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Daniel Bailey

To paraphrase the good Doctor:

"We have become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."

Rob Dekker

lodger said :

I believe this will change as the existential threat becomes widely known. It is already to late to steer the ship around hazard, but will the crew survive?

The frog in the pot from An Inconvenient Truth comes to mind....

But no worries. Nature has it's ways to deal with disruptions. Life will find a way, and the planet been through worse.

Artful Dodger

Topical indeed, Yooper. Joe Romm provided a visceral description of how we are heating the deep oceans in his Jun 29, 2012 post "Confirming The Human Fingerprint In Global Ocean Warming"

Summary

Frankly it’s not at all surprising that the warming of the oceans can be primarily attributed to human greenhouse gas emissions. A 0-700 meter ocean warming 0.025°C per decade may not sound like a lot, but it corresponds to an energy content of about 2.4×1022 Joules per decade, or more than one Little Boy atomic bomb detonation per second, every second over the past 40 years, just accumulating in the uppermost 700 meters of the world’s oceans.


Just another day of bottom melt, and whistling past the grave yard of the Atlantic.

Bob Wallace

Very likely a small number of humans will survive. Perhaps a few hundred thousand or even some millions.

You only have to go down a limited number of feet underground and temperatures are quite moderate. We know how to grow food under artificial light. Solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal wells - all that technology will still work and provide us with power.

We can store water underground during the 'flood days'.

We know how to build tunneling machines. That's old tech.

We might become burrowing mammals for a while, venturing out in the coolest parts of the year.

If we fail to get busy and stop the worst then we'll experience something more like the black plague than total annihilation.

Artful Dodger

Rob, to further paraphrase Captain Ramius, "I give us 1 chance in 3".

Artful Dodger

Bob, yes I believe you're right. I'm pretty sure that was known as the "Bush/Cheney Plan" (VP Dick Cheney's secret underground Gov't).

Daniel Bailey

If I could beg Neven's forbearance for yet one more OT post, this video showing all nuclear explosions from 1945-1998 is very sobering:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LLCF7vPanrY

Daniel Bailey

Actually, I think Bob may have had this one in mind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesXUFOlWC0

Artful Dodger

Possibly, Yooper. Still, I prefer the Teletubbies Habitat...

Artful Dodger

Oblique view here:

Bob Wallace

Yep, Art, 'cept we've got tunneling machines so we're not limited to mines.

I did enjoy the circular slide rule. I think I still have mine around somewhere....

We've built underground survival quarters for high ranking officials for a long time. Stocked them with food and water. Don't know that there have been attempts to make them food-producing, but we've worked on these problems with the Biosphere and space lab.

Now, I'm not saying that this is how we will survive if we screw the pooch, I'm just saying that we aren't likely to totally wipe ourselves out. We'll store some of us away in some fashion or another and then emerge when the climate settles back down.

I think we've put ourselves in great danger and we may wipe out a large percentage of ourselves. I just don't agree that we'll kill off the breeding stock.

--

Best idea: Get busy getting off fossil fuel and dodge the bullet.

Artful Dodger

Dodging a bullet is something simple, like avoiding a Texas-sized meteor strike. To avert the worst of global warming, we have to move the ocean, a not so simple task.

But the best and the brightest among us are not even trying to solve this problem. Instead, they work for Corporations who know best that there is profit in the problem, and that there's no money in the cure.

Sure, some humans will persist, but Civilization will not. It took 10 Million years for life on Earth to recover from the "Great Dying" of the P-T event. That may be the last time the Arctic ocean was perennially ice free. And it's what's at stake.

Bob Wallace

How do you define "Civilization"?

As our collected art, music, literature and learning? That will survive. The art perhaps only in digital form, but it will survive.

We may loose a lot of the details if things happen rapidly, but the main elements will be preserved. They are already beating us into safe zones.

We are extremely unique in the history of Earth's animals. We have technological abilities unlike any organism that has ever existed. We aren't likely to implement what we have that works fast enough to save ourselves a massive amount of hurt, but all we will basically loose is numbers.

A hundred thousand people, continuing life underground or in heavily insulated buildings, can continue civilization and, once the planet cools back down, emerge and multiply.

