Arctic sea ice loss tied to unusual jet stream patterns

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT en Abril 02, 2012

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Earth has seen some highly unusual weather patterns over the past three years, and three new studies published this year point to Arctic sea loss as a potential important driver of some of these strange weather patterns. The record loss of sea ice the Arctic in recent years may be increasing winter cold surges and snowfall in Europe and North America, says a study by a research team led by Georgia Institute of Technology scientists Jiping Liu and Judith Curry. The paper, titled "Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall", was published on Feb. 27, 2012 in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, said Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, in a press release. "The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents."


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice in September 2007 reached its lowest extent on record, approximately 40% lower than when satellite records began in 1979. Sea ice loss in 2011 was virtually tied with the ice loss in 2007, despite weather conditions that were not as unusual in the Arctic. Image credit: University of Illinois Cryosphere Today.


Figure 2. The extent of Arctic sea ice loss in the summer July - August - September period in 2007 was about 1.4 million square miles (3.6 million square kilometers) greater than in 1980, according to the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. For comparison, the lost ice coverage (orange colors) was equal to an area about 44% of the size of the contiguous U.S., or 71% of the non-Russian portion of Europe.

Summertime Arctic sea ice loss: 40% since 1980
The Arctic has seen a stunning amount of sea ice loss in recent years, due to melting and unfavorable winds that have pushed large amounts of ice out of the region. Forty percent of the sea ice was missing in September 2007, compared to September of 1980. This is an area equivalent to about 44% of the contiguous U.S., or 71% of the non-Russian portion of Europe. Such a large area of open water is bound to cause significant impacts on weather patterns, due to the huge amount of heat and moisture that escapes from the exposed ocean into the atmosphere over a multi-month period following the summer melt. The Georgia Tech study found that Arctic sea ice loss had caused a 20 - 60% weakening of the west-to-east belt of winds circling the pole in recent years, producing broader meanders in the jet stream that allowed it to get "stuck" in place 20 - 60% more often. When the jet stream gets stuck in place for a long period of time, we say a "blocking pattern" has set up. Since the jet stream marks the boundary between cold, Arctic air to the north, and warmer subtropical air to the south, areas on both sides of the jet are subjected to extended periods of unusually warm or cold weather during a blocking episode. Such a blocking pattern began on January 26, 2012 and lasted until February 11, bringing and exceptionally cold and snowy conditions to much of Europe, which lay on the cold side of an elongated loop of the jet stream that got stuck in place. Conversely, most of North America and northern Siberia saw unusually warm temperatures during this period, since they were on the warm side of the jet stream. Lead author Jiping Liu, a senior research scientist in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, added, "We think the recent snowy winters could be caused by the retreating Arctic ice altering atmospheric circulation patterns by weakening westerly winds, increasing the amplitude of the jet stream and increasing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. These pattern changes enhance blocking patterns that favor more frequent movement of cold air masses to middle and lower latitudes, leading to increased heavy snowfall in Europe and the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States." The paper concludes: "if Arctic sea ice continues as anticipated by climate modeling results, we speculate that episodes of the aforementioned circulation change will become more frequent, along with more persistent snowstorms over northern continents during winter."


Figure 3. Waiting for the warm-up after a rare snowfall in Italy during the February, 2012 European cold blast. Image credit: wunderphotographer cathykiro.

Two other studies link Arctic sea ice loss to atmospheric circulation changes
"The question is not whether sea ice loss is affecting the large-scale atmospheric circulation...it's how can it not?" That was the take-home message from Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, in her talk "Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid-latitudes, presented at December's American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Francis presented new research that has just been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which shows that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops. High-amplitude loops in the upper level wind pattern (and associated jet stream) increases the probability of persistent weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, potentially leading to extreme weather due to longer-duration cold spells, snow events, heat waves, flooding events, and drought conditions. Dr. Francis describes her work in a March 5, 2012 post on the Yale environment360 web site.

"Even if the current weather situation may seem to speak against it, the probability of cold winters with much snow in Central Europe rises when the Arctic is covered by less sea ice in summer." That was the opening sentence of a January 26, 2012 press release by a group of European scientists, led by Ralf Jaiser of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. The words proved prescient, because that day marked the beginning of a brutal two-week cold air outbreak over Central and Eastern Europe that killed 823 people and did over $660 million in damage, according to preliminary estimates by insurance broker Aon Benfield. Dr. Jaiser's team, using modeling studies, showed that Arctic sea ice loss weakens upper-level winds over the Arctic in winter, allowing an increased chance of cold air surges over Europe.


Figure 4. Digging out in Maryland after "Snowmageddon" on February 4, 2010. Image credit: wunderphotographer chills.

