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Paul Beckwith
Ottawa
Part-time climatology professor; abrupt climate change PhD candidate
Interests: climate, chess, weather, bridge, renewable energy, scrabble
Recent Activity
I have been telling people for >2 years about the Arctic albedo collapse reducing polar to equator temperature gradients physically causing slowing and waving out and stalling jet streams causing extreme weather events to skyrocket. For example, my CMOS presentation in Jan,2012 was seen by >70,000+ by Aug/2012 (not sure what count is now), I have given multiple talks to the public, politicians, scientists and tweeted (>1200 follows, PaulHBeckwith https://twitter.com/PaulHBeckwith ) and facebooked (about 4000 friends, Paul Beckwith https://www.facebook.com/paul.beckwith.9 ) incessantly about these connections. I started blogging frequently with Sierra Club Canada about a year ago, as well as with Arctic News, the Elephant Journal, Canadian Daily, and now World Daily. Also I have YouTube videos and radio podcasts (EcoShock radio, Gorilla radio, etc.). I have also educated about 200 students on these connections within my climatology/meteorology classes in the last 2 years. I figure that I have reached at least 1 million people with this Arctic - jet stream - extreme weather link. Of course all this takes time away from research, but I'll eventually get the PhD. So the poll on people connecting extreme weather to climate has an obvious result, in my view. The public is really coming to understand that we (collectively) are in great trouble...
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2013 on Perception of the Arctic 2 at Arctic Sea Ice
Paul Beckwith is now following Neven
Aug 2, 2013
Notice that Walt Meier does not discuss the PIOMAS sea ice volume exponential decline that has been basically substantiated by the Cryosat measurements. This is a significant oversight on the part of the NSIDC since this data is the main reason for projections of sea ice vanishing with the next 3 years or so. In my opinion, not addressing this PIOMAS/Cryosat volume trend basically invalidates the NSIDC article.
@LRC I posted a lot of YouTube videos on the August, 2012 massive cyclone (ice thickness, motion, SSS, SST, SSH... and the jet behavior and other meteorology) I then repeated this for the last 2.5 weeks. Have not fully analyzed this yet, but I think the low coming in 6 days will set up a repeat of August, 2012. Another similarity is the huge number of fires in the north. In August, 2012 they were in Siberia and this year they are in northern Canada. The ash and heat will be captured if the cyclone is as large as last years.
I forgot to include this video: Arctic sea ice: Ice thickness versus speed/drift July 1st to July 17th, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUZr51_yW5s
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2013 on Ice pack in full at Arctic Sea Ice
@all, @Neven I have created many YouTube videos over the last several days; feel free to use them as you please. They cover July, 2013 and August, 2012. Basically, I feel that the cyclones will make or break the destruction of the ice. The first 4 videos (Part 1 to 4) examine the time bracketing the massive cyclone in August, 2012. The subsequent videos examine the ice, ocean, and meteorology this July up to yesterday, with the idea of seeing a) if conditions are setting up for 1 or more massive cyclones, and b) how much damage will they do to the ice (The Great Arctic Flush?) Arctic ocean events, Part 1: August 1st to 16th, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nli47-9dT5o Massive cyclone effects on sea ice motion and thickness + meteorology (500mb pressure, 200mb winds) Arctic ocean events, Part 2: August 1st to 16th, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqwIVEpSg3w Meteorology (500mb pressure heights) and sea ice concentration versus SST (sea surface temperature) Arctic ocean events, Part 3: August 1st to 16th, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjYxRV0fzz4 SSS (sea surface salinity) compared to SSH (sea surface height) and detailed meteorology (tropopause temperature + pressure, surface precipitable water + pressure) Arctic ocean events, Part 4: August 1st to 16th, 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAJRIV8YITY Jet streams: 200mb vector winds daily ESRL data and 4 times daily SFSU data Arctic ocean events: July 1st to 18th, 2013 Sea ice concentration, SST (sea surface temperature), SSS (sea surface salinity), and SSH (sea surface height) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icUtGqpkFx8 Arctic ocean events: July 1st to 18th, 2013 Jet streams from NOAA/ESRL and from SFSU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFbJCFVSiPI Arctic ocean events: July 1st to 18th, 2013 Meteorology: 500mb pressure heights, 200mb vector winds (jets), precipitable water, tropopause temperature http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LONJT8JbM7I Arctic sea ice thickness + motion May 14th to June 10th, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ljHI0VITgk State of climate change http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw1GEp8UBj4
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2013 on Ice pack in full at Arctic Sea Ice
@Villabolo Of course not. I am not implying any such thing; such wrenching changes will devastate populations and civilization and are already underway. My comment was geared to the people who have a hard time thinking of an ice free Arctic. Given the extremely weak state of the ice back in March, I think that the extent drop was delayed a lot this year due to the much greater melting occurring within the ice from the greatly increased surface area of all the fractured ice chunks. This used up all the available heat (latent) and kept the surface temperatures (sensible heat)lower than normal and subsequently the atmospheric temperatures lower. In other words, the sea ice caused the cooler Arctic temperatures, not the other way around.
