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Merry Christmas, Neven!

Doc Snow

Hi, Neven, hope you have a great holiday! And thanks for the update.

But I think you may have made a small slip: if I'm reading Zack's monthly anomaly graph correctly, November was not 12th-coolest, but 12th-*warmest*. (That would translate to 28th-coolest.) So the difference with your measure is more massive than the current text would indicate.


Hi, Kevin!

You're absolutely right, and I've changed the text accordingly. Thanks.


Nice to see California getting some rain, which if we had normal sea ice as was years ago, would have happened earlier. I think 2018-19 will be markedly different than 16-17 and 17-18. Will have something about this in a while.

mean time back on Mars:


Finding water with a NASA probe is a smashing good idea. However, my sea ice studies have shown that they may have not to drill too deep. Mars 95% CO2 atmosphere may also prove to be a useful comparison with our ever so growing carbon dumping in Earth's atmosphere.


Why has mars got a 95% CO2 atmosphere... is that because there is no hydrological cycle to "clean it up?"


It's because the Martians asked too many questions. ;)


(...and I thought I was cryptic, lol!)


Hi Another and Neven

Mars offers excellent studies for CO2 atmosphere without the Venusian super dense heat. I suspect we will learn a few things by it, especially the wild temperature variations. It can be quite warm on a nice Martian day. Identifying if Mars has a lot of water (ice) in its underground will be the big story from NASA InSight lander , if they find ice not so deep below it will be the #1 story in the world for more than 15 minutes. Ice being our expertise, will bring our attention there.


Essential reading:
1) The Arctic is in even worse shape than you realize. Chris Mooney. December 11, 2018.

2) NOAA Arctic Report 2018 https://www.arctic.noaa.gov/report-card

From WAPost article:
RE: "an entirely ice-free Arctic ocean in summer." (not just the Sept. avg. or minimum, but all of June-August essentially ice free and thus absorbing Arctic summer solar radiation)

"....once every 10 years if the globe’s total warming reaches 2 degrees Celsius, but only once every 100 years at 1.5 degrees Celsius. (Warming is at 1 degree Celsius now.)"

[I beg to differ, NASA GISS 5 year average is now a solid 1.1C over 1850-1900 or 1400-1800 preindustrial baselines, almost 1.2 over 1880-1920 better defined baseline. The extra 0.1C is not trivial, reduces our remaining buffer from 1.5 threshold by 20%]
back to WAPost ---

Ramanathan fears that entirely ice-free summers, if they began to occur regularly, could add another half a degree Celsius (.9 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming on top of whatever else the planet has experienced by that time.

“If that were to happen, I would think of it as an unmitigated disaster,” said Ramanathan of consistently ice-free Arctic summers. “It will quickly pump in this half a degree warming.”

That extra warming, he said, in turn could trigger a world with multiple other cascading effects, such as increasing losses of carbon from northern permafrost soil, or major damage to the Amazon rain forest. The additional heat would also melt snow cover over land in the Arctic, further driving up global temperatures as the darker land surface absorbs more incoming radiation.

“I would think of the summer ice disappearing as the true tipping point we’ve all been afraid of with climate change,” said Ramanathan.


Yes, but Wayne: does the fact the atmosphere of Mars is mainly CO2 directly relate to the fact there is no hydrological cycle ?


Merry Christmas to you to Wayne, and everyone else while I'm at it ->>>>>>>>*


Merry Christmas Another!

That is a very good question, extremely related to the constitution of the upper soil on Mars. I think there should be a very small localized hydrological cycles related to whether there is water/ice near it's surface. I bring out here Osiris Rex:


Similar with comets there is water or signs of water on top of asteroids.
Mars has very thin atmosphere, most of its oceans water had only 2 places to go, towards space or underground. So how deep is the water buried is the question.

2016 all time minima record sea ice extent is about to be broken by current 2018 JAXA. This is the main action to watch, along with a definite Arctic circulation change which makes this data even more interesting.


..... After all Mars is the red planet, rust ! Given that its Oceans disappeared a very long time ago, Asteroid impact craters and dumping of star dust over eons should have changed that colour a bit. So I suspect some sort of water exchange and reactions, however small it may be.


Um, who's saying Mars ever had oceans?

Rascal Dog

Mars perhaps had an ocean. There are formations that look exactly like wave cut benches around a basin in the Northern Hemisphere, along with deltas, all at close enough to the same current altitude.

The simplest explanation is a water ocean.

Kevin Stanley

Who says mars ever had oceans? Well, this is on the NASA website:

"A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA scientists who, using ground-based observatories, measured water signatures in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Scientists have been searching for answers to why this vast water supply left the surface. Details of the observations and computations appear in Thursday’s edition of Science magazine.

“Our study provides a solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water was lost to space,” said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the new paper. “With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars.”

Perhaps about 4.3 billion years ago, Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 450 feet (137 meters) deep. More likely, the water would have formed an ocean occupying almost half of Mars’ northern hemisphere, in some regions reaching depths greater than a mile (1.6 kilometers)."


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