A new record minimum for arctic sea ice

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:07 PM GMT on November 18, 2009

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Arctic sea ice reached a new record minimum during the first half of November, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (Figure 1). The record low ice extent this month is the first extended period of record minimum arctic sea ice since 2007. The new record minimum suggests that the gains in ice seen over the past two years were probably a temporary fluctuation due to normal year-to-year variability in the weather, and that the long-term arctic sea ice decline observed since the 1970s is continuing.


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent up to November 16, 2009, compared to the record low year of 2007 and the average from 1979 - 2000. Sea ice extent over the past ten days has fallen below the record minimum observed in 2007. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

What caused the new record low?
The record low was due to very warm air invading the Arctic during October, in combination with the unusually warm ocean temperatures that have prevailed in the region over the past few decades. The warm air temperatures were primarily the result of an intense series of low pressure systems in the Arctic Ocean, north of Siberia, that worked in concert with a very strong high pressure system north of Alaska to drive warm air from Central Asia poleward over the past six weeks. The strong storms and unusual pressure pattern brought winds of about 5 mph above average to large regions of the Arctic Ocean, which helped break up existing ice and kept ice from freezing as much as usual. With all that warm air flowing into the Arctic, the cold air that was there had to go somewhere else, and that "somewhere else" was North America. The U.S. recorded its 3rd coldest October on record in 2009, thanks to cold air flowing out of the Arctic. The temperature and sea level pressure patterns over the Northern Hemisphere for October (Figure 2) were highly anomalous, with temperatures up to 27°F (15°C) above average over the Arctic Ocean, and sea level pressures up to 11 mb above average. The atmospheric circulation pattern has shifted over the past two weeks, with the result that warm air from Central Asia is no longer being pumped into the Arctic so vigorously, nor is cold air from the Arctic streaming southward into North America. As a result, temperature anomalies in the Arctic are beginning to decline, and sea ice extent later this month will probably rise above the record minimums observed in 2007.



Figure 2. Departure of surface air temperature and surface pressure from average for October 2009. Surface temperatures in the Arctic were up to 27°F (15°C) above average over the Arctic Ocean, due to sea ice loss. The strongest anomalies occurred where sea ice was missing from its usual position, though the entire Arctic was affected. The clockwise flow of air around the anomalously strong high pressure system north of Alaska (labeled "H" in the right-hand image) helped drive a flow of very warm air from Central Asia into the Arctic, and a very cold flow of air out of the Arctic southward into North America. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

How will the November sea ice loss affect next summer's sea ice loss?
A record 19% of the Arctic sea ice cover this summer in the Arctic was over 2 years old, far below the 1981 - 2000 average of 52%. In the summer of 2009, NASA researcher Ron Kwok and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle published satellite data showing that mean winter arctic ice thickness declined by 48% between 1980 and 2008. The loss accelerated over the past five years, with the ice losing 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) of thickness between 2004 and 2008, finishing at 6.2 feet thick. This remarkable thinning was confirmed in May 2009 by the Catlin Arctic Survey, a 9-week, 435 km expedition across the Canadian Arctic led by polar scientist Professor Peter Wadhams of the University of Cambridge. Wadhams' expedition found that most of the route had first year ice just 5.9 feet (1.8 meters) thick. With El Niño conditions crossing from the moderate to strong category over the past two weeks in the Eastern Pacific, the prospects for a much warmer than usual winter in the Arctic have increased, likely setting the stage for continued record or near-record minimum sea ice extent and thickness into next spring. The arctic sea ice will be very vulnerable to a new record minimum next summer if warmer than average temperatures are seen over the Arctic.

Sea ice loss causes stronger storms in the Arctic
The stronger storms over the Arctic Ocean this fall were due, in part, to the loss of sea ice. In a 2009 article titled, Extraordinary September Arctic sea ice reductions and their relationships with storm behavior over 1979-2008, Simmonds and Keay found that September storms over the East Arctic intensified by about 1 mb over the past 30 years and had grown about 50 miles larger in diameter, thanks to all the extra heat energy supplied by more open water due to recent losses in Arctic sea ice. These stronger storms may create a positive feedback loop that will lead to even more sea ice loss: reduced sea ice drives stronger storms, whose winds break up sea ice, creating even more warm water to feed stronger storms with stronger winds, and so on. Now that the arctic sea ice is 48% thinner than 30 years ago, this effect will increase in importance, since thinner ice breaks up more readily in strong winds.

