Greenland update for 2010: record melting and a massive calving event

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:31 PM GMT on March 04, 2011

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No humans were present on the morning of August 4, 2010, in a remote fjord in Northwest Greenland, when the air vibrated with a thunderous crack as one of the largest icebergs in world history calved from the Petermann Glacier, the island's second largest ocean-terminating glacier. Where the glacier meets the sea, a 43 mile-long tongue of floating ice existed at the beginning of 2010. On August 4 2010, a quarter of this 43 mile-long tongue of floating ice fractured off, spawning a 100 square mile ice island four times the size of Manhattan, with a thickness half that of the Empire State building. According to Andreas Muenchow, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, the freshwater stored in this ice island could have kept the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years, or kept all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days. There was speculation that the ice island could find its way into the open Atlantic Ocean in two years, and potentially pose a threat to oil platforms and ships. However, as the ice island made its turn to get from the narrow Petermann Fjord to enter Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, the mighty iceberg split into thousands of small icebergs that will not pose an unusual threat to shipping when they emerge into the Atlantic.


Figure 1. The 100 square-mile ice island that broke off the Petermann Glacier heads out of the Petermann Fjord in this image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on August 21, 2010. Image credit: NASA. I've constructed a 7-frame satellite animation available here that shows the calving and break-up of the Petermann Glacier ice island. The animation begins on August 5, 2010, and ends on September 21, with images spaced about 8 days apart. The images were taken by NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

Petermann Glacier spawned smaller ice islands in 2001 (34 square miles) and in 2008 (10 square miles). In 2005, the Ayles Ice Shelf, about 60 miles to the west of Petermann Glacier, disintegrated and became a 34 square-mile ice island. The August 2010 Petermann Glacier calving event created the largest iceberg observed in the Arctic since 1962, when the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf on the north coast of Canada's Ellesmere Island calved off a massive 230 square mile chunk. The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf also calved off a huge 21 square mile ice island a few days after the August 2010 Petermann Glacier calving event. According to an article in livescience.com, "Driftwood and narwhal remains found along the Ellesmere coast have radiocarbon dates from roughly 3,000 to 6,800 years ago, implying that the ice has been intact since those remains were deposited." All of the these calving events are evidence that the ice sheets in the Arctic are responding as one would expect to significantly warmer temperatures.

Warmer ocean temperatures cause significant melting of Greenland's glaciers
At a talk last December at the world's largest conference on climate change, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San Francisco, glacier expert Eric Rignot of UC-Irvine implicated ocean warming as a key reason for the calving of the Petermann Glacier's ice island. The ocean waters near the glacier have warmed by 1 - 2°C over the past three years, he said, and all of the periphery of Greenland has seen ocean heat increases in recent years, with the result that 20 - 80% of all the mass lost by Greenland's glaciers in recent years could be attributed to melting of the glaciers by warmer waters attacking them from beneath. Ocean temperatures along the southwest coast of Greenland (60N to 70N, 60W to 50W) computed from the UK Hadley Center data set during 2010 were 2.9°C (5.2°F) above average--a truly remarkable anomaly, and far warmer than the previous record of 1.5°C above average set in 2003. Sea surface temperature records for Greenland began in the 1920s. A study earlier this year published in the journal Science (Spielhagen et al., 2011) found that ocean temperatures on the east side of Greenland are now at their warmest levels in at least 2,000 years. The researchers studied a sediment core containing fossil remains of planktic foraminifers, which vary as a function of water temperature. The study noted that not only have the waters flowing northward on the east side of Greenland warmed significantly, the volume of water flowing north has also increased, resulting in a large transport of heat into the Arctic. "Such an increased heat input has far-reaching consequences," they wrote.


