# Modeling Summary and A Change in the Weather:

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 1:41 AM GMT on October 05, 2012

Modeling Summary and A Change in the Weather: Models, Water, and Temperature (9)

In this entry, I am doing a first summary of my modeling series, and exercising my habit of discussing a paper of special interest or importance. For those who came in late, here is the Introduction to the series, and the previous entry. All of entries in the series are linked at the end.

Doing Science with Models 1.6: I have tried to demystify the use of models in science and climate science in several ways. Here is the series of ideas that I have tried to line up.

1) Models are everywhere, and we use them all of the time. I introduced examples of commonly used models such as ledger sheets and building plans. In fact, whenever we are faced with a new problem, we naturally look to models for possible solutions. Most commonly that model is – do I have experience in a previous situation that helps me in this situation? That might be followed with - do I have friends who have relevant experience? Can I hire expertise? When we are faced with no experience of a situation; that is, we have no model, then we are thrown into a situation where we might have difficulty understanding impacts, risks, and what to do. Whether or not we explicitly recognize it, models are part of human thinking and problem solving. (Models are Everywhere, Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings)

2) The arithmetic that we use to figure out how much money we have, the budget equation, is a model.

Today’s Money = Yesterday’s Money + Money Gained – Money Spent

Some of the models that we use are mathematical and provide us with a way to quantify things that are important to us. (Balancing the Budget)

3) We have become comfortable with coding models on computers. With the spread of computers in the past 20 years, we, for example, use computers to balance our checkbooks and plan our budgets. We enter numbers and words into forms and press some buttons, and seconds later, we have categorized accounting of our income and expenses. (Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings)

4) The same form of the budget equation that we use to balance our checkbook can be used to make an accounting of the energy of the Earth.

Today’s Energy = Yesterday’s Energy + Energy Gained – Energy Lost.

Therefore, if we can measure energy, sources of energy, and loses of energy, we can make a quantitative accounting. (Balancing the Budget)

5) Point of view is important. The accounting of the Earth’s energy, hence a description of the climate, depends on your point of view. If you were sitting on Mars, then you might only be interested in the energy that comes to and leaves the Earth. If you are a person on the surface of the Earth, you need to know the energy in the atmosphere, the land, the ocean, and the ice. Therefore you need budget equations for each of these components of the Earth’s climate. This is like having several energy accounts. The transfers between accounts appear as exchanges: loses to one account and gains to others. (Point of View)

6) Complexity arises because there are many energy accounts and many ways to transfer energy from one account to another. Even though every energy exchange might be simple, when we put all of the exchanges together the total system is complex. Energy might collect in one place, for example evaporated water in the tropical atmosphere, and it might be lost and deposited some place else, for example ice sheets in Greenland. There is the possibility of transfer of large amounts of energy between these collections of energy. (Looking Under the Cloak of Complexity)

7) The Earth’s climate is constrained by the processes that govern the transfer of energy from one account to another. Well-known rules, or laws, govern the way that energy is transferred. They are strictly and precisely defined. The Earth’s climate can be quantified by accounting for the energy. Because of the laws that govern energy transfer, we can in principle make credible estimates of the Earth’s climate in the future. (The Free Market and the Climate Model)

8) It takes time for energy to move around to the different energy accounts. For example, a lot of energy can be stored in the ocean for long periods of time. Long? Compared to what? Long compared to the atmosphere and perhaps compared to the life times of humans. Ice sheets have had life times of hundreds of thousands of years, and they represent the accumulation of many years of energy transport. (Looking Under the Cloak of Complexity)

If we use this framework to think about climate, climate models, and climate change, then when we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere what are we changing? From the point of view of the human on the surface of the Earth, we are changing the amount of time that the energy from the Sun is stored near the surface of the Earth. Some of this energy shows up as an increase in temperature at the surface. Some warms the ocean. Some changes the water budget and the weather. Ultimately, some makes it way back to outer space, but not until after it causes a set of changes important to the person on the surface of the Earth.

Going forward, I will explore more deeply complexity and how we can manage this complexity to make and interpret predictions.

Interesting Research: A Change in the Weather ? - This past summer saw a record low in Arctic sea ice. (nice blog in Washington Post) The previous record low was in 2007. There are those who dismiss this as a record low of sea ice because it is from “satellite data,” which are only about 30 years of observations. But I would argue that we can make a pretty convincing argument that these are record lows for, well, thousands of years.