Expect an ice-free Arctic by 2030
In a press release put out by the Catlin Arctic Survey, Professor Wadhams said, "The Catlin Arctic Survey data supports the new consensus view--based on seasonal variation of ice extent and thickness, changes in temperatures, winds and especially ice composition--that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within about 20 years, and that much of the decrease will be happening within 10 years". In their 2009 report on this year's Arctic sea ice minimum, National Snow and Ice Data Center Director and Senior Scientist Dr. Mark Serreze said, "It's nice to see a little recovery over the past couple years, but there's no reason to think that we're headed back to conditions seen back in the 1970s. We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades". At the December 2008 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting, the world's largest climate change conference, sea ice expert Dr. Wieslaw Maslowski of the Navy Postgraduate School blamed 60% of the melting during the past decade on heat brought in by ocean currents, and projected that summertime arctic sea ice would completely disappear by 2016. Dr. Jim Overland of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory was more conservative, projecting a 2030 demise of arctic sea ice. He thought we would be "hanging around where we are for a while", and thought it would take two more unusual summers like the "perfect storm" of 2007 to push the system to an ice-free state.

The consequences
There were 88 presentations on arctic sea ice at the 2008 AGU conference. None of the presenters expressed the view that the current long-term decline in arctic sea ice was almost entirely natural, or that we can expect the decline to reverse this century. Sea ice experts do blame part of the decline on natural variability in the weather, but we wouldn't be where we are now without the warming caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases. One view (Stroeve et al., 2007) is that human-emitted greenhouse gases are responsible for 47 - 57% of the arctic sea ice loss since 1979. Heat-absorbing black soot from fires and pollution settling on the white ice is thought to also be a significant contributor.

The consensus I heard at the AGU conference among arctic sea ice experts was that the summertime sea ice will be gone by 2030. If they are correct, we can expect a period of significantly accelerated global climate change to begin 10 - 20 years from now. Arctic sea ice is one of the critical components maintaining the stability of our current climate. Once the the ice is gone, the climate will become unstable, with highly unpredictable results. It is true that Earth's past has many examples of warmer climates that evolved due to natural causes where life flourished, and we shouldn't fear the new, stable climate we will eventually arrive at centuries from now. However, life on Earth is adapted to the current climate. The changes that will occur during the transition will be extremely disruptive to Earth's ecosystems and the humans that rely on them for life. If one were to rate the destructive capability of climate change the way we rate hurricanes, I would rate current climate change at the "Invest" or "tropical disturbance" stage--the climate change storm is just beginning to organize. But the coming climate change storm is destined to hit our children with the full fury of intensifying hurricane.

References
Kwok, R., and D. A. Rothrock. 2009, "Decline in Arctic sea ice thickness from submarine and ICESat records: 1958-2008", Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L15501, doi:10.1029/2009GL039035

Simmonds, I., and K. Keay (2009), Extraordinary September Arctic sea ice reductions and their relationships with storm behavior over 1979.2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19715, doi:10.1029/2009GL039810.

Stroeve, J., M.M. Holland, W. Meier, T. Scambos, and M. Serreze, Arctic sea ice decline:Faster than forecast", GRL 34 L09501, doi:1029/2007GL029703, 2007.

The road to Copenhagen
By some accounts, the future of the world will be at stake this December, when the crucial U.N. Climate Change Conference will be held December 7 - 18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. At that meeting, the leaders of the world will gather to negotiate an agreement to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The new agreement will be the world's road map for dealing with climate change, and the stakes are huge. Dr. Ricky Rood, author of Wunderground's climate change blog, will be there, and Wunderground has given the University of Michigan a grant to send a student who will also blog for us. I have a number of posts I'm planning in the run-up to Copenhagen, including:

- Impact of arctic sea ice loss on Northern Hemisphere winter weather
- The Manufactured Doubt industry
- What global warming skeptics say about arctic sea ice
- Is higher CO2 more beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

I'll also have an end-of-hurricane season summary on November 30, plus posts on whatever breaking weather stories occur. My next post will be Friday, when I plan to summarize the global weather last month, which was the 2nd - 6th warmest October on record.