Figure 2. Departure of sea surface temperature from average for 2010 from the NOAA Daily Optimum Interpolation SST Anomaly data set for October 2010. Areas colored red are warmer than the 1971-2000 average, areas colored blue are cooler than that average. A large region of record warm water temperatures extended along the west coast of Greenland, leading to record warm air temperatures and record melting along the western portion of Greenland in 2010. Ocean temperatures along the southwest coast of Greenland (60N to 70N, 60W to 50W) computed from the UK Hadley Center data set during 2010 were 2.9°C (5.2°F) above average--a truly remarkable anomaly, surpassing the previous record of 1.5°C set in 2003. Sea surface temperature records for Greenland began in the 1920s. Image credit: NOAA Visualization Lab.

Record warmth and melting in Greenland during 2010
Greenland's climate in 2010 was marked by record-setting high air temperatures, the greatest ice loss by melting since accurate records began in 1958, and the greatest mass loss of ocean-terminating glaciers on record. That was the conclusion of the 2010 Arctic Report Card, a collaborative effort between NOAA and European Arctic experts that comes out each year. Was 2010 the warmest year in Greenland's history? That is difficult to judge. We know it was also very warm in the late 1920s and 1930s in Greenland, but we only have two stations, Godtahab Nuuk and Angmagssalik, with weather records that go back that far (Figure 3.) Godtahab Nuuk set a record high in 2010, but temperatures at Angmagssalik in 2010 were similar to what was observed during several years in the 1920s and 1930s. Marco Tedesco of the City College of New York's Cryosphere Processes Laboratory remarked that last year's record warmth and melting in Greenland began when an unusually early spring warm spell reduced and "aged" the snow on the surface of the ice sheet, so that the snow became less reflective, allowing it to absorb more heat from the sun. This accelerated snow melt even further, exposing the bare ice, which is less reflective than snow and absorbs more heat. This feedback loop extended Greenland's record melting season well into the fall.


Figure 3. Historic temperatures in Greenland for the six stations with at least 50 years of data, as archived by NASA. Three of the six stations set record highs in 2010. However, only two of the six stations (Godtahab Nuuk and Angmagssalik) have data going back beyond the 1930s, which was a period of warmth in Greenland similar to the warmth of the current decade. Godtahab Nuuk set a record high in 2010, but 2003 still ranks as Angmagssalik's hottest year on record.


Figure 4. The 2010 summer melt season was lasted more than 40 days longer (purple colors) than the mean melt season from 1979 - 2007. Image credit: Arctic Report Card.

Why Greenland matters: sea level rise
The major concern with a warming climate in Greenland is melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which currently contributes about 25% of the observed 3 mm/year (1.2 inches per decade) global rise in sea level. Higher sea levels mean increased storm surge inundation, coastal erosion, loss of low-lying land areas, and salt water contamination of underground drinking water supplies. Greenland ice mass loss is accelerating over the long term, according to independent estimates using three different techniques (Figure 5), with more mass being lost each year than the previous year. According to Rignot et al., 2011, ice mass loss is also accelerating in Antarctica, and "the magnitude of the acceleration suggests that ice sheets will be the dominant contributors to sea level rise in forthcoming decades, and will likely exceed the IPCC projections for the contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise in the 21st century." As I discussed in a 2009 blog post, How much will global sea level rise this century?, the IPCC in 2007 estimated that global sea level would rise 0.6 - 1.9 feet by 2100, but several studies since then predict a higher range of 1.6 - 6.6 feet.

During the warm period 125,000 years ago, before the most recent ice age, roughly half of the Greenland ice sheet melted. This melting plus the melting of other smaller Arctic ice fields is thought to have caused 7.2 - 11.2 feet (2.2 - 3.4 meters) of the 13 - 20 foot (4 - 6 meter) sea level rise observed during that period. Temperatures in Greenland are predicted to rise 3°C by 2100, to levels similar to 125,000 years ago. If this level of warming occurs, we can expect sea levels to rise 13 - 20 feet several centuries from now. There's enough water locked away in the ice sheet to raise sea level to rise 23 feet (7 meters), should the entire Greenland ice sheet melt.


