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Vid, on the cycle thing. There have now been two events on a 5 year cadence. Sudden massive melt, followed by a two year re-growth in ice before it starts to drop back into another large melt. Followed by two more years of re-growth. If this is a cycle we'll need to wait till 2022 to see it fully through. However we'll get the first indication in 2017. Anyone want to bet it won't be a huge melt season right now??? Obviously we'll have to see how the spring melt goes before having a better view, but, if you subscribe to the model, then it would be easy to predict that 2016 was not going to break any minima records and that 2017 would. We shall see. Now I know that people believe that two events do not make a pattern. Sure, absolutely. But my contention is this. Our record, on satellite, on ships and on sediment cores, does not allow for the events of 2007 and 2012. They stand out and stand alone. So what if the events which have created them have also set up a repeating 5 year cycle? How would you know? There would be no precedent, no record and no way of verifying that this is what is. No model could predict it and no model has. What is much more interesting to me is the circumstances of the events. Which lead me to believe there is a cycle in play now which was not there before. In 2008/9 we entered the lowest solar minimum that we have seen in 100 years. It went on for so long with solar flux so low and sunspots completely missing that people started to ask "what if it's a Maunder Minimum?" In this scenario with a portion of our solar heat budget missing, it is no surprise that we had two years of increased ice after the 2007 melt back. BUT. Here is the real kicker. 2012, on the rise of a new solar cycle (24), beats all records. Followed by a regrowth of ice in 2013/14. But 2013/14 were at the very Top of solar cycle 24 with maximum solar flares for the cycle and maximum solar flux. Clearly solar our heat budget was higher than 2008 and in fact 2012, so why would we see a sudden growth in ice? Of course the growth was less than 2008/09, as you might expect with more heat. So now we're heading into 2017 and more uncharted waters. What will the year bring? Another 2007 "perfect storm"? Another huge melt back coming close to the black swan event we are all anticipating and, at the same time, not very comfortable about reaching? Then what in 2018? That is the question. Then, if we see ice re-growth, at the bottom of the solar cycle, greater than 2013/14 but less than 2008/9, do we accept there is a cycle in play here? Or do we have to go round a few more before we can say that 2005/6/7 ushered in a step change which has fundamentally changed the way the arctic ice responds to heat and weather? Sadly I will have a long wait. I have to wait till 2022 to see if my observation is borne out in fact. But I've been doing this for more than 20 years now, what's another 5 or so?
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
"What is the rate of increase?" As we only do sporadic monitoring of the actual releases, by ship survey and not every year, that is a hard one to answer and, probably, harder to model. What we do know from the surveys The water circulating the 50m continental shelf layer is exiting the Arctic warmer than at any time we have observed before There are one hell of a lot of clathrates in that 50m layer as well as huge deposits of methane which are bubbling up through the sediment there. Every time they send a ship there, we find more and more methane locally escaping from the sea. Can we extrapolate it to a model? I don't think so because the ice cores don't really tell us the year by year mechanics of it. I guess we'd have to drive bore holes into the ground to measure the pressure in the methane layer. But that could cause even more issues. We could put more temp sensors on the sea bed by the clathrates to measure the temp of the water flowing over the shelf. We could even place tethered buoys around the shelf with gas analysers on them. However given that funding for monitoring is difficult even for ice tethered buoys, I'm guessing that funding for something this critical is likely to be in the "unobtanium" class. So all we're likely to know is "faster than we think" till it hits us over the head like a sap. As for the temp rise? Remember 97/98? I do, clearly. I also remember the temp falls in 99-03. Then it gradually worked it way up till that massive peak in 97/98 became the norm. Say 16 years. I guess the 2015/16 peak will be overcome somewhat faster than the 97/98 peak because there is so much more CO2 and CH4 up there. Until then we'll have to deal with idiots like Rose going on about "No rise in temperature for x years" until the silence when those 15/16 Nino temps become the norm. Rose is like the frog in the pot of cold water brought up to boil. Sadly, for the human race, some day we're going to wake up and find climate change is like a frog in a liquidiser and no way to put it back together again.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Vid, if you subscribe to the 5 year cycle like Hans and I do, your model gets a 2 year kicking every 5 years. Still I'm expecting the back swan event in 2022 unless later this winter the ice just does not grow. That would push any 365 event back into the late 30's or early 40's given the retarding effect of the two regrowth years. CO2e though is nearly at 500 already and we have to factor in the e because we are pushing out gasses that nature does not, normally. For me local CH4 in the Arctic is a game changer in the short term. In the short term because the e gases tend to be much shorter lived than CO2
