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Martin Gisser
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The wikipedia image with calving fronts needs some serious update since a few years.
Al, hmm don't take me too seriously. It's late and I'm overworked. Just a quick speculation: The melt rate could be 1) proportional to what has already gone: e.g. 1.1) proportional to the height of the ice sheet (the lower the warmer) 1.2) proportional to albedo (more ice gone, more dark debris left at surface) 1.3) proportional to the distance the ice has to flow to reach the calving front. This would hint at the differential equation of the exponential curve. -- If the melt rate were just proportional to a linearly rising ambient temperature we would get a quadratic curve. But 2) I don't think temp would continue rising just linearly: It would accelerate due to e.g. 2.1) sea ice loss 2.2) polar cell dissolution. That would give a cubic curve at least, which might be approximated by the exponential. Third, as this is all just guesswork I would apply Occam's razor and take the simplest nonlinear curve, which is for my taste the exponential.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2014 on PIOMAS March 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Al, there's not enough data yet to read off an exponential shape of the curve. It's just that nonlinear decay is more plausible than linear due to several amplifying feedbacks. And if you do nonlinear, exponential would be the natural choice. A doubling time of 10y would be a conservative estimate supported by current data. And voila, 4m SLR by 2100. Apropos doubling time: Only 5 years back Gavin Schmidt refused to think about more than 1m by 2100. Shifting baseline.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2014 on PIOMAS March 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Mdoliner, on the contrary: The time for taking this problem seriously is just beginning. It is THE challenge to our species: Will we end up as a pitiable as well as cruel accident in the evolution of planetary life, or will we manage to integrate into the global ecosystem and become a constructive element of nature's matrix? Daunting as it may seem, this challenge makes things so easy: It is handing us a purely emprical bio-logical moral compass for the rest of this century. You can now happily forget about all sophisticated moral philosophy, for it all boils down to the simple precept: Find a carbon negative way of life. Luckily there is a way: Char coal based agriculture. (If you happen to be a financial/economic doomer, here's another simple solution dictated by the carbon cycle: Forget fiat currency and gold, use wet char coal as a basis of currency. (The wetness is a simple means to ensure the biological and physical worth of the char coal as a soil amendment.)) So, in this lucky age, all we need to do is make serious contact with the outside world (outside individual or group ego) and our major problems could be solved straightforwardly.
Bob, Steve - a discovery of yet another methanogenic bacterium isn't particularly worrisome. (If you want to worry, don't forget to also worry about bacterial nitrous oxide emissions...) 90% of soil bacterial life is still unexplored (forget about the cosmos, dear Homo Sapiens, the soil below your feet is way more complex, plus, it is relevant...). In aerobic conditions the methanogens will quickly be joined by methanotrophs who have the easy and lucrative job of oxidizing any methane. The question is: how wet and soggy will the molten permafrost be at the end: To much water drowns methanotrophs. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21130-thawing-microbes-could-control-the-climate.html
Me also almost was thinking to thank Neven for the scare quotes. But then it occured to me as somehow insulting. Thanking Neven for being seriously professional and stating the obvious in sufficient detail (scare quotes suffice). Well, now with that paper it is muuuuuuuch easier to see the obvious. Still even now this ugly embodiment of human silliness is floating around the Internets: "hiatus" typed without scare quotes!. Actually, the whole situation is/was exceedingly insulting. All those serious people, some scientists even, talking hiatus - without ever caring to eyeball the f*n data. (I already had enough of that 2 years back with Vahrenholt's nonsense campaign. Yes, methinks such active innumeracy is a deeply worrisome psychopathic feature in the discourse of that omphaloskeptic ostrich, Homo S "Sapiens".) For all those who said hiatus I propose the following punishment: Get a big sheet of paper and make a dunce's hat for yourself. Write "hiatus" on it. Then click the standard evidence, the updated (or not) Fig. 1A in Hansen et al. (2006). Print that out 10, 50, or 100 times (depending on your scientific eminence). Now, get a pencil and a transparent ruler. Turn each print at random (this will optimize your statistics), find 1970 and find and draw a straight trend line. (Try to not get distracted by that red 5y average line: Thinking about it may risk your mental health.) With each sheet have a moment of silent meditation, fathoming the fluctuations. Then measure the trend line slopes and use e.g. Excel to calculate their mean and standard deviation. Compare with recent scientific literature.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2013 on The 'hiatus' and the Arctic at Arctic Sea Ice
