« PIOMAS April 2014 | Main | More on melt ponds »


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

Tom Zupancic

Neven, as a scientist allow me to express my admiration for what you have accomplished with this forum. It is incredible.

Just to be somewhat relevant to the discussion, what should one make of the current rapid drop in Arctic Sea Ice Extent? Is it due to melting or compression?


I'll heartily second what Tom said. Back to lurking for what could be a very interesting melt season...

Francesco Meneguzzo

Neven - congratulations for your huge effort and results!
About the alleged benefits under the item Winners and losers, in particular "... Shorter journey times for commercial shipping thanks to access to Arctic waters may also cut emissions from ships, it adds. And oil and gas from the region is expected to contribute increasingly to the global economy, although the resources will be costly and difficult to access..." it's a full nonsense.
About emissions cut from ships - it's long known that any increase in (energy) efficiency in an open large market leads to an increase in consumption of the relevant resource (oil in this case). That's known as the Jevons' paradox http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox . In other words, the increase in shipping will fully obliterate and eventually greatly overcome any single oil saving. That's sure.
About the alleged contribution of arctic oil and gas to the global economy - it's an obvous fake at the same time it states that such resources will be costly! It's all the same as shale oil&gas which can (maybe) survive as long as oil barrel costs not less than 90 US$ while gas is already sold below extraction cost. Eroi (Energy Return On Investment) rules and at least it cannot be below 10 for a primary energy source in order to contribute to society, economy and eventually civilization http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0301421513006447
It looks like the winner field is shrinking drastically.


Thanks, Tom (good to see you're still lurking), Joseph and Francesco (I agree with what you say).

Just to be somewhat relevant to the discussion, what should one make of the current rapid drop in Arctic Sea Ice Extent? Is it due to melting or compression?

To be honest, I'm not looking very intently at the sea ice right now (building a house seems to take forever), but the details are discussed over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum.

There seems to have been - or still is - a relatively large storm, which is setting up a dipole, with very low pressure over the Siberian seas, and very high pressure over Greenland. It will be interesting to see what that will do.

Although the melting season has started, this is still a bit of a transition period (with ice still thickening in the centre of the ice pack, for instance, and lots of places still with very low temperatures), and so it's difficult to tell (at least for me) where exactly the decrease is occurring, and why.

The Arctic Sea Ice Graphs page offers a lot of clues, of course. And there are folks on the ASIF who know more about this.

I will soon post my Winter Analysis and then in May start with the Arctic sea ice updates.


Also check out this thread on the ASIF where Wipneus presents his own AMSR-2 extent & area calculations (with great images showing where the melt is strongest):

A spectacular decrease today:

Update 20140417.

Extent: -171.3 (-297k vs 2013)
Area: -285.8 (-428k vs 2013)

The usual regions are Okhotsk, Bering and St.Lawrence. Today they get help from Baffin, Greenland Sea and Barents. Especially the ice in the Barents Sea and near New Foundland looks ready for a quick disappearance.


In addition to the excellent Arctic Sea Ice Graphs page, can I put in a plug for our new Arctic Sea Ice resources pages, currently under discussion at:


where further constructive criticism is most welcome. The emphasis is on complementing ASIG with additional information on thickness and volume, together with an in depth look at ice temperatures revealed by the array of ice mass balance buoys in the Arctic.


Moving on to declining area and extent, here's an extract from the Hamburg AMSR2 concentration map, showing the Laptev and East Siberian Seas also looking weak at the moment:

and here's the GFS version of the current "Arctic cyclone"


Another glacier in southwest Greenland that is reteating and accelerating,
Kangiata Sermia.

Kevin McKinney

Thanks for the miscellanea, Neven!

WRT this comment--"And oil and gas from the region is expected to contribute increasingly to the global economy, although the resources will be costly and difficult to access."--I would just say that the implied pros and cons seem to have been inverted somehow... ;-)

Kevin McKinney

This is OT--concerning not the Arctic, but the tropical Andes--but is relevant to the wider question of AGW and glacial ice loss. I'm sure it will interest many here, and is moreover (IMO, anyway) one of the better pieces I've seen on current climate change impacts. It probably isn't well-positioned for visibility, either, being up on a regional site of Canada's national broadcaster, CBC, so let me do my bit to spread it around.


Colorado Bob

Heavy, Early-Season Blow to Arctic Ice Cap: Powerful, Warm Storm Disintegrates Barents Sea Ice



Well sometimes you can't change and you can't choose.
And sometimes it seems you gain less than you lose.
Now we've got holes in our hearts, yeah we've got holes in our ice.
Well we've got holes, we've got holes but we carry on.

