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Ridgefield, Washington
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In the past it appears that the ice temperature and the dew point in the Arctic Basin were mostly at or below freezing during stormy weather even during the summer. If the temperature becomes warm enough with a dew point above freezing(which appears to be more likely), won't the liquid water condensing on the ice eventually cause as great a melt or even greater melt than sunny conditions do now? (There have been previous discussions about above freezing dew points and the rate of snow melt.) How high would the dew point need to be under cloudy conditions to melt as much ice as say sunny weather at 2 degrees C with a dew point of say -3 degrees C? Assume similar wind conditions. As I write this I think this question is rather complex, but considering this possibility my help us get a better handle on melt.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2016 on Beaufort final update at Arctic Sea Ice
Susan, Thanks for your "etiquette" comment. Most everyone on here follows this protocol exceptionally well especially considering the number of voices present. I appreciate the reminder. Bobcobb, Susan said, "You are, however, quick to attack and to overinterpret what other people say, while slow to moderate your own voice." As a long time mostly lurker who reads virtually 100% of this blog I appreciate the civil dialog and the "I want to know more; please explain so I will understand better" attitude of nearly everyone on here. Unfortunately, I stopped reading some of your posts because of the abruptness that Susan points out as well as the absoluteness of some of your statements. In my world all means "all" and never or none means "never or none." For example: a/b = c/d if a=c and b=d is in fact a false statement. To make this a true statement we need to state that b and d do not equal "0". So, when you make absolute statements I understand them in a similar fashion so it became pointless for me to continue reading your posts. I will try reading your posts again. Much of what you say has a "ring of truth." Please take Susan's advice.
This post on Weather Underground by Christopher Bert might be slightly off topic however it seems logical that some of this heat will likely continue to spread northward and affect the Arctic to an even greater degree: Extraordinary Heat Wave Sweeps Southeast Asia and Points Beyond By: Christopher C. Burt , 6:47 PM GMT on April 19, 2016 Also, the Climate Reanalyzer 7 day forecast shows continued heat in several days over India and Pakistan: Although the forecast for Pakistan/India is for slightly cooler temperatures for the next few days, if this heat trend continues for another month and a half I am wondering how survivable these conditions will become by the end of May/early June which is typically when it is the hottest there. It also makes sense that some of this heat will make it to the Arctic considering the current air circulation patterns.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2016 on Meanwhile, on the other side at Arctic Sea Ice
My daughter said that that truck was "indeed built in Portland, Oregon" and that even a Bill said, 'reached tipping point,' it still "looked pretty good and hoped that somebody pulled it out before it sank completely."
My daughter works for Western Star in Portland, OR. Western Star has a truck plant in Canada too, so the odds it was made in Portland are low. Nevertheless, she has been showing the photo around. It was at least a point of interest. So, Neven, thanks for the post. It made my day.
Abbotisgone, I think the quote from Kevin Schaefer at the NSIDC says a lot: "There is a huge amount of carbon stored in permafrost. Right now, the Earth's atmosphere contains about 850 gigatons of carbon. (A gigaton is one billion tons—about the weight of one hundred thousand school buses). We estimate that there are about 1,400 gigatons of carbon frozen in permafrost. So the carbon frozen in permafrost is greater than the amount of carbon that is already in the atmosphere today." This is completely freaky. Methane and carbon dioxide would increase dramatically if even half of this got into the atmosphere. Temperatures would increase how much??? In the Arctic the increase would be on the order of at least twice as much as mid-latitudes. This would cause how much Arctic sea ice to melt, how much of Greenland to melt, not to even mention Antarctica? I live 302 feet above sea level. However, are we going to get tsunamis from Antarctica this large if the ice sheet collapses like a pile of Jenga blocks?
Thanks A-Team that is very helpful It sounds like you are saying that a fair amount of heat is generated. Wouldn't heat generated a few meters underground be conducted both upwards and downwards preventing deeper freezing during the winter and continue thawing deeper as well due to close proximity to deeper frozen material? The video you supply the link to Colorado Bob shows the top layer sloughing off, certainly another part of the thawing process. My guess is that we are headed for "one hell of a mess."
Thanks, Rob and Neven. It sounds like there is a considerable potential for heat production in organic permafrost. The bigger question I have is whether or not the process can be "self-sustaining." I hypothesize that wherever it becomes self-sustaining the thaw will be much more rapid than if/where it is not self-sustaining. Maybe some answers will come from this workshop. In any case the problem sounds very serious and this workshop should give us a better idea about this seriousness.
As the permafrost layer thaws and as the organic material there decays via microbes heat is generated by this process. I have searched for some information on this topic but so far I have come up empty handed. It would seem that as the thaw layer deepens more heat would be generated with less heat escaping to the surface thereby heating deeper permafrost. With warmer air temperatures and with some decay generated heat not escaping to the surface due to more and more heat being generated at deeper and deeper levels as more permafrost thaws it follows that this could become a self sustaining process. The heat generated by the decay itself then could continue to thaw the deepest permafrost creating a rapid decay of deep organic layers until the supply of organics was exhausted. If this scenario is true then large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere quite rapidly. Questions: 1. How much heat is actually generated by the decay process. 2. Is it enough to become self-sustaining? 3. Would a process I described be enough to significantly alter the thaw/decay process?