Steve Bloom

It was ice-free in the Eocene for sure, Lodger. Recall that during the PETM it was even filled with duckweed (IIRC a consequence of heavy precipitation in and around the Arctic Ocean such that the surface layer could support those fresh-water plants). It was probably largely ice-free as recently as the mid-Pliocene warm period just a few million years ago.

Artful Dodger

Yup, you could be right Bob. I hope it doesn't go down like that, but perhaps that's part of the hope Neven writes about.

Bob Wallace

I recognize that we could crash this planet. As I've said, I don't think we would wipe ourselves out as a species. We certainly could kill off 90+%.

I suspect we still have time to avoid the worst. A while back I felt like I needed some sort of "smoke alarm" that would let me know that we had only a minimal amount of time to clear the building. Some agency/agencies that told us that we had to put maximum effort into avoiding runaway or that we should start whatever sort of geo-engineering seemed like it might work.

While I dislike war I have a fair amount of respect for most of the warriors. The US military has taken climate change seriously and did so some time ago. I think they take their charge of protecting the country seriously. I have no doubt that they have some bright people watching the science.

I also think that many scientific bodies are doing the same.

When I hear noises coming out of the military and major scientific agencies, then I'll start to sweat. Doing so at this stage doesn't seem to be productive.

What I think the rest of us need to do is to find anyway we can help move off of fossil fuel. Convince others, vote, cut our personal use, invest in cleantech, vilify fossil fuels, whatever we think might help the transition.

It would be suicidal to not have hope.

Artful Dodger

Speaking of which, I'd like to take this moment to recognize the efforts of the good folks at IARC-IJIS and JAXA for getting AMSR2 up and rotating in a fabulous turn-around!

It's exciting to see the quality of early data, and it is a gutsy and courageous move to offer pre-release of this data, so the sea ice community can share in near-real time.

Thank-you! You are the Heroes!

Artful Dodger

Steve,

Thanks for the tip on the Arctic ocean duckweed. I found this interesting discussion from 2006 about conditions during the PETM on Physics Forums

Cheers,
Lodger

Artful Dodger

The latest value : 4,087,031 km2 (August 25, 2012)

Espen Olsen

New low IJIS: 4,087,031 km2

Rob Dekker

Bob, lodger,

I share your fears, but one thing to keep in mind is that fear are not a good basis for action unless catastrophy is imminent,
Since I simply do not see enough evidence that catastrophy is imminent, I think we should maintain rational and look at the evidence.

Fact is that GHG emission heat up the planet. Best estimate is 3 C average per doubling of CO2.
Last time this planet was 3 C warmer (Eocene/Miocene) climate was significantly different across the planet, and sea levels were some 7 meters higher than today. That 7 meter higher sea level IS a problem, but scientific evidence is strong that the RATE of ice sheet melting probably will restrict SLR this century to well below 2 meters,

So it may be expensive to adjust, but by itself SLR is not going to kill us off as a species, and neither is the 3 C temp increase.

Now, what I DO think is plausible, is that we underestimate Nature's response to our large-scale experiment of tweeking GHG concentrations in the atmosphere, and that we thus seriously underestimate the cost of adjusting to the ever warming and rapidly changing climates of the future.

These costs will be unequally distributed over the planet, and thus the question is if we will absorb these costs of AGW without starting all-out war, or suffering mass starvation when crops start to fail in mega-droughts and mega-floods, .

We can't stop AGW in the short (century) term, But we can prepare for the cost as long as we are aware of the problems and risks. A world-wide insurance fund (funded by fossil carbon production companies) to help future projects necessary to adjust to climate change would be a good start.

Now I ventured far outside the realms of this ASI blog, so this will be the last post on this subject here.

Artful Dodger

Revision for Aug 24, 2012 was 4,209,219 km^2

So, a new IJIS record is confirmed ONE MONTH EARLIER than in 2007.

Artful Dodger

The daily drop in IJIS SIE from Aug 23-24 was -128,281 km^2.

Can you say "Free Falling"?

Espen Olsen

Even the IMS graph is moving now:
http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/images/sea_ice_only.jpg

Artful Dodger

The average rate-of-loss in IJIS SIE for the month of July 2012 was -85.3 km^2/day.

For the month of Aug through the 24th, IJIS SIE has averaged -95.4 km^2/day.