(I'm generally speechless about the "winner" idea and let the song speak instead)

Hans Gunnstaddar

Bob, that storm is like a lawnmower - all that's left behind are the clippings. Great pics!

Jon Torrance


Regarding your belief in many contrarians' favourite zombie idea, Jevons Paradox, your version of it was:

"it's long known that any increase in (energy) efficiency in an open large market leads to an increase in consumption of the relevant resource (oil in this case)."

This is directly contradicted by the very Wikipedia article you linked to, which states:

"First, in the context of a mature market such as for oil in developed countries, the direct rebound effect is usually small, and so increased fuel efficiency usually reduces resource use, other conditions remaining constant.[6][9][10]"

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain


First I'd like to add my congratulations for what you have achieved, Neven.


1. The "direct rebound affect" is irrelevant to climate change. The relevant measure is the "total rebound effect" measured with respect to greenhouse gasses. Cheaper shipping will mean more high carbon goods flowing round the world.

2. I doubt that "mature market" applies to Arctic shipping.

3. Cheaper shipping means cheaper goods means more consumption means more greenhouse gasses means worse climate change. Unless ...

4. We change the nature of GDP by discouraging carbon intensive consumption. This broadens the point in the Wikipedia article alluded to in saying

environmental economists have pointed out that fuel use will unambiguously decrease if increased efficiency is coupled with an intervention (e.g. a green tax) that keeps the cost of fuel use the same or higher.

The energy efficiency argument is a cop out. Governments love it because energy efficiency allows them to pretend progress is being made without taxing the polluters properly.

PS "Green taxes" should not be considered as "tax dollars" they are fines for destroying our world.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Jon, here is a definition of Jevons paradox.


In economics, the Jevons paradox (/ˈdʒɛvənz/; sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.[1] In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal use led to increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological improvements could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption.

Jon, you pasted in the following from the other posters link:

"First, in the context of a mature market such as for oil in developed countries, the direct rebound effect is usually small, and so increased fuel efficiency usually reduces resource use, other conditions remaining constant."

The above quote is not necessarily correct.
There is another viewpoint that in the developed countries, (although there have been improvements in efficiency), the net effect of reduced oil usage is due to high priced oil. In other words, we have reached a price inflection point in which increases in price in turn reduce demand.

In this case, the price inflection point trumps Jevon's paradox, not efficiency.



Sorry, I should have addressed my last post to Jon.


You make a good point but I worry about taking economists on at their own game: Most of them are well behind on the climate science.

Last Wednesday I attended a presentation on IPCC WG2 and WG3 organised by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. The co-chairs of both working groups gave presentations. They seemed to be taking the projections of WG1 (The Physical Science Basis)as solid but when they were challenged they didn't seem to be sure.

Chris Field (WG2 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) did then talk about "low probability, high impact events".

Otto Edenhofer's presentation as co-chair of WG3 (Mitigation of Climate Change) showed several scenario's from the climate modelling of WG1. The presentation gave the superficial impression that these scenarios were accurate.

Many of us worry about the under-performance of these (CMIP5) models because of missing feedbacks. We also worry about "high impact events" that may not be of sufficiently "low probability" to give the world a good chance of survival.

In my experience, reinforced by this meeting, those downstream of the climate science, particularly economists (e.g. Otto Edenhofer), give too little recognition of the imperfections in the climate science and the scale of the dangers we face.

Is that because they just don't know?


There was and is very strong cyclones at about the Pole. They certainly will affect sea ice consolidation by breaking everything up very early, so Transpolar wide spring Break will be a partial one, as every thing is breaking up badly now mainly NorthPole Towards Russia . What is left of winter has received a deadly blow as well with the latest NP Low upper air temperatures have increased significantly there, more common jets will show up very high in latitude.

My yearly Refraction based projection is out,


Wide open water at the Pole is foreseen, as opposed to last years open water and sea ice mix devoid of compaction.

Jai Mitchell

If the jevons paradox is as important as some people make it out to be then the information on this page would be impossible.

Update on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 03:23PM by Registered CommenterSkeptic

Exxon Mobil's latest long-term forecast projects (at 18) a 20% overall decline in US passenger car gasoline consumption by 2030--even with more people and more cars--because of increasing fuel efficiency.

according to the (faith based?) strict adherence to the argument contained in the Jevons' Paradox, this reality would be impossible.

