Sea Ice North: The new field of ice-free Arctic Ocean science

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:43 PM GMT on April 28, 2011

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Sea Ice North: The new field of ice-free Arctic Ocean science

I recently read a paper in Physics Today entitled The Thinning of Arctic Sea Ice by R. Kwok and N. Untersteiner. (Nice essay by Untersteiner) This paper was written for a general scientist audience, and provides a good summary of the state of the science. The primary focus of the article is on understanding the small change to the surface energy balance required to explain the increased rate of sea ice melt in the summer. Some time ago I wrote a few blogs on Arctic sea ice; they can be found here and this one is most relevant: Sea Ice Arctic.

When the IPCC Assessment Report was published in 2007 the Arctic sea ice was in visible decline. In the summer of 2007 there was a record decline that caught the attention of both climate scientists and the broader public. As suggested in Kwok and Untersteiner immediately following the release of the 2007 IPCC report papers started to appear about how the IPCC synthesis had underestimated the melting of both sea ice and ice sheets. Much of this underestimate could be summed up as simplistic representation of the dynamics of ice melting. For example, brine-laden sea ice floating in salty sea water turns over. Snow gets on the top. It melts, then there are puddles and ponds that can flow down into ice. Simplistically, and I am a simpleton, it’s like a pile of ice cubes sitting in a glass versus stirring those ice cubes, or blowing air over the ice, heat gets carried around and ice melts faster.

The presence of large areas of open ocean in the Arctic is new to us. It motivates new research; it motivates claims to newly accessible oil, gas, and minerals; it motivates new shipping routes; it suggests changes in the relationships of nations; it motivates the development of a military presence. (All things Arctic from the Arctic Council) The natural progression of scientific investigation starts to explore, describe, and organize what is to us modern-day humans: a new environment, new ecosystems, and new physical systems. For example, the Mackenzie River now delivers a massive pool of fresh water into the ocean. Fresh and salt – big differences to flow in the ocean because the density is different; big difference to the formation of ice because the freezing temperature is different; and big differences in the plants and animals in the water.

Compared with trying to attribute the contribution of global warming to a particular weather event, it is easier to link the recent, rapid decrease of sea ice to a warming planet. The freezing, melting and accumulation of ice require persistent heating or cooling. It takes a lot of heat for a sustained period to melt continental-size masses of ice. Historically, the sea ice that was formed in the winter did not melt in the summer and there was a buildup of ice over many years – it accumulated; it stored cold. Around the edges of this multi-year ice are areas where the sea froze and melted each year. The melting of multi-year ice, therefore, represents the accumulation of enough heat to counter years of cold. The movement, poleward, of the area where ice freezes and thaws each year is the accumulation of spring coming earlier. The requirement for energy to persist and accumulate to affect changes in sea ice reduces the uncertainty that is inherent in the attribution of how much global warming has impacted a particular event.

Understanding the detailed mechanisms that provided the heat to melt the ice remains a challenge. (This is the real point of in Kwok and Untersteiner) We know it takes about 1 watt per square meter of energy to melt that much ice that fast. This could be delivered by the Sun, transported by the air, by the ocean, by warm water from the rivers of Canada and Siberia, by snow – yes, snow is energy. Once the ice is gone in the summer, then the ocean can absorb heat from the Sun. If there is growth of phytoplankton or zooplankton, then they might enhance the absorption of energy – yes, life is energy. Ocean acidification might change. The natural question that arises – do these processes that are active in this new environment work to accelerate sea ice melting or might they contribute to freezing of water. What are the local feedbacks? (This is above – see below.)

Another study that is of interest is the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, Recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice, by S. Tietsche and colleagues. This is a model study. With a model the scientist owns the world and can prescribe what it looks like. In these numerical experiments, the Arctic is prescribed with no ice. Then whether or not the ice recovers is explored. In these studies the ice does recover. The ocean does indeed take up extra heat in the summer, but it gives it up quickly in the fall. This is followed by the formation of first year ice in the winter. The ice-albedo feedback that might let the ice melt runaway is limited. Tietsche et al. conclude that it is not likely that Arctic sea ice will reach a tipping point this century.

This does not mean that summer ice loss will decrease. This does not mean that there will not be huge changes in the Arctic. This only says that it still gets cold in the winter.

Models: One of the things I like about the Kwok and Untersteiner paper is their brief discussion of models. They point out that none of the models available for the 2007 IPCC assessment were able to predict the rate of sea ice decrease. Looking forward, they state that the model projections for 2060 range from no sea ice in September to more sea ice than is observed today. The Tietsche et al. paper is a focused model experiment – not a climate projection. It is also a model result that, perhaps, helps to understand the differences in the 2060 projections. That is, how is the recovery of sea ice in the autumn represented in the projection models?

A couple of other points: First, the amount of energy needed to cause the observed melting in sea ice is 1 watt per square meter. If you calculate the amount of energy in the different factors at play in melting of sea ice, then the numbers are 10s of watts per square meter. As suggested above, there are many reservoirs of energy – the Sun, rivers, etc. So when we look at the different ways 1 watt per square meter can be delivered to the sea ice, then there are several paths. The existing models tell us that with the increased heat due to greenhouse gases, energy gets delivered to the Arctic and sea ice melts. The existing models say that there might be several different paths; it is likely, that several of them operate at different times. The second point: Of course the Tietsche et al. paper will enter as an isolated contribution to the political argument, Arctic “death spiral” – as will those of accelerated melt, New warning on ice melt.

r






Figure 1: Simplistic summary of Arctic sea ice

Useful links
Recent sea ice trends
Sea ice data
Rood’s Blogs on Ice

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Quoting atmoaggie:
And no one can say that iPhones haven't, either. But, the iPhone isn't your scapegoat du jour. Neither is the existence of wunderground.com.

