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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THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS AFTERNOON THUNDERSTORMS WILL PRODUCE SOME
LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL WITH MAY CAUSE LOCALIZED FLOODING OF URBAN
AREAS AND NORMALLY FLOOD PRONE AND LOW LYING AREAS. A FEW OF THE
STRONGER STORMS COULD PRODUCE WIND GUSTS TO AROUND 40 MPH AND
FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS CAN BE EXPECTED THROUGH THE MIDDLE PART OF
NEXT WEEK. THE STRONGER STORMS COULD PRODUCE WIND GUSTS TO AROUND
40 MPH AND FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED TODAY.

$$

CARLISLE
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Quoting sar2401:

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word on what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came running in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.
And if that employee doesn't know how to use the fire extinguisher, would you rather he simply ignore the flames coming from the top of your roof?

That's one of those business practices that sounds great in a motivational seminar, but it fails miserably in the real world. After all, if, heaven forbid, my child comes to me with a broken arm, I don't ask her what she's going to do about it, then tell her I don't want to hear about it until she can carefully list the steps required to fix it. And if a giant asteroid is headed toward earth, I think the astronomers who spotted it have an obligation to tell the world about it, and not withhold that information because they don't have a practical solution to make it miss us.

One should never blur the line between science reportage and setting policy. It's ludicrous to insist that scientists withhold facts until and unless they can also tell us how to effectively deal with them.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13250
Quoting TomTaylor:
I highlighted parts of your post in bold to show you which parts are wrong.


Perhaps you'll find these numbers interesting


Link
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Quoting Neapolitan:
You got me, Sar. My use of the word "newspaper" where I meant to use "magazine" is proof positive that the Arctic ice isn't melting! I'm rushing to alert the world's climate scientists right this instant!!! ;-)

No, I got you because of your polemic description of publication you misidentified as a newspaper indicates you rarely or never read Forbes, but feel qualified to pass judgement on how it makes a profit. You then answer with another sarcastic, insulting polemic. This does not pass my sniff test of civilized discourse.
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204. beell
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

Thanks, Doc.
No matter how you slice it or dice it, that would seem to be a true statement.
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UP to 60% now.......................
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Quoting wxmod:
Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of big time jet exhaust above France. The MODIS Aqua photo is a bit later than the Terra photo I posted a few hours ago. Hey. The jet trails aren't disappearing. How bout that. In fact, they're getting BIGGER. I don't think these kind of jet trails ever go away. What do YOU think?

I think you're trolling.

...But seriously, enough with the chemtrail nonsense. Find me some evidence and I'll be happy to listen. All you have is speculation.
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Quoting wxmod:


No Tom, I don't. In fact, if you talk to anybody on the ground in France, you could find out if your theory is correct.
It's not my theory. I know they are real images. I suggested you might not believe them since they are supplied by our government, which you seem to believe is behind a massive aluminum dump in our atmosphere.
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Quoting wxmod:
Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of big time jet exhaust above France. The MODIS Aqua photo is a bit later than the Terra photo I posted a few hours ago. Hey. The jet trails aren't disappearing. How bout that. In fact, they're getting BIGGER. I don't think these kind of jet trails ever go away. What do YOU think?

here on a weather forum, let us consider the Meteorological Facts in the case...
research:
1) what a cloud is, how it is formed
2) the conditions necessary for cloud development and persistence
3) the conditions necessary for Contrail formation and persistence
4) the meteorological conditions in the atmosphere parcels exhibiting the contrails you've posted

you should be able to answer the question once you've worked through 1-4....
and the answer is: They go away!
(when the Conditions of the atmosphere that Enabled the condensation Shifts and moves Onward)
all jet planes have exhaust. only some of that exhaust becomes a visibly lingering and expanding contrail... the conspiracy is called Meteorology...
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Good afternoon everyone, I see 94L is just about ready to be classified. What happened to Nadine's floater, it is gone?


Dont forget 93E at EPAC and now TS Jelawat at WPAC.

About the floater, the same thing happened during Hurricane Gordon in this area, SSD use images from GOES to their floater imagery, Nadine has moved into the area covered by METEOSAT and they are restricted to using only imagery every six hours from METEOSAT.
Unfortunately in Europe EUMETSAT (supported by taxpayers) don't have the same policy of providing free satellite imagery as in U.S., they charge money.You can use this alternative.