Why was the winter of 2011 - 2012 so warm in the U.S.?
The winter of 2011 - 2012 in North America was unusually warm--the fourth warmest on record. The cold air spilling out of the Arctic during the winter was confined to Europe, unlike that previous two winters, which were unusually cold and snowy in the Eastern U.S. Obviously, loss of Arctic sea ice is not having the same impact each winter; such factors as El Niño/La Niña, the phase of the 11-year sunspot cycle, and the amount of snow cover in Siberia also have strong influences on the winter weather pattern that sets up. Cold air is less likely to spill out of the Arctic during a solar maximum, as we are now headed towards, so this factor may tend to reduce the odds of getting big cold blasts in the U.S. during the coming two winters. However, cold air may be more likely to spill out of the Arctic in winter due to the decades-long pattern of warming and cooling of Atlantic Ocean waters known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). A 2012 study by NASA scientists found that the warm phase of the AMO (like we have been in since 1995) causes more instances of atmospheric blocking, where the jet stream gets "stuck" in place, leading to long periods of extreme weather. It will be interesting to see how all these factors play out in the coming years. If these three newly-published studies are correct, the U.S. should see more winters like 2010 - 2011 and 2009 - 2010 in coming decades, as Arctic sea ice continues to melt and affect global atmospheric circulation patterns more strongly.

References
Francis, J.A., and S.J. Vavrus (2012), "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes," Geophysical Research Letters, 21 February, 2012.

Jaiser, R., K. Dethloff, D. Handorf, A. Rinke, J. Cohen (2012), Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation, Tellus A 2012, 64, 11595, DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

Liu et al. (2012), "Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall", Proc. Natl. Academy of Sciences, Published online before print February 27, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1114910109

Jeff Masters

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Quoting CanesfanatUT:


That is the only Arctic sea ice data I have bookmarked. Do you have a link to a sea ice volume graph?

I look at this about every other week, so would certainly like to expand my database.


Here are the three Arctic sea ice graphs I most frequently check...

Daily
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/ho me/piomas/piomas-trnd4.png

Monthly
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/ho me/piomas/piomas-trnd2.png

Annual
https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/ho me/piomas/piomas-trnd6.png

These graphs get updated once a month, usually toward the end of the first week of the new month.

I find the monthly graph the most interesting because you can use it to see when we might first hit "zero" and then how the ice-free season would extend into future months.

What the monthly graph is telling us is that if melting continues as it has been happening we'll see melt-out in September of 2015 and a four month ice-free season before 2020.

Of course, that's not guaranteed. Weather variation can kick things sooner or later. But, think about it, not very long ago ice scientists were saying ice-free by the end of the century and lots of other scientists were finding that hard to believe.

Member Since: Febrero 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting Xyrus2000:


The planet will be fine. The life on this planet is another story.


Life will indure a little heat up as it has indured snowball earthed and extreme heat periods and massive meteor strikes.
Member Since: Junio 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting pottery:

And we really have no idea what this will mean to Climate and Weather.
It's getting closer to that call that we don't want to hear--

"BRACE, BRACE, BRACE"


eject! eject! eject!
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Miami NWS Discussion

INCREASING DEEP LAYER MOISTURE AND RISING PRECIPITABLE WATERS ARE
EXPECTED THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY AHEAD OF A FRONTAL BOUNDARY,
RESULTING IN CONTINUED CHANCES OF PRECIPITATION. ADDITIONALLY, A
FEW MID LEVEL VORTICITY MAXIMA MAY HELP ENHANCE CONVECTION DURING
THIS TIME, ALTHOUGH TIMING REMAINS UNCERTAIN. THE MODELS ARE ALSO
IN A BIT OF DISAGREEMENT REGARDING THE TRACK OF THE UPPER TROUGH
AND MID LEVEL LOW ASSOCIATED WITH FRONTAL BOUNDARY. THE 02.00
ECMWF DIVES THE TROUGH FARTHER SOUTH AND EAST INTO THE FLORIDA
PENINSULA THAN THE GFS. IF THE ECMWF WERE TO VERIFY, SOME STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS COULD DEVELOP NEAR OR JUST NORTH OF THE LOCAL AREA.
REGARDLESS, AS THE UPPER TROUGH ADVANCES TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST
U.S. COAST, RAIN CHANCES WILL CONTINUE INTO SATURDAY. AT THIS
TIME, IT APPEARS THAT AN AMPLIFYING RIDGE EXTENDING FROM THE
NORTHWEST GULF OF MEXICO THROUGH THE CENTRAL STATES WILL PROVIDE
MAINLY DRY CONDITIONS ON SUNDAY, ALTHOUGH THIS IS CERTAINLY
SUBJECT TO CHANGE. A TIGHTENING PRESSURE GRADIENT COULD ALSO
RESULT IN INCREASING WIND SPEEDS AND PERHAPS A FEW SHOWERS DUE TO
SPEED CONVERGENCE BY LATE SUNDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN AT OR
ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH SATURDAY.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Interesting Q & A with NHC - Richard Pasch


Excerpt:


What made you want to come to the Hurricane Center?

I've wanted to come here since I was 10 years old. I wanted to be where the action was. And I come from a time when you couldn't find out very easily if there were storms out there, what the status was, or what was developing. You had to kill yourself just to get a satellite picture. You'll recall at Florida State when we were first there in the early '70s, just trying to get the data up on the roof of the Love Building was like obtaining a closely guarded secret. Nowadays, you can set up your own hurricane center at home with the Internet.

