« ASI 2012 update 10: (wh)at a loss | Main | Similar melts from 1938-43? »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Superman

Roman Polach,

Here is the link to model comparisons in the Reuters article you identified.
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL052676.shtml#

The article's Abstract states:

"The rapid retreat and thinning of the Arctic sea ice cover over the past several decades is one of the most striking manifestations of global climate change. Previous research revealed that the observed downward trend in September ice extent exceeded simulated trends from most models participating in the World Climate Research Programme Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3). We show here that as a group, simulated trends from the models contributing to CMIP5 are more consistent with observations over the satellite era (1979–2011). Trends from most ensemble members and models nevertheless remain smaller than the observed value. Pointing to strong impacts of internal climate variability, 16% of the ensemble member trends over the satellite era are statistically indistinguishable from zero. Results from the CMIP5 models do not appear to have appreciably reduced uncertainty as to when a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean will be realized."

It would be valuable to understand the contents of each model referenced, but the full text of the article has not yet appeared in the databases to which I have access. Also, I don't have any idea as to the level of detail the full text provides about each model's content.

The larger question is how does one interpret these results? Are the models of equal credibility? Have the more conservative models been sponsored by governments or agencies whose goal is to downplay climate change/global warming? In other words, how much of the variability we are seeing is due to honest scientific undertainty and how much is due to manufactured uncertainty? Maybe the 2015 ice-free prediction is being done by the one Galileo in the group.

In the technical disciplines with which I am more familiar, the major models are compared periodically on a common basis, and one can see differences in assumptions made and terms included in the equations. In the climate models that include Arctic ice predictions, are such detailed comparisons made? If so, how can they be accessed, and why aren't the causes for the different predictions readily identified?

I have problems with the Reuters article referenced above, and it is typical of so many articles of this genre. It gives the appearance of climate science as the Tower of Babel, with researchers firing out predictions all over the place, and no understanding of why these major differences exist.

Roman Polach

Superman,

i agree with you. I personally don´t understand, how anyone can predict Arctic ice will last 20 more years. I think current speed of melting suggests Arctic will be ice free in 5 years maximum.
(sorry for my bad english)

Twemoran

Roman

Your english is fine, and your prediction seems reasonable

Terry

Superman

Fredt34,

In the article you reference, there is the following statement:

"Peter Wadhams, who heads the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge and who has been measuring Arctic Ocean ice thickness from British Navy submarines, says that earlier calculations about Arctic sea ice loss have grossly underestimated how rapidly the ice is disappearing. He believes that the Arctic is likely to become ice-free before 2020 and possibly as early as 2015 or 2016 — decades ahead of projections made just a few years ago."

Now, there seem to be two sources of data coming from the Arctic. One is unclassified data, coming from NSF, NOAA, and other USA agencies, and similar agencies from other countries. But, there is also classified data. For years, both Russia and the USA were interested in the Arctic for military purposes, and generated large amounts of classified data for this region. Perhaps other nations were involved as well, although I would guess to a smaller extent.

For planning purposes, the military needs the most accurate information. The Wattses and Goddards wouldn't get to first base in a military analysis; their nonsense is aimed at, and accepted by, the 'rubes' in the electorate. It would be interesting to see what models the military uses for its Arctic ice projections, and what types of findings they get.

For example, Maslowski is at the Naval Postgraduate School. Are his models more indicative of what the military uses for projections; they seem to weigh in on the side of nearer term ice disappearance? Or, does he use one set of assumptions for the public and another for the military?

Does anyone have any insight into what the military models assume and project? While even they may be limited, I would suspect they are much closer to reality than much of the Pablum referenced in the Press.

r w Langford

M Owens Your comments above are very useful to me because I have been doing exactly what you describe and have been bewildered by the behaviour of the people I think I know. The question is, am I willing to lose a friend in the attempt to get the message across? In some cases yes but others I am not. I have had several successes and several failures. I will continue to prod gently. My most effective results have come from prodding media types. They can affect thousands of others so are great ways to educate people

Sphaerica.wordpress.com

I'd like to ask again. Is anyone looking at and able to read the weather maps at

http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html

?

The next five days show a series of three tightly wound lows taking up position in the Arctic. They differ from the Great Cyclone in that they are bounded mostly by other lows rather than highs, but they do have closely wound contours and some spread in vorticity (not that I really know what I'm talking about -- I haven't yet gone through enough material to really, properly read those maps).

Does anyone who understands weather know what this could portend? Could the low just off the Fram Strait create winds that really empty it out, while the one just over the pole compacts and chops up the ice at the edges in the Beaufort and East Siberian seas, and the third out in the Bering Sea waits its turn to move in and do whatever it wants to do?

Andrew Xnn

Somewhat off topic, but a report has come out about the first sailboat to traverse the Northwest Passage. Several nice photos including one from site of graves from Franklin expedition.

http://belzebub2.com/?lang=en

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2012/08/29/north-northwest-passage-sailors.html

Espen Olsen

Andrew,

The article is not correct:
"The sailboat, named the Belzebub II, is the first boat other than an icebreaker to travel a challenging route through the Northwest Passage."
Børge Ousland did it in 2010 and a Russian boat too:
http://www.ousland.no/category/northern-passage-2010/

Superman

Came across a good description of PIOMAS on RealClimate:
(http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/arctic-sea-ice-volume-piomas-prediction-and-the-perils-of-extrapolation/comment-page-6/#comments).

Probably most posters here have seen it, but I have not. I have appended an important excerpt from the narrative.

Its main weakness for predictive purposes appears to be lack of coupling with the atmosphere. But, going forward, atmospheric-ocean coupling appears to be the most important determinant of the ice melting trajectory in terms of modeling requirements. Once significant open water appears, many self-reinforcing positive feedback mechanisms appear that will greatly accelerate melting, and these synergistic mechanisms result directly from the increased ocean-atmospheric coupling enabled by the disappearance of the ice barrier.

So, PIOMAS predictions based on past less-coupled realities should be viewed as a conservative estimate of what can be expected. Wadhams and Maslowski may be the Galileos here.


EXCERPT FROM PIOMAS NARRATIVE
PIOMAS is the Panarctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System. It belongs to the class of ice-ocean models that have components for the sea ice and the ocean, but no interactive atmosphere. There is an active community (AOMIP) engaged in applying and improving these types of models for Arctic problems. Without an atmosphere, inputs that represent the atmospheric forcing (near surface winds, temperature, humidity, and downwelling short and longwave radiation) need to be provided. Typically those inputs are derived from global atmospheric reanalysis projects. The advantage of such partially-coupled models is that they can be driven by past atmospheric conditions and the simulations match well the observed sea ice variability, which is strongly forced by the atmosphere.

