logicman's blog. While it's true there are occasional large cyclonic Arctic storms, they tend to blow out in less than 48 hrs, and have max. winds of around 50 mph: hardy Hurricane status.

However, one of the inevitable consequences of a perennially ice-free Arctic ocean will be genuine Hurricanes in the Arctic Basin. The three requirements for a Hurricane are:

1. SST's of 28C or above. This is the source of energy that drives the vortex. The warmer SST, the stronger the winds and faster the storm development. We know from paleoclimatology that the Arctic ocean has been this warm in the past, when it was Ice-free year-round.

2. A source of rotation. In the Atlantic, it the interaction of the trade winds and the Coriolis effect. In the Arctic, it will be the Beaufort gyre, also caused by the rotation of the earth. I suspect rotation will be amplified near the pole, compared to the equator.

3. The absence of wind shear (which can destroy a Hurricane in its formative stages). This is left to the random vagaries of weather, and will eventually occur in the right combination with the other factors to allow a Hurricane to form.

I expect the Storm track will follow roughly the Transpolar Drift, and with luck MAY hit Greenland or Svalbard rather than Northern Europe. This last of course is the nightmare scenario for an Arctic Hurricane. Unless we build offshore Oil platforms in the Barents and Kara seas...

Time frame? As soon as an Ice-free Arctic ocean can warm to 28C surface temperatures. Under the 24 hr / day sunlight of the polar summer, this may occur much sooner than we expect. Perhaps by the 2040 time frame that Climate Deniers currently expect a seasonally ice free Arctic?

I suspect it will be sooner, if CO2 levels continue to increase at 2 ppm / year. It all depends on how fast Arctic permafrost methane release ramps up.

Account Deleted

Hi Evan,

As the skeptic like to point out atmospheric CO2 levels and average global temperatures have been much higher in past periods and life went on. Life on the planet will continue no matter how many species we drive extinct or how high we pump up the CO2 levels. At the end of every past mass extinction life has diversified and filled the voids and it will again.

Taking actions to mitigate the impacts of CC is more for humans self-interest than that of life on earth. Human civilisation (and the high/unsustainable population) has been able to evolve due to the relative stability of the climate over the last x thousand of years - the moment we destablise this climate we are in for a lot of pain.

Glacierchange.wordpress.com

Not worth spending anytime on, and the science was just not reliable.

Account Deleted

It appears that the ice expert (Veli Kallio) hasn't published much in the mainstream literature - he has an online presence (newsapaper reports stating he is either a Finnish or Norweigian ice expert) but nothing I could find on "Publish or Perish.

So agree with Glacierchange

Neven

Mauri, have you ever heard of Veli Albert Kallio?

He's featured in this fear-inducing vegan-loving movie towards the end and claims there's a possibility large chunks of the Greenland ice cap might all of a sudden slide off and raise sea levels instantaneously, besides the slightly less spectacular claims that the ice cap melting will cause or is causing an increase in earthquakes, a migration of the Magnetic North Pole, a change in the gravity field around Greenland, etc.

Allegedly he has claimed on this (pseudo-)skeptic blog that the "The Arctic Ocean sea ice has been declining since summer solstice at rate of 170,000 square kilometres per day" and that "at current rate of 170,000 km2 per day all the ice would melt away by 8th August".

I'm doubting whether someone could really say something as silly and untrue, but then again, I don't know Veli Albert Kallio.

Neven

I've gotten a bit more to the bottom of this, and it doesn't have much of a basis. Sorry for the silly questions.

Evan Lyn

Sepilok,

It is pretty clear that human civilization as we know it requires a minimum biosphere with its component ecosystems & species. Whether its polar bears, fish, amphibians, bees, or trees, eliminating too many species & damaging too many ecosystems lowers our own collective & individual chances of survival. Kill off too many other species, and the only thing we may have left to eat = ourselves. Preserving the planet & life = preserving ourselves. My point was, prioritizing humans above all other species & overexploiting ecosystems for our own purposes is what has led us to this junction. A lack of respect for Nature & other species, as well as too much faith in our own intelligence. We could have avoided a lot of these problems if we had left a lot of things alone. I think it's important that the next generation of humans realize this - otherwise humanity is doomed to repeat history.

If deniers (they're not true skeptics) don't care how planetary conditions influence the survival chances of their children & grandchildren, because "Life goes on anyway" - obviously there is a significant amount of callousness there. Anyway, I don't waste energy debating deniers. I'm sure most of us can attest from experience that the results do not justify the investment of time & energy.

