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Arctic ice disaster looms

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, I didn t know half this stuff, and I follow climate change fairly closely:
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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      Hi All,

      I didn't know half this stuff, and I follow climate change fairly closely:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/arctic-climate-change_b_1911550.html


      1. Greatly<http://nsidc.org/monthlyhighlights/2012/01/> increased arctic water vapor, increasing arctic warming (water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas) but also fundamentally <http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011JD016969.shtml>altering arctic hydrology and hence weather patterns.

      2. Immediately and <http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040541.shtml>fundamentally altered arctic atmospheric chemistry, causing increased arctic methane lifetime, among other basic changes.

      3. Certain increase in acceleration of arctic warming, from <http://epic.awi.de/30245/1/fulltext.pdf>increased solar energy entering the arctic ocean (this engenders 1.) and the release of latent heat into the atmosphere during autumn's rapid re-freezing.

      4. Consequent increased potential for large arctic storms like <http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78808>the Great Arctic Cyclone this summer.

      5. Consequent increased deep <http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JC007218.shtml>convection events (mixing to bottom) of arctic ocean, particularly important over the shallow water of the shelves, where <http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1246.abstract>lower layers can now often be methane-saturated.

      6. Consequently an <http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/01/19/406762/arctic-methane-outgassing-on-the-east-siberian-shelf-primer-interview-dr-natalia-shakhova/>increase of seabed methane emissions -- including from seabed permafrost, shallow methane hydrate, and from thawing of either or both of these and increased gas migration pathways allowing free gas from underneath the hydrates to outgas.

      (For full PowerPoint PDF, scroll down to Topic/Title <http://symposium2010.serdp-estcp.org/Technical-Sessions/1A>Methane Release from Eastern Siberian Shelf.)

      7. This increase in seabed permafrost thawing leads to a subsequent increased risk that a random seismic event could suddenly release large amounts of methane from the above combination of thawing sources, or from other thawed arctic carbon stores (see PowerPoint above).

      8. Increased risk of general degradation of shallow methane hydrates leading to <http://geosci.uchicago.edu/%7Earcher/reprints/archer.2007.hydrate_rev.pdf>slope failure and consequent methane release.

      9. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/science/earth/warming-arctic-permafrost-fuels-climate-change-worries.html>Certain increase in chronic emissions of methane (and CO2) from thawing <http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n6/full/ngeo1480.html?WT.ec_id=NGEO-201206>land permafrost, peat, etc. with the general added warming mentioned above.

      10. The increased arctic methane lifetime (2.) <http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GB003845.shtml>is indistinguishable from an increase in its arctic abundance.

      11. Increasing continued rate of ice (and snow) loss as the ice-free-period subsequently lengthens, from all the above, particularly significant as the insolation increases earlier in the season to around the solstice in June (discussion here, scroll down to <http://io9.com/5945658/what-the-hell-is-happening-to-the-arctic-sea-ice>An Ice-free Solstice).

      And here are some immediate potential global impacts to chew on:

      12. Recent research suggests that ice (and snow cover) loss is at least one causative factor in recent <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/science/earth/arctic-sea-ice-eyed-for-clues-to-weather-extremes.html?_r=0>extreme weather -- drought, flood, fires, etc. -- and if so this could quickly be amplified.

      13. Consequently, recent global <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42716&Cr=climate&Cr1=drought#.UGDdMUZ3x7Q>impacts on food security could increase proportionally.

      14. <http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/06/06/495713/extreme-weather-is-the-new-climate-reality/>Economic losses from each of those (12., 13) would probably increase proportionally, and potentially could amplify into global economic recession or even depression.

      15. If there's large-scale (multi gigaton-scale) methane release soon, this would of course fundamentally alter the whole path of global warming (see my Twilight posts <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/methane-in-the-twilight-z_b_1198239.html>#1,<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/methane-in-the-twilight-z_1_b_1207619.html>#2), with vast consequences.

      16. If the ice-free period expands significantly, altered arctic tropospheric oxidation could rapidly start to impact high latitude urban areas, making cities with large populations rapidly become more difficult to live in (good discussion <http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/voulgarakis_01/>here at GISS, where Hansen is himself director).


      If you have any time, read the original article and follow some of the links. This is very scary stuff.

      Best,

      J.