Lack of proof that something hasn't caused some noticed trend or change is fallacy.

If iPhones or Wunderground.com had any effect whatsoever on weather, I'd say your statement made sense. But since they don't, it doesn't. Know what I mean?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Quoting Neapolitan:
At any rate, I'll conclude again with this: the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history have taken place in the past eight years--and the top two of those have taken place in the last three weeks. It's true that nobody can say with absolute certainty that climate change has caused an increase in tornadoes. But it's just as true that nobody can say with absolute certainty that it hasn't.
And no one can say that iPhones haven't, either. But, the iPhone isn't your scapegoat du jour. Neither is the existence of wunderground.com.

Lack of proof that something hasn't caused some noticed trend or change and, thus, should be blamed for it, is fallacy.
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Antway, here's climate change signal #2,062:

Cereal Killer: Climate Change Stunts Growth of Global Crop Yields

The people of the world get 75 percent of their sustenance—either directly, or indirectly as meat—from four crops: maize (corn), wheat, rice and soybeans. The world's rising population—now predicted by the United Nations to reach 10.1 billion by century's end—has been fed thanks to rising yields of all four of these crops during the past century. Humanity's predilection for burning fossil fuels, however, is now contributing to the slowing of such rising yields, cutting harvests of wheat 5.5 percent and maize 3.8 percent from what they could have been since 1980, according to a new analysis of yields.

"On a global scale, we can see pretty clearly significant changes in the weather for most places where we grow crops," explains agricultural scientist David Lobell of Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, who led the analysis published in the May 6 issue of Science. "Those changes are big enough to sum up to pretty big losses for wheat and corn."

Using U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization data going back to 1980 for crop yields in all major crop-growing regions of the world, and pairing that with temperature and precipitation data for their growing seasons, Lobell and his colleagues found that warming temperatures were reducing yields—although changes in precipitation did not appear to be having an effect, yet.

Those temperature changes are the result of increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), largely as a result of burning fossil fuels and agricultural practices. But CO2 also helps rice, soybeans and wheat grow. In fact, the researchers suggest the extra CO2 boosted yields for these crops by roughly 3 percent during the period studied. Unfortunately, in the case of wheat, that wasn't enough to overcome the loss in yields resulting from warming temperatures. "Temperature effects are already overriding CO2 effects," Lobell notes.

Scientific American Article...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Well, maybe - for most extreme events:



Note again that since tornadoes are rated by damage (an EF0 in an open field could cause EF5 damage in a city; the only way to determine the actual strength of the former is to measure it with a Doppler on Wheels or similar, but only a few tornadoes have been measured that way), an increase in population alone would cause an increase in stronger tornadoes, until you reach the point where every tornado hits a populated area, then the true distribution of tornado strength would be revealed. Because population has increased, you would expect to see an increase in strong tornadoes - but the trend is exactly the opposite, suggesting that the true trend is an even larger decrease than indicated here. The reasons likely have to do with trends in regional warming, such as faster warming in the north (tornado outbreaks usually involve large contrasts in air masses; thunderstorms are more common when it is warmest, but you don't see many tornadoes in the tropics due to a lack of shear from contrasting airmasses).

(I had some fun over at Climate Progress the other day arguing this very same point)

One of my problems with that graph is that it doesn't tell the whole story, as it only shows tornadoes for six months of the year (March through August), so it's missing hundreds of tornadoes, including dozens in the F3-F5 range. In the years covered by that graph--1950 through 2008--there have been numerous September through February storms, with an increase in both outbreaks and number of F3-F5 tornadoes as time has gone by. A quick bit of math--and I'll produce actual counts when I can find them--shows at least 60 qualifying tornadoes between 2000 and 2008; 37 during the 90s; 35 during the 80s; 16 during the 70s; 20 during the 60s; and 16 during the 50s. (And, no, I didn't count those spawned by hurricanes, usually during September and October; those alone would have added hundreds more tornadoes to the total.)

Since 2000, we've seen, I believe, 18 non-hurricane-related outbreaks during the months between September and February, including such outbreaks as this past New Year's Eve's that featured 7 EF3s, the 2008 Super Tuesday outbreak that saw 5 F3s and 5 F4s, and the January 2008 outbreak with 8 F3s. There have been outbreaks in previous decades, of course, but it appears--and again this is not empirical--that such outbreaks are increasing in number.

Too--and this has come up before--there are strong indications that tornado assessments in the past tended to overstate the strength of known storms. That is, winds that would have caused, say, F3 damage in the 1960s or 1970s might only cause F2 or high-end F1 damage nowadays thanks to better contemporary building codes, construction methods, and materials. Those very subjective analyses in the past may be instrumental in showing a somewhat spurious "decrease", and in fact could be enough to counter any perceived contemporary bias due to denser populations and/or better reporting.

(I'm working with a few others at the moment to perform a very accurate numerical analysis of all tornado outbreaks, with an eye toward finding a normalized distribution curve of strength classifications. Preliminary results show that almost all latter-day outbreaks fit nicely into a very small range of curves, while the further back in time one goes the more "abnormal" those curves get.)