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on PIOMAS December 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Robert, whilst I do not deny that any reduction is a good reduction, my problem is that we, humans, organise into societies so that we can solve the problems which each person, or small community, cannot solve on it's own. Food, Security, Defence, Technology. The list is long. However the point is this. We give up our personal freedoms and a portion of our income to gain these benefits. So when a global catastrophe comes along which the individual cannot do anything about, because the technology s/he uses on a day to day basis only makes the issue worse, where is the government in which we have invested this power? Giving us low power light bulbs. Yeah, right! Glenn. There is a time when I might have gone with what you say. So answer me this. From the end of 2013 we, humans, finally reached a peak in our CO2 emissions. They have not dropped but they have stopped growing. So why did 2015 see a huge jump in CO2 ppm rise to 2.9 and why will 2016 see something more like 3.2 or 3.3? Yes there was a HUGE Nino, but at the same time our emissions growth stopped. Next year will tell. The Nino is gone. If CO2 ppm continues to grow, year on year, then we know it's already too late and the planet has taken over where we left off. Even then, what it would take to get us even to a level where we are no longer adding into the system will take so long that we'll already be at 450ppm or more. 450 is considered to be the gateway to self sustaining warming. If we even drop to an increase of 2.2ppm growth p.a. until 2050, we will see nearly 480ppm. If it remains at 3ppm (remember we only stopped, we have not reduced), then we breach 500ppm by 2050 alone. I see absolutely nothing to encourage about the situation in terms of "getting the ice back". This is all in a scenario where the Ocean absorbs fully 50% of the CO2 we produce. If that were to break down then we'll see 600ppm long before we are in a position to even being to rectify it. Yep, light bulbs. That'll do it... The entire Sahara and all of inland Australia, watered by Nuclear and solar desalination and planted with trees, would only put a dent in it. Of course, then we might overshoot, in a hundred years or so, into an ice age.... Light bulbs..... :-(
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Yes Neven, but you didn't say when.... Was that 10,000 or 15,000 years from now? :-D Personally I had to take a step back and analyse my thoughts on the whole situation. The ability to undo what we are doing to the climate is fraught with danger. If we step in and try to overturn the current inertia we run the serious risk of driving ourselves into the opposite of what we have now, namely an AGC. I think, personally, that we're going to have to work smarter and not harder. Namely managing the solar input to the planet whilst we sort out the gas balance to keep a liveable biosphere. As I keep trying to say to people who are talking about "stop" this and "stop" that. We need to "start" doing smarter things more than stopping doing bad things. We need to make a technological leap in power production, power storage and environmental climate management. Which will, in the longer term, stop us doing the bad things. Making LED light bulbs won't promote these things, it will prolong the old and reduce options. A forward moving technological approach to creating the power we use gives us options. Trying to restrict the dirty power we use does not. That, as I see it, is the way to get our ice back. Through a breakthrough leap forward, not going back to the 1800's where we burned coal to produce steam because we didn't have electricity. Planting forests too of course.. :-), which is about as low tech as they come. But rapid and focussed forward tech is my take. Until we accept that what we are doing is unsustainable to the population at large (lots of dead humans), we won't invest the time, money and effort to do it.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Ah but my Grandson is 21... :-) Supported Brexit and is still looking at his options post education. He just needed a prod to go and look it up and find out the truth.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
P-maker, The biggest chance of Global war is when 1 billion people are on the move due to inundation from the sea and hunger from crop failures. If they want to avoid WWIII they want to avoid the pressure. There is fairly solid evidence that one of the key triggers for the Arab Spring was the price and availability of Flour following the Australian droughts, US crop failures and the Russian fires. If they want to have a liveable biosphere and a lack of war, they need to reduce the pressure. That means we have to stop modifying out climate to one that can't support the 7 billion we have today, let alone the 10 billion it will be in 2050. That's the message I'd give them. It's not a difficult message. But like all education, it needs to be consistent and delivered in a way that makes the recipient think. Cue Grandson. After our discussions I can guarantee he will be researching the scale of the problem. The trigger? My amusement about the fact that I'll be dead and he'll be the one left with the choice of fix it or suffer. Much of my amusement was about his generations attitude to the problem. It's how you get the message over.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
I think the solution is fairly simple. The consternation on my Grandson's face when I said to him "I won't see the full impact of Global Warming in my lifetime but your generation is screwed". These are the people who need to be engaged, to understand and to lobby for change. Because 50 years from now they are the one's who are going to be living the nightmare. They will also be the next generation of CEO's and Directors. Whilst it's important to get the message out now, it is far more important to communicate the "slow moving disaster" to the generation who are going to have to deal with it.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Me too Bill... Robert, I'm not so sure I like the fall analogy. It hints at some kind of rapid level of change which will be immediately deadly. I much prefer the truck. 1mph, one thousand miles wide. Humanity, on foot, stuck In the middle, between the truck and the sheer cliff face, ignoring it. Until the day that humanity wakes up and realises that they only have one day left. At which point they have to run 500 miles in one day to escape it. Slow, inevitable and, ultimately, totally deadly. The other analogy I liked was from a Clive Cussler book. The way we work today, if there were an algae growing over the sea, smothering all sea life and doubling in size every day, nothing would be done until it covered half the oceans of the world. At which point Humanity would have one day to fix it. But that is too fast for me. I still prefer the truck moving at 1mph. It says it all.
