Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SAR #16285

I've had all of Trump I can handle for a while, even as entertainment. So today's screed is on a more serious subject than who gets to loot America and the world for the next four years.
On October 7th, The Telegraph wrote a particularly misleading article on the continuing retreat of Arctic Ice cover, with a seriously misleading headline - Experts said Arctic sea ice would melt entirely by Sept '16... It was picked up and bandied about by Drudge, among others, as a supposed refutation of global warming.
The “experts' were actually just Peter Wadhams, an Arctic Ice expert at Cambridge University who had given interviews on the September 1st publication of A Farewell to Ice - his detailed but highly readable account of the science involved in the demise of Arctic ice and the rather nasty things that will follow. After discussing the science and the trend of Arctic Ice cover, he did not say that the ice would be gone by 2016 but that “a Blue Ocean Event may well happen earlier than the trend, e.g. in September 2017. But more likely at 2022 and certainly by 2027.”
Was the Arctic ice-free this September? No, it was tied for the second lowest extent in recorded history at 4.7 million square kilometers – just 54% of the September average in the 1980's. And the ice is now just 1.9 meters thick instead of the 3.64 meters back in 1980. So there's less of less.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center's graph of the average monthly sea ice for September, from 1978 to 2016, projects there to be no ice by about 2038. But to climate scientists, 'no Arctic ice” means less than 1 million square kilometers, and that date will certainly show up by 2030.
The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment reports that the Arctic Ocean is expected to be ice free in summer before mid-century. Models that best match historical trends project a nearly ice-free Arctic in the summer by the 2030s.
Note that the remaining ice is thin and getting thinner and will melt faster and faster and the open water is exposed longer and longer to the sun's rays, getting warmer and warmer, so an earlier date is likely.
Why have I taken the time to investigate this and then bother you with it?
Because the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report did not. The IPCC does not factor in any warming from the decreased albedo – ice and snow reflect back into space about 90% of the sun's incoming radiation, dark open ocean water reflects back only abut 20%. That change in albedo has the same effect as “adding 20 years of CO2 emissions.
Nor does their latest report address the methane release that a warming Arctic guarantees.
Another feedback is water vapor. A warmer atmosphere carries more water vapor. Since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas, this further accelerates warming over the Arctic.
These feedback loops will greatly increase the warming of not just the Arctic, but of the world. Quite possibly to unlivable levels, possibly long before 2100.


Demetrius said...

Sleep well? Perhaps not. The levels of humidity we have had this summer have been too high for comfort. With the extended warm period limiting activity one only cheered up when a brief westerly with real air gave some respite. But any rain that came that did refresh then became the later humidity. It looks as though we can't win.

G-fan said...

Look up Calthrate Gun, and know that this was taught when I was a chemical engineering student in the 1970's.

It's going to be pretty fast when it hits.

mc said...

Thank you for this. Current temps haven't been seen in 120,000 years. Locked in for temps not seen for 2m. yrs. due to the 10-30 yr. lag in current emissions having their full impact. Even w/o calthrate guns. $10 carbon taxes won't stop or even slow any of this and that's the best on offer.

Love your children and grandchildren as much as they will let you. That's the only good legacy that we can leave them now.

Matte Gray said...

Clathrate gun.

George Anderson said...

Not to distract from this important issue but it does point directly at what I've been, er, 'saying'. How do we fix this given the current politicians want you to think it doesn't exist?

Short answer is we can't if we sit on our hands and squander elections like the current mockery that plans on (after much ado) turning the reins over to Hillary and we'll get four years of overturning Citizen's United. [and maybe a half-hearted stab at the ERA, which will fail again and should amaze no one.]

If you act like a doormat, try not to be surprised when they use you for one!

Anonymous said...

Well, there's a simple automatic solution.

The pessimists will stop breeding, the optimists won't. The world will get warmer AND more optimistic. Meaning that, everything will be not only warmer but even MORE awesome!

Dude, can you believe this weather, dude? Dude, it's totally AWESOME.

SaintGermane said...

Nicely done.

McMike said...

Geezers CKM. You struck a nerve there.

I had a sudden sad image of the movie On the Beach. Nothing much left to do now but take your children in your arms and eat the cyanide pill. Rhetorically speaking I mean (hope).

That is a monstrous shitty feeling.

"Daddy, what did you do to stop the Greedheads from killing the human race during the Great Missed Opportunity era?"

"Not enough son, not enough."

McMike said...

Geezers = Jeezers.

But kinda works either way...

Degringolade said...

1.) I have always heard it described as the clathrate machine gun, but that is just being picky.

2.) Where's the snapshot. I always look at those first. I feel the need is especially important considering the subject

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

I rather thought the pornographic under 'Sleep well' was the day's closure.