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"Damn you, entropy!" I heard a rumor that that had happened. Unfortunately, Hell was destroyed by heat death soon after.
Toggle Commented Sep 17, 2012 on PIOMAS September 2012 at Arctic Sea Ice
"Judith Curry is another case altogether, where she gets the idea that the ice will recover earlier is beyond my wildest imagination." She was seriously off that day. That whole "Week in Review" was a tour de force of cognitive dissonance. I'm afraid there's no getting around the realization that one of our few scientifically trained "skeptics" is on the Confirmation Bias Express to Goddardtown.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2012 on Joe Bastardi found a cherry at Arctic Sea Ice
idiot tracker, thanks! I did deal briefly with methane--which others would you have liked to have had high-lighted? Other aspects of the methane feedback, such as increased microbial metabolism? Wildfire-released CO2, perhaps? Something else? There are more articles to be written, and I will gladly steal any ideas you leave lying around... ;-) You did mention the methane, and I should have been more clear as to what I was thinking of. It's the influence of the open water on the arctic coastline. That makes the sea ice a player in the larger game of the destabilization of the carbon sinks in the Arctic. I'm sure you saw the Yedoma article, which was all over Twitter: "Coastal Yedoma is likely more vulnerable towards carbon release than other permafrost bodies as it is not only subject to thermal collapse from above but also to enhanced wave and wind erosion of the Yedoma-dominated coast brought on by sea-level rise and longer ice-free seasons," explains Örjan Gustafsson, professor of biogeochemistry at Stockholm University and co-leader of the team with Igor Semiletov of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Another Yedoma article: The research group, which was led by Stockholm University, has calculated that the coastal Yedoma erosion currently destabilises around 44 megatonnes of the ice age carbon per year – ten times as much as previously thought – and that about two thirds of this end up as CO2 in the atmosphere, translating to annual CO2 emissions of about 0.165 gigatonnes*. That's roughly the same as Pakistan's current emissions. And that's today, not decades from now. 0.5% of human emissions in 2012. In 2020? There's a story there, I would think, and the ice is a part of it. Methane and carbon dioxide both are going to be emerging from the Arctic and the neighboring north. You mentioned some of the ways the Arctic sea ice contributes to this: * methyl hydrates * wildfires * increased microbial metabolism (peat bogs, etc.) To which I would add: * Warming the coasts * Increased erosion of permafrost-laden coastline * Changes in the jet stream, resulting in more persistent and more extreme weather patterns, contributing to most of the above processes and the destabilization of land permafrost as well. For an attempt at the big picture, there's a recent study: The numbers are eye-popping.
Boa05att, +1 for Kevin's comments. There's no "moving on" from the primary research. We don't, and won't, know everything that is going to happen and when it will happen. That's science for you. Our understanding will improve. Right now we know plenty to know we're in trouble. So the science has done the job that policymakers and the public need it to do.
Great article. The only thing I would have included as well is some discussion of the carbon cycle feedbacks being thrown into gear by the Arctic warming.
Interesting papers, guys. I framed them a little with stuff that is apt to be old news to the crowd here and made a post of it:
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2012 on On the fringes at Arctic Sea Ice
"I have also been wondering if the release of methane could actually affect weather patterns" Absolutely yes. Atmospheric methane affects cloud cover, along with ozone levels. I'm working my way through this primer: "Atmospheric Methane: Trends and Impacts" Money quote: "As discussed earlier, increasing water vapor from methane could be leading to an increased amount of polar stratospheric clouds. Ramanathan (1988) notes that both water and ice clouds, when formed at cold lower stratospheric temperatures, are extremely efficient in enhancing the atmospheric greenhouse effect. He also notes that there is a distinct possibility that large increases in future methane may lead to a surface warming that increases nonlinearly with the methane concentration." See also: "Archer: Destabilization of Methane Hydrates: A Risk Analysis" PDF at:
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Dec 22, 2011