I find this argument very simplistic, faith based and similar to the arguments behind the denial of climate change and a reliance on the "invisible hand" of neoclassical economics.

All are myths. Not real

Noam Chomsky made a good point here:


This mythology is intentionally marketed and produced because it benefits a few wealthy elites. That is the only reasoning I can come up with its support in the mainstream discourse.


the myth is that economists rely on faith based arguments - as the quote given by Hans makes clear, Jevons proposition was/is based on observation. are you saying the denial of climate change is a myth, that the invisible hand is a myth, or that reliance on the invisible hand is a myth? because the 'invisible hand effect' is certainly real

Hans Gunnstaddar

Jai, below is a link to a website that is specifically talking about an oil price inflection point we've reached. As oil price rises, demand decreases, which in turn drives down price. The summarization and link on this site's article is from a talk by Dr. Kopits at a University.

There's nothing faith based involved here. It's just the difference between two schools of thought, i.e. demand or supply constrained oil price. Kopits argues for supply constrained due to oil price reducing demand.

In other words, Jevon's paradox only works on the way up to a price inflection point, then price acts to reduce demand. Since when do people use less just because an energy source is used more efficiently? Think about that - it makes no sense, as people always take advantage of every opportunity available until they can no longer afford it.


Oil Supply, Oil Price and the Economy

Kopits: “Oil company profits have lagged because costs are rising faster than revenues. E&P capex per barrel has been rising by nearly 11% per year. Brent prices have been largely flat. A number of projects have consequently been deferred, cancelled or return for re-evaluation.”

Kopits: “In a demand constrained model: Price = Marginal Cost.
In a supply constrained model this is not the case. The price increases to a point where the marginal consumer would rather do with less than pay more. They will not recognize your marginal cost. If your cost continues to rise your consumer will not recognize it.”

I encourage anyone on here that feels differently to join in the discussion at that website, started by a long term poster on the oil drum, Ron Patterson. He's very informed on the topic as are many of the other posters, some of which are from the oil fields.

David Miller

Sofouuk, I have to disagree.

While Jevons paradox may have been based on observations when originally conceived, believing that it will always happen this way is indeed a matter of faith.

Hans Gunnstaddar

sofouuk, I'm not sure if your post is for me or another member. If so, how you made the leap from my post to the question, "are you saying the denial of climate change is a myth..." My answer is no, but I cannot find in my post where that might have been suggested or inferred.

The link I provided to Jai I also invite you to visit. Granted, when there are two schools of thought (supply or demand oil price constrained) there will be disagreement and that's why I encourage posters to post their questions on that site, so that other people's perspectives can be brought into the discussion.

Jai Mitchell


The inflexibility of the demand response curve of oil consumption makes it very clear that the price-point theory is falsified by the demand response due to the 2008 economic contraction.

Just as deniers wrongly assume that CO2 must drive temperature in the Antarctic ice core record, and are surprised that CO2 actually FOLLOWS temperature, so too does the expectation for demand to follow oil price become usurped by the fact that price fell once demand started to collapse under economic contraction.

Since the flexibility of oil consumption is very limited (as a necessary goods) the Jevon's paradox does not hold under greater efficiencies of oil consumption.

note how consumption fell before price peaked and how it continued to fall after price fell in the contraction of 2008


David, no serious economist believes that 'Jevons' paradox will always happen that way', as is clear from the links that Hans has provided.
Hans, I was agreeing with you, and taking issue with Jai.

Jai Mitchell


The myth that I am speaking of is the neoliberal principle of "efficient market hypothesis" that noam Chomsky spoke about in the link that I shared. Please watch the video.

Yes, most economists believe in a self-correcting mechanism in economic theory. This precludes the possibility of collusion and the manipulation of markets.

If anything it should be well known now that there is no such thing as a "free" market.

And yes, climate change denial is a faith-based mechanism.


Jai, you are attacking a straw man, and you need a reality check - in fact it is you (handwaving attempts to dismiss the consensus view of an established scientific discipline) who is promoting views akin to climate denial

"This mythology is intentionally marketed and produced because it benefits a few wealthy elites. That is the only reasoning I can come up with"

naked conspiracy theory

Hans Gunnstaddar

Jai, you can see from the linked graph you provided that consumption (demand) did begin a descent even before the 140+ price per barrel, and only leveled off due to the price dropping. If it had remained that high demand would have continued to drop.