The paper I want to write about is “The Recent Shift in Early Summer Arctic Circulation,” by James Overland and co-authors. This paper documents a “shift” in the Arctic climate that has persisted through the past 6 years (2007 – 2012). This shift is in the atmospheric circulation, and it is described as an increase in atmospheric surface pressure on the North American side of the Arctic and a decrease in pressure on the Siberian side. (To get this perspective, look down on a map of the Earth from above.) This circulation pattern has been especially strong in June.

A consequence of this circulation pattern is that there is flow of air from the south along the date line in the Pacific Ocean, essentially through the Bering Strait into the Arctic. This pushes sea ice northward, and brings warm air towards the North Pole. This contributes to rapid melting of sea ice. To the point of complexity, this movement of warm air into the Arctic is not the only contributor to the melting ice. During years of extreme melting, there has been reduction in cloudiness, allowing more Sun to get to the surface. There has also been more heat transport by the ocean. Finally, ice melting has been accelerated by mixing of warm(ish) water from the MacKenzie River farther into the ocean. Rather than each of these processes being viewed as perhaps “the cause” of enhanced sea ice melting, all of these processes should be viewed as a system, where they all add up to more melting.

James Overland and co-authors label this a “shift.” It is unarguably a persistent pattern, and the authors present statistical evidence that such a pattern has not been present in more than 60 years of observations. The question of whether this is a shift to a new pattern that will persist going forward remains open. One way to study this is to study whether or not known changes to the surface might cause these patterns in the atmosphere. Of special interest, of course, have the changes in sea ice initiated a change in circulation that has accelerated the loss of sea ice? Overland and co-authors also point to the possibility that the large decrease of snow cover in late spring and early summer could potentially enhance the circulation pattern. Such persistent circulation patterns are one of the most difficult phenomena for climate and weather models to represent.

Figure 1: Rutgers University Global Snow Lab. Departure of Snow Cover in June 2012 from a 30 year, 1971-2000, average. The legend is percent difference, with oranges less than zero and blues greater than zero. Make your own maps here.

As a final remark I want to return to the idea of whether or not the melting of the sea ice might force an atmospheric circulation that then contributes to the melting of more sea ice. In my series on modeling and my discussion of complexity, I talked about how billions of simple transactions in millions of accounts can come together to represent a very complex system. One of the characteristics of complex systems is the presence of processes that once they occur, they amplify themselves. In this case, could a change in sea ice cause a change in the atmosphere that amplifies the change in sea ice? This type of reinforcing behavior, or positive feedback, contributes to complexity in a fundamentally different way than a damping or negative feedback. In a damped system, a change that decreased sea ice would cause a change that would increase sea ice to maintain a balance. It is important to recognize the difference between a damped system and a system in a state of balance. A balanced state, when perturbed, might find a new balance. Or, it might dance around all over the place until a new balance is found. Most of the evidence is that the Earth’s climate is not a damped system, but a balanced system. As we change it by increasing the temperature at the surface, we should expect it to bounce around looking for a new balance.

