Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:46 PM GMT on September 20, 2012

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The extraordinary decline in Arctic sea ice during 2012 is finally over. Sea ice extent bottomed out on September 16, announced scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) on Wednesday. The sea ice extent fell to 3.41 million square kilometers, breaking the previous all-time low set in 2007 by 18%--despite the fact that this year's weather was cloudier and cooler than in 2007. Nearly half (49%) of the icecap was gone during this year's minimum, compared to the average minimum for the years 1979 - 2000. This is an area approximately 43% of the size of the Contiguous United States. And, for the fifth consecutive year--and fifth time in recorded history--ice-free navigation was possible in the Arctic along the coast of Canada (the Northwest Passage), and along the coast of Russia (the Northeast Passage or Northern Sea Route.) "We are now in uncharted territory," said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze. "While we've long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur. While lots of people talk about opening of the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic islands and the Northern Sea Route along the Russian coast, twenty years from now from now in August you might be able to take a ship right across the Arctic Ocean."


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice reached its minimum on September 16, 2012, and was at its lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

When was the last time the Arctic was this ice-free?
We can be confident that the Arctic did not see the kind of melting observed in 2012 going back over a century, as we have detailed ice edge records from ships (Walsh and Chapman, 2001). It is very unlikely the Northwest Passage was open between 1497 and 1900, since this spanned a cold period in the northern latitudes known as "The Little Ice Age". Ships periodically attempted the Passage and were foiled during this period. Research by Kinnard et al. (2011) shows that the Arctic ice melt in the past few decades is unprecedented for at least the past 1,450 years. We may have to go back to at least 4,000 B.C. to find the last time so little summer ice was present in the Arctic. Funder and Kjaer (2007) found extensive systems of wave generated beach ridges along the North Greenland coast, which suggested the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in the summer for over 1,000 years between 6,000 - 8,500 years ago, when Earth's orbital variations brought more sunlight to the Arctic in summer than at present. Prior to that, the next likely time was during the last inter-glacial period, 120,000 years ago. Arctic temperatures then were 2 - 3°C higher than present-day temperatures, and sea levels were 4 - 6 meters higher.


Figure 2. Year-averaged and 3-month averaged Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent from Chapman and Walsh (2001), as updated by the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. I've updated their graph to include 2011 plus the first 9 months of 2012.


Figure 3. Late summer Arctic sea ice extent over the past 1,450 years reconstructed from proxy data by Kinnard et al.'s 2011 paper, Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years. The solid pink line is a smoothed 40-year average, and the light pink areas shows a 95% confidence interval.  Note that the modern observational data in this figure extend through 2008, though the extent is not as low as the current annual data due to the 40-year smoothing. More commentary on this graph is available at skepticalscience.com.

When will the Arctic be ice-free in summer?
So, when will Santa's Workshop need to be retrofitted with pontoons to avoid sinking to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean in summer? It's hard to say, since there is a large amount of natural variability in Arctic weather patterns. Day et al. (2012) found that 5 to 31% of the changes in Arctic sea ice could be due to natural causes. However, the sea ice at the summer minimum has been declining at a rate of 12% per decade, far in excess of the worst-case scenario predicted in the 2007 IPCC report. Forecasts of an ice-free Arctic range from 20 - 30 years from now to much sooner. Just this week, Dr. Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University predicted that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within four years. A study by Stroeve et al. (2012), using the updated models being run for the 2014 IPCC report, found that "a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean within the next few decades is a distinct possibility." Of the 21 models considered, 2022 was the earliest date that complete Arctic sea ice occurred in September.


Video 1. A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent the fastest winds, while blue vectors stand for slower winds. According to NSIDC, the storm sped up the loss of the thin ice that appears to have been already on the verge of melting completely.Video credit: NASA.

But Antarctic sea ice is growing!
It's a sure thing that when Arctic sea ice hits new record lows, global warming contrarians will attempt to draw attention away from the Arctic by talking about sea ice around Antarctica. A case in point is an article that appeared in Forbes on Wednesday by James Taylor. Mr. Taylor wrote, "Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year)...Amusingly, page after page of Google News results for Antarctic sea ice record show links to news articles breathlessly spreading fear and warning of calamity because Arctic sea ice recently set a 33-year low. Sea ice around one pole is shrinking while sea ice around another pole is growing. This sure sounds like a global warming crisis to me."

This analysis is highly misleading, as it ignores the fact that Antarctica has actually been warming in recent years. In fact, the oceans surrounding Antarctica have warmed faster than the global trend, and there has been accelerated melting of ocean-terminating Antarctic glaciers in recent years as a result of warmer waters eating away the glaciers. There is great concern among scientists about the stability of two glaciers in West Antarctica (the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers) due the increase in ocean temperatures. These glaciers may suffer rapid retreats that will contribute significantly to global sea level rise.

Despite the warming going on in Antarctica, there has been a modest long-term increase in Antarctic sea ice in recent decades. So, how can more sea ice form on warmer ocean waters? As explained in an excellent article at skepticalscience.com, the reasons are complex. One reason is that the Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007). As the planet continues to warm, climate models predict that the growth in Antarctic sea ice will reverse, as the waters become too warm to support so much sea ice.


Figure 4. Surface air temperature over the ice-covered areas of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (top), and sea ice extent, observed by satellite (bottom). Image credit: (Zhang 2007).

