Be very afraid!
Lewis Page assured me that this is much more dangerous than melted-down fission power reactor cores!
NASA has tossed its coin into the “shrinking Arctice sea ice” kitty with images showing that on August 26, “sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements”. Noting that the 2012 melt season could still have weeks to run, the NASA measurements compare the August 26 …
No doubt there's been a thinning of the ice in the last 30 years, and in 2007 a severe storm contributed significantly to the then record low. I believe that there was another such storm this year. Secondly, I understand that there's a problem with 'soot' which is having a significant effect on Arctic melting. So it may not be *all* be caused by temperature rise due to CO2...
The ice in Greenland had large and unexpected (by the media) melt that's supposed to be part of a 150 year cycle. *If* that's the case, has this also contributed to this years Arctic sea ice melt?
Finally, if the current problems in the Arctic *are* almost entirely due to man made CO2, then we're well and truly fucked, because there's no chance that CO2 levels are going to do anything other than increase for at least the next 30 years....
"Trade via the North East passage is likely to increase and lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions "
Only if trade overall doesn't increase because of the now shorter journey times.
"OTOH the soot from ship's diesel causes merry hell with Arctic ice."
CO2 aside, its about time there were some international laws drawn up about ship emissions as currently ships can burn the worst low grade fuel oil and pump yellow brown poisonous shit into the sky and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I don't understand why aircraft emissions can be regulated by ship emissions for some reason can't.
A stats team from Reading have just published work on human versus natural contributions to Arctic melting. They estimate 30% of melting is down to long term natural cycles in the Arctic, 70% from human emissions. Summary, video and links to the article here:
There are scientists that'll disagree with the attribution to GHGs, they maintain that a significant portion of melt is caused by 'soot' emissions. I can remember seeing photos of melt pools where the bottom of the pool was black from the soot in the melt, but can't find a link to post...
See this paper from Pielke Snr/Liston: http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/another-climate-feedback-the-influence-of-shrub-height-in-tundra-regions-on-northern-high-latitude-climate/ Ok, shrubs aren't the issue here, but the paper quantifies the effects of soot on snow/ice melting.
Lewis Pages is controlling ice melt.
No impact of CO2 or mankind activities (Lewis Page is god).
Nasa is a nice band of marketing teenager that never understood engineering.
And, proof above all, Curiosity has found positive temperatures on Mars, although there is no mankind activities there.
Sorry for polluting this topic.
Arctic ice melting is something to watch, sure, but what about Greenland's ice cap? Let its ice warm a bit and slide off into the Atlantic & it's goodbye Gulfstream. England will become roughly equal to Northern Canada.
In China, in their Northern region, there's a city called Ha'erbin (Harbin). In winter, it gets down to -30 degrees or worse. And it's further south than the UK...
"I agree that were the Gulfstream to switch off it would have a huge impact on our climate but it wouldn't stop the UK being an island."
Only if the English Channel and the North Sea didn't freeze over, which would be a likely outcome of "a huge impact".
"Let its ice warm a bit and slide off into the Atlantic & it's goodbye Gulfstream. England will become roughly equal to Northern Canada."
Thus accumulating all the ice that was lost!.
I cant see how people can't see that a long time-delayed negative feedback path - ice melt /gulf stream stops/ arctic gets much colder/ ice forms... is not an entirely natural event that will, from time to time, cause massive fluctuations in northern climates and ice extents.
"...Discussing the data, Joey Comiso at Goddard says the Arctice temperatures this summer are cooler than when the 2007 record was set..."
The variation in Arctic ice is often taken as a proxy for 'Global Warming'. The belief is that increases in CO2 concentration increase the air temperature by various mechanisms.
If Arctic ice is shrinking, but the air temperature is actually cooler, this indicates that whatever is causing the ice extent to shrink, it's not air temperature, and hence CO2 concentration. My understanding is that sea ice, like that in the Arctic, is influenced strongly by warm ocean currents and storm winds packing it into a smaller area.
Actually the extent of summer ice has decreased by more than 75% over the last 33 years (see eg. http://jcmooreonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Arctic-Ice-Volume2.jpg). If this trend continues there will be no ice in the summer by about 2025.
Note submarines can punch through several metres thick ice, so a submarine surfacing is nothing special. Obviously they'd prefer to surface through cracks in the ice whenever possible.
The water cycle (rain) is the carbon dump, takes the CO2 out the atmosphere the quickest and puts it in the sea. So it is slowly becoming carbonic acid, very slight acidity which will infect and kill most life that can't adapt over the coming years.