Is that problematic?

I do have a little bit of a problem with that. This proliferation of information has gotten to the point where everyone's got the model data and all the other data and they can go ahead and make their own forecasts. It certainly is a little dangerous, and it's a reality we have to cope with it. Many of these webpages are becoming more and more sophisticated with displays, although most of them don't have access to the best model that we have, which is the one from the European Center. We are the official forecast. It may not always be right, but it is the official forecast.

There are a number of media that track every disturbance out there.

This idea of an Invest 91L, or whatever is out there now - people take that to a new level of what a tropical cyclone is by naming almost every cloud cluster that's out there, and tracking them and running guidance models on them. It's true that (NHC) does typically run guidance on them, but there is this assumption that because we have put a number on it that it is going to become a storm or a hurricane.

But all the Invest means is that you want more information on it.

Yes. And that's what's changed for me going back to the late '80s to now, about a quarter of a century. I've seen that evolve, and I've seen the science evolve from track prediction being done by statistical-dynamical approaches to advances in numerical weather prediction, which is considered my specialization here because I did work on a global spectral model while at FSU


So Pasch and co hate all of us, basically. LOL
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DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0114 AM CDT MON APR 02 2012

VALID 041200Z - 051200Z

...SYNOPSIS...
AN UPPER LOW WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE SLOWLY EWD ACROSS THE CNTRL AND SRN PLAINS INTO THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MS VALLEY BY THUR MORNING. AT THE SURFACE...SWLY FLOW WILL PUSH A DRYLINE EWD TO CNTRL MO/AR BY 00Z TRAILING SWWD INTO N CNTRL TX. LOWER TO MID 60S F DEWPOINTS WILL EXIST AHEAD OF THIS BOUNDARY WITH 30-40 KT MIDLEVEL FLOW.

TO THE E...AN UPPER TROUGH WILL BE SITUATED OVER THE NERN U.S. WITH WNWLY FLOW ACROSS THE MID ATLANTIC. A WEAK LOW PRESSURE TROUGH SHOULD DEVELOP OVER VA AND NC...WHICH WILL HELP TO FOCUS STORM DEVELOPMENT DURING THE DAY.

TO THE W...A LARGE UPPER TROUGH WILL SLOWLY SINK SEWD ACROSS THE WRN STATES WITH A COLD FRONT FROM CNTRL MT INTO CNTRL NV BY 00Z. WEAK DIURNAL INSTABILITY MAY RESULT IN ISOLATED CONVECTION DURING THE DAYTIME ALONG AND W OF THE FRONT.

...VA INTO NC...
A NW FLOW REGIME WILL EXIST WITH A COLD FRONT OVER SRN VA INTO WRN NC BY AFTERNOON. STRONG HEATING AHEAD OF THE FRONT AND AMPLE MOISTURE WILL CREATE VERY UNSTABLE CONDITIONS. ISOLATED ACTIVITY MAY BE ONGOING EARLY ACROSS SRN OH...ERN KY AND WV WHICH COULD INCREASE IN INTENSITY DURING THE DAY. NEW ACTIVITY WILL ALSO BE LIKELY NEAR THE FRONT. MERGING OUTFLOWS COULD CREATE A SEWD MOVING MCS WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL. IF THIS FORECAST HOLDS...PORTIONS OF ERN VA AND NC COULD REQUIRE A SLIGHT RISK IN LATER OUTLOOKS.

...LOWER MS VALLEY...
AREAS OF RAIN AND STORMS WILL LIKELY BE ONGOING OVER THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MS VALLEY WED MORNING ALONG AND AHEAD OF AN APPROACHING FRONT. SOME OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY BE CAPABLE OF STRONG WINDS AND/OR SOME HAIL AS IT CONTINUES EWD DURING THE DAY. SHEAR WILL BE MARGINAL FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE WITH THIS EARLY ACTIVITY. DURING THE AFTERNOON...A DRY SLOT WILL RAPIDLY SPREAD EWD...WITH DECREASING STORM CHANCES OVER AR...LA...AND WRN MS.

..JEWELL.. 04/02/2012
-----------------------------------------------
sounds fun, lol
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Extent, yes. Meanwhile, volume--that is, the total amount of ice--is at a record low.

Picture this: you've got two identical glasses full of room temperature tea in front of you. Into one, you dump 1/8 cup of crushed ice. The ice spreads to cover the top of the tea, giving that glass 100% extent. Into the second, you dump a solid ice cube consisting of 1/4 cup of frozen water. It just sits there bobbing at the top, but barely covering any surface area. That glass has, say, 33% extent.

Now answer this question: given that ice extent is three times greater in the first glass than it is in the second, which ice will melt first? Should you be wondering where I'm going with this: the current sea ice in the Arctic is like that thin slush; it should--and almost certainly will--begin disappearing at a very rapid rate.


That is the only Arctic sea ice data I have bookmarked. Do you have a link to a sea ice volume graph?