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      J.H. Crawford
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    • Michael A. Lewis
      ... One of the problems with connecting the dots is that the resulting picture depends to a great deal on the predilections of the dot connector. One can
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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        On Oct 10, 2012, at 7:16 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

        > I didn't know half this stuff, and I follow climate change fairly closely:
        >
        > http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/arctic-climate-change_b_1911550.html

        One of the problems with "connecting the dots" is that the resulting picture depends to a great deal on the predilections of the dot connector. One can reveal an image of runaway Arctic ice melting, or one can discover a picture of a giraffe eating an ice cream cone.

        The referenced Huffingtington Post article is replete with "if"s, "could"s, "potential"s, "suggests," "probably"s and other less concrete suppositions, what one has come to expect from Nathan Currier and cohorts at the "Climate Reality Project," Al Gore's failed attempt to recover lost political influence through a continuation of his "Inconvenient Truth" scaremongering campaign.

        The problem with possibilism is that anything is possible, including the exact opposite of the possibilities suggested by such articles as this excessively arm-waving diatribe.

        The "solution" proposed to deal with Arctic ice reduction is far more frightening than the reality of natural climate variation. "Geoengineering," the ultimate expression of mechanistic hubris, is suggested as a means to "stop" this nefarious Arctic ice reduction, and "save" the Arctic ice. Nothing could be more dangerously absurd.

        We do not understand all of the complex cosmic and geophysical mechanisms and interactions that result in weather and climate on this planet. We do know that climate has varied naturally for millions of years without human intervention. We do know that the Arctic has been largely ice-free several times in the past without human intervention. We do know that the earth has gone through four global ice advances over the past 500,000 years, without human intervention. Anyone with eyes to see can perceive the rise in global temperatures accompanied by a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration that accompanied each of these ice ages and interglacials.

        It is clear, from a geological perspective, that the earth is in the last stages of the Holocene interglacial, following exactly the same pattern as in the past interglacials. The world’s climate is about to peak and begin the long slide down into the next glacial advance. The principle of uniformitarianism tells us that geophysical processes in the past occurred by the same mechanisms as the geophysical processes we observe in the present.

        Therefore, there is no need to search for new, man-made mechanisms of climate variation in the present when we know perfectly well that observed climate variation has natural explanations.

        The difference is, we can’t do anything about natural processes of climate variation. Our only recourse is accommodation. Any attempts at “geoengineering,” in ignorance of its consequences in a complex adaptive climate system, are like infants playing with a loaded revolver. We can’t predict the outcome of observed climate variation, let alone the results of our careless meddling with overwhelming geophysical processes.

        The climate scare-mongering practiced by the likes of Al Gore, Bill McKibben and James Hansen are politically (and economically) motivated attempts to build influence and control in the international field of “sustainable development” promulgated by the United Nations United Nations Environment Programme. This is not about science, it’s about politics, funding and control.

        Michael A. Lewis

        Michael A. Lewis
        http://www.calcentral.com/~malewis/environmeddlers.html
      • Tony Brewer
        Most of the links do not work for me because there is no space between and the following word. Is it possible to repost with a space after each ? Thanks.
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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          Most of the links do not work for me because there is no space between > and
          the following word. Is it possible to repost with a space after each > ?
          Thanks.
        • Michael A. Lewis
          If you go to the original Huffington Post article (linked at the top of the email), the links are all imbedded in the text. Michael
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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            If you go to the original Huffington Post article (linked at the top of the email), the links are all imbedded in the text.

            Michael


            On Oct 10, 2012, at 9:34 AM, Tony Brewer wrote:

            > Most of the links do not work for me because there is no space between > and
            > the following word. Is it possible to repost with a space after each > ?
            > Thanks.
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          • J.H. Crawford
            Hi All, I let Michael A. Lewis s post through because it has a viewpoint that I think we re going to hear a lot of in the future. The biggest problem is that
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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              Hi All,

              I let Michael A. Lewis's post through because it has a viewpoint that I think we're going to hear a lot of in the future.

              The biggest problem is that it sets up a false dichotomy:

              1) do nothing and let nature take its course

              2) resort to geo-engineering with all sorts of as-yet "unknown unknowns."

              There is, of course:

              3) Set about making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This is easy, economical, sustainable, and probably effective. No wonder this option is off the table.