Link
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see what you started doc LOL...back to weather huh..BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
329 PM EDT THU SEP 20 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
WEST CENTRAL COLLIER COUNTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA.

* UNTIL 415 PM EDT

* AT 324 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
WEST TOLL GATE ON ALLIGATOR ALLEY...AND MOVING NORTH AT 5 MPH.

* THE STORM WILL AFFECT...
WEST TOLL GATE ON ALLIGATOR ALLEY...
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES...
AND SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 58 MPH AND
OR LARGE HAIL. FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING AND HEAVY RAINFALL IS
ALSO POSSIBLE. IF THE STORM APPROACHES YOUR LOCATION, SEEK SHELTER IN
AN ENCLOSED BUILDING ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.



LAT...LON 2628 8175 2638 8152 2607 8149 2599 8165
TIME...MOT...LOC 1929Z 165DEG 3KT 2614 8161



GREGORIA
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x
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Quoting sar2401:

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word on what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came runing in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.



I don't believe there's a solution. Even if the world stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow, we are committed to additional warming. This is because of positive feedback effects, such as decreasing albedo, increasing emission of CO2 from warmer oceans, release of methane from permafrost and clathrates etc.

We've already warmed the planet by 0.9 degrees C. Not sure how much extra warming is delayed, but it could be double that.

It'll be bad enough for some people in the developed world, because of heat stress, droughts, floods, hurricanes, spread of mosquito borne diseases and rising food prices.

But, for many in the developing world, it'll be a catastrophe. Already, many African cities have a problem with environmental refugees from rural areas, because they can no longer grow crops. This will only get worse.

One possible technological fix might be to equip airliners with the means to spray sulfur dioxide in flight. As long as this is done in the stratosphere, above the weather, the SO2 would persist up there for a year or more, reflecting back incoming solar radiation. It's a depressing thought that it might come to that.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2404
Quoting JazzChi:
The real question with global warming has not been a scientific one for years. It's all policy. There seem to be two camps:

1) Climate change is coming whether we like it or not and we must be prepared as a nation to weather the storm. The best way to do this is to have a robust and flexible economy that will give us the economic might to see us through to the next climate state.

or

2) We may be able to head off climate change with immediate and firm action. We need to leverage our current economy to reduce our carbon creation and try to convince other nations to simultaneously do likewise. This way, we may be able to lessen the changes and keep some resemblance of our current climate.

So which is better? This is the debate I wish would occur. Unfortunately, platform #1 sounds better to the public as "It's not happening... carry on" than "To heck with Florida, the Maldives, and Bangledesh... we'll write them off to make sure the rest of us survive."


I would be in camp #2. There is no question that it would cost a lot of money for the whole planet to immediately take action. This requires a lot of incentive and world-wide acceptance that global warming is here and we must change our ways fast. If we all group together and work together towards a common goal we would definitely cease all CO2 emissions within 20 years I think. After all, not taking action, such as what we are doing now, is going to cost us more and more money in the future, with each passing day.

But, why would we start taking action about climate change? After all--malnutrition, the growing economic gap between the rich and the poor, overpopulation, over-fishing, etc, etc, etc, are all problems which require immediate action as well. Yet, we ignorantly move along, without thinking of global problems because life is too short...

Well all our problems, in my honest opinion, will hit us in the face one day. They will never magically go away. They are just being compounded. It just so happens that climate change is by far the worst problem to almost fully ignore.
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194. wxmod
Quoting TomTaylor:
I'm surprised you trust those MODIS images provided by NASA, a government organization. Don't you think there might be some sort of conspiracy behind those too?


No Tom, I don't. In fact, if you talk to anybody on the ground in France, you could find out if your theory is correct.
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Quoting goosegirl1:
There is a negligible loss from the atmoshere, and I do mean very small. The water on the planet is cycled from one state to another, driving climate and weather. Your missing ice is now sea water, or water vapor that will fall as snow or rain somewhere else.
Hmmm...some hydrogen may have made it to the top of the atmosphere and gotten blown away in solar storms? No, most likely negligible since the Earth's magnetic field has protected us well against that except during brief times of magnetic reversal...although that is why Mars is so dry.