This is in contrast to fully-coupled models, such as those used in the IPCC projections, which make their own version of the weather and can only be expected to approximate the mean and general patterns of variability and the long-term trajectory of the sea ice evolution. Another advantage of ice-ocean models is that they don’t have to deal with the complexities of a fully-coupled system. For example, fully-coupled models have biases in the mean wind field over the Arctic which may drive the sea ice into the wrong places, yielding unrealistic patterns of sea ice thickness. This has been a common problem with global climate models but the recent generation of models clearly shows improvement. Because sea ice is strongly driven by the atmosphere, model predictions depend on the quality of the future atmospheric conditions. Therefore an ice-ocean model, like PIOMAS, is much more accurate at hindcasts, when the atmospheric conditions are simply reconstructed from observations, than for forecasts, when atmospheric conditions must be estimated. That is not to say that PIOMAS can’t be used for predictions, it can (Zhang et al. 2008, Lindsay et al. 2008 , Zhang et al. 2010) but it is important to recognize that performance at hindcasts does not necessarily say much about performance at forecasts. This point often gets confused.

Ghoti Of Lod

re Belzebub II

As in almost all reports of new records it is important to include enough descriptive modifiers to distinguish the record. In this case I think sailboat, northern-most route, east to west, in one season, are all required to make this a "record". (Maybe more are needed)

With the ice disappearing and many more boats able to cruise the arctic I expect the list of modifiers required to establish "new records" to grow pretty long.

BlackDragon

Lanevn:

The Miocene is actually not very far from where we are now - about 17 deg C compared to our current 15 deg C if you check the temp scale on the hot house/ice house graph. Looking at the map you linked, it is possibly not a bad world at all, except for the fact that 2/3 of the USA and also southern Europe and northern India are arid desert.

And we'll have to convince perhaps 6 - 8 billion humans to rearrange and rebuild basically everything in order to get to a happy place in this new slightly warmer world and continue playing Angry Birds and writing blog comments. As Superman points out, this will be a unimaginable nightmare.

But, as I mentioned in one of my guesstimate comments earlier, it is a safe bet that we have committed to 5 deg C warming already, given likely BAU for the next 20 years. This is already well past Miocene.

This kind of increase is where we get seriously into the realm of almost incomprehensible levels of energy increase in the atmosphere and oceans. Positive feedbacks will take it much higher than 5 deg C. Earth seems to like being at the 25 deg C stable state of hot house, so unless some negative feedbacks kick in and (even just slightly) overwhelm the positives, it seems very likely we'll leave Miocene 2 behind quickly, and move along up up up.

Given that orbital variation in the last 3 million years hasn't managed to take much more than 100ppm atmospheric CO2 either into or out of the system, I don't see any negative feedbacks that would be large enough to do the job. Maybe we could take geoengineering to the next level, and move the Earth-Moon system just a bit further out.

Chris Reynolds

Artful Dodger,

Johannessen 2008, "Decreasing Arctic Sea Ice Mirrors Increasing CO2 on Decadal Time Scale." https://bora.uib.no/bitstream/1956/2840/1/200806005.pdf

Notz & Marotzke, 2012, "Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat" http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/notzdirk/2012GL051094.pdf

Chris Reynolds

It's funny how the mind works. In recent years whenever I think about the denialists, this passage from Douglas Adam's 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' comes to mind.

'The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ defines the Marketing Division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as “a bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes”, with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of Robotics Correspondent. Curiously enough, an edition of ‘The Encyclopedia Galactica’ that fell through a time warp from a thousand years in the future, defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as “a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.”

Chris Reynolds

Day 240, and a bit of musing on PIOMAS volume, CT area, and calculated thickness (PIOMAS Volume / CT Area). Not worth blogging on, as the real PIOMAS figures are so close now.

On day 240 for the last two years calc thickness has been just under 1.4m. It may seem from the most recent calc thickness plot that we're headed for a low calc thicknes.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8006/7706181448_897bc7f87c_o.jpg
However that last downtick in July 2012 may well be just due to the large expanse of low concentration ice that the August storm killed. So being conservative let's say that at present the calc thickness is just below 1.4m.

We have yesterday's area from CT, 2.522M km^2. So...

2.522 X 1.4 = 3.53 (k) km^3 volume.

That's almost exactly 1/3 the volume of 10 years ago.

GeoffBeacon

Through my MP, I suggested that the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology did a note for MPs on the feedbacks missing from climate models. My main purpose was, of course, to alert MPs to the fact that there were missing feedbacks. This is the reply to my MP's office

Following up on correspondence back in March, the proposal for a POSTnote on positive climate feedbacks was discussed at the July board meeting. The general consensus was that at the present time the evidence base is insufficient for a POSTnote to be undertaken and any briefing would end up simply calling for more research to fill the information gaps, which is something we generally try to avoid as it isn’t that informative for policymakers. The Board have asked me to keep a watching brief on the subject and re-propose it at future meetings when I think I can convince them that there is sufficient peer reviewed evidence on the issue.

Comments?

Twemoran

Geoff

"Comments?"

Not on in a forum that may be read by children.

Terry

I Ballantinegray1

I'm sorry G.B. but I doubt we'll find any help via the politicians? Stay where you are and allow the Lurkers to gain a full picture of both the ice situation and the lack of interest Politicians have in the long term safety of their constituents.

I've remembered the info the 2011 Catlin survey brought us. FY ice melt drops low in the water column (due to it's salty nature) forcing warmer waters up. If most of the MY ice left has a welded on keel of FY ice then the top melt meltwater provides the perfect environment to allow this siphon to run once bottom melt begins. Is this what is happening under the bulk of the remaining pack right now?

Steve C

There's been a 6.8 magnitude arctic earthquake, north of Iceland. It's on the spreading ridge. These ridges don't often produce big earthquakes like this.

Seems likely to me that it's either related to ice mass loss in Greenland and geologic rebound, or just a weird tectonic coincidence. I favor the former.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/10/345_70.php

Chris Reynolds

Hello again Geoff,

I think we're going to see such a massive demonstration of the failure of the GCMs within the next few years that everyone will get the message.

Jeffrey Davis

"http://www.scotese.com/miocene1.htm What's so awfull in it?"

You know the future climate is going to be peachy? Fantastic. I didn't know anyone who could be sure of the future. The Greek gods couldn't even foresee it.

I Ballantinegray1

I noted the quake and had to wonder about the hydrates perched on the continental shelfs nearby? Any landslides could lead to a methane burp we hadn't expected? Another 'time will tell all' situation I suppose?

