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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first, I totally buy in to measurable accelerating global climate change. I also believe people are significantly contributing to the above.

what an awesome bunch of reading from the comments section of this blog!!

I have been an active PWS contributing paid member of wunderground for nearly 9 years and almost never miss the blogs by any of the staff. I was nearly shocked to read the final commentary and last few sentences. I do not recall ever seeing such strongly worded thoughts from Dr Masters or the rest of the staff - and I personally welcome it!!

my questions to the staff AND dedicated commentators:
1. is this the start of a new face to wunderground since its association with Weather Channel/NBC?
2. would this hard-hitting approach be ultimately beneficial to the scientific and public community, or; will it cause further entrenchment by the naysayers??

I can't wait to see your thoughts!!!
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108. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting AussieStorm:
Dear Dr Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz.

James Taylor is wrong when he said "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).

He and you didn't check out The Cryosphere Today's Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area tracking chart.

Day 256-2012 had 16.05708million sq km of sea ice area. Day 259-2012 had 16.14588million sq. km of sea ice area.

The record is 16.23238million sq km of sea ice area set on day 263 of 2007.

This can be seen in the image below and at The Cryosphere Today's Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area tracking chart.


2012 compared to 2007.

Click image to see full size.


I believe Mr. Taylor meant that the Antarctic set a record for day 256 of 2012, compared to all day 256s.

Jeff Masters
Quoting RTSplayer:


The 20 year average annual variation in ARCTIC Sea Ice is 9 million square kilometers, and this happens in about a 180 day period.

The global sea ice area has typically varied by about 5 million square kilometers annually from annual minimum to annual maximum. The reason this number is smaller is because the Arctic and Antarctic anomalies partially cancel one another since they happen at opposite seasons.



Yes, it grows and shrinks by many millions of square kilometers each year, but the net VOLUME is shrinking in both the N. and S. Hemisphere. It's just harder to prove for the S. Hemisphere.

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.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting AussieStorm:


Just like the Arctic lost 11.47058million square km's. Where did all this water go????


Into the ocean of course.

The water didn't disappear. Much of it is still sitting in the same place, though some of it was cycled out by wave action and ocean currents.

This is part of the reason why the Arctic "Freshens up" during the peak of the melt season. The other reason being melting of nearby continental glaciers and rivers which were once permanently or nearly permanently frozen.


For both of you, it's hard to give a complete answer, because all of these processes are a lot more complicated than can be explained in a few paragraphs.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

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


Well, probably a little less because there are fewer people, but the effect would be negligible.

The southern hemisphere is mostly water, and water heats up to a lesser degree than land. The northern hemisphere is mostly land.

Across Siberia and northern Canada, there are perennial snowfields that don't melt in summer. The area of these snowfields is diminishing, so that Northern hemisphere albedo is decreasing.

This is a positive feedback that is virtually absent in the southern hemisphere. Bear in mind that the major warming effects of greenhouse gases is not due to the direct re-radiation of outgoing infrared by those gases. It's due to positive feedbacks, such as diminishing albedo
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Why does the Antarctic sea ice area grow by 14.18291million square km's? Where did all this Ice come from, Sea water??
Water freezing, clearly.

I'm having trouble understanding what you are getting at and why this has anything to do with Antarctica being a desert.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Just like the Arctic lost 11.47058million square km's. Where did all this water go????


Of course this is a joke but here goes "south for the winter"? LOL
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Quoting AussieStorm:

That would equal 14.18291million square km's??? really. In 204days it grows that much? WOW!!!


The 20 year average annual variation in ARCTIC Sea Ice is 9 million square kilometers, and this happens in about a 180 day period.

The global sea ice area has typically varied by about 5 million square kilometers annually from annual minimum to annual maximum. The reason this number is smaller is because the Arctic and Antarctic anomalies partially cancel one another since they happen at opposite seasons.



