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

Share this Blog
67
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 309 - 259

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31Blog Index

Quoting MAweatherboy1:
94L seems to be struggling a little... It's not losing organization but it doesn't really appear to be gaining any either. I'd expect 70% at 8PM but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see classification until tomorrow afternoon or night.

I say it would stay at 60%.I would be sad if it doesn`t get the name Oscar.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Climate Conversations - Is progress on climate change an illusion?

By David Hodgkinson


The world is not organised to deal with the climate change problem. Climate change is a global problem, but there is, of course, no global government with the interests of the earth as a whole at heart. Rather, there are sovereign states, the interests and concerns of which are very different.


http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/climate-conve rsations/is-progress-on-climate-change-an-illusion /


It's mostly an illusion.

As middle eastern and african populations swell, it will appear to make perfect "economic sense" for W. hemisphere nations to cut down their forests, farm the land, and sell lumber and food crops to these growing populations.

However, appearances can be deceiving.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
This is a very naive question, but now that the Arctic ice is melting, what happens to the polar bears? Arctic foxes I can see adapting somehow, but arctus maritimos has such a specific environment - walruses are not an easy food source since their skins are tough and fighting tusks make fights even tougher. What do scientists do when they come across a starving polar bear? Shoot it to put it out of its misery? Will there be a cull, or just loads of polar bears starving to death? Is that not happening even now? Is there any place in the Arctic they'll survive, like Svalbard? Or will all frozen Arctic places be gone in the next 30-50 years, and we'll only see polar bears in zoos?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:

I'll take that bet. From Master's blog post:

"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."

How does that not sound reminiscent of a persistent east coast trough pattern?



"Extreme weather events" was used in a general sense, and can't necessarily be used to predict an increase or decrease in any one phenomenon for any given location.

You'd have to look at each season and each location independently, which is more complicated than explained by any one sentence.

As we well know, "Extreme weather events" occur in many different categories and dimensions: hot/cold, wet/dry, windy, fires, tropical/non-tropical, etc.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Climate Conversations - Is progress on climate change an illusion?

By David Hodgkinson


The world is not organised to deal with the climate change problem. Climate change is a global problem, but there is, of course, no global government with the interests of the earth as a whole at heart. Rather, there are sovereign states, the interests and concerns of which are very different.


http://www.trust.org/alertnet/blogs/climate-conve rsations/is-progress-on-climate-change-an-illusion /

.....Governments of all kinds, of all hues, developed and developing, do know what needs to be done to address the planet's climate change problem. They just can't - or don't want to - do it. Or they just don't like the answers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Quoting MAweatherboy1:
94L seems to be struggling a little... It's not losing organization but it doesn't really appear to be gaining any either. I'd expect 70% at 8PM but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see classification until tomorrow afternoon or night.

Or not at all. Which is unfortunate considering how eager I am to eliminate such a ridiculous name.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 601 Comments: 21230
94L seems to be struggling a little... It's not losing organization but it doesn't really appear to be gaining any either. I'd expect 70% at 8PM but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see classification until tomorrow afternoon or night.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RTSplayer:


The U.S. has been lucky the past few years, but it has nothing to do with GW, it's just a slump.

I'll take that bet. From Master's blog post:

"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."

How does that not sound reminiscent of a persistent east coast trough pattern?

ETA: I've had Levi inform me that the cold PDO has a lot to do with the mean east coast trough. That could be true, but then, with the current pace of planetary warming, I am hard-pressed to believe we simply aren't altering the climate in any way.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 601 Comments: 21230
To complete your research you should be aware that the RCMP wooden hulled schooner, the "St.Roch" sailed the northern route of the North West Passage in 1944, without benefit of an ice breaker. Some recent sailors have claimed to be the first in recent times. They were not. Some feel there was less ice at that time than now. The "St Roch" is now in the Vancouver Martime Museum. Her journey is well documented.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SSideBrac:

I smile a little wryly at the seeming lack of any inputs on for example - global deforestation - which also, I am led to believe, has a massive affect on endangered animal and plant species.



Global deforestation is going to be an enormous issue, especially for South America, during the next two or three decades.