Figure 5. Loss of mass from Greenland's ice sheet in gigatons per year from 1992 through 2009, as computed from satellite gravity measurements from the GRACE satellites (red line) and from a mass balance method. The mass balance method computes the amount of snow on the surface, the amount of ice mass lost to wind and melt, and the amount of ice lost computed from glacier velocity and ice thickness. Adding together these terms gives the total amount of ice lost or gained over the ice sheet. The acceleration is given in gigatons per year squared. Another paper by Zwally et al. (2011) used a third method, laser satellite altimetry, to determine Greenland mass loss. Between 2003 to 2007, the ice sheet lost 171 gigatons of mass per year. Between 1992 to 2002, Greenland was only losing only 7 gigatons per year. Image credit: Rignot et al., 2011, Geophysical Research Letters.

References
Rignot, E., et al., 2011: Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to sea level rise, Geophysical Research Letters, in press, doi:10.1029/2011GL046583.

Spielhagen, et al., 2011, Enhanced Modern Heat Transfer to the Arctic by Warm Atlantic Water, Science 28 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6016 pp. 450-453 DOI: 10.1126/science.1197397

Zwally, J., et al., 2011, Greenland ice sheet mass balance: distribution of increased mass loss with climate warming; 2003 - 07 versus 19922 - 2002, Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 57, No. 201, 2011.

Wunderground's climate change section has a Greenland web page with detailed information and references.

Jeff Masters

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Ahh, the lovely sound of transformer pop from the front porch...

Apparently downstream. Or I'd not be here.
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Has not happened since 1983!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Amazing the garbage that comes out when, suddenly, someone that has never looked at something, begins to. And sees whatever they think they want to.


We have house flooding on our street!
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Quoting Minnemike:
so no, evaporation will not offset glacial melting. just trying to connect the dots here... seemingly scattered about.
I've been wondering if this was going to be connected...
Quoting sunlinepr:
Rising Carbon Dioxide Is Causing Plants to Have Fewer Pores, Releasing Less Water to the Atmosphere



ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) — As carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34 percent, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere, report scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and Utrecht University in the Netherlands in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a separate paper, also to be published by PNAS, many of the same scientists describe a model they devised that predicts doubling today's carbon dioxide levels will dramatically reduce the amount of water released by plants.[snip for size]Link

This could have a considerable effect on how much moisture is locked up in the different parts of the water cycle. If plant evapotranspiration doesn't contribute as much to water vapor what is the net effect of the changes in the plants?

We have already seen trees grow faster and with larger trunks than we thought they could. Some of this is from studies in rainforests over the years, some from CO2 enriched test forests (Duke U, I think).

So what is the total net response of the plants? Take in more CO2 and emit less water vapor, it seems. How much of a negative feedback is it (it will be if there is significantly less water vapor coming from plants)? I seriously doubt we can intelligently quantify that, yet.
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Is it just possible that Global Climate Change is happening due to human technology because... that's exactly what we were MEANT to do? When someone asks "why are we here", "what is our purpose for being"... is it just possible that the Earth accumulated large hydrocarbon deposits, then allowed our species to evolve in order to find the hydrocarbon deposits and develop the technology to utilize them in creating greenhouse gasses... because the Earth wanted to be warmed?

If so... aren't these Global Warming alarmists not only correct, but directly opposed to the wishes and well-being of their own planet?

Join the Oil Industry. We're Pro-Earth! We want to HELP the earth by satisfying it's need for warming.
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Those clouds over those Dominican Cities are highly suspicious, is it smog, city heat island effect?
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Original surface vortex spinning away to the southwest. Any surface low will have to reform to the northeast where the upper divergence is.

Any chances of organization are pretty small considering the system is under a 60-knot jetstream.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Meanwhile back on the topic of Greenland and climate:

1. It was warmer 125,000 years ago - hard to blame that on hominids. Maybe it isn't all about us, though vanity seems a particularly human trait.

2. Active stations in Greenland reported similar warmth in the 1920's and 1930's...there were less than 2 billion of us then vs 6 billion now

3. We are emerging from what some term the Little Ice Age of the period from the early 1300s to around 1850, so one might just expect things to be warmer as a result.

