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Thanks Nevin....most of my comments might be treated as spam even if this is not my intent.
A-Team..... Regarding your Beaufort Gyre and cracks between Ellsmere and the North Pole posts.... I have been looking at the SIA graphs for each of specific called out regions on Cryosphere Today. If you look at the minimums for each in the past melt season, all are at or below the previous record minimum , (all but two at zero area, Canadien Archipelago and CAB) with one notable exception, the Greenland Sea. The Greenland SIA minimum has been on a slow rise since 2003. Is this due to an increasingly effective transport of arctic ice out of the Fram, so effective as to cause an increase in the minimum SIA?
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2013 on PIOMAS February 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
I have read, including the apologies, the more philosophical discussions regarding the cause of our predicament. All of it has been enjoyable. We really are looking at simply the most awesome example of "the tragedy of the commons". Each of us, individuals and nations, are reacting logically and the result is the most illogical of all, the total devestation of the earth's ecosystem. I do not believe we have the will to deviate from this path. We will, instead, see increasingly frantic attempts to shore up a system (human society) that is based on a fundamental illogic (growth is the solution to our problems). These frantic attempts will eventually fail as they encounter a fundamental truth ( the finite planet earth). Studies of the environment are replete with examples of how growth systems behave when constrained by a finite resource. They collapse. Temporarily successful attempts to forestall this collapse result in one thing, more exponential growth which, while it delays the collapse,results in a more devestating collapse. This knowledge, to say the least, can be depressing.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2013 on PIOMAS February 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
"The reason seems to be not so much surface temperatures but oceanic heat transport melting the ice from underneath and so making ice drain faster." Could this actually be contributing to growing sea ice in the antarctic? If the ice is draining faster and melting from underneath more, this would cause a freshening and chilling effect on the sea water around the antarctic.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2013 on CT SIA anomaly above zero at Arctic Sea Ice
"With weak ice in the Beaufort not resisting the BG very well what are the odds that the mass ends up sitting in the middle of the Beaufort at the start of the melt season, waiting to melt. " Could movement like this have been the cause for the separation of a large volume of ice from CAB that then melted out during the GAC2012?
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2013 on Open Thread February 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
Does the state of this ice suggest that the CAB will be unprotected during the coming melt season much earlier than before?
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2013 on Open Thread February 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
Pretty clear that the sea ice is thin, rotten and vulnerable in the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas. Since I am new here is this the norm or worse than in the past?
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2013 on Open Thread February 2013 at Arctic Sea Ice
What is going on with SIE? I know this is OT but did not know where else to post. The update was delayed for 4 days and now the results are strange. SIE has dropped 200 square kilometers. Charts are still two days behind. Are these errors?
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2013 on Dark Snow Project at Arctic Sea Ice
When they came for the polar bears, I did not speak out. I'm going to bitch like hell when it's my turn.
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2013 on Slogan contest at Arctic Sea Ice
John C. I think you are on target. I see winter snow cover as similar to winter arctic SIE. Both are less susceptible to AGW. Summer snow cover is a far better indicator of AGW. Will winter snow cover eventually decline? Sure.
The source of my pessimism and I am pessimistic is my fear we have set in motion a process which cannot be stopped. An ice free Arctic Ocean in the summer will cause an inexorable increase in Arctic Ocean temperatures. It does not matter if the ocean continues to freeze over in the winter. This increase will eventually cause the release of huge methane stores. It is not a question of whether this release occurs. It is a question of over. I do not have a science background, cannot be sure we have reached a tipping point and this is the only cause for any optimism on my part. I do know we are operating in a system (the earth) and AGW is a system wide response to our impact on the environment. If we have reached a tipping point, the only possible effective action would necessarily be a system wide. Addressing symptoms will not save us. One example of a response addressing a symptom would be to add sulpher particles into the upper atmosphere. This will not work. We instead need to operate within the existing system for an effective response. One example might be to enhance CO2 capture in oceans by causing enormous phytoplankton blooms. While stopping CO2 increases in the atmosphere is essential, it is inadequate. Where else in the system can we work to enhance CO2 capture...lots of it?
Steve Bloom.... I'm not sure I read this report and see the same thing you do. If we are going to make the drastic changes needed to survive, we need to begin to have a dialogue which honestly describes the result of doing nothing. The quicker these kinds of reports ddrive common dialogue across human society, the quicker we will act. I see this report as a reason to be optimistic about humanity's ability to face the truth.
I hope the crisis is not war and believe we might be facing this crisis in the coming growing season in the U.S. The drought is worsening across the breadbasket. As bad as it was last summer, unless precipitation changes dramatically in the next 3 months we are going to have real problems.
Epsen.... Saw these photos earlier....absolutely stunning, beautiful and violent in a way that only mother nature can provide.
"From this view, we might learn that there's no sane monetary reason to avoid extinction. It may be more cost effective to die off." you think this may be pessimistic? Pessimistic or not it seems to suggest an ironic twist to a famous quote regarding looking at the long run when focused on the economy. "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead." John Maynard Keynes Keynes was a brilliant economist, decades ahead of his peers. I doubt that he realized that he was articulating a fatal flaw in the capitalist system that would lead to our extinction.