r

Models, Water, and Temperature

Models are Not All Wet: Series Introduction

Models are Everywhere

Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings

Balancing the Budget

Point of View

Looking Under the Cloak of Complexity

The Free Market and the Climate Model

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##### 92. NeapolitanFan
3:31 AM GMT on October 18, 2012
 Guess this gQuoting Daisyworld:Hello Ossqss. After all these months, I see you are still busy stirring up the pot in attempts to start an argument.In my experience, suggesting that people "learn how to learn" while backing a denialist agenda translates to "learning how to think." Strangely, there is never any learning (i.e., information literacy) involved. Most of the loosely-organized and poorly-cited facts found in denialist literature are laced with non sequitur comments based on emotion; something you will never see in published, peer-reviewed science. Science lets you think for yourself. Denialists who tout "learning how to learn" are substituting a euphemism for "telling you how to think."A perfect example of loosely-organized and poorly-cited facts intended to tell you how to think.Yes, if you take only the past 2,000 years of the temperature record, there is a spike in temperatures about 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period. But what NeoFan fails to tell us is that the estimated average global temperature 1,000 years ago, while being highest over the past 2,000 years, does NOT include the 20th century temperatures (link here).Basically, he lied.Once more, he lied by passing off a fallacy as fact by stating that the temperatures were hotter 1,000 years ago compared to today, just before he completely changed the subject to talk about CO2. Right there is where he tries to tell us how to think. Not through an up-front argument or direct denial, but by sliding in a falsehood under the guise of a completely different argument.To correct NeoFan's lie, it was NOT hotter 1,000 years ago than it is today. Further, why it's likely that CO2 was not the primary driver behind the temperature spike during the Medieval Warm Period, it's hardly a new revelation, and is an irrelevant counter-argument to current human-induced global warming. There has always been small deviations in the temperature record throughout our planet's approximately 4,600,000,000 year history, especially when looking at such a narrow time frame as NeoFan's 2,000 years. What scientists have been saying (and have ALWAYS been saying) is that larger temperature swings in the prehistoric past occurred on much longer times scales than present, and CO2 was often the driver behind those changes (link). The difference today is that it's happening a lot quicker due to facilitation by human activity.To NeoFan and Ossqss: I do not subscribe to your definition of "learning", nor should anyone else interested in critical thinking and intellectual engagement. It is deceptive, disingenuous, and ultimately self-defeating as a means to understanding the world around us. Good day to you both.I guess this graph is a mirage also:Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
##### 91. Daisyworld
10:17 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting Ossqss:It is all about learning how to learn. You will eventually get there :-)Hello Ossqss. After all these months, I see you are still busy stirring up the pot in attempts to start an argument.In my experience, suggesting that people "learn how to learn" while backing a denialist agenda translates to "learning how to think." Strangely, there is never any learning (i.e., information literacy) involved. Most of the loosely-organized and poorly-cited facts found in denialist literature are laced with non sequitur comments based on emotion; something you will never see in published, peer-reviewed science. Science lets you think for yourself. Denialists who tout "learning how to learn" are substituting a euphemism for "telling you how to think."Quoting NeapolitanFan:New paper shows that the Earth was warmer 1000 years ago. How can it be? I thought warmth was dependent on CO2 levels:LinkA perfect example of loosely-organized and poorly-cited facts intended to tell you how to think.Yes, if you take only the past 2,000 years of the temperature record, there is a spike in temperatures about 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period. But what NeoFan fails to tell us is that the estimated average global temperature 1,000 years ago, while being highest over the past 2,000 years, does NOT include the 20th century temperatures (link here).Basically, he lied.Once more, he lied by passing off a fallacy as fact by stating that the temperatures were hotter 1,000 years ago compared to today, just before he completely changed the subject to talk about CO2. Right there is where he tries to tell us how to think. Not through an up-front argument or direct denial, but by sliding in a falsehood under the guise of a completely different argument.To correct NeoFan's lie, it was NOT hotter 1,000 years ago than it is today. Further, why it's likely that CO2 was not the primary driver behind the temperature spike during the Medieval Warm Period, it's hardly a new revelation, and is an irrelevant counter-argument to current human-induced global warming. There has always been small deviations in the temperature record throughout our planet's approximately 4,600,000,000 year history, especially when looking at such a narrow time frame as NeoFan's 2,000 years. What scientists have been saying (and have ALWAYS been saying) is that larger temperature swings in the prehistoric past occurred on much longer times scales than present, and CO2 was often the driver behind those changes (link). The difference today is that it's happening a lot quicker due to facilitation by human activity.To NeoFan and Ossqss: I do not subscribe to your definition of "learning", nor should anyone else interested in critical thinking and intellectual engagement. It is deceptive, disingenuous, and ultimately self-defeating as a means to understanding the world around us. Good day to you both.
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 943
9:14 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 RickyRood has created a new entry.
Member Since: February 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 23296
##### 89. TomballTXPride
7:26 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:Nope. You are wrong. The warmth of the planet is not entirely dependent upon the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The extra CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere just gives it that extra blanket to retain the heat. You need to keep up.Correct. That's the basic law of thermodynamics speaking right there.