Commentary: Earth's attic is on fire
To me, seeing the record Arctic sea ice loss of 2012 is like discovering a growing fire burning in Earth's attic. It is an emergency that requires immediate urgent attention. If you remove an area of sea ice 43% the size of the Contiguous U.S. from the ocean, it is guaranteed to have a significant impact on weather and climate. The extra heat and moisture added to the atmosphere as a result of all that open water over the pole may already be altering jet stream patterns in fall and winter, bringing an increase in extreme weather events. This year's record sea ice loss also contributed to an unprecedented melting event in Greenland. Continued sea ice loss will further increase melting from Greenland, contributing to sea level rise and storm surge damages. Global warming doubters tell us to pay attention to Earth's basement--the Antarctic--pointing out (incorrectly) that there is no fire burning there. But shouldn't we be paying attention to the steadily growing fire in our attic? The house all of humanity lives on is on fire. The fire is certain to spread, since we've ignored it for too long. It is capable of becoming a raging fire that will burn down our house, crippling civilization, unless we take swift and urgent action to combat it.

References
Funder, S. and K.H. Kjaer, 2007, "A sea-ice free Arctic Ocean?", Geophys. Res. Abstr. 9 (2007), p. 07815.

Kinnard et al., 2011, "Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years".

Walsh, J.E and W.L.Chapman, 2001, "Twentieth-century sea ice variations from observational data", Annals of Glaciology, 33, Number 1, January 2001, pp. 444-448.

Related info
Half of the polar ice cap is missing: Arctic sea ice hits a new record low. September 6, 2012 blog post
Wunderground's Sea Ice page

Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz

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Quoting clamshell:


The people behind AGW have stars in their eyes


the people behind anthropogenic global warming are you, me and everyone who pumps excessive amounts of GHGs into the atmosphere. there is no 'cabal' behind global warming. it's a planet-wide effect, caused by the whole of humanity.

the people who have gone out of their way to make this effect known and how it is working are not 'behind' AGW any more than Newton was 'the guy behind gravity'.
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Quoting schwankmoe:


as it currently stands, the money to be made on one side dwarfs the money to be made on the other. there is still far and away more money to be made on fossil fuels than any green energy, and it is likely to stay that way for a long time.

people are comparing the money the fossil fuel sector can make now with envisioned future profits in green energy that may or may not actually materialize and acting as if they are commensurate. they are not.

Quoting presslord:


Parenthetical...and purely anecdotal...but, perhaps, interesting..

In the last six months I've had two different groups come talk to me about investing in solar power projects...and I can't for the life of me figure out how they're gonna make any money....on the other hand, I have a neighbor who puts together drilling syndicates...and he has a waiting list for investors..........I'm sure there's a lesson of some sort here...



I dont think the money on one side dwarfs the other, eventually when "green" energy is more efficient to people than "brown" energy, it will make tons more money than "brown" energy,(oil, coal, etc)

The investors would also make money if there was an appeal to people to invest in solar power, but for most there is not much of an appeal.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Long range CFS 396 hrs GOM.



GFS MJO returns around the 5th:



EWP MJO returns around the 15th:



Upward motion of the MJO currently in the WPAC:



GFS and EWP showing huge downward motion in the Atlantic as of right now. Look for potential development in the Caribbean around the 5th-15th.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting LargoFl:
rover is taking some curious pics alright.........



Maybe ancient aliens gave baseball to humans...
It looks like a figure at plate swinging a baseball bat. It must be a sculpture of a famous baseball star of some unknown race.

lol
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Quoting TomballTXPride:


Climate scientists are in no way, shape or form in it for the money. Not a chance.

Now the politicians (Al Gore, for instance) and green energy companies that can profit of of it is another story...

There is money to be made on both sides. It's the world we live in...


Parenthetical...and purely anecdotal...but, perhaps, interesting..

In the last six months I've had two different groups come talk to me about investing in solar power projects...and I can't for the life of me figure out how they're gonna make any money....on the other hand, I have a neighbor who puts together drilling syndicates...and he has a waiting list for investors..........I'm sure there's a lesson of some sort here...
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Quoting TomballTXPride:


Climate scientists are in no way, shape or form in it for the money. Not a chance.

Now the politicians (Al Gore, for instance) and green energy companies that can profit of of it is another story...

There is money to be made on both sides. It's the world we live in...


as it currently stands, the money to be made on one side dwarfs the money to be made on the other. there is still far and away more money to be made on fossil fuels than any green energy, and it is likely to stay that way for a long time.

people are comparing the money the fossil fuel sector can make now with envisioned future profits in green energy that may or may not actually materialize and acting as if they are commensurate. they are not.
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Quoting clamshell:


Exactly.

Years ago my sister bought one of those wide screen tv's and paid almost $8,000 for it. Last year I bought one just like it for $700.

Its about cost of investing and getting a return on the investment and then making a profit based on reduced manufacturing costs that come about from make loads and loads of a product.

The people behind AGW have stars in their eyes imagining how rich they are going to be once they shove things like 'Cap and trade' down peoples throats. AGW is being pushed by a group who are willing to bully people into buying and they refuse to recognize the fact that such thuggery will be met with resistance every time it is tried.

BTW Anybody know how much it costs to replace the battery on one of those hybrids? Don't take my word for it, look it up yourself.





I don't think most of them are looking to get rich, but some of them do have a false mentality of how they can go about doing what they want to do.
It is a fact that a pioneer in energy of any resources of energy like solar and wind energy will become rich, because people will be interested in buying the technology since it helps them.