Jeff Masters

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385. tramp96
2:44 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting jpritch:
369. That's out of date. Now, regardless of how much energy the home (which also includes their offices, not just living space) uses, most - if not all - comes from renewable sources. The home is now gold LEED certified. factcheck.org


Only because they got all over him. How about his private jet?

I am going to srart a new job soon,installing the power lines to Hemlock Semiconductor. They are an offshoot of Dow Chemical you know that evil American greedy corp. that does nothing but pollute. Anyway they make the stuff for solar panels but they use a lot of power. The pwer is supplied by TVA and they have a lot of coal fired plants. So what are your answers,shut the coal plants down now or keep working in an adult manor so we can find cleaner energies for tomorrow. Everybody wants cleaner energy but realistic solutions and not scare tactics are what we need certainly not Kyoto treaties.
Member Since: August 15, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1524
384. PcolaDan
2:35 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


It actually gets into the 40s and 50s on the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer in "heat waves" Remember that the Larsen Ice shelf was covered with melt ponds on the top before it disintegrated.

Also, ocean temperatures around the Antarctic Peninsula have been rising, weakening ice shelves from underneath.



Thank you, did not know that.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
383. CrazyDuke
2:31 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
The reason I have learned to stay out of this and other debates is because there is no point in arguing logic and facts with people who do not base their decisions on them.

...and most, for the most part, don't.
Member Since: February 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 140
382. thelmores
2:25 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Dr. Masters, I must commend you on "trying" to keep your "bias" of GW out of the "facts".

But the bottom line, instead of trying to "stop" GW, we should be using our resources on trying to "adapt" to the changes.

" life on Earth is adapted to the current climate. The changes that will occur during the transition will be extremely disruptive to Earth's ecosystems and the humans that rely on them for life."

This is where we must focus our resources....

Having said that...... we all want clean air, and clean water....... and we should strive for that. But not in legislation such as "cap and trade", which would place a much higher burden on our people than GW.
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3802
380. Grothar
2:21 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting jpritch:
371. Just a small scale example of the cost:

I have not paid an electric bill in years. The solar cells on my roof have fully recovered my initial investment and I now power my house essentially for free. I have a car that gets 54 MPG. For now I still buy a little gas, but as soon as the factory warranty is up I will convert it to plug-in electric and power it from my solar cells. Over the life of the car warranty, which covers every part of the car including regular maintenance, I will more than recover in fuel savings the difference between the cost of this hybrid and the cost of a conventional engine car of similar size and quality.

So far I'm quite happy with the cost. ;)


Wow, that car must have some long extention cord!!. Seriously, very commendable.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
379. Grothar
2:15 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Not an insult, Gro. I know you got that from somewhere.

I was meaning that we actually know about only a tiny fraction of that continent's happenings in the realm of things like ice shelves...
Likely that we missed a larger one...or 2 dozen larger ones.


Thanks, atmoaggie, I thought perhaps you were being coached by my mother-in-law for a minute. She insults me in three languages, so I can take it!!! It is true, we know very little about the Antarctic. That is the reason so much study is being done. I am sure through history, some even larger ones have broken off. But trust me on this one, something very serious is going on there. I know from your writing you have a scientific mind. Please keep an open mind and try to disregard the negative rhetoric which surfaces. This field is not only based on meteorolgy, but oceanography, bio-chemistry, geology, etc. As a scientist, I know you are capable of doing that.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
378. jpritch
2:12 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
371. Just a small scale example of the cost:

I have not paid an electric bill in years. The solar cells on my roof have fully recovered my initial investment and I now power my house essentially for free. I have a car that gets 54 MPG. For now I still buy a little gas, but as soon as the factory warranty is up I will convert it to plug-in electric and power it from my solar cells. Over the life of the car warranty, which covers every part of the car including regular maintenance, I will more than recover in fuel savings the difference between the cost of this hybrid and the cost of a conventional engine car of similar size and quality.

So far I'm quite happy with the cost. ;)
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
377. atmoaggie
2:03 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Grothar:


I would hope you would say the rest. If that is meant as an insult, I truly don't get it. If I am to be insulted, I would at least like to understand the meaning. As you probably know, English is not my first language. I therefore tend to overlook certain nuances in English.

Not an insult, Gro. I know you got that from somewhere.