Accretion of water from comets and micro-comets? Yeah, we probably have a little more that we started out with.
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Good afternoon everyone, I see 94L is just about ready to be classified. What happened to Nadine's floater, it is gone?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
191. wxmod
Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of big time jet exhaust above France. The MODIS Aqua photo is a bit later than the Terra photo I posted a few hours ago. Hey. The jet trails aren't disappearing. How bout that. In fact, they're getting BIGGER. I don't think these kind of jet trails ever go away. What do YOU think?

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Noting:-166. sar2401
Interesting?
"When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came running in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down>"

What you and everybody else has got here are the scientists coming and telling us about a problem which is easy to fix but the fixing isnt going to happen, as it would cause a complete colapse of all human global activities, except for a few isolated tribes.
The only viable solution that they could tell you is to cease all carbon and other greenhouse gas production now. Simple.
Its not going to happen, so what IS going to happen are the consequences of not doing the above!
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High amounts of moisture and instability, yet very few thunderstorms, a very weird weather pattern. Highest coverage of thunderstorm is in north Florida where moisture and instability is lower, go figure.
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Quoting SteveDa1:


Oh, the consequences are much worse than just a "little warming". Global riots, probable wars over natural resources such as clean water and food, extreme droughts, desertification, more rain; flooding, coastal cities inundated, hundreds of millions of people having to be displaced--to name a few.

With all the CO2 we have put--and continue to put--in the air, we can say for certain that we have made sure an ice age isn't coming anytime soon.


Over population is gonna be more of a problem than global warming as far as resources go. And nature is stalking you every day. The earth cracks and hundreds of thousands die. 30 million dead in one war. Nope, not worried about global warming.
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Quoting aburttschell:
My Goodness. The Arctic ice is regressing, however there have been studies that the mass of the ice is growing, and there is no alternative but AGW; whereas the Antarctic ice is growing and there must be an alternative force at play. That mindset is mind boggling. Arctic is at record low levels, however sea levels are on the decline...this seems to contradict the AGW theory.
I highlighted parts of your post in bold to show you which parts are wrong.
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186. Gorty
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Link to ATCF site.

Link


Ah. Thanks.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


My God, the final line was absolutely chilling...I got goose bumps, seriously.

In 1923, a fire whirl emerged during Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake and killed 38,000 people in just 15 minutes.


Obviously one of the most destructive forces in nature.


It's even worse than that - right around the same time this destructive earthquake hit and spawned this hellacious firestorm (and a massive 33ft high tsunami), Tokyo Bay was ALSO hit by a large typhoon. Indeed, some folks think the typhoon and earthquake were related (from wikipedia):

"A strong typhoon struck Tokyo Bay at about the same time as the earthquake. Some scientists, including C.F. Brooks of the United States Weather Bureau, suggested that the opposing energy exerted by a sudden decrease of atmospheric pressure coupled with a sudden increase of sea pressure by a storm surge on an already-stressed earthquake fault, known as the Sagami Trough, may have triggered the earthquake. Winds from the typhoon caused fires off the coast of Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture to spread rapidly."


A strong typhoon, a massive earthquake, a deadly tsunami, and a huge devil of a firestorm all in one day. Many folks in Japan must've thought it was the end of the world...



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Quoting sar2401:

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word on what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came running in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.






Here I go again... someone stop me.... Money is the driving force. If research grants are not available to study solutions, scientists will not look for them. It is in the best intrest of the most profitable industry the planet has ever known to NOT research solutions, and to convince the general public that everything's great, no climate problems here.

The only way I can see of finding our way out is that fossil fuels reach a point that there are no longer any profitable deposits to mine/drill and so energy companies begin to lose money. At that point, it will suddenly make sense to invest money is "green energy" because that will be the new cash cow. Of course, we have a few fossil fuels left to burn until then, thus increasing our problem.

If "clean" or "green" energy ever becomes profitable, you can bet that thousands of scientist, investors and speculators will suddenly begin to research it. Follow the money.
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I like that three month precipitation much more than the ones yesterday that had that big brown spot over IL.
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My Goodness. The Arctic ice is regressing, however there have been studies that the mass of the ice is growing, and there is no alternative but AGW; whereas the Antarctic ice is growing and there must be an alternative force at play. That mindset is mind boggling. Arctic is at record low levels, however sea levels are on the decline...this seems to contradict the AGW theory.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The CPC released new one and three month outlooks today. Very low confidence forecasts of course as are any that go out that far, but here are the highlights.