(It should also be noted that the Fujita Scale wasn't developed until 1971. NOAA then undertook the task of rating every tornado back to 1950, using only written tornado reports and any photographs that might exist, rather than aerial surveys and on-site inspections. While NOAA's guesses were certainly very educated, the method was obviously open to substantial errors.)

At any rate, I'll conclude again with this: the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history have taken place in the past eight years--and the top two of those have taken place in the last three weeks. It's true that nobody can say with absolute certainty that climate change has caused an increase in tornadoes. But it's just as true that nobody can say with absolute certainty that it hasn't.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
419

this is not an explanation of cause and effect


The hipe of storm chasing shold reduce the number of tornatoes missed. so the reduction in numbers since 1975 is true.
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Gulfstream Kinetic Energy prevents the release of Methane and Co2 from tundra. Ya'll with me yet?


Effects of Climate Change in Arctic More Extensive Than Expected, Report Finds

ScienceDaily (May 4, 2011) %u2014 A much reduced covering of snow, shorter winter season and thawing tundra: The effects of climate change in the Arctic are already here. And the changes are taking place significantly faster than previously thought. This is what emerges from a new research report on the Arctic, presented in Copenhagen this week. Margareta Johansson, from Lund University, is one of the researchers behind the report.Together with Terry Callaghan, a researcher at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Margareta is the editor of the two chapters on snow and permafrost.

"The changes we see are dramatic. And they are not coincidental. The trends are unequivocal and deviate from the norm when compared with a longer term perspective," she says.

The Arctic is one of the parts of the globe that is warming up fastest today. Measurements of air temperature show that the most recent five-year period has been the warmest since 1880, when monitoring began. Other data, from tree rings among other things, show that the summer temperatures over the last decades have been the highest in 2000 years. As a consequence, the snow cover in May and June has decreased by close to 20 per cent. The winter season has also become almost two weeks shorter -- in just a few decades. In addition, the temperature in the permafrost has increased by between half a degree and two degrees.

"There is no indication that the permafrost will not continue to thaw," says Margareta Johansson.

Large quantities of carbon are stored in the permafrost.

"Our data shows that there is significantly more than previously thought. There is approximately double the amount of carbon in the permafrost as there is in the atmosphere today," says Margareta Johansson.

The carbon comes from organic material which was "deep frozen" in the ground during the last ice age. As long as the ground is frozen, the carbon remains stable. But as the permafrost thaws there is a risk that carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, will be released, which could increase global warming.

"But it is also possible that the vegetation which will be able to grow when the ground thaws will absorb the carbon dioxide. We still know very little about this. With the knowledge we have today we cannot say for sure whether the thawing tundra will absorb or produce more greenhouse gases in the future," says Margareta Johansson.

Effects of this type, so-called feedback effects, are of major significance for how extensive global warming will be in the future. Margareta Johansson and her colleagues present nine different feedback effects in their report. One of the most important right now is the reduction of the Arctic's albedo. The decrease in the snow- and ice-covered surfaces means that less solar radiation is reflected back out into the atmosphere. It is absorbed instead, with temperatures rising as a result. Thus the Arctic has entered a stage where it is itself reinforcing climate change.

The future does not look brighter. Climate models show that temperatures will rise by a further 3 to 7 degrees. In Canada, the uppermost metres of permafrost will thaw on approximately one fifth of the surface currently covered by permafrost. The equivalent figure for Alaska is 57 per cent. The length of the winter season and the snow coverage in the Arctic will continue to decrease and the glaciers in the area will probably lose between 10 and 30 per cent of their total mass. All this within this century and with grave consequences for the ecosystems, existing infrastructure and human living conditions.

New estimates also show that by 2100, the sea level will have risen by between 0.9 and 1.6 metres, which is approximately twice the increase predicted by the UN's panel on climate change, IPCC, in its 2007 report. This is largely due to the rapid melting of the Arctic icecap. Between 2003 and 2008, the melting of the Arctic icecap accounted for 40 per cent of the global rise in sea level.

"It is clear that great changes are at hand. It is all happening in the Arctic right now. And what is happening there affects us all," says Margareta Johansson.

The report "Impacts of climate change on snow, water, ice and permafrost in the Arctic" has been compiled by close to 200 polar researchers. It is the most comprehensive synthesis of knowledge about the Arctic that has been presented in the last six years. The work was organised by the Arctic Council's working group for environmental monitoring (the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) and will serve as the basis for the IPCC's fifth report, which is expected to be ready by 2014.

Besides Margareta Johansson, Torben Christensen from Lund University also took part in the work.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting Snowlover123:


I believe that the ARGO datasets show no warming within the past 8 years, because we have discrepencies in the OHC in 2003 between two conflicting studies, so I will say that there has been no gain, or loss in OHC. However, according to the AGW theory, we should be gaining OHC, regardless of the number of years ARGO was implemented. Why have we not been gaining OHC over the past 8 years?




I believe that the individual feedbacks' true effects are unknown, however, it is clear as day when one looks at the paleoclimatological data, that when we had an Ice Age 450 million years ago, co2 levels were more than 10X as high. This is an indicator that the negative feedbacks were enough to overthrow co2 warming, and a natural cycle was strong enough to bring us into an Ice Age.

The Net effect of Clouds is cooling, and we have had clouds both in the past, and now. That has not changed.

If the clouds are what didn't cause the negative feedback that negated co2 warming 450 million years ago, then what did?



The clouds are what I believe to be the cause of the negative feedback observed 450 million years ago, but it is still debatable.




Agree

We both agree the Earth has warmed
With NO Climate Feedbacks, we both agree that co2 has a warming impact of some sort.