4. With a predictive accuracy on short term weather forecasts under 50% after 3-4 days it seems a bit presumptious to forecast sea level conditions 100 years hence when we know ever so little about the complex dynamics of the full three dimensional oceans, the interactions of its currents at all levels and the thermodynamic variables layered on top of those formidable precursors.

5. But that's why we have blogs.
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so no, evaporation will not offset glacial melting. just trying to connect the dots here... seemingly scattered about.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting Skyepony:
RayDuray~ Had just Baffin Bay/Newfoundland bay been slow to freeze & not the Hudson Bay as well..Hudson would be near completely unaffected by the dispersant, that heat there played a huge part in the winter set up for here & Europe. I agree the science in this part of the conspiracy seems lost. Looking into it deeper the guy that originally claimed this was using sat pictures of the loop current that broke off in the gulf last summer as evidence the gulf stream was collapsing, which the gulf stream does that ~2 times a year.. Showing the guy had no knowledge of what he was talking about.
Amazing the garbage that comes out when, suddenly, someone that has never looked at something, begins to. And sees whatever they think they want to.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah. Not too shabby for early March.
Especially given that La Nina is supposed to anomalously dry for PR in their dry season (through April).



Alternatively, wet season is just that.



From here: Link
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270. Skyepony (Mod)
RayDuray~ Had just Baffin Bay/Newfoundland bay been slow to freeze & not the Hudson Bay as well..Hudson would be near completely unaffected by the dispersant, that heat there played a huge part in the winter set up for here & Europe. I agree the science in this part of the conspiracy seems lost. Looking into it deeper the guy that originally claimed this was using sat pictures of the loop current that broke off in the gulf last summer as evidence the gulf stream was collapsing, which the gulf stream does that ~2 times a year.. Showing the guy had no knowledge of what he was talking about.

Good point about if the gulf stream is slowing.. I've seen it both ways. But most recent & published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (3-2010)~ Confirming work by other scientists using different methodologies, they found dramatic short-term variability but no longer-term trend.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
This TPW can move along now, thanks.



And see the Levi subtrop system with the yellow spot N of PR. Decent moisture to work with.


Yeah. Not too shabby for early March.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting Xyrus2000:


No way. If you look up saturated vapor density of water, the atmosphere would have to get absolutely scorching before the air could hold that kind of moisture.

With the global circulation patterns including subsidence zones and the cooler temperatures in all convergence zones but the equator, no way is anywhere but the ITCZ, and possibly very developed tropical systems, going to hold 3 inches TPW.

In these, 75 mm roughly equal to 3 inches.

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New System Can Warn of Tsunamis Within Minutes

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) — Seismologists have developed a new system that could be used to warn future populations of an impending tsunami only minutes after the initial earthquake. The system, known as RTerg, could help reduce the death toll by giving local residents valuable time to move to safer ground.

The study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology appears in the March 5 edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

"We developed a system that, in real time, successfully identified the magnitude 7.8 2010 Sumatran earthquake as a rare and destructive tsunami earthquake. Using this system, we could in the future warn local populations, thus minimizing the death toll from tsunamis," said Andrew Newman, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Typically, a large subduction zone earthquake ruptures at a rate near 3 kilometers/second and anywhere from 20 kilometers to 50 kilometers below Earth's surface. Because of the depth, vertical deformation of the crust is horizontally smoothed, causing the size of uplift to remain rather small. When these earthquakes occur in the ocean, the resulting waves may only measure about 20 centimeters high for a magnitude 7.8 event.

Tsunami earthquakes, however, are a rare class of earthquakes that rupture more slowly, at 1-1.5 kilometers /second and propagate up to the sea floor, near the trench. This makes the vertical uplift much larger, resulting in nearby wave heights up to 10- 20 meters in nearby coastal environments. Such is the case of the Sumatran earthquake with reported wave heights of up to 17 meters, causing a death toll of approximately 430 people.

