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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Quoting sunlinepr:


Numerous studies in recent years have found no evidence that the number of hurricanes and their northwest Pacific Ocean cousins, typhoons, is increasing because of the rise in global temperatures.

But a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.

The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength. Current models suggest that the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons should increase by 5 percent for every 1�C (1.8�F) rise in sea surface temperature


Link

AND

The latest understanding of hurricanes is that almost the opposite is true: storms may actually decline in frequency as the planet warms, even as they grow in strength.

Link


Opposite of what is true? Both Levi and I were agreeing. Warmer global temperatures would ultimately result in fewer storms, but those storms would be stronger.

My only quibble was that it would seem that the warmer temps through the troposphere in the tropics would have more to do with with hurricane formation than the gradient between the arctic and the tropics (of course, that is important too). However, I'm not an expert on hurricane formation, hence the speculation on the cause.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1530
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Some take issue with the Emanuel paper due to "adjusting for time-dependent biases due to changes in measurement and reporting practices".

Section 3 in this link


Thanks for the PDF...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Quoting sunlinepr:


Numerous studies in recent years have found no evidence that the number of hurricanes and their northwest Pacific Ocean cousins, typhoons, is increasing because of the rise in global temperatures.

But a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.

The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength. Current models suggest that the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons should increase by 5 percent for every 1�C (1.8�F) rise in sea surface temperature


Link

AND

The latest understanding of hurricanes is that almost the opposite is true: storms may actually decline in frequency as the planet warms, even as they grow in strength.

Link


Some take issue with the Emanuel paper due to "adjusting for time-dependent biases due to changes in measurement and reporting practices".

Section 3 in this link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:


Ok, that wasn't very hard right. Thanks. I will not bother asking for data, but I will just point out that it is only the Atlantic, which has been on the uptick in the AMO since the mid-1980s.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting alfabob:


Fine I will take time from studying for my exam tomorrow so I can make an account and prove to you that I am correct. What would you like me to upload?


Lol, nice avoidance. Get off the blog then and study. Your calculations still don't exist until you show them. You can do that another time, although none of us will remember to ask you.

It also requires no account to upload on tinypic and takes a few seconds to upload something. No pressure.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Do you guys have a general citation for that. There are some details that I want to check.


Quoting would be nice. Half the time I have no idea what you're talking about.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting sunlinepr:
If the gradient energy potential of the tropics vs. the poles is smaller, due to GW, then the total resulting total ACE value for that given year, should reflect a decreasing trend, no matter how many hurricanes develop during that particular year..
I think that what they are saying is that we should expect fewer hurricanes but if they do develop, then, they would be stronger. but that doesn't means that the final total ACE for that year, will be higher.

Looks like that's what the graph is showing...

Correct me if wrong... ;)





That is what the consensus is, yes.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
If the gradient energy potential of the tropics vs. the poles is smaller, due to GW, then the total resulting total ACE value for that given year, should reflect a decreasing trend, no matter how many hurricanes develop during that particular year..
I think that what they are saying is that we should expect fewer hurricanes but if they do develop, then, they would be stronger. but that doesn't means that the final total ACE for that year, will be higher.

Looks like that's what the graph is showing...

Correct me if wrong... ;)



Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Quoting Neapolitan:

The WUWT write-up (coincidentally by one of the larger denialists skeptics "unconvinced"--surprise!) talks primarily of the Fox "breaking news" piece, which I haven't read. (I picked up the piece on meteorobs.) I suppose it's possible there are some actual news outfits (that is, as opposed to Fox) that picked up the story and ran with it as gospel, but most of the coverage I've seen has been moderate to highly skeptical.

Dr. Maue's OT rant digs about UCS or WWF greatly diminish any lingering respect some may have had for him, but I do wish to thank him for pointing out the non-news nature of Fox--but that's a digression the blog doesn't need this evening, so I'll take in no further... ;-)


So let's see,,,, you completely avoid the obvious questionable nature of what you boasted as undeniably quality stuff, and attacked everything and everyone around the subject, but no response to the question on the subject legitimacy or documented history. That is very reminiscent of some other posters here. How does that make you feel, good, great, or guilty again ? Think about it......
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Quoting alfabob:


Maybe not an argument whether gravity exists, but there is an argument as to whether general relativity is wrong which is directly related to gravity. I would post the graphs that I have produced although I no longer have a site to host them on. I don't really know what you want me to do for showing the calculations. I could send you an archive of the databases and excel sheets although I would need to know exactly what it is that you want; as the whole things above 10 gigs.

