This is's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Recent Activity
Actually, reading Jonathan Bamber's article about a Grand Canyon and skimming some other articles, it is pretty fascinating stuff. I hope we never find out, but it would be fascinating to know what is beneath the ice, imagine discovering artifacts from ancient civilizations, etc. Or maybe it is like Gollum when he hid under the mountains: just darkness and wetness (and coldness).
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2015 on PIOMAS July 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Sorry for the lack of name: John. It is a Yahoo or typepad thing I guess.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2015 on PIOMAS July 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Following the link by Sam:, it appears that some of those lakes are multiple km long, at least in their longest dimension. I assume that (from topological maps with and w/o ice) that they rest on ice and are they just waiting to punch through the ice. Further, that if they punch through, the land beneath them is only 250 m or so above sealevel (at least there is probably an exit to sealevel no higher than 250 m based on [estimated?] iceless topo maps). It seems like the interior lake of water/ice at the base of the ice sheet would fill up rapidly and find a way out, at least along the perimeter.
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2015 on PIOMAS July 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
"When this bout of navel gazing, introspection and blame levelling happens; people like Dr Wadhams and Dr Barber are going to come out of it best. Because those who are doing the blaming will be insulated, by time, from the political shenanigans of today and, armed with 20:20 hindsight, will see every fault and every mistake which has ruined the world they live in." I disagree. The above is true only if society remains very static, i.e. there is no major effect from global warming. I think it is much more likely that the people in power int he future will rewrite history to benefit themselves. Who gets blamed remains matter of chance but much more likely it will be the scientists that get blamed as they (we), as a group, lack political usefulness and are likely to be sacrificed first.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2015 on PIOMAS July 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
This morning I left an office after a meeting with the township and I had the same feeling of frustration: someone telling me what I think instead of listening to what I am saying; ie someone trying to put me into a box which they can respond to in a way that makes them feel good/in control. I thought all the way back to the office about whether this was my fault, that this guy really did understand what I wanted to accomplish and I was just not listening to the answers, or was it as i took it, that he wanted me to fit into his preconceptions. However, the conversation took place half in Italian and half in English -both of us are half fluent in the other's language - so it makes it more difficult. In any event it reminded me of this blog so i am responding I will hopefully close out the argument and basta! To Jon Torrance, yes i quoted a post after the original post but in my mind I wasn't bothered by the particular quote but by the emotion it represented. To me, that emotion was a theme through the earlier posts as well and i just chose a latter example. If you want an earlier quote, try this: "You are probably not going to like this answer either." What I find objectionable is being categorized and dismissed, especially in a way where the assumption is that I am looking for some emotional satisfaction rather than a straightforward answer. Why should I like or not like an answer? As to whether this is me imagining it or overreacting... as far as imagining goes: no I don't think so but, maybe. I think the text is clear for if it is not, then I do have a serious problem. As for over-reacting, again I don't think so but less confidently. I think because i liked the blog there is a sting that goes past just annoyance. Perhaps that sting is not justified, but it doesn't seem to be a problem in other areas of my life so maybe it is just that written words weigh heavier than verbal expressions do (both in action and response)? I don't know, I don't have much experience blogging/commenting. In any event, I wasn't searching for a particular answer or posting with a hidden agenda. It was straightforward information. Like most laymen, I am not really sure what to think about global warming. I don't understand the models enough to give full credence to them either way. I find the arguments of the denialist crowd less intelligent and too often argumentative so that fact plus circumstantial physical evidence of shrinking glaciers, coral bleaching, etc., puts me in the believers camp (or alarmists camp if you will). The one fact that I do believe is that arctic ice will disappear in a few years. I don't know what that means. For example, if the sea ice around greenland melts, then it is assumed that ice on land is less insulated as well and so it will be more likely to melt, etc etc (I know there have been some comments with links to this subject.) I understand the general idea but calculating the effect in quantitative terms is beyond me, for the same reason I don't have any faith in the forecasts of others, I have to rely on their ability. Thus I value this blog for having people who seems to care and be knowledgeable about the subject. I really will go back and try to figure out what i said that gave everyone the impression that I wouldn't like any answer different from what i was assumed to be looking for. I don't understand how my words were taken that way and to be honest, I am not even sure what the assumptions were about me. But since several people seem to have that impression, i will make the effort. Ciao
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2010 on Open Thread 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Me again and this time the last time for real. Glas Glo, this was the patronization: "I knew you wouldn't like it". Huh? I really can't imagine how what I said could be taken to give the impression that 'I wouldn't like it.' It's like going to a doctor and asking about unusual symptoms and having the doctor treat you like a hypochondriac. Aside from that patronization, factually if this isn't a legitimate concern - I mean that if the changing environment isn't leading to death and destruction (albeit shy of 'we are all dead'), then why should anyone care? Either it is serious enough to care about and hence condescension is ill founded or it is not worth discussing on a blog, let alone in peer reviewed articles. Personally, I actually would love to not care at all and I think I am headed in that direction. If this isn't a 'death spiral' but just politics then I'll go with my life and support and participate in the solutions others devise but I won't worry my pretty head about it.
