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Looking at Greenland mass balance on http://nsidc.org/greenland-today/ in late October, it is clear that GrIS is suffering significant melt event in periods where there is limited direct sun light on the ice. Thus, the melt is the result of atmospheric water vapor transport. (1 gr water vapor can melt 7 gr ice resulting in 8 gr runoff). Thus, we can deduce that atmospheric water vapor transport has become a major source of heat for GrIS melt. We can also deduce that atmospheric water vapor transport has become a major source of heat for sea ice melt, regardless of conditions of direct sun light. I proposed this situation some 15 years ago and had the then-current model Arctic Energy Budget explained to me - repeatedly. Aaron Lewis aka "Agres"
Toggle Commented Oct 30, 2017 on PIOMAS October 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
I suggest that with all the heat from the last big El Nino wandering around, trapped by 409 ppm, that heat collected by tropical oceans will end eating the Arctic Ice this summer. (1 gr of water vapor can melt 7 gr of ice. TPW in the Arctic has gone from near 0 to 7 kg/m^2 in the last 20 years.) Moreover, I suggest the 5-year cycle is very closely related to the 5-year minor El Nino cycle offset by a lag for travel time. The more GHG in the atmosphere, the more strongly Arctic sea ice and El Nino are linked. And, I think we owe a huge debt of honor to Professor Wieslaw Maslowski for his bold prediction of Arctic Sea Ice loss.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2017 on PIOMAS May 2017 at Arctic Sea Ice
Has everyone seen: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/your-eight-minute-speed-date-pacific-meridional-mode ? I think the increasing PMM and AMM are the result of convection resulting from a warmer and moister Arctic atmosphere.
On the other hand, OPEC knows that AGW will wipe out the oil market before they can pump and sell all of their oil. Thus, they intend to sell as much of their oil as possible, as fast as possible, and are willing to lower their profit margin. The Arctic Oil will always be more expensive than Middle-Eastern Oil. OPEC is very likely to keep oil prices low enough that Shell cannot sell that Arctic Oil at a profit. Developing Arctic Oil is a waste of Shell Oil's shareholder's capital. In addition, climate is changing so fast in the Arctic that there is no way to develop a basis for engineering design. Engineered structures will either be horrendously expensive or will collapse in the first weather that comes in outside of basis of design. e.g., http://www.nrdc.org/energy/shell-arctic-drilling.asp For example, all the sea ice is moving much faster than ever before. Not many engineered structures can withstand the impact of 1 meter thick ice flows moving at speed that arctic sea ice can move these days. Nor is that sea ice solid enough and stable enough to put drilling equipment on. Nor can they use permafrost to support staging facilities as was done in the 1960s and 70s when the geological studies were done and the Alaskan pipeline built. Shell will not be able to pump Arctic Oil at competitive prices - even in an "ice free" Arctic. I would bet that they wreck 2 more drill rigs and call it done!