Also keep in mind the world economy at the time was super heated from the escalating value of real estate from sub-prime mortgages. Once that situation broke all commodities tanked due to a loss of confidence in the markets.

Currently the price of oil is balanced where it is because that's what the world economy can handle. That doesn't mean the top 10%, but the flow of oil for all the people responding to oil price for a myriad of consumer goods related to oil. Raise the price and demand will reduce until price drops to match it. If you go to the link I provided earlier you'll readily grasp what Dr. Kopits is talking about. Really, very informative and cutting edge. I highly recommend.

Thanks for getting back to me sofouuk. Just a miscommunique.

Jai Mitchell


your interpretation of the chart is incorrect. The response of the consumption of oil was not due to price but due to economic collapse.

notice that the price increase and decrease had almost nothing to do with supply and demand?

The price/demand response curve for energy is extremely inflexible. Not only is this a captured market but it doesn't operate in the simplistic supply/demand free market mythology that we are taught in economics 101.

we are producing more oil in the U.S. now than has been produced in over 30 years, yet speculators are still driving up futures prices almost 10 times what they were then (inflation adjusted).


Jai Mitchell


your interpretation of the chart is incorrect. The response of the consumption of oil was not due to price but due to economic collapse.

notice that when the price increased and then decreased it had almost nothing to do with supply and demand?

The price/demand response curve for energy is extremely inflexible. Not only is this a captured market but it doesn't operate in the simplistic supply/demand free market mythology that we are taught in economics 101. People cannot substitute oil and electricity in their daily consumption patters with other goods.

we are now producing more oil in the U.S. now than has been produced in over 30 years, yet speculators are still driving up futures prices almost 10 times what they were then (inflation adjusted). This is a direct result of the 1999 banking modernization that caused the economic collapse in the first place.

Hedge funds racing oil refiners to $100 a barrel energy markets

Jai Mitchell

sorry had trouble with the edit.

The 1999 banking deregulation (modernization???) act that caused the economic collapse also allowed hedge funds to corner the commodities markets, this is why food prices have spiked, leading to revolutions in the middle east, and oil remains at such an inflated value.

The reason that electricity and oil cannot operate under free market principles is because the consumer has no viable substitute (except for a radical decrease in living standards) and this is untenable. So the energy markets operate under extreme demand-response inflexibility.

only someone who wants to make a ton of money in the energy market would tell you otherwise.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Jai, we are going to have to agree to disagree on this particular topic. But let's take a wait and see approach as to what now happens, i.e. if in the future oil price can go higher (as you suggest) or if demand drops when that occurs causing the price to go back down (my suggestion). In other words, lets suspend a conclusion by either party in lieu of future data.

Crozet Dutchie

Jai, you are right and the USA Olygarchy/Plutocracy is in full swing. Read recent books by Matt Tiabbi and Thomas Piketty, and find out how the super-predator capitalist system is emerging. Not pretty.


But to go back on-topic (and quickly too, as TypePad seems to have some problems due to DoS-attacks, or am I the only one experiencing trouble logging on in the past couple of days?):

Here is a short video (in German), showing what the RV Lance has been doing lately. Very cool images.


Yes Neven was impossible to get through.

2 Important things happened yesterday

one El-Nino appears more and more certain but in a strange way:


And the ice near the Pole looks like it was last August, broken, but that is logical it never really compacted, froze in place, now melts likewise with a lot of tremors from strong cyclones. http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/

Jai Mitchell

To be sure, there is great concern amongst the "masters of life" that the commodification of humanity and the environment is now pushing up against an immovable crisis; within the next 5 years there will surely be a globally significant climate signal that will herald the future global warming reality that we are all doomed to face, we have now "locked in" an ADDITIONAL .8C of warming above present day levels.

consider this fact with the reality that the U.S. has recently been proven as a complete oligopoly.

Table 4 also confirms our earlier findings about economic elites and median voters. When the alignments of business-oriented and mass-based interest groups are included separately in a multivariate model, average citizens’ preferences continue to have essentially zero estimated impact upon policy change, while economic elites are still estimated to have a very large, positive, independent impact.

Please also note that there has almost no u.s. media coverage of this study.

In the end, there will be no successful near-term OR long-term future if we do not repeal the following reality:

“It’s a look at the force of unregulated capitalism. How unregulated capitalism commodifies everything. It commodifies human beings. It commodifies the natural world and exploits them until exhaustion or collapse. Of course this is why the environmental crisis is twined with the economic crisis. And Polyani, although he is an economist, uses the word sacred. When a society loses the capacity for the sacred, when there is nothing sacred about human life, when there is nothing sacred about the natural world, it commits self-annihilation. It cannibalizes itself until it dies.”