Looks like a warm October for just about everyone except the West Coast:

Three months also look warm:

And looking like a wet (or maybe white) three months for the Southeast:
Actually there is a seeming paradox where climate forecasts 1-3 months in advance are more accurate than weather forecasts 1 week in advance, This is because climate forecasts are based on slowly changing factors such as ENSO, SSTs in general, and soil moisture. A neutral ENSO gives the lowest confidence climate forecast.
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Quoting wxmod:
Last blog I posted the MODIS Terra photos of this. Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of France today.

I'm surprised you trust those MODIS images provided by NASA, a government organization. Don't you think there might be some sort of conspiracy behind those too?
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Quoting AussieStorm:



The Arctic melted by(Max to Min) 11.47058million square km's and the Antarctic froze by(Min to Max) 14.18291million square km's.

So -2.71233million square km's of sea water(difference between Arctic melt and Antarctic freeze) has no effect on global sea levels.

Quoting AussieStorm:

2.71233million square km didn't melted this year.
so should sea levels fall?
No, no, no!

When the ice melts to water it occupies the same volume it once displaced. That is because ice is less dense than water, hence, it floats. Also you are comparing sea ice areas and saying they will occupy the same volume. How does this make any sense at all? You can't assume the thicknesses are the same. Here's a hint, THEY AREN'T. Arctic sea ice is thicker than Antarctic sea ice (because more melts in the Antarctic on a yearly basis).
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178. bwi
Quoting sar2401:

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word on what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came running in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.


The most important solution is to improve the infrastructure for non-single car commuting and to reduce the economic incentives for suburban sprawl. Cars and trucks are really useful vehicles, for hauling goods and supplies, for the disabled or those in poor health, for large groups of people , families with lots of children etc. They are not going away. They are very flexible and adaptable. However, most commutes are (or could be) very predictable, and therefore more suitable for group transit, biking etc. Improvements in commuter bus and rail (not CO2 zero, to be sure, but still more efficient than single car commuting) and bike and pedestrian transit make a big difference. Although I own a (small) car, I rarely use it -- I mostly commute by bike and so does my family. I'm lucky we have decent bike trails, but they could be much better, at the fraction of the cost of building new car- and truck-only superhighways.

Ultimately, we will need to price fossil fuels to cover all of their negative externalities (impacts on society that are not reflected in the price). Even that, plus infrastructure improvements and reductions in sprawl development, might not be enough to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels, but it is a start.

In the meantime, we have some elected leaders who seem to want to denigrate and defund mass transit and bike trails, just out of spite it seems sometimes. Voting for leaders who are willing to tackle climate change issues rather than duck them or belittle them, seems like another constructive approach to me.
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Quoting Gorty:
Where do you guys go to check for a renumber?


Link to ATCF site.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13250
The real question with global warming has not been a scientific one for years. It's all policy. There seem to be two camps:

1) Climate change is coming whether we like it or not and we must be prepared as a nation to weather the storm. The best way to do this is to have a robust and flexible economy that will give us the economic might to see us through to the next climate state.

or

2) We may be able to head off climate change with immediate and firm action. We need to leverage our current economy to reduce our carbon creation and try to convince other nations to simultaneously do likewise. This way, we may be able to lessen the changes and keep some resemblance of our current climate.

So which is better? This is the debate I wish would occur. Unfortunately, platform #1 sounds better to the public as "It's not happening... carry on" than "To heck with Florida, the Maldives, and Bangledesh... we'll write them off to make sure the rest of us survive."
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Quoting wxmod:
Last blog I posted the MODIS Terra photos of this. Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of France today.




nothing special...
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174. wxmod
Last blog I posted the MODIS Terra photos of this. Here's the MODIS Aqua satellite photo of France today.

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Quoting sar2401:

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word n what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came runing in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.


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.
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Nadine now looks fully tropical, after being somewhat Subtropical.
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The CPC released new one and three month outlooks today. Very low confidence forecasts of course as are any that go out that far, but here are the highlights.

