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Matt Arkell
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I've just done a quick pixel count on the last few DMI 80degN graphs, trying to get a handle on temps over the winter, and came up with some interesting numbers. Figured I might as well share them. The numbers are the net number of pixels above the ERA 40 line from when it dips below 273K, and the T/D value is until the 29/1 in each winter, while Total is the total for the "winter" (from when ERA40 goes below 273, to when it gets back to it). 2010/11 T/D: 6190 px Total: 12470 px 2011/12 T/D: 6712 px Total: 12680 px 2012/13 T/D: 11424 px The methodology is crude, so it's not exact, but this winter is already at approximately the final value for the last couple of years, when it would normally be about half that. Whether this actually means anything or not remains to be seen, and I don't have time at the moment to dig further (bed then work beckons), but I don't take this as a particularly encouraging sign for the ice this year.
Toggle Commented Jan 30, 2013 on 2013 Open thread #1 at Arctic Sea Ice
Don't follow that. It isn't heat above freezing point going into ice (that would melt ice). For extra ice to form heat has to be lost to atmosphere or space and ice acts as insulator slowing that down. Without anything for ice to form on, the water could be supercooled below freezing point but I doubt that creates significant delays before ice forms. The water surely isn't all that pure is it? Your're correct about the water not becoming supercooled, those conditions simply wouldn't exist in the open ocean. I was thinking along the lines of additional heat being present in the water having to be lost to the atmosphere before freezing occurs. And a lot of >80N is still ice covered, so even if that was the mechanism, the effect should be small. Once enough heat is lost, then yes, there would definitely be ice forming on the rest and acting as an insulator. I'm inclined to agree with minimum being soon, but that the additional heat energy hanging around being sufficient to slow down the freeze up. I can't help but wonder at what point the straw that breaks the camels back is applied and the winter volume gets damaged enough that summer becomes a real struggle.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2012 on Minimum open thread at Arctic Sea Ice
Lord Soth, The 2012 DMI north of 80 average temperture graph is only a couple of degrees below freezing. The curve for the past few weeks really stand out when comparing against previous years. I was looking at the DMI temps earlier and it does appear that the decline is slower than previously seen. The value at the moment is about the same as 2007, it will be interesting to watch over the next few months to see if it tells us anything about the progress of the freeze-up in that particular part of the world. 2007 did have a few more swings though, which suggests we have more uniform conditions this year to me. With less ice about, the energy should be a bit slower coming out, so i'd expect warmer conditions than we seen for some time persisting.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2012 on Minimum open thread at Arctic Sea Ice
Sufferance=nil, I'm afraid it runs a lot deeper than that. We are programmed to discount the future steeply. It's a survival mechanism that makes a lot of sense in a resource limited world loaded with immediate threats (e.g. African savannah). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbolic_discounting Our brain wiring is set up in such a way to prioritise immediate concerns, because for most of evolutionary history, the only real threats to us were immediate threats such as starvation or predators (same holds for most, if not all other animals). We simply haven't had the time to evolve out that aspect of our nature, and in the mean time we've developed the means to do ourselves in. In effect, science is our best effort at cancelling out these effects on the brain. The problem is, even the best scientists still have their biases and quirks (some much more dangerous than others, I'll grant). And scientists are the best trained people in the world to account for this in themselves. Correcting these biases over time is what makes science reliable, but it also slows it down and, unfortunately, prone to subversion by malicious actors. When it comes down to it, it really is just another statistical process, just like the atmosphere. A small group of particles is relatively easily studied, while 7 billion can be observed only statistically. What we are seeing today is the macro effect of 7 billion particles all behaving as "programmed" (+ their ancestors).
GeoffBeacon: We have to support the IPCC against the deniers but while some of us believe IPCC reports are behind the real world in their science when published, especially with the missing feedbacks in climate models. Agreed. Really, the IPCC reports reflect the fact that the science is so shocking to BAU, that they have to be restricted to the most well founded, and well backed up research. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing, but it does mean that the reports miss the latest research, and tend to be behind the curve. (The feedback issue may be the most explosive one that this occurs for, as it has the most dire implications). But they are pointing out the obvious, and still there is stonewalling and disbelief. I hate the fact that it appears we are going to need something approximating catastrophe to have a hope of doing anything about this issue. As everyone here knows though, if AR5 says the Arctic will be ice free in summer by 2020, there are plenty that will heap scorn on it. Had it been said in the third assessment report, I get the feeling it would have been simply ignored as absurd. But here we are. All we have to do is lose 4000 km^3 of ice in 8 years to get there. To stay at least a little OT, hopefully cryosat-2 gives us another set of data to work with, and that the ice in the Arctic is enough to motivate enough people into action. Hope isn't much of a weapon though. (Wow. Bit of a downer for a first post.)
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2012 on More news on CryoSat-2 at Arctic Sea Ice
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Aug 12, 2012