But carbon production will stop, especially if you give soemone incentive to come up with something better.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting presslord:


Furthermore...I suspect some of the 'research grants" we keep hearing about are cut from the same flimsy fabric as Reagan's "welfare Queens"...

Howsabout a list of all these "research grants"...with amounts, recipients and terms?


Some of the money goes to black projects, or companies helping the government develop more efficient systems for the military applications. Reducing military spending by reducing numbers suggests that we should focus on greatly increasing the effectiveness per unit, which requires R&D.

For example, the new class of aircraft carrier, the Nimitz, is far more automated than previous generations, which will bring down the long term costs of operation by reducing crew requirements.

The new lasers and rail guns will theoretically reduce the need for missiles in some military "policing" missions, such as in Lybia. Now they were not fully developed then, but within a few years I expect all or most of our destroyers will be retrofitted with at least one rail gun, which rail guns and lasers are both more reliable and accurate as an offensive weapon (per unit cost,) and lasers are better as a defensive weapon than flack or patriot type missiles, and they are safer on defense because there is no explosive to cause collateral damage in the case where you actually do get hit, or some accident occurs.


Next.

Other projects include "Expert Engineering Machines," such as programs invented by DARPA whereby a computer can process all possible designs and configurations of a device to find the one that is the best for it's desired function, or that has the highest cost-effectiveness. A classic example of this is a recent "Expert Machine" engineer produced a bent up piece of metal when given the parameters for making an antenna, and it turned out the design worked far better than the human-designed versions, and required less space, less energy, less complexity, and less materials to build. In short, it was superior in every way.

Doesn't sound like much, but if you can cram an antenna into the space of a tennis ball when the best human alternative was far larger, then that's a big deal for applications where space and/or mass are limiting factors. That device may be used on a satellite or manned space craft in the future; I believe it's current function is on the latest fighter jets, as I recall, but the basic concept would be useful in any communication application.

These are just a few examples of what this money is spent on.

They are things you may not notice, but will one day benefit everyone anyway, eventually due to some form of "trickle down"; not in the Reagan sense, but the fact that at least some derivative of all military communications technology has historically made it into the private sector eventually.


Then there's NASA and JPL which work on things like practical ion engines, practical solar sails, practical hydroponics and airponics, etc. Many of these things may benefit the common public in the future by making better, longer lived satellites, asteroid mining, increased food productivity, and many other such things.


So none of this is a "waste," at least as long as there isn't corruption involved and the money is going where it's supposed to be going.

Some of this spending may actually lead to future technologies to mitigate or replace some of our climate destroying technologies.
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Big rain coming now
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Quoting Neapolitan:
First, I said "article", not "book". (I only mention that as I know what a stickler you are for using the correct word; I recall just yesterday inadvertently using the word "newspaper" in place of "magazine", and hearing about it repeatedly.)

Second--and not for the first time--my original comment had absolutely nothing to do with wind turbines or PV solar; it was in response to the lie that climate scientists are in it for the money. To paraphrase: try responding to the premise of the original comment instead of changing the subject in your own response.

Third--and I realize I'm taking a bit of your bait here--what is wrong with some profiting off of clean energy? Does the fact that some do make climate change go away? If Al Gore has a jet and a house on the beach, does that mean the planet isn't warming? If there ever were a clean energy billionaire. does that invalidate clean energy? And why is it that pro-business, let's-make-it-in-America types are only that way where fossil fuels are concerned? The moment someone talks of growing the U.S. solar or wind industry, suddenly that's an effete, liberal thing?

Anyway, I'm out for a bit for a lunch meeting. I'll catch up when I return.

This will soon disappear, I'm sure, but you're right, it was article and not book. I apologize for that error

You did, in fact, mention solar and wind power in the original post I responded to. I'll be more than willing to have you prove me wrong if I mis-read your post. I see you are still unable or unwilling to respond to those questions.

Now, some doubt creeps in, and you ask what's wrong with "with some profiting off of clean energy?" There already is money being made off clean energy. I have no problem with that at all. Competition is a good thing. Of course, there would be no money being made in solar or wind except for government subsidies. I'm as a much against that as I am against subsidies for anything, including oil and paying farmers not to grow crops. What troubles me is the use of the word "some" in relation to profit. Are you implying there should be some cap on profits? How can these companies grow if they are not as profitable as possible? Profit attracts investment, which attracts shareholders. The goal should be for every company to be profitable as long as they make profit legally. A level playing field will always produce the best results in the long run. Centralized planning has been tried for almost 100 years and has uniformly failed.
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Addendum:
Unless one can project themselves inside a climate scientist's mind and understand his/her motivation, it is not possible to prove they are not motivated by money.

Some or many individuals may remain in this research field because in this day and age they can earn a living there vs. other research areas they may be interested in for which fewer or no research slots and grants are available.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I see that Miami is officially at 75.30", or 28.31" above normal; Ft. Lauderdale is at 48.97", or just 2.09" above normal; and West Palm is at 65.07", or 18.64" above normal. Meanwhile, across Alligator Alley, Naples has seen just 32.08", which is 9.63" below normal. It's nice and green now thanks to everything we've had in the last several weeks, but we're still hurting a bit...


Are you sure about Miami being 28 inches above normal? While I agree 75 inches is indeed above average obviously, I'm pretty sure their average yearly total is around 65 inches, with that said I would imagine their average to date would be higher than 47 for this point in the year?