Yes, it grows and shrinks by many millions of square kilometers each year, but the net VOLUME is shrinking in both the N. and S. Hemisphere. It's just harder to prove for the S. Hemisphere.
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Quoting StormPro:


Nobody will answer you completley...kinda like I didn't expect a wholly answer


Just like the Arctic lost 11.47058million square km's. Where did all this water go????
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting CaribBoy:
The convection approaching the N Leewards this morning has dissipated and is now cirrus debris only. If it was for the windwards, sure it would not dissipate.

I agree with you. What's happening? Did do something wrong for the rain not falling????
I sincerely don't understand that! 150 mm please !
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Quoting AussieStorm:
The Question I am asking is this.....

The Antarctic grew by 14.18291million square km's in 204 day this year. Where did the 14.18291million square km's of Sea Ice Area come from??????


Nobody will answer you completly because there are no complete answers unless you drink the koolaid...kinda like I didn't expect a wholly answer
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The Question I am asking is this.....

The Antarctic grew by 14.18291million square km's in 204 day this year. Where did the 14.18291million square km's of Sea Ice Area come from??????
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting sar2401:
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.
Speaking of breathless....
Exactly what actions should be done swiftly and urgrently to reverse this process? This is now the intersection of science, policy, and public opinion. What are the recommendations that will not reduce the entire globe to the status of a third world country? I understand the concerns, but this is like shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater. It does no good to point out the problem without reasonable solutions.
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...
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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.



The amount of water vapor humans add is a large value in human terms, but it is an insignificant value in natural terms compared to natural levels. A single hurricane produces orders of magnitude more water vapor than humans do in a year.

The amount of CO2 and Methane we add is a very large amount compared to natural levels. In the past century, humans have directly increased the CO2 level by at least about 50% above natural levels, and that's assuming 280ppm is natural, but we're not exactly sure, because of horribly inefficient coal fired steam engines in use in trains and factories (which had their own power plants) during the industrial revolution.

We've increased average Methane levels by about 12% since 1983, even with measures in place to try to reduce Methane production, and this is even after the fact Methane in the atmosphere has a relatively short life span before it gets converted to CO2 and Water Vapor, or other compounds or ions.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


this is hard to explain at first, but you have to think of it this way.


Let's say you have 1C to 5C water surrounding the existing Sea Ice.

Now we add enormous amounts of calving ice bergs from glaciers, as well as enormous amounts of 0C melt water from other places on the continent...what would you expect to happen to the SST?

That's right, the SST will decrease.

...Even though the total average temperature, and especially heat capacity of the liquid water plus ice has gone up dramatically (remember, it takes 80 times more heat change to melt or refreeze ice than to change the temperature by 1 degree.)

Another way of thinking about this is put a glass of water at room temperature on a table. Now hold an ice cube above the glass. The heat from your hand melts the ice cube, but 0C water falls into the glass, cooling the water, even though the total heat of the water in the glass plus the remaining ice has gone up dramatically.


This is what is happening in the Antarctic.


In reality, it also happens in the Northern Hemisphere, it's just the ice caps are smaller in the northern hemisphere, and the warming trend is so powerful there so as to totally mask this effect.

That would equal 14.18291million square km's??? really. In 204days it grows that much? WOW!!!
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
Quoting AussieStorm:

Yes I understand what your saying. The number I am quoting is Sea ice area. Why is there 1.16897million square km's more Sea Ice Area now than in 1979 when CO2 was less and the Arctic had more ice.

2007 the Arctic had one of it's lowest ever Sea Ice Area's and in the Antarctica it had it highest ever. Same with 2010 and 2012. It seem that when the Arctic had a record low, the Antarctic has a record high. Why Is it so? Any Ideas???


Okay, guess we'll have to back up.

On land, glacier size depends on two things: the rate of accumulation/recharge vs. the rate of ablation/melting.

If recharge rates are greater than melt rates, the glacier grows. If melt rates are greater, the glacier shrinks.