Because an enormous amount of the world population increase is coming from the middle east and Africa*, they have nowhere near the land they need for farming, so they buy land in S. America, or import food from S. America to feed their populations. Over the next 10 to 15 years we will expect a world population increase of 1 billion, and about 3/4ths of this will come from the Middle East plus Africa...all of them will be fed from farms in S. America or probably the U.S.; either way, massive amounts of deforestation will occur in order to make this possible, as genetic engineering and other improvements can only take up so much of the slack, and not many people seem to be in a hurry to develop "true" hydroponics or airponics.

Sooo...increase CO2 output by about 1/7th in the next 10 to 15 years, while decreasing CO2 uptake by the environment by about as much again as was done in the past 15 years...and the Keeling Curve should have a slope of about 3.5ppm/yr to 4ppm/yr by then...


Since food is a necessity for humans, then the only place to make up these net gains in CO2 would be replacing fossil fuels.

We need to cut per-capita CO2 production by 30% over the next 20 years just to break back even with the present day keeling curve slope. IN order to make the Keeling Curve have a zero net slope we need to cut almost all human net CO2 production world wide permanently.


*(see star above)
By comparison, the U.S. and Europe barely "breed" above replacement levels. Their population increase is largely weighted by immigration. So even though the U.S. has a high population growth rate, it is not from natural born citizens, it's from those 10 million immigrants per decade, about half of which are illegal.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I think a better question would be, how often do you hear of a hurricane hitting the Azores?

In the late 80s/early 90s, I was involved in military infrastructure projects (airfield and dock) in the Azores. Whilst Hurricanes per se were not specifically mentioned, the Atlantic Storm ranges (wind & wave)that had to be considered when designing strength of/mitigation for facilities certainly encompassed Hurricane Force.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I think a better question would be, how often do you hear of a hurricane hitting the Azores?

It's not that often.
Gordon hit earlier as a C1.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yes but the Azores are exceptionally well prepared for tropical cyclones, making strikes on that archipelago less threatening (but not irrelevant) than in most other places. How often do you hear about a hurricane catastrophe in the Azores?

I think a better question would be, how often do you hear of a hurricane hitting the Azores?

It's not that often.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KatyMan:

Fine---There are groups standing by to tie all of your solutions up in court for decades(including fossil fuels. Get out of the classroom and come up with a real world answers.


Normal people aren't allowed to come up with real world answers anyway, because of the broken patent system.


Besides, the best solutions with existing science have been known for decades anyway. If our civilization is so corrupt and indifferent, then perhaps we deserve to be destroyed anyway.


One of the easiest solutions in the near term would be to make smaller, lighter automobiles using lighter metals whenever possible.


Seriously, when oil and natural gas runs out, or prices get high enough, trains will be forced to change to pure electric, like subways with a powered rail, and powered hopefully by wind, solar, and geothermal. Alternatively, they could have several "battery cars," but this is unrealistic. Trucks will be forced to be pure electric, with half their cargo space replaced by batteries.

Cargo ships will need half their space replaced by batteries, in addition to installing masts for sails and/or solar nacelles.

The only alternative to that is installing nuclear reactors on all cargo ships, but given the rates of piracy and terrorism, this would require posting at least a squad of marines with small arms and a close-in-weapons-system on every cargo ship, with orders to kill anyone approaching, in order to avoid nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists looking to make a dirty bomb.


So there's a lot of energy problems coming for the future, especially beyond 2 or 3 decades.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
If I may......Many of these storms are said to "Affect the Azores only" Well, I googled the Azores. What a beautiful group of 9 islands.... Looks like a place I might want to visit... Remember, there is nearly 250,000 residents in the Azores.


Yes but the Azores are exceptionally well prepared for tropical cyclones, making strikes on that archipelago less threatening (but not irrelevant) than in most other places. How often do you hear about a hurricane catastrophe in the Azores?
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 601 Comments: 21230
Quoting SteveDa1:


By using renewable energies, of course. The sun is more than enough to supply the entire earth.

All vehicles could feasibly be battery-powered--even boats and planes. Anything would be possible.


Your vision is - IMO - somewhat utopian.I do not believe that battery technology is that far advanced that "joe blow citizen" has access to moderately priced, light weight, long lasting batteries - existing, readily available batteries are in themselves polluting and need to be disposed of. Active Solar Power, on a mass scale, is not really feasible until Energy Storage problems are fully addressed and the resultant "cells" become financially available to the "common man".

The "concept to operation" for a modern airliner, using existing technologies (albeit making best use of lighter materials, advanced engine designs and even alternate fuels) is a long time - battery powered commercial aircraft - I think we are a long way off. We already have battery powered boats - how do you think diesel/electric submarines run underwater - but have you seen the number and size of those batteries??