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Wayne, that's like my analogy of the steamroller. The reality is that the "truck" is 1,000 miles wide and the fact that you have not been hit (yet), does not mean you are not going to be hit. Avoiding a Climate Change disaster means moving faster, using technology and sticking an anchor on the truck. What the politicians are doing is none of the above. They're still walking sideways and thanking their starts the truck is only moving at 1mph. They have not done the simple basic analysis to find out whether they have enough time to get past the truck. The scientists keep giving us excellent data. Such as the Thames Barrier. Designed to survive a 1,000 year storm. But at 1970's sea levels. Add just 6 more inches of sea level rise, globally and the Thames barrier overtops on a 100 year storm or even a decadal storm which happens to arrive at the top of the spring tide. The response of the politicians? The Barrier was designed to survive a 1,000 year storm so there's nothing to worry about.... Stupid is as Stupid does. BTW, I've said my thanks to Neven for this blog and for the Forum. However there are going to be fewer and fewer articles now Neven is taking a Sabbatical. So our opportunities to discuss these things are constrained to where we can talk now. I would prefer to do this otherwise but the Forum is less visible to the world at large, unlike the blog. So my apologies for taking this down a rat hole but I think we should discuss these kind of things here. The Forum is much more vertical and people do get irritated when we go "off message".
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Very true Wayne. However there are step changes. 2005 was one. 2007 was another. 2012 was another. Personally I believe 2017 is going to be something special. No evidence except that it is possible and even quite likely given the state the ice will be in after the winter. I was talking to my Grandson at the weekend and he's quite aware. However he is one who ascribes to the "we'll fix it later" attitude. When I explained to him the sheer impetus we would have to overcome and the fact that every person on the planet is contributing and will continue to contribute, to the problem, even as we try to fix it, we finally came to the conclusion that the most likely possible technology would be a solar shield which could shield about 1/4 of the planet. The cost of building which, including the pollution it would take to launch it into space, would be prohibitive with current technology. So I guess we get to watch it. I did my duty last week by discussing with a professor in an energy research department about HDR energy recovery. The sad part is that whilst he labelled my idea's "very interesting", the drilling technology for steerable drilling is simply not good enough today to apply it. Well the idea is out there anyway especially the part about being able to recover energy from very close to a magma source without the risk of water causing an explosive event. I can go back to watching and ruminating and thinking about other "gadgets".
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Vid, that depends on whether you ascribe to the theory that there will be a re-growth in 2018/19 or not. Which would be just enough to put the event off till 2022. We shall see.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Well he has a certain point. Also he's a good communicator and might actually be more of an influencer than half the climate lobby. cue conversation... "We're screwed as a species suck it up and enjoy it whilst you can." "What do you mean we're screwed, we can fix it." "Don't be an idiot. To fix it we'd have had to go on a war footing 30 years ago and deny ourselves all the things we believe makes life worth living for 100 years." "I'm not being an idiot, of course we can fix this we can fix anything." "Of course you can but you don't want to so just enjoy it and "let it go"." "You're being unreasonable... I'll prove you wrong. We're going to fix this...." It's how you deal with children. In Climate Change half the population are acting like children, so why not treat them like it. The vast majority of people who are aware of Climate Change and believe it is an issue (although not quite an immediate one), believe that we'll "fix it sometime", when we're ready to "do the work" and that the current moves are inconvenient and not yet necessary. The fact that the entire species has been driving Climate Change for the last 150 years and will continue to drive it "during" the efforts to mitigate it has not, yet, percolated down into their consciousness. In some ways I believe that telling people the E.L.E is here, now and doesn't need an asteroid because we're doing just fine on our own; is another way of communicating the issue and forcing people to face the issue head on.