Very strange how some areas in southeast Florida are double what you have had in Naples. I'm pretty sure Naples has got to be the only drier spot like that. I would be mad, things like that in weather drive me nuts as to how it happens. If Florida had mountains that would make sense. However, it's hard to imagine how its possible for southeast Florida to get that much rain while Naples has had so little when there is such a short distance between the two regions with very little elevation change.

I've had around 48 inches year to date so far. The average near here is 52 to 54 inches in a year, so I'm a bit above average for year to date. Prior to June first the year to date was only 6 inches. I've had a whopping 42 inches since June first. It's been more like an equatorial rainy season! But, we needed it. As ground water levels in Central Florida are finally back to normal for the first time in nearly 10 years. All these soaking rains and flooding was needed.
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695. ARiot
I see lots of discussioin here about who has money and who builds what. Strawmen are quite interesting products of irrationality. (Even some comments on Islam that are so far beyond reality, they hurt. How that is related to anything, I'll never know.)

That's fun and all, but not one honest skeptic (or "denier") can refute the body of empirical evidence on AGW with peer-reviewed science.

That's the end of the non-scientific debate. For us, it's over. We either read the science and accept it, or we deny it (and math, physics, chemistry and a few other things too.)

The scientific debate will probably move on, leaving skeptics and dieniers behind, and the community will attempt to more accurately describe the climate of the anthropocene of our future as it unfolds.

Good day and good luck.

Keep an eye out over the coming weeks in case Dixie Alley fires up her second tornado season too.
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nea's entire point was that no, it isn't all about the money on both sides. clearly climate scientists are not in it for the money. even if you're a climatologist and you decide to invest in oil and gas interests, it isn't because you're in an area of employment that makes big bucks to invest.

people keep coughing up this line that climate scientists are in it for the money. what money? since when do climatologists make the big bucks?

Quoting StormDrain:
There may be 80 oil and gas billionaires in the world. So what? All you proved was (many? most?) people who are at the top of the world's wealthy list have inherited money or made money from oil and gas interests. So they are rich. So climate scientists are not.
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Quoting captainktainer:


Trying to discuss tropical weather without also discussing the massive changes occurring in global weather that are changing the tracks, intensity, and genesis of tropical storms is like trying to have a deep discussion about traffic patterns without also talking about how the roads are laid out. Any such discussion will be fairly pointless. You've missed the point that if you actually value his insights, you'll also respect that he knows what he's talking about with respect to his field of expertise - weather and climate. I mean, his Ph.D. was on the mechanics by which air pollution is transported throughout the atmosphere by wintertime cyclones; do you expect him to ignore the climate implications of tropical weather or other weather? You're also being rudely dismissive of his expertise and the expertise of the people he relies on for data.

Every time I hear these calls I can't help but shake my head. It's missing the *point*. The point of the blog is to educate and inform about tropical weather and climate. Leaving out massive amounts of information because it makes some people uncomfortable to have their preconceived notions challenged would be acting against the very purpose of educating in the first place.


If they gave a cash prize for Best Post...you'd be rich...
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Quoting RTSplayer:


I'm almost certainly at least borderline, but the clinical psychologist do not diagnose me for it, because of my age, and partly because I allegedly don't have most of the negative aspects.

I have been told by my sister, two of my cousins, and an aunt that I probably have Aspergers.

The largest multiplication I've ever run accurately in my head is 8 random digits multiplied by 8 random digits, though that takes some warm up. I am not to the point like Daniel Tammett who can run such calculations nearly unconsciously, but I do have some similarities to him. I function much more powerfully at "recognition" rather than "recall," but I do tend to remember facts and concepts nobody else cares about.

Since I had a few high blood pressure episodes and other issues, that math ability has come down significantly, but that may actually be a good thing.


I could provide links to several "Aspergers-like" symptoms I have experienced rather frequently.

Search:

Tetris Effect*
Eidetic Memory*
Eidetic Imagery*
Very awkward in Real life social situations (to the point of disability really.)
Hyper Focus/Zone Out
Ability to run large calculations in my head.
Extreme difficulty paying attention in lectures unless I'm able to hold a two-way conversation with the speaker.

*typically manifests itself as a complete inability to forget events involving certain combinations of sound and imagery, or in some cases certain combinations of game mechanics and imagery. In some cases, when I watch movies parts of it will play back uncontrollably in my memory for days or weeks later.



Admire your honesty. You might be interested in my blog which explains what I believe is causing the autism/ADHD 'epidemic'. Although greater awareness, broadening diagnostic criteria and sociological factors make up much of the increase, my research concludes that pre-natal exposure to environmental chemicals which disrupt GABA(A) receptor transmission are also contributing. These include insecticides, phthalates, methyl mercury, bisphenol A and, probably most important, folic acid. I believe these chemicals are also responsible for the increased incidences of asthma and type 1 diabetes in children today.

www.nfkbdiseases.wordpress.com
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:

They wont make it because there isnt enough demand for such things, because nobody can really afford it.

If say, when the refrigerator was invented, it had costed $20,000 dollars in today's money, not nearly as many people would have bought it, and we would have discussions now about a "food crisis" and "Anthropogenic Global Food Wasting".

Its the same reasony people buy the new lightbulbs, and better insulate their homes to use less energy....it saves them money, and is actaully very easy for them.

There is plenty of money to be made in clean energy, but only if it is easily implemented,and that is the way to reverse our CO2 producing trends. We dont really have another good way to power our energy needs as of right now, at least not another way that is easy to use. For everyone.


Exactly.

Years ago my sister bought one of those wide screen tv's and paid almost $8,000 for it. Last year I bought one just like it for $700.