This is NOT your father's Arctic. Any Statisticians care to propose a null hypothesis?

Roman Polach

So, if we continue to lose every day 95k one more month, we could be basically ice free by the end of the melt season...is it possible?

www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawn4S99JJRLrNfgA838BLqx0pzoN7lqRBgI

No, not possible. The rate of descent will start to slow soon. The sun is low enough in the sky that refreeze is possible. This melt is being driven by water temperatures and it takes heat out of the water to do it.

Artful Dodger

There are still a few areas where significant melt may occur (ie: NW of Banks Island there's a large area of ~50% concentration).

Still, most of the potential now for decreases in SIE comes from compaction. Remember, there's over 1.5 M km^2 of open water within the IJIS measured region of SIE.

It'll all come down to the winds. CAPIE at min SIE will be the metric to watch.

Wipneus

There is high pressure right over the center of the ice pack.
If I understand correctly that means compaction (reverse Ekman pumping).

me.yahoo.com/a/nSjChi4X3vr8X3DRw93GkY1.cerja.8nvWk-

Yes Lodger, with no more melt and no refreeze the SIE could in the limit be compacted to the area value, I.e. ~2.75 Gm^2

Phil.

Artful Dodger

Yup, and there's a pretty good dipole going right now moving the Fram advection express...

Artful Dodger

Eyeballing the CT Region 1 graph, Central Arctic Basin SIA is now below 2.30 M km^2.
(data for Aug 23, 2012)

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.jpg

Ka-rumphf.

Superman

Rob Dekker,

"Since I simply do not see enough evidence that catastrophy is imminent, I think we should maintain rational and look at the evidence.

Fact is that GHG emission heat up the planet. Best estimate is 3 C average per doubling of CO2."

You are assuming that temperature can be stabilized with those new levels of CO2. Where are the integrated climate models that include all the positive feedback loops that validate that assumption? I don't believe they exist yet, and my intuition tells me that temperature won't stabilize at that level.

We should be devoting our efforts to understanding the scientific basis of the extent of the existing catastrophe. One way of doing this is to place the ice melting results in their larger context.

It should be obvious to at least the readers of this blog that the Summer ice is gone. That assertion may be demonstrated next year, or five years from now, but it is a reality. As also should be obvious, the rapid melting of the Arctic Summer ice has had essentially zero impact on the American public/electorate, since the main focus has been on the melting event and not on its consequences.

There are many potential consequences, none of them comforting. One consequence that this blog could help emphasize and dramatize would be the methane release triggered by the melting ice and the stimuli that are causing the ice to melt. It would be extremely valuable and insightful to have some type of ice (area/extent/volume)-methane map along the lines of Tufte's infamous map describing Napoleon's foray into Russia.

So far, I have seen no methane results reported on this blog. How many types of sensors are measuring methane concentrations and fluxes in the Arctic, and where are the outputs reported. In the media, I see a paper every year or so by a Russian or U Alaska group describing how much methane release has increased, but the impression is that there are relatively few efforts in gathering this data. Given the importance and enormity of the problem, I would have thought that the Arctic would be crawling with methane sensors: undersea, surface, atmospheric, space. Is there a disconnect here? I suspect major methane release increases may have more of an impact on the public compared to the ice melting. We need to link the two.

Lennartvdl

Rob Dekker,

The 3 C is only for fast feedbacks; including slower feedbacks would make it more like 5-6 C, according to Hansen at least.

Also sea level in the Pliocene was probably 15-25 higher than today, while global temp was about 2-3 C warmer.

Rates of SLR could rise to about 4-5 m/century in Hansen's view, it seems, if we continue with BAU. We could maybe reach that speed by the end of this century. How could even a country like the Netherlands adapt to such fast SLR?

idunno

Hi Superman,

I agree with much of what you say, apart from the fact that sea ice is less dramatic than methane.

An observer on the Moon would, at this moment, be able to clearly see that the temperature of the Earth is rising, with the naked eye.

FYI Methane is, has been and will be discussed on this blog. If you have any relevant updates, please share.

And the following site may be more to your taste:

http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk/

They are dedicated to discussing the methane problem.

(Though at present I note that they have a discussion of ice melt and a possible Arctic cyclone.)