Stay tuned, there really isn't much time left.

Yes, it has been impossible to log on and sometimes to download the website (503 backend error).


A small picture of the "cracks" visible near the North Pole yesterday:

Larger images at: http://GreatWhiteCon.info/resources/arctic-sea-ice-images/winter-201314-images/#Pole


September Arctic sea-ice minimum predicted by spring melt-pond fraction

The area of Arctic September sea ice has diminished from about 7 million km2 in the 1990s to less than 5 million km2 in five of the past seven years, with a record minimum of 3.6 million km2 in 2012). The strength of this decrease is greater than expected by the scientific community, the reasons for this are not fully understood, and its simulation is an on-going challenge for existing climate models. With growing Arctic marine activity there is an urgent demand for forecasting Arctic summer sea ice4. Previous attempts at seasonal forecasts of ice extent were of limited skill. However, here we show that the Arctic sea-ice minimum can be accurately forecasted from melt-pond area in spring. We find a strong correlation between the spring pond fraction and September sea-ice extent. This is explained by a positive feedback mechanism: more ponds reduce the albedo; a lower albedo causes more melting; more melting increases pond fraction. Our results help explain the acceleration of Arctic sea-ice decrease during the past decade. The inclusion of our new melt-pond model promises to improve the skill of future forecast and climate models in Arctic regions and beyond.


[I can't log on again, so I'm adding this directly:

Thanks a lot for this, Boa05att! It confirms what I've been suspecting for a while.



Jai and Hans,

This video is pertinent to your discussion on the rebound effect...

Duncan Clark- The Burning Question

Hans Gunnstaddar

Good video Boa05att. He broaches the question of do we save FF if we become more efficient? - no, we just use it somewhere else. If it's extracted and available, it gets used. Did we use less wood when we started using coal? No. Did we use less coal when we started using oil? No, because we use more of all energy sources to grow the economy. His graph 'an age old feedback' shows we haven't cut back on any source, an indirect way of explaining Jevon's paradox.

And he's right we need to get off FF to stop the worst of climate change, but the conundrum is if we do the economy tanks. Maybe the only solution is as he says is carbon capture but that costs money and energy. Are we willing to make that sacrifice? Maybe in developed countries, but then that makes us less competitive with developing countries that won't make the sacrifice.

Meanwhile like Jai says above, there isn't much time left.

I've had no problem logging on.

George Phillies

Depending on whose algorithm you trust, sea ice are is now approximately as low as it has ever been for this date, more or less tied with a couple of years ago. Note the IJIS graph in particular.


on the one hand, all the years tend to converge in may, so low extent in april is not really a big deal. unless this indicates that melting is getting an early start (see the abstract in Boa05att's comment), of course


Good video and comment(s).

Regarding this observation from you, Hans: "And he's right we need to get off FF to stop the worst of climate change, but the conundrum is if we do the economy tanks."

Very true. However, part of the driving force behind usage is the *illusion* that we can maintain a constantly expanding economy. We have finite limits for space and population, and even with scientific innovation, eventually will be forced to move to some sort of static system of consumption - inputs will have to equal outputs.

I think that's going to be (eventually) Capitalism's fatal flaw, the ultimate bubble, unless we can head it of, and build sustainable structures under it to prevent a catastrophic burst.

But I digress, for which, I apologize to the group.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Agree jd, regarding the growth meme. To shift to a more static system may require hitting limits though, because as we know even small changes are difficult to convince politicians of, because they don't want to disappoint the voters.

The majority of Human consciousness at this stage unfortunately still needs to experience suffering to force change, rather than rationally planning ahead based on future projections.


Sadly, Hans, as much as I may wish it to be otherwise, what you say is likely true.

I shall still try to prove us both wrong.

Steve Bloom

Re the "September Arctic sea-ice minimum predicted by spring melt-pond fraction" paper, having now read it I think melt ponds are best thought of as a proxy for weather conditions (which would otherwise be difficult to index). Note that there are some sharp outlier years (with low melt ponds/high melt and the reverse), which I take as meaning that spring melt pond conditions (they use the month of May) are a good indicator of the minimum unless there's a sharp reversal of weather conditions in June and July.