As the biggest source of O2 on this planet is sea algae, and not the amazon rain forest. We are all f00ked if that algae can't adapt to save us.
It is a 30% increase in acidity indeed as the pH is a logarithmic scale. The pH change is most definitely relevant as it proves huge amounts of CO2 are being absorbed from the atmosphere (around 50% of all CO2 ends up in the oceans). Also organisms may not be able to adapt to large pH changes: human blood levels are regulated to be within a 0.1 range, go outside that and you get ill, about 0.4 over the limit and you're dead.
So yes, it's a significant change and it matters to all ocean life.
the oceans contain over 50 TIMES as much CO2 as the atmosphere - that is therefore a maximum of 2% increase IF AND ONLY IF the oceans absorbed ALL the atmospheric CO2. If they did that we'd all be dead (we need CO2 to breathe; plants need CO2 to photo synthesize).
Also - it is always worth remembering that as water warms it gases off dissolved CO2; yup thats right; warm water contains less CO2 then cold water. mmm; one wonders if the theoretical 800 year LAG between temperature and CO2 is caused by the out-gassing; and that part of the increase we see now in atmospheric CO2 is due to the global Middle Ages Warm period ?
Wrong, we don't need CO2 to breathe. In fact too much CO2 kills you even if there is more than enough oxygen in the air. And the oceans can't absorb all CO2 as they are in equilibrium with the atmosphere.
Still trying to deny that burning oil causes an increase CO2? As CO2 concentration rises, oceans will heat up, thus absorbing less of the CO2 we are emitting and thus atmospheric CO2 will rise even faster.
In addition to the cold temperatures, other factors make Vostok one of the most difficult places on Earth for human habitation:
*An almost complete lack of moisture in the air.
*An average windspeed of 5 m/s (18 km/h), sometimes rising to as high as 27 m/s (97 km/h).
*An acute lack of oxygen because of the high 3,488-meter (11,444 ft) altitude. Accounting for the fact that oxygen density gets lower as one approaches the poles, it is estimated that the oxygen density at Vostok is equivalent to that of a mountain over 5,000 meters (16,400 ft) tall at more temperate latitudes.
*A higher ionization of the air.
*A partial pressure of gases that is different from that which most humans are used to.
*A lack of carbon dioxide in the air, which leads to irregularities in a person's breathing mechanism.
*A polar night that lasts three months of the year.
Note this bit
*A lack of carbon dioxide in the air, which leads to irregularities in a person's breathing mechanism.
with reports of people waking up 'not breathing' due to the low CO2 partial pressure.
and then go here : http://www.ivhhn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84
(% in air)
2-3 Unnoticed at rest, but on exertion there may be marked shortness of breath
3 Breathing becomes noticeably deeper and more frequent at rest
3-5 Breathing rhythm accelerates. Repeated exposure provokes headaches
5 Breathing becomes extremely laboured, headaches, sweating and bounding pulse
7.5 Rapid breathing, increased heart rate, headaches, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscular weakness, loss of mental abilities, drowsiness, and ringing in the ears
Note that it isn't until 7.5 parts per hundred (not PARTS PER MILLION) that we see 'loss of mental abilities.
At 2 to 3 PARTS PER HUNDRED the effects of extremely high CO2 concentration is not even noticed.
390 parts per million 390/1000000 as against 2/100 or 20000 parts per million ( I don't think I've dropped an extra zero here - check it yourself) and you can work out how many times that is larger....
You really want to worry about 390 ppm when we don't have any problems until we get 20000 ppm ????
What on earth are you on about quote you :
Still trying to deny that burning oil causes an increase CO2?
NO. what an stupid comment - I have NEVER denied burning oil or coal or methane or ethane etc etc doesn't give of CO2. I suppose you are one of those people who keep telling me I deny the climate changes ? Well; I have news for you; the climate has ALWAYS changed. ALWAYS
So - how much CO2 is given of by the earth's non-human reactions ? And how much is added by the human use of burning things ? Given we do not even know how much CO2 is given off by sub-sea volcanic action - except it can be estimated in Giga tons per annum
Amongst other important thing PLANTS STOP PHOTO SYNTHESIZING below about 150 ppm CO2; and plants do really really well at 5000ppm. Why have plants evolved to bloom in 'high' CO2 concentrations ? Why do commercial green house gardeners run their green houses with >1000ppm of CO2 -- because plants are better adapted to high levels of CO2
This post has been deleted by its author
No, it is NOT "...just another way of saying more acidic"
Neutral (7) is the tipping point between acid/alkaline - not quite but essentially a binary state change.