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2010 on Open Thread 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Yahoo logs people in that way automatically. For the first time I understand why the denier crowd feels the way they do. Good grief, ask people who seem to do this for a living about the worst case scenario and the patronization starts. Seriously, if you don't develop sensitivity scenarios, how can you understand unfolding situations? How do you ever expect scientists to win a battle with Big Oil if this is the type of response - you may be disgusted by how Big Oil manipulates public opinion with false sceince, but at least they bothered to treat the public seriously enough to ask how to manipulate them instead of sneering down at them from their scientific perches. I think it is a legitimate question and that doesn't make me alarmist, far from it. Nor does it make me defeatist. Ok, enough said, Thanks for the factual part of the responses. I won't pollute your blog anymore. Good work Neven, I enjoyed this very much for a while.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2010 on Open Thread 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi, first poster here to clarify my remarks. I am a bloody amateur as the English would say. I follow hurricanes having lived througha couple which led via wunderground to the GW debate. I don't have time to follow the models so, though I understand the very broad concepts of the GW theory, I'd be rather foolish to try to make temperature prediction. However, in my layman's understanding: *The models have been wrong. >> Since i have been following this, roughly 10 years but much less in the beginning, the predictions have changed. Going totally from subjective memory, the models started with a .5 meter rise in sealevel in 100 years and 'the arctic will eventually be ice free.' Now it appears that the arctic has lost 70-80% percent of volume in the last 20 years and the arctic could be ice free within 3 years. *The models have been wrong II >> CO2 is increasing at x rate. Ok, not so far off. Now though: Hydrates and trapped methane are being released at Y rate, where Y seems to be a rising percent each year with feedback. Damping effects? Effectively None >> 1) Vegetation in the arctic? After the greenland ice sheet melts, maybe vegetation will grow. How much GHG will the vegetation consume in relationship to the CH4, CO2? Little, frankly. During the same time, how much jungle, etc is lost to tropic heating? 2) Sea absorption? Unknown (by me): more warm seas versus sea heating and less absorption capability. In short, the feedback mechanisms that allow the earth to re-absorb GHG and regulate itself are not fast enough or strong enough to deal with a death spiral of releasing stored gas, etc all at once. My question was this: assume that all the methane is released, the CO2 levels double or whatever they will do, what do the models tell us about atmospheric temperatures and the distribution patterns on earth? Will the mean temperature rise by 2, 5, 10, or 40 degrees C? Will the habitable section of the earth shrink to within 20 degrees of the poles? And finally, yes I understand that I may be dead by then. So what? Those sorts of responses are a bit below the standard of what so far has been an excellent site.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2010 on Open Thread 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
A depressing first post: looking at GW straight on, what are the consequences? I've read the various projections of various effects. But I don't understand, when does it stop? All the forecasts have been wrong so far. Do temperatures keep going up.. and up... and up? Are we all dead?
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2010 on Open Thread 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
I think the timescale of geoengineering is relevant not only as to when would a solution be implemented but also for the timescale of a solution itself compared to the problem. I mean, if you think of the cycles of nature: winter/summer, ocean circulation, volcanoes, etc., if the solution can be implemented and withdrawn in a much shorter time scale than the cycles, the risk of spiraling out of control is significantly lessened. For example, if there were the equivalent of venetian blinds in space that could be opened/shut on a daily basis, it would be possible to give the arctic a cold day or two in midsummer and only dampen heating cycles. Tweaking combined with removing the source of the problem seems a safer alternative to adding a new element to act as solution. John
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Hi, A question of ignorance: Methane is going up everywhere, why the particular concern over Svalsbard? Are you concerned with the outlier point?