P.S. See also http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming
I've almost managed to give my cents on the tired old "hiatus" B.S. (=Bad Science) that came up last thread. Now here they are. It also makes the "stadium wave" thing irrelevant (can be cut away by Occam's razor). First, from a purely data-driven viewpoint there is no (surface temp) warming hiatus, and neither is there not no hiatus. Both is complete bunk statistics, which any amateur can see by eyeballing the data and drawing a straight trend line from 1970-present (or holding a piece of transparent paper to the screen). If you havent looked yet, DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW. Try e.g. the pictures here: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/double-standard/ See the noise around the line? Second, from the model-driven viewpoint there's the unsurprising problem of models not exactly matching the (surface) temp data. That's because theres natural variation. E.g. it has been known since ever that El Nino is difficult and very likely impossible to model, because it is sort of a stochastic resonce thingy (cf. e.g. John Baez' TWF307-8 http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/this-weeks-finds-week-308/ ). Now, recently it has been shown that this is the cause of the "hiatus" (from the model perspective) 1) by letting models "predict" past climate with temperatures forced from surface temp data of the ENSO-relevant patch of the Pacific (Kosaka, Y. & Xie, S.-P. Nature 2013) and 2) from measurements of deep ocean heat content. In short, if the models "knew" about ENSO in detail (not only its long-term statistics) then they fit measured surface temp data almost perfectly, and there's no model-hiatus either.
NJSF: trying to figure out the BTU Heat energy being released everyday into the atmosphere by mankind Forget it. It is negligible: The added GHG make for 20x more than all energy use by mankind, or: 400000 Hiroshima bombs per day. (Watch http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html 7:50)
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2013 on Pinpointing the minimum at Arctic Sea Ice
Watkins, there was this spectacular fracturing event in spring (meanwhile storied in early c21st art history as Narcissus' mirror cracked from side to side). I guess the cracks went from young FYI well into the old MYI. That's what you see. We are lucky the weather was bad this summer. (Still, the state of the minimum ice seems to become something unseen. Do the numbers make any sense this year?)
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2013 on Hole at Arctic Sea Ice
What I also find extremely intersting is the complex system / Gaian perspective. We seem to witness a critical transition. And there isn't even any biology involved: No need for elaborate ecosystem fieldwork - just watch and doubt the sensor and model data.
CC, those bedrock maps aren't detailed enough. Are there channels from the sea to the interior? E.g. below Peterman glacier: The wikipedia map suggests there might be something (interpolate possible errors). But I've also seen something (forgot link) that suggests a barrier not far behind the terminus. Similarly for Jakobshavn. Meanwhile I strongly suspect these questions are still open.
3.6 +/-0.8 Up quite a bit from my last guess. Pure guesswork from holding a piece of paper to the latest NSIDC extent graph and remembering the February/March fracturing: The current slope will quite probably continue into August and catch up with 2012. Methinks more than guesswork is a waste of brain.
Looking at the NSIDC extent graph (instead of Hans' link) I see a good chance that 2013 can catch up: July heads straight down. Extend this line and you get down to 2012.
Australia 1970 ~ Judith Wright ~ Die, wild country, like the eaglehawk, dangerous till the last breath’s gone, clawing and striking. Die cursing your captor through a raging eye. Die like the tigersnake that hisses such pure hatred from its pain as fills the killer’s dreams with fear like suicide’s invading stain. Suffer, wild country, like the ironwood that gaps the dozer-blade. I see your living soil ebb with the tree to naked poverty. Die like the soldier-ant mindless and faithful to your million years. Though we corrupt you with our torturing mind. stay obstinate; stay blind. For we are conquerors and self-poisoners more than scorpion or snake and dying of the venoms that we make even while you die of us. I praise the scoring drought, the flying dust, the drying creek, the furious animal, that they oppose us still; that we are ruined by the thing we kill.