Disagree
We disagree on the Feedbacks of co2.
We disagree on the current cause of Global Warming.

Any more to add? :)

Co2 levels were 10x higher, but you're falsely assuming its a result of co2s feedback.


Reality is it could be any number of factors, which proves your idea that the total result of all of its feedback loops cause cooling.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting TomTaylor:


so, would you agree that the Argo data does not conclusively show cooling?


I believe that the ARGO datasets show no warming within the past 8 years, because we have discrepencies in the OHC in 2003 between two conflicting studies, so I will say that there has been no gain, or loss in OHC. However, according to the AGW theory, we should be gaining OHC, regardless of the number of years ARGO was implemented. Why have we not been gaining OHC over the past 8 years?


Quoting TomTaylor:

Would you also agree that co2s feedback loops are not understood well enough to conclude that the TOTAL effect of all of them is cooling?


I believe that the individual feedbacks' true effects are unknown, however, it is clear as day when one looks at the paleoclimatological data, that when we had an Ice Age 450 million years ago, co2 levels were more than 10X as high. This is an indicator that the negative feedbacks were enough to overthrow co2 warming, and a natural cycle was strong enough to bring us into an Ice Age.

The Net effect of Clouds is cooling, and we have had clouds both in the past, and now. That has not changed.

If the clouds are what didn't cause the negative feedback that negated co2 warming 450 million years ago, then what did?



The clouds are what I believe to be the cause of the negative feedback observed 450 million years ago, but it is still debatable.

Quoting TomTaylor:


from your posts so far it sounds like you and I do agree



Agree

We both agree the Earth has warmed
With NO Climate Feedbacks, we both agree that co2 has a warming impact of some sort.

Disagree
We disagree on the Feedbacks of co2.
We disagree on the current cause of Global Warming.

Any more to add? :)
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Concerning but not replying to № 418:

Overall feedbacks due to clouds being positive is not certain by any means. This paper from Dr.Spencer is an example of a dissenting view.

Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
Quoting MichaelSTL:


LOL

I believe I said something similar - possibly before you even mentioned it when I observed that the Arctic Oscillation was forecast to go negative. I also remember that some other denier claimed that a negative AO would SLOW ice loss, when I observed that it has been more negative over the past decade or so, after being highly positive in the 1990s - of course, the rapid ice loss started not in the 1990s but after, just as the AO was going more negative.


The skeptic was probably confused on the seasonal effects of a AO. For example, in the Wintertime, the AO slows the winds that "flush out" the multiyear ice out of Greenland, during the Wintertime. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall times, the +AO is what you want for little Sea Ice melt, due to the fact that it retains the cold air near the Arctic Basin. In the WIntertime however, temperatures could be +20 Degrees C above normal in the Arctic Basin, and the Arctic Basin would still have ice everywhere. The -AO causes Ice to form at lower latitudes during the winter, and it also helps stop the winds that flush out the multiyear sea ice. Therefore, the -AO does help Sea Ice growth in the Winter, but in the Summer, Spring, and Fall, the +AO is what you need to slow seasonal ice melt (and accelerate growth in the fall).

Quoting MichaelSTL:

PS: I also stated that Antarctic ice growth would speed up since the Antarctic Oscillation was going more positive - guess what? It did speed up.


Congrats on your Antarctic Sea Ice prediction.

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting crucilandia:
412

Because population has increased, you would expect to see an increase in strong tornadoes - but the trend is exactly the opposite, suggesting that the true trend is an even larger decrease than indicated here

explain this logic.


what is the mechanism through which population number controls tornado strength?


I think he meant that an increase in population would be expected to lead to an increase in observed events. Thus, in his view, the decrease in strong tornados in his graph in № 412 would be understated. I definitely believe there is an observation bias that occurs when looking at severe weather events over the last fifty years or so, but strong tornados would have been less likely to be missed than weaker ones.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 568
Quoting Snowlover123:


This is incorrect, because of a couple of reasons. One, we have yet to observe the Arctic transitioning from warm to cool in the satellite data, so accurate conclusions can not be drawn. Two, the feedback can not occur the same way, the other way, because with the Arctic Albedo Effect during the PDO and AMO involves incoming solar radiation to melt the ice, and effectively the melted ice creates more melted ice, since the ocean absorbs the sunlight better than the ice does. With the -PDO and -AMO, it doesn't have this effect, because the incoming solar radiation is the same, and it is not decreasing (but with the Arctic Albedo, it is like the solar radiation is increasing, since the ice is melting, and can absorb more incoming solar radiation)- effectively, it would halt the rapid Arctic melting, but not reversing it around.

It is like saying that if you are in Paris you are in France, this is true. However, the converse, "if you are in France, then you are in Paris" is not true. It sometimes doesn't work the same way, both ways.


so, would you agree that the Argo data does not conclusively show cooling? And that it is not old enough to measure climate trends?

Would you also agree that co2s feedback loops are not understood well enough to conclude that the TOTAL effect of all of them is cooling?

from your posts so far it sounds like you and I do agree
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
412

Because population has increased, you would expect to see an increase in strong tornadoes - but the trend is exactly the opposite, suggesting that the true trend is an even larger decrease than indicated here

explain this logic.


what is the mechanism through which population number controls tornado strength?
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Quoting Snowlover123:





For MikeSTL... the more rapid short term ice melt was already predicted by me...


Bump
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting TomTaylor:
. You claim feedback loops create additional warming by changing albedo levels, however, THE SAME IS TRUE, for the opposite.