I look at this about every other week, so would certainly like to expand my database.
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Put the universe on your iPad
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New Tornado Waning system

Link
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Is everyone playing nice in here ? lol
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Quoting pottery:

And we really have no idea what this will mean to Climate and Weather.
It's getting closer to that call that we don't want to hear--

"BRACE, BRACE, BRACE"

Couldn't agree more
Member Since: Noviembre 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7882
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Interesting Q & A with NHC - Richard Pasch


Excerpt:


What made you want to come to the Hurricane Center?

I've wanted to come here since I was 10 years old. I wanted to be where the action was. And I come from a time when you couldn't find out very easily if there were storms out there, what the status was, or what was developing. You had to kill yourself just to get a satellite picture. You'll recall at Florida State when we were first there in the early '70s, just trying to get the data up on the roof of the Love Building was like obtaining a closely guarded secret. Nowadays, you can set up your own hurricane center at home with the Internet.

Is that problematic?

I do have a little bit of a problem with that. This proliferation of information has gotten to the point where everyone's got the model data and all the other data and they can go ahead and make their own forecasts. It certainly is a little dangerous, and it's a reality we have to cope with it. Many of these webpages are becoming more and more sophisticated with displays, although most of them don't have access to the best model that we have, which is the one from the European Center. We are the official forecast. It may not always be right, but it is the official forecast.

There are a number of media that track every disturbance out there.

This idea of an Invest 91L, or whatever is out there now - people take that to a new level of what a tropical cyclone is by naming almost every cloud cluster that's out there, and tracking them and running guidance models on them. It's true that (NHC) does typically run guidance on them, but there is this assumption that because we have put a number on it that it is going to become a storm or a hurricane.

But all the Invest means is that you want more information on it.

Yes. And that's what's changed for me going back to the late '80s to now, about a quarter of a century. I've seen that evolve, and I've seen the science evolve from track prediction being done by statistical-dynamical approaches to advances in numerical weather prediction, which is considered my specialization here because I did work on a global spectral model while at FSU

He must have been mad at the time he answered this :P
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Quoting nigel20:

Perennial ice that have been in the artic for hundreds and thousands of years have decline so quickly it's almost unbelievable....at this rate the artic may be close to being ice free in the summer sooner than we thought

And we really have no idea what this will mean to Climate and Weather.
It's getting closer to that call that we don't want to hear--

"BRACE, BRACE, BRACE"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Interesting Q & A with NHC - Richard Pasch


Excerpt:


What made you want to come to the Hurricane Center?

I've wanted to come here since I was 10 years old. I wanted to be where the action was. And I come from a time when you couldn't find out very easily if there were storms out there, what the status was, or what was developing. You had to kill yourself just to get a satellite picture. You'll recall at Florida State when we were first there in the early '70s, just trying to get the data up on the roof of the Love Building was like obtaining a closely guarded secret. Nowadays, you can set up your own hurricane center at home with the Internet.

Is that problematic?

I do have a little bit of a problem with that. This proliferation of information has gotten to the point where everyone's got the model data and all the other data and they can go ahead and make their own forecasts. It certainly is a little dangerous, and it's a reality we have to cope with it. Many of these webpages are becoming more and more sophisticated with displays, although most of them don't have access to the best model that we have, which is the one from the European Center. We are the official forecast. It may not always be right, but it is the official forecast.

There are a number of media that track every disturbance out there.

This idea of an Invest 91L, or whatever is out there now - people take that to a new level of what a tropical cyclone is by naming almost every cloud cluster that's out there, and tracking them and running guidance models on them. It's true that (NHC) does typically run guidance on them, but there is this assumption that because we have put a number on it that it is going to become a storm or a hurricane.

But all the Invest means is that you want more information on it.

Yes. And that's what's changed for me going back to the late '80s to now, about a quarter of a century. I've seen that evolve, and I've seen the science evolve from track prediction being done by statistical-dynamical approaches to advances in numerical weather prediction, which is considered my specialization here because I did work on a global spectral model while at FSU
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Interesting that the sea ice is creeping towards the mean of the historical band of data.

Extent, yes. Meanwhile, volume--that is, the total amount of ice--is at a record low.

Picture this: you've got two identical glasses full of room temperature tea in front of you. Into one, you dump 1/8 cup of crushed ice. The ice spreads to cover the top of the tea, giving that glass 100% extent. Into the second, you dump a solid ice cube consisting of 1/4 cup of frozen water. It just sits there bobbing at the top, but barely covering any surface area. That glass has, say, 33% extent.

Now answer this question: given that ice extent is three times greater in the first glass than it is in the second, which ice will melt first? Should you be wondering where I'm going with this: the current sea ice in the Arctic is like that thin slush; it should--and almost certainly will--begin disappearing at a very rapid rate.
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13472
280 weatherh98 As we increase knowledge and technology is now increasing at an exponential rate, we will most likely be able to take out or put in gases in the atmosphere...Also, it's called an air conditioner, it works fantastic.

1) Air conditioners cool by dumping inside heat into the outside environment.