Superman

GeoffBeacon,

"Comments"

I can't speak for British MPs, but I suspect their motivations are not too dissimilar from their American counterparts. The American Congresspeople basically answer to two groups: the campaign donors/sponsors and the voters. The sponsors, many of whom directly or indirectly benefit from the status quo in fossil fuel consumption, are happy with the status quo, and would in fact like more of the same. They are all tripping over each others' feet in order to show how they support the USA drilling its way into energy independence. The voters have become addicted to intensive energy use, much of which requires fossil fuels, and they don't want to make the types of sacrifices required to reduce CO2 levels drastically.

So, there are essentially no incentives for the politicians to take any steps that will cause conflicts with these two important groups on the climate change issue, and that's what your clevery-worded response is telling you. There is the myth in America of the independent-minded politician driven by the highest ethical and moral considerations, as portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but these types are so few and far between that they have fallen off the radar screen.

I would expect zero help from the political system. Our only chance, if one exists, is to sway the large electorate almost overnight. This seems to me about as likely as the Titanic avoiding the iceberg when a visual sighting is made fifty feet away.

Doctor__Stanley

"These ridges don't often produce big earthquakes like this."

Maybe we're about to get a new volcanic island! Who gets it? Norway maybe?

I'm kidding of course, I have no clue whether an earthquake like this would have anything to do with an eruption...but there are a lot of volcanic islands around there...and it would be exciting :-)

Seke Rob

Re Steve C | August 30, 2012 at 21:54

Yup, it's showing on the QCN job I've running as a pack of red dots with a blipping bigger yellow, to indicate scale [fresh], just not half way Iceland and Svalbard.

Janne Tuukkanen

You needed some volcano to suddenly rise from 2km deep :) I suppose the quake was quite an ordinary event on a strike-slip fault by the mid ocean ridge.

Not Greenland glacial rebound. Yet.

Doctor__Stanley

Hmm, yes, I hadn't considered the depth of the water there. In fact I hadn't considered much of anything at all, except the vision in my mind of steam billowing off the oozing lava :)

dabize

Roman,

You'd be surprised at how persistent some sophisticated, competent meteorologists are in defending the idea that the Arctic is basically stable.

What is obvious to you and most of us here is considered arrant extremism to many of these folks - they are certain that the White Knight of negative feedback will rush in to stabilize the ice before the end, even in a relentlessly warming world.

Come visit American Wx sometime........

NeilT

@Phbeckwith

Back in 2006/7, before the big melt back, I predicted that if things stayed the way they were going we could be ice free in the arctic by 2010.

Then we had the lowest solar minimum in a century. It didn't really slow things down that much, but just enough to ensure that the trend flattened until the cycle picked back up again.

Next year is the top of the solar maximum. I don't see 2012 going quite enough to be ice free this year. Maybe <2M area and <3.5M extent but, probably, no more than that.

Next year, however. Barring a massive cooling event (Pinatubo sized), it's likely to all go. Well at least down to <1m area. Which is, by most people's calculations, functionally gone.

Evilreductionist.blogspot.com

Piomas - via Tamino - has come out early.

The last few days were:

2012 229 4.098
2012 230 4.032
2012 231 3.963
2012 232 3.907
2012 233 3.828
2012 234 3.772
2012 235 3.719
2012 236 3.651
2012 237 3.629
2012 238 3.599

I think this is only up to 26 August.

Evilreductionist.blogspot.com

Sorry - 25 August.

Evilreductionist.blogspot.com

And Chris Reynolds nailed it with the 1.4 metre thickness calculation.

Seke Rob

Visit the PIOMAS August 2012 thread http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/piomas-august-2012.html ... some beat you to it by bout 6 hours earlier.

NeilT, cycle 23 to 24 minimum made it to the century record book because it was so long FAIK. The "lowest" term in TSI of around 1365 Watts/M^2 TOA is by what I see from a 6 month trailing average around 0.25 Watts TOA lower, or 0.0625 Watts at sea level than the previous to cycle minima.

Jim_pettit
Piomas - via Tamino - has come out early.

Wipneus noted that earlier today in the August PIOMAS thread, and he, Seke Rob, and I all updated our PIOMAS-related charts and graphs. What I wrote there:

Volume "death spiral":
http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/sia_5.png

Annual volume maximum and annual volume loss:
http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/sia_10.png

Annual percentage loss of maximum ice volume:
http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/sia_11.png

In terms of overall volume lost, it's true that 2012 is still behind first place 2010. But in terms of the percentage of volume lost, 2012 is clearly in first place, with 83.59% (to 2010's 81.71%).

AmbiValent

Jim Pettit:

Very interesting volume loss graph. People tend to assume the loss happens by growing melt during the melt season... while the graph shows the large majority of it happens due to waning refreeze.

GeoffBeacon

Chris

Having read your piece on Arectic methane I'd rather
like your view on Methane deposits in Antarctica and more emitted from Arctic permafrost. What does this mean for the climate?

dabize

I think there are a couple of assumptions that some (not all) people are making that don't seem to make sense anymore to me and may not survive the current crop of new information and insight that we are getting about the dynamics of ice melting. They are related and will cancel each other out, but here goes anyway.

1) that the ice will reach an extent of 1 million km/area of 600k km or so, and that last bit will be hard to get rid of, since it will be holed up in the Lincoln Sea and the north coast inlets of the QEIs and Greenland.

2) that this won't matter anyway - most of the ice will be gone and this can be considered "ice free".

I'm beginning to suspect that neither is true.

Firstly, # 2 is simply going to be untrue with respect to the temperature of the Arctic and its effect on the NH. We KNOW that the latent heat picked up by newly exposed water will do nothing to the surrounding temperatures until the AI is GONE. every bit of it. So the line we should draw will be at zero ice, not 1million km extent.

However- this isn't going to matter, since Assumption # 1 is wrong as well. All of the negative ffedbacks that were going to save the last remnant of ice have gone AWOL, while additional positive feedbacks (like the one you mentioned re FYI meltwater sinking and reinforcing the demise of more ice) have kicked in. Ice melt will accelerate toward the finish, not slow.

Therefore, there will be no redoubt of the toughest ice hanging out in some frozen citadel in the CAA.............the ice will end with a bang - ALL of it- when the time comes, and the second era of Steam will begin.

Brother, can you paradigm??

Kevin McKinney

"People tend to assume the loss happens by growing melt during the melt season... while the graph shows the large majority of it happens due to waning refreeze."

Which makes sense, in that warm anomalies are most evident in winter. Some of the usual suspects like to assume that as long as temps get below the freezing point, nothing else matters. But that's unphysical--the effect of 0 C is qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from -50 C.

Hans Kiesewetter

@Jim Petit. Your graphs are an excellent presentation of the scary numbers. I've seen your graphs many times before this year, but just today I discovered that you can still improve them. (Graph Annual volume maximum and annual volume loss; Wrong unit at the vertical axis? Volume in km^2???)