I was meaning that we actually know about only a tiny fraction of that continent's happenings in the realm of things like ice shelves...
Likely that we missed a larger one...or 2 dozen larger ones.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
376. Grothar
1:59 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:


My 3 year old: gGGCYCZXZXczjkluiio
(Really, that is what he typed)

Myself: Ever!?! (No need to say the rest...)


I would hope you would say the rest. If that is meant as an insult, I truly don't get it. If I am to be insulted, I would at least like to understand the meaning. As you probably know, English is not my first language. I therefore tend to overlook certain nuances in English.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
375. jpritch
1:58 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
369. That's out of date. Now, regardless of how much energy the home (which also includes their offices, not just living space) uses, most - if not all - comes from renewable sources. The home is now gold LEED certified. factcheck.org
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
374. Grothar
1:54 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


From your site grothar.
During the past 50 years around 25,000 km2 of ice have been lost from ten floating ice shelves [Cook, pers. comm., 2008], 87% of glacier termini have retreated [Cook, et al., 2005]; and there is evidence seasonal snow cover has decreased in recent decades [Fox and Cooper, 1998].


but satellites prove this to be a false statement, therefore how do i know the rest of the data is factual?



That you will have to find out for yourself, I just post I do not comment.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
373. Grothar
1:52 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting pearlandaggie:
347. this was from June..

Ice shelves stable over six years

ANTARCTIC ice shelves are showing no sign of climate change, six years of unique research have shown.

Scientists from Western Australia's Curtin University of Technology are using acoustic sensors developed to support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to listen for the sound of icebergs breaking away from the giant ice sheets of the south pole.

"More than six years of observation has not revealed any significant climatic trends," CUT associate professor Alexander Gavrilov said yesterday.

Professor Gavrilov and PhD student Binghui Li are investigating whether it is possible to detect and monitor significant changes in the disintegration rate of the Antarctic ice shelf by monitoring the noise of ice breaking.

The pair are using two acoustic stations, one 150km off Cape Leeuwin, the southwest tip of WA, and another off the gigantic US military base on Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean.

"They are part of a network of underwater acoustic receivers, or hydrophones," Dr Gavrilov told The Australian yesterday.

The stations have been used to locate nuclear explosions detonated by India.

More than 100 signals from Antarctica are detected weekly by the Cape Leeuwin station. They are then transmitted to Geoscience Australia in Canberra.

"Six years of results is not long in the scheme of things, so we will keep watching," Dr Gavrilov said.

The pair will present their research at a conference in Europe later this month.


Here is the last piece of the article:

"More than six years of observation has not revealed any significant climatic trends," Dr Gavrilov said. "I guess we could see this as good news." However, Dr Gavrilov is not going to take these results for granted. "There has been a lot of speculation about the nature of climate change, supported by a great deal of research," he said. "Six years of results is not long in the scheme of things, so we will keep watching. Antarctic ice could be the canary in the Earth's climatic coal mine. "This monitoring process is a very promising way to watch the climate in action and we will continue to do so." Dr Gavrilov is a researcher at Curtin's Centre for Marine Science and Technology, which is an affiliate research centre of the Australian Sustainable Development Institute (ASDI).
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
372. tramp96
1:51 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
The problem is their leader is a hypocrite
How did they all get to Paris for the big meeting? Did they ride their bikes or fly on those big bad jets?
Member Since: August 15, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1524
371. atmoaggie
1:48 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting jpritch:
Cold or warm, energy independence is key to national security, both in military and economic terms.

Increasing efficiency and reducing waste makes us less dependent or foreign sources. Diversifying our sources of energy makes us less vulnerable.

Great, excellent, wunderful, stupendous, terrific.
But at what cost? What is an acceptable cost to achieve that?

We have plenty of resources at home, BTW. Someone decided that retrieving our home-brew energy was uncouth...or we are purposely waiting until it isn't available afar...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
370. VAbeachhurricanes
1:48 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Inyo:
as for antarctic ice, my impression was that warming was causing increased precipitation (in the form of snow of course, it is not going to warm enough to rain significantly in Antarctica any time soon) which in turn is causing some advance of that ice sheet. Hard to prove but I have heard this discussed as an expected result.

and I gotta take off too, getting a beer and listening to music with friends. I am so proud of this blog, everyone is being so civil and thoughtful today. Good thoughts all around!