2) Running an air conditioner in-and-of-itself is inefficient: ie running one produces heat in excess of what is inside the building itself and also dumps that excess into the environment

3) Air conditioners draw power from the electricity grid and power plants.
a) The electricity(transmission)grid in-and-of-itself is inefficient: at least 5% of the power flow is turned directly into heating the environment. Transmission system resistance increases with load and with temperature: so grid heating increases when the load increases or when the temperature is higher.
Air conditioners are run on high temperature days: the higher the temperature, the more power they draw (ie the greater the load) through the electricity grid from powerplants.
b) Powerplants are inefficient. The best fossil-fuel baseload powerplants (dual-cycle gas-turbines) convert nearly 40% of the energy available from burning directly into heating the environment. The best nuclear powerplant converts 2/3rds of the energy from fission into directly heating the environment.
c) Peak-power plants are far less efficient. The best single-stage gas-turbine generator converts ~60% of the energy available from burning directly into heating the environment. The worst coal-burning generators, more than 75% while working at peak efficiency; peak-matching startups&cooldowns reduce that efficiency significantly.
And coal-burning creates ~1/3rd more CO2 to produce the same amount of electricity than gas-burning at the same energy-conversion efficiency.

4) Because of those inefficiencies, all those fossil fuel plants are pouring vast amount of CO2 into the atmosphere just to heat the environment ON TOP OF the amount produced for sending electricity out onto the transmission grid.

5) Air conditioning is typically run during peak-load (or near) hours. Which means that utilities are buying peak-power at peak-prices, and passing that cost onto customers whether or not they use air conditioners through cost averaging. That's right, the most wasteful electricity users are subsidized by the thriftiest.
Peak prices are so high that it'd probably be significantly cheaper for utilities to amortize the cost of installing enough roof-top solar-power and battery-backups to run those air-conditioners (in all areas except densely populated city cores) than to purchase that electricity from peak-power plants.

6) Fossil-fuel and nuclear powerplants use VAST quantities of water: usually more than all of the customers served by any given powerplant combined (excluding commercial agriculture).
a) The amount of freshwater available per person is dropping faster than the population is increasing.
b) And the US is by far the leading user of air-conditioning (and refrigeration). Last time in Europe, home air-conditioning was not even vaguely close to being the norm; and refrigerators strongly tended to be as small as those typically found in camper vans and US college dorm rooms.
c) Without solar and wind generators, guess what happens to (electricity demand and) potable water supplies if&when the rest of the World decides that it wants American-style comfort&convenience.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
If it's not, it should be. AGW is the largest threat humanity as a whole has faced in modern times; all other problems practically pale in comparison. Besides, as has been noted numerous times--and as common sense will tell you--wouldn't it be great to get our mouths off the fossil fuel spigot so we don't have to keep paying $4.50 for a gallon of gas?


It would be great to "get our mouths off the fossil fuel spigot", but you know as well as I do, it ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Government means well when it talks about all these alternative fuel sources and "kind of" pushing us towards hybrid vehicles, but as long as the oil giants run this planet, not much is going to change.
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310. wxmod
China (top) and south Asia (bottom) Each of these satellite photos are about 800 miles by 500 miles. The smog is brownish gray and gray -- there is nothing else except google map lines. These areas are HUGE and the photos do not cover all of the smog there is in Asia and China. Folks, this is the worlds worst environmental disaster and it is going to kill all of us unless we all do everything we can to correct it.



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Quoting ScottLincoln:


What's going to be orders of magnitude more interesting, and far more relevant, is the next several months when all of that rotten, thin ice is rapidly melted. I'd predict that it melts at a rate similar to the average rate of the last half decade or so... again close to the fastest rate of melt in the satellite record.
This probably won't be the last time we end up "near normal" for sea ice extent. In fact, even with ice-free summers, we could see substantial growth of thin, rotten ice in the winters just as before for many years.

Perennial ice that have been in the artic for hundreds and thousands of years have decline so quickly it's almost unbelievable....at this rate the artic may be close to being ice free in the summer sooner than we thought
Member Since: Noviembre 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7882
Quoting NativeSun:
Bob, just like the rest of the Global Warming crowd. When we know what he real cause of the earth warming is, then we can spend the trillions of dollars to fix it. O wait we don't have the trillions to fix it unless you want to cause a global depression and possible world war trying to fix it.


Problem is "we" won't find it because "we" don't want such a thing to exist and so will refuse to focus on it while ignoring all of those socialists with PhDs who have. Eventually "we" will wise up, but only after being flattened by obvious effects. Unfortunately many undeserving others will suffer along with "us", but "we" will have no problem placing the blame elsewhere, for example with those comsymp scientists who so clearly failed to be persuade "us" at a time when much of the damage could still have been avoided.

Chris Mooney and some more lab pinks refer.

See, NativeSun, the reason you can't keep your facts straight on the most trivial level is that you really don't care what they are.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
If it's not, it should be. AGW is the largest threat humanity as a whole has faced in modern times; all other problems practically pale in comparison. Besides, as has been noted numerous times--and as common sense will tell you--wouldn't it be great to get our mouths off the fossil fuel spigot so we don't have to keep paying $4.50 for a gallon of gas?