Fairfax Climate Watch

The volume loss over the period reported by Evilreductionist is -499km3 over 9 days. Or -12.2%. In late August.

Right now, this looks to me like yet another bifurcation has happened; regime change.

Also, the DMI 2m temperature chart shows that temps are warmer than -2C for nearly the entire Arctic on 8_29 and 8_30. The majority of the icepack in these charts are in areas of between 0 and -2C, with some significant, but smaller areas of up to 1C temps. I see only very small slivers of areas below -2C for both dates.


For me, this translates to a no sign of minimum as yet, and if this does turn out to be a new regime, then ...? Perhaps the water dynamic is much more able now to melt the ice, perhaps in conjunction with warm air covering the ice. And who knows for how long without the data measuring water temps in the upper layers.

GeoffBeacon

dabise

"Brother, can you paradigm??"

That shows your age. Are we all ancient?
If so, why?

I'm within a stone's throw of 70.

Twemoran

Is it just my browser or has MODIS dropped the 500 & 250 resolution images?

Terry

Twemoran

Ignore the above - simple operator error :(

Terry

Chris Reynolds

Hi again Geoff,

Hope all goes well with you.

Thanks for the information regards possible Antarctic methane. FWIW I suspect this is a longer term issue - it'll take time for the ice sheets to melt and expose the underlying material. And being surrounded by ocean the Antarctic isn't like the Arctic.

A far greater concern is the issue of northern land permafrost. I've recently changed my opinion on the Arctic, whereas I had thought that we'd see a seasonally sea ice free state late next decade, I now think it will be this decade. I'm looking at what Wadhams is saying and suspect he may be correct in saying the next few years will bring a succession of big losses.

If we are on such a fast track, then it implies that energy gain in the Arctic system is larger than the models imply. That means once we have regular large areas of open water we'll see much more warming in summer, and autumn as much of that heat goes back into the atmosphere.

The significance of this is that study about modelled loss of ice and warming of Siberia, I'm pretty sure you'll know the one I'm talking about, if not here's some blurb on it.
http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2008/2008-22.html

It looks like since 2007 we've been in a rapid ice loss event (RILE) that may be about to get 'aggressive'. This implies a much more active role for newly thawed permafrost in CH4 levels in the atmosphere.

I know this is bad news, although it's not news to either of us. However since I changed opinion, with this years stunning melt (and other info soon to be blogged on), I must confess - I can't contain my excitement. To be able to witness a fast RILE excites me enormously. If the rest of humanity is determined to stick to plan A (do nothing about AGW) I may as well enjoy the spectatcle that seems about to unfold - beats fretting about it.

dabize

Geoff,

In my case, I hope it is more of a trebuchet shot from 70.........
I wasn't around in 1932, I just wanted a cybergroan from someone for my misdemeanor level witticism.

Laubao.wordpress.com

Hi!!
Your post is really interesting and well written, especially for people out of that field.
I have linked this post in my blog, because I think it's really important that people would know what it's happening to our planet!
You can read my post here:
http://laubao.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/arctic-sea-ice/

Ciao!
Laura

Roman Polach

This issue of Nature Geoscience has some very interesting articles, for example:

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n9/full/ngeo1574.html?WT.ec_id=NGEO-201209

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n9/full/ngeo1528.html?WT.ec_id=NGEO-201209

Some citations:
"Past transitions from glacial to interglacial climates have not been smooth. It would be wise to prepare for similarly sudden episodes of ice loss in future climate changes."

"Post-glacial sea-level rise followed an uneven trajectory. Against a background of a gradually rising waters, several distinct meltwater pulses, presumably from sudden partial ice-sheet collapses, pushed sea level up tens of metres within a few centuries. Synthesizing work on the past two glacial terminations, Carlson and Winsor (607) argue that rapid disintegration events are a hallmark of ice sheets that reach the ocean, whereas ice sheets that terminate on land have melted more steadily as more solar radiation reached them."

Roman Polach

Here is full text of another paper in Nature Geoscience:

http://www.caymaninstitute.org.ky/pdf/carlson_nat_geo_2012_deglac-1.pdf

Let me know, what you think...I havent read it yet, but abstract looks pretty dramatic...

BlackDragon

Roman: What? The first fact has been known for ages. The second, just slightly less than ages (except for maybe the bit about land vs ocean terminating... no I think even that is well known with research on the WAIS).

Please tell me this is not published as if it is new science?

And if no one has until now put 2 and 2 together to think that we should be preparing for something similar with the next step up, we are well and truly screwed.

Well, we are well and truly screwed anyways, but at least we can maintain a semblance of having a clue.

(sorry... end rant, this is not at all directed at you Roman. Haven't read those yet, but that is my first thought at the citations you gave. Past transitions from glacial to interglacial are well-known to be rocket launches of change. It is only going the other way that things are "smooth")

iceman

Thanks for the graphic and link, Lodger.
Notz & Marotzke, 2012, "Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat" http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/notzdirk/2012GL0510

On the topic of self-acceleration vs. external forcing, Notz and Marotzke state:
"... the observational record is incompatible with self-acceleration dominating the observed sea-ice evolution. In the time series of year-to-year changes (Figure 1), every strong negative year-to-year change in sea-ice extent is followed by a positive year-to-year change and vice versa."
Not entirely true, viz. September 1997-98 in their Figure 1. Now we have another instance in 2011-12. Per the discussion of bifucation (above and in other thread), 1998 was an early indication, and 2012 a confirmation, that self-acceleration is becoming a contributing factor. Albedo flip is one possible cause, methane spike another.

Twemoran

iceman

In addition to albedo and methane I'd add the opening of additional portals for the advection of MYI.
The CA opened up and this year began accepting large quantities of MYI otherwise destined to taking the long passage around the Beaufort Gyre. This,I think added to this years low figures,and will be even more of a factor in years to come.

Terry

Chris Reynolds

Iceman,

Notz and Marotzke clearly state 'strong' excursions. That isn't the case w.r.t 1997/8 nor is it the case w.r.t. the current record low. In terms of extent and area (N&M only use extent) at best 2011 was a draw with 2007.

This paper was discussed in depth here when Neven blogged on it. Here is why I don't think SA was causing the observed ice retreat.
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/05/arctic-sea-ice-loss-and-the-role-of-agw.html?cid=6a0133f03a1e37970b01630568ee26970d#comment-6a0133f03a1e37970b01630568ee26970d
Note that N&M's conclusion is that CO2 is driving ice loss. See their fig 4 b to e.