There is no magic way to make a globally significant and rapid switch away from fossil fuels without the potential of plunging the world backwards and perhaps even entering a series of "Spanish Inquisitions" in increasingly isolationist nations, run by hard core environmentalists as opposed to religious zealots who knows - could be both.

I smile a little wryly at the seeming lack of any inputs on for example - global deforestation - which also, I am led to believe, has a massive affect on endangered animal and plant species.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
291. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #6
TROPICAL STORM JELAWAT (T1217)
6:00 AM JST September 21 2012
==================================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Jelawat (1000 hPa) located at 13.2N 131.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 8 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Force Winds
===============
150 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
======================

24 HRS: 13.3N 129.6E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) Sea East Of The Philippines
45 HRS: 14.4N 128.6E - 55 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm) Sea East Of The Philippines
69 HRS: 15.0N 127.3E - 65 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) Sea East Of The Philippines
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46566
Seriously, I just did the math based on the price of coal for the past week, and at those prices and assuming a radically advanced modern facility getting 41% efficiency:

It would cost 2.72 cents/kilowatt hour for the FUEL alone, not counting build costs and maintenance costs.

And considering Coal prices actually dropped recently, probably due to the recession in tandem with the very mild winter we had last winter, it was nearly double before the recession (though your power company probably charges more than ever for electricity.) If a full recovery happens, coal price will double or more back to or above pre-recession prices, and natural gas will rise dramatically too.

Meanwhile the solar constant remains the same for solar power, and the Earth's radioactive decay decreases on a time scale beyond human comprehension, so that geothermal power supply isn't going anywhere either.


Since all power systems have build costs and maintenance costs, and since they all use the same basic physics, steam boilers, then how does a coal plant (or even a natural gas plant,) allegedly beat a Geothermal plant who's TOTAL operation cost is only one cent/Kw-H higher than the coal plants fuel cost alone?!?


There's no way that claim can be true.


Even if they had the same operating costs, the geothermal plant would be better because of less pollution.


Inflation and demand will just drive up coal and nat gas costs higher and higher in the long term, but the Sun and Geothermal are going to be the same forever, so the "fuel price" for those never goes up since the "fuel" costs nothing.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting sar2401:

The company I worked for runs the biggest geothermal plant in the country, as I stated. We were, I assure, not far behind in that technolgy. Some of the plants were able to produce power for less because they had been in operation for over 30 years and had all the sunk costs paid for. They were running out of steam and the only way we could produce more was lay a 34 mile pipline and pump treated sewage water into the wells. The farmers and residents in the area thought was a great idea. :) New plants cannot produce power for less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Far be it from me to say Wikipedia is wrong, but I was involved in doing the constuction and cost estimates for opening new wells. The figures quoted by the DOE is what the power was sold for, not counting the subsidy applied to make the plants profitable. Coal fired power plants can consistently produce power for 3 cents per killowatt hour. After the first cost for infrastructure, natural gas fired power plants can produce power for the same or lower prices. This is a change we should be making right now. For some reason, the government has not seen fit to implement a process to convert fossil fuel plants to gas, which is much less polluting than coal.

I see you apparently overlooked my point about the pollution and seismic issues with geothermal. Maybe it wasn't in Wikipedia.



There ARE NO seismic or pollution issues.


If there were seismic issues,why haven't there been any significant quakes in the entire U.S. since 23 years ago?


I guess you expect me to take your word above both the U.S. DOE and an independent survey?

Actually, there IS "free energy," collecting it costs something.


Coal can't be cheaper than Geothermal or Solar boilers over the long term, because they never have to pay for fuel, and coal has at least the same maintenance and repairs costs, because all of them have boilers...so how the hell can you claim coal is cheaper than an energy source that has free fuel, but uses the same basic physics?

Seriously, you're clearly not doing something right in your calculations.

You never need to pay for sun light, and you never need to pay for geothermal energy, only for the systems to convert it to electricity. Coal has those same costs anyway, as does natural gas.


I once did the math on Coal power vs Solar boilers, for example, and found that a Solar Boiler plant pays for itself in the cost of coal saved during the very first year of operation.

And Geothermal can run 24/7, well, around 90% anyway, according to DOE, so the payback period should be roughly half as long as solar.