Things are essentially either/or, not both. So something becomes acid at any value below 7 (my statement was not precise before) and becomes alkaline at values above 7.
So the possible statements about state changes at different pH levels are
pH < 7 => increasing/decreasing acidity
pH = 7 => neutral
pH >7 => increasing/decreasing alkalinity
An alkaline substance does not increase in acidity. That is nonsense.
It is just a way of saying something in a manner to scare people, because Joe Average understands "acidic" as dangerous. Alkaline is also dangerous, but Joe Average is not as likely aware of it.
You can invent your own terminology if you want to but there is nothing wrong in saying that an alkaline substance that moves towards pH 7 is becoming more acidic. It is similar to saying that -2 is more positive than -3. Look up the definition of pH if you don't believe me.
But anyway, you are missing the point, as amply illustrated by your last sentence:
"It is just a way of saying something in a manner to scare people, because Joe Average understands "acidic" as dangerous. Alkaline is also dangerous, but Joe Average is not as likely aware of it."
You can argue about terminology all day but it is the change in pH that is the important thing. No one is using the term acidic in this context to imply 'dangerous' as in something that would burn you. The danger is in the degree of change and the implications it has for the eco system.
It happens to be winter overthere, big surprise. Overall Antartic sea ice has been steady, not growing, not receding. Quite unlike the arctic where sea ice loss is dramatic. Only a few weeks ago predictions that the arctic will be ice free in the summer within this decade were ridiculed by Lewis, but now it looks like we're well on our way to achieve exactly that...
The Satellite's in question don't work that well measuring broken up ice due to the storm, the ice is always thinner in Summer and it is only a 30 year record.
This big headline story is the equivelent of claiming that the recent flooding in Yorkshire was caused by rising sea levels and you would have to be a conspiracy nut to make any connection to the North Atlantic jet stream and rainfall.
The satellite does accurately measure ice coverage, even for broken up ice. No accurate measurements exist before 1979, so no surprise it "is only a 30 year record"... But the fact that ice coverage has been declining fast since the measurements started is telling. This year only 25% of the ice that existed in 1979 is left, and it is declining on a yearly basis.
so how do we now that this is abnormal ?
We now that there has been trade around the Arctic BY SEA for all of recorded history; some times it is easier - other times harder.
We do know that in the past both Poles have been entirely ice free (Hot House Earth conditions)
We do know that the current interglacial has lasted longer than average.
We also know previous interglacial have been warmer.
So let's think about this : We have absolutely NO IDEA if the apparently cyclic coverage of the poles is natural or not.. We have no indications that the climate is particularly unstable in the warm direction from an interglacial
We have all of history (the planet's history; not the brief insignificant period of H Sap's presence) telling us that the climate WILL almost certainly become very much colder in the near future.
Apart from lots of very bad models (which apparently only do projections NOT predictions) why is anyone in the least concerned ?
Increasing CO2 causes warming. The climate appears (historically) to be bistable and unlikely to be approaching a tripping point caused by CO2 when CO2 is at an historic LOW (if you doubt this; then please explain why plants evolved such that they appear to be CO2 bound until the concentration exceeds 1000ppm - in other words C3 photosynthesis evolved during a very much richer CO2 period than the present paltry 380 ppm)
The climate changes - long live change !
In the past the Earth used to be a barren place of molten rock with pure acid as rain. So what? The climate has been different in the past and will be different in the future. However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years, and humankind is very dependent on this very stable climate. So it is in our interest to keep it stable rather than doing an unprecedented experiment with CO2 concentration. Long live change = many millions of people drowning, starving, fighting over scarce resources.
However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years
Roman Warm Period
Middle Ages Warm Period
Little Ice Age
We are in an INTREGLACIAL - and a not very warm one. The last ice age almost killed us off; the last warm period caused us to thrive
Stable climate my backside. The climate is probably Bistable - Hot House (NO ice at the poles) and Ice House (Ice present at one or both poles). We are still (that is STILL) in ICE HOUSE earth. Albeit in an INTERGLACIAL. An interglacial that is already over average length; so we are due (over due) to descend into another glacial period. This interglacial is not as warm as the last one by the way. Ice House Earth may be bistable - Glacial and inter glacial. With most time spent in the Glacial phase. Guess what - glacial is way way way worse for bio-diversity and humans than interglacial are.
Drowning - from a sea level rise that is slowing down - currently at mm per decade ? If you are in the UK - go to Barrow in Furness; East Side (Morecambe Bay side) - go to the shore - its about 1 foot above high water - its been that way since Roman times. If sea level rise was as large as claimed; why is Rampside not flooded ?