Member Since: August 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2340
##### 88. cyclonebuster
7:18 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:Nope. You are wrong. The warmth of the planet is not entirely dependent upon the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The extra CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere just gives it that extra blanket to retain the heat. You need to keep up.That would be correct!!!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
##### 87. cyclonebuster
7:16 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
##### 86. Pipejazz
4:17 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Interesting new OpEd "Science and Democracy" in this week's The Scientist about the Union of Concerned Scientists establishing a new Center for Science and Democracy. In the opinion piece, the authors mention climate change as an important issue. "When it comes to legislative action on reducing climate-altering emissions of greenhouse gases, the attacks on science have been even more pernicious". See the entire article at Link
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 264
##### 85. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:53 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting NeapolitanFan:New paper shows that the Earth was warmer 1000 years ago. How can it be? I thought warmth was dependent on CO2 levels:LinkNope. You are wrong. The warmth of the planet is not entirely dependent upon the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The extra CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere just gives it that extra blanket to retain the heat. You need to keep up.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 84. NeapolitanFan
3:29 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 New paper shows that the Earth was warmer 1000 years ago. How can it be? I thought warmth was dependent on CO2 levels:Link
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
##### 83. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:00 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting Ossqss:It is all about learning how to learn. You will eventually get there :-)When it comes to the AGWT, it is not I that has any learning difficulties. I believe that I have learned more on the subject, in just 2 years, than others have over many more years. There is something about being in a state of denial that will inhibit the learning processes. I have long known that being in a state of denial will shut down any ability to learn anything further on the subject. Usually, one has to be over ran by the reality of the situation before one is able to escape their own state of being in denial of the situation.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 82. Ossqss
4:53 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:Ossqss, this does not bode well for Apollo being the cause of the warming, now does it?Someone needs to send a memo to the Arctic regions. The Arctic is apparently not aware that it should have been producing colder temperatures and manufacturing more ice over the past 16 years.Hummmmmm, present observations do not seem to support a stable, let alone a cooling climate. WattsUpWithThat?It is all about learning how to learn. You will eventually get there :-)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8203
##### 81. Some1Has2BtheRookie
12:43 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
 Quoting iceagecoming:LinkLinkHad a nice ride few minutes back, felt like a train blowing past your house at 80 mph.Are you OK? I hope there wasn't any damage.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 80. iceagecoming
11:27 PM GMT on October 16, 2012
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1159
##### 79. RevElvis
8:21 PM GMT on October 16, 2012
 Climate change research gets petascale supercomputerComputerWorld.comScientists studying Earth system processes, including climate change, are now working with one of the largest supercomputers on the planet.The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has begun using a 1.5 petaflop IBM system, called Yellowstone, that is among the top 20 supercomputers in the world, at least until the global rankings are updated next month.Along with climate change, this supercomputer will be used on a number of geoscience research issues, including the study of severe weather, oceanography, air quality, geomagnetic storms, earthquakes and tsunamis, wildfires, subsurface water and energy resources.The supercomputer gives researchers new capabilities. They can run more experiments with increased complexity and at a higher resolution, according to interviews with researchers.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
##### 78. whitewabit
5:59 AM GMT on October 16, 2012
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 380 Comments: 36266
##### 77. Neapolitan
11:56 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
 Quoting NeapolitanFan:In other words, "global warming" has ceased, but we are supposed to believe them and their miserable models that supposedly show future warming even though there is absolutely correlation between CO2 increase and temperature increase. Even for warmists, it's a real stretch.How about this: you can either a) choose to agree with all of the HadCRUT4 data from the UK Met Office as well as their own interpretation of their own data, or b) you can disregard entirely both all of the UK Met Office's HadCRUT4 dataset and their interpretation of it. What you can't do--but which David Rose did (again)--is cherry-pick only those parts of the UK Met Office's HadCRUT4 data that seem to support your position (but don't), while disregarding entirely the UK Met Office's interpretation of their own data.The UK Met Office showed a lot of restraint in very politely responding to Rose by only calling him a serial liar.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14846
##### 76. KEEPEROFTHEGATE
9:07 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 195 Comments: 61084
##### 75. cyclonebuster
3:43 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
 Global Highlights The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F). Records began in 1880.Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
##### 73. NeapolitanFan
1:51 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
##### 72. Xandra
10:48 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2037
##### 71. philhoey
10:17 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