Volume offers a possible memory by which SA carries a signal onwards. I now see the volume trend as primary and the area/extent signal as a sideshow that we all concern ourselves with because we can measure it. However to argue SA is the driver of volume loss also falls foul of the argument I link to above.

What is driving the loss of sea ice is mainly CO2, with other anthro effects having a peripheral impact and natural effects being behind the net anthro impact. Even though I think we're on the verge of a substantial increase in acceleration, that's not the same as thinking the process is 'self-propelling'.

Chris Reynolds

Actually let me just clarify what I said about volume. I'm fighting with one hand tied behind my back right now because Excel is running a macro.

The annual range of volume has increased which might seem to argue against the argument I linked to. However the volume losses of 2007 and 2010 are step drops which exacerbate the loss trend. Take these steps away and the volume for maximum and minimum track more closely. i.e. annual range jumped up after 2007, then again after 2010.

It's harder to get a measure of the amount of acceleration from volume because until 2010 the volume loss trend was almost exclusively from thicker ice categories. Unlike extent/area which are set in peripheral oceans.

So volume does show acceleration. However the evidence for self-acceleration drivig the change isn't as strong as for CO2. And is IMO only apparent in the post 2007/2010 periods.

Kris

Chris Reynolds typed:

Take these steps away and the volume for...

That's what we call a manipulating act, don't we?
And poor me thought that belonged exlusively the denier's lot.

Sorry, I don't get it. What's the use of eXcell if you are prepared to do perform things like that?

Chris Reynolds

Kris,

"That's what we call a manipulating act, "

No it isn't! Your comment shows that you are not thinking.

Like 2007, 2010 was a weather driven exceptional event. We're seeing its aftermath in the current melt season, but 2010 was a result of preconditioning in the winter of 2009/10 and warm weather in the early spring.

2007 and 2010 are part of the progression on the volume series, but they we're not due to the sea-ice oriented processes that could lead to self acceleration - mainly ice albedo feedback. To be clear, there may be atmospheric feedbacks in 2007, but these were due to the already large open waters in June. Furthermore this atmospheric configuration hasn't repeated so it's not an amplifying process that repeats reliably.

There is no evidence of amplification processes in the volume loss of 2010, ice albedo operated, but that was after a large volume loss before insolation was high. Furthermore the distribution and thickness of ice lost shows it was due to the air temperatures - shared the same region, and the ice lost was well away from the ice edge.

So it is entirely reasonable to remove 2007 and 2010 when looking at whether sea ice volume loss is due to a self-amplifying process.

Just so you know for the future: The use of excel is to get data into it to facilitate analysis. The purpose of that is to understand the process.

Climate Changes

"Maybe we could take geoengineering to the next level, and move the Earth-Moon system just a bit further out."

There was a study showing a decrease in atmospheric CO2 during the years following the Black Death pandemic. The severe population reduction saw farm land abandoned and nature taking over. According to the study the increase of forests reduced CO2 and started the Little Ice Age.

What gets me with GE is that the most obvious mechanism to remove atmospheric CO2 is not even being considered... planting trees.

Unfortunately, we are very efficient at cutting them down but care not of planting them back.

Jim Williams

The Gaea Hypothesis and the Anthropomorphic Principle (sic) are merely grasping after the delusion of Self. Yes, we are the result of a long line of patterns of action which tend to repeat -- but we could fail to repeat at any moment.

iceman

Terry, good point on multi-year ice. In addition to more portals for advection as the archipelago fastness weakens, there could be a snow-cover mechanism for self-acceleration. This from a Nature Climate Change (July 2012) piece summarizing Perovich and Polashenski (Geophysical Research Letters 39),
which Neven referenced in the Arctic sea ice loss and the role of AGW thread:
http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2012/2012-05-15.shtml#three

"Seasonal ice tends to accumulate only thin layer of 5cm of snowpack [vs. 20-30cm for MYI]... melts more quickly in the early summer, revealing ice and melt ponds... albedo of seasonal ice drops to 0.3.... Over the course of the entire season, nearly 40% more energy enters an ocean system with seasonal sea-ice cover than one with multiyear ice..."

Chris R, the indicator that Notz & Marotzke use is whether a strong excursion is followed by a reversal. (Granted this is a bit simplistic, as self-acceleration mechanisms could operate on a periodicity of longer than one year - or shorter). The big YtY drop was in September 1997; '98 is significant for the lack of reversal. However, that series was an isolated instance until recently. So I agree with their conclusion, on data through 2010, that external forcing - namely CO2 - was mainly driving sea ice loss. The question is whether the last few years will prove to be the beginning of a persistent SA influence.
I see this topic has already been pretty thoroughly thrashed in the AGW thread back in May, so I'll wait for the experts to parse the latest data. Ice volume is probably a better indicator than area/extent, as you and others have argued. However, as volume trends down, there is less latent heat of fusion to carry the memory signal from one year to the next. So we need to look for other heat stores (e.g., R. Gates on thermal gradient across the ocean skin layer) and other possible mechanisms of SA - if the melt continues beyond what external forcing would cause.

BlackDragon

Jim Williams:

I think that *not* seeing possibilities like Gaia and the Anthropic principle are more reflective of the delusion of Self.

That delusion is at its heart reflected in seeing Self as "other than" or "outside of" nature and the universe. The "me" and the "not-me." This, in my view, really is The Delusion. True compassion, as Buddha understood, is knowing that Self is actually all. How can you not be totally compassionate when you know that "me" is always and fundamentally "you" - in everyone, and also every thing?

More specifically, Gaia is about life, not specifically human life, or any other Ego-self-obsessed life for that matter. Also, the anthropic principle only cares that some kind of conscious observer, somewhere in the universe, is able to look out at the world and state: "I see."

As far as science knows, this has to be a physical being of some kind. If any of the physical parameters are not right, the required being will never come along. That is all the Anthropic principle is saying. Again, this is not about humans, only some form of physical consciousness.

So far as we know, that is only us, hence the "Anthropic" part.

BlackDragon

A J P:

"What gets me with GE is that the most obvious mechanism to remove atmospheric CO2 is not even being considered... planting trees."

This is being considered with things like granting carbon credits for maintaining and expanding forests. Also, biochar is being considered by some, on a massive scale, as a way we can reduce CO2.

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

The question for both re-forestation and biochar is achieving the required scale to make an impact. It has to be huge and ongoing. We can do it on at least some level, but the required urgency is not yet there in the powers-that-be.

Seke Rob

Reforestation is an excellent approach [some interesting long term measurements done in Central Africa does show some remarkable thickness increases. Where to grow and which selected for the climate to come? For instance the pine beetle infestation of enormous acreages in the US is not like indigenous species are able to fit the bill. Some data suggests that acreage in Europe is on the increase though, but still drops on the hot boiler plate.