Looks like a warm October for just about everyone except the West Coast:



Three months also look warm:



And looking like a wet (or maybe white) three months for the Southeast:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 79 Comments: 7290
Quoting hewahewa:
Doc:
Could enough calving occur to cool down the Gulf stream.[...]
Although you are addressing Jeff Masters, let me take a look at the possibilities. As the Greenland Icesheet melts it is a distinct possibility that the highly saline Gulf-stream waters will become insulated from the cold surface air temperatures by lighter freshwater in the far north where deep convection currently occurs, and these waters will no longer sink to great depth to fuel the thermohaline circulation. Despite the newspaper hype this will not result in some European ice-age, but it will isolate the deep ocean and eliminate it as a sink for carbon. More speculatively, if greenhouse conditions advance rapidly on the surface, the increased organic "oceanic rain" along with the isolation could result in an anoxic deep ocean within a time-scale of thousands to tens of thousands of years. Many of these episodes have occurred in the past and are recorded in the sedimentary layer.
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169. Gorty
Where do you guys go to check for a renumber?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Is it true that from day 1 of earth till now, the volume of water has not changed. Meaning, water that was on the Earth when it first formed is the same water volume today, in any form.


There is a negligible loss from the atmoshere, and I do mean very small. The water on the planet is cycled from one state to another, driving climate and weather. Your missing ice is now sea water, or water vapor that will fall as snow or rain somewhere else.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


That does not explain why the CO2 is not having an effect on the Antarctic.

The Lowest Southern hemisphere sea ice recorded was on February 28 1993 with 1.30987million square km, that year the sea ice grew to 15.37472million square km during winter.

This year
February 25 2012: Minimum 1.96297million square km
First lets clear one thing up, sea ice in the Arctic has been steadily decreasing and is less than half that of the average in the 1980s. In the Antarctic, sea ice is increasing, but only slightly. The trend is not nearly as significant as that of the Arctic. So saying what is lost in the Arctic is recovered in the Antarctic is completely wrong.

Secondly, you are looking at this the wrong way. CO2 increases the overall heat in our atmosphere. Sea ice is controlled by regional weather conditions, which is influenced by global temperatures, but not directly a result of them. Thus CO2 levels do not directly effect sea ice. Still, we would expect sea ice to decrease in Antarctica under a warmer globe. Yet it hasn't. The biggest problem with this comparison is that the Arctic and Antarctic are two entirely different regions. Arctic sea ice is just a layer of ice sitting above the open ocean, Antarctic sea ice is surrounded by a massive continent. As a result, the Arctic is much more sensitive to atmospheric and oceanic temperatures than the Antarctic, which is more influenced by ocean and wind currents. Furthermore, the ozone hole over the Antarctic cools the stratosphere and atmosphere below. Cooler temperatures over the area obviously promote more sea ice. This also promotes a positive AAO scheme (cooler arctic, warmer mid-latitudes). The positive AAO means there's a stronger pressure gradient between the cold Antarctic continent and the warmer mid-latitude ocean which allows for less amplification of the jet stream, meaning fewer surges of warm air entering the polar region. So, the cold atmosphere (promoted by the ozone hole) promotes greater sea ice extent, and creates a stronger pressure gradient which allows the cold to remain in the polar regions. Cold is perpetuating the cold. Meanwhile, in the arctic, the warmth is perpetuating warmth.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Not to single you out, but this comment nicely illustrates one of the primary problems faced by scientists who are trying to spread the truth about our situation. That is, they are regularly met with those who say, "I don't want to change my way of living. Therefore, the climate isn't changing, and therefore, you guys are lying."

But reality, of course, cares not one bit whether anyone wants it to happen or not, or for what reasons. One can stand outside in a thunderstorm and repeatedly proclaim, "I'm not ready to go inside yet. Therefore, it's not raining." But that won't make the rain stop falling...

No, it does not, Nea. If you stop pontificating and answer my question, it would help. The scientists have and continue to spread the word on what they believe is a major problem. What I want to know are what solutions these same scientists propose to reverse this issue that policymakers and the public will accept. We cannot change the way the entire way the world operates next week. There will have to be phased, economically viable changes made to correct this problem. One more study on how the climate is changing will not make a whit's worth of difference. Since scientists are the ones sounding the alarms bells, both policy makers and the public are looking to them for proposed solutions. Scientists cannot be divorced from this piece of the puzzle unless their goal is to produce more studies showing doom ahead and not applying their scientific skills to at least offer ways to fix it.