Warming temperatures, while they would tend to increase the rates of melting at the toe of a glacier, will also increase the amount of water-vapor content in the atmosphere, leading to increased accumulation at the head of the ice sheet. And yes, Antarctica IS an icy desert. There's very little annual precipitation, because -20 C air holds EXTREMELY little water-vapor before reaching saturation levels. Warming that atmosphere increases the amount of water-vapor content, which increases potential precipitation rates, which can lead to increased accumulation in the recharge zone. That causes glacial growth, even if the toe region is warmer and melting faster.

Of course, the Antarctic sea ice provides another "helper"-- ocean water penetrating under the base of the glacier is causing the ice sheets to surge towards the sea. This is documented. Yes, this leads to growth of sea ice area. No, this is not a permanent or stable thing. No, it does not mean that global warming isn't happening.

This is pretty basic stuff, and it's all over the internet or in any basic geology/meteorology textbook. Just because your personal incredulity can't handle it, doesn't mean that scientific reasoning hasn't already addressed it.
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FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSONVILLE FL
1251 PM EDT THU SEP 20 2012

FLC123-201845-
/O.NEW.KTAE.FA.W.0025.120920T1651Z-120920T1845Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/
TAYLOR FL-
1251 PM EDT THU SEP 20 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR SMALL STREAMS IN...
WESTERN TAYLOR COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF PERRY...

* UNTIL 245 PM EDT

* AT 1250 PM EDT...WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AN AREA OF
STRONG AND SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING VERY HEAVY RAINFALL
OVER WESTERN TAYLOR COUNTY ALONG AND JUST TO THE SOUTH OF U.S.
HIGHWAY 19 TO THE WEST OF THE CITY OF PERRY. THESE STORMS HAVE
ALREADY PRODUCED RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH
ANOTHER 1 TO 2 INCHES LIKELY THROUGH 245 PM EDT THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL
CREEKS AND STREAMS...HIGHWAYS...STREETS AND UNDERPASSES.
ADDITIONALLY...COUNTRY ROADS AND FARMLANDS ALONG THE BANKS OF
CREEKS...STREAMS AND OTHER LOW LYING AREAS ARE SUBJECT TO FLOODING.
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE
ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS
SAFELY. TO ESCAPE RISING WATER MOVE UP TO HIGHER GROUND. MAKE THE
SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

&&

LAT...LON 2990 8367 2997 8379 2997 8384 3000 8386
3002 8393 3008 8400 3011 8398 3019 8395
3020 8392 3025 8392 3028 8384 3017 8349

$$

HESS
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Climate change to fuel northern spread of avian malaria
Posted on September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012 – HEALTH – The spread could prove devastating to arctic bird species that have never encountered the disease and thus have no resistance to it, said San Francisco State University Associate Professor of Biology Ravinder Sehgal, one of the study’s co-authors. It may also help scientists understand the effects of climate change on the spread of human malaria, which is caused by a similar parasite. Researchers examined blood samples from birds collected at four sites of varying latitude, with Anchorage as a southern point, Denali and Fairbanks as middle points and Coldfoot as a northern point, roughly 600 miles north of Anchorage. They found infected birds in Anchorage and Fairbanks but not in Coldfoot. Using satellite imagery and other data, researchers were able to predict how environments will change due to global warming—and where malaria parasites will be able to survive in the future. They found that by 2080, the disease will have spread north to Coldfoot and beyond. “Right now, there’s no avian malaria above latitude 64 degrees, but in the future, with global warming, that will certainly change,” Sehgal said. The northerly spread is alarming, he added, because there are species in the North American arctic that have never been exposed to the disease and may be highly susceptible to it. “For example, penguins in zoos die when they get malaria, because far southern birds have not been exposed to malaria and thus have not developed any resistance to it,” he said. “There are birds in the north, such as snowy owls or gyrfalcons, which could experience the same thing.” The study’s lead author is Claire Loiseau, a former postdoctoral fellow in Sehgal’s laboratory at SF State. Ryan Harrigan, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, provided data modeling for the project. The research was funded by grants from the AXA Foundation and National Geographic. Researchers are still unsure how the disease is being spread in Alaska and are currently collecting additional data to determine which mosquito species are transmitting the Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria. The data may also indicate if and how malaria in humans will spread northward. Modern medicine makes it difficult to track the natural spread of the disease, Sehgal said, but monitoring birds may provide clues as to how global climate change may affect the spread of human malaria. -Physics