The search bar above does work, if you want to look at the previous discussions of methane on here; and I can recommend a piece on "skeptical science" called "Waking the Kraken", written by a regular who signs in here as "The Yooper".

Sorry, I'm losing connectivity, so will close.

Superman

Idunno,

Thank you for your comments.

"The search bar above does work, if you want to look at the previous discussions of methane on here;"

I examined both the Web site you provided and the previous methane discussions on this site, especially last December. Both these sites confirmed my statements in my previous post.

Compare the detailed quantitative etiology of the ice melting over the last couple of months on this site with the methane etiology on the two sites mentioned above. There are maybe a couple of methane papers by the American/Russian teams for a two-three year period, whereas the melting trajectory on this site has been reported almost hourly. So, my question is, do we have the capability of reporting methane emissions on a much shorter time scale than being done presently? Is there value in such finer resolution reporting, as is being done with the ice melting? If the answer to both of the above is Yes, why isn't it being done?

I've heard the arguments before about methane being less important than CO2 for climate change, and I'm not convinced. Methane has the capability of being a shorter-term game-changer, depending on the actual reserves and the temporal release profile. I would think we would be surveilling Arctic methane like a hawk. If all we have is a few expeditions pumping out papers every year or two, then we have a severe imbalance between what is needed to monitor a problem of this significance and what we have in place.

We're putting three billion dollars into the USA election campaign, and getting essentially no new information! Shouldn't we be putting multiples of this into tracking methane? Where are our priorities? Whether either of the above two expenditures has any impact on the outcomes of the problems of interest is another story, but at least we should be making the effort.

idunno

Hi Superman,

I wrote you a long considered reply, but typepad chewed it.

So here's the precis...

OTOH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis

OTOH note that this idea was first propounded by Gavin Schmidt from real climate, who earlier this year had this to say:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/page/10/

(3 relevent links there)

Dosbat from the sidebar has some relevent links.

My layman's search of all available online info, some time ago, leads me to believe that this is about the highest research priority WRT the Arctic.

WRT US politics, I plead the Fifth.

If you do find any fresh information on methane, there are several people here who would appreciate it.

Rob Dekker

Superman,
I vowed not to post any more about climate change policy, but in your post, you refer to several scientific issues as well, which I think are appropriate to discuss in this forum.

For starters, Hansen is right that long term climate sensitivity will likely be larger that the short-term sensitivity of 3 C/doubling that climate models and paleo-climate analysis project.

However, it is unclear over which timeframe this "long term" climate sensitivity will materialize. If the short-term is decades, and the long term is centuries, then there may not be much of a problem (beyond the 3 C/doubling) for, well, centuries. On top of that, many paleo-climate analyses suggest around 3 C/doubling even for the long term.

About methane, I refer to the realclimate link that idunno referred to :
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-arctic-methane-worst-case-scenario/

which states :

Let’s suppose that the Arctic started to degas methane 100 times faster than it is today. I just made that number up trying to come up with a blow-the-doors-off surprise,.. .... But the methane worst case does not suddenly spell the extinction of human life on Earth. It does not lead to a runaway greenhouse. The worst-case methane scenario stands comparable to what CO2 can do. What CO2 will do, under business-as-usual, not in a wild blow-the-doors-off

This post by realclimate in my opinion puts methane emissions in it's proper perspective,
Yes, it is possible that mathane clathates will become a very serious problem in the future, but at this point it is a problem that is 1/100'th of the problems with CO2 emissions. So, rational thinking dictates that we monitor this issue loosely, but unless we see a very significant increase (of the order of 100) of methane emissions, there is no rational basis to become alarmed at this point.

Now, let there be no mistake about this : I think that 3 C/doubling will have much more an effect than the IPCC is projecting. I already gave the example of SLR, which I think will be adjusted upward in the AR5 and beyond, as we learn more about dynamics of ice sheet change. Another risk factor is hemispheric extreme weather events, and I think Hansen has written an excellent paper on that lately. Extreme weather events can devastate crops in a season, and the risk for that to happen may be increasing much faster than models suggest. Similar to how Arctic ice reduction reduced much faster than models suggested.