So please tell me how the HELL Coal or natural gas could possibly be cheaper than either solar or geothermal?

It isn't physically, mathematically possible.


And your argument about needing to pump more water into the ground is pointless, because all forms of boiler-based power generation eventually need a supply of water, and that includes coal, natural gas, and nuclear. So you can't point to a cost that all forms of boiler driven energy have and say, "Look, look, that makes Geothermal less attractive!"

Wow.


Geothermal has to pump water into the ground to replace depleted ground water.

I already know that as do most people here.



Guess what? Coal, nuclear and Natural gas need water too, except that they are far more polluting.

Can you try being a little less ridiculous.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting SteveDa1:


By using renewable energies, of course. The sun is more than enough to supply the entire earth.

All vehicles could feasibly be battery-powered--even boats and planes. Anything would be possible.

Fine---There are groups standing by to tie all of your solutions up in court for decades(including fossil fuels. Get out of the classroom and come up with a real world answers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In the near term,next 50 years, say, what effect of global warming will have the most damaging consequences?

I reckon drought. As the world warms, there will be more rainfall, but where it falls will change. People live where they do because the rain supports agriculture. In a warmer world,this will change, and people will find themselves living in places where the rainfall no longer supports agriculture.

Rainfall will also become more tropical in character, meaning that it will fall in heavier bursts. This means that the topsoil will become saturated more quickly, and a greater percentage of the water that falls will just run off into watercourses. In addition, higher temperatures will result in higher rate of evaporation. Both of these factors mean that less rain will be available to irrigate crops and the frequency of droughts will increase.

Every way you look at it, drought is going to be the major destructive effect of global warming in the near term. This year's droughts in the US and Russia will result in higher food prices and more food riots in developing countries. And it's only going to get worse.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
r
Quoting aburttschell:



No my point is that most models projected the sea level to rise exponentially in that time frame, but in fact they have fallen.
No, they have not. At least not according to scientists--oceanographers and the like. It may be that an opinion piece written by a fossil fuel-funded spokesman and appearing in a financial magazine or newspaper states otherwise, but that would be what's politely referred to as "misstatement of fact".
Quoting aburttschell:



Thats a nice sample from 1994 to present, however since its highest point in 2010 the sea levels have seen a decline. Which is my point.

WUWT

Oh, dear. That graph from Little Anthony's site seems a bit outdated. I wonder why that is. Anyway, no worries; here's a more recent graph from the source:

ice

Can you please point out the "decline" of which you speak?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


This video may contain copyrighted material & is the property of the respective authors, artists and labels.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aburttschell:


Exactly. Beyond the question of whether our fossil fuel output effects the earths climate, how in the world would you propose we accomplish that? It is not fiscally possible to stop using fossil fuels.




WE have had 4 yrs of throwing $ out the window. Come January there will 537 people in Washington wanting to throw $ to their friends.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RTSplayer:
Sar 2401:



4. What are the environmental impacts of using geothermal energy?
Answer: Geothermal technologies offer many environmental advantages over conventional power generation:

Emissions are low. Only excess steam is emitted by geothermal flash plants. No air emissions or liquids are discharged by binary geothermal plants, which are projected to become the dominant technology in the near future.

Salts and dissolved minerals contained in geothermal fluids are usually reinjected with excess water back into the reservoir at a depth well below groundwater aquifers. This recycles the geothermal water and replenishes the reservoir. The City of Santa Rosa, California, pipes the city's treated wastewater up to The Geysers power plants to be used for reinjection fluid. This system will prolong the life of the reservoir as it recycles the treated wastewater.

Some geothermal plants do produce some solid materials, or sludges, that require disposal in approved sites. Some of these solids are now being extracted for sale (zinc, silica, and sulfur, for example), making the resource even more valuable and environmentally friendly.



Looks like ya'll were doing something wrong, lol.

This is the plant I worked on. What is your source for this material? Only steam is put in the atmosphere? That's why wore respirators in the field? You delay dealing with solids be reinjecting them, but you eventually have to separate them or the boilers and turbines don't work. "Some" of the solids and sludges being recycled is about 5% of the total. The other 95% is sitting in huge tailing ponds. I see there's still no mention of earthquakes.