 Dr. Rood, great explanation of modeling.I have noted that with the opportunity to cross the Arctic Ocean this Summer a number of research vessels have taken advantage of the situation for some serious research. Don't remember the specifics, just that it is going on. It would seem that taking core samples from the ocean bottom and on now exposed land would be a fantastic opportunity to gather data on previous warming cycles, especially on life forms present. Chemical analysis of trapped atmospheric and ocean gasses, CO2 and various isotopes would be especially helpful.As other posters have noted, and I have personally witnessed, this changing Arctic pattern severely impacted the Western States with drought. Perhaps this is a cyclic pattern that caused some of the collapses and resurgence of the Pueblo Culture in the Four Corners area of the US.NOTE: I am NOT mitigating current human influence on such a cycle. Our introduction of massive amounts CO2 and altering of natural carbon sinks (forests and oceans) will certainly alter the pattern and severity of the swing. Only pointing out that the 'more better' the data, the 'more better' the model outputs.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 56
##### 70. Neapolitan
9:34 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
 Quoting Ossqss:Hummmm,,,Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released...Alternate headline: "Denialist writer for denialist newspaper interviews denialist scientist for a right-wing opinion piece, claiming that a secret 'government report' (to which he doesn't bother linking) somehow disproves something every credible scientist on the planet knows to be true. Anthony Watts and his sycophants blindly swallow the bait and begin spreading it around the denialosphere. Meanwhile, real scientists just laugh derisively, while the earth's surface temperatures continue their rapid climb unimpeded by willful ignorance."(I realize the cherry-picked graph accompanying the opinion piece is designed to make an impression on the simple-minded [aka "Followers of Anthony Watts"], but the lack of error bars and trendlines, along with the fact that it begins--as such denialist graphs always do--during a warm El Nino year and ends during a cool La Nina year renders the graph meaningless in a scientific context.)Next!!!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14846
##### 68. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:33 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
 Quoting Ossqss:Hummmm,,,Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released...Ossqss, this does not bode well for Apollo being the cause of the warming, now does it?Someone needs to send a memo to the Arctic regions. The Arctic is apparently not aware that it should have been producing colder temperatures and manufacturing more ice over the past 16 years.Hummmmmm, present observations do not seem to support a stable, let alone a cooling climate. WattsUpWithThat?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 67. Ossqss
4:40 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8203
##### 66. RevElvis
2:20 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
 Global Warming May Shift Summer Weather PatternsClimateCentral.orgBy altering the heat balance between land and sea, manmade global warming may be altering summer weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, a new study found. The study, published on Sept. 30 in Nature Geoscience, shows that the sprawling high pressure areas that set up shop over the Western North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans during the summer months have become larger and stronger during the past 40 years, and these trends are likely to continue during the next several decades as temperatures increase.These changing weather patterns could have far-reaching impacts, from redirecting powerful hurricanes toward the East Coast, to making the Southeast and Central states see-saw more frequently between extremely hot and dry summers and cooler, wetter summers. In addition, a shift in the strength and shape of the North Pacific subtropical high could affect the South Asian Monsoon, which is already being altered by warming and increased regional pollution. The Atlantic subtropical high, more commonly known as the “Bermuda High” because of its semi-permanent location near that Western Atlantic island during the summer months, helps determine whether Atlantic hurricanes recurve harmlessly out to sea before reaching the East Coast, or make landfall with potentially devastating impacts.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
2:51 PM GMT on October 13, 2012
 Quoting 1911maker:Man, what are you thinking? Using good sound, but simple science to explain something. You will be crucified for that. :)Good post, keep it up.I get on here very rarely but I have a question for the regulars.........Has any one found the total heat into the Arctic versus the total loose of heat (more ice) in the Antarctic? Way back in the days of about 2005 I took a cursory look at the evil liberal plot called climate change. I spent very little time on it, but the one take away was that "them evil liberal agenda driven money grubbing climate scientists" claimed was that the weather was going to get more extreme. Not just warmer, but every kind of weather "pattern" would be more extreme. The current cold snap in the US seems to fit that pattern also.They made a prediction (more extreme weather) that seems to be panning out (provable). I can not think of one prediction that the "other side" has made that is provable. Let alone a simple to understand prediction with such significance.I have a bad memory so I could be wrong on the above so any examples would be appreciated.We have seen more seasonal ice in the Antarctic because the southern sea is warmer, not because it is colder.Have you ever heard the saying "Too cold to snow."? When the southern sea was colder, less water could be contained in the antarctic atmosphere. Now that it snows more, because of AGW, the seasonal ice can grow a little more. Either way, a little more or less seasonal ice is not very compelling.More indicative of the warming of the southern ocean is the fact that king crabs are invading the continental shelf where it was formerly too cold for them."the fact that the crabs may have crawled seventy-five miles across the shelf from deep water to populate a canyon on the very edge of the continent, or, alternately, that crab larvae had survived a swim across the shelf to settle into the canyon, is yet another ominous sign that Antarctic near-shore waters are poised for a crushing invasion."McClintock, James (2012-09-18). Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land (Macsci) (Kindle Locations 2278-2280). Macmillan. Kindle Edition. I recommend McClintocks book if you are interested in the Antarctic