If you want some numbers or trends then here is what I've found. The oceans are gaining approx. 1.7886*10^21 joules, all ice including glaciers is absorbing approx. 3.87146*10^20 joules, that alone is equivalent to geothermal, tides and human generated heat.

With hurricanes, I divided the data into 3 categories; low (35-75mph), medium (80-105 mph) and high (110 mph) for sustained wind speeds. Each year the trend adds an additional 10.8 hours, 8.2 hours and 2.4 hours to each respectively.

Also when ice melts, or undergoes a phase transition; it is capable of producing a front. The reduction of the arctic air mass in general allows more winds to move over the pole rather than around it.



I think you can handle uploading screenshots to tinypic or imageshack.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting PlazaRed:

Just a note on CO2 etc. production:-
At grass roots level people need to keep warm in cold places where most of us live and experience winters, so they burn wood, coal, old tires in oil drums, foam backed carpets and even wire from street lights to salvage the copper to sell to survive. Some of then have the cash to pay for gas and electricity but a lot don't.
They put petrol in badly adjusted car diesel tanks to get them through the emission tests at their annual inspections, they burn off large amounts of vegetable waste and tree clippings especially here in southern Europe where there are millions of olive trees, grown on desert like plowed fields.
When you consider the 3rd world then things are worse than here and the state of any climate awareness is very low, survival is the priority, usually at any cost.
Its not only the fossil fuel burners of the world who are part of the statistics there are a lot of other human factors out there!!

The amount of CO2 pumped into the environment by the U.S. greatly dwarfs that relatively small amount that comes from third world countries.

The sad truth is, those of us releasing the most CO2 are screwing over those least responsible. From today's headlines:

"Climate change will have the greatest effect on those least responsible for causing the problem, a new study suggests. Researchers at McGill University found what many have long-suspected -- countries that produce the least greenhouse gases per-capita also tend to be the most vulnerable to climate change.

"Based on our ecological models, we see that the potential impact of climate change will be the greatest in countries that have contributed very little," lead researcher and PhD candidate Jason Samson said in an interview.

"Similar models have been used to study how plants and animals respond to climate change, but Samson applied the tools to study the impact on humans."

Article...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13580
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Also when combined with a "suppression" mechanism that graph could very well contain an increase and realistically probably does.


Oh. What...the increase is hidden? I think ACE data speaks pretty clear for itself.



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Levi32:


No. Don't give me the scientific law speech. Until there is no debate, it's not proven. You don't see people still arguing over whether gravity exists.

Second, you have done no calculations, at least until you show them. They are non-existent otherwise.

I'm not sure how melting sea ice increases vertical wind shear, you'll have to explain that one. Global ACE is at a 30-year low and the number of global major hurricanes has not increased significantly since satellite monitoring began.






Somebody pressed Levi's on button.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ossqss:


This is the journal site? Did ya bother to look at anything else there aside from the self professed "peer reviewed" part. LOL

http://journalofcosmology.com/

Thank you WUWT for showing us the reality inside the hype once again. Interesting links abound in this write up, and well deserved Props to the creator :)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/skeptical-s cience-meteorite-aliens-bring-out-the-armchair-exp erts/#more-35369

The WUWT write-up (coincidentally by one of the larger denialists skeptics "unconvinced"--surprise!) talks primarily of the Fox "breaking news" piece, which I haven't read. (I picked up the piece on meteorobs.) I suppose it's possible there are some actual news outfits (that is, as opposed to Fox) that picked up the story and ran with it as gospel, but most of the coverage I've seen has been moderate to highly skeptical.