There's no thing as free energy. Our choices are to use the least polluting or most polluting. California did this decades ago when they mandated that all power plants had to use natural gas. As a first step, this can be implemented in a few years if public policy makers get on the stick and start making new regulatons now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aburttschell:


Exactly. Beyond the question of whether our fossil fuel output effects the earths climate, how in the world would you propose we accomplish that? It is not fiscally possible to stop using fossil fuels.


BS. I just got finished citing information both by the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY and another independent agency which proves Geothermal is both cheaper and cleaner than Coal.


Solar boilers are definitely cheaper and cleaner than coal as well, over the long term.

The reason for this is you never need to buy fuel or transport fuel, all you have to do is collect the energy directly.


It would do a lot of people some good to research the actual facts.


Earthquakes from GEothermal? Pulease.

You can't seriously be concerned about occasional or even frequent 1.0 to 4.0 imperceptible tremors. If anything, leaching heat away from volcanoes over multi-decadal and century time scales would reduce the risk of catastrophic eruptions.

there hasn't been a major quake in the U.S. in 23 years.

The quake that happened in the north east a while back wasn't so bad, and the majority fo the damage was caused primarily by bone-head engineering of multi-story brick facade/veneer on buildings collapsing onto cars below, as is typical of moderate to even low-end "major" quakes, being a damage amplifier due to human ignorance or indifference.


If all the fracking, mining, and geothermal is causing Earthquakes, why hasn't there been a "big one" anywhere near any of these operations? Why hasn't there been a "big one" anywhere in the nation for 23 years?
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting kwgirl:
I was looking for a short staycation in Florida during the Holidays. Do you know the dates they decorate? Are they ready right after Thanksgiving?
I'm sure it's nline kwgirl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
More people died in Katrina than in any hurricane season since the 1928 Florida hurricane and the Great Galveston Hurricane, and the monetary damage and storm surge heights were greater still.


I would suggest you edit above to:

More people died in Katrina in the USA than...


(check the Mitch casualty figures)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/mitch/mitch.h tml


You are correct, but the context was in regards to the U.S. only.

I had mentioned Mitch originally, but deleted it from the post. Maybe I should have left it in place, seeing as it did so much damage in two countries.

We could also mention Felix and Dean, being two category 5 landfalls in the Atlantic Basin in the same year.

Anyway, we have retired quite a few "non-major" U.S. landfalling storms, so the authors of that article are missing the point entirely.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting KatyMan:

Stop burning fossil fuels----simplistic answer. my question is how?


By using renewable energies, of course. The sun is more than enough to supply the entire earth.

All vehicles could feasibly be battery-powered--even boats and planes. Anything would be possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gotta go. If you could Wumail me witht he answer, I would be grateful FtMyersgal. Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RTSplayer:



I got the figure from an independent study cited by Wikipedia.

I'm sure they would have no reason to lie.




Geothermal power plants are largely concentrated in the western states. They are the fourth largest source of renewable electricity, after hydroelectricity, biomass, and wind power. A geothermal resource assessment shows that nine western states together have the potential to provide over 20 percent of national electricity needs.[4][5]

...

In 2009, investment bank Credit Suisse calculated that geothermal power costs 3.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, versus 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for coal.


Wikipedia...


And from the U.S. department of Energy we have:


7. How much does geothermal energy cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh)?
Answer: At The Geysers, power is sold at $0.03 to $0.035 per kWh. A power plant built today would probably require about $0.05 per kWh. Some plants can charge more during peak demand periods.


http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/faqs.html# geothermal_energy_cost

Maybe the company you work(ed) for is just that far behind in technology.

The company I worked for runs the biggest geothermal plant in the country, as I stated. We were, I assure, not far behind in that technolgy. Some of the plants were able to produce power for less because they had been in operation for over 30 years and had all the sunk costs paid for. They were running out of steam and the only way we could produce more was lay a 34 mile pipline and pump treated sewage water into the wells. The farmers and residents in the area thought was a great idea. :) New plants cannot produce power for less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Far be it from me to say Wikipedia is wrong, but I was involved in doing the constuction and cost estimates for opening new wells. The figures quoted by the DOE is what the power was sold for, not counting the subsidy applied to make the plants profitable. Coal fired power plants can consistently produce power for 3 cents per killowatt hour. After the first cost for infrastructure, natural gas fired power plants can produce power for the same or lower prices. This is a change we should be making right now. For some reason, the government has not seen fit to implement a process to convert fossil fuel plants to gas, which is much less polluting than coal.