Seke Rob

Forgot to include: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/chinas_reforestation_programs_big_success_or_just_an_illusion/2484/

Programs exist, but if they're effective?

To be sure, trees have been planted, with millions of seeds dropped from airplanes and millions more small seedlings manually planted. But in an extensive analysis of such “afforestation” efforts published last year in Earth Science Reviews, Beijing Forestry University scientist Shixiong Cao and five co-authors say that on-the-ground surveys have shown that, over time, as many as 85 percent of the plantings fail.
Climate Changes

@Seke Rob
Throwing seed from a plane is the lazy way, which is surprising coming from the Chinese since they are not short for labour.

Ideally, logging companies should be made to re-forest the areas which have just been cleared of trees using the same species that have been taken...
http://e360.yale.edu/content/images/0809-butler-overhead.html

Back in the 70's, in school, we were explained that the Amazon Rainforest were the lungs of the planet, and with reason. Unlike Boreal and temperate forests, tropical Rainforests are hard at work all year around, pumping CO2 in and O2 out. Of course things have changed in the last 30 years and right now one the two lungs is already gone. Vasts swathes of tropical forest have been wipe out all around the tropic corridor. Sadly, we prefer to fill the huge clear outs with stuff like Oil Palm or soy for the sake of better margins on product's sale.

I think the hardest task is not so much the tree planting but to make people understand the importance of these successful organisms and their role in transforming the air's chemistry.

Peter Ellis

Reforesting every last inch of the Amazon basin would only draw down the amount of carbon released by deforesting it: minuscule in comparison to our fossil fuel emissions.

Planting trees won't and can't work: we need to work out how to do the equivalent of planting oil and coal.

BlackDragon

"Planting trees won't and can't work: we need to work out how to do the equivalent of planting oil and coal."

From what I understand, biochar comes the closest to this. But only on a colossal scale. And working on this scale, we still have to keep whatever fossil fuel use we put into it at a minimum.

Jim Williams

BlackDragon, I'm not looking for a small Self anymore than a Great Self. I have to take exception to "True compassion, as Buddha understood, is knowing that Self is actually all." Buddha was very careful to avoid attributing any sort of self anywhere. He in fact made fun of the notion of Brahma, saying that Brahma merely fell into heaven and then imagined himself to be a creator.

True compassion is simply feeling with. We are all nothing more than repeating patterns of action (karma). Any self anywhere is nothing more than a story -- and I can be the story of a flock of birds flying south just as well as the story of a human being making up stories.

Maybe we can defeat entropy (or as the Mahayana say "save all sentient beings"), but that is not a given. It is a goal ... a choice.

Climate Changes

What you suggest is that we use technology to sequester CO2, right? the tech is there but somehow is not pushed enough. O.o

Granted, as a quick fix trees aren't that good cause they take time to grow, but future generations would benefit from this, or is it all about us now?

If I remember well, we (humans) are in this mess because we have not worked with nature but against it, and even though we know this, we seem to keep following the same old path.

There are already yearly tree planting events for the general public but, out of the list, only China made it compulsory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbor_Day
These events are more symbolic than anything (unless you are in China) and a drop in the ocean, but planting a tree that wasn't there is better than planting no tree at all. Trees are living organisms that we share the planet with and should not be seen as any different than a cute Polar bear. They love CO2 and they are extremely efficient at processing it and without them the current (though not for long) optimum levels of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon in the air that allowedd for the Holocene would not have occurred. Trees should be looked as allies now and for the future.

Twemoran

APL

Replanting with the same species sounds nice, but with the Canadian boreal forests falling to pine beetles it's a recipe for disaster.

The climate has already changed enough to stress the trees already in place - adding more of the same won't help.

Any geo-engineering scheme that could be put in place rapidly enough to counter the bump in heat that we're going to experience with an ice free Arctic, won't be enough to have much effect. Anything ambitious enough to have an effect will take too long to implement.

We're not going to engineer ourselves out of this.

Terry

BlackDragon

Jim,

"I'm not looking for a small Self anymore than a Great Self. I have to take exception to "True compassion, as Buddha understood, is knowing that Self is actually all." Buddha was very careful to avoid attributing any sort of self anywhere.

Exactly. As soon as I say "Self is actually all," Self is in fact gone in any understandable sense. This is the part where meaning leaves the realm of our clunky semantic tools!

"True compassion is simply feeling with." I like this way of seeing it, a lot. Of course, it is immediately possible to fall back into semantic traps: Who or what is doing any "feeling with" ? Is their one or two? If there is only one, than "with" makes no sense. It is No-one ultimately, but our language doesn't really allow that possibility.

I think you are actually the story that a flock of birds flying south is entertaining themselves with on their journey.


BlackDragon

"Self is in fact gone in any understandable sense."

And of course it is gone, because it was never there to being with, except as The Delusion.

But the "feeling with" statement does move into more subtle meaning, as I know you intended, aside from semantic questions about any imaginary Self or self that is involved (which it isn't) - it takes us over the whole idea that there is only flow, process and change - and The Delusion is only an attempt to somehow escape from this flow.

Jim Williams

I like the form "not two" BlackDragon. It doesn't make an unwarranted assertion.

Jim Williams
---
No essence. No permanence. No perfection.

BlackDragon

Jim,

"Maybe we can defeat entropy (or as the Mahayana say "save all sentient beings"), but that is not a given. It is a goal ... a choice."

"We" are not really doing anything. Non-existent selves cannot make choices or have goals in any sense that is ultimately real. This is only illusion on top of illusion.

If we have goals of some kind, they are always motivated in some manner or other in the direction of avoiding suffering, or pretending we can escape change - the hallmark of ego at work.

The only thing that seems to actually matter, looking as far afield as possible, is the increasing flow of pure awareness, the sum total of consciousness, and that place of being more "feeling with" rather than less.

This is why, ultimately, I am deeply drawn to science. It is an astounding tool for doing one really amazing thing: enlarging the flow of awareness.

There are other tools equally as powerful, but science is by far the tool that "we" - this mini-whirlpool of awareness on Earth, are most successfully using right now.

BlackDragon

"I like the form "not two"

That is very good, and I like it a lot.

Ultimately we have to use such forms to escape the restrictions of language, and still point at something without claiming anything that said something is not.

Werther

I have tried to summarize what’s been commented on this thread up to 28 August.

After reading the initial article I thought this could help in generating an approach to the purpose of the article. Though it is rewarding to closely read and response to all comments, it is an enormous job. What could I possibly come up with?

The purpose of the article is to investigate means to bring media and public discussion on the demise of Arctic sea ice on a higher, better informed level.

