Half of the polar ice cap is missing: Arctic sea ice hits a new record low

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:53 PM GMT on September 06, 2012

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Extraordinary melting of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has shattered the all-time low sea ice extent record set in September 2007, and sea ice continues to decline far below what has ever been observed. The new sea ice record was set on August 26, a full three weeks before the usual end of the melting season, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Every major scientific institution that tracks Arctic sea ice agrees that new records for low ice area, extent, and volume have been set. These organizations include the University of Washington Polar Science Center (a new record for low ice volume), the Nansen Environmental & Remote Sensing Center in Norway, and the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. A comprehensive collection of sea ice graphs shows the full story. Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn't seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years (see a more detailed article on this over at skepticalscience.com.) The latest September 5, 2012 extent of 3.5 million square kilometers is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 - 2000. The ice continues to melt, and has not reached the low for this year yet.


Figure 1. A sunny, slushy day at the North Pole on September 1, 2012. Webcam image courtesy of the North Pole Environmental Observatory.


Figure 2. Sea ice extent on September 5, 2012, showed that half of the polar ice cap was missing, compared to the average from 1979 - 2000. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Why the Arctic sea ice is important
Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system. The polar ice caps help to regulate global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. White snow and ice at the poles reflects sunlight, but dark ocean absorbs it. Replacing bright sea ice with dark ocean is a recipe for more and faster global warming. The Autumn air temperature over the Arctic has increased by 4 - 6°F in the past decade, and we could already be seeing the impacts of this warming in the mid-latitudes, by an increase in extreme weather events. Another non-trivial impact of the absence of sea ice is increased melting in Greenland. We already saw an unprecedented melting event in Greenland this year, and as warming continues, the likelihood of these events increase.


Figure 3. August set a new record for lowest Arctic sea ice extent. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.



Figure 4. Arctic sea ice death spiral as plotted by Jim Pettit using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Huge storm pummels Alaska
A massive low pressure system with a central pressure of 970 mb swept through Alaska on Tuesday, generating hurricane-force wind gusts near Anchorage, Alaska that knocked out power to 55,000 homes. Mighty Alaskan storms like this are common in winter, but rare in summer and early fall. The National Weather Service in Anchorage said in their Wednesday forecast discussion that the forecast wind speeds from this storm were incredibly strong for this time of year--four to six standard anomalies above normal. A four-standard anomaly event occurs once every 43 years, and a five-standard anomaly event is a 1-in-4800 year event. However, a meteorologist I heard from who lives in the Anchorage area characterized the wind damage that actually occurred as a 1-in-10 year event. A few maximum wind gusts recorded on Tuesday during the storm:

McHugh Creek (Turnagain Arm)... ... ..88 mph
Paradise Valley (Potter Marsh)... ... 75 mph
Upper Hillside (1400 ft)... ... ... ... 70 mph
Anchorage port... ... ... ... ... ... ... .63 mph

The storm has weakened to a central pressure of 988 mb today, and is located just north of Alaska. The storm is predicted to bring strong winds of 25 - 35 mph and large waves to the edge of the record-thin and record-small Arctic ice cap, and may add to the unprecedented decline in Arctic sea ice being observed this summer.


Figure 5. An unusually strong storm formed off the coast of Alaska on August 5 and tracked into the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it slowly dissipated over the next several days. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this natural-color mosaic image on Aug. 6, 2012. The center of the storm at that date was located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Image credit: NASA.

Arctic storms may be increasing due to climate change
This week's Alaskan storm is the second unusually strong low pressure system to affect the Arctic in the past month. On August 4 - 8, a mighty storm with a central pressure of 963 mb raged through the Arctic, bringing strong winds that helped scatter and break up Arctic sea ice. According to a detailed post at NASA Earth Observatory, that storm was in the top 3 percent for strongest storms ever recorded north of 70 degrees latitude. A study of long-term Arctic cyclone trends authored by a team led by John Walsh and Xiangdong Zhang of the University of Alaska Fairbanks found that number and intensity of Arctic cyclones has increased during the second half of the twentieth century, particularly during the summer. Dr. Zhang explained that climate change has caused sea ice to retreat markedly in recent decades and has also warmed Arctic Ocean temperatures. Such changes may be providing more energy and moisture to support cyclone development and persistence. The strong storms of this week and a month ago would have had far less impact on the ice just a decade ago, when the sea ice was much thicker and more extensive.