Toggle Commented May 14, 2015 on Bill McKibben nails it at Arctic Sea Ice
Looking at pictures of the Norwegian Expedition, there seems to be a lot of loose snow on the ice. This may have fooled the PIOMAS sensors/model.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2015 on PIOMAS May 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
Timely story. However, Britain and Europe already seeing extra rain as North Atlantic warms, to say nothing of Pakistan, Nepal, and the snow fields above the Himalayan glaciers. Already flood repair is draining infrastructure budgets. Water vapor contains more energy than rain and (unseen) water vapor condensing on the surface can melt a glacier faster than rain. (condensing wv can produce wind, see http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/1039/2013/acp-13-1039-2013.html) 1 gram of water vapor can melt 7.5 grams of ice, resulting in 8.5 g of runoff. Floods sure, but do not forget the hail. Warm moist air hitting cool moist air can generate tremendous thunderstorms. We are already seeing hail storms that destroy cars and houses. Hail is also very hard on crops. Everything is connected. Today everything has microprocessors in it. Every microprocessor is embedded in a drop of "gray plastic" made at one of about 300 chemical plants - most of which are at sea level. They can be "jacked up" as sea level rises, but the high pressure pipe that is needed as they are reconfigured, is made at the Shaw plant outside of Houston, Tx. It does not take much to flood Houston. Currently, organic matter sinks to to bottom of the ocean, and is converted to methane, but the bottom of the ocean is cold enough that the methane freezes into clathrates that just sit in the sea floor. If the bottom of the ocean warms a tiny bit, organic material from iron fertilized blooms will fall to the bottom, be converted to methane, and -- how much methane makes it back to the surface is a very interesting question. Methanogenesis has been shown to occur at low pH's (pH=3.0). Today, we can dig and transport lime for agriculture because the mining and transport is subsidized by cheap oil - including the production of cheap gray plastic for mine machinery and truck parts. In the absence of cheap oil and good transportation (e.g., flooded roads and rail lines) lime is expensive. And, rye is a long day plant, it does not do well in the short days of winter. In fact, crop production remains difficult as long as the climate continues to change. Crop production needs predictable seasons. Even after we stop emitting carbon there will be several decades of residual warming in the system - even if we are actively sequestering carbon. This ongoing climate change will affect crop production. If all this sounds pessimistic, I read the Greek classics and they seem to have had very civilized life without any fossil fuel.
Toggle Commented Jun 9, 2014 on The day the ice cap died at Arctic Sea Ice
The climate was stable during Roman times and past ice would predict future ice. Then we had LIA and MWP. Now we have AGW. Each year we have measurably more heat in the system, and the system collecting heat faster. It is a heat engine with the throttle pushed a little bit forward each year. Each year the engine runs a little differently as a result of the increased energy in the system. Since the energy of the system changes each year, past system behavior does not predict future system behavior. Since this is the first time we have observed the climate system under these conditions of changing heat levels, we cannot be certain how the system will respond. In particular, we are ignorant of system lags and feedbacks. At this point we know the system is going to a state with less ice than humans have ever seen before, and it is going there faster then we have ever seen climate change. I remain convinced that the Arctic ice will retreat in a series of abrupt ice loss events, and that each successive event will produce gasps of surprise from the assembled observers.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2014 on 2013/2014 Winter Analysis at Arctic Sea Ice
As we lose albedo, either from lose of sea ice or loss of snow cover, we also lose a condensing surface for water vapor from the atmosphere. Thus, loss of albedo implies more water vapor in the atmosphere or a longer residence time for water vapor in the atmosphere. Most of the climate models do not address this but when we express water vapor as ppmv as we do CO2, it is easier to visualize that water vapor is a major factor, and an extra day's residence time in atmosphere results in a significant increase in atmospheric water vapor. Loss of albedo has at least 2 significant feedback effects, and we should consider both.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2014 on PIOMAS April 2014 at Arctic Sea Ice
Perhaps, Nevin will allow me to re-phrase his statement to "Look at the change in ALBEDO!".
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2014 on Mission possible at Arctic Sea Ice
Note that many of the Greenland fjords, Umiivik and south, show open water.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2014 on Bromine, chlorine and mercury at Arctic Sea Ice
I like data expressed as standard deviations.
My take on the situation is that heat that I expected to end up driving melt of the ASI went to warming the North Pacific, melting permafrost,and maybe warming Antarctica? Ultimately, I am not as interested in ice compaction as I am in storm mixing of surface fresh water with deeper salt water. This is the first time we have actually had a chance to watch an AGW event, so I do not feel too bad about missing some of the couplings. Today, there is more heat in the system than there was 6 months ago, so at some point, the sea ice will melt, and with more heat in the system, it will melt faster, and everyone will be more surprised at how fast it does melt out. As long as the North Pacific is gaining heat, and supplying latent heat to Northern Canada, I do not see any chance of real ASI recovery.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2013 on Pinpointing the minimum at Arctic Sea Ice
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Sep 11, 2013