What we need is a symbol, something people can relate to without scaring the you know what out of them. Something similar to the way Mahatma Gandhi promoted his ideal of a self aware, culturally diverse India, without use of violence.
Science isn’t going to provide that and media are far to chaotic to hold interest.

So it has to be the Arts, the perception of beauty, that could make a difference.

Political bickering is useless. Directly discussing in the ‘Denialist Daar’ is a waste of our precious time and a further drain of what’s left of happiness.

I read some very personal emotion here, mirroring my own. Speculation on the future is dubious, because the biosphere processes are now entering anomalous territory. We have to accept there’s no hiding place and hope for personal providence while we try to live through this and compassionately help the less lucky.

This is a wonderful group Neven has assembled. I’m sure each of us could create some positive impact in his or her sphere while we hang on to the blog as long as Neven is willing to carry it on.
I wish that this blog may inspire, for us and all receptive people as deep into the web as possible.

GeoffBeacon

Don't forget the albedo effect of trees.

tudies by the Hadley Centre have investigated the relative (generally warming) effect of albedo change and (cooling) effect of carbon sequestration on planting forests. They found that new forests in tropical and midlatitude areas tended to cool; new forests in high latitudes (e.g. Siberia) were neutral or perhaps warming.

What about changing diet and changing buildings and short term fixes?

Jim Williams

The PIOMAS sea ice volume at maximum will be under 1000 cubic kilometers at the end of Winter within two years after the NSIDC daily sea ice extent on August 1 is under 1M square kilometers. (I think both of these would describe "essentially ice free.")

I doubt there will be much time between being essentially ice free at the end of Summer and an essentially ice free Summer, but there is a difference between no longer having to empty one bucket and having started to fill another bucket.

(I basically think that differential equations are a rotten method for predictively modelling the behavior of natural systems and one can do a better job eyeballing with some understanding of sources and sinks. Anyone know a good General Systems model of the Arctic climate?)

BlackDragon

Really cool to see the complexity discussion, the fast-moving nature of what we are facing, making it out further and further. This is a great example of several recent articles along these lines I have seen popping up here and there. From a link right here:

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/03/opinion/arctic-sea-ice-and-climate-the-unknown-unknown/

"The temperate zone has been seeing a lot of that sort of thing in the past couple of years — much more than usual. It’s cutting deeply into food production in the major breadbaskets of the planet, like the U.S. Midwest and southern Russia, which is why food prices are going up so fast. And this was an “unknown unknown”: nobody saw it coming."

Joe Six-Pack: "But we had models, didn't we? We were told we had some time!"

Researcher: "Well, we had fake models, and maybe, after all, we actually have no time. Sorry about that! Here, eat a bug..."

Jim,

You think we maybe we should have a really good General Systems model in place before we should try anything more micro?

Artful Dodger

Here's another take on why Arctic sea ice matters, from a well-respected Canadian Author and Historian:

Gwynne Dyer: Sea ice, climate, food production, and an unknown unknown

Cheers,
Lodger

Jim Williams

BlackDragon, the discrete physical models for hurricanes took a long time before they started showing some skill -- and a lot of hurricanes. We don't have a lot of Arctic Ice Caps to test the models against. I'd say that type of modelling has some real problems with a complex of unknowns. They are generally really bad at sensitivity analysis and don't work at all until you've finally gotten them just about right.

A good General Systems model would probably be more robust about giving ballpark answers while still in a primitive form.

BlackDragon

Thanks, Lodger, but I beat you to it! Same article, different link. Really is an awesome piece though - a must read.

Yes, Jim. Totally understood. Given just that fact that we really don't have a lot of ice caps to model against, you'd think there would be waaaaay more caution, I mean statements along the lines of "this model is almost certainly worthless, but it is a stab at something!" Much more prominence to this, or we (the general public "we") will be seriously mislead.

Given NeilT's last note in the PIOMAS thread about how PIOMAS was misled by satellites not correctly measuring MYI, my jaw just about hit the floor that no-one has realized this puts PIOMAS very close to the "not even wrong" category. Come on! MYI is central to everything PIOMAS was trying to accomplish. That is not just a small boo-boo. No way no how - it blows it basically out of any further discussion unless anyone has come along since and made some serious adjustments. Haven't heard about that at all.

Do you think a boo-boo like that is the only misadventure we are having with Artic measurements? Not a chance. It is a very long list, and that is just the things we know about measuring. Those wonderful unknown unknowns are all over the place.

Just wish people would be more cautious about pronouncements that "this can't happen!" or "that will happen!"

Nature has this ugly and painful habit lately of clonking us over the head saying "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!"

Are we listening, or still playing pretend fantasy camp science where we really shouldn't be?

Artful Dodger

Hi B/D,

The Bangor Daily News changed the Title of the Article, omitting "food production", which GUTS the headline.

Additionally, mentioning the name of a well respected author like Gwynne Dyer serves to attract attention to the link, as does featuring it as the sole content of a single comment.

Cheers,
Lodger

BlackDragon

Totally agreed, Dodger. I'll keep that in mind! (I almost considered keeping my yap shut your as you post was much better than mine at drawing attention.)

BlackDragon

...Dodger, Lodger, or just A/D? :)

I also didn't know enough to give prominence to Gwynne, although the quality of her article should have clued me in.

Anyways... it is great.

Artful Dodger

Agreed, BlackDragon.

Lodger is fine, or you can ...

Cheers!

Timothy Chase

BlackDragon wrote:

I also didn't know enough to give prominence to Gwynne, although the quality of her article should have clued me in.
Not that it matters a great deal, but Gwynne Dyer is actually a guy. Online, I knew a young earth creationist from Australia by the name of Laurie Appleton that people had the habit of assuming was a woman. A guy as well. With countries that have more English backgrounds (e.g., in terms of pronunciation and spelling), it is sometimes difficult for an American to tell.

Artful Dodger

Yup, Gwynne is the 'Pride of the Rock' (he hails from Newfoundland but now lives and writes in London).

Here's his website and recent blog post on the N. American drought of Summer 2012:

http://gwynnedyer.com/2012/wild-weather/

Cheers,
Lodger

BlackDragon

Lol! (Clue)^2

Thank guys. Sorry Gwynne!

opensheart

Hello all, I've seen my post about "planetary reset" has been referenced a couple of times. I feel a small bittersweet bit of honor from your consideration.

However I would like report something else. 40 minutes before I finished writing and posted that report (I do not know when I started to write that post), my son was run over, dragged and serious hurt. I received the call 40 minutes after posting. I have been in the hospital ever since. My son has avoided all permanent damage and may be released to outpatient care in the next day or two.

However un-scientific, I am disturbed by the coincidence of my son being struck so close to the time of my public posting of this planet reset theory.