I'm no longer sure that The Melt, superstorms like Sandy, gigantic forest fires, gigantic deluges, and even large agricultural failures will be of any help. 1) Rising food prices will not be felt significantly in rich nations. You have to look e.g. at Egypt for this, but the hunger riots are interpreted as being political. 2) Conservatives love Palmström logics: "And he comes to the conclusion: His mishap was an illusion, for, he reasons pointedly, that which must not, can not be." 3) Alas http://www.climatedenial.org/ is offline. A recent post there tells how catastrophes don't change U.S. public perception much. 4) The recent deluge in India was prominently blamed by environmentalists on "land use change". Just look at the amazing Kedarnath debris flow and see that this is wrong. 5) Last but not least, most people tend to get used to catastrophes. They develop a variant of Stockholm syndrome and develop ever more psychopathic symptoms of denial. Examples: U.S. conservatives' love of coal mining perversities and fracking. -- Oh, Canada. -- From my personal experience: It still hasn't rained enough here in Bavaria (recent 500y deluge). My mom still thinks immigrants are a more important issue.
Rob Dekker, the annual cycle is due to reactions with hydroxyl radicals, which is the dominant methane sink: The hydroxyl radical is produced in the atmosphere by sunlight, which explains the cycle. Hydroxyl eats methane in a complicated network of reactions ending in CO2 and H2O. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane#Removal_processes
2.0 +/-0.7 Based on eyeballing fuzzy curves plus remembering the crack scare. More math won't help, methinks. Eyballing the NSIDC graph I would expect 2.7. But 1) there's the nosedive of >2m thick ice (cf. Dosbat). 2) The fracturing earlier this year with cracks extending into MYI suggests that ice dynamics is now dominated by FYI, so I guess MYI will crumble like never before, ripped apart by cracks entering from thinner ice. 3) Wipneus' exponential trend of PIOMAS thickness gives 0 for 2015. Quadratic trend gives 2017, which methinks is a more plausible curve than exp. Looks like my 2.1 guesstimate is around the way down to there. (I'm oscillation between sensing 2.0 as too radical and too conservative. So I hit the Post button now.)
On economic growth Michael Tobis just said it on planet3.org: The steady state economy would be achievable except for the deep-seated integration of “growth” into how we manage our “finances”. The problem is compound interest. It seems to be inherent to financial management that the phenomenon of interest arises. But I can't say I understand that. There's an interesting 1200p. German book by Karl-Heinz Brodbeck that claims to have solved the enigma of interest: It arises because "nobody" knows where the additional money is made (e.g. in the darkness of Congo c19/20th, e.g. by taxing the future with negative externalities, ...)
Toggle Commented May 3, 2013 on Climate disclaimer at Arctic Sea Ice
Seconding JFL - except I don't know how to donate (and refuse Paypal). I know Neven in real life has to work very hard to earn some money, and has a family to feed. He is a serious c21st hero. This blog is not the luxury of some rich guy with lots of spare time.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2013 on 2012/2013 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
Greening the Taklamakan! I just had the same obvious, not weird thought. There's the usual caveat: It might be easier said than done. (Hmm, it might be easier done than Sahara or Australian outback: The Kunlun Shan mountains might be a good source of irrigation water.) Anyhow, afforestation is one of the few serious geoengineering options. This one even with beneficial social side effects (cf. Wangari Maathai).