There is no scientific evidence that sea ice growth is caused by no shape in form by precipitation. (just letting you know)
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
369. tramp96
1:47 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
Link
Member Since: August 15, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1524
368. beell
1:47 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Sucks for us that the Chinese don't have to follow that silly old rule of sharing the wealth. Relatively speaking, of course.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16121
367. PcolaDan
1:45 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Grothar:
A huge ice shelf in the Antarctic is in the last stages of collapse and could break up within days in the latest sign of how global warming is thought to be changing the face of the planet.

The enormous Wilkins ice shelf is now barely attached to land. The latest reports show that a thin sliver of ice attaching it to the Antarctic's Charcot Island is rapidly collapsing and threatening to break.

The Wilkins shelf is about half the size of Scotland, or the same size as the US state of Connecticut. It is the largest slab of ice so far to disintegrate and retreat in the Antarctic. Pictures from the European Space Agency show that fresh rifts have appeared in Wilkins' 'ice bridge' to Charcot Island and that a large chunk of ice has broken away, though the shelf still remains attached to other pieces of land. ESA estimated that the loss of the ice bridge could see the northern half of Wilkins break free, representing up to 1,400 square miles of ice floating off on the ocean in a gigantic ice berg.


This is something I just don't quite understand. I mean, it's REALLY cold down there. Does it ever get above freezing? I really don't know. Seems I read somewhere that earthquakes may have helped the shelf to break loose.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
366. VAbeachhurricanes
1:44 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Grothar:
Link

Current data on Antarctica. Warning: only for the brave of heart! Take from it what you will!


From your site grothar.
During the past 50 years around 25,000 km2 of ice have been lost from ten floating ice shelves [Cook, pers. comm., 2008], 87% of glacier termini have retreated [Cook, et al., 2005]; and there is evidence seasonal snow cover has decreased in recent decades [Fox and Cooper, 1998].


but satellites prove this to be a false statement, therefore how do i know the rest of the data is factual?

Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
365. KimberlyB
1:44 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting atmoaggie:

Try attending a university and taking in lectures from the same researchers that publish on climate change. I had one refuse to discuss the limitations of our TC historical records once...(and what use trends from that dataset really have)


Oh I bet that was fun! sarcasm That is such a perfect example. You are in a place of "higher learning" where informed debate should be commonplace and you have someone speaking on a subject and when there is any further discussion, the person basically put's their fingers in their ears chanting "la la la la - I can't hear you." If they close their eyes too then you, and your questions or differing viewpoint, simply don't exist. It's ridiculous.
Member Since: October 21, 2007 Posts: 27 Comments: 329
364. jpritch
1:41 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Cold or warm, energy independence is key to national security, both in military and economic terms.

Increasing efficiency and reducing waste makes us less dependent or foreign sources. Diversifying our sources of energy makes us less vulnerable.
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
363. atmoaggie
1:39 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Grothar:
The Wilkins shelf is about half the size of Scotland, or the same size as the US state of Connecticut. It is the largest slab of ice so far to disintegrate and retreat in the Antarctic. Pictures from the European Space Agency show that fresh rifts have appeared in Wilkins' 'ice bridge' to Charcot Island and that a large chunk of ice has broken away, though the shelf still remains attached to other pieces of land.


My 3 year old: gGGCYCZXZXczjkluiio
(Really, that is what he typed)

Myself: Ever!?! (No need to say the rest...)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
362. Inyo
1:39 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
as for antarctic ice, my impression was that warming was causing increased precipitation (in the form of snow of course, it is not going to warm enough to rain significantly in Antarctica any time soon) which in turn is causing some advance of that ice sheet. Hard to prove but I have heard this discussed as an expected result.

and I gotta take off too, getting a beer and listening to music with friends. I am so proud of this blog, everyone is being so civil and thoughtful today. Good thoughts all around!
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
361. pearlandaggie
1:39 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Inyo:

I think a rise in 4 or 5 degrees could happen, and this could, with a loss of sea ice, totally shift all the jet streams, plunging many areas into drought or flood or extreme storms, and also causing more glaciers to melt over time.


LOL...well, that sounds pretty damn catastrophic to me. i guess your catastrophe bar is higher than mine! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
360. Grothar
1:38 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Link

Current data on Antarctica. Warning: only for the brave of heart! Take from it what you will!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
359. VAbeachhurricanes
1:37 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting PcolaDan:


Been hearing this about the Japanese since the 70's. Hasn't happened yet. Only a FEW of the elite Chinese have better education than we do. Most still have minimal. We but all their products because they don't make a living wage by Western standards. Russia? after Russian reforms I thought this might be true, but now...Don't know. Germany, what can I say, historic German efficiency keeps them at the forefront of most everything.