A sea ice decline double-whammy
The monster Arctic storms like we've seen this year have sped up the rate of sea ice loss, but increased water temperatures and air temperatures due to human-caused global warming are the dominant reasons for the record melting of the Arctic sea ice. A July 2012 study by Day et al. found that the most influential of the possible natural influences on sea ice loss was the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO has two phases, negative (cold) and positive (warm), which impact Arctic sea ice. The negative phase tends to create sea surface temperatures in the far north Atlantic that are colder than average. In this study, the AMO only accounted for 5% - 31% of the observed September sea ice decline since 1979. The scientists concluded that given the lack of evidence that natural forces were controlling sea ice fluctuations, the majority of sea ice decline we've seen during the 1953 - 2010 period was due to human causes.

Joe Romm has a more in-depth look at the new Arctic sea ice record and what it means for the future over at climateprogess.org.

Angela Fritz and Jeff Masters

Turbulence (katy99780)
Beautiful orographic formations over the mountains on a windy evening.
Turbulence

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Quoting elvette:


It would appear to be ...where do the tropical weather folk hang when these rows go on ?... Sorry kinda new here but I did see a climate change blog but no distinct Tropical weather blog...
If you want I can change that real fast and go on a image blitz. Already got model images and satellite images all lined up ready to go.
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THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE AREA MAINLY
THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE BEST CHANCES INLAND. MORNING SHOWERS NEAR
THE COAST WILL BE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WATERSPOUTS. THE MAIN
THREATS FROM ANY STORMS WILL BE GUSTY WINDS...DANGEROUS CLOUD TO
GROUND LIGHTNING...AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL THAT COULD CAUSE
MINOR FLOODING OF LOW LYING AND POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED EACH DAY THROUGH MID-WEEK WITH
BEST CHANCES OVER THE WEEKEND AS MOISTURE INCREASES ACROSS THE
STATE AHEAD OF A WEAK LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM AND COOL FRONT. GUSTY
WINDS AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS WILL LIKELY BE THE MAIN THREAT WITH THIS
ACTIVITY.

...RIP CURRENT IMPACT...
AN INCREASE IN SOUTHWEST FLOW MAY LEAD TO AN INCREASED RISK OF RIP
CURRENTS ALONG AREA BEACHES OVER THE WEEKEND.

...WIND AND SEA IMPACT...
WINDS AND SEAS WILL BE INCREASING TO NEAR ADVISORY LEVELS FOR
EARLY NEXT WEEK. SMALL CRAFT OPERATORS SHOULD MONITOR CONDITIONS
THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTERS SHOULD MONITOR THE WEATHER AND SELF ACTIVATE IF NEEDED.
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Funny how 90L is trying to fire up again after being ranked down:

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
The wave train will remain active this month, the number of name storms will also go up.
Boy that damn El-Nino makes fore a lackluster season...Somebody boil some seawater or something.
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780. ARiot
Quoting TomballTXPride:

The ice age prediction was a perfect example.


There was no accepted majority "ice age" prediction.

In fact, in the period of time when "ice age" predictions hit one cover of Time in 1974, the majority of climate science at the time showed anthropogenic global warming or were climate nuetral.

Source or Source or: "A survey of peer reviewed scientific papers from 1965 to 1979 show that few papers predicted global cooling (7 in total). Significantly more papers (42 in total) predicted global warming (Peterson 2008, link above). The large majority of climate research in the 1970s predicted the Earth would warm as a consequence of CO2."

A person in abject denial of empircal data from multiple sources basing that denial on pop-culture news reporting of the 1970s that was not representative of the body of work at the time, is rather interesting though.

I think I'll deny powered flight based on some articles that say it's impossible from the 1800s.
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I suppose if we've got a message board full of folks who believe that they can out-predict the NHC on hurricanes, it stands to reason that many of them believe they can out-smart atmospheric scientists on climate change. But it's also a vivid illustration of the difference between the short-term unpredictability of weather and long-term statistical confidence regarding climate.
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Quoting LargoFl:
its coming, later this afternoon they say, more as the front gets closer
ok good
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GFS 384 hrs (course this is fantasy land, so take it with a grain of salt) I'm only showing this because of the possibility it will remain active this month.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/05/politics/fact-check-o bama-jobs/index.html?c=politics

wanna really inflame people?
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Quoting StormHype:


You're pretty ignorant when it comes to a sense of humor. You seriously didn't see the sarcastic humor in this? Are you Spock or something?