Dr. Maue's OT rant digs about UCS or WWF greatly diminish any lingering respect some may have had for him, but I do wish to thank him for pointing out the non-news nature of Fox--but that's a digression the blog doesn't need this evening, so I'll take in no further... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13580
Quoting JFLORIDA:
But they should be. With increasing energy available and more widespread variances in the atmosphere.

Or at least the possibility for a wider extreme in cases has increased reasonably. Especially considering recent anomalies.

Correct?


Explain "more widespread variances." The greenhouse effect reduces temperature variance within the Earth system.

And no, tropical cyclones should not necessarily be getting stronger and longer-lasting. While they have more fuel available, the need for them is less. The temperature imbalance of the Earth has been decreasing during the last 30 years as it has warmed, which is the natural course of things. This also reduces extreme weather in general (less baroclinicity).



^Northern hemisphere only^
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting sunlinepr:
Centuries-Long Eruption? - Photograph from AFP/Getty Images


A dyke at the edge of the Lusi mud volcano is seen from the air in May 2008.

Though the worst of the mud eruptions may be over in 26 years, the volcano's mud will likely flow at lower rates for thousands of years, according to the new study. Published March 4, 2011



Link

Thanks for the link. From the article:

As of 2008 the catastrophe had cost Indonesia $3.7 billion dollars—nearly one percent of its GDP—according to an International Monetary Fund estimate.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This should help with respect to ACE and save Levi some keystrokes :)

http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:


Numerous studies in recent years have found no evidence that the number of hurricanes and their northwest Pacific Ocean cousins, typhoons, is increasing because of the rise in global temperatures.

But a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.

The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength. Current models suggest that the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons should increase by 5 percent for every 1�C (1.8�F) rise in sea surface temperature


Link

AND

The latest understanding of hurricanes is that almost the opposite is true: storms may actually decline in frequency as the planet warms, even as they grow in strength.

Link


WPAC ACE has no trend either. One would expect an increase if typhoons were becoming "stronger and longer lasting."

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661

Just a note on CO2 etc. production:-
At grass roots level people need to keep warm in cold places where most of us live and experience winters, so they burn wood, coal, old tires in oil drums, foam backed carpets and even wire from street lights to salvage the copper to sell to survive. Some of then have the cash to pay for gas and electricity but a lot don't.
They put petrol in badly adjusted car diesel tanks to get them through the emission tests at their annual inspections, they burn off large amounts of vegetable waste and tree clippings especially here in southern Europe where there are millions of olive trees, grown on desert like plowed fields.
When you consider the 3rd world then things are worse than here and the state of any climate awareness is very low, survival is the priority, usually at any cost.
Its not only the fossil fuel burners of the world who are part of the statistics there are a lot of other human factors out there!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:

Ah, now I see the problem: it seems you've made the layman's mistake of confusing a quick, conjectural article written by a website journalist with a very heavily-researched, well-written, profoundly-vetted, thoroughly peer-reviewed article appearing in a highly-respected scientific publication. (As an aside, one reason for your inability to understand climate change, perhaps?) So, no, not "recycled". Detailed. Expanded upon. Looked into. Tested. Fleshed out. Discussed. Publicized. Reviewed, reviewed, and reviewed some more...

I'll say it again: if the meteoritic fossils indeed turn out to be evidence of extraterrestrial life--as the author suggests--this will go down as one of the most monumental discoveries in history. That's not "drama"; it's just the truth. And, no, it's not a big, booming voice from the sky as in Carl Sagan's awesome novel Contact, but it's every bit as profound, and the implications are just as far-reaching.


This is the journal site? Did ya bother to look at anything else there aside from the self professed "peer reviewed" part. LOL

http://journalofcosmology.com/

Thank you WUWT for showing us the reality inside the hype once again. Interesting links abound in this write up, and well deserved Props to the creator :)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/06/skeptical-s cience-meteorite-aliens-bring-out-the-armchair-exp erts/#more-35369
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:


First AGW is not a theory, it has already been proven. If you can prove to me that all regions on the Earth combined have not been increasing in thermal energy then I'll retract that statement. But I've already done the calculations, and there is a consistent overall increase which is about equivalent to all the heat emitted from the surface of the Earth.