Francesco Meneguzzo

@ jdallen_wa: don't trust so much in scientific innovation, it has passed its peak since a long time... http://accelerating.org/articles/InnovationHuebnerTFSC2005.pdf i.e. if you think about energy, no radical innovation occurred in the last 100 years or so beyond the increase in efficiency of combustion and turbines fed by fossil fuels, in turn triggering the "positive" feedback predicted by Jevons' paradox about the consumption of the respective non-renewable resources.
While discarding the conventional (fission) nuclear source which proved ineffective, dangerous and relying upon quickly declining resources (actually, its basic resource is badly depleted), and quietly observing the useless (but quite costly) efforts with the nuclear fusion toys (which will never work), the only source that proved to be effective (high EROI), practically universal, easy to manage - solar photovoltaic, which showed a terribly fast industrial and economical learning curve - still suffers from a criminal delay worldwide. All the other research in energy is affected by a disappointing conformism.

@ Hans: "The majority of Human consciousness at this stage unfortunately still needs to experience suffering to force change, rather than rationally planning ahead based on future projections." - I can mention my own experience in Italy. Give that shifting to low carbon energy generation is reasonably the only hope to avoid catastrophic climate changes, when there was a narrow but practicable political road in 2006-2007 few visionary people succeeded to introduce a disruptive energy legislation leading the solar photovoltaic power to jump from nearly zero to almost 20 GW working power today, providing about 10% of national electricity and up to 60% and more during daylight in six months per year, about the same figures as Germany or even more as to energy (not power, of course). No black-outs, no grid troubles at all! Of course, the reaction by thermal power generation companies soon became shamefully fierce and all laws were cancelled during 2011 with nearly no opposition or protests - people are substantially illiterate in the energy field and most mass media are owned by the same thermal energy companies. The "visionary people" were driven out of any decision making position and media campaigns to personally denigrate any of them (myself included) were launched with an astonishing synchronicity. This is real life, no regrets at all.
However, rational planning is not only possible, it's easy and its effectiveness is proved at the Country, continental and eventually global scale; what is badly missing is the political willingness. But here another story should begin, and I've been even too long.

Susan Anderson

That video is intense and useful. Thank you.

repeat info:
Duncan Clark - The Burning Question

Hans Gunnstaddar

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Francesco, (great name by the way), but I got involved in a project. Interesting story as to what happened with solar in Italy. Got to love the visionary people, but unfortunate regarding the way it turned out. Improvements in renewables and attitudes do change positively and incrementally over time, so maybe, maybe, maybe, we'll see what happens with enough time and impetus.


Swell and sea in the emerging Arctic Ocean

Ocean surface waves (sea and swell) are generated by winds blowing over a distance (fetch) for a duration of time. In the Arctic Ocean, fetch varies seasonally from essentially zero in winter to hundreds of kilometers in recent summers. Using in situ observations of waves in the central Beaufort Sea, combined with a numerical wave model and satellite sea ice observations, we show that wave energy scales with fetch throughout the seasonal ice cycle. Furthermore, we show that the increased open water of 2012 allowed waves to develop beyond pure wind seas and evolve into swells. The swells remain tied to the available fetch, however, because fetch is a proxy for the basin size in which the wave evolution occurs. Thus, both sea and swell depend on the open water fetch in the Arctic, because the swell is regionally driven. This suggests that further reductions in seasonal ice cover in the future will result in larger waves, which in turn provide a mechanism to break up sea ice and accelerate ice retreat.


Jai Mitchell

Jevon's Paradox was developed by observing the technological developments of the steam engine and the subsequent reduction in the price of coal due to the increased efficiencies of extraction.

It is an incorrect assumption to attribute current fossil fuel usage to "takeback" from efficiency gains.

Current fossil fuel usage is driven largely by non-market forces that have worked diligently to ensure that all aspects of society are completely dependent on these sources.

When efficiency gains grew in the western world, the forces of economic development instituted globalization and shifted production to countries without environmental regulations, thereby allowing a radical increase in global emissions.

This is not a product of increased efficiency, but rather the efforts of an industry, controlling the means of global economic development, ensuring that fossil fuel emissions continue to grow at an exponential rate.

Similarly, the Koch brothers in the U.S. are actively lobbying against subsidies for solar panels, for the repeal of energy efficiency portfolio standards and for the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline. This is not a function of natural market forces. It is a function of market manipulation.

Excellent video, thanks for sharing! He is very spot on with regard to what needs to happen. However, he is simply fitting an exponential curve to the emissions profile and claiming "takeback" as a causality. Had production not been shifted to China, the consumption-related increases in emissions would not have risen so steeply.

The comments to this entry are closed.