Read up on graves in Greenland. Farms exposed by 'retreating' glaciers in Switzerland; what the tundra permafrost hides in the way of dead plants; then explain how that all happened if it wasn't globally warmer in the recent past.
You need to get some time line perspective too; a few THOUSAND years ? - not even visible on the timeline of O2 rich Earth.
If we stop the production of cheap energy; how do you plan to keep the world fed ? Any idea how much food we could produce and get to the consumers if we cut back even 20% never mind 80% of CHEAP RELIABLE EFFICIENT energy generation ? Scarce FOOD resources due to lack of : Fertilizers; mechanised farming; chilling and freezing plants; cheap DISTRIBUTION (any idea how much food is needed by London ? check it out; work out how to get that into the metropolitan centres without MODERN CHEAP ENERGY dependant utilities). Go on - do the maths; work it out; find out how much food the UK imports. What sort of harvests are produced by 'organic' farming compared with commercial farming; then explain how you plan to feed the world.
There has NEVER been a stable climate.
We are in a CO2 starved period of the earth's long O2 rich history (again; explain why plants are evolved for a far higher CO2 concentration than is presently available). Look up C3 and C4 photosynthesis and why C4 is believed to be a RECENT adaptation to LOW CO2 concentrations.
We ( the whole biosphere) do far better in WARM periods than in cold (compare the abundance of species in the tropics compared to the comparative LACK of diversity in the Polar regions).
"However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years
Roman Warm Period
Middle Ages Warm Period
Little Ice Age"
Not tosh at all. Those changes were less than 1 degree C. The holocene has been remarkably stable. Human agriculture and civilization has only existed during a very stable period in climate.
According to this study the extra heat in the Arctic can create colder winters in North America and Northern Europe. An accumulation of high pressure forces colder air southwards and makes the jet stream meander more. Anyone remember the winter of 2010?
I wonder what this coming winter will be like.
For the last 1400 years summer ice levels have never before dropped below 8 million square km (Kinnard et al, 2011) and now, in the last 30 years they have dropped below 5 million. So, what's this natural process that has just occurred in recent times then?
Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years
Christophe Kinnard, Christian M. Zdanowicz, David A. Fisher, Elisabeth Isaksson, Anne de Vernal & Lonnie G. Thompson
Nature 479, 509–512 (24 November 2011)
or googling "Kinnard arctic" gives it as the top hit.
that the real issue with Arctic sea ice melt is how it is affecting the ecosystem. Polar bears and seals use sea ice. Without it, numbers are decreasing. Eskimos use it, but are now finding that their villages are perilously close to the edge, forcing them to move back at great cost, monetarily, culturally, etc. This is not speculation or fear mongering. It is happening now. Even the Republican Governor of Alaska expresses concern.
and graves that have been dug in normal soil are buried in permafrost in Greenland --> which implies that Greenland used to be warmer than it is now. Back around the Middle Ages Warm Period. I wonder how the Vikings managed to dig graves in permafrost - did they use space heaters to warm it up ?
The Tundra contains much plant material that is currently frozen in the permafrost. For those plants to have grown and thrived as they did; then the currently frozen tundra must have NOT been frozen.
Well the furry seal-slashing buggers can't just keep swimming now can they? Who wants PBs showing up in Seattle to eat chem-tainted salmon best left for $900/day guided fishermen! What else? Can we build 50,000 sq miles of ACed styrofoamed floating Las Vegas for the toothy carnivores?
So I say do 'em a favor ... don't fake 'em -- bake 'em! And the local (human) Florida babes will look great in fluffy white polar-bear-hide bikinis come winter.
While I agree with your point in general, I have to observe that it might warrant concern that sea rise has been accelerating in the past 20 years and weather variability appears to have increased as well. So while looking at the Earths climate over decades seems silly based on the overall age of the Earth - we humans who define our lives over the span of just a few decades might actually want draw a few conclusions....
Based on that logic and your statement "Climate Scientists do not draw conclusions using a dataset measured in decades," we could never take any action on anything climate related unless a 100 to 200 year trend was indicated. That position is demonstrably false - e.g.: CFCs and Ozone depletion.
which would then lead to the question :
Since Arctic ice is FLOATING then if it melts; will that result in Sea Level Rise ? NO
Nor is the Greenland Ice cap melting at a worrying rate; it has been here done this before. And at current rate of 'melting' it will take THOUSANDS of years to disappear. Not that it hasn't happened in the past either .
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020