Meaning when an oscillation is in its cold phase, feedback loops create additional cooling. Ex: cooling allows ice to form creating greater albedo, cooling temps in the area, allowing more ice to form, further decreasing albedo, creating more cooling.

In a sense, they balance out.


CONCLUSION: The net effects of the feedbacks cancel out, having NO EFFECT on the total heat of Earth.


This is incorrect, because of a couple of reasons. One, we have yet to observe the Arctic transitioning from warm to cool in the satellite data, so accurate conclusions can not be drawn. Two, the feedback can not occur the same way, the other way, because with the Arctic Albedo Effect during the PDO and AMO involves incoming solar radiation to melt the ice, and effectively the melted ice creates more melted ice, since the ocean absorbs the sunlight better than the ice does. With the -PDO and -AMO, it doesn't have this effect, because the incoming solar radiation is the same, and it is not decreasing (but with the Arctic Albedo, it is like the solar radiation is increasing, since the ice is melting, and can absorb more incoming solar radiation)- effectively, it would halt the rapid Arctic melting, but not reversing it around.

It is like saying that if you are in Paris you are in France, this is true. However, the converse, "if you are in France, then you are in Paris" is not true. It sometimes doesn't work the same way, both ways.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting TomTaylor:
I agree they have the most reliable data. But we are discussing climate trends.5 years is not enough time. If you think it is, I have already told you many times that Argo themselves claimed OHC has been increasing. They're initial study showed cooling, but a new study that didn't include the errors of the previous study, showed warming.

ALL OF THIS is on Argo's website, if you do not believe me.



No, I trust you completely TomTaylor. You don't seem like the person that would lie.

However, I did look at the ARGO website, and you are making a mistake with an "initial study that showed cooling, but revised to show warming."

Here is the full quote from the ARGO link you provided before. And yes, the ARGO data is not enough time yet to observe Global Trends. But it is interesting, that we have seen no OHC increase since they were deployed...

The global Argo dataset is not yet long enough to observe global change signals. Seasonal and interannual variability dominate the present 6-year globally-averaged time series. Sparse global sampling during 2004-2005 can lead to substantial differences in statistical analyses of ocean temperature and trend (or steric sea level and its trend, e.g. Leuliette and Miller, 2009). Analyses of decadal changes presently focus on comparison of Argo to sparse and sometimes inaccurate historical data. Argo's greatest contributions to observing the global oceans are still in the future, but its global span is clearly transforming the capability to observe climate-related changes.

Basically, they are saying, that even within the ARGO system, there are discrepencies. They are not saying that one study is right, and the other one is wrong.

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Climate models project increased aridity in the 21st century over most of Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East, most of the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Regions like the United States have avoided prolonged droughts during the last 50 years due to natural climate variations, but might see persistent droughts in the next 20–50 years.

Dai, A. (2011), Drought under global warming: a review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 2: 45–65.
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Adler, Robert F., and Coauthors, 2003: The Version-2 Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP)Monthly Precipitation Analysis (1979%u2013Present). J. Hydrometeor, 4, 1147%u20131167

Conclusions

The 23-yr(1979%u20132001) record shows no noticeable increase in global or tropical precipitation during that period

Seasonal variations are documented, including Asian and other monsoon changes along with differences between the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere

some variations in global totals over land and ocean can be related to ENSO events

------------

Kumar, Arun, Fanglin Yang, Lisa Goddard, Siegfried Schubert, 2004: Differing Trends in the Tropical Surface Temperatures and Precipitation over Land and Oceans. J. Climate, 17, 653%u2013664

Using both observed data and data from atmospheric general circulation model simulations, trends in tropical precipitation over the ocean and land are analyzed. The analysis reveals that in the tropical latitudes over land, the precipitation trend differs from the trend in the surface temperature. Oceanic precipitation has an increasing trend that is consistent with increasing SSTs, whereas over the tropical land regions precipitation decreases. In contrast, land temperatures increase in phase with the trend in SSTs. It is suggested that the combination of increasing surface temperature and decreasing precipitation could produce considerably greater societal consequences compared with the traditionally argued scenario in which both temperature and precipitation increase in response to increasing SSTs.



------------

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So to reiterate my primary point: extreme weather events, by every measure, seem to be increasing in frequency and severity

show me the data
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Quoting crucilandia:
402

Simply put, higher moisture = higher energy. This is the reason that, generally speaking, there are more thunderstorms in the summer than there are in the winter.

false

Higher atmospheric moisture (PWVs) = more precipitation in the way of rain and snow

false


There are so many factors that combined overwell the moisture content in the air effec on frequency and amount of rainfall (eg. lapse rate, convective energy potential, static stability, baroclinic instability, etc, etc)

Please read


Trenberth K. E. and Guillemot, C. J.: 1996b, Evaluation of the Atmospheric Moisture and
Hydrological Cycle in the NCEP Reanalyses, NCAR Tech. Note NCAR/TN-430 STR. 300 pp.

Trenberth K. E. and Guillemot, C. J.: 1998, %u2018Evaluation of the Atmospheric Moisture and Hydrological
Cycle in the NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses%u2019, Clim. Dyn. 14, 213%u2013231.

You disagree with my statement that "generally speaking, there are more thunderstorms in summer than in winter", and you also disagree with my statement that "Higher atmospheric moisture (PWVs) = more precipitation in the way of rain and snow"? Hmmm. Rather than just a simple declaration of "False", how about showing us some credible data that says there aren't more thuderstorms in the summer than there are in winter, or that the "P" in "PWV" doesn't stand for "precipitable".