As much as our education system lacks, we still put out some of the brightest and best in the world. There's a reason so many want to come to our universities for post graduate studies. And these same universities are predominantly filled with American students, who came out of our education system.


It helps that our country has the best universities( maybe besides oxford and a few others) and we should fight hard to keep it that way. Money has alot to do with it too, it helps we are the richest country in the world. Colleges are businesses first, educators second.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
358. atmoaggie
1:37 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting KimberlyB:


I think it has already become one. I also agree with your point. The extremists go so crazy that John Q. Public thinks they are both wrong so they rather just stay neutral. While staying neutral has it's place and time, climatology effects everyone.

It's hard for the regular person to know what is truth and what is grandstanding. Even trying to educate yourself has it's pitfalls. Sifting through all the extremist information can be confusing and time consuming and I don't think most regular folks would take the time to do so.

Try attending a university and taking in lectures from the same researchers that publish on climate change. I had one refuse to discuss the limitations of our TC historical records once...(and what use trends from that dataset really have)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
357. pearlandaggie
1:37 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
355. PColaDan..that's true. thanks for that :) that lightened my spirits a bit!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
356. Inyo
1:37 AM GMT on November 19, 2009

see, this is where you and i part company...i don't want to jump off the cliff just because i might think "we need something." in fact, if you go back to first principle physics, you find that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere already absorbs 90% of the available longwave radiation in the wavelengths the earth emits. the remaining 10%, if completely absorbed, will do little for temperature. then you find out that all global circulation models, every last one of them, assume a positive water vapor feedback to get a catastrophic warming scenario, yet the latest data from the ERBE & CERES satellites indicate that the feedback are negative...completely opposite in sign. those are just two pretty gaping holes in the hypothesis. add to that the fact that none of the GCMs predicted the current temperature plateau of the last ten years and i start to wonder why the hypothesis has such strong legs.

these are a couple of the things i would like resolved before i buy into the hypothesis. is that asking too much? LOL ;)


hmm, yeah I guess I disagree that this action is 'jumping off a cliff' at all, i dont feel like decreasing CO2 will ruin our economy. I don't think 'catastrophic climate change' as in a boiling of the oceans or whatever is going to happen either. I think a rise in 4 or 5 degrees could happen, and this could, with a loss of sea ice, totally shift all the jet streams, plunging many areas into drought or flood or extreme storms, and also causing more glaciers to melt over time. It doesn't take much to cause drastic change, look how small of an area El Nino warming is and how much of the world it affects! As for the amount of longwave radiation being absorbed, I am going to check on that when I get a chance.I know less of the chemistry/physics side of things than I do about climate once warming occurs... but i do know that the earth was much warmer in the past when more CO2 was available (and yes, it is true that correlation does not imply causation!)
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
355. PcolaDan
1:35 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Off topic

Living in Florida


Eventually the United states will fade and it appears will take our place:

The Chinese have better education and we buy all their products

Right Now:
1.United States
2.China
3.German

Future:

1.China
2.Russia/Japan
3.German


Been hearing this about the Japanese since the 70's. Hasn't happened yet. Only a FEW of the elite Chinese have better education than we do. Most still have minimal. We but all their products because they don't make a living wage by Western standards. Russia? after Russian reforms I thought this might be true, but now...Don't know. Germany, what can I say, historic German efficiency keeps them at the forefront of most everything.

As much as our education system lacks, we still put out some of the brightest and best in the world. There's a reason so many want to come to our universities for post graduate studies. And these same universities are predominantly filled with American students, who came out of our education system.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
354. VAbeachhurricanes
1:34 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting Inyo:


Sorry, I was being unspecific. I was referring to the Arctic sea ice. There is no way Antarctica or Greenland will have melted off by then or even gotten close, that will take hundreds of years if it happens at all.


yea i know was not attacking you, just putting it out there lol :)
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
353. pearlandaggie
1:33 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
cool...well, i'm tired so i'm out for the evening. you guys have fun!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
352. VAbeachhurricanes
1:32 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
Quoting PcolaDan:


Unfortunately the extreme right and left wingers scream so loud, civil discussion is fast becoming a things of the past. "The civilized world" is becoming an oxymoron.


its hard when people are so subjective and only provide half the story in order to try and prove themselves right, instead of being objective and discussing what is really happening.
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351. pearlandaggie
1:32 AM GMT on November 19, 2009
347. this was from June..