Link
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Measuring Ground Water from Space, 2002--2012
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
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As Dr. Masters and many others have stated, comparing sea ice in the two hemispheres is unwise, as they are two very different areas with radically different dynamics at work. However, should you insist on a head-to-head comparison to make yourself feel better about the CO2 mess we're in, here's one for you: Antarctic sea ice--which, by the way, melts away completely every summer--topped out this year at a whopping 4% above the climatological norm. Arctic sea ice, on the other hand, bottomed out at 49% below the climatological norm. That means, of course, that the north polar ice anomaly was more than 12 times greater than the south polar one.
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Five dead as storm rips across South America
Posted on September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012 – PARAGUAY – A fierce storm packing 140-kilometer (87-mile) an hour winds tore across the heart of South America on Wednesday, killing five people in Paraguay and wreaking havoc in Argentina and Uruguay. The Roque Alonso suburb of the Paraguayan capital Asuncion was devastated by the storm and widespread looting was reported in its aftermath. Four police cadets died and 15 were injured when the roof of their dormitory collapsed, and a 16-year-old boy died at a shopping center when a water tank collapsed on him outside a pharmacy. “Roque Alonso has to be built all over again,” police commander Heriberto Marmol said. Dozens of injured people flooded Asuncion hospitals and traffic was gridlocked in parts of the city. A crowd of thousands braved torrential rain for a concert by the rock band Scorpions only to see the show cancelled. Nationwide, at least 5,000 homes were destroyed and more than 80 people injured in storm-related incidents, Aldo Saldivar of the national emergency response center said. The storm also blew the roof off homes and barns in Neembucu, south of the capital and knocked out power in the town of Encarnacion for many hours. The wind was less severe further south in Argentina and Uruguay, around 100 kilometers (62 mph) per hour, but strong gusts still ripped off roofs and toppled trees and power lines, plunging some regions into darkness. –Terra Daily
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
Quoting AussieStorm:


If you say the Antarctica is a desert, why does the sea ice area grow by 14.18291million square km's? Frozen Sea Water???

In 1979 since records started the Sea Ice Area grew from 1.95228million square km's to 14.96622million square km an increase of 13.01394million square km's.

The Antarctic Sea Ice Area is getting larger now than it was in 1979. The difference between the maximum sea ice area 1979 and 2012 is 1.16897million square km's.


this is hard to explain at first, but you have to think of it this way.


Let's say you have 1C to 5C water surrounding the existing Sea Ice.

Now we add enormous amounts of calving ice bergs from glaciers, as well as enormous amounts of 0C melt water from other places on the continent...what would you expect to happen to the SST?

That's right, the SST will decrease.

...Even though the total average temperature, and especially heat capacity of the liquid water plus ice has gone up dramatically (remember, it takes 80 times more heat change to melt or refreeze ice than to change the temperature by 1 degree.)

Another way of thinking about this is put a glass of water at room temperature on a table. Now hold an ice cube above the glass. The heat from your hand melts the ice cube, but 0C water falls into the glass, cooling the water, even though the total heat of the water in the glass plus the remaining ice has gone up dramatically.


This is what is happening in the Antarctic.


In reality, it also happens in the Northern Hemisphere, it's just the ice caps are smaller in the northern hemisphere, and the warming trend is so powerful there so as to totally mask this effect.
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Quoting goosegirl1:
Antarctica is considered a desert because of amount of precipitation it receives in a year's time. It can be deceiving, when the ice and snow keep piling up every year, but it's because what little snow falls, doesn't normally melt. It just keeps piling up.