"Because tsunami earthquakes rupture in a shallow environment, we can't simply use a measurement of magnitude to determine which ones will create large waves," said Newman. "When they occur, people often don't feel that they're significant, if they even feel them in the first place, because they seem like they're an order of magnitude smaller than they actually are."

Tsunami earthquakes typically rupture more slowly, last longer and are less efficient at radiating energy, so when RTerg uses its algorithmic tools to find a quake matching these attributes, it sends an alert to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center as well as the United States Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting RayDuray:
Imagine this. On December 29 it was warmer at 4 AM in Greenland than it was in Jacksonville, FL. Weird, eh? That's why I call what we are experiencing "Global Weather Chaos" and not global warming.

Since it does get cold in Jacksonville several times each winter, I would just call that par for the course; it's only an interesting oddity that J-ville was colder than some Greenland locations. But another way--and perhaps a more telling and truthful way--to look at it is to say that places in Greenland were warmer than Jacksonville at the end of December. Now that's something amazing.

The fact is, as Figure 4 above shows, something is happening to make large parts of the Arctic--and Greenland in this particular instance--have a decreasing number of freezing days and an increasing number of thawing days. Chaotic? You bet. And also completely in line with projections of a warming world.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
No Such Thing as a Dormant Volcano? Magma Chambers Awake Sooner Than Thought


Crater of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Is there no such thing as a dormant volcano? (Credit: iStockphoto/Arnel Manalang)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) - Until now it was thought that once a volcano's magma chamber had cooled down it remained dormant for centuries before it could be remobilized by fresh magma. A theoretical model developed by Alain Burgisser of the Orleans Institute of Earth Sciences (Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orleans -- CNRS/Universitie d'Orleans et de Tours) together with a US researcher , was tested on two major eruptions and completely overturned this hypothesis: the reawakening of a chamber could take place in just a few months. This research should lead to a reassessment of the dangerousness of some dormant volcanoes.

It is published in the journal Nature dated 3 March 2011.

Link

"When fresh hot magma rises from below and arrives beneath the chamber, it melts the viscous magma at the base of the reservoir. This freshly molten magma therefore becomes less dense and starts to rise through the chamber, forcing the rest of the viscous mush to mix. It is this mixing process that enables the heat to spread through the chamber a hundred times faster than volcanologists had predicted".


The lava lamp effect. :)
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1656
Quoting weatherboy1992:
Do you really think the atmosphere can hold 13-20 feet of water? Wonder what levi has to say about it. He has some knowledge and isn't an AGW proponent. Can the atmosphere hold 3" of water or 20 feet?


No way. If you look up saturated vapor density of water, the atmosphere would have to get absolutely scorching before the air could hold that kind of moisture.

Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1656
This TPW can move along now, thanks.



And see the Levi subtrop system with the yellow spot N of PR. Decent moisture to work with.
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Quoting weatherboy1992:
Precipitable water vapor in the atmosphere is 3" at most. To evaporate feet of water globally surface temperatures would have to approach the boiling point.


Thermal expansion of ocean water would more than compensate for increased evaporation until the oceans started boiling away.

The thermal expansion of sea water for 50 years:

"Global sea level change due to thermal expansion for 1955 to 2003, based on Levitus et al. (2005a; black line) and Ishii et al. (2006; red line) for the 0 to 700 m layer, and based on Willis et al. (2004; green line) for the upper 750 m. The shaded area and the vertical red and green error bars represent the 90% confidence interval. The black and red curves denote the deviation from their 1961 to 1990 average, the shorter green curve the deviation from the average of the black curve for the period 1993 to 2003."

I can tell you that in storm surge modeling world, we use ~1.5 feet for the difference from winter to summer in the coastal Northern GoM (been a while since I visited that derivation, but that would be 1.5 feet for a ~35 F swing).

Plot from here, IPCC: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/ en/ch5s5-5-3.html

Further:
"Analysis of the last half century of temperature observations indicates that the ocean has warmed in all basins (see Section 5.2). The average rate of thermosteric sea level rise caused by heating of the global ocean is estimated to be 0.40 plus/minus 0.09 mm / yr over 1955 to 1995 (Antonov et al., 2005), based on five-year mean temperature data down to 3,000 m."
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A lot of hype to me....