Agreed!
Member Since: Noviembre 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7882
Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Interesting that the sea ice is creeping towards the mean of the historical band of data.



What's going to be orders of magnitude more interesting, and far more relevant, is the next several months when all of that rotten, thin ice is rapidly melted. I'd predict that it melts at a rate similar to the average rate of the last half decade or so... again close to the fastest rate of melt in the satellite record.
This probably won't be the last time we end up "near normal" for sea ice extent. In fact, even with ice-free summers, we could see substantial growth of thin, rotten ice in the winters just as before for many years.
Member Since: Septiembre 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3172
Quoting Patrap:
from 2010



Climate Change Continues To Melt Glacier National Park's Icons

Against that history, and against recent years' predictions that Glacier would be glacier-less by 2030, last week's news that two of the park's glaciers, Shepard and Miche Wabun, had had their "glacier" status removed by the USGS because estimates of their masses had dwindled below 25 acres, was not earthshaking. It was eye-catching, though, as perhaps no other national park is so strongly connected with a single aspect of its contents as Glacier is with its glaciers.


My wife picked up a National Geographic DVD from the library about Yellowstone for our son to watch. It was an old DVD* (looks like the video on it was made in the late 70's early 80's). They had a segment about snow and glacier cover. Out of curiosity I went online and found images for comparison to those from the DVD.

It's amazing what 30 years can do. :P

*NOTE: The DVD itself, of course, was not made in the late 70's or 80's, just the video on it.
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By April 2, 2012, heavy rains had claimed at least three lives in Fiji and sent thousands of people to evacuation centers, news reports said. Heavy rains washed out roads, severed drinking water supplies, downed power lines, and hampered communications.

Areas of intense rain occurred within a wide band of precipitation between the Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea in late March and early April. Although much of the precipitation fell over open ocean, some of the heaviest rain fell on Fiji - in particular, on the large island of Viti

The rains left homes underwater and led to landslides, including one near a resort and another near a hospital. The government of Fiji requested that airlines stop flying travelers to the country until further notice, and planes began arriving empty at Fiji airports in order to evacuate stranded tourists.

As Fiji coped with floods, Tropical Cyclone Daphne threatened to inundate the islands again. A bulletin from the Fiji Meteorological Service reported that, as of 6:00 p.m. local time on April 2, 2012, Daphne was located roughly 540 kilometers (335 miles) west-southwest of Nadi, a city on the west coast of Viti Levu.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id =77573&src=eorss-iotd
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Quoting Chucktown:


Who cares? Do you think people that are struggling to put food on their table and pay their mortgage while paying $4.50 for a gallon of gas care about this. Hey, I'm all for conservation and saving Mother Earth, but it just not at the top of most peoples agenda.
If it's not, it should be. AGW is the largest threat humanity as a whole has faced in modern times; all other problems practically pale in comparison. Besides, as has been noted numerous times--and as common sense will tell you--wouldn't it be great to get our mouths off the fossil fuel spigot so we don't have to keep paying $4.50 for a gallon of gas?
Member Since: Noviembre 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13472
Quoting weatherh98:
Every heat wave is eventually removed by cold air and every dry spell is ended by massive amounts of rain because in the end, all things attempt to be equal.

Math try's to find the equivalent

Look at hurricanes. The basic function of a hurricane is to take equatorial heat and move it to the equator. The earth is trying to equalize global temps. This causes wind and ultimately the causes of pressure.

Im confident the earth will be able to fix its own problems in order to meet an equallibriam.


The planet will be fine. The life on this planet is another story.
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Quoting weatherh98:
Every heat wave is eventually removed by cold air and every dry spell is ended by massive amounts of rain because in the end, all things attempt to be equal.

Math try's to find the equivalent

Look at hurricanes. The basic function of a hurricane is to take equatorial heat and move it to the equator. The earth is trying to equalize global temps. This causes wind and ultimately the causes of pressure.

Im confident the earth will be able to fix its own problems in order to meet an equallibriam.

The earth will be able to fix itself, but it will take many centuries to get rid of all the CO2 and other greenhouse gase out of the atmosphere
Member Since: Noviembre 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7882
Quoting weatherh98:
As we increase knowledge and technology is now increasing at an exponential rate, we will most likely be able to take out or put in gases in the atmosphere, y'all just chill oUt. This is not "The Day After Tomorrow". Also, it's called an air conditioner it works fantastic.


You misunderstand. If all increasing global temperatures meant was that we'd need to run the AC more, it's be great. Unfortunately, that is the least of th concerns in regards to a warming planet.
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Quoting Bergeron:
Global warming...pfft

Link


If the best you can come up with is that ignorant tripe and conspiracy theory nonsense, you really don't have anything useful to contribute to the discussion of climate science.