Mike, biochar prodcution releases energy - energy that photosynthesis had stored when the plant was growing. The resulting char does not rot, thus fixates some carbon - at least for a few centuries. (Proof: Look at pre-Columbian Amazonian Terra Preta soil.) Otherwise the plant would rot and release essentially all its carbon back into the great carbon cycle (as CO2 if not methane). In North America there's a huge resource for biochar production: Forests killed by bark beetle and/or drought. Not making biochar from this amounts to a continuation of grotesque stupidity (hence to be expected...). I've done a little experiment and math: Here in Germany, in winter 2011, the "fossil fools cost" of one metric ton of perfect gardening biochar made from wood pellets was -343€/t (incl. VAT). In U.S.$ (VAT substracted, 1.36€/$) -378$/t. Yes: minus. That is, if compared with the cost of home heating oil and 25% energy left unburned in the char. Meanwhile biochar (Terra Preta) got quite fashionable amoungst German nonstupid farmers. Problem is, where to get the char from. There is one large producer, Carbon Terra who charges +700€/t -- which according to my maths is grotesque. Plus, they don't actually use the energy (in theory it could be used). It's mostly from processing Romanian forestry "waste". At least their system produces clean biochar: no dioxins, no PAH. It seems easy to switch wood pellet home heating systems to produce some biochar. (I'm actually trying to get such a machine constructed. Alas, engineers aren't much interested in this stuff.) One essential caveat: Don't put fresh char into soil. That would suck up soil nutrients in the first years. The char needs to be preloaded with nutrients, e.g. soaked in CAFO cesspools (or e.g. human urine, as I do it). And don't mix more than 20% vol. into soil - good biochar has an immense water holding capacity, too much of it risks root rot. And of course with too much char the soil could be used for burning. (The suicidal Greenland Norse did that even with pure soil).
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2013 on PIOMAS April 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
If this ultra-negative AO is a taste of what happened in 2010... I don't even want to think about that. Why not? Whammies like in 2010 are alas necessary to wake up folks. The sooner and harder they come, the better. Lets hope that this turn more of the less innocent get hit: Please, not another baking and flushing of Pakistan this time, but what about another Sandy, with a nice flushing of Wall Street? And certainly the environmental and scientific North Korea, i.e. Canada, desperately needs a little blow on the head. I suggest, dear Mother Earth, to turn the vast swaths of bark beetle killed forests into the fires of 2013 (that would sequester a little carbon in form of char - human technologists are to stupid for that). Also me cynic thinks it necessary to hit the Middle East with more drought plus global grain supply shortages: It is time for folks to learn to cope with such things in peaceful collaboration (plus, dear Gaza maternity clinic chef, by Allah, you don't need millions more babies). Peace or perish. And lots of perishing of overshot population is already in the pipeline, this century. I want to keep a tiny spark of optimism regarding our dismal species. Perhaps Late Homo S Sapiens can indeed learn, and not end up as a monstrous accident of evolution. But for that we need more and harder 2010s, and soon.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 6 at Arctic Sea Ice
A-Team, thanks for looking into diatoms and all. Arctic phytoplankton gave me a little "positive" perspective on sea ice melt. Perhaps one day The Blog will feature beautiful images of Acrtic phytoplankton blooms? The nutrients would come from melting permafrost (according to my humble theory). I'm no biologist, but general Gaian/entropic reasoning would suggest something to come and use these nutrients. I guess there would also be free-floating singular diatoms, unlike the current Melosira colonies. So you think the carbon sequestration would be tiny, if any? The echinoderms produce calcium carbonate in their mesoderm, so is "safe" to some extent against ocean acidification (being covered by skin). The question is, what happens further down the road: How quick will the calcium carbonate be buried in sediment? (BTW, Diatoms are extremely beautiful stuff: Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur has a plate. Another German, J.D. Möller, made stunning microscopic artwork of them.)
On the German SPIEGEL Online article. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/stillstand-der-temperatur-erklaerungen-fuer-pause-der-klimaerwaermung-a-877941.html First I thought it's not too bad for a journalist without any idea of statistiks and science (e.g. 14 years of "no warming" OK, but after 15 years we need to revisit the models). And who of them journalists cares about technical details? Who would have noted the escalator graph http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47 What goddam professional journalist would have noted the graph of Foster and Rahmstorf 2011 http://www.skepticalscience.com/16_more_years_of_global_warming.html ?! At least no quote of Lindzen, Monckton, etc. Oops. And then I checked the author's credentials. He's not yet demented (b1971) and actually has a degree in geology... Anyhow, what to expect of the SPIEGEL? I had cancelled my subscription some years back out of disgust over yet another botched climate article (a few were actually good). Or was it yet another Lomborg interview. Anyhow, German journalism can be worse: http://florifulgurator.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/liars/
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2013 on 2013 Open thread #1 at Arctic Sea Ice