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
NSIDC has current sea ice at the third lowest level for October? I guess they mean that third lowest is averaged over the entire month because it looks like it is lower than the other years for the last few days.. maybe tied with 2007.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Wow, sorry about that last post. I was going somewhere, really, but my boss walked in and I panicked and hit 'post' without editing or rereading it. All I was really trying to say is that in regards to Point 4, mentioned above, is that it has to be a bottom up solution, top down won't work. Or so I believe.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
i'm glad people replied. I thought after I posted it that it sounded a bit lazy, certainly a quick search on Bing would have resulted in a lot of, um, results. But I enjoy this site a lot aside a lot and was really only hoping to start a conversation. My take on evil corporations, etc. is that they will always exist. I remember bartending to pay for college and there was never any chance of the bar creating a control system that couldn't be scammed. Never! Some, admittedly required cooperation and skill to get around. However, the most effective was system that allowed the bartender to 'cheat' a little on his own. Th tacit understanding was that if you were making good money, you didn't want to risk being fired by being too greedy. This is the principle that governs our society today. Consider from the physical problems involved in getting a pint of beer to you at exactly the moment you want it from the point of view of system design. the knowledge of how to create a beer must exist. All the biological materials must be planted, protected and gathered. The physical materials for guiding the biological conversion from raw materials must be gather, shaped and protected. The process of conversion to beer must be monitored. The final product must be transported and maintained in space and time so that when you say "' 'ello 'arry, two pints and a packet of crisps" that results in a positive response. Multiplied by billions, if not trillions, this is out networked society. It is a gigantic machine and change has to be an orderly process or that machine will destroy itself. Granted that global warming will destroy people anyway, but that is an outside force. Willing destruction won't happen. Combine the need for this huge product distribution system with people who want to scam the system from within results in the fact that social stability requires paying the bartender.. so to speak. So, the conclusion is only that the tools available for worldwide change are limited and 'in system' changes. Hope this makes sense, I am a bit rushed. All those evil corporations are part of the system of information gathering and product distribution.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
"Can Humankind organize a response?" China, maybe. I don't see anyone else with the political unity. The only way this will be done in the US is when the profit motive is linked to the problem. But the only profit motive would be government funding... and I don't see that happening with the current deficit and politics. Unfortunately, by harnessing the power of gullible and ignorant, the Tea Party has created a monster. Good people individually perhaps but not the ones you want solving a complicated problem. But more to the point, what would the solutions be? CO2 plans like algae in ponds in the desert would take too long to turn things around. A big reflective mylar sunscreen? Aside from orbital mechanics, the force of light would mean some sort of dynamic position system (no?, obviously I have no clue what I am talking about), cloud manipulation, artificial trees, etc.. And how would the solution be implemented politically? Anyone spent any time thinking about this?
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Re Gas Glo and Intrade. Thanks. No, I was not aware Intrade did a market on sea ice. Following the information you posted, I did a little research and Intrade seems to be the most mentioned, even if it isn't running a current bet. It isn't Ladbrokes or William Hill in terms of public acceptance but it is a place to start.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Question about the Nares Strait photos. Rough scaling on photos from the 4th and 5th shows movement of about 40 km/day through the strait. Is this normal for this time of year? I thought it was closing up. Also, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power both rejected betting on the arctic ice melting date. William Hill is at least seeming to consider it: "Good day! Thank you for the interest on the betting markets you have mentioned in your recent email. We apologise for any inconvenience this matter may have caused and we appreciate the chance to assist you. To further your request, please send an email to stating that you are interested of these betting markets. Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department on UK freephone 0800 085 6296 or International freephone 00800 3551 3551." If anyone feels like having a tilt at a windmill, it only costs you an email. Cheers.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
My amateur opinion on the Pyrrhic-ness of the regrowth depends on the temperatures of the water: I imagine that the very top levels of the waters could freeze but they might act as insulation to trap deeper heat in the water, sort of like how hot coffee, as it cools, can from a thin crust of ice even though, as a whole, the contents of the mug are above freezing. In this scenario, without precipitation adding from the top, the ice would never develop much thickness. The alternative is to imagine that the arctic has suddenly shifted from strong melting conditions to strong freeezing conditions over wide areas. I just don't believe there has been the change in temperatures required to do that. However, all of my ideas are firmly unbacked up by numbers and my intuition still gets me lost in parking lots, so if anyone is knows better, I'd be really glad to be corrected.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Ever watch Barca/Spain on one of their possession style matches? Personally I can't stand it, if that's all football was, it wouldn't interest me. If, however, you shift your focus to finding instances of technique, well Barca and Spain are your teams. No doubt that the arctic processes are an incredible thing and worth the study of a lifetime. However, in the last 5 minutes of the match:, I don't care if it bounces off the back of a player's head unseen, hits a late returning coconut carrying African swallow and barely crosses the line... (or hits a beach ball for all the Liverpool fans out there.) As long as my team wins. Same point for the arctic, this is the last 5 minutes of the game, although we are rooting for the defense, I guess.