Second, the heat will always be stronger near the surface of the Earth. Greenhouse gases would be most concentrated in the lower atmosphere, so in order to release the energy; convection must occur to propel the moisture above this layer where it can then freely radiate out to space. I've also analyzed hurricane seasons from 1930-2010 and the yearly occurrence of the higher wind speeds have been increasing. If anything the accelerated melting of the pole should be inhibiting the development of hurricanes due to increased shear. But we all know that is not an unlimited resource and increased SST means increased activity.


No. Don't give me the scientific law speech. Until there is no debate, it's not proven. You don't see people still arguing over whether gravity exists.

Second, you have done no calculations, at least until you show them. They are non-existent otherwise.

I'm not sure how melting sea ice increases vertical wind shear, you'll have to explain that one. Global ACE is at a 30-year low and the number of global major hurricanes has not increased significantly since satellite monitoring began.





Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Xyrus2000:


The poles are predicted to warm faster (especially in the norther hemisphere), but there will still be plenty of difference between the poles and the tropics.

I'm not an expert on hurricane genesis, but I would think the bigger wet towel on cyclone formation would be a thicker troposphere with a slower vertical temperature gradient as a result of warmer global temperatures. It would take more work for storms to get going in such circumstances, but if a storm did get going it would be a monster.

I think that some of the AR4 runs also showed an increase in shear over the Atlantic as warming progressed as well, which would be another inhibitor.

At any rate, the AR5 runs should offer more insight.


Of course there will still be difference. I said less, and less means less need for tropical cyclones.

A thicker troposphere does not inhibit tropical convection. The troposphere expands naturally with warmth which is why it is highest in the tropics in the first place. The only way the temperature gradient will become significantly slower is if the troposphere expands without warming the surface, which doesn't happen.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Xyrus2000:


The poles are predicted to warm faster (especially in the norther hemisphere), but there will still be plenty of difference between the poles and the tropics.

I'm not an expert on hurricane genesis, but I would think .... It would take more work for storms to get going in such circumstances, but if a storm did get going it would be a monster..


Numerous studies in recent years have found no evidence that the number of hurricanes and their northwest Pacific Ocean cousins, typhoons, is increasing because of the rise in global temperatures.

But a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.

The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Emanuel's finding defies existing models for measuring storm strength. Current models suggest that the intensity of hurricanes and typhoons should increase by 5 percent for every 1C (1.8F) rise in sea surface temperature


Link

AND

The latest understanding of hurricanes is that almost the opposite is true: storms may actually decline in frequency as the planet warms, even as they grow in strength.

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Quoting Levi32:


Anomalously warm SSTs relative to the rest of the tropics will always produce more tropical activity in that basin, but we're talking about the global system here. The only reason tropical cyclones exist is because there is enough thermal imbalance to generate rising air in the tropics on a large scale. Anomalies are based on the relative norm. If "warm anomalies" become the norm, then they will not be anomalies anymore, and you cannot describe them as such.

The thing about AGW theory is that if we were to take it to its extreme end, the Earth would be near thermal equilibrium at the surface and consist of a giant inversion layer through the mid-troposphere, shutting off all tropical convection, along with most weather as we know it. The process is simple.

There is also the small matter of global ACE showing no signs of inreasing as global temperature goes up. It is at a 30-year low right now.


The poles are predicted to warm faster (especially in the norther hemisphere), but there will still be plenty of difference between the poles and the tropics.

I'm not an expert on hurricane genesis, but I would think the bigger wet towel on cyclone formation would be a thicker troposphere with a slower vertical temperature gradient as a result of warmer global temperatures. It would take more work for storms to get going in such circumstances, but if a storm did get going it would be a monster.

I think that some of the AR4 runs also showed an increase in shear over the Atlantic as warming progressed as well, which would be another inhibitor.

At any rate, the AR5 runs should offer more insight.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1530
Quoting Grothar:


How high is it?


High as a kite.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


How high is it?


It's a deep-layer high at all levels.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Some interesting BFZ seismic activity today; a bit of the Juan de Fuca Plate seems to be acting up: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsu s/Maps/US10/37.47.-130.-120.php
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13580
Quoting Scotchtape:
Here's a different tack on this topic that I'd like to start:
Do we invest in prevention or preparation? I believe that the correct answer is preparation.