The fossil record shows that there was an initial, primarily land based extinction, caused by a 4C rise in temperatures. This was followed by dramatic increases in atmospheric C12, evidence of massive methane releases into the atmosphere. This was followed by a dramatic extinction event in the oceans which preceded another huge land based extinction event. If there is any comfort to draw from the work done on the Permian extinction, fossil records show that the event took nearly 80,000 years to play out completely.
When looked at this way, the volume of ocean water that is warming represents the greatest threat to human civilization and the declining permafrost is evidence why this is the case. If we look at the frozen ground under the shallow Arctic seas, where methane hydrates are stored, these warming ocean waters will, in the long run, cause an enormous release of methane into the atmosphere. I am concerned that the groundwork for this release has already been laid down and there is no real way to reverse it. There is a rapidly developing theory and a large body of supporting evidence that this process was responsible for the Permian extinction event that occurred 250 million years ago. During this event, 95% of all life became extinct, plant and animal.
"Something that strikes me, based on looking at it, is how constrained the areas of cold are to the land areas." Donald Looking at this temperature map of the NH, I see something different. The cold temperatures are almost perfectly aligned with the current snow and sea ice cover. Where ice is slow to form in the Kara and Barents seas, the temperatures are warmer. The question is weather the surface warmth is the cause of the lack of snow and ice or whether the lack of snow and ice is the cause of the high surface temperatures. I think they reinforce each other; it is a little bit of both. On Christmas Eve in Chicago, we had a heavy snowfall through the night. At times, looking out the window, it looked like a blizzard. The temperatures for a few days prior to Christmas Eve had been abnormally warm and the ground temps reflected this. Christmas morning, there was no snow on the ground. I believe our focus with regards to the progress of AGW and the associated climate change should be on the base where snow and sea ice forms. We know that most of the warming that is occurring is in the ocean temperatures. The oceans are acting like a heat sink. This is also occurring on the land but is more difficult to see. The most obvious effect is the slow reduction in permafrost. Both permafrost reduction and ocean temperature rise is slow and damn near impossible to reverse (in human time frames). If our focus were on this and if we could somehow create historical records going back several hundred years, I believe that we would see obvious evidence that real global warming has been occurring since the advent of the industrial revolution. We are in serious trouble.
Terry/Donald....I think we all agree the tax needs to be significant. I don't believe it should be revenue neutral although such a tax will be regressive and hit the poor disproportionally. I think it should be increased, over time, in an explicit way. Capital investment is slow to adjust to changes and businesses will need to see the future costs in order to plan accordingly.
A stiff carbon tax would be far more effective than a cap and trade program. The justification for such a tax is that it forces business and consumers to internalize costs of using fossil fuels. These external costs (the destruction of our environment) are huge. The tax should be implemented in a clearly deliniated step up approach so that businesses and consumers can plan their investments accordingly.
A-Team....we need to start thinking in terms of microclimates and their ability to support human life. Egypt has done this for 4000 years around the Nile river valley. The east coast of Australia will, likely, continue to support human habitation for some time to come. I am highly skeptical of the proponents for global engineering and think we are way past being able to prevent disastrous warming. Our focus on engineering ecosystems will need to be local and focused on mitigation. The heat wave is coming....get the fuck ready.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2013 on The bunny explains at Arctic Sea Ice
A-Team...very interesting article on the impact on various seal populations from AGW. I actually feel that these kinds of stories play into the hands of the deniers. They are able to characterize scientists as cute little animal lovers and unaware of the issues facing humanity. We need jobs....and oil.....and jobs....and coal....and jobs....and fracking. Humans are a selfish species. When we talk about the climate impacts on local species survivability, we need to talk only about species that are directly related to humans. Examples: Current desertification trends in the U.S. southwest suggest that large grazing areas, currently used to rase most of our beef will shortly be unable to support cattle. Winter wheat crop yields, growing in the upper midwest, will be devastated as warming temperatures and lack of snowfall cause large tracts of acreage to be withdrawn from production. Heat profile trends in the American southwest suggest that planners begin the work to abandon Phoenix by mid-century as the central Arizona desert becomes unfit for human habitation. Now that will get people to sit up and take notice. You think housing prices are depressed in Phoenix now?
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2013 on The bunny explains at Arctic Sea Ice
Christ Alex! You need to post warnings on your links. Oil Drum was perhaps the most depressing thing I've read in weeks.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2013 on The bunny explains at Arctic Sea Ice
Wipneus.....the PIOMASS sea ice thickness simulation is cool. I could not help but get the sense of the planet breathing and its breathing is becoming increasingly labored over time.
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 5 at Arctic Sea Ice
Wipneus.....The PIOMASS monthly average charts are very interesting and show a pattern that makes sense and suggests the way that the downward trends will be experienced. The months where the exponential trends show the most rapidly diminishing mass are those that are being affected by an earlier melt season. Both July and June exponentials are refelcting this. Although you have not provided an exponential trend line for May, it looks like this month is set to behave similarly as the trend for this month has shifted measurably below March and April over the past three years. The months that lead into the freeze (October thru January) show flatter exponential curves. What is this flatter trend capturing?
Toggle Commented Jan 8, 2013 on Looking for winter weirdness 5 at Arctic Sea Ice