And the increased costs and adapt ion to climate change due to increased secondary sensitivity to a well-established 3 C/doubling temp increase is I think the real problem that needs to be addressed.

Rob Dekker

Keep in mind the timeframe of changes : 100 year ago we were still burning whale oil in our lamps, and were worried about horse manure due to excessive use of carriages.

Artful Dodger

Hi Rob,

CH4 concentration during Arctic Fall/Winter is now over 1.9 ppm. With 1-year time-frame forces about 120x CO2, then the forcing for CH4 in the Arctic is currently about 230 ppm CO2e.

With CO2 measured at 400 ppm this Spring, that makes contemporary Arctic forcing about 630 ppm CO2e. This is about 2.25x pre-industrial forcings, and with Arctic amplification of 2x it adds up to about 13.5C warming in the Arctic in the short term.

Arctic Methane (CH4) IS a clear and present danger today, not some vague threat in a distant future.

Apocalypse4Real

Idunno, Rob, Superman, Artful,

As I posted on another strand last night, Yurganov and I have been corresponding re: methane data. He has graciously given permission for me to include his IASI CH4 imagery in a website now up that displays the AIRS CH4 imagery from Giovanni in 10 day increments for 2012 vs 2011. The link is:

https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypse4realmethane2012/home/2012-vs-2011-airs-ch4-359-hpa

You should be able to click over to the IASI data from there.

This is still a work in progress, but I think its time to make this available. This will be updated further as 2012 data becomes available.

Needless to say - there is a bump up over prior years.

Superman

Apocalypse4Real,

"As I posted on another strand last night, Yurganov and I have been corresponding re: methane data. He has graciously given permission for me to include his IASI CH4 imagery in a website now up that displays the AIRS CH4 imagery from Giovanni in 10 day increments for 2012 vs 2011."

This is interesting information, but let me offer a suggestion. My comments apply to many of the other graphics I see on this site as well.

If you want to impact a much wider audience, which is basically the audience that needs to be impacted, then somewhat less complex and data-laden graphics are required. I have in mind something along the lines of the famous graphic in Tufte's book on Napoleon's army losses in the Russian campaign of 1812 (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters). The key is both presenting minimal but essential information and having it be as high signal-to-noise as possible. Maybe you put it as the lead graphic and present what you have now for those interested in the more detailed aspects of the trends.

LRC

I had a fruitless discussion with my sister last night about the ice melt. She is very intelligent but it does illustrate where most people are and why it is so difficult to get the message across.
Today we can turn on a computer. For the vast majority they do not care that what the program is doing is pushing electrons around in a predictable fashion, they do not care that in fact it is all scientific theory that works. They do not care about the composition of the chips and that it is all scientific theory that does work to man uses to put it all together.
So when it comes to the Arctic ice (and in many other scientific explorations) it should be no surprise that people say "Sooo." And when you try and explain the come back is always that is just a theory and even then it is something I can not control so why should I care. Because the melting ice is far more intangible to them then turning on a computer that works, it at the most is just another piece of news in this information age that is over loading them. I have only HS education, and do not have any understanding of the more technical stuff you are talking about although I can tell the difference between someone who has gott it more or less right and someone who is off in LaLa land, but I am absolutely fascinated with it all and therefore love it.
Unfortunately I am in a very small minority. The only time that will change is when NY, NY get water logged and the scientist will tell them why and what they need to do about it. They will then say do it whatever the cost but at the same time scream why didn't anyone tell us before. Not realizing yes they were indeed told just that you didn't want to listen.

Superman

Rob Dekker,

Two issues.

"I vowed not to post any more about climate change policy, but in your post, you refer to several scientific issues as well, which I think are appropriate to discuss in this forum."

In my recent postings, I have tried to constrain my comments to technical issues only, since they are most appropriate to this blog. It has not been easy. I am retired now and putter around doing my own research, but when I was doing 'real' work, I was involved in research, development, policy making and implementation. The real challenge was to convert the findings from research into useful policy that could be implemented and have real impact on the world. Usually, there were so many stakeholders satisfied with, and profiting from, the status quo that significant changes in the real world were exceedingly difficult to achieve.

I view this Arctic ice melting etiology from two perspectives. From the macro perspective, we know how the story ends, and it is not pleasant. From the micro perspective, however, it is fascinating to watch the day-by-day events, especially as presented on this blog.