Its about cost of investing and getting a return on the investment and then making a profit based on reduced manufacturing costs that come about from make loads and loads of a product.

The people behind AGW have stars in their eyes imagining how rich they are going to be once they shove things like 'Cap and trade' down peoples throats. AGW is being pushed by a group who are willing to bully people into buying and they refuse to recognize the fact that such thuggery will be met with resistance every time it is tried.

BTW Anybody know how much it costs to replace the battery on one of those hybrids? Don't take my word for it, look it up yourself.


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the largest manufacturer of wind turbines is Vestas, a Dutch company. the CEO, Ditlev Engel, is not on the Forbes 100 list.

Quoting sar2401:

2. You need to to more research. I didn't ask who had the most installed units, I asked which company was the largest manufacturer of wind turbines. When you get the right answer, see if the head of that company was on the Forbes 100.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
My comment wasn't about whether anyone makes money off of clean energy. My statement was in response to someone who repeated the oft-used contrarian lie that "It's all about money on both sides". By its very nature, that statement is making the claim that climate scientists--the majority of whom are definitely on one side of the issue--are debating the issue only for the money, just as the fossil fuel rich are. My response is that that statement is a lie.

Again: there are 80-something oil/coal/gas billionaires in the world. There are zero climate science billionaires. Please show me evidence to the contrary if you have it. And do so without trying to change the subject and make it about "the Hollywood liberals", whatever that means. Thanks!


Give them time Neo....we've been using oil and gas alot longer than we have electric cars, wind turbins and solar panels...money corrupts..not the dead dinosaurs
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Quoting vinotinto:
Dr. Masters,

Can you please create a second blog? One for tropical weather only so that those of us (I would suspect a large percentage of those that click on your blog) who not only enjoy your insights but also utilize your information to prepare for potential storms can bypass all of the "discussion" and "information" on "global warming", "climate change" or whatever the description dujour is.

Thank you,
Long-time user of your tropical weather blog, Michael


Trying to discuss tropical weather without also discussing the massive changes occurring in global weather that are changing the tracks, intensity, and genesis of tropical storms is like trying to have a deep discussion about traffic patterns without also talking about how the roads are laid out. Any such discussion will be fairly pointless. You've missed the point that if you actually value his insights, you'll also respect that he knows what he's talking about with respect to his field of expertise - weather and climate. I mean, his Ph.D. was on the mechanics by which air pollution is transported throughout the atmosphere by wintertime cyclones; do you expect him to ignore the climate implications of tropical weather or other weather? You're also being rudely dismissive of his expertise and the expertise of the people he relies on for data.

Every time I hear these calls I can't help but shake my head. It's missing the *point*. The point of the blog is to educate and inform about tropical weather and climate. Leaving out massive amounts of information because it makes some people uncomfortable to have their preconceived notions challenged would be acting against the very purpose of educating in the first place.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
My comment wasn't about whether anyone makes money off of clean energy. My statement was in response to someone who repeated the oft-used contrarian lie that "It's all about money on both sides". By its very nature, that statement is making the claim that climate scientists--the majority of whom are definitely on one side of the issue--are debating the issue only for the money, just as the fossil fuel rich are. My response is that that statement is a lie.

Again: there are 80-something oil/coal/gas billionaires in the world. There are zero climate science billionaires. Please show me evidence to the contrary if you have it. And do so without trying to change the subject and make it about "the Hollywood liberals", whatever that means. Thanks!
There may be 80 oil and gas billionaires in the world. So what? All you proved was (many? most?) people who are at the top of the world's wealthy list have inherited money or made money from oil and gas interests. So they are rich. So climate scientists are not.

Someone else already mentioned supply and demand.

I did not change the subject. If where wealth comes from is relevant to the argument, it is also relevant who else, including Hollywood liberals and right down to you or me or the fence post, has money invested in oil and gas. That is my argument, and I am asking you to talk about who of the "other" echelon, i.e. not oil and gas billionaires but climate scientists and others not as wealthy as these billionaires, has money invested in oil and gas.

Repeating myself, so it's time to shut up.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
First, I said "article", not "book". (I only mention that as I know what a stickler you are for using the correct word; I recall just yesterday inadvertently using the word "newspaper" in place of "magazine", and hearing about it repeatedly.)

Second--and not for the first time--my original comment had absolutely nothing to do with wind turbines or PV solar; it was in response to the lie that climate scientists are in it for the money. To paraphrase: try responding to the premise of the original comment instead of changing the subject in your own response.

Third--and I realize I'm taking a bit of your bait here--what is wrong with some profiting off of clean energy? Does the fact that some do make climate change go away? If Al Gore has a jet and a house on the beach, does that mean the planet isn't warming? If there ever were a clean energy billionaire. does that invalidate clean energy? And why is it that pro-business, let's-make-it-in-America types are only that way where fossil fuels are concerned? The moment someone talks of growing the U.S. solar or wind industry, suddenly that's an effete, liberal thing?

Anyway, I'm out for a bit for a lunch meeting. I'll catch up when I return.


Wait before you go, did you have any response to 670?
I'm thinking your logic on how to reverse CO2 trends is flawed, even if you have the best of intentions.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Asking an all-out cavity search audit of the government's funding allocations is quite a tall order. And I'm being nice.