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##### 64. RevElvis
3:49 AM GMT on October 13, 2012
 Glaciers cracking in the presence of carbon dioxideesciencenews.comThe well-documented presence of excessive levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere is causing global temperatures to rise and glaciers and ice caps to melt. New research, published October 11, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, has shown that CO2 molecules may be having a more direct impact on the ice that covers our planet.Ice caps and glaciers cover seven per cent of Earth -- more than Europe and North America combined -- and are responsible for reflecting 80-90 per cent of the Sun's light rays that enter our atmosphere and maintain Earth's temperature. They are also a natural carbon sink, capturing a large amount of CO2."If ice caps and glaciers were to continue to crack and break into pieces, their surface area that is exposed to air would be significantly increased, which could lead to accelerated melting and much reduced coverage area on the Earth. The consequences of these changes remain to be explored by the experts, but they might contribute to changes of the global climate," said lead author of the study Professor Markus Buehler.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
##### 63. Xandra
9:28 PM GMT on October 10, 2012
 Norway doubles carbon tax on big oil, more cash to forestsOct 8 (Reuters) - Norway will almost double carbon taxes on the oil industry in 2013 and raise cash to help developing nations protect tropical forests as part of measures to combat climate change, its draft budget showed on Monday.The carbon tax on the offshore petroleum industry would be raised by 200 Norwegian crowns (\$35.3) per tonne in 2013, it said."This corresponds to an emissions charge of roughly 410 crowns per tonne of carbon dioxide," the government said.The budget also proposes a 50 crowns per tonne tax on emissions from the fishing industry.The government would also create a fund of 10 billion crowns to promote cuts in greenhouse gases and renewable energy. Use of fossil fuels is the main source of greenhouse gases from mankind's activities.Norway would also raise the amount of cash spent to help developing nations protect tropical forests, which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, to 3 billion crowns in 2013, up about 400 million from 2012.Norway has been the most generous developed nation in helping slow deforestation under a U.N. plan."The efforts in this area are yielding good results. Norway has helped achieve considerable reductions in emissions in Brazil and better forest management in Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guyana and Tanzania, among others," the Environment Ministry said in a statement.Drafted by the Labour-led three-party government, the budget shows Norway would also allocate 630 million crowns to purchases of emissions credits in 2013 to help it achieve a goal of cutting greenhouse gases.Norway has set a goal of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, among the most ambitious goals in the world. They were 5.6 percent above 1990 levels last year.(\$1 = 5.6655 Norwegian crowns) Source
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##### 62. no1der
7:37 PM GMT on October 10, 2012
 Quoting cacciato66:. It is amazing to me that critics seem to think climatologists who began predicting the effects on climate of increased CO2 somehow think they were betting on advancing their career by calling attention to the issue. And meanwhile there is a rattled and deeply worried scientific community wishing desperately that its conclusions were somehow wrong.But I suspect that the critics are as immune to irony as they are to science.
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##### 61. cacciato66
5:50 PM GMT on October 10, 2012
 Thanks for your courage in addressing the skeptics. While I was only peripherally associated with climate as a scientist, I did have direct contact with tree ring research. (I published a couple of dendrochronology/dendrochemistry papers in the early '90's). It is amazing to me that critics seem to think climatologists who began predicting the effects on climate of increased CO2 somehow think they were betting on advancing their career by calling attention to the issue. The 'accuracy' of the predictions of behavior of complex systems which show dramatic time series fluctuation overlaying the trend seems incredible.Again thanks for your courage in replying to the mostly insulting ad hominem attacks with great patience. And providing so much good science for the rest of us in the public sphere
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##### 60. 1911maker
2:11 PM GMT on October 10, 2012
 Quoting DelWeather:Your 2011 blog post that you referenced in comment 52 was a nice read. It is indeed complex. As a physicist, I can't help but thinking in very simple terms. No, I haven't modeled the oceans as weakly coupled oscillators, but I do assume a spherical Earth:). If we make the assumption that the energy content of the atmosphere and surface of Earth have increased somewhat, what would we expect in terms of temperature? It would be terribly surprising if the entire atmosphere warmed uniformly, right? Especially since changing the energy content of the atmosphere changes things like wind and pressure patterns. So you'd expect some areas to warm more than others. The arctic region seems to contain more of the "extra energy" that has been added to the atmosphere. And when shift of energy toward one pole happens, might it not be expected that an energy shift away from the other pole is altogether possible? Energy conservation does not require even distribution of energy, only that if we add energy to our troposphere, it must remain here, somewhere, in the troposphere. On the other hand, if total stored energy in the atmosphere and the surface were to decline, we would expect some areas to actually warm up, as most areas cool down, due to unusual mixing patterns. It seems as though the total picture (i.e. total energy change) must be taken into account, not just "hey, look over there... more ice!"Man, what are you thinking? Using good sound, but simple science to explain something. You will be crucified for that. :)Good post, keep it up.I get on here very rarely but I have a question for the regulars.........Has any one found the total heat into the Arctic versus the total loose of heat (more ice) in the Antarctic? Way back in the days of about 2005 I took a cursory look at the evil liberal plot called climate change. I spent very little time on it, but the one take away was that "them evil liberal agenda driven money grubbing climate scientists" claimed was that the weather was going to get more extreme. Not just warmer, but every kind of weather "pattern" would be more extreme. The current cold snap in the US seems to fit that pattern also.They made a prediction (more extreme weather) that seems to be panning out (provable). I can not think of one prediction that the "other side" has made that is provable. Let alone a simple to understand prediction with such significance.I have a bad memory so I could be wrong on the above so any examples would be appreciated.