I am fascinated by some great historical events. I enjoy reading about, and watching videos of, the Battle of Stalingrad, for example. I know how it turns out, but e.g. watching videos of the batteries of katyushas firing in the Russian counteroffensive still sends chills up my spine. That's how I feel when I read about the ice melting etiology, and visualize the downstream consequences.


"About methane, I refer to the realclimate link that idunno referred to :
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-arctic-methane-worst-case-scenario/

which states :

"Let’s suppose that the Arctic started to degas methane 100 times faster than it is today. I just made that number up trying to come up with a blow-the-doors-off surprise,.. .... But the methane worst case does not suddenly spell the extinction of human life on Earth. It does not lead to a runaway greenhouse. The worst-case methane scenario stands comparable to what CO2 can do. What CO2 will do, under business-as-usual, not in a wild blow-the-doors-off"

This post by realclimate in my opinion puts methane emissions in it's proper perspective,"

I would re-phrase your last sentence. It places methane emissions in the perspective that you and the author, and many others, would like to present. If you examine the comments on that blog, as I did a while ago, and examine other methane blogs, you will find posters who disagree with the level of reserves postulated and the rates of release postulated. If the higher reserves and rates have validity, then a serious problem becomes very serious and maybe even extremely serious.

All research is essentially 'cherry-picking' of source data and analytical findings. The best researchers 'cherry-pick' the most critical data that is reflective of reality. The climate change hacks like WUWT and Goddard 'cherry-pick' data that fulfills and advances a pre-determined agenda, usually political and economic.

There is another class of 'cherry-picking' that I see in the climate change literature, and that is reflected in the blog you reference. Assumptions are made that will 'keep hope alive'. Even the most prominent chroniclers of climate change always offer a sliver of hope based on 'optimistic' assumptions. I understand this; it parallels the reluctance of an oncologist to tell an adolescent he has Stage 4 cancer. But, my intuition tells me (unless further information becomes available) to expect the impacts of methane release to be harsher than the common prevailing wisdom is willing to admit.

LRC

About Neven: He is one very busy man. No wonder he needs a vacation. He has posted a piece on methane. See:http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1589.
He seems very concerned and he is by no means one of the more terrifying forecasters as to what is down the road.

Seke Rob

LRC, posts are syndicated across multiple climate blogs... this one appeared earlier on Hot-Topic: http://hot-topic.co.nz/why-arctic-sea-ice-shouldnt-leave-anyone-cold/#more-11698

So happened that I've seen the Arctic records appear now on 4 different language national broadcasted news channels. Albeit, the usual 'upside' endings are disturbing with the "oh boy, loads of FF to harvest... don't worry, your combustion engine powered car can run for the next 50-100 years" type.

Bob Wallace

"Even the most prominent chroniclers of climate change always offer a sliver of hope based on 'optimistic' assumptions. I understand this; it parallels the reluctance of an oncologist to tell an adolescent he has Stage 4 cancer."

It's something more than just avoiding having to deliver bad news.

If one does not offer a sliver of hope then the outcome is likely to be the worst possible outcome.

A sliver of hope means that some may attempt to turn things around. If no one makes the attempt then we slide over the edge.

Rob Dekker

Superman,
I read your post multiple times now, and I think I am starting to understand your perspective and point of view.

It seems obvious that in any given development where the outcome is not known, that anyone's opinion or speculation can and will differ. Thus, if we would not have science, opinions be WUWT and Goddard would be equally valid to speculations that the human race is doomed.

Fortunately, we DO have science, and we DO have methods and processes in place to test physical theory against observation, verify other's observations and in general anticipate magnitude of effects give a cause.

In that process, any particular "cherry pick" of observation can ALWAYS be exposed as long as we follow science.
Many of us on this blog, and countless others unnamed, have been doing exactly that to arguments by self-proclaimed "skeptics" which are nearly always cherry-picked.

Thus, when you mention "All research is essentially 'cherry-picking' of source data and analytical findings. " some hairs raise in the back of my neck.

Let's put you assertion to the test for a moment, using the realclimate claim regarding Arctic methane outgassing.

The good thing about realclimate is that they DO present the science, and the post is actually nicely set up with separate steps of deduction.