Toggle Commented Nov 25, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Patrick, I saw the one in the express. Just one day after another article in the UK press (not the daily manipulate or the "genital"express hereafter to be known as the GExpress... but elsewhere); which shows that Pine Island Galcier has been retreating since the 1940's. It only drains about 25% of the WAIS but no biggie there is it. I thought about logging in and pointin out that Antarctic SEA ice neither raises (or lowers), sea levels and does not lock the glaciers in place. Clearly shown by GRACE which shows just how much landfast ice is heading into the sea every year... NET. However it's a thankless task which is all but a waste of time. Those who want to believe will read and believe and nothing you say will change their minds. Those who don't will go and check out what is real and what is not, to whom nothing need be said beyond the constant and enduring message that we're screwing up our liveable climate. I've decided that outrage and anger is replaced by resigned indifference. If a dog waters a lamppost, it is not vandalism, nor public indecency. It's just being a dog.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Of course having an internal combustion engine which uses more than 30% of the heat energy would be good too. If we're going to have to extract the Hydrogen we run them on..... Nothing is joined up which means governments, people and companies are just jumping on bandwagons. Some for fame, some in an attempt to make things better and others in a cynical attempt to boost profit. I guess we might be better asking ourselves if there is some creature more fitting to inherit the new environment we're creating. Because humanity is not looking that hot right now...
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
I'm sure there is some scientific answer to it but for the half decade leading up to 2000 we'd been hearing little but constant record breaking in temperatures, 97/98 particularly with the huge Nino. It must have been doing a lot of damage to the ice, certainly thicknesses were falling. Personally I feel that something had to give some time with all that heat and 2005 just happened to be the breaking point opening the gateway to 2007 and 2012 and the cycles which have followed. Watching it at the time, everyone was stunned, we got a new island, the news was full of it. It died down a bit after the 2006 "near miss", only to be followed by 2007. I feel that the huge losses of 2007 and 2012 have overshadowed what happened in 2005 but I like to remember it's when things really started to get interesting.
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Yes Wayne the cycle was low, but the 2007/12 events were at roughly the same flux and 17 will be roughly the same flux too. I track as and looking at the monthly smoothed trend charts, whilst sunspots do influence the flux, they don't really change it by that much overall. So I look at the flux levels and they are roughly similar. But the heat, the CO2 and the ice are not. So I look for similar types of events with more severe impact on the arctic. Might not be scientific but it does while away the hours I spend living away from home. :-)
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Thanks everyone who would like me to keep posting. I will do but I'm not sure how much this freezing season. Right now I'm a bit more fixated on how a repeating pattern of delayed re-freeze seems to happen around once a decade. Which also maps into 2006 and 2016. 1996 looks similar but much more muted but of the same type. Chartic has been brilliant for being able to see this. So I'm just looking at 2016 to see how it ends up but I'm pretty certain it's going to be a long delayed re-freeze with a record low start into 2017. That's going to have a massive impact on the 2017 melt. If it also gets the good weather, then it's going to be seriously low. Yes I did say that I expected the 10mm to come back to something like 4mm then slowly increase. I still recall the "shock" drop in sea levels by 6mm, only to have that 6mm loss fall back to earth inundating some countries. However it trended back to the norm after the blip. I can't see that this will be sustained as there is not, yet, enough heat to sustain it. My take is that we have a cooling budget which we are burning. We just burned some of it. Some will, of course, come from oceanic expansion due to warming. It is no surprise that two years after Wunderground had to lift their charts from a max of 32C to a max of 35C that we see more expansion. However if much of this rise is landfast ice, it will have had a twin effect. One in that it is a cooling force entering the sea, second that it will have brought the system more back to the norm. At a cost of irreplaceable ice which is our planetary refrigerator. It's like a freezer with limited coolant. Once you've burned all the coolant it's going to warm up pretty fast. That is the reasoning behind what I said.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
The 5 year pattern is one which emerged from the step change in the Arctic which happened in 2005. I'm sure it will repeat again this season if only because we are setting up for exceptional melt in 2017 and there is always a backlash when that much ice melts and takes away that much heat from the system. However, don't worry too much about it. Once the ice volume is gone, all cycles will change because there won't be any melt buffer left..... I've been obsessing over the Autumn 10 year pattern I believe I see in the charts. Roughly mapped to the solar flux over the last two solar cycles. It's just a theory but, you know, not all theories are totally wrong. I've been using 2006 to predict what is likely to happen in 2016 and it has followed the pattern. But you can't draw an exact parallel when 1/3 of the ice volume vanishes between 2006 and 2016.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Neven I was always amazed by your energy and effort in the way you gathered and presented information for us all to use and talk about. Also your diligent reading and controlling of the blog and the forums. I know this kind of thing takes a toll. It's addictive and hard to pull away from but your home and your family must come first. I look forward to seeing your excellent analyses and content but not until you have time to do it. Thanks for this site and the forum and somewhere to bring these things to light. All the best.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2016 on Sabbatical (I hope) at Arctic Sea Ice