I never said there weren't many other factors involved in making it rain; in fact, I went out of my way to state "These are, of course, very crude explanations".

It appears you've cited an article written by Trenberth 15 years ago--back before he was lead author of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC SACC reports--as a way of rebutting something he said just a few years ago. I just wanted to call that to your attention as he himself might even tell you that he learns new things as time passes.

- - - - - - - -

As to your graphic in comment #405: Note the graphs for Central and Eastern North America, Northern Europe, Northern Europe, North Asia, Northern Australia, and Southern South America, and you'll see very clear upward trends in precipitation. And a few other places are drier, of course, which has long been predicted by the theory of AGW: Southern Asia, Western Africa, Southern Africa, and Western North America (especially right at the end of the graph). And note, too, the central world map which shows many more greens (wetter) than browns (drier).

Yes, atmospheric moisture has risen, and precipitation has followed suit in many areas (and fallen sharply in others as drought has set in). So to reiterate my primary point: extreme weather events, by every measure, seem to be increasing in frequency and severity. Perhaps it's just a fluke. Or, then again, perhaps not. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274


some regions are getting drier other are getting wetter. overall the global trend shows no change in precipitation despite the steady increase in atm moisture in the past 50yrs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
402

Simply put, higher moisture = higher energy. This is the reason that, generally speaking, there are more thunderstorms in the summer than there are in the winter.

false

Higher atmospheric moisture (PWVs) = more precipitation in the way of rain and snow

false


There are so many factors that combined overwell the moisture content in the air effec on frequency and amount of rainfall (eg. lapse rate, convective energy potential, static stability, baroclinic instability, etc, etc)

Please read


Trenberth K. E. and Guillemot, C. J.: 1996b, Evaluation of the Atmospheric Moisture and
Hydrological Cycle in the NCEP Reanalyses, NCAR Tech. Note NCAR/TN-430 STR. 300 pp.

Trenberth K. E. and Guillemot, C. J.: 1998, %u2018Evaluation of the Atmospheric Moisture and Hydrological
Cycle in the NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses%u2019, Clim. Dyn. 14, 213%u2013231.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
400

One cannot use data with millions of years resolution to justify a pattern happening within a 100yr time span

in your graph CO2 decreased steadily for 250 million yrs (550 to 300 million yr), while temperature frequency did not change at all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Wondering what additional moisture in atmosphere has to do with the measurement of the intensity of and number of tornadoes."

Simply put, higher moisture = higher energy. This is the reason that, generally speaking, there are more thunderstorms in the summer than there are in the winter.

"Wondering what increased volume of water in the atmosphere would have to do with increased volume of water on the ground as in flooding."

Higher atmospheric moisture (PWVs) = more precipitation in the way of rain and snow. Heavy snows melt in the spring. Heavy rains in the spring combine with that snowmelt. Voila.

"Knowing something about accounting and statistics, wondering why insurance companies are still making money when losses should be rising faster than they can adjust their premiums for increased amount of weather disasters if there really are such increases (there aren't)."

1) They are. 2) One would imagine writing billions of dollars in compensation checks would give one of the world's largest reinsurers a great overall perspective on whether extreme weather events were indeed increasing in frequency and severity. And smart insurance companies very seldom lose money; they stay ahead of the wave, so to speak.

"Wondering how 'the only plausible explanation' should be viewed as some kind of scientific explanation."

Since it was spoken by a company, feel free to take it with a grain of salt. Or several grains of salt. But, again, that company's existence depends on very smart people crunching mountains of data, so I wouldn't necessarily ignore their input in such matters.

These are, of course, very crude explanations, but I think they work for purposes of your comment. Simple, wouldn't you agree?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Quoting Neapolitan:

You are aware that science changes a lot year to year, and much more so in 36 years, right? If it was stagnant and set in stone, it wouldn't be science. Arguing that line is like saying, "Hey, the experts said back in 1400 that the earth was flat, but now they say it's curved; if they can't get it right, why should be believe them?"

Anyway, Dr. Kevin Trenberth--the head of the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR and the a lead author of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC Scientific Assessment of Climate Change reports-- has this to say about the increasing number and severity of extreme weather events:

"There is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future."

I realize Trenberth isn't employed by the Koch brothers or Fox News, so some here may choose to disregard his words. If so, how about master climate change denialist Roger Pielke--a man revered by the antiscience crowd--who had this to say back in 2006:

"Clearly, since 1970, climate change (i.e., defined as by the IPCC to include all sources of change) has shaped the disaster loss record."

And Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers, said this last fall:

"...it would seem that the only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change. The view that weather extremes are more frequent and intense due to global warming coincides with the current state of scientific knowledge as set out in the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report."

So--again--while no particular extreme weather event can be directly blamed on GW/CC, climatologists have been saying for years that they should increase in both frequency and strength. No one can say with honest certainty that last week's record-breaking tornado outbreak is a direct result of a warming planet--but since two of the four largest tornado outbreaks ever have taken place in the last two weeks, and the four largest outbreaks have taken place since 2003, I'd say it would be pretty shortsighted to simply dismiss any possible connection as absurd.