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No Such Thing as a Dormant Volcano? Magma Chambers Awake Sooner Than Thought


Crater of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Is there no such thing as a dormant volcano? (Credit: iStockphoto/Arnel Manalang)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) - Until now it was thought that once a volcano's magma chamber had cooled down it remained dormant for centuries before it could be remobilized by fresh magma. A theoretical model developed by Alain Burgisser of the Orleans Institute of Earth Sciences (Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orleans -- CNRS/Universitie d'Orleans et de Tours) together with a US researcher , was tested on two major eruptions and completely overturned this hypothesis: the reawakening of a chamber could take place in just a few months. This research should lead to a reassessment of the dangerousness of some dormant volcanoes.

It is published in the journal Nature dated 3 March 2011.

Link

"When fresh hot magma rises from below and arrives beneath the chamber, it melts the viscous magma at the base of the reservoir. This freshly molten magma therefore becomes less dense and starts to rise through the chamber, forcing the rest of the viscous mush to mix. It is this mixing process that enables the heat to spread through the chamber a hundred times faster than volcanologists had predicted".
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
251. Skyepony (Mod)
Iron Horse Fire is getting the bulk of the rain. Also the winds have been calmer there then around most of the area today. The fire is now 50% contained..

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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Haha I didn't realize those pages could scroll. Lol thanks for pointing that out. You're right, still seems slightly warm core though.


It does show shallow warm-core structure.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
239. if interested in the actual details, which are important for perspective. Now is this peer reviewed? :)

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/02/16/1100 371108.full.pdf html

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/02/16/1100 555108.full.pdf html

BTW, thanks, that is interesting
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting Levi32:


That's a different kind of chart, showing the low-level thermal structure versus the thickness symmetry. Mine is the 2nd chart shown on those pages, which compares low-level and upper-level thermal structure. Your image will show symmetric warm core even if it is only a shallow warm core.
Haha I didn't realize those pages could scroll. Lol thanks for pointing that out. You're right, still seems slightly warm core though.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Testing indicates the new CFS will be able to forecast MJO out much longer than before. Interested to see how it does this year.





From: Recent Progress in Analysis and Prediction at the NCEP Environmental Modeling Center


I hope they don't bump back the release date again.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Testing indicates the new CFS will be able to forecast MJO out much longer than before. Interested to see how it does this year.





From: Recent Progress in Analysis and Prediction at the NCEP Environmental Modeling Center
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11347
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Levi I got a different chart from the GFS, which shows more of a warm core. I'm having a hard time fitting the image though. Here's the link.


That's a different kind of chart, showing the low-level thermal structure versus the thickness symmetry. Mine is the 2nd chart shown on those pages, which compares low-level and upper-level thermal structure. Your image will show symmetric warm core even if it is only a shallow warm core.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting Levi32:
It would be quite saddening if this blog didn't find this interesting in the Atlantic during March...



Quite interesting indeed. :)
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1656
For what it's worth, the CMC is also showing a warm core feature transitioning later into cold core.
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Rising Carbon Dioxide Is Causing Plants to Have Fewer Pores, Releasing Less Water to the Atmosphere



ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2011) — As carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34 percent, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere, report scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and Utrecht University in the Netherlands in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a separate paper, also to be published by PNAS, many of the same scientists describe a model they devised that predicts doubling today's carbon dioxide levels will dramatically reduce the amount of water released by plants.

The scientists gathered their data from a diversity of plant species in Florida, including living individuals as well as samples extracted from herbarium collections and peat formations 100 to 150 years old.

"The increase in carbon dioxide by about 100 parts per million has had a profound effect on the number of stomata and, to a lesser extent, the size of the stomata," said Research Scientist in Biology and Professor Emeritus in Geology David Dilcher, the two papers' sole American coauthor. "Our analysis of that structural change shows there's been a huge reduction in the release of water to the atmosphere."

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882

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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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