Prevention/reversal is the current mantra. We have to stop climate change or else. Say the US, Europe, and the other 1st world nations fully implement climate change prevention/reversal policies. What about the rest of the world? What about Brazil, Russia, India, and China? Russia I could see coming along, along with Brazil. India and China though? Not a chance.

India and China are both experiencing tremendous economic growth and a transformation from bicycle and train riding societies into car driving societies. China's CO2 output has already outpaced the US and India is hot on their heels. To implement climate change prevention/reversal policies would be enormously costly and nigh-impossible to enforce in countries in which corruption is not just rampant, but endemic.

The chances of even partial implementation though, are low. Implementation would be so expensive that it would very likely cause economic collapse. Economic weakness equals military weakness. India is too paranoid (rightly so) over China (not to mention Pakistan), while China has too much of an inferiority complex to ever consider, much less implement, policy that originated outside China. Before India would come on board, we would first need to bring in China. China will never listen to diplomacy. And any attempts to press the matter non-diplomatically would be seen by China as nothing short of a declaration of war. And war with China would very quickly go nuclear.

With India and China rapidly growing economically and greenhouse emissions from them rising ever higher, effective global-warming prevention/reversal becomes effectively impossible. Therefore, I believe that the only rational course of action is climate-change preparation.


Prevention and reversal aren't the current mantra, at least in the scientific circles.

Prevention/reversal hasn't been realistic for some time, and most climate scientist would tell you so. Most are advocating preparation at this point. The fringes and environuts are still stuck on the prevention-reversal kick, but we simply don't have the technology to deal with that, let alone the universal support of world nations to undertake such a task if we did.

Sure, ideas have been put forward like giant sails in space and such, but nothing has been researched enough to show that such methods wouldn't have unintended consequences. Also, a number of proposed methods are just patches over the problem. They address the symptom and not the cause.
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Quoting Levi32:


What about it?


How high is it?
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Don't feel bad; just because some can't understand what you wrote doesn't mean it's incoherent. ;-)

Now, I do agree that preparation is the key. A few weeks ago, Ricky Rood suggested that, since it was likely pointless from here on out to try to convince many unmoveable deniers (skeptics/denialists/whatever) of the overhwhelming science, those supporting AGWT should simply declare victory and move on to toward the next stage, which is preparing for the numerous ill effects of rapid warming by a) making sure ourselves, our families, and our friends, are prepared, and b) try to make money off of those who refuse to budge from their current stance no matter how much science is thrown their way. So, again, I agree that preparation is key.

Having said all that, I believe you're very wrong in your take on China. To suggest that the Chinese government is ignoring its own contribution to rising CO2 levels is simply incorrect. To be blunt, China has done more to combat climate change over the past decade than has the U.S. (though that is, admittedly, not saying much). Yes, China recently overtook the U.S. as the world's leader in CO2 emsissions--but given that they have roughly four times as many people as we do, one would expect them to be putting out more CO2. (FWIW, India's per capita CO2 output is 1.4 tonnes. China's is 6. In the U.S., it's a whoppping 17.) And China's leaders, for all their shortcomings, seem to understand that even their current rate of output is unsustainable, so they are working feverishly on expanding into clean energy. Last year, more than 1/3 of all new wind power installations in the world were in China. China has doubled its solar energy capacity in just the past two years. China is the world leader in hydropower. And so on.

In short, it's hugely unfair for those of us in the West to look at emerging powers like China and India and blame the rapid rise in CO2 on them. And it's foolish for us to throw our hands up as some are doing and say, "They don't care, so why should we?" Would that some of our elected leaders had the vision to follow China's lead.

On a related note, perhaps more volcanic eruptions like the one in Iceland last year might be a good thing CO2-wise: while the volcano emitted about 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each day at the peak of its activity, the cancellation of 60% of flights in and around the area saved 344,109 tonnes of CO2 per day, for a net savings of 206,465 tonnes per day. ;-)


I said the same thing you did, only I used a question mark. The problem was, not that it was incoherent, but that I understood the statement too well. Thanks for putting into words where I only used a symbol. (Funny, but you spell 'tonnes' the way I do. LOL)
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Quoting caribbeantracker01:


levi i need a bit of explanation on the Bermuda high please?