Ice shelves stable over six years

ANTARCTIC ice shelves are showing no sign of climate change, six years of unique research have shown.

Scientists from Western Australia's Curtin University of Technology are using acoustic sensors developed to support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to listen for the sound of icebergs breaking away from the giant ice sheets of the south pole.

"More than six years of observation has not revealed any significant climatic trends," CUT associate professor Alexander Gavrilov said yesterday.

Professor Gavrilov and PhD student Binghui Li are investigating whether it is possible to detect and monitor significant changes in the disintegration rate of the Antarctic ice shelf by monitoring the noise of ice breaking.

The pair are using two acoustic stations, one 150km off Cape Leeuwin, the southwest tip of WA, and another off the gigantic US military base on Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, in the Indian Ocean.

"They are part of a network of underwater acoustic receivers, or hydrophones," Dr Gavrilov told The Australian yesterday.

The stations have been used to locate nuclear explosions detonated by India.

More than 100 signals from Antarctica are detected weekly by the Cape Leeuwin station. They are then transmitted to Geoscience Australia in Canberra.

"Six years of results is not long in the scheme of things, so we will keep watching," Dr Gavrilov said.

The pair will present their research at a conference in Europe later this month.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
350. Inyo
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


the antarctic ice field is growing... so you cant say the ice is going to disappear...


Sorry, I was being unspecific. I was referring to the Arctic sea ice. There is no way Antarctica or Greenland will have melted off by then or even gotten close, that will take hundreds of years if it happens at all.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 873
Quoting PcolaDan:


Unfortunately the extreme right and left wingers scream so loud, civil discussion is fast becoming a things of the past. "The civilized world" is becoming an oxymoron.


I think it has already become one. I also agree with your point. The extremists go so crazy that John Q. Public thinks they are both wrong so they rather just stay neutral. While staying neutral has it's place and time, climatology effects everyone.

It's hard for the regular person to know what is truth and what is grandstanding. Even trying to educate yourself has it's pitfalls. Sifting through all the extremist information can be confusing and time consuming and I don't think most regular folks would take the time to do so.
Member Since: October 21, 2007 Posts: 27 Comments: 329
Quoting Grothar:


Antarctic Ice shelf



wow thanks for showing an antarctic ice shelf breaking up during summer... way to drive that point home...
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
A huge ice shelf in the Antarctic is in the last stages of collapse and could break up within days in the latest sign of how global warming is thought to be changing the face of the planet.

The enormous Wilkins ice shelf is now barely attached to land. The latest reports show that a thin sliver of ice attaching it to the Antarctic's Charcot Island is rapidly collapsing and threatening to break.

The Wilkins shelf is about half the size of Scotland, or the same size as the US state of Connecticut. It is the largest slab of ice so far to disintegrate and retreat in the Antarctic. Pictures from the European Space Agency show that fresh rifts have appeared in Wilkins' 'ice bridge' to Charcot Island and that a large chunk of ice has broken away, though the shelf still remains attached to other pieces of land. ESA estimated that the loss of the ice bridge could see the northern half of Wilkins break free, representing up to 1,400 square miles of ice floating off on the ocean in a gigantic ice berg.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
Quoting Inyo:
if you think your friend's house is on fire, will you call them and wake them up, even if it is 3 AM and they will be pissed if there isn't a fire and you woke them up? If there was a 10% chance of your friend dying in a fire if you didn't call them, and a 90% chance of a false alarm, would you do it? I would!

Okay, but would you advocate a 5 mph nation-wide speed limit? Lots of lives and property would be saved.

At some point the all too fuzzy line of risk vs. reward comes up. The point at which what we do or do not do is acceptable.

So what is an acceptable result from legislation to curb GHG emissions?
double everyone's power bill?
double the cost of food?
double the cost of consumer goods?
Triple the above?
Then what do you tell the single mom working 2 jobs to get by? One that isn't interested in assistance?
Or the folks that want to provide a certain lifestyle for their kids and do so, currently, with a salary that would not garner any assistance, but would have to give things up for arbitrary and optional increases in energy costs.