Good luck with that. I wish you the best.


probably a lot easier than than discovering how the corporate fossil fuel Overlords bait the field...
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Quoting sar2401:

1. Have you done any research into what multinational company has large investments in these Chinese and Taiwanese photovoltaic companies? Was the head of that company on the Forbes 100?
2. You need to to more research. I didn't ask who had the most installed units, I asked which company was the largest manufacturer of wind turbines. When you get the right answer, see if the head of that company was on the Forbes 100.
3. Compared to any other division head of NOAA, how much money does James Hansen make, and what are the sources of his income? I didn't ask if he was a respected climate scientist or if he was a billionaire.

Try answering the questions instead of making up your own in response. You said you're doing research for your upcoming book, you must be able to find out these answers.
First, I said "article", not "book". (I only mention that as I know what a stickler you are for using the correct word; I recall just yesterday inadvertently using the word "newspaper" in place of "magazine", and hearing about it repeatedly.)

Second--and not for the first time--my original comment had absolutely nothing to do with wind turbines or PV solar; it was in response to the lie that climate scientists are in it for the money. To paraphrase: try responding to the premise of the original comment instead of changing the subject in your own response.

Third--and I realize I'm taking a bit of your bait here--what is wrong with some profiting off of clean energy? Does the fact that some do make climate change go away? If Al Gore has a jet and a house on the beach, does that mean the planet isn't warming? If there ever were a clean energy billionaire. does that invalidate clean energy? And why is it that pro-business, let's-make-it-in-America types are only that way where fossil fuels are concerned? The moment someone talks of growing the U.S. solar or wind industry, suddenly that's an effete, liberal thing?

Anyway, I'm out for a bit for a lunch meeting. I'll catch up when I return.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13744
Quoting RTSplayer:


I'm almost certainly at least borderline, but the clinical psychologist do not diagnose me for it, because of my age, and partly because I allegedly don't have most of the negative aspects.

I have been told by my sister, two of my cousins, and an aunt that I probably have Aspergers.

The largest multiplication I've ever run accurately in my head is 8 random digits multiplied by 8 random digits, though that takes some warm up


You are like Dr Arthur Benjamin, im working on consistently doing a 4x4 in my head, its ridiculously too hard.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Hurricane Hugo
September 21-22, 1989



Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
2 Blobs: one over Panama and the other south of Cuba. That map that Wunderkidcayman posted is just ridiculous how high the heat content is in the northwest Caribbean.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting sar2401:

1. Have you done any research into what multinational company has large investments in these Chinese and Taiwanese photovoltaic companies? Was the head of that company on the Forbes 100?
2. You need to to more research. I didn't ask who had the most installed units, I asked which company was the largest manufacturer of wind turbines. When you get the right answer, see if the head of that company was on the Forbes 100.
3. Compared to any other division head of NOAA, how much money does James Hansen make, and what are the sources of his income? I didn't ask if he was a respected climate scientist or if he was a billionaire.

Try answering the questions instead of making up your own in response. You said you're doing research for your upcoming book, you must be able to find out these answers.



+1,000,000
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Okay, I'll accept that if you can please provide a list of all those scientists who've become billionaires off of just research grants. If you can't do that, I'll settle for a list of the scientists who've become multi-millionaires off of just research grants. And if you can't do that, I'll accept a list of scientists who've become simple millionaires off of research grants alone.

I look forward to your response.


Furthermore...I suspect some of the 'research grants" we keep hearing about are cut from the same flimsy fabric as Reagan's "welfare Queens"...

Howsabout a list of all these "research grants"...with amounts, recipients and terms?
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Quoting clamshell:


More AGW denialism on full display.

Did you know that Amazon.com is a great source for books on starting a business and subjects like supply and demand in the marketplace?

Your comments shout loudly that you haven't a clue about concepts like 'supply and demand' etc. If you would simply take the time to read up on the subject you would see how full of holes your argument really is.

The AGW movement wants to cause us to look the other way with statements like yours and like the famous quote from a very special movie.."Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

To deny that there is a huge amount of money to be made in AGW and deny that there are numerous groups positioning themselves so that they can feed from the AGW money trough, is simply Denialist times three.

If you are so desperate to be part of the AGW movement, please feel free. Last I heard, we are free to our opinions, at least that is the case in a free society.

The only thing any of us would ask is that you at least be honest about it when you make your comments and stop demeaning those who see it differently from you.


Again (and this is getting tiresome), there are dozens of people who've become billionaires through the use of fossil fuels. There are hundreds who've become multi-millionaires, and there are thousands who've made millions. Several hundred million dollars of profit a day tends to do that. On the other hand, no one can sanely claim that climate scientists are making billions or millions of dollars off of working in their discipline, and anyone who does is simply not worth listening to.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13744
Quoting yonzabam:



It's incredible that someone as obviously knowledgeable as yourself is unaware that exhaling CO2 does not increase atmospheric CO2. It's part of the carbon cycle.


Ah, but you're quite wrong.

That's only true if the carbon cycle is balanced.

Since the carbon cycle is out of balance, due to our technology's emissions, the exhaled CO2 from ADDITIONAL humans or animals is simply tacked on to the net excess.


That's the whole point. Our technology has pushed the carbon cycle completely out of balance, so any additional CO2, from any source, is a net increase in CO2.

Cutting down any more trees is a net increase in CO2 as well.


You would be correct if we somehow re-planted enough trees and shrubs to make up the difference, or if we engineered trees and shrubs that were more efficient at converting CO2, but since we haven't done either of those things:

Same or fewer plants plus more humans and livestock equals more net gain in CO2, even without supply technology to those extra humans.