There's a chinese idiom, "Playing a flute to a cow." An outside observer watching a wise man debating a fool, it's hard to tell the difference - they both look like fools. And what is the end result? Basically nothing.

It's a little bit late to rely solely on Mitigation strategies. Given the current human political & economic climate of most nations, the environmental climate is Secondary. The end result is a few concerned individuals like us can only watch from afar as the Arctic melts, even as we're at 392 ppm CO2 and accelerating, and CO2 emissions continue growing at 3% a year. Hope that things will change feels good, but in present circumstances is highly irrational & contrary to the evidence to date. If I could, I'd bet a lot of money that CO2 emissions & temperature continue going up. Looking at all those CO2 ppm + emissions, temperature, & ice melt charts, you'd be a fool to go short.

So I think the only chance that the vast majority of humanity will wake up to reality, mobilize, and take action is if multiple AGW catastrophes occur within a brief time span, and humanity suffers significant losses. If the Arctic melts FASTER, not slower (tipping points aside).

The only way the frog will jump out of the pot is if there is an abrupt temperature change, not a gradual one.

Account Deleted

Hi Even,

I agree with you in principle, but my point is the planet doesn't need saving. It and life on the planet will go on long after we have driven ourselves to extinction (and the x million species along with us). I know this callous, but after watching politicians/policy makers say one thing and do the other – I am a bit of a cynic.
Your second last paragraph is my point exactly: Humans/politicians won’t do anything until after there are multiple AGW catastrophes, even then there will be loads of debate about whether the catastrophe was natural or the result of CC.
Even if the arctic sea ice did disappear this year – it wouldn’t galvanize the world leaders into doing anything concrete about CC. They would probably have another summit and come up with a list of things to do and then promptly forget about them when they went home.
The point about the minimum number of species required to maintain ecosystem services is an interesting one. I suspect the figure is going to be depressingly low i.e. most species are in the tropical rainforests and most of these are insects (Beetles mainly) and most of these probably don’t play a major role in their ecosystem. It’s the same with tropical rainforest trees – we can eliminate whole families and the ecosystem still goes on. But this isn’t really related to Neven’s great site.

Neven

I think in the main we all more or less agree. The only point I want to make regarding egoism, is that in itself there is not much wrong with egoism if you think it through all the way. Egoism is about self-interest. Once you think things through you see that it's in your self-interest to care for the environment, because without the environment you cannot exist.

People are natural egoists. If they only realize that true selfishness is actually altruism they will consider the consequences of their actions and try to change their behaviour. If you make them think they are doing it for the planet, or the animals, or the poor people, nothing substantial can happen. They are doing it for themselves. We are doing it for ourselves. I'm doing it for myself.

But yeah, let's get back to talking about the ice, instead of the eco-spiritual commonplaces. :-P

Account Deleted

Or for an almost 3 year old little boy, that I will have to answer to in a few years time.

Neven

Exactly. Self-interest. I mean, there's a selfish aspect to parental love as well (and nothing wrong with it).

ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com

Hi Neven,

You seem to wear the term "alarmist" as a badge of honour, which surprises me as the term has a air of exaggeration to it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alarmism). I am alarmed, but try to to refrain from being alarmist (ie exaggeration).

Bart

Neven

Bart, it's not a badge of honour for me. I just try to not to take myself too seriously and be as transparent as possible, that's why I label myself as alarmist. I try not to exaggerate although I get carried away every now and then (especially when I'm tired). But okay, the real alarmists are the people that made the movie shown in this blog post. Perhaps they are the überalarmists.

Neven

Bart, perhaps you haven't read this blog post I wrote a few weeks ago: To Melt or not to Melt, the Alarmist's Dilemma.

It's true that in the piece I do state that "I willingly embrace it [ie the label of alarmist] as a geuzennaam" (a term you are probably familiar with) - and a geuzennaam is in a way a badge of honour - but it's mostly to shield myself from criticism. If some guy shows up on this blog and says that I'm an ignorant fool, I can reply: 'That's what I've been saying all along!'

I'm too much of a layman to be able to add something to AGW science or the debate. Many people are doing a great job on both issues. I just want a central place for predominantly 'warmists' or 'alarmists' or 'AGW-believers' to discuss the situation in the Arctic. What is going on over there is so important that it deserves a place of its own.

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