Why does the Antarctic sea ice area grow by 14.18291million square km's? Where did all this Ice come from, Sea water??
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting FatPenguin:


CO2 is a HEAT-TRAPPING gas and there's more of it now than there was 200 years ago. Why is this fact still ignored by so many?


Because it is only a part of the problem, and limiting CO2 is something that hits the average person pretty hard. Would you leave your car at home and turn off your air conditioning?

Water Vapor is also a very important greenhouse gas. Higher temperature -> more water vapor. Clouds trap heat.

CO2 is just one little element, the system is very complex, and mankind just does not understand it.

That said, I think we should do anything we can. And limiting CO2 is an important part of that. You could start by buying local products and using less plastics.

I just wish the media would draw more attention to scientifically sound research as opposed to the attention whore climate news. Dr. Masters is one of the few who does add references and uses proper sources. Great article, thanks!

EDIT: @81 you gotto be kidding me, using a source website names SkepticalScience???
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Quoting sar2401:

That is either old or incorrect data. Since the son of Isaac, the aquifers in Alabama are in better shape than they have been in about 10 years.

Link says current from september 5-17:
Signs of the U.S. Drought Are Underground



acquired September 17, 2012

Also an animation acquired aug5-aug20
and another acuired sep17

The maps above combine data from the twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) with ground-based measurements to map the relative amount of water stored near the surface and underground as of September 17, 2012. The top map shows moisture content in the top 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) of surface soil; the middle map depicts moisture in the %u201Croot zone,%u201D or the top meter (39 inches) of soil; and the third map shows groundwater in aquifers.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
Quoting goosegirl1:


I did not mention the volumn of ice on land. I only mentioned the land mass because that is the difference in the systems- one is a land mass, the other is not. I was theorizing that the land mass would make the differnce in how the Poles change with changing CO2 and temps.

Yes I understand what your saying. The number I am quoting is Sea ice area. Why is there 1.16897million square km's more Sea Ice Area now than in 1979 when CO2 was less and the Arctic had more ice.

In 2007 the Arctic had one of it's lowest ever Sea Ice Area's and in the Antarctica it had it highest ever. Same with 2010 and 2012. It seem that when the Arctic had a record low, the Antarctic has a record high. Why Is it so? Any Ideas???
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Figure 2: Global atmospheric CO2 (NOAA) versus Mauna Loa CO2 (NOAA).

The following video is a graphic example of where our data for CO2 levels comes from. It shows surface measurements of CO2 varying over different latitudes from 1979 to 2006. The graph is created by Andy Jacobson from the NOAA and includes a global map displaying where the measurements are coming from, a comparison of Mauna Loa CO2 to South Pole CO2 and the graph expands at the end to include ice core measurements back to the 19th Century.


Satellite data is consistent with surface measurements and present a fuller picture of global CO2 concentration. The next video shows global distribution of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide. This data comes from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on the NASA Aqua spacecraft. Superiposed over the global map is a graph of carbon dioxide observed at the Mauna Loa observatory.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-measurements- uncertainty.htm
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Quoting AussieStorm:


If you say the Antarctica is a desert, why does the sea ice area grow by 14.18291million square km's? Frozen Sea Water???

In 1979 since records started the Sea Ice Area grew from 1.95228million square km's to 14.96622million square km an increase of 13.01394million square km's.

The Antarctic Sea Ice Area is getting larger now than it was in 1979. The difference between the maximum sea ice area 1979 and 2012 is 1.16897million square km's.






Antarctica is considered a desert because of amount of precipitation it receives in a year's time. It can be deceiving, when the ice and snow keep piling up every year, but it's because what little snow falls, doesn't normally melt. It just keeps piling up.