Wondering what additional moisture in atmosphere has to do with the measurement of the intensity of and number of tornadoes. Wondering what increased volume of water in the atmosphere would have to do with increased volume of water on the ground as in flooding.Knowing something about accounting and statistics, wondering why insurance companies are still making money when losses should be rising faster than they can adjust their premiums for increased amount of weather disasters if there really are such increases (there aren't). Wondering how "the only plausible explanation" should be viewed as some kind of scientific explanation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
Snowlover, Post 266

co2 feedbacks:


So if you agree that they're not understood well enough and are not all discovered yet, why did you claim the total affection co2s feedback negates the warming caused by the ghg theory???


I think you are confusing what I said slightly. I had said that the individual climatic feedbacks are still uncertain, if that was not clear in my previous post. We know that in the PAST the negative feedbacks negated the warming caused by CO2.



Since Carbon Dioxide Levels were 10X as high when we were in an Ice Age 450 million years ago, we know that negative feedbacks overwhelmed the warming from co2. If the co2 system was filled with positive feedbacks, or no feedbacks, we would have not seen an Ice Age 450 million years ago.

One might try to argue that the co2 concentrations back then had high error margins, but the fact is, is that this graph actually puts the LOWER amount of co2 in the error marginal range. The error marginal range in Carbon Dioxide 450 million years ago was 4500 ppm to 6000 ppm.



Quoting TomTaylor:

CONCLUSION:

Clearly you can't claim the total affect of ALL of co2s feedback loops is cooling, for CO2 feedback loops are not understood well enough.



The paleoclimatological data seems to suggest so, but the individual feedbacks' impacts are yet to be discovered.

I will get to the rest of your post, but I am fairly busy at the moment.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting MichaelSTL:
LOL:



"The temperature on 05/03/2011 is 294.52 deg C cooler than this day last year."


One time it said 520 Degrees F cooler than the previous year for me. It is obviously a glitch in the processing of the data, and will probably auto-correct itself.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting MichaelSTL:
May 4, 2011
Slow start to summer sea ice melt


Arctic sea ice declined slowly through most of April. Because of the slow decline in April, ice extent for the month as a whole did not approach record lows, as it did in March. However, ice extent began to decline more quickly towards the end of the month.






Quoting Snowlover123:


I don't think so. I expect that over the coming week, the Arctic should melt more rapidly, since the AO is transitioning over to a -AO according to the GFS ENS MEANS.


For MikeSTL... the more rapid short term ice melt was already predicted by me...
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2699
Quoting MichaelSTL:
LOL:



"The temperature on 05/03/2011 is 294.52 deg C cooler than this day last year."

I bet that will be the top story on WUWT tomorrow--and then we'll have to hear for the next two decades how the temp plunged nearly 560.F one day in May, 2011, but that record mysteriously disappeared later, so why are the climatologists trying to hide the decline?

;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Quoting RMuller:
Is it cooling or warming causing "climate change" and tornadoes?

Link

You are aware that science changes a lot year to year, and much more so in 36 years, right? If it was stagnant and set in stone, it wouldn't be science. Arguing that line is like saying, "Hey, the experts said back in 1400 that the earth was flat, but now they say it's curved; if they can't get it right, why should be believe them?"

Anyway, Dr. Kevin Trenberth--the head of the Climate Analysis Section at NCAR and the a lead author of the 2001 and 2007 IPCC Scientific Assessment of Climate Change reports-- has this to say about the increasing number and severity of extreme weather events:

"There is a systematic influence on all of these weather events now-a-days because of the fact that there is this extra water vapor lurking around in the atmosphere than there used to be say 30 years ago. It’s about a 4% extra amount, it invigorates the storms, it provides plenty of moisture for these storms and it’s unfortunate that the public is not associating these with the fact that this is one manifestation of climate change. And the prospects are that these kinds of things will only get bigger and worse in the future."

I realize Trenberth isn't employed by the Koch brothers or Fox News, so some here may choose to disregard his words. If so, how about master climate change denialist Roger Pielke--a man revered by the antiscience crowd--who had this to say back in 2006:

"Clearly, since 1970, climate change (i.e., defined as by the IPCC to include all sources of change) has shaped the disaster loss record."

And Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers, said this last fall:

"...it would seem that the only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change. The view that weather extremes are more frequent and intense due to global warming coincides with the current state of scientific knowledge as set out in the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report."

So--again--while no particular extreme weather event can be directly blamed on GW/CC, climatologists have been saying for years that they should increase in both frequency and strength. No one can say with honest certainty that last week's record-breaking tornado outbreak is a direct result of a warming planet--but since two of the four largest tornado outbreaks ever have taken place in the last two weeks, and the four largest outbreaks have taken place since 2003, I'd say it would be pretty shortsighted to simply dismiss any possible connection as absurd.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Gulfstream Kinetic Energy prevents this!

Southern Tornadoes' Financial Toll Could Rival Katrina
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The tornado that obliterated contractor Robert Rapley's house also swept away his livelihood, destroying his saws, his paint sprayer and his truck. Like thousands of others in a region already struggling with high unemployment, he now faces the prospect of trying to recover with no way to earn a living.

"We lost everything," Rapley said as he climbed on the wreckage. "I can't even go to work."

Thousands were thrown out of work by the twisters last week that killed 328 people across seven states in the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak since the Depression. Hundreds of factories and other businesses were destroyed, and many others were left without electricity.

The financial and economic toll is still being tallied, but officials in hardest-hit Alabama -- which had more than two-thirds of the dead -- said the damage there alone could rival the $1 billion in insured losses the state suffered in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"It's going to be extremely high," said Seth Hammett, director of the Alabama Development Office.

Many people were struggling to make ends meet even before the twisters flattened neighborhoods in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, where unemployment in March ranged from 9.2 percent in Alabama to 10.2 percent in Mississippi.