I see you apparently overlooked my point about the pollution and seismic issues with geothermal. Maybe it wasn't in Wikipedia.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kwgirl:
Fishing is good. But nothing like it used to be in the 60's and 70's. Thank goodness the Government has placed bag and size limits on the fish. Unfortunately, I have been on vessels that go out to the Gulfstream and catch all sizes and filet the undersized before reaching land. Actually, since the recession started we are seeing more poaching of undersized lobster and raiding of fisherman's traps. Imagine what it will be like when we have to totally live off the ocean because of drought. Won't be anything left. So I think the answer is economic breakdown first, followed by war, followed by ?
kwgirl.....What amazes me is the charter boats, headboats, party boats, drift boats bring back anything they can legally keep so when they pull in the dock they throw this enormous amount of unedible fish on the dock so spectators will say"WOW!, I want to go on the boat (longest sentence I have ever written)I see large amounts of Jack Cravalles, grunts, Bonita because it looks good
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FtMyersgal:


You can tour both the Edison and Ford Winter Estates here in Fort Myers. And, if you go during the Christmas Holidays both estates are decked out in beautiful holiday displays.
I was looking for a short staycation in Florida during the Holidays. Do you know the dates they decorate? Are they ready right after Thanksgiving?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sar 2401:


4. What are the environmental impacts of using geothermal energy?
Answer: Geothermal technologies offer many environmental advantages over conventional power generation:

Emissions are low. Only excess steam is emitted by geothermal flash plants. No air emissions or liquids are discharged by binary geothermal plants, which are projected to become the dominant technology in the near future.

Salts and dissolved minerals contained in geothermal fluids are usually reinjected with excess water back into the reservoir at a depth well below groundwater aquifers. This recycles the geothermal water and replenishes the reservoir. The City of Santa Rosa, California, pipes the city's treated wastewater up to The Geysers power plants to be used for reinjection fluid. This system will prolong the life of the reservoir as it recycles the treated wastewater.

Some geothermal plants do produce some solid materials, or sludges, that require disposal in approved sites. Some of these solids are now being extracted for sale (zinc, silica, and sulfur, for example), making the resource even more valuable and environmentally friendly.



Looks like ya'll were doing something wrong, lol.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting guygee:
Not only that, but he is wrong about the 10,000 years. We are in a benevolent period with respect to eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, so if we didn't tamper too much the climate would stay mild for more like 50,000 years.

Unfortunately you are right about us being in overshoot. I do not know what gets use first, the climate change or economic breakdown. How is the fishing down in Key West?
Fishing is good. But nothing like it used to be in the 60's and 70's. Thank goodness the Government has placed bag and size limits on the fish. Unfortunately, I have been on vessels that go out to the Gulfstream and catch all sizes and filet the undersized before reaching land. Actually, since the recession started we are seeing more poaching of undersized lobster and raiding of fisherman's traps. Imagine what it will be like when we have to totally live off the ocean because of drought. Won't be anything left. So I think the answer is economic breakdown first, followed by war, followed by ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KatyMan:

Stop burning fossil fuels----simplistic answer. my question is how?


Exactly. Beyond the question of whether our fossil fuel output effects the earths climate, how in the world would you propose we accomplish that? It is not fiscally possible to stop using fossil fuels.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allancalderini:
Maybe Oscar at 11pm?
No!.Oh please god no!.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM NADINE ADVISORY NUMBER 38
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
500 PM AST THU SEP 20 2012

...NADINE MOVING EAST-SOUTHEASTWARD SOUTH OF THE AZORES...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...36.1N 28.2W
ABOUT 160 MI...260 KM S OF PICO IN THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...ESE OR 110 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...981 MB...28.97 INCHES



TROPICAL STORM NADINE DISCUSSION NUMBER 38
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
500 PM AST THU SEP 20 2012

THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE TO THE STRUCTURE OF NADINE OVER THE
PAST FEW HOURS. AFTER INCREASING A LITTLE EARLIER...CONVECTIVE TOPS
NEAR THE CENTER HAVE WARMED AND DIMINISHED OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF
HOURS. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS 45 KT...IN AGREEMENT WITH THE
LATEST DVORAK ESTIMATE FROM TAFB. LITTLE CHANGE IN INTENSITY IS
EXPECTED DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD...AS NADINE WILL BE IN A
MARGINAL THERMODYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT FOR INTENSIFICATION VIA LATENT
HEAT RELEASE WHILE LACKING ANY SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF BAROCLINIC
INTENSIFICATION. ADDITIONALLY...NADINE COULD BECOME POST-TROPICAL AT
JUST ABOUT ANYTIME DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD IF THE DEEP CONVECTION
DISSIPATES. THE NEW NHC INTENSITY FORECAST IS THE SAME AS THE
PREVIOUS ADVISORY.