From the U.S. Navy sea ice thickness plots, notice how the black and red thick ice just north of Canada has no cohesive strength at all. This became abundantly clear with the fracturing events in March and also with the ice divergence in the red region from small persistent cyclones. This thick ice consists of fractured ice that has simply ridged up in these regions. The fractured chunks may be comprised of broken MYI but the aggregate has no strength so will behave completely differently from previous years.
I wonder how many people will revise their forecasts down in the next week or two. Both the GFSx and ECMWF are showing that persistent cyclones are on the way with nice amplitudes in about 6 days. The Navy sea ice motion forecast is showing that there will be some action even within the next few days. For those that think a year round open water Arctic ocean is 100 or 200 years away I offer the following wager. If there is any sea ice there at any time during the year in 2100 I pay you $10,000. If the ice vanishes year round before 2100 then I collect the $10,000 from you at the time of this occurrence:) Which would be in a decade or two. Wager null and void upon the death of either party. People forget that the Arctic stayed ice free quite happily year round in the past when the continents were in the same locations as today. The Arctic region supported lush forests and critters that required temperatures to remain above freezing. This flora and fauna adapted quite happily with months of total darkness and total lightness. Also forgotten, is that there have been many abrupt changes in the past, on time scales of a decade or two. Paleoclimates by Cronin is a good reference book on some of the basics in this field.
@Hans Once we reach zero in year t0 (likely for < 1 month duration the first time) then I would expect longer duration zeros in subsequent years until we reach an ice free state year-round. I would expect that year t0 + 1 or t0 + 2 would be ice free for about 3 months, year t0 + 4 for about 6 months and year t0 + 7 or t0 + 8 to be ice free year-round. Clearly this will lead to an extremely different planet. Of course, the main feedbacks that drive us there are the Arctic albedo collapse (sea ice + snow cover) and the higher GHG levels (both CO2 and CH4) in the Arctic from terrestrial and marine permafrost thaws. Given the ramp-up in global extreme weather events and crop yield reductions that are already occurring today I think the near future will get very unpleasant for people. Thus my plug in blogs and in AMEG over the last few years for the "anthropogenic Arctic volcano" to slow the melt and buy a few years to slash anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions before the Arctic sources explode and dwarf human emissions.
Essentially zero. I have posted a smattering of my reasons in previous predictions on this site and these still hold. I expect that as the sea ice extent decreases and the SST in these fringes increases there will be sufficient evaporation along with the large temperature gradients to set up a massive basin wide cyclone similar but larger than the one in August, 2012. This event, if persisting for a few weeks would basically clear the basin of sea ice. A second similar cyclone would finish off the job. These events could be called "The Great Arctic Flush".
Have a look at the navy forecast (as part of the 30 day gif) on sea ice thickness. It is indicating a collapse of large sections of the MYI. http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif
@Fufufunknknk, About 10 years on a scale of 3 for the first 7 years tilting to a 5 for the last 3; these numbers are not for sea ice per say but are for the climate/meteorological system and elements. Interesting how the NSIDC extent has no downturn: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ Sea ice is not acting as a unit, but as an ensemble of independent fractured chunks with an enormous variety of shapes and sizes, all moving at the mercy of local wind and waves. Ice that melts at the perimeters is being replaced by that within the pack, at the expense of pack thickness, and this seems to be presently responsible for maintaining a large extent. We saw this effect also when the ice filled in "holes" in the MYI within a day or two of the cyclone movement elsewhere. This is a definite negative feedback since a high albedo is being maintained over a larger area; it is also keeping the air temperature above the ice < 0 C. I think that the high extent will be maintained for a while longer and then quickly vertical line downward; I am not ready to change my zero to 7 million km**2 yet...
@Sam You may want to revisit the navy movie for sea ice thickness for the entire last year. Even throughout the depth of winter, MYI has been sliding out of the Arctic basin over Greenland. Welcome to the < 1.0 group, zeros like myself are happy to welcome you to our group...
@Sam Yates Re: zero ice for September; 2 possibilities: a) "The scars are still visible from my double lobotomy", as a commenter said on steven goddard's site Real Science. b) The Arctic ocean is blue at the end of August or earlier. The stormy cyclonic driven surface water has lots of mixing with deeper saltier warmer water and inflow from the Atlantic/Pacific and the cyclonic driven extreme wave action delays any September freeze-up to October.
@Chris Biscan I cannot go any lower than nil.