Curtis Frederick, 28, couldn't find any work to provide for his three children aside from delivering newspapers. Then a twister wiped out his mobile home park in Tuscaloosa.

"There's a lot of people that need help," he said. "We're struggling already from the economy being so bad."

Rain in several of the states on Tuesday added to the misery for those trying to salvage belongings from badly damaged homes. In gray and chilly Tuscaloosa, many lost everything, including coats, sweat shirts and sweaters, leaving them shivering in unseasonable temperatures in the low 50s.

Becky Curtis sat in the bathroom, one of the only dry spots in her small red-brick apartment, sorting through old cassette tapes. In another room, rain dripped through holes in the ceiling onto her hardwood floors.

"We're trying to get all this stuff out of here as fast as we can to save some mementoes," she said. The rain "definitely does not help."

In Birmingham, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice toured an aid and donation center in a neighborhood of her home city that was heavily damaged. She grew up in the city and still has family there.

"You realize that with every home that's flattened, there are dreams and memories that have gone with that home. So this is a very human tragedy," said Rice, who served in the George W. Bush administration.

One of the twisters destroyed a Wrangler jeans distribution center that employed 150 people in Hackleburg, an Alabama town of about 1,500. The town is in a county with an unemployment rate of nearly 13 percent.

"That one industry is the town," Hammett said. "Until they get back up and going again, that town will not be the same."

VF Corp., Wrangler's parent company, said it is looking into setting up distribution operations in another location nearby to allow people to get back to work quickly, and employees will continue to receive pay and benefits in the meantime. Eric Wiseman, chairility caused by living in different hotels for the past few days has kept her returning to her job as a nurse. She is having trouble sleeping.

"Every time I close my eyes I see trees, people walking and crying, debris everywhere," she said.

People thrown out of work by the storms will qualify for unemployment benefits as well as federal disaster aid.

It's tough to predict how long it will take for the stricken areas to recover, but the rebuilding projects could at least soften the economic blow.

"The rebuilding is huge," said Sam Addy, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama. "That brings in a lot of jobs and cash flow into the local area. For the larger economy, it's a loss."

In Birmingham, Rapley and his wife, Adrienne, survived the twister by taking cover in a storage room next to his garage. He carried her in -- she suffers from a brain injury -- and then they prayed: "The Lord is my shepherd." The deed to his property is gone, whisked away by the tornadoes. The house they shared for 20 years is destroyed.

For now, they are staying at a hotel, hoping they get federal aid soon.

"It's very expensive," Rapley said. "We're spending our last dime right now."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/04/southern-torn adoes-financial-toll-rival-katrina/#ixzz1LQ3AwpnC



Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting Snowlover123:


Yes, it does look chilly in NY state, but that is weather and not climate.

Post 370, directed at you. Just a heads up in case you missed it...
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting HaloReachFan:


He?????????

No no no sorry HE doesn't do it.

Go back and search like I said.

I did say that. Apparently you don't read things on this page either.

I'll say no more about this matter--as I don't want to further pollute Dr. Rood's excellent blog forum with the deconstruction of an antiscience website--other than this: the nonsensical blog post to which RMuller linked was written by that blog's owner (Bruce Hall). The other nonsensical articles and political cartoons on that site were placed there by that blog's owner. It's Hall's blog, so he's responsible for the content--and one must assume he's in complete agreement with it, or else it wouldn't be there.

And so I close by repeating my request: can any of you please challenge the basics of AGWT from a scientific perspective, as opposed to an ideological one? And when attempting to do so, can you please cite or link to science sources, and not, say, opinion pieces on personal blogs? That way we can debate the science in an honest, polite, and professional manner. Thanks!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274
Quoting HaloReachFan:


This came from CycloneBuster at one point in time.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Seems like we've been warmer before. Without MMGW.

I know this isn't 100% right. But still gets a point across that the world has been warmer. Not because of me or you.



RE:375


You are correct. I did show this graph many times here.
You can clearly see why God made man in a cold climate and not a warm one. See where we are now on that graph? What does that tell us?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting Neapolitan:

He then goes on to admit that he doesn't understand how climatology works, and this is before he goes into various anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Obama, antiscience tirades elsewhere on the page.


He?????????

No no no sorry HE doesn't do it.

Go back and search like I said.
Quoting HaloReachFan:

Well you did say elsewhere but hate to break it to ya but it wasn't him.


I did say that. Apparently you don't read things on this page either.
Member Since: September 15, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 563
Quoting Neapolitan:

I specifically used the words "elsewhere on the page", not "elsewhere in the article". The point being, the writer hardly approaches the issue of warming with an objective scientific eye; his entire blog is driven by a certain political ideology, and that has a way of poisoning one's own well.


Which I specifically said he didn't write. But you said he did. You might try to play word games with other people (sheep) but it doesn't work with others.

Isn't it about time you get on McBill even though I have him ignored and attack me?
Member Since: September 15, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 563
Quoting HaloReachFan:


That is a blatant lie.

He doesn't say anything in his article about immigration, muslim or obama.

I did a Apple F search on it and nothing came up in the article.

Well you did say elsewhere but hate to break it to ya but it wasn't him.

What other things are you lying about?

I specifically used the words "elsewhere on the page", not "elsewhere in the article". The point being, the writer hardly approaches the issue of warming with an objective scientific eye; his entire blog is driven by a certain political ideology, and that has a way of poisoning one's own well.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13274

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.