NADINE HAS JOGGED EASTWARD THIS AFTERNOON...AND THE LONG TERM
INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 110/09. OTHER THAN AN EASTWARD
ADJUSTMENT DUE TO THE INITIAL POSITION AND MOTION...THE TRACK
FORECAST THROUGH 48 HOURS REMAINS LARGELY UNCHANGED. DURING THIS
TIME NADINE SHOULD BE STEERED SOUTHEASTWARD AHEAD OF A MID/
UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH OVER THE NORTHEASTERN ATLANTIC. BEYOND THAT
TIME...THERE CONTINUES TO BE LARGE SPREAD IN THE TRACK GUIDANCE AT
DAYS 3 THROUGH 5. THE LATEST GFS NOW SHOWS A QUICKER EASTWARD
MOTION...AS NADINE ACCELERATES AHEAD OF ANOTHER DIGGING MID- TO
UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH. WHILE THE ECMWF ALSO SHOWS AN EASTWARD
MOTION BY DAY 5...THIS MODEL HAS TRENDED ABOUT 500 MILES WESTWARD
COMPARED TO ITS PREVIOUS RUN. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE
ENVELOPE...THE HWRF SHOWS A SOUTHWESTWARD MOTION LATE IN THE PERIOD
WHILE THE UKMET SHOWS A SLOW WESTWARD DRIFT. THE LATEST ECMWF AND
GFS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS REMAIN ALMOST EVENLY SPLIT BETWEEN AN
EASTWARD AND WESTWARD COMPONENT OF MOTION BY DAY 5. GIVEN THE
PERSISTENT UNCERTAINTY...THE NHC FORECAST CONTINUES TO SHOW NO
MOTION BEYOND 72 HOURS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 20/2100Z 36.1N 28.2W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 21/0600Z 35.3N 27.2W 45 KT 50 MPH
24H 21/1800Z 34.0N 26.3W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 22/0600Z 32.9N 25.3W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
48H 22/1800Z 32.5N 24.7W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
72H 23/1800Z 32.5N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
96H 24/1800Z 32.5N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
120H 25/1800Z 32.5N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SteveDa1:


The "ways to fix it" are very clear. Stop burning fossil fuels. It's as simple as that. Yet, we still burn them? We are addicted to them: Shell is set to drill for oil and natural gas in the Arctic ocean next year (postponed from this year) now that the ice is retreating.

The solutions have always been there. The sense of urgency hasn't and continues to be absent.

Stop burning fossil fuels----simplistic answer. my question is how?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sar2401:

Another one! Please define "pro-corporate neo-liberal elite". I have no idea what it means. Forbes is a magazine that focuses on captialism and money, no doubt. Both of them are needed to make the world work. Again, enough with the personal insults, please. Even if I disagree with you, I won't accuse you of wearing a clown suit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sorry, double post
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
More people died in Katrina than in any hurricane season since the 1928 Florida hurricane and the Great Galveston Hurricane, and the monetary damage and storm surge heights were greater still.


I would suggest you edit above to:

More people died in Katrina in the USA than...


(check the Mitch casualty figures)

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/mitch/mitch.h tml
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Maybe Oscar at 11pm?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sar2401:


Is there some reason we can't discuss this without the use of such pejoratives and name-calling? It does not strengthen your case.

I worked for a large west coast utility. We had the largest geothermal power field in the country. Your statement about geothermal being cheaper is not true from my experience. It's very difficult to extact steam from highly mineralized deposits. Separating the minerals from the steam creates huge tailing ponds full of a witches brew of highly polluting materials that we have no way of recycling. There's also a small problem of creating earthquakes. Look at the earthquake history of the The Geysers geothermal power field in California since the plants started operating. Geothermal fields only exist in seismically active areas. Extrapolate the problem if we produced 20% of our power from geothermal. It is not cheaper to produce power from geothermal than other sources. Our costs were between 10 cents to 17 cents per kilowatt hour compared to gas fired power plants. We only continued to operate the plants because the ratepayers were forced to subsidize the cost difference by the Public Utilities Commision.