Link
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Nadine still forecasted to hit Portugal/Spain



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Quoting sar2401:

Forbes is a newspaper funded by the fossil-fuel industry that is pro-Big Energy? Since you've apparently never read the magazine named Forbes, maybe you should stick to your scientific journals.
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!!! ;-)
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Quoting sar2401:

So you already know the effects of something which hasn't been done on any large scale, and this was invented by the same people who invented the "nuclear meltdown", and you know it would be an enduring disaster? At least you're unbiased.


I never claimed to be unbiased. Geoengineering has been thoroughly tested in the real world. I see testing in the satellite photos and on my little piece of the planet all the time. It is a disaster on a local scale, because it reduces precipitation dramaticly and alters the path of the jet stream, and it will be a disaster for the planet, because none of us can breathe the junk they will be putting into the atmosphere. And don't give me any "where's your proof" nonsense. I see it and I breath it. End of study. Author of study: me.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


The burning of Gasoline, Methane, and Coal produces enormous amounts of water vapor; not counting the water vapor from the boilers in the Methane and Coal power plants, though this would be unavoidable in solar boilers and geothermal boilers as well.

At any rate, here are the figures.

Gallon of Gasoline Burned:

CO2

For every gallon of gasoline you burn in your car, you remove 21 pounds of breathable Oxygen from the atmosphere, as well as adding 20 pounds of CO2, or Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere. This might seem unlikely or improbable, but it is...


...Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the Hydrogen in a gallon of gasoline weighs 0.8 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .13). We can then multiply the weight of the Hydrogen (0.8 pounds) by 9, which equals 7 pounds of H2O or water and water vapor.

How is 21 pounds of Oxygen removed from the atmosphere?:

The combined total weight of the CO2 and the H2O produced by the burning of one gallon of gasoline is 27 pounds. Since we started with one gallon of gas that weighed 6.3 pounds, the amount of Oxygen converted to H2O or CO2 by burning the gasoline is (27-6.3) or 21.7 pounds.

This 21 pounds of breathable Oxygen was removed from the atmosphere by passing through your car's air filter, through the engine, and out the tailpipe as H2O and CO2.

When you multiply that 21 pounds by the United States daily consumption of gasoline (378 million gallons), the result is 7.9 Billion pounds of Oxygen that we are removing from the atmosphere and converting into 7.5 Billion pounds of CO2 and more than 378 Million pounds of water or water vapor each and every day of the year.

On a yearly basis, the total gasoline related CO2 output of the United States is 2.8 Trillion pounds.


Source: http://jg2090.newsvine.com/_news/2009/09/02/321661 3-burning-1-gallon-of-gasoline-produces-20-pounds- of-co2


If you convert that water vapor figure to metric volume, you'll find the U.S. alone process 6% of one cubic kilometer of water per year through burning of Gasoline alone. Add this to Diesel, Propane, Butane, Methane and other liquid, vapor, and solid hydrocarbon fuels and you'll get a much higher figure still.


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.
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12z Canadian shows a storm over South FL.

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Quoting FatPenguin:


I guess you didn't read the blog posting above? Is that by choice or just forgot?

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

The numbers I quoted is for the Southern hemisphere Sea Ice Area. That does not include Ice on land. If it included land ice, those numbers would be much much higher.


I did not mention the volumn of ice on land. I only mentioned the land mass because that is the difference in the systems- one is a land mass, the other is not. I was theorizing that the land mass would make the differnce in how the Poles change with changing CO2 and temps.
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Quoting seer2012:
This may have been refering to the Arctic's record warmth while near record cold is happening in the Antartic.Poorly stated question.


Actually, much of the Antarctic is far ABOVE normal temperatures, though the anomaly has come down in the past few weeks.

This is a 5 day running mean.



Whoever said the Antarctic was colder than normal was misinformed.

You can see widespread anomalies of plus 2.5C still, with some isolated anomalies on land being plus 15C.

A few months ago, much of the continent was consistently covered by plus 15C anomalies.