Well I don't know. There has been significant resistance to my assertions and Hans' that this is just the precursor for the main event in 2017. Followed by a retrenchment in 18/19 and the cycle will begin again. If you believe that, then 2017 is going to be spectacular, 2021/2 is going to be jaw dropping and 2026/7 is going to be a step change which we are not coming back from in a time relevant to humans currently alive today. Looking at what is going on today, it's not exactly very hard to work out that, barring some incredible cooling even in the next 4 months, 2017 is going to be something quite spectacular in the melt department. A bit more difficult to make that call in May of this year though, would you not agree? I'm just going to sit back and watch now. It should be quite interesting to see how the chartic curve ends up by January.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Pessimistic? Maybe. But I prefer a touch of reality. Currently Arctic ice loss is, in part, driven by the black particulate matter emitted by the Chinese coal fired power stations. It is one of the things driving this season, along with the environmental issues and extreme low ice volume. But back to reality. You quote these western countries but let's take the UK for instance. The #11 emitter in the world and well ahead of Australia without the solar resources. The UK is already over it's capacity for the Grid generation. We're within 5% of the requirement in our production which means that every time we get extra peak demand we pull it over the undersea cables across the channel. Power from France, you might think, comes from Nuclear and it's cheap. Except you would be wrong because France uses more power than it's Nuclear stations produce. So it buys it in from Belgium who don't produce enough themselves at times so they source it from Holland. Both Belgium and Holland generate their peak power for export with Coal. So the UK reports it's CO2 based on that power coming from France being clean. Then we have the other side of the coin. How are we going to go Electric in our vehicles when our grid is already at 95% capacity. Fully 2/3 of our energy usage is gas and fuel oils. How, exactly, will the UK transition that to electricity in a landscape where every time we remove a coal fired power station we degrade the ability of the grid to support us because renewables are not filling the gap? I'm not being pessimistic, I'm being realistic. If someone is not realistic we'll be having the same discussion about renewables v Coal/Oil 25 years from now and plug in vehicles will still be 2% of the vehicle base.
Toggle Commented Nov 16, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Possibly fish, but sequestration takes energy. Unless we give up extremely large tracts of land to trees. Something like tunnelling to the Atlantic to flood the lower Sahara then ringing it with solar and nuclear desalination then growing a forest the size of the Amazon. Not exactly the small engineering project of the century but the scale on which we would need to sequestrate. Given that Trees are the fastest sequestration mechanisms we know. Also given that we can't just use GM seaweed over half the ocean to do the same thing... Solar shading might be the best bet of all. But we'll have to get out of the stone age with the gravity well first... Certainly it has the On/Off capability which none of the atmospheric options have. Allowing us to regulate over the centuries to get the environment back into balance. Is this a good time to go into that off the wall idea of mine about flat packed, foil backed, inflatable solar panels (might as well get some power from the shield), which can be launched in compact form and inflated in situ???? :-) Yeah, I know, nobody is interested as they already know what they're going to do and it's a "much" better idea...
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
AnotherJourneybyTrain In short renewable is not cheaper. With the operative word being Yet. Even with the removal of the subsidies fossil fuel is still cheaper than renewable in the very short term. The major issues we have are Baseload power and Short term thinking. We need baseload power and we need way more of it that we currently have. If we are going to convert the BTU's of consumed fossil fuels into KWh's of electricity we're going to have to triple the power of the grid and double baseload power. Renewables is simply not going to do that in the short term. Not the way we're going about it. Once you get over the sunk cost of renewables the ongoing power is super cheap. But intermittent. There is no easy answer to that, in the short term, with the way we're going renewables.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice
Bill I did my usual round of checking on JasonII/Topex and NASA were also presenting the same 3.4mm figure only two months ago. As I don't read the source data, usually, I had no clue that it was this bad. Thanks Hans for bringing it to us. I, also, believe that the short term trend will stabilise closer to an elevated long term trend. Meaning that the 2010's could exit the decade with a decadal average of 4mm per annum. Or a full 4cm rise in a decade. The problem is understanding whether this is the beginning of the sudden demise of landfast ice which is doing this or whether the recent upgrade of the Wundergound Tropical Temp maps from a max of 32c to a max of 35c have something to do with thermal expansion?? Time will tell.
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2016 on PIOMAS November 2016 at Arctic Sea Ice