Back up your claims with some real scientific research please.
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Not wanting to imply that anybody might be missing the point but the question will not be about the melting of the ice in the Arctic but what will happen when it is melted?
The ice just sits there and acts as a cap to the ocean, when the ice is gone or almost gone then the water will start to move.
To put it another way. If you put a lot of ice from a freezer into the sink it slowly melts, if you turn on the tap and run water over it it melts much more quickly.
When the ice starts to melt in significant quantities and if there are winds to blow the water about the ice will melt very quickly, as the waters moves across the exposed surfaces of the ice. Water melts ice much quicker then sunlight.
Once the Arctic starts to experience surface storms then it is probable that the water temperature will increase more rapidly than expected.
Member Since: Enero 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

That's the problem with most of today's leaders and adults. Just dump everything on the next generation... I'm tired of it- Because me and all the other teenagers and young adults of the world as well as generations after us are going to be left to pay back the countries trillions in debt, and we're going to be left to deal with the effects of climate change and whatever other problems today's "leaders" can come up with. As I've said I do believe we can reverse or at least stop climate change, but future generations won't have an easy time of it while trying to deal with all the other problems our wonderful friends in Washington are giving us.

(End rant)


Debt is not the big problem that some are making it to be. We're in the hole due to the oil wars and tax cut on the rich, but we can get ourselves back on track. When Bush came to office we were in pretty good shape and if we follow President Obama's general financial plan we can recover.

The climate, that's a real problem. It is the challenge for your generation.

The generation before mine fought and defeated fascism and brought us into the modern technological times.

My generation fought for civil rights and to end an unjust war. We built on the scientific progress of those before and created an amazing amount of knowledge.

Along the way people solved many health problems such as smallpox and polio and made significant progress on cancer. They built the infrastructure that makes modern life possible.

All these successes, we hand to you.

Now you've got to pull yourselves together and deal with the climate problem. I'm sorry we're leaving you with this mess, but honestly, some of us tried to fix things. And many of us will continue to work as long as we can.

Member Since: Febrero 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting weatherh98:


I don't think that certain people looked at you graph....


Oh, we've looked at the graph. And we know that it is a two dimensional measurement of a three dimension substance. What is not shown in area/extent graphs is the thickness of the ice.

Outside my window is a ~200 square foot fish pond. Three days ago the area/extent was 0%. The next day it was 100%. Now it's on its way back to 0%. It freezes over completely, but since it doesn't have months to build thickness, it melts quickly.

If you look at the graph you can see that for most of the freezing season the area/extent was historically low. During the last very few weeks there has been some cold weather and a lot of ice has formed, but it hasn't had time to thicken.

If you've ever lived around water that seasonally freezes then you'll know that extent can be 100% but the ice may not support your weight.

Keep watching that graph. Let us know what you see in July....
Member Since: Febrero 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Link
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More quotes:

"Major Republican (Party) leaders say in public that they believe it's a hoax. This is a very shocking state of affairs, and particularly from a party that once upon a time was considered to be more scientific and more environmental than the Democrats."

Oreskes was scathing about some US media which believed that story "balance" meant giving equal weight to opposing scientific views -- even if one opinion was backed only by a small minority in the face of massive evidence to the contrary.

According to Oreskes, scientists who push climate uncertainty are not necessarily hired guns, although "some of them get money, either directly through the fossil-fuel industry or indirectly through intermediaries."

"But I don't actually think money is the primary motivation. I think it's political, ideological, it's (the desire for) attention and sometimes it's narcissistic too."
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Quoting weatherh98:
As we increase knowledge and technology is now increasing at an exponential rate, we will most likely be able to take out or put in gases in the atmosphere, y'all just chill oUt. This is not "The Day After Tomorrow". Also, it's called an air conditioner it works fantastic.

Science is telling us that we have very few (if any, worst case) years left to drastically cut our CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Science is telling us that at this time we have exactly no way to pull CO2 and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Your advice is like telling someone to jump off a tall cliff, assuring them that they will figure out how to craft a parachute, grow wings, or something on the way down....
Member Since: Febrero 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting weatherh98:
Every heat wave is eventually removed by cold air and every dry spell is ended by massive amounts of rain because in the end, all things attempt to be equal.

Math try's to find the equivalent

Look at hurricanes. The basic function of a hurricane is to take equatorial heat and move it to the equator. The earth is trying to equalize global temps. This causes wind and ultimately the causes of pressure.

Im confident the earth will be able to fix its own problems in order to meet an equallibriam.

I'm sure that's true. I wonder if that equilibrium will allow civilization of the scale and type we currently enjoy?

The answer is...probably not.
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Science under fire from 'merchants of doubt': US historian

"Oreskes's book traces the starting point of professional science skeptics to when big tobacco companies were facing the first clear evidence that smoking caused cancer.

"An internal memo, written by a Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. executive in 1969, spelt out the goal of weakening this link with expert help.

"'Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy,' according to the document, now placed in a US public archive."
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Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Interesting that the sea ice is creeping towards the mean of the historical band of data.



I don't think that certain people looked at you graph....
Member Since: Junio 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting weatherh98:
Every heat wave is eventually removed by cold air and every dry spell is ended by massive amounts of rain because in the end, all things attempt to be equal.