In that post, can you please explain which step taken in the deduction presented in the realclimate post is verifiably incorrect or what did they omit (or "cherry-picked") in their deduction, and how much does that affect their claim "The worst-case methane scenario (100x Arctic outgassing lasting for 100 years) stands comparable to what CO2 can do".

The point I'm making is that you can't just claim that "Assumptions are made that will 'keep hope alive'". The scientific method dictates that you have to either show the assumptions made and how they affect the end-result, or you have to point out the mistake in their reasoning.

Either way, especially at this point in time, we do not need to raise speculations of long-term feedbacks that are not yet scientifically quantified nor shown to become significant in the near future. You are just providing food for deniers with that sort of speculation.

Reality already shows that current warming and short-term feedbacks are enough to knock out Arctic sea ice in summer.
And reality is worse enough.

Artful Dodger

Yet another new low CT SIA:

2012.6466 -2.3111002 2.7270751 5.0381756
2012.6493 -2.3556986 2.6431620 4.9988608

Now just 2.64 km^2.

Jim Williams

I think his use of the term "cherry picked" is misunderstood, and in some sense he is right. When trying to understand what is going on in the Arctic it would be possible to use temperature readings in Ecuador. It is in some sense Cherry Picking to use temperatures measured in Barrow. (In fact, the temperatures measured at the Equator might have some relevance, though it would be hard to figure out exactly what.)

We always pick data which we think relates to what we are talking about.

Seke Rob

It's like what Micheal Mann and Briffa have to do... they have to first establish *painstakingly* which of the data the real and actual useful is to tell the [unadulterated] truth. Then peer review is supposed to test if they did not slip up, a little, medium, major. That's how I understood the intend of Superman's words [came out a bit on the jaw and to non-English native speakers communicating through English, it's not far from being misunderstood]

Superman

Rob Dekker,

"Thus, when you mention "All research is essentially 'cherry-picking' of source data and analytical findings. " some hairs raise in the back of my neck."

Obviously, my point did not get across, so I will re-iterate from a slightly different perspective. Let's assume the mission of this blog is the etiology of Arctic ice. There are myriad sensors in the Arctic undersea, on land and sea/ice surface, in the air, and in Space. There are many computers and computer models grinding out results, using different types of data inputs and different algorithms. The result is an overwhelming amount of source data and an overwhelming amount of computer output data. Someone has to make a determination of the objectives of the data presentation, the variables and variable/parameter combinations that best meet the objectives, and the appropriate data to populate the variables and parameters. Out of the quadrillions of data points available for final presentation, someone had to 'cherry-pick' the final relatively few points presented on this blog.

The best researchers 'cherry-pick' the most critical data that is reflective of reality. The climate change hacks like WUWT and Goddard 'cherry-pick' data that fulfills and advances a pre-determined agenda, usually political and economic. If those two hacks were posting articles here, there would be a completely different slant on what's happening in the Arctic, and its larger significance.

That's the context in which I use the term 'cherry-pick'. I have used it on maybe three or four different postings on Neven's site. Every time I use it, at least one responder objects. Somehow, there is a belief in the 'objectivity' of research, that data magically appears in a paper or posting without the necessity of human selection.

'Cherry-picking' obviously has a negative connotation among a number of people. In my view, it is not the 'cherry-picking' that is the problem, it is the motivation and 'intent' that drives the 'cherry-picking' where the problem resides. If the intent is to 'cherry-pick' the data that reflects reality most, that is the positive sense of 'cherry-picking'. If the intent is to mislead and deceive for ulterior motives, as I believe WUWT and Goddard do, that is the dark side.

"In that post, can you please explain which step taken in the deduction presented in the realclimate post is verifiably incorrect"

The author starts the posting by asserting: "Let’s suppose that the Arctic started to degas methane 100 times faster than it is today. I just made that number up trying to come up with a blow-the-doors-off surprise, something like the ozone hole." In my view, that doesn't even reach the level of 'cherry-picking'. He's creating artificial cherries.