              Best,

              Joel


              >> I didn't know half this stuff, and I follow climate change fairly closely:
              >>
              >>
              >http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-currier/arctic-climate-change_b_1
              >911550.html
              >
              > One of the problems with "connecting the dots" is that the resulting
              >picture depends to a great deal on the predilections of the dot
              >connector. One can reveal an image of runaway Arctic ice melting, or
              >one can discover a picture of a giraffe eating an ice cream cone.
              >
              > The referenced Huffingtington Post article is replete with "if"s,
              >"could"s, "potential"s, "suggests," "probably"s and other less
              >concrete suppositions, what one has come to expect from Nathan Currier
              >and cohorts at the "Climate Reality Project," Al Gore's failed attempt
              >to recover lost political influence through a continuation of his
              >"Inconvenient Truth" scaremongering campaign.
              >
              > The problem with possibilism is that anything is possible, including
              >the exact opposite of the possibilities suggested by such articles as
              >this excessively arm-waving diatribe.
              >
              > The "solution" proposed to deal with Arctic ice reduction is far more
              >frightening than the reality of natural climate variation.
              >"Geoengineering," the ultimate expression of mechanistic hubris, is
              >suggested as a means to "stop" this nefarious Arctic ice reduction,
              >and "save" the Arctic ice. Nothing could be more dangerously absurd.
              >
              > We do not understand all of the complex cosmic and geophysical
              >mechanisms and interactions that result in weather and climate on this
              >planet. We do know that climate has varied naturally for millions of
              >years without human intervention. We do know that the Arctic has been
              >largely ice-free several times in the past without human intervention.
              >We do know that the earth has gone through four global ice advances
              >over the past 500,000 years, without human intervention. Anyone with
              >eyes to see can perceive the rise in global temperatures accompanied
              >by a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration that accompanied each of
              >these ice ages and interglacials.
              >
              > It is clear, from a geological perspective, that the earth is in the
              >last stages of the Holocene interglacial, following exactly the same
              >pattern as in the past interglacials. The world�s climate is about to
              >peak and begin the long slide down into the next glacial advance. The
              >principle of uniformitarianism tells us that geophysical processes in
              >the past occurred by the same mechanisms as the geophysical processes
              >we observe in the present.
              >
              > Therefore, there is no need to search for new, man-made mechanisms of
              >climate variation in the present when we know perfectly well that
              >observed climate variation has natural explanations.
              >
              > The difference is, we can�t do anything about natural processes of
              >climate variation. Our only recourse is accommodation. Any attempts at
              >�geoengineering,� in ignorance of its consequences in a complex
              >adaptive climate system, are like infants playing with a loaded
              >revolver. We can�t predict the outcome of observed climate variation,
              >let alone the results of our careless meddling with overwhelming
              >geophysical processes.
              >
              > The climate scare-mongering practiced by the likes of Al Gore, Bill
              >McKibben and James Hansen are politically (and economically) motivated
              >attempts to build influence and control in the international field of
              >�sustainable development� promulgated by the United Nations United
              >Nations Environment Programme. This is not about science, it�s about
              >politics, funding and control.
              >
              > Michael A. Lewis
              >
              >Michael A. Lewis
              >http://www.calcentral.com/~malewis/environmeddlers.html
              >
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              >Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
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              ----- ### -----
              J.H. Crawford
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            • Michael A. Lewis
              I see from this content that my message is not welcome on this forum. It s unfortunate that so many are so closed-minded about the possibilities of differing
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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                I see from this content that my message is not welcome on this forum. It's unfortunate that so many are so closed-minded about the possibilities of differing viewpoints.

                I have studied climate science and climate variation since 1991 as an archaeologist involved in research on human responses to climate variation in the Arctic.

                With regard to proposition 3):

                "making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions" is neither easy nor economical.

                Think about it. How would we reduce fossil fuel burning sufficiently to make a significant difference in total atmospheric CO2 concentration, even if that would reduce global average surface temperature, and assuming that global average surface temperature is a meaningful measure of climate variation?

                Based on IPCC numbers, we would have to stop all fossil fuel burning for 35 years in order to reduce global average surface temperature by 1 degree Centigrade (if those numbers are accurate and meaningful). That means no fossil-fueled transportation, no fossil-fueled electricity generation, no fossil-fueled production of renewable energy technology, no fossil-fueled heating or cooling.

                Even if it were demonstrated definitively that ending fossil fuel burning today would result in a one degree decrease in global average surface temperature, we do not have the technological capability to make this massive change. Furthermore, "probably effective" is insufficient justification for embarking on such an enormous undertaking that would undercut the entire economic basis of human civilization.

                The jury is still out; the science is not settled; we are technologically incapable of knowledgable geoengineering of the earth's climate or transforming the world's energy infrastructure to renewable sources within any timeframe applicable to the IPCC AGW scenario.