Member Since: February 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
##### 59. DelWeather
11:47 AM GMT on October 10, 2012
 Your 2011 blog post that you referenced in comment 52 was a nice read. It is indeed complex. As a physicist, I can't help but thinking in very simple terms. No, I haven't modeled the oceans as weakly coupled oscillators, but I do assume a spherical Earth:). If we make the assumption that the energy content of the atmosphere and surface of Earth have increased somewhat, what would we expect in terms of temperature? It would be terribly surprising if the entire atmosphere warmed uniformly, right? Especially since changing the energy content of the atmosphere changes things like wind and pressure patterns. So you'd expect some areas to warm more than others. The arctic region seems to contain more of the "extra energy" that has been added to the atmosphere. And when shift of energy toward one pole happens, might it not be expected that an energy shift away from the other pole is altogether possible? Energy conservation does not require even distribution of energy, only that if we add energy to our troposphere, it must remain here, somewhere, in the troposphere. On the other hand, if total stored energy in the atmosphere and the surface were to decline, we would expect some areas to actually warm up, as most areas cool down, due to unusual mixing patterns. It seems as though the total picture (i.e. total energy change) must be taken into account, not just "hey, look over there... more ice!"
Member Since: October 9, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
##### 58. Patrap
12:18 AM GMT on October 10, 2012
 September 2012 the 23rd warmest on record for the U.S.Most extreme January - September period on recordThe year-to-date period was the most extreme in U.S. history, according to NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), which tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought. The CEI was 45% during the year-to-date January - September period. This is the highest value since CEI record-keeping began in 1910, and more than double the average value of 20%. Remarkably, 86% of the contiguous U.S. had maximum temperatures that were in the warmest 10% historically during the first nine months of 2012, and 79% of the U.S. of the U.S. had warm minimum temperatures in the top 10%. Both are records. The percentage area of the U.S. experiencing top-10% drought conditions was 24%, which was the 8th greatest since 1910.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 137203
##### 57. yoboi
8:32 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting Neapolitan:Yeah, it's been colder than normal. That is, in the United States. That is, this week. Meanwhile, nearly all the rest of the planet continues to see relatively balmy weather:...and even here in the good old U.S. of A., temperatures will be well above normal next week:BTW: even with the current cold records thrown into the mix, for 2012 as a whole, high records in the U.S. have outnumbered low records by 56,725 to 12,271. Here's a handy graphic:It's interesting to note that this past Sunday was the first day this year to see more than 500 record low or low maximum temperature records. That's opposed to the 29 days so far that have seen more than 500 high or high minimum records.The warming continues unabated...it's called changing of the seasons from summer to fall....if i recall we have 4 seasons????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 3415
##### 56. TomballTXPride
5:39 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:Thanks!NP, Bud.
Member Since: August 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2340
##### 55. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:38 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting TomballTXPride:Here Rookie. Link It's the departure of Snow Cover in June 2012 from a 30 year, 1971-2000, average. The legend is percent difference, with oranges less than zero and blues greater than zero.Thanks!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 54. TomballTXPride
5:26 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:Tomball, what does the image represent? Temperature anomalies, I would take it, but from what time frame?Here Rookie. Link It's the departure of Snow Cover in June 2012 from a 30 year, 1971-2000, average. The legend is percent difference, with oranges less than zero and blues greater than zero.
Member Since: August 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2340
##### 53. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:21 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting TomballTXPride:James Overland here perhaps a little bullish, but that's okay.Tomball, what does the image represent? Temperature anomalies, I would take it, but from what time frame?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5144
##### 52. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
4:23 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 I see the discussion on southern hemisphere sea ice ...Also might be worth thinking about a "dipole" where this is a persistent shift of a cold area off the pole. Perhaps like the "shift" discussed in the current blog for the Northern Hemisphere. Or a version of the cold blob over the central U.S.Here are some of my old blogs on sea ice north and southfrom 2011from 2007Or you can see them all at the bottom of this page.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 361 Comments: 361