Toggle Commented Sep 30, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
At the risk of revealing what an idiot I am, I return with my idea to ask Paddy Power and Ladbrokes to list odds on sea ice disappearance. The email address for requesting odds are below: _______________________________________________________________ This was my reasoning on suggesting odds: What has been occurring in recent years is that the older ice has been melting. This causes two things: 1) the extent of the sea covered with ice increases. As the ice thins, it breaks into pieces that spread out. Thus extent goes up as stretches the ice, at least to a certain point. After it is stretched too far, it counts as water. On the other hand, the wind can also compact the ice. In general, as the ice thins, the extent measurement goes up. 2) The dynamics of the ice change. As the ice thins melting and freezing both occur more rapidly depending on weather conditions. Water with ice already in it is more ilkely to freeze than open water, for a variety of reasons including temperature, salinity, reduced wave actions, etc.. When the ice freezes it is only thin first year ice that is likely to melt in the summer. Also, the new ice is patchy and contains a lot of trapped areas of ice with high salt concentrations that are likely to melt first and create holes that allow the sun to heat the water and thus melt from the inside out. In short, in recent years, sea ice has been going down. Extent is likely to recover for another couple of years as it is fed by older multi-year thicker ice. Area in the winter will recover as the spread out thin summer ice (extent) allows rapid freezing. Area in the summer will likely go down quicker since the thin ice melts. Volume is the key variable and it has gone down to some 30% of the minimum of 1979. My off the cuff predictions are: 2011: 3% possible new records but likely the only change is further eroding of multi-ice. 2012: 10%, same reasoning. 2013: 15%, same reasoning. 2014: 20%, same resaoning. 2015-2020: 35% + 10% per year up to about 85%, same basic reasoning but at some point the odds of the right weather conditions kicking in increase. The overall trend in ice decrease is real (I believe) but weather factors are hugely important. There will be cold winters and cold summers, there will also be hot ones. Just as 2007 had conditions that were perfect for melting, 2010 had a bad June (i.e. good for melting) but a good july (bad for melting.) as the ice goes down, it loses the capacity to protect the core ice. As a simple time multiplier, the overall chances of another bad summer increase by the number of summers in consideration. __________________________________________________________________ I realize I am an amateur. I ask to not be snickered at, using the bog standard swap of enthusiasm for knowledge. I would really be interested in hearing what other people's odds are. Subjective, please! Numbers make my head hurt. Also, please contact the two agencies above and ask them to list odds. I really think that if the odds are listed, it will make a difference in the world of public opinion.
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
I asked Paddy Power to list odds 2011 - 2020 on 95% ice arctic. If other people ask the same question, we might be able to get it carried. Then contact the dailies and at least one should be able to make a fluff piece out of it. But once it is on the books, it is 'real' in many people's minds in the sense that money is backing the the odds, whatever they are.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2010 on Open Thread 1 at Arctic Sea Ice
I think the denialist crowd has already started to hedge their bets. They know the ice is going. I think for sites like WUWT, the reason is about credibility: the site generates revenue and they want to be able to maintain a record of being right no matter the future holds. For others, I think the reasoning is split into two camps: those who genuinely emotionally want this to not be true and those who are well paid to put out propaganda. The shift is/will be to headlines like: Ice Free Arctic is Good for the Economy, Nature is Returning to Normal, etc.. No one will mention that it's not the position but the velocity that is the problem, as in a pendulum that returns to zero doesn't stop at zero but goes well past it. An incremental approach to a melted arctic might not signify anything other than dead walruses and polar bears. An express train that doesn't stop there is scary: how hot will it get, how many people will die, where wil the future end up? The correct name for these people is not denialists, IMHO it should be something like Big Oil Appeasers, or Global Warming Ostriches, i,e, it should be something that reflects the cowardice of their stand. The need is to take away the image that the denialists give themselves of being strong independent thinkers (in opposition to the stupid alarmists).
As an amateur, I know that tropical storms/depressions etc bring some of their own temperatures and moisture with them. Any thoughts on Igor affecting the ice? I guess warm temps/water bring some melting but equally fresh moisture plus existing low temps bring snow and ice. Waves... not sure: they break up ice but seems that spray would freeze quicker. Any idea how the winds/currents will be affected? Or will nothing in particular happen since Igor is too far south and in the wrong location?
Thanks for the answers (I posted somewhere around 17 or 18 in the blog.) I think I understand it now: when everyone is estimating that the ice is about finished decreasing based on the date (middle of September), they are generally referring to area and/or volume while extent is more variable due to compaction and is not necessarily as meaningful. In any event, all three are dependent on the particular 'logarithm' use to calculate the values. Meanwhile I enjoy the blog and am not intentionally logging in as 'me', that's what yahoo gives me as a log in and I don't know how to/don't think I am here enough to figure out how to change it.
Just a quick question: Looking at the IJIS sea ice extent graph, it seems like the low point of 2005 and 2007 was close to the end of September. However, in other places, you refer to the date of the minimum as being closer to the middle of September. Why is there a difference?