Even the cold anomalies offshore of the continent are only relatively recent. Throughout most of the year there were only a few small cold anomalies in the region, with massive warm anomalies all around, especially on land.
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U.S. West Should Expect Bigger Wildfires More Often

A warming trend has contributed to a sharp rise in the number and size of wildfires on forest lands

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - A warming trend has contributed to a sharp rise in the number and size of wildfires on forest lands in the U.S. West, where big burns are likely to become the norm, according to a report released on Tuesday by a climate research group.

The average annual number of fires that cover more than 1,000 acres has nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and doubled in California, Colorado and six other Western states since 1970, the study by Climate Central showed.

The report, which analyzed 42 years of records about fires on U.S. Forest Service lands in 11 Western states, linked rising spring and summer temperatures in the region to a fire season that begins earlier, ends later and sparks larger, more frequent blazes.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id= us-west-should-expect-bigger-wildfire
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Why is it not having an effect on the Antarctic?
Is it cause there is less population in the Southern Hemisphere.


3 of the last 5 years have been the highest ever.

2007, 2010, and 2012 top 3 records for highest amount of Southern Hemisphere sea ice level.

2007: 16.23238million square km(Day 263)
2012: 16.14588million square km(Day 259)
2010: 16.05034million square km(Day 227)


I guess you didn't read the blog posting above? Is that by choice or just forgot?
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Quoting schistkicker:


Keep in mind, Antarctica is effectively a frozen desert; there's very little annual precipitation in the interior of the continent because the temperatures are so low that there's little water vapor.

Increasing temperatures, as shown to exist in the charts in the blog post, would actually in the short-term INCREASE the amount of Antarctic ice because there would be an increase in the amount of water the atmosphere could hold.

While that is happening, also in the short-term, warming of the ocean has been observed to lead to an increase in the forward rate of speed of Antarctic glaciers-- there's evidence that seawater is getting into the base of some of the glaciers, effectively "lubricating" them.

Both of these factors would lead to an increase in sea ice volume--for a while--that would be entirely consistent with a warming environment. No conspiracy theories need apply.


If you say the Antarctica is a desert, why does the sea ice area grow by 14.18291million square km's? Frozen Sea Water???

In 1979 since records started the Sea Ice Area grew from 1.95228million square km's to 14.96622million square km an increase of 13.01394million square km's.

The Antarctic Sea Ice Area is getting larger now than it was in 1979. The difference between the maximum sea ice area 1979 and 2012 is 1.16897million square km's.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
This still looks very low in Alabama/Georgia, I'm quite sure its not lower than the midwest.....



Also has Texas being very low still

That is either old or incorrect data. Since the son of Isaac, the aquifers in Alabama are in better shape than they have been in about 10 years.
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Quoting yonzabam:
That sea ice map shows the northwest passage closed. Probably the map that's wrong. The same map a couple of weeks ago showed it open.


I don't know if this will work, but try this.

The ice has moved around a bit during the past few weeks, but don't be deceived, the thickness and area are both ridiculously low compared to historical norms.

42 day animation (in spite fo the fact it says 30 days)

ok.
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The end of the GFS run shows a system pretty much where Nadine is now and a system in the EPAC.

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Quoting StormPro:


All of this while I burn fossil fuels to make my computer, power the battery and enjoy the climate control of a central air and heat system while I'm pontificating how evil these things are...ahh the irony


Word. Try this on for size: I work at a lab which specializes in global warming / ocean acidification research. And they've recently had to expand the parking lot. :/ Global warming skeptics need look no further than that, I think. (FWIW, I walk the 2.2 miles to work daily.)
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Quoting wxmod:


What is being suggested is: GEOENGINEERING. The same people who invented the nuclear meltdown will now show us how to make another enduring disaster.

So you already know the effects of something which hasn't been done on any large scale, and this was invented by the same people who invented the "nuclear meltdown", and you know it would be an enduring disaster? At least you're unbiased.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Are humans creating more water vapor by our rapid blowup in population?