Goose-egg, nadda, finito, zero for my prediction. I just blogged about it a few days ago: http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/AdultDiscussionPlease Based on overall system behavior (both Arctic + global systems), and the numerous feedbacks and unusual recent behavior. Feedbacks such as spring snow cover collapse, sea ice fracturing + thinning + increasing melt interface area, + fragmentation, algae + melt water pool darkening, increase in cyclone frequency, duration, amplitude behavior, methane bubbling degrading ice + extremely high methane levels in Arctic atmosphere and localized warming, higher water temperature, increased deep water upwelling behavior, increased wave action on ice rheology, rapidity of response of system in paleorecords, polar vortex fracturing, jet stream breakup, + extent of extreme weather whiplashing/weirding around globe, change in cloud behavior, average height decrease, change in mechanical breakup, increased ice advection into Atlantic, less buttressing, higher rate of ocean heat transport into Arctic basin, cyclonic storm surge causing increased mixing of basins, and many others... Mostly the cyclones...+ recent unprecedented observations a) March fracturing, b) cyclone thinning MYI + north pole ice, c) persistence of high sea ice area
My latest blog for Sierra Club Canada… http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/AdultDiscussionPlease Here is what I have been posting on social media; the most important thing is to get the public looking at the data. If you think the ice will stick around longer than look at the data for a few minutes each day for a week or so to get an informed opinion. It is updated here on a daily basis… https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/ For in depth discussion, analysis of satellite images, links to peer reviewed papers, and the very latest on Arctic sea ice conditions this is the best site out there… http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/ Too busy to do this? The Arctic albedo collapse messes up the jet streams which results in extreme weather events worldwide, in turn reducing global crop production. Look at the UK, today it was announced that their crop production is down about 1/3 this year and they are importing grains...
Being Canadian myself, I am very embarrassed to have people like Lawrence Solomon in Canada. He writes for the weekend national newspaper "The National Post" and his article is usually on the back page of the business section "The Financial Post" of this paper. I would encourage people to write letters of complaint to this paper asking that they refrain from publishing this pack of lies and get accurate realistic truthful articles on climate change.
Toggle Commented May 14, 2013 on Party like it's 1989 at Arctic Sea Ice
@Remko Kampen I am interested in getting your opinion on the impact of the 60 odd ships that crossed the Arctic (north-east passage) last summer in relation to sea ice regrowth. Assuming the Arctic is completely clear of sea ice near the end of summer melt this year (or within a few years), there will be an almost instantaneous massive increase in shipping traffic across the whole region. Presumably, that traffic will cause large water mixing and delay the onset of winter freeze-up. How large do you think these feedback's will be? I would guess that when there is zero sea ice in the Arctic for a month or so we will literally see many 1000s of ships crossing...
The Guardian just ran this article on Arctic sea ice discussions at the White House and discusses AMEG in length. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/may/02/white-house-arctic-ice-death-spiral Better late than never. I was just on a conference call with Peter Wadhams yesterday...
Toggle Commented May 2, 2013 on 2012/2013 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
@wayne I have been perusing your excellent blog EH2R; in your April 7 blog entry you compare ice darkness (albedo) between 2013 and 2012 and attribute the difference to algae. Any idea what the albedo difference would be between these two images, and how it varies with ice thickness. Thinner ice --> more light penetration --> more algae but is it linear or is there a threshold. I am trying to get a feel for how large this biological positive feedback is to the ice melt and was it occurring in previous years.
Toggle Commented May 1, 2013 on 2012/2013 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
In other news, I have successfully completed my comprehensive exams (oral and written) for my PhD (general topic: climatology; specific topic: abrupt climate change). Next up is a bunch of papers...
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2013 on 2012/2013 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
I heard that there is a meeting of so-called "top" scientists at the White House within the next few weeks; topic of discussion is Arctic sea ice and extreme weather. Better late than never...
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2013 on 2012/2013 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
@R. Gates Why do a blog/post on this. Why not write it up in a paper and submit it to Science or Nature. Include A-Team and others, a neven group publication. Instead of blogging on Monday there could be a paper on the following Monday. It looks like Tarim Basin, which is actually in China as opposed to Mongolia is in the perfect spot to contribute dust to the jets. It is behind the Himalaya's so when the jets are forced upward by the 5.5 km or so high mountains the leeward vortices pick up the dust and carry it into the stratosphere where it is above all the scavenging weather, so remains there until it plops down on Greenland. So what is the initial trigger for the SSW events. Obviously the jets have to move to the right spatial location, and height is important. The latitude of about 37 degrees N suggests the tropopause height to be about 13 km or so high, so if the jets are at that height the 5.5 km mountains are a bump and the jets may not get a sufficient vertical velocity component to crack into the stratosphere. It seems to me that the lower the altitude of the jets, the larger the vertical velocity kick and the larger the SSW event. Also, in this part of the world the jets have really large speeds. Not only that, but as the jets are torqued upward they acquire strong rotation about a horizontal axis, which aids in picking up the Tarim dust. With climate change and increased CO2 the tropopause thickness can decrease, making it easier to penetrate into the stratosphere. Not to mention the latitudinal change of the jets as the global circulation changes with collapsing Arctic albedo. Over Greenland the ice surfaces are over 3 km high, and the tropopause is down to about 7 km, so the descending jets from the stratosphere have good reason to come down over Greenland as opposed to other Arctic regions, and deposit their dust there.