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Lou Grinzo
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I happened to notice this coming (possible) event in the sea ice thickness animation Neven posted just before stumbling over this post. Without getting into all the back and forth over vortices and upwellings and such, I think it's worth considering that whatever happens this year we're probably not far from another paradigm shift in the Arctic. Specifically, I would expect that with the continued thinning of the ice and warming of the ocean that huge melt zones far from the edge will become fairly common events, which will only pave the way to virtually complete melt outs in late summers, i.e. Blue Arctic Events.
Toggle Commented May 31, 2013 on If this is real... at Arctic Sea Ice
I've found when I give local (Western NY State) presentations on climate change that even many pretty hard core environmentalists are notably ignorant of what's going on Up There. They know the environment is warming, of course, and they often have some idea that there's something of interest happening at the poles and to continental glaciers, but they have no idea of how serious it is. I show them some of the PIOMAS or death spiral charts, and they look horrified. Just one more big, important piece of this mess we have to find a way to communicate to newcomers, I guess...
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2013 on Perception of the Arctic at Arctic Sea Ice
Good points, as always, Neven. On the data itself, as displayed in these graphs, I have to say that I find the more "official" pronouncements we sometimes hear about hitting the (virtually) zero ice point after 2040, say, to be a bit odd. Looking at the first graph posted above, it seems clear that making such a prediction is tantamount to saying that either PIOMAS is wildly wrong or it's right and the curve is about to take a truly astonishing left-hand turn very soon. This is reminiscent of those calculations and curves showing how quickly we'll have to cut CO2 emissions as a function of when those emissions peak -- later means a much steeper reduction is needed. In this case, the lower that curve goes, the more of an Arctic miracle (possibly aided by a unicorn, as suggested above) we'll need to avoid even a very short period of Blue Arctic every summer.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2012 on Use of graphs at Arctic Sea Ice
I strongly agree with Neven's post, and for a very simple reason: The evidence of what humanity is doing to the environment, and therefore to itself, is overwhelming and literally surrounds us. The evidence that the people he included in his animation are more responsible than most is every bit as overwhelming. (Anyone who thinks this is an exaggeration is urged to read the book Merchants of Doubt. It has more detail about what many of these people have done to fight progress on everything from cigarette smoking to climate than you can imagine without having read the book.) Given all that, it is not a case of making things political by bringing up such culpability, but merely an instance of following facts through to their logical conclusion. And Neven is right -- we're all responsible for this bloody mess. My parents and earlier generations can be largely (but not entirely) excused on the basis of simple ignorance. But this is 2011, and that excuse no longer applies to us. We are ripping carbon out of the ground and aerosolizing it as quickly as we can, to the tune of 30 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year, and in the process consigning future generations to "hell and high water". And the kids running around today and generations unborn are all our kids and our responsibility, whether they're "ours" in the genetic sense, or merely "someone else's". Can we avert some truly nightmarish consequences? Absolutely. What will it takes to make enough of us wake up, shun our financial and ideological incentives to do what is in our own best interest? No one knows, but one way or the other we're about to find out sometime within the next decade or two, I would guess....
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2011 on And now, a word for our sponsors at Arctic Sea Ice
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Sep 7, 2011