I'm not in denial of climate change. I understand how it can cause extremes as the earth's atmosphere is a closed system that needs to balance energy.

I don't necessarily agree with claims climate change is solely man caused or buy into the fear mongering from those that can't be trusted because of their connections to political cronies with socialist agendas.


Your post came across as a typical anti-science post. Your last sentence in this post also borders on the conspiracy theory side. There is nothing inherently wrong with socialism. In fact, we have quite a bit of socialism in this country. It's just that compared to other developed socialist democracies in the world, we do it really badly. :)
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Quoting VINNY04:
hope we get some of that.....
its coming, later this afternoon they say, more as the front gets closer
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Quoting Neapolitan:
So since all the talk of GW is all about the upcoming elections, all that talk will vanish on November 7, correct? If you care to put some money on that, I'll wager that it won't go away. (Or would you then say talk after that is all in preparation for the 2016 election cycle?)

While we're on the subject: can you please explain just how one party convinced the Arctic sea ice to melt just in time? Or, if it's just natural, can you then please explain why you think it is that Mother Nature is only doing things to support that particular party?
It must have been the Democrats, most of the G.O.P. still believes that the world is cooling and snowmageddon is absolute proof of it..I spoke with Mother Nature many years ago and she is a registered Independent..:)............ Peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser.
William Shakespeare

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Well, there are people in here (very few) that are Christian Conservative like me who believes in Global Warming, but is not caused by man. Scientists have proven that GW is real, but I believe it is an aging/natural issue as the world gets older in time. If you think this is bad, read the book of Revelations, the world is going to get worse in time (if you believe in the word of God)
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Quoting FtMyersgal:
Sorry folks if this is "off topic"




It would appear to be ...where do the tropical weather folk hang when these rows go on ?... Sorry kinda new here but I did see a climate change blog but no distinct Tropical weather blog...
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Quoting StormHype:


One thing I'd like to see a root post about is the 500 years of the Dark Ages when temps were about 3.5 degrees C below average (10 degrees F).

Climate Summary of the Dark Ages:
Link

No evidence that Dark Ages caused by volcano:
Link

Were the Dark Ages just another long term 'cycle'? Maybe it's really related to cycles in the sun's output. After all, it's a dying star going through it's own life cycle.

Yeah, you probably want to read all the way to the end where it says, "In conclusion, throughout many parts of the United States and some of Canada, it would appear that the Dark Ages Cold Period was a time of both relative coolness and wetness, much like the Little Ice Age was in this part of the world. "

Part of the world /= global.
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Quoting LargoFl:
hope we get some of that.....
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Quoting reedzone:
Hurricane Michael still looking pretty darn good..


(If you want to report this post, be my guest.. I know it's off topic, but this is also a tropical weather blog even though todays blog is about GW.)
no i think we should get "off topic"
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Who cares, per my calendar we're all dead in 15 weeks today anyways ;) *duck and run.

Looks like our next storm is in the making. Probably a recurve, the models make it into a strong system past 120 hours.


ECMWF 120 hours

GFS 120 hours
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Quoting VINNY04:
the world goes through cycles of heating and cooling down. if time lasts long enough then scientists 20 or 30 years from now will scream about global cooling.


True.. oh and I meant to say "There are people" not "you people" lol
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Quoting TheOnlyBravesFan:


Move from the coasts, as those areas have the greatest risks.



So you think.

Inland Desertification is in store for many regions.


So since we have no proof, just blame humans, eh? Doing that is like investigating a crime, say a robbery, and not knowing what exactly happened. However, since there was a teen at the site when the the police arrived, they blame it on him.


The amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases we produce can be calculated.

There are no other suspects at this time, except complete crankery, which doesn't count.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
934 PM EDT THU SEP 6 2012

...A RIVER FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR...THE WITHLACOOCHEE AT
TRILBY...AND THE CYPRESS CREEK AT WORTHINGTON GARDENS...

.MINOR FLOODING WILL CONTINUE ON THE WITHLACOOCHEE AT TRILBY AND THE
CYPRESS CREEK AT WORTHINGTON GARDENS. WITH WET CONDITIONS EXPECTED
THROUGH THE WEEKEND...PROLONGED OR RENEWED FLOODING IS POSSIBLE.
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Well, interesting.there are LEslie .MIchael.90L close, very close to where Isaac hit the gulf coast ...and we are talking here about practice?????? I mean .ice capas......!!!!!!?????
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Australia was abnormally cold this past winter.
Here are a few facts about this past winter:


Best snow season in 8 years now at 2metres

Canberra endures coldest September night since records began back in 1939(73Yrs).