Again, if you already have too much CO2, additional CO2 is not removed via the normal carbon cycle.



Over-simplified textbook example =/= reality.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Okay, I'll accept that if you can please provide a list of all those scientists who've become billionaires off of just research grants. If you can't do that, I'll settle for a list of the scientists who've become multi-millionaires off of just research grants. And if you can't do that, I'll accept a list of scientists who've become simple millionaires off of research grants alone.

I look forward to your response.



Dont ask for simple millionaires, you might get swamped with names. lol
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting Neapolitan:
1) Not sure, but in 2011, only two of the top 10 largest PV panel manufacturers in the world were in the U.S. Six were in China, and the remaining two were in Taiwan. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list.

2) Denmark's Vestas has the largest number of installed units, and generates the greatest amount of wind energy. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list, either.

3) Not sure--but apparently not nearly high enough to get him on the Forbes list of billionaires. Dr. Hansen has been a respected climate scientist for many, many years. His compensation--through salaries, speaking fees, etc.--is on a par with that of any scientist in any field with an equal level of experience and visibility.



They wont make it because there isnt enough demand for such things, because nobody can really afford it.

If say, when the refrigerator was invented, it had costed $20,000 dollars in today's money, not nearly as many people would have bought it, and we would have discussions now about a "food crisis" and "Anthropogenic Global Food Wasting".

This wouldn't change what people did, because it would simply not be practical to get a fridge.
It's same with hybrids, many are very expensive, but they have an appeal to people, they save money on gas, so what do people do?
Those who can chalk up the money do.
Similiarly with cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, and especially when their limitations are reduced, they will be in even more demand. Its the same reasony people buy the new lightbulbs, and better insulate their homes to use less energy....it saves them money, and is actaully very easy for them.

When we stiumulate the desire of people to want to do something great, we can do great things.
Who knows, maybe the next great invention will be something that makes plenty of clean energy cleanly and affordably, maybe a 85% effective solar cell, rather than 15% ones....and then people will be VERY eager to save some money and get them, and then guess who will be on the Forbes Richest Companies list?
Who knows, it could just be EfficientPhotovoltaicCells INC

There is plenty of money to be made in clean energy, but only if it is easily implemented,and that is the way to reverse our CO2 producing trends. We dont really have another good way to power our energy needs as of right now, at least not another way that is easy to use. For everyone.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9746
Quoting vinotinto:
Neopolitan,

It's all about money, only its called "research grants"!
Okay, I'll accept that if you can please provide a list of all those scientists who've become billionaires off of just research grants. If you can't do that, I'll settle for a list of the scientists who've become multi-millionaires off of just research grants. And if you can't do that, I'll accept a list of scientists who've become simple millionaires off of research grants alone.

I look forward to your response.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13744
Quoting yonzabam:



The comment is valid. The fact that the storm has contributed to the ice loss has been made by climatologists. The point in the graph where 2012 starts to deviate sharply from 2007 coincides with the storm. No doubt you are very intelligent and knowledgeable, but you could use some manners. A touch of Asperger's, possibly?


I'm almost certainly at least borderline, but the clinical psychologist do not diagnose me for it, because of my age, and partly because I allegedly don't have most of the negative aspects.

I have been told by my sister, two of my cousins, and an aunt that I probably have Aspergers.

The largest multiplication I've ever run accurately in my head is 8 random digits multiplied by 8 random digits, though that takes some warm up. I am not to the point like Daniel Tammett who can run such calculations nearly unconsciously, but I do have some similarities to him. I function much more powerfully at "recognition" rather than "recall," but I do tend to remember facts and concepts nobody else cares about.

Since I had a few high blood pressure episodes and other issues, that math ability has come down significantly, but that may actually be a good thing.


I could provide links to several "Aspergers-like" symptoms I have experienced rather frequently.

Search:

Tetris Effect*
Eidetic Memory*
Eidetic Imagery*
Very awkward in Real life social situations (to the point of disability really.)
Hyper Focus/Zone Out
Ability to run large calculations in my head.
Extreme difficulty paying attention in lectures unless I'm able to hold a two-way conversation with the speaker.

*typically manifests itself as a complete inability to forget events involving certain combinations of sound and imagery, or in some cases certain combinations of game mechanics and imagery. In some cases, when I watch movies parts of it will play back uncontrollably in my memory for days or weeks later.
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Quoting clamshell:


More AGW denialism on full display.



Not really. At the end of the day its usually about "you show me the money" and "I'll show you who's responsible". To think otherwise is naive.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
1) Not sure, but in 2011, only two of the top 10 largest PV panel manufacturers in the world were in the U.S. Six were in China, and the remaining two were in Taiwan. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list.

2) Denmark's Vestas has the largest number of installed units, and generates the greatest amount of wind energy. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list, either.

3) Not sure--but apparently not nearly high enough to get him on the Forbes list of billionaires. Dr. Hansen has been a respected climate scientist for many, many years. His compensation--through salaries, speaking fees, etc.--is on a par with that of any scientist in any field with an equal level of experience and visibility.

1. Have you done any research into what multinational company has large investments in these Chinese and Taiwanese photovoltaic companies? Was the head of that company on the Forbes 100?
2. You need to to more research. I didn't ask who had the most installed units, I asked which company was the largest manufacturer of wind turbines. When you get the right answer, see if the head of that company was on the Forbes 100.
3. Compared to any other division head of NOAA, how much money does James Hansen make, and what are the sources of his income? I didn't ask if he was a respected climate scientist or if he was a billionaire.