##### 51. cyclonebuster
3:34 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting Neapolitan:Yeah, it's been colder than normal. That is, in the United States. That is, this week. Meanwhile, nearly all the rest of the planet continues to see relatively balmy weather:...and even here in the good old U.S. of A., temperatures will be well above normal next week:BTW: even with the current cold records thrown into the mix, for 2012 as a whole, high records in the U.S. have outnumbered low records by 56,725 to 12,271. Here's a handy graphic:It's interesting to note that this past Sunday was the first day this year to see more than 500 record low or low maximum temperature records. That's opposed to the 29 days so far that have seen more than 500 high or high minimum records.The warming continues unabated...And uncontested.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 136 Comments: 21000
##### 50. Neapolitan
3:08 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting NeapolitanFan:This increasing global temperature is freezing the US:Yeah, it's been colder than normal. That is, in the United States. That is, this week. Meanwhile, nearly all the rest of the planet continues to see relatively balmy weather:...and even here in the good old U.S. of A., temperatures will be well above normal next week:BTW: even with the current cold records thrown into the mix, for 2012 as a whole, high records in the U.S. have outnumbered low records by 56,725 to 12,271. Here's a handy graphic:It's interesting to note that this past Sunday was the first day this year to see more than 500 record low or low maximum temperature records. That's opposed to the 29 days so far that have seen more than 500 high or high minimum records.The warming continues unabated...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14846
##### 49. TomballTXPride
1:29 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 James Overland here perhaps a little bullish, but that's okay.
Member Since: August 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2340
##### 48. NeapolitanFan
1:29 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 This increasing global temperature is freezing the US:
Member Since: December 10, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 303
##### 47. DelWeather
1:24 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Dr. Rood,This is a very nice description of what constitutes a model, with climate models as the example. I will make it required reading for my physics and chemistry students, as we extensively discuss our work in terms of models. My physics class also creates computational models of systems using Python. One thing I also do with my students is to distinguish between models and the representations that are parts of the models. I would call the equation that is used in the ledger a representation. The actual table that is the ledger itself is another representation. A graph made from ledger entries would be a third representation. The model is the overall description of your finances, including the simplifying assumptions (e.g. no interest earned in your example... and that's a pretty good assumption these days!), estimations and approximations. Where do you draw the line between representations and models? It depends on what you are trying to chunk together into a model and what you are trying to parse into separate models. I can see climate models being pretty huge with lots of different representations.Anyway, thanks for the primer. This is so well written!
Member Since: October 9, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
##### 46. TomballTXPride
12:10 PM GMT on October 09, 2012
 42. Great response, Xulonn. Very intelligent and informative there. I enjoyed reading that and learned a little as well.Thank you again.
Member Since: August 19, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2340
##### 45. iceagecoming
4:34 AM GMT on October 09, 2012
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1159
##### 44. iceagecoming
4:31 AM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Early season snow covers top peaks in the northeastWEATHER AND CLIMATE OCTOBER 8, 2012BY: BRENT MCGRADYLink
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1159
##### 43. Xulonn
2:23 AM GMT on October 09, 2012
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1899
##### 42. Xulonn
2:15 AM GMT on October 09, 2012
 Quoting Tomball:Well maybe....Xulonn, you can help me. With a increasing warming globe we are now seeing, will they poles or the equator regions warm up faster? Thank you in advance for your response. I appreciate you asking a question in such a civil manner, Tomball, since I currently view you as a skeptic, but not a denialist like many here. There are things that the denialists say here and elsewhere that could cause skepticism, but when you look past their rants and really peer down into the true science of AGW/CC, the view is quite alarming. In short, the poles are expected to warm first, with the Arctic leading the way - which is what we are currently seeing, and at a mind-bogglingly rapid rate. Most of the dry land on the earth, which is where most of we humans live, is in the northern hemisphere. Our weather is driven by the difference between Arctic and tropical temperatures. As the Arctic to tropics temperature differential decreases (the rise in average temperature in the tropics is much slower than in the arctic), there will probably be significant changes in climate and weather. The details of climate change symptoms and dynamics is a very complex subject, and includes land, sea and atmospheric components and interactions. I don't want to get in over my head, but I will say that if I could be a young man again, I would love to study under a teacher of systems modeling like Dr. Rood. If, as an amateur, you dig into the subject, it becomes so overwhelmingly complex that you just want to give up and back out. The antics of the denialists and their simplistic, one-dimensional associations is to my mind, laughable. However, it is often the reaction of those who cannot deal with complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty and potentially dire outcomes. The current anomaly of Antarctic sea-ice increase to a modern record areal extent has yet to be understood. However, it would be naive in the extreme to cite this as "poof" or even "strong evidence" that AGW/CC is not occurring.Try these words in Google: "global warming pole equator difference " (without the quotation marks). You'll find a wealth of information from many websites, including some based on news and commentary, and many real science web sites related to various scientific disciplines.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1899

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### Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

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.

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