                Meanwhile, no matter what humans do, natural climate variation continues apace, on its inevitable course to the next ice age.


                On Oct 10, 2012, at 9:42 AM, J.H. Crawford wrote:

                > Hi All,
                >
                > I let Michael A. Lewis's post through because it has a viewpoint that I think we're going to hear a lot of in the future.
                >
                > The biggest problem is that it sets up a false dichotomy:
                >
                > 1) do nothing and let nature take its course
                >
                > 2) resort to geo-engineering with all sorts of as-yet "unknown unknowns."
                >
                > There is, of course:
                >
                > 3) Set about making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This is easy, economical, sustainable, and probably effective. No wonder this option is off the table.
              • J.H. Crawford
                ... snip Well, the post wouldn t be here at all if that were true. ... J.H. Crawford mailbox@carfree.com http://www.carfree.com Twitter:
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 10, 2012
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                  >I see from this content that my message is not welcome on this forum. It's unfortunate that so many are so closed-minded about the possibilities of differing viewpoints.

                  snip

                  Well, the post wouldn't be here at all if that were true.




                  ----- ### -----
                  J.H. Crawford
                  mailbox@...
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                • Jym Dyer
                  ... =v= Once again, global warming denialism following the tired script of preemptive _ad_hominem_ attacks ( closed-minded ) whenever the substance of an
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 11, 2012
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                    >> I see from this content that my message is not welcome
                    >> on this forum. It's unfortunate that so many are so
                    >> closed-minded about the possibilities of differing
                    >> viewpoints.

                    =v= Once again, global warming denialism following the tired
                    script of preemptive _ad_hominem_ attacks ("closed-minded")
                    whenever the substance of an argument is found wanting.

                    > Well, the post wouldn't be here at all if that were true.

                    =v= This variety of denialism hasn't come up with anything
                    of substance since every concern was addressed/debunked
                    in the 1990s. Since then it's been the same old same old,
                    wearing funny hats and presented as new! different! daring!
                    with pepperings of insubsantial preemptive accusations like
                    the above.

                    =v= Actual substance doesn't matter, the point is an ongoing
                    (and very well-funded) whack-a-mole game to distract people
                    and keep actual discourse from getting anywhere.
                    <_Jym_>
                  • Michael A. Lewis
                    It was the original response that started with I ll let this post through... as if doing someone a favor by posting something that should have been denied.
                    Message 9 of 10 , Oct 11, 2012
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                      It was the original response that started with "I'll let this post through..." as if doing someone a favor by posting something that should have been denied.

                      Again, this is a no-response response. There is nothing here that addresses the content of my post, merely empty platitudes.

                      My post dealt with the realities of "making massive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions" and the nature of natural climate variation, yet this response is about "denialism" and a "well-funded" conspiracy theory. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the original proposition of geoengineering as a response to perceived AGW.

                      If I am part of a well-funded conspiracy, when do I get my check?

                      Michael


                      On Oct 11, 2012, at 12:46 PM, Jym Dyer wrote:

                      >>> I see from this content that my message is not welcome
                      >>> on this forum. It's unfortunate that so many are so
                      >>> closed-minded about the possibilities of differing
                      >>> viewpoints.
                      >
                      > =v= Once again, global warming denialism following the tired
                      > script of preemptive _ad_hominem_ attacks ("closed-minded")
                      > whenever the substance of an argument is found wanting.
                      >
                      >> Well, the post wouldn't be here at all if that were true.
                      >
                      > =v= This variety of denialism hasn't come up with anything
                      > of substance since every concern was addressed/debunked
                      > in the 1990s. Since then it's been the same old same old,
                      > wearing funny hats and presented as new! different! daring!
                      > with pepperings of insubsantial preemptive accusations like
                      > the above.
                      >
                      > =v= Actual substance doesn't matter, the point is an ongoing
                      > (and very well-funded) whack-a-mole game to distract people
                      > and keep actual discourse from getting anywhere.
                      > <_Jym_>
                      >
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                    • J.H. Crawford
                      Of course, what Michael is proposing, to continue massive released of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere indefinitely, is ALSO geoengineering. It s just not
                      Message 10 of 10 , Oct 11, 2012
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                        Of course, what Michael is proposing, to continue massive released of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere indefinitely, is ALSO geoengineering. It's just not very well engineered, as the engineers really don't know what effect it will have, only that it's likely to warm the planet.

                        I'm now closing this thread as non-productive.

                        J.


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