For those of you/us who are trying to bridge the gap between what is happening and public consciousness, may we remember we are stepping in front of something with enormous momentum. May we and our loved ones be safe. May the instruments work, and the data not be lost or corrupted. May we find that sweet spot where the data and its meaning can soak into the public awareness without causing panic.

Sorry this is off-subject, but for me the loss of arctic sea ice is not just a scientific event. It is more than a social/political/public policy issue. The consequences are so broad and will affect us so deeply, that it bleeds over into the spiritual zone of humanity.

BlackDragon

(if you are both guys that is! :)

BlackDragon

Joe Smith, you and your son have my deepest sympathy. I am very sorry to hear what happened, but very glad to hear your son will avoid all permanent damage.

I like your larger wish. You are very right, the ASI consequences are so large they will inevitably touch us far deeper, in many ways, than we are likely prepared for.

BlackDragon

(Please note, my smiley face comment was written and posted before I saw your post, Joe. Sorry about that!)

The question of a planetary reset is very disturbing, and will of course affect the youngest of us the most. As much as I see things unfolding in a troubling way, and think there may be a larger purpose to that, I never lose sight of the very real impact this will have on countless lives.

LRC

Watched http://video.hint.no/mmt201v10/osc/?vid=56. Although not a talk about facts I think it really highlights the importance of Arctic data and from what I have seen what neven is doing a great job at improving.

Villabolo

Joe, I rarely comment here but I just couldn't help but to give you and your family my sympathy.

Think of the congruence of those two events as Jungian synchronicity. We may not ascribe to such mystical concepts but, in a moment of truth, an exception may be made.

Best of luck to you all.

LRC

Best wishes to you and your family Joe. Did not see your posting before posting mine as I had jumped blogs and just posted. The data is necessary to help us understand what is happening, we do need to understand that this is not just a mental exercise, it is the near and far future that will bear the brunt of the actual events.

Villabolo

"Sorry this is off-subject, but for me the loss of arctic sea ice is not just a scientific event. It is more than a social/political/public policy issue. The consequences are so broad and will affect us so deeply, that it bleeds over into the spiritual zone of humanity."

Actually, this should be a topic in and of itself and on every GW website. Such a hypothetical thread should take into serious consideration survivalist preparations. Pardon the Apocalyptic digression - this is definitely off subject - but our families and friends need to be ready for the inevitable crises that are looming towards us.

Villabolo

Account Deleted

D - surely we should try to prevent the inevitable crises and/or limit the impact. It looks like the Arctic Sea ice is history and there isn't anything we can do to prevent a seasonally ice-free arctic - especially as CT SIA is still dropping and the Arctic basin SIA area looks like it will hit the 2 M km^2 mark.

Artful Dodger

Hi Colin.

Filmmaker James Cameron said in an interview last year, "Arctic sea ice is toast".

I'll grant you that for the perennial sea ice. The fight is now really an effort to retain seasonal sea ice. If we continue to see the range narrow between freeze-up and melt, we'll loose it too. And likely irreversibly.

We've got maybe 30 years to go net negative on global GHG increase, and that includes carbon feedbacks like methane clathrates and thawing permafrost. And we have no margin for the 'unknown' unknowns. What's that rumbling about buried Antarctic methane? ...

Losing the PR fight is not an option. When the Summer sea ice goes, the clock will be running. And so should we.

Cheers,
Lodger

Neven

First of all: Joe, all the best to your son.

Second, as we watch the record dominoes, my family (here in Croatia where I spend my holiday) seems to be involved in cancer dominoes. One after the other is dying.

On top of that I'm continuously confronted with hordes of tourists on the one hand (which I refer to as zombies) and rich folks sitting on yachts, conspicuously parked at the boulevard so everyone sees them (which I refer to as vampires). It's rather depressing really, but I'm getting a lot of rest, so I'm handling it pretty well. It's nothing new after all.

I have started to tell people around me about the ice. They all nod and then change nothing at all. Nothing. I watch in amazement.

Third, I appreciate all the comments, no matter what they're about, even if they're in the 'wrong' thread.

Fourth,

This is a wonderful group Neven has assembled. I’m sure each of us could create some positive impact in his or her sphere while we hang on to the blog as long as Neven is willing to carry it on.
I wish that this blog may inspire, for us and all receptive people as deep into the web as possible.

I'm thinking a lot about what next steps to take. My gut tells me this thing needs to be taken to the next level, without throwing away the thing that got this blog going. The road to hell and good intentions and all that.

Somehow things that start off great and then gain traction, always become a monster. I guess that's just what happens as more and more people get involved, no matter how well-intentioned everyone is. I'll try to control things as much as I can. Or maybe not at all. Whatever seems best. We'll discuss come October, after the minimum.

Le pluriel ne vaut rien à l'homme et sitôt qu'on
Est plus de quatre on est une bande de cons

Artful Dodger

Hi Neven

Very sorry to hear about your family health issues. As Joe also expressed so well above, these things are in some way meant to help us personalize the feelings we all share about a growing global crisis.

I believe it is more a 'band-of-brothers' you have assembled here (& sisters too!). We will continue to help you shine the spotlight on the Arctic, in the hopes that the light of day will reach a slumbering public.

Be well, and enjoy your time.

Cheers,
Lodger

Rob Dekker

fredt34 said :

Yale 360 has a nice piece by Fen Montaigne about "Arctic Tipping Point: A North Pole Without Ice",

Who'd have guessed? J. Curry says "that the next 5 to 10 years could see a shift in Arctic sea ice behavior, though exactly in which direction is difficult to predict.".

Thanks for the link Fred !
I challenged Dr. Curry to a bet on that statement and questioned a few other statements she made in that artice by Fen Montaigne at Yale.

http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/03/the-hard-won-consensus/#comment-235814

Let's see how serious she is about her statements.

Villabolo

Colin, The most we can do is to keep the awful from becoming the horrific and even that is not going to happen with a Republican run U.S.

The political issue of GW is not a matter of obtuseness. Ingrained into the very psyche of tens of millions of Americans is the idea that Global Warming, and environmentalism in general, is a demonic conspiracy inspired by the Biblical Satan. We can’t educate such medieval mentality.

We can neither reason with such psychotics nor can we negotiate with the psychopaths that puppeteer them.

This is not a defeatist attitude on my part but a realistic attitude. We can do plenty by trying to educate that portion of the public that is amiable to our message. And the message should be about survival on the individual, family and local community level.

I look at it this way: There will be a partial collapse of civilization within the next 50 years. What we can do is to plant into the minds and souls of our grandchildren the hope of building a new civilization on the dust and ashes of this one.

Some things, like a poorly designed and constructed building, simply have to be demolished and started over from scratch.

The comments to this entry are closed.