Try answering the questions instead of making up your own in response. You said you're doing research for your upcoming book, you must be able to find out these answers.
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Neopolitan,

It's all about money, only its called "research grants"!
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Quoting StormDrain:
627. Neapolitan 1:49 PM GMT on September 21, 2012
Your argument about the wealthiest people who were written up in the Forbes article proves only that those humans NOT (in)vested in energy have less money to work with.

How about some of the less wealthy, the Hollywood liberals, the climate scientists, the Neos and others? Have they no money invested directly or indirectly in oil, gas or coal? Show me that, please.

Some who, by inheritance or by their own moxie, gained wealth in oil and gas do promote alternative energy. Boone Pickens for instance.

I am not placing wrong or right on anyone. Please, just give me a valid argument, no matter which side you represent.
My comment wasn't about whether anyone makes money off of clean energy. My statement was in response to someone who repeated the oft-used contrarian lie that "It's all about money on both sides". By its very nature, that statement is making the claim that climate scientists--the majority of whom are definitely on one side of the issue--are debating the issue only for the money, just as the fossil fuel rich are. My response is that that statement is a lie.

Again: there are 80-something oil/coal/gas billionaires in the world. There are zero climate science billionaires. Please show me evidence to the contrary if you have it. And do so without trying to change the subject and make it about "the Hollywood liberals", whatever that means. Thanks!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13744
Dr. Masters,

Can you please create a second blog? One for tropical weather only so that those of us (I would suspect a large percentage of those that click on your blog) who not only enjoy your insights but also utilize your information to prepare for potential storms can bypass all of the "discussion" and "information" on "global warming", "climate change" or whatever the description dujour is.

Thank you,
Long-time user of your tropical weather blog, Michael
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Quoting Xandra:
One Dollar In, Fifty-Nine Out


Which is the fault of which, oil companies or Congress? You don't get appoint the heads of oil companies, but you do get to elect members of Congress. Vote accordingly.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


You're actually at least partially correct, and Islam is a big part of the problem.


It never ceases to amaze me, one of the things that perplexes me most about the "liberals" perhaps the left-most 1/4th of Americans, is that they'll either support or maintain a neutral view of Islamic faiths, and yet the Islamic faith would destroy all of the "liberal" principles if it's followers had their way.

Oh yes, there's a reason for everything.

I the middle east and the Islamic parts of Africa, the problem is, well, Islam.

In other parts of Africa there are other issues as I described.


But the "cause" of the problem is irrelevant to the concept of an international law. If you could pass such a law, or at least get each nation to pass a similar "common sense reproduction law," then you could prevent this evil.

Yes, reproducing beyond capacity of the sustainability of the planet given existing technologies is evil, what else would it be? The destruction of the environment beyond critical limits will leave some of us, and certainly future generations, in a situation where much of the world is a depleted wasteland.


I calculated that every billion humans produce 0.1PPM CO2 per year just from breathing, then when you figure the livestock animals for food, those probably produce another 0.1PPM per year just from breathing. So if you added 2 billion humans, the slope of the keeling curve would go up by about 0.4PPM just from breathing, before you even consider more automobiles or electricity, or more deforestation for farm land to support those livestock animals.

Because the Earth can only recycle CO2 at a set limit, which actually decreases as we destroy forests and ocean habitats, ever PPM or fraction of a PPM we make above what we are already making goes directly to EXCESS, which goes directly to the slope of the Keeling Curve, which in turn means rapidly accelerating that curve and the GW caused by that CO2 for a relatively small fraction of the CO2 humans actually produce in a year.

We actually "produce" around 6PPM per year, but only around 2 to 2.2PPM per year goes to net gain.

So you can see how an increase of 0.4PPM/yr just from the breathing of these extra humans and the livestock to feed them must automatically bring that slope up to 2.4PPM/yr to 2.6PPM/yr, and we have not given them automobiles, clothing, homes, or electricity yet; those things will add an additionally 1.4PPM/yr per 2 billion people, bring the total annual excess CO2 to 3.8ppm/yr to 4.0ppm/yr, or nearly double today's excess.

Edit:

Forgot to mention, since we'll be cutting down more forests to make farmland for the agriculture and horticulture to feed all these extra people, the environment's ability to uptake and recycle CO2 will certainly go down, probably by several tenths of a PPM, so you can add a few more tenths per year to the 3.8 to 4.0 figure above...

Reality bites...



It's incredible that someone as obviously knowledgeable as yourself is unaware that exhaling CO2 does not increase atmospheric CO2. It's part of the carbon cycle.
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Quoting sar2401:

Here are some reasearch questions for you:

1. What percentage of photovoltacic panels are manufactured in the USA?

2. What company is the largest manufacturer of wind turbines?

3. What was the total income of James Hansen, including his government salary?
1) Not sure, but in 2011, only two of the top 10 largest PV panel manufacturers in the world were in the U.S. Six were in China, and the remaining two were in Taiwan. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list.

2) Denmark's Vestas has the largest number of installed units, and generates the greatest amount of wind energy. So far as I know, none of the principles of those companies are on the Forbes billionaire's list, either.

3) Not sure--but apparently not nearly high enough to get him on the Forbes list of billionaires. Dr. Hansen has been a respected climate scientist for many, many years. His compensation--through salaries, speaking fees, etc.--is on a par with that of any scientist in any field with an equal level of experience and visibility.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13744
I think the area to watch is just N of Panama.
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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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