Some of the most significant overnight minimum temperatures recorded to 9am EST on Sunday were:Canberra (-5°C(23F),
Tamworth (-4°C(24.8F) its coldest September night for over 55 years and Mudgee (-4.4°C(24F)
the coldest September night here for over 50 years.

Further west, Bourke (-0.2C(32.3F) a raw 9C(48.2F) below average and its Coldest September night for 104 years,
while the normally balmy north eastern region also shuddering under these noticeable crispy conditions,
Grafton Ap (0.1C(31.8F) a chilly 10C(50F) below average and the coldest September night here for over 46 years.

Across the ranges even colder conditions were experienced: Cooma Airport ( -9C(15.8F), Thredbo Top Station
(-8.6C(16.5F) and Glen Innes Airport (-8C(17.6F),its coldest September night for over 15years.

Some of the most significant overnight minimum temperatures recorded to 9am EST on Saturday were:Camden (-1.8°C)
its coldest September night for over 41 years, Richmond (-1.4°C) the coldest September night for over 83 years

Sydney observational hill recording an overnight minimum of 5.5°C, the coldest September night here for 17 years.

Badgerys creek(Western Sydney) (-0.2°C) the coldest September spell here for 18 years.


In fact, Australia has just emerged from its coldest overnight minimum temperatures on average across the country in 30 years.

What is perhaps just as significant is that this year also saw the third coldest over overnight minimums on record with
Australia recording an average minimum of-0.91˚C(1.7F below average).
Tasmania was the only state to have warmer than average minimum temperatures this year,
with a minimum average of +0.37˚C(0.66F above average).
One region to realy feel the cold was the Northern Territory, which shivered through its coldest minimum temperature
average on record, while South Australia rugged up under its seventh coolest winter.
Elsewhere, Western Australia saw its lowest minimum temperatures since 1976 averaging -0.75˚C(1.35F below average),
while New South Wales averaged a minima of -0.51˚C(0.91F below average) through winter.


And yet, just about the entire arctic region of the planet has been significantly warmer (5 to 10 degrees+ above the norm) with SST's to match, adn has been significantly warmer than normal for quite some time.

An abnormally cold or warm season is not climatologically significant. That is dictated by weather. If it happens with increasing frequency over the course of a couple decades, then it is something to pay attention too. Thus, your cold winter doesn't really imply anything climate-wise. However, the drop in ice and increasing temperatures in the arctic surface and sea surface temperatures are very significant.

Global temperature anomalies are calculated by looking at the total energy balance of the planet. Right now, that's around .6C-.8C above the norm.
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Hey Doc can we have a political blog too? of course separate from this one.
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Hurricane Michael still looking pretty darn good..


(If you want to report this post, be my guest.. I know it's off topic, but this is also a tropical weather blog even though todays blog is about GW.)
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Do you work near Tomball or commute to Houston for your schooling?? I have a good friend who is in nursing school too.
I live just south of Tomball (near Boudreaux Rd), take my classes (mostly) online, and commute all over for my clinicals.
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Quoting FtMyersgal:
Sorry folks if this is "off topic"


The wave train will remain active this month, the number of name storms will also go up.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting reedzone:


Well, you people in here (very few) that are Christian Conservative like me who believes in Global Warming, but is not caused by man. Scientists have proven that GW is real, but I believe it is an aging/natural issue as the world gets older in time. If you think this is bad, read the book of Revelations, the world is going to get worse in time (if you believe in the word of God)
the world goes through cycles of heating and cooling down. if time lasts long enough then scientists 20 or 30 years from now will scream about global cooling.
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Quoting jeffs713:
I would like to plus this a thousand times.
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I have been studding global warming lately. I have read almost all I could find on the subject and after trying to disregard the “radical left” and “radical right” I came to some of my own conclusions.