Yes, believe it or not, we did expect linemen to give us ideas on how to improve the performance and serviceability of things like pole mounted transformers and circuit breakers. They worked on them every day, not management. They came up a lot of good ideas, many of which were implemented. As long as you think the people who work for you know a lot more about their jobs than you do, the idea is not idiotic at all.



I got the figure from an independent study cited by Wikipedia.

I'm sure they would have no reason to lie.



Geothermal power plants are largely concentrated in the western states. They are the fourth largest source of renewable electricity, after hydroelectricity, biomass, and wind power. A geothermal resource assessment shows that nine western states together have the potential to provide over 20 percent of national electricity needs.[4][5]

...

In 2009, investment bank Credit Suisse calculated that geothermal power costs 3.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, versus 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for coal.


Wikipedia...


And from the U.S. department of Energy we have:

7. How much does geothermal energy cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh)?
Answer: At The Geysers, power is sold at $0.03 to $0.035 per kWh. A power plant built today would probably require about $0.05 per kWh. Some plants can charge more during peak demand periods.


http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/faqs.html# geothermal_energy_cost

Maybe the company you work(ed) for is just that far behind in technology.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
If I may......Many of these storms are said to "Affect the Azores only" Well, I googled the Azores. What a beautiful group of 9 islands.... Looks like a place I might want to visit... Remember, there is nearly 250,000 residents in the Azores.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
we now in our lifetimes, are inbetween Ice Ages..which happen roughly every 10,000 years or so, and the Last ice age ended roughly 10,000 years ago..what does that tell you?..sometime people will be worrying...NOT about the ice vanishing..BUT..OMG..ICE everywhere..what happens when it gets 2 miles thick?....POOF we go, thats what happens...the start could..be getting started in our childrens or grand childrens lifetimes, time will tell..so enjoy the global heating, it surely wont last."


If that happened, all of a sudden, those poor countries straddling the equator, are going to be prime lands. But I bet most won't manage to keep control of them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Edison was a brilliant man ahead of his time...If any of you have a chance to visit the Edison museum in Fort Myers , please do so.


You can tour both the Edison and Ford Winter Estates here in Fort Myers. And, if you go during the Christmas Holidays both estates are decked out in beautiful holiday displays.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded
Link


I'd recommend you avoid that website due to well...lies...in both the headlines and articles.

Observe the "Major hurricanes less frequent" lie, and then go look at how many hurricane records have been set in the past decade, for total number per year, most majors, most category 5s, most major landfalls, etc.

The U.S. has been lucky the past few years, but it has nothing to do with GW, it's just a slump.

What these idiots don't tell you is that wind speeds in the past were greatly over-estimated, and further, as we well know ever since Katrina and Ike, storm surge is NOT a reliable tool for post-analysis of pre-modern hurricanes SS wind scale category, because a larger, weaker storm can make a larger surge.

So what if Ike and Isaac were not "Major" when they made landfall? The produced category 3 surges, with isolated category 4 surges.

Ike is in the top 10 for damage, and even if you adjust the damage for inflation and population increase, it would still beat most of those "Major" storms from 50+ years ago in monetary damage, and would still beat most of them for maximum Integrated Kinetic Energy and storm surge as well.

More people died in Katrina than in any hurricane season since the 1928 Florida hurricane and the Great Galveston Hurricane, and the monetary damage and storm surge heights were greater still.

This is a case of both scientists and skeptics misinterpreting the data.

The SS scale is an arbitrary system, which was never even used the way it was intended to be used. If it was done with the "Either/or" specification as it was designed to be used, Ike and Isaac would each be a category 3 or 4.

So their argument is really about an absurd technicality over human categorizations, rather than the greater scheme of things, which is that storm surge actually does more damage than wind in most hurricanes. This was was always the case, even in terms of loss of life, up until the modern satellite era.

People should consider all facts, instead of isolating one detail which does not at all tell the whole story.

They totally ignored the obscene number of record storms and record number of storms in 2005, or the fact that almost every hurricane season has been above average in number of total named storms for the past 15 years.




Ah well, forget it.

It takes ten times as much work to repeatedly debunk misinformation and perverted interpretations as it does for people to make them up.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520

Viewing: 309 - 259

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
31 °F
Overcast