What about it?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting JFLORIDA:



Minus anomalous patterns. Correct? But is anomaly not becoming the rule.

I dont know if thats necessary true levi, To be honest. A tropical cyclone is roughly a local heat disturbance. So is local thermal imbalance actually reduced in any region in a changing situation? Especially considering seasonality ocean circ.

Ill pull whatever current research I can find on suppression.


Anomalously warm SSTs relative to the rest of the tropics will always produce more tropical activity in that basin, but we're talking about the global system here. The only reason tropical cyclones exist is because there is enough thermal imbalance to generate rising air in the tropics on a large scale. Anomalies are based on the relative norm. If "warm anomalies" become the norm, then they will not be anomalies anymore, and you cannot describe them as such.

The thing about AGW theory is that if we were to take it to its extreme end, the Earth would be near thermal equilibrium at the surface and consist of a giant inversion layer through the mid-troposphere, shutting off all tropical convection, along with most weather as we know it. The process is simple.

There is also the small matter of global ACE showing no signs of inreasing as global temperature goes up. It is at a 30-year low right now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Skyepony:
I think the swirl in the NE Atlantic (WSW of Spain) will probably end up being more interesting than the one in the C Atl.

93W look pretty tame.

Couple of 6+ earthquake events..Chile & Southern Sandwich Islands..


200 homes flooded up to 4 foot deep in Algeciras, Spain today Sunday at noon, massive hail storms the likes of which had never been seen according to city residents, reports on Spanish national TV 'TVE' More storms forecast for tomorrow.Hail is very rare in this area.
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Deforestation's Impact on Mount Kilimanjaro Calculated



ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2011) — The impact that local deforestation might have on the snowcap and glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro are being calculated at The University of Alabama in Huntsville using regional climate models and data from NASA satellites.

The first piece of that research, which looked only at the month of July, found that deforestation is changing weather patterns around the mountain but not (at least in July) at the peak, according to Dr. Udaysankar Nair, a research scientist in UAHuntsville's Earth System Science Center.

Early results from this work, which is funded through NASA's Earth Science Directorate, were published Feb. 15 in the Journal of Geophysical Research........

Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Centuries-Long Eruption? - Photograph from AFP/Getty Images


A dyke at the edge of the Lusi mud volcano is seen from the air in May 2008.

Though the worst of the mud eruptions may be over in 26 years, the volcano's mud will likely flow at lower rates for thousands of years, according to the new study. Published March 4, 2011



Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825


levi i need a bit of explanation on the Bermuda high please?
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Fast Laser Could Revolutionize Data Communications

ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2011) — Researchers at Chalmers in Sweden have shown that a surface emitting laser -- a cheaper and more energy-efficient type of laser for fiber optics than conventional lasers -- can deliver error-free data at a record speed of 40 Gbit/s. The break-through could lead to faster Internet traffic, computers and mobile phones....
Link
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9825
Quoting Cochise000:


That was fairly amusing. A rather incoherent post. Tell us! How do we prepare?


Larger air conditioners for the houses and large sponges dropped in the ocean to absorb the excess water.
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Quoting JFLORIDA:
May is the time NOAA comes out I believe.

The Greenland comments as possibly relating to global change are not even supported in the wikipedia entry much less formal literature.

Time for an 80's music vid I am wondering?



Anyway as SSTs have risen and warmer SSTs HAVE been proven to increase the strength of individual hurricanes as well as frequency. They are after all part of the "fuel."

It strikes me as odd that after a filtering suppression was described the whole issue has been dropped with really no further explanation as to its variability, possible locality, and magnitude.

I cant find all that much on it six years after 2005 also. Considering its variance could contribute to a disastrous situation its quite odd.

SSTs DO increase hurricane intensity, frequency and formation potential. Thats a valid, and for the best I can tell, proven argument.