When I was a manager, I told my employees to never bring me a problem unless they had an idea on how to fix it. I would expect an employee that came running in and told me the attic is on fire would have already thought of some way to put out the fire, rather than study the fire some more to predict how long it will take for the building to burn down.
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Further sea ice loss will also increase glacier melt in the Canadian Arctic such as on Mittie Glacier, Ellesmere Island. The front of the glacier is also less protected by sea ice and today has retreated back from a pinning point on an island.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

My question is about CO2. Is there less CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere??


Perhaps slightly, due to the sources of CO2 being predominantly in the northern hemisphere. CO2 is a fairly well-mixed gas, however, and has a long residence time in the atmosphere. The trends are very close between hemispheres and the energy imbalance is quite similar.
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:
Setting the world on fire: Stunning picture of rare 'devil tornado' emerges

Link


My God, the final line was absolutely chilling...I got goose bumps, seriously.

In 1923, a fire whirl emerged during Japan's Great Kanto Earthquake and killed 38,000 people in just 15 minutes.


Obviously one of the most destructive forces in nature.

I've seen many of these on film, and one "legit" fire tornado in person, but this one must have been truly colossal, of city scale/MCC scale or so...I can't imagine seeing something like that.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Why is CO2 what we always follow when water vapor contributes between 40%-90% of the greenhouse effect?

Its not like we dont have water vapor graphs...
Im just wondering why CO2 is what was picked.


CO2 is the primary driver of the changes to the greenhouse effect. Other gases could be 99.999999% of the greenhouse effect at any one given point in time, but if the only gas that is changing is CO2, then the focus would be on the CO2 as the gas that is causing the changes.
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Quoting Thing342:
It looks like this storm will skip the Subtropical Depression stage.


They're now saying it could be fully tropical upon classification, but it seems as though we may eventually have Oscar today.
And then there's Nadine, her persistence is respectable.
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The WPAC has a new storm named Jelawat upgraded by JMA.

WTPQ20 RJTD 201800
RSMC TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVISORY
NAME TS 1217 JELAWAT (1217) UPGRADED FROM TD
ANALYSIS
PSTN 201800UTC 13.5N 131.7E POOR
MOVE W 08KT
PRES 1002HPA
MXWD 035KT
GUST 050KT
30KT 150NM
FORECAST
24HF 211800UTC 13.8N 130.2E 70NM 70%
MOVE W SLOWLY
PRES 992HPA
MXWD 045KT
GUST 065KT
48HF 221800UTC 14.4N 128.6E 110NM 70%
MOVE WNW SLOWLY
PRES 980HPA
MXWD 055KT
GUST 080KT
72HF 231800UTC 15.0N 127.3E 160NM 70%
MOVE WNW SLOWLY
PRES 970HPA
MXWD 065KT
GUST 095KT =

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13250
Quoting eyeofbetsy:


Agreed. Would rather have a little warming than a glacier coming down the street.



I don't think you fully understand all of the combined effects of AGW in addition to the pollution and other impacts of our over-population.

We have fished the oceans to the point that the growth rate an reproductive rate of organisms has been shunted. The current practice of taking only the largest fish in the population is detrimental because it removes the "big genes" and the "fast grower" genes, which causes the average max size of fish to shrink over many generations.


Predatory fish populations has declined by about 90%, that is to 10% of historical normals, because there is nothing for them to eat.

If this continues, in a few more decades many shark species and predatory whale species may go extinct, in spite of being some of the longest lived known species on the planet.


When they fish for squid, they go out and use light traps and enormous nets, and can catch a couple million pounds in one night. It's as if the fisherman are carving out a huge chunk of the entire biosphere in just a few hours. The squid are sold to Japan and other eastern nations where they are a popular food, but squid are normally a major food source for many shark and whale species. As shark and whale species are threatened, many scavenger species will also be threatened.

I think it was Bill Meyer (can't stand the guy,) but he made a joke a few years ago about humans eating up everything in the ocean until nothing but Jellyfish were left alive, and then he said I guess we'll eat those too...
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About JeffMasters

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