1. The planet is warming. This is part of a cycle as there have been several ice ages.
2. Mankind was not here for the other ice ages.
3. If it is a natural cycle them the only real problem is for man.
4. If mankind is making this worse there is no concrete evidence to prove it.
5. Considering the problems this will make it is only prudent to do all we can to make sure men are not compounding the problem. We should not destroy our economy or way of life in the process.
6. We can change our economy and way of life without destroying it.
7. Modification will have to be on a GLOBAL SCALE to be helpful.
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I have to say that Hurricane Leslie just doesn't look a whole lot like a hurricane from the actual observations being made by the Hunter this morning.

On the way in, the peak SFMR winds were 54kts, and the minimum central pressure was fixed at 981MB. Peak flight level winds have been 67kts in the northeast quadrant, but a nearby dropsonde found surface level winds there of just 42kts.

There's a middle to the storm that's quite broad. On its first pass, NOAA 42 tweeted out, "nice to see some sunshine in the middle of the storm." Just now, as it makes it second pass through the center, it reports a "band of moderate rain on NE side, now in clear area of broad center."

The current central pressure appears to be 982.5, so it's rising.

Summing up: Leslie looks kinda like...Isaac.
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Quoting guygee:
Good post jeffs713. I am out for now.

Thank you. :)
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Sorry folks if this is "off topic"


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Quoting TomballTXPride:


Not fallacy whatsoever. Have you read the above blog entry? If so you would be able to explain that satellites have only been measuring data since 1979.


Right. But your entire argument can be simplified in a single analogy. "Because I've only been alive for 32 years (in my case), Pearl Harbor was never attacked in 1941, the Revolutionary war never happened, millions didn't die to Bubonic Plague in the 1400s, and dinosaurs never roamed the earth." Just because we didn't have satellites in 1850, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
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Quoting zicoille:


If it developps...it will go out to sea....not to change!!!
It seems to be the most likely scenario, but it is not wise to make an absolute prediction.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting guygee:
Why is there always some oil company shill posting here spreading falsehoods?


"Disingenious questions will go unanswered."

Who is the oil company shill? Not me. I was in grade school in the 1970s. Science was my favorite subject, and the basis of my 25 year career as a computer engineer. I remember the 'ice age' predictions well from that time. I would suspect there is a lot of paper shreading going on now to cover that up, but those of us in public school still remember what we were told about the coming ice age and what we read in publications.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

The ice age prediction was a perfect example.


Wrong.

From the Skeptical Science website:

The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet. Today, with 30+years more data to analyse, we've reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
I've been keeping an eye on the wave that has emerged into the Atlantic while sifting through the AGW and Climate Change posts, it has been a pretty healthy discussion this morning.

Here is that wave, should have 91L soon:



If it developps...it will go out to sea....not to change!!!
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Quoting VINNY04:
but they always seem to be brought up together dont they? you got the conservatives on one side and the liberals on the other and they just start fighting like always. but it is entertaining while doing algebra homework, i must confess.


Well, there are people in here (very few) that are Christian Conservative like me who believes in Global Warming, but is not caused by man. Scientists have proven that GW is real, but I believe it is an aging/natural issue as the world gets older in time. If you think this is bad, read the book of Revelations, the world is going to get worse in time (if you believe in the word of God)
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Quoting LAlurker:
Hey DOC - Have to shout because I know he never reads anything on this blog. Please start a GW blog, so these discussions can continue there. Let's leave this blog under the "Tropical Blogs" title. I know you managed to tie GW to the tropics to justify your post, but it is the peak of the Atlantic Tropical season. I come here for info on the current tropical weather, not arguments about GW and politics.
i think they should just get on the chat room and scrap it out. leave the blog alone.
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Water vapor is a greenhouse gas as well, better than C02, and much more plentiful... Guess we need to control that as well.

Anyways, I'm out... I've had enough GW talk, I don't find it very enjoyable. True, live weather is more interesting.
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Quoting jeffs713:
WARNING - Lots of words below, along with repeated requests to engage the mass of neurons that rests inside your cranium.
Good post jeffs713. I am out for now.
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Quoting TheOnlyBravesFan:
It's not due to variations in solar output.

Why not? Sun's getting hotter as it cycles towards it's death soon.

Soon = 4 billion years, give or take a few hundred millenia.
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Hey DOC - Have to shout because I know he never reads anything on this blog. Please start a GW blog, so these discussions can continue there. Let's leave this blog under the "Tropical Blogs" title. I know you managed to tie GW to the tropics to justify your post, but it is the peak of the Atlantic Tropical season. I come here for info on the current tropical weather, not arguments about GW and politics.
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Quoting StormHype:


Please point me to the science claiming that man-made acidification will kill many types of sea life in 20 to 30 years. I have to see that one myself. 3/4 of the earth is deep ocean, enriched with basic salts and minerals that you say will lose the ability to buffer the pH of ocean water solely due to man's emission's of sulfur dioxide and CO2. That seems like BS.