Math try's to find the equivalent

Look at hurricanes. The basic function of a hurricane is to take equatorial heat and move it to the equator poles. The earth is trying to equalize global temps. This causes wind and ultimately the causes of pressure.

Im confident the earth will be able to fix its own problems in order to meet an equallibriam.
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from 2010



Climate Change Continues To Melt Glacier National Park's Icons

Against that history, and against recent years' predictions that Glacier would be glacier-less by 2030, last week's news that two of the park's glaciers, Shepard and Miche Wabun, had had their "glacier" status removed by the USGS because estimates of their masses had dwindled below 25 acres, was not earthshaking. It was eye-catching, though, as perhaps no other national park is so strongly connected with a single aspect of its contents as Glacier is with its glaciers.
Member Since: Julio 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127674
As a skeptic of climate change, all I see is posts about how the earth is dying, ice is melting, people are not caring and passing the buck, etc which to put frankly is not interesting to most who come on here or were on here..WU is not a huge arena in anyone getting that message across to a huge population as some of you regular posters want to think..has anyone on this blog done anything PRODUCTIVE in broadcasting your concerns besides posting endless articles on ice and drought?..Dr. Masters has done his part with his own blog even though he changed the format to which I can understand because he is an advocate for the cause but most of the bloggers that posts graph after graph here cant say the same. I have to say if you want to reach the young masses and the rest of the uninformed, you should start a website and make your work somewhat "interesting". Start rallies in your cities. Invite the WU bloggers and broadcast your events to the media. No one is going to read a 1000 word article which would put anyone to sleep. I can say one of the reasons I dont like the GW or AGW talk is that its not interesting at all. Just remember before the insults start flying, if you want to try to change someone's else thinking, you have to listen and hear FIRST why they disagreed.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


My own informal analysis of sea ice volume and extent indicates an ice free arctic summer by the end of this decade. From what I know of climate models and their current results, they've consistently underestimated ice on all fronts. Nea's estimate is a bit more agressive than my own, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility.


If we continue to loose volume at the rate we have been for the last several years then Nea is perhaps overestimating the arrival of the first ice-free summer.

It could happen this year. There's a lot of thin ice which should melt quickly and a lot of the measured extent/area is on the outer Pacific edge where melting is usually finished by mid June. Additionally the Fram Straight is open which could allow massive transport into warm Atlantic waters.

It could happen.

We also could have a very mild weather year, few strong winds to blow the ice around which would allow it to hang on through the melt season. Impossible to predict what will happen.

Climate change is melting the ice. Weather makes it hard to predict the year it first melts out.

At the end of last summer's melt the Arctic had about 4 thousand km3 ice.

In 2007 and in 2010 the end of summer volume was 2.5 thousand km3 less than the previous year. (4 - 2.5 = not much danged ice left.)

If we start losing at the 2007/2010 rate early in the season we're going to see a lot more open water, more heat retention and a lot less albedo. It could be enough to crash the remaining ice.

Or we could have a mild summer with little destructive wind. The ice could hang on for a few more years. But it would be hanging on in spite of warmer air above it and in spite of warmer water coming at it from warmer oceans.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a melt-out this year. Dismayed, but not surprised.

I would be quite surprised to see the sea ice last until 2020.
Member Since: Febrero 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Every heat wave is eventually removed by cold air and every dry spell is ended by massive amounts of rain because in the end, all things attempt to be equal.

Math try's to find the equivalent

Look at hurricanes. The basic function of a hurricane is to take equatorial heat and move it to the equator. The earth is trying to equalize global temps. This causes wind and ultimately the causes of pressure.

Im confident the earth will be able to fix its own problems in order to meet an equallibriam.
Member Since: Junio 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting Xyrus2000:


The warming isn't natural. Every piece of peer reviewed research indicates otherwise.

The planet doesn't warm and cool just because it wants to. Something causes temperatures to change. There is no natural explanations at this time for the rapid temperature increase we've observed over the past century. Since solar output has not increased appreciably, that implies that something on the planet has changed. And indeed it has.

The planet obeys the laws of thermodynamics. If the planet warms up it is either due to the Earth receiving more energy than it is radiating or it is radiating less energy than it is receiving. We know from detailed solar records it is not the former, so it must be the latter. And what has changed over the past century that would cause the Earth to radiate less energy than it is receiving?

Just because you do not understand the science behind something doesn't mean you should base your opinions about it based on gut feeling.


Read it, agreed.
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As we increase knowledge and technology is now increasing at an exponential rate, we will most likely be able to take out or put in gases in the atmosphere, y'all just chill oUt. This is not "The Day After Tomorrow". Also, it's called an air conditioner it works fantastic.
Member Since: Junio 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Interesting that the sea ice is creeping towards the mean of the historical band of data.

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Quoting Xyrus2000:


True, predicting PDO cycles isn't exactly straightforward. However it is clear that we have been in a cold PDO for a while now.


Since 2008
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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