Some of the responses to his posting include:
"there may be a tipping point beyond which an accelerating positive feedback loop scenario might come into play. Under this scenario, most of the clathrate deposits in the arctic (both tundra and shallow continental shelf deposits) could be released into the atmosphere in a fairly short period of time (less than a century), implying a rate of outgassing that makes 100 times present estimated levels a vast underforecast. *That* is the worst case scenario, not an arbitrary 100 times present estimated outgassing rates.";
"Why 100 and not 1000? Will not the release become worse with increasing temperature? For the peak concentration isn’t the rate more important than the final amount? How are these bounded to give “worst case scenario”";
"Why do you use numbers from a 2007 paper that has been invalidated by more recent studies.....Is not 200Gt a rather conservative worst case, when there are 3,200 Gt of vulnerable carbon in the arctic that we already know about?".
There are many more comments that question his assumptions, which form the basis for his analysis and conclusions.

The larger point here is that his conclusions are based on estimates of methane reserves and rates of release. You ask which step is 'verifiably incorrect'. How in the world can I or anyone else answer that? We have no idea of the actual level of methane reserves, rates of release, and, more importantly, how these would contribute to the other positive feedback loops that will kick in if a 'worst-case' methane release occurs. My point here is that the author has 'cherry-picked' a worse case, and I can't distinguish whether he actually believes it is a realistic worst case or whether he is trying to assuage the concerns and fears of the larger audience.

Jim Williams

For some Science is a religion; which is unfortunate. Science is a process performed by people. Far too often Science is a case of looking for your keys not in the dark where you dropped them, but under the lamppost where the light is. You'll find lots of things under the lamppost, but not your keys.

Many of the denialists are doing real Science, but they're looking in the wrong place. (There are some who simply don't wish to find the keys...)

Hopefully, we'll continue to feel about in the dark here rather than take the easy path under the lamppost. Of course, in this case the easy path might lead to things like oil, and shipping...

Kevin McKinney

"The best researchers 'cherry-pick' the most critical data that is reflective of reality. The climate change hacks like WUWT and Goddard 'cherry-pick' data that fulfills and advances a pre-determined agenda, usually political and economic."

I think most would not regard the first case as a "cherry pick." Of course an act of selection is involved, and of course it involves more than mechanical, "objective" considerations. But to my mind a "cherry pick" is essentially one in which the selection process is subverted to serve purely polemical ends. To put it another way, a "scientific pick" is aimed at interesting questions; a "cherry pick" is aimed at "interested" answers.

Distinguishing the two may not be easy in all cases, and at the core seems to involve the always tricky matter of inferring intentions. But perhaps the unease with Superman's usage stems from a widespread consensus here that it is worthwhile preserving the distinction between "cherry picks" and the more benign sort.

Jim Williams

Sigh....

Dug through a little etymology. Seems "cherry-picked" in the pejorative was first used in about 1972. Before that is was used simply as picking out the best for yourself, though I see no indication that the phrase has a long history.

It might not be the most sanguine term for the purpose, but it can be taken either way. So people are arguing over nothing here.

Superman

Jim Williams,

"Far too often Science is a case of looking for your keys not in the dark where you dropped them, but under the lamppost where the light is."

Unfortunately, today Science has become big business, and is mainly driven by the grant process. More often than not, Science involves looking for your keys where the holder of the purse strings tells you to look.

The biomedical literature on diseases is replete with cases where the impacts of toxic substances, or potentially toxic substances, on disease are not even mentioned. Many obvious questions on the impacts of EMF on diseases are missing from the literature.

This is not by accident. Many potentially obvious causes of diseases involve specific industries or interest groups, and they would be harmed if the truth became known. Because of the influence of these groups or industries on the government, the holders of the purse strings in government don't provide funding for these critical issues. So, the research required to answer these questions is aborted at the earliest stage.

Interestingly, many of the grants provided allow the acadamic 'denialists' to produce results that support the industry viewpoint; this is 'cherry-picking' at its finest. So, what we have in those research areas that have high political or commercial sensitivities are highly skewed literatures that contain 'manufactured' research. That's why I'm skeptical of many statements that emanate from organizations that have a self-serving agenda.

Artful Dodger

Folks, if you could kindly keep your comments on topic, or briefly off-topic, that would be appreciated.

This is the Arctic Basin sea ice area thread.

idunno

Record domino 5b?

Canadian Archipelago SIA anomaly lowest ever:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.12.html

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