Wishing everyone the best for the new year. Interestingly Weather Underground shows an active wildfire for December 31 near Peace River in northern Canada. Seems pretty unusual for a wildfire in that area this time of year.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2016 on Winter solstice at Arctic Sea Ice
Bill, great story. You are dating yourself; I was born in 1952. Some of my family(Eatch) lived and worked in Sheffield at the Sheffield Steel Works I believe it was called(Please correct me if I am wrong on the name.) That was back in the late 1800s. The story I heard was about how nasty it was to work there because of the smoke and fumes.
Bill, I checked your links. That is horrible for India...and they want to still burn coal????? I don't exactly get it! Thanks for the Air Quality scale etc.
Bill, Burning coal has caused these kinds of problems for years. Maybe if half a million people drop dead in on spot it will wake the world up. You have probably seen this article about London in 1952 before but maybe you will still find it of interest:
It looks like China has a ways to go on "air cleaning:"
Wall, in my world when a person calls another person a name like you mention, the reality is that the sayer of the name is in all actuality saying that about himself or herself. Just saying.... (Neven please delete this comment if you wish.)
Jai, great wordsmithing; I can't agree with you more. I read some of their crock-o-babble to stay current with their "disinformation propaganda" and sometimes post some clear evidence from our sources used on this blog. Hopefully we can constrain more of this pallyandering before it completely hits critical mass.
Thanks Pete, I also wonder about the dominant force. I also agree that the "aggravate" philosophy is also part of a plausible explanation as well.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2015 on 2015 minimum overview, part 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Pete Williamson said: "whether these changes in circulation patterns are natural or CO2 forced or a bit of both." I like to think of these "changes" in the context of a "cascade of events." The initial causes of human released carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere set off a series of events that result in changes in Arctic Ocean circulation patterns. To oversimplify: Extra carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc., cause extra heat to build up in the atmosphere some of what the ocean absorbs. Water vapor then increases in the atmosphere warming the atmosphere even more. Air circulation changes as does non-Arctic Ocean circulation. More heat invades the Arctic, more ice melts, less ice refreezes and as a result there is more open water in the Arctic. Wind and storms move water through waves and start upwellings and downwellings in the Arctic similar to the other oceans causing even less ice cover in the Arctic. Repeat and repeat as long as additional carbon dioxide has an effect. The closest parallel example I am thinking about is similar to biological concentration of a toxin in the environment which may be very low. However, as this toxin moves up the food chain and becomes more concentrated at each step, eventually arriving at tertiary carnivores, the effects of this toxin may become lethal. Similarly, a seemingly small increase in carbon dioxide can have large effects up the line as heat energy becomes more concentrated. I am sure someone here has a better way to explain or deny this thinking pattern but I though I would take a stab at it.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2015 on 2015 minimum overview, part 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Great discussion as usual. I have real from several sources about the heat content of the deep Arctic Ocean and how if this heat ever made it to the surface in enough quantity the era of Arctic Ice would basically be over. Due to saltiness, layering, and lack of the water being disturbed this heat has been stuck at the bottom. So, what I am hearing from this discussion is that wind and storminess during the low ice conditions we are having now is stirring deep waters and bringing this trapped heat to the surface in greater and greater quantities. That is really a scary thought.
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2015 on 2015 minimum overview, part 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Bill, thanks for pointing out the typo and Clare for posting on the Forum. Maybe the heat from the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge is getting to me... still 8 - 12 degrees C above normal in Western Oregon & Washington USA.
Bill, No, missed it...still don't see it, duh.
I just read this article in the New Zealand Herald. Maybe some new information: "What's going on in the big frozen continent below us? Dr Nancy Bertler of GNS Science and Victoria University, a plenary speaker in the 2015 Antarctic Science Conference opening in Christchurch tomorrow, answered these questions." from the NZ Herald. Q&A: Antarctica - our big icy threat
"Please, go find an echo chamber where you feel more at home; N.]" Thanks Neven, I appreciate your promptness to keep this under control. ,,,Meanwhile The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge continues. Thanks for the links explaining the causes/effects etc. I am reading these as I can get to them. Very interesting the changes in the Hadley Cell.
The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge is firmly in place and is forecast to intensify and stabilize over the next two weeks with temperatures in Western Oregon valleys from 30 to 40˚C which is 5˚C to 15˚C above normal. To make matters worse there was nearly no snow this past winter so mountainous areas that would normally still have 2 or 3 meters of snow on the ground have been barren of snow for over 3 weeks. It is highly unusual to have such a persistent heat forecast in place so early in the summer. Even late July into early August temperatures like these are unusual for such a long period of time. If this hot high pressure builds into Alaska and or the Arctic it would certainly affect the melting on the Pacific side. Also looking at the Arctic water temperature anomaly maps I cannot remember when there has been such a large anomaly over such a wide region around the periphery of the ice. That looks like an interesting predicament.
Colorado Bob, I made a mention of this factor some time back on this blog. Tremendous numbers of joules going deep into the ice. If liquid water is making it to bedrock it is starting to lubricate and float the ice. If it refreezes in deep cracks then it is splitting old ice apart much like water freezing in a crack in a rock splits it apart. The results should be increasingly interesting to say the least. From what I am reading about Greenland on the ASIF the increased speed of numerous glaciers and associated calvings indicate the water is already affecting the ice in a non linear fashion.