C6H12O6 6 O2 %u2192 6 CO2 6 H2O Energy (34-36 ATP heat)

Through this the air we breathe out is 100% saturated with water vapor and is up to 5% water vapor, compared to the much drier air we take in, which typically is less than 1% water vapor.
Maybe having 7billion humans exceeds the rate at which all this water vapor is converted into rainfall, and then causes a feedback loop, since water vapor is an even better greenhouse gas than is CO2.

So maybe not only co2, but water vapor is to blame, not only from evaporation, but from the feedback loop of creating more and more by animal( in this case humans especially) respiration.



(I'm not saying i believe this, as i am not nearly knowledgable enough to make a fair analysis of this, and im sure respiration is not that major of an effect, but im just wondering if it could have some effect, besides the increase in water vapor by warming, some of which could be excess water vapor induced)


The burning of Gasoline, Methane, and Coal produces enormous amounts of water vapor; not counting the water vapor from the boilers in the Methane and Coal power plants, though this would be unavoidable in solar boilers and geothermal boilers as well.

At any rate, here are the figures.

Gallon of Gasoline Burned:

CO2

For every gallon of gasoline you burn in your car, you remove 21 pounds of breathable Oxygen from the atmosphere, as well as adding 20 pounds of CO2, or Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere. This might seem unlikely or improbable, but it is...


...Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the Hydrogen in a gallon of gasoline weighs 0.8 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .13). We can then multiply the weight of the Hydrogen (0.8 pounds) by 9, which equals 7 pounds of H2O or water and water vapor.

How is 21 pounds of Oxygen removed from the atmosphere?:

The combined total weight of the CO2 and the H2O produced by the burning of one gallon of gasoline is 27 pounds. Since we started with one gallon of gas that weighed 6.3 pounds, the amount of Oxygen converted to H2O or CO2 by burning the gasoline is (27-6.3) or 21.7 pounds.

This 21 pounds of breathable Oxygen was removed from the atmosphere by passing through your car's air filter, through the engine, and out the tailpipe as H2O and CO2.

When you multiply that 21 pounds by the United States daily consumption of gasoline (378 million gallons), the result is 7.9 Billion pounds of Oxygen that we are removing from the atmosphere and converting into 7.5 Billion pounds of CO2 and more than 378 Million pounds of water or water vapor each and every day of the year.

On a yearly basis, the total gasoline related CO2 output of the United States is 2.8 Trillion pounds.


Source: http://jg2090.newsvine.com/_news/2009/09/02/321661 3-burning-1-gallon-of-gasoline-produces-20-pounds- of-co2


If you convert that water vapor figure to metric volume, you'll find the U.S. alone process 6% of one cubic kilometer of water per year through burning of Gasoline alone. Add this to Diesel, Propane, Butane, Methane and other liquid, vapor, and solid hydrocarbon fuels and you'll get a much higher figure still.
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This still looks very low in Alabama/Georgia, I'm quite sure its not lower than the midwest.....



Also has Texas being very low still
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Quoting wxmod:


Actually, there is a thermometer near the camera. It said: .2 degrees C.

That doesn't answer my question. Even at .2 degrees centigrade, water doesn't remain as liquid droplets for long. In addition, the highest recorded temperature at the North Pole was 5 degrees centigrade, so .2 degrees centigrade is well within the limits of previously observed temperatures.
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GFDL says symmetric, albeit shallow warm-core:

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Quoting sar2401:
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.
Speaking of breathless....
Exactly what actions should be done swiftly and urgrently to reverse this process? This is now the intersection of science, policy, and public opinion. What are the recommendations that will not reduce the entire globe to the status of a third world country? I understand the concerns, but this is like shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater. It does no good to point out the problem without reasonable solutions.


What is being suggested is: GEOENGINEERING. The same people who invented the nuclear meltdown will now show us how to make another enduring disaster.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.