I tell ya, the science so far doesn't give me the impression that action is needed on CO2. And I am much like pearland-guy, I did once agree that AGW was a defensible theory. I was immersed in some of the research behind it as an undergrad. Since, I have seen far too many issues with the data, bold conclusions from suspect data, lacking consideration of other factors, an arrogance on the part of climatologists when they claim that we really do know the teleconnections on a quantitative scale and the physics behind it all.

Lastly, I am with pearland-guy on another thing. There is a lot environmental good we could be doing instead of this topic grabbing all of the attention. You could not convince me that there aren't other problems out there that need work, real issues. Ones we could actually do something about, to boot. When is the last time anyone heard about a pollution (not CO2) issue in mainstream media? Has it been months or years?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461


Antarctic Ice shelf
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059
AMEN!!!Apocalypse-induced Misanthropic environmental nervousness!
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341. all too true, my friend..all too true.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963



dangggggg.... like opposite
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
Quoting Inyo:


I agree. When I was younger, I just used to want to argue with 'republicans' but these days I am coming to realize that if you sit down with someone you disagree with but who is reasonably informed, and drink a beer or two (or whatever beverage of your choice), you will probably agree on more than you disagree on, when it comes down to it. Thanks for a good conversation!


Unfortunately the extreme right and left wingers scream so loud, civil discussion is fast becoming a things of the past. "The civilized world" is becoming an oxymoron.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
338. unfortunately (at least from my perspective), you are probably correct.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
333. thank you as well. personally, i fear the cold much more than any warming! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Inyo:
as far as peer-reviewed research, why is there so little funding for scientists not friendly to the AGW hypothesis? i think we should be working to honestly disprove the hypothesis before we embark on the proposed, very costly 'solutions'. then, if we can't disprove the hypothesis or end up proving the hypothesis, we know what we have to do and the integrity of science is maintained.

I agree that good science on this subject should be funded contingent on the quality of the work, not on the opinions or politics of the scientists. However, I also think that some of the 'anti-crowd' are still just beating the same dead horse, for instance, would you support a scientist trying to prove that the world is flat? I am against media dissemination of inaccuracies and cherry-picked statistics of any sort, but actual science and research related to climate is important across the board. Furthermore, scientific debates have to occur without political influence.

My impression from spending time with scientists studying these things is that almost all of them are convinced that while climate change is not well understood, there is enough evidence for CO2 warming that it justifies action. Certainly there is not a full consensus, but considering scientists (a very stubborn, opinionated, and raucous group), the 'consensus' on this is much higher than it is for most scientific debates.

And maybe this is just my liberal bias but i don't see changing energy types as being a costly, energy-wrecking solution. Increased funding in good science strengthens the economy, and improving our energy infastructure will need to be done at some point anyway. I am not 100% sure I think 'cap and trade' is the best solution, but we need SOMETHING!


see, this is where you and i part company...i don't want to jump off the cliff just because i might think "we need something." in fact, if you go back to first principle physics, you find that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere already absorbs 90% of the available longwave radiation in the wavelengths the earth emits. the remaining 10%, if completely absorbed, will do little for temperature. then you find out that all global circulation models, every last one of them, assume a positive water vapor feedback to get a catastrophic warming scenario, yet the latest data from the ERBE & CERES satellites indicate that the feedback are negative...completely opposite in sign. those are just two pretty gaping holes in the hypothesis. add to that the fact that none of the GCMs predicted the current temperature plateau of the last ten years and i start to wonder why the hypothesis has such strong legs.

these are a couple of the things i would like resolved before i buy into the hypothesis. is that asking too much? LOL ;)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Inyo:
some birds definitely foul their nests... but humans are certainly the worst in this regard. In any event, everyone agrees that filthy air and water is bad, some people also feel that too much CO2 is bad... but most of the technologies that create the other pollution are fossil fuel related. I just don't feel like we have the luxury of doing 30 more years of research, especially since the ice may all be melted off by then, which will cause all kinds of climate effects. (though it is probably too late to stop that, anyway)


the antarctic ice field is growing... so you cant say the ice is going to disappear...
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
Quoting PcolaDan:


Rin Tin Tin was better. :)


Hey, Andy Devine from Andy's Gang was the sargeant on Rin Tin Tin, or did old age make you forget that?. lolol
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25059

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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