So:

The Hurricane Suppression Effect also created in climate change has basically been taken on faith as being absolute and continuous and therefore is probably is a tribute to bad and erroneous argument dictating inquiry and modifying important scientific direction. - Is that a valid assumption I am wondering?? As it would seem such a important issue would have immediately moved to the forefront of public discussion and research once discovered. Especially here.



It's true for a very specific set condition. In the short-term, local increases in SST do increase hurricane activity because the overall balance between the equator and the polar regions hasn't changed, but has become a bigger local gradient. In the longer term, the balance between equator and poles does change, and following AGW theory, the poles warm faster, reducing the Earth's thermal imbalance. This reduces the need for tropical cyclones in the tropics to equalize this difference.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Scotchtape:
Here's a different tack on this topic that I'd like to start:
Do we invest in prevention or preparation? I believe that the correct answer is preparation.

Prevention/reversal is the current mantra. We have to stop climate change or else. Say the US, Europe, and the other 1st world nations fully implement climate change prevention/reversal policies. What about the rest of the world? What about Brazil, Russia, India, and China? Russia I could see coming along, along with Brazil. India and China though? Not a chance.

India and China are both experiencing tremendous economic growth and a transformation from bicycle and train riding societies into car driving societies. China's CO2 output has already outpaced the US and India is hot on their heels. To implement climate change prevention/reversal policies would be enormously costly and nigh-impossible to enforce in countries in which corruption is not just rampant, but endemic.

The chances of even partial implementation though, are low. Implementation would be so expensive that it would very likely cause economic collapse. Economic weakness equals military weakness. India is too paranoid (rightly so) over China (not to mention Pakistan), while China has too much of an inferiority complex to ever consider, much less implement, policy that originated outside China. Before India would come on board, we would first need to bring in China. China will never listen to diplomacy. And any attempts to press the matter non-diplomatically would be seen by China as nothing short of a declaration of war. And war with China would very quickly go nuclear.

With India and China rapidly growing economically and greenhouse emissions from them rising ever higher, effective global-warming prevention/reversal becomes effectively impossible. Therefore, I believe that the only rational course of action is climate-change preparation.

Don't feel bad; just because some can't understand what you wrote doesn't mean it's incoherent. ;-)

Now, I do agree that preparation is the key. A few weeks ago, Ricky Rood suggested that, since it was likely pointless from here on out to try to convince many unmoveable deniers (skeptics/denialists/whatever) of the overhwhelming science, those supporting AGWT should simply declare victory and move on to toward the next stage, which is preparing for the numerous ill effects of rapid warming by a) making sure ourselves, our families, and our friends, are prepared, and b) try to make money off of those who refuse to budge from their current stance no matter how much science is thrown their way. So, again, I agree that preparation is key.

Having said all that, I believe you're very wrong in your take on China. To suggest that the Chinese government is ignoring its own contribution to rising CO2 levels is simply incorrect. To be blunt, China has done more to combat climate change over the past decade than has the U.S. (though that is, admittedly, not saying much). Yes, China recently overtook the U.S. as the world's leader in CO2 emsissions--but given that they have roughly four times as many people as we do, one would expect them to be putting out more CO2. (FWIW, India's per capita CO2 output is 1.4 tonnes. China's is 6. In the U.S., it's a whoppping 17.) And China's leaders, for all their shortcomings, seem to understand that even their current rate of output is unsustainable, so they are working feverishly on expanding into clean energy. Last year, more than 1/3 of all new wind power installations in the world were in China. China has doubled its solar energy capacity in just the past two years. China is the world leader in hydropower. And so on.

In short, it's hugely unfair for those of us in the West to look at emerging powers like China and India and blame the rapid rise in CO2 on them. And it's foolish for us to throw our hands up as some are doing and say, "They don't care, so why should we?" Would that some of our elected leaders had the vision to follow China's lead.

On a related note, perhaps more volcanic eruptions like the one in Iceland last year might be a good thing CO2-wise: while the volcano emitted about 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each day at the peak of its activity, the cancellation of 60% of flights in and around the area saved 344,109 tonnes of CO2 per day, for a net savings of 206,465 tonnes per day. ;-)
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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.