The part about a vast majority of sea life being in the top 100m of ocean.
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Quoting Naga5000:


Quit pushing the fallacy that global warming is only based on 33 years of satellite data.
That's a good point political scientists and climatologists have been around before the satellite era, heck even before record keeping began back in 1850. I'm sure they had discussions about the future of warming and cooling temperatures on a global level and the impacts humans would have on those temperatures.
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It's not due to variations in solar output.

Why not? Sun's getting hotter as it cycles towards it's death soon.
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WARNING - Lots of words below, along with repeated requests to engage the mass of neurons that rests inside your cranium.

----

The earth warming is not just about AGW. Yes, everyone wants to politicize it, but by politicizing it, you basically invalidate any arguments you have - either way.

Lets state a few facts (I define "facts" as something that is stated as truth, and not disproven in an equally rigorous manner)

1. Arctic ice is at its lowest point since 1979.
2. CO2 is a "greenhouse" gas, along with methane.
3. CO2 is at its highest point in several hundred years (if not more) based on scientific measurements from several locations.
4. The burning of fossil fuels creates CO2 as a chemical result of combustion.

I challenge each and every one of you to disprove these 4 facts with the same weight of evidence that has been collected to prove them.

What is missing in there? Well, a lot. there is no direct connection between man and increased CO2. Conjecture, yes. But no die-hard direct link. Also, in logical terms, the lack of a direct link based on current evidence does not disprove the lack of *any* link. For an analogy, when a car stalls on the freeway and is pulled to the shoulder, traffic tends to back up. While the stall itself does not block a freeway lane, traffic backs up. One could say that the stall did not directly cause the traffic, since there is no physical impediment to cars moving on the freeway.

So what the heck am I trying to say?

Blasting scientists, personal agendas, the individuals spreading information, and science itself is the definition of a "straw man" argument. You are detracting from the issue, in an effort to ignore the situation. Most level-headed people aren't really on board with man being the sole cause of global warming and Arctic ice melt. Many climate scientists know that there are factors in play (even if we can't identify them directly) causing warming and ice melt.

But at the same time, we realize that we have a part to play. Even if that part is tiny, it is something we control. We can't burn hydrocarbons like they are going out of style, and just hope some economically viable alternative materializes out of nowhere before we run out of fossil fuels. We control our future, and the debate about global warming is just a proxy for the debate about the continued use of, and government subsidies for the use of fossil fuels.

The debate should be about our future. Not your future. Not my future. Our society's future. Do we want our children's children to live in a world where plastics are a novelty? Where wars are fought over fuel supplies (wait, we're already doing that)? Where there is still rampant pollution in the air shortening our lives? I don't. Do you?

Ok... so I really didn't answer the question of what I'm getting at...

We need to live sustainably. We need to conserve what we can, reuse where possible, recycle as much as possible, and find more sustainable ways to live. I'm not saying we should shun all trappings of modern society and live in a cave. I'm saying that instead of buying that bottle of water and throwing it away once you drain it in 15 seconds, refill it (or recycle it). Don't turn all the lights on in your house at once to find your keys... turn on only the lights where you currently are, then turn them off when you leave. Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth - the 0.2 calories burned to turn the faucet back on won't kill you - it may burn off part of the super-mega-triple burger that you ate for lunch with your diet drink.

As a society, we waste a lot. We discard much that is useful, and then whine about not having enough. We are greedy, and selfish, but press others for responsibility and accountability. There is a saying, "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones". Maybe we should take our own advice?
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734. MTWX
Quoting Neapolitan:
And how long would the resources in that 32' x 32' area support the person to whom it belonged? How many trees could grow there? How much food could be raised? How many fish could be raised and caught? How much livestock could thrive? How much clean water? And how long would it take to pollute that little 32' x 32' plot of Texas land?

Does anyone truly believe that they have a 'footprint' of just over 1,000 square feet?


I don't know Nea, but my 3 acres serves my family quite well!! ;)

Also on a side note these things here are pretty sweet... Definitely wouldn't mind one!



Earthships
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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.