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Messages - Paddy

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Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 11, 2017, 08:43:35 PM »
Nothing too dramatic in the latest food price outlook (FAO's biennial publication on the state of markets in food worldwide):

EDIT: In particular, the wheat production issue that Archimid flagged up doesn't look too worrying in the broader context yet. But time will tell. Also worth looking at the food price index, which is currently ok,  although I'd be cautious about it being this high at a time of cheap oil

Gone with "same as the lowest we've had" [3.5 to 4.0], like on the other poll. But it really is way too early to tell.

EDIT: Moved down one bar on each poll having seen some of the analyses on here.

Loving the broad spread of guesses. Seeing as our starting point this year is with an unprecedented low volume, I think it's fair to say that we really don't know where we'll end up.

I went for 3.0 to 3.25, or "as low as lowest previous". Bit of a fudge based on the record low volume now and the melting conditions to come being an unknown.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Fram Export
« on: May 26, 2017, 07:53:08 PM »
Are there any numbers to be had on total export this year compared to previous?

I voted "No gap will increase mainly for reasons other than albedo", but albedo is important. Specially over land.

On that note, Northern hemisphere snow cover is currently higher than the 10 year average:

Walking the walk / Re: Top climate-friendly actions
« on: May 17, 2017, 11:29:10 PM »
I don't know much about buying offsets, but another option might be to offset a flight by eating less red meat, driving less, etc...

I was tempted by the "don't know" option, but went for "no change". But there are factors that could drive it either way.

Factors that could drive a shrinking of the gap:
- Good snow cover this year -> Greater albedo on land -> cooler arctic temps
- Big drops came later in the season for the record low year of 2012 that may well narrow or close the gap

Factors that could drive a widening of the gap:
- Albedo feedback
- Thin ice fragility

Overall, I'm favouring either no change or a slight widening gap, but only time will tell.

Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan.
« on: May 16, 2017, 07:40:27 AM »
Or come up with some non-meat fast foods that taste great and cost no more or less than the typical fast food restaurant.

Which is why it's probsbly a good thing that falafel and humus consumption have taken off in the UK.

Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan.
« on: May 10, 2017, 12:17:19 PM »
Good editorial on the impact of red meat consumption on both on human and planetary health in the British Medical Journal (needs a login)

(Written in response to this research on the health impact of red meat consumption: )

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: May 10, 2017, 11:53:28 AM »
... Each wave of heat over the next week in the forecast sends  a band of rain right into the heart of the basin - and at the end of tuesday 12Z run there's suggestions of a third

At this time of year is the essential threat of rain more that:

A) it ruins the insulating effect of any snow cover on the ice pack?


B) it acts like melt ponds in raising the absorption of solar radiation?

(I'm guessing still A, because it is probably going to freeze quickly?)

There's also:

C) Heat transfer by conduction from above-freezing raindrops to below freezing ice (effectively transferring the warmth from the warm air the rainclouds are carried in on more effectively)

And also:

D) Kinetic energy transferred from the raindrops to the ice, wearing it away + partly being converted to heat.

I suspect the second effect is smaller than some of the others, but what do I know?

Given that just about everyone (including myself) has plumped for 2017, what probability are those of you who voted this way ascribing it?

- Less than 50% but greater than any other bracket
- 50 to 70%
- 70 to 90%
- Greater than 90%
- Don't know, just guessing

Based on Oren's figures, 9 out of 10 or 90% of the past ten years would give us a total volume less than 2012 at the end of the year, but personally I'd err on the cautious side of future prediction and say 50 to 70% certainty of a new record, because we'd probably still need to have at least fairly good late season  melt conditions to hit the central arctic basin to a similar extent.

EDIT: DavidR, I'd say September. August is possible but definitely not July. Just look at the graph - the current difference between April's record low volume and prior Aprils is dwarfed by the July to August drop:

Arctic sea ice / Re: Poll: 2017 PIOMAS Maximum Monthly Figure
« on: May 05, 2017, 04:24:07 AM »
There goes my perfect guesswork record this year (one BIN too high on this poll).

I went for 2040-50 because of all the intra-trend noise that tends to produce the odd icier year with good freezing and poor melting conditions, but it was a tough call between that and 2030-40.

Walking the walk / Clicktivism
« on: April 27, 2017, 11:11:54 AM »
A relatively small way we can walk the walk would seem to be through our internet use.  I currently do the following three things in this way, from most to least productive:

- Using as my search engine, so that when I search for stuff, it ends up in trees being planted.
- Signing online petitions, which I doubt makes any real difference at all.
- Internet arguments / putting the right information out there (on forums, news comments etc.), which I fear is a often a complete waste of time, but can't quite give up on. (Although I hasten to add that those producing good quality material on the blogosphere are certainly not wasting their time)

Do people here take part in any other things in this line?

Further on this topic: at least one of the politicians on this list (Douglas Carswell), is standing down in the snap June general election. That's the good news; the bad is that the Conservatives, who tend towards climate change denial, favour fracking and have been slashing funds for renewables, look set to make gains. Going to be a bad five years ahead for climate change policy in the UK.

The rest / UK Snap General Election Poll
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:19:47 AM »
Fellow UK voters: Which way do you plan to vote on June 8th? Personally, for a number of factors including their widespread adoption of climate change denial, I'm an "Anyone But the Tories" voter, likely to prop up my solid Lib Den candidate in West Ealing. It would be good to hear a range of views though.

Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: April 15, 2017, 08:29:31 AM »

That chart of "lowest three" ice extents - does it measure the lowest three so far up to the year in question or does it consider future years too? ie if 2012 set a record for a given day which 2016 subsequently beat, would the day be ranked as a "lowest" or a "second lowest" for 2012?

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 11, 2017, 08:22:51 PM »
Yep, that was the article that inspired these thoughts.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 10, 2017, 09:51:09 AM »
I was thinking about coral reef bleaching, and had a couple of questions/conjectures:

- How much do sea and ocean CO2 levels and consequent acidity vary, and how closely tied is this to local airborne co2 emissions, e.g. from a local fossil fuel plant?
- Would there be any additional benefit for coral reef survival from local cuts in CO2 emissions leading to lower local co2 levels, above and beyond the contribution of such changed to global CO2 levels?
- Would reductions in any of the other emissions if such plants be beneficial for coral reef survival?

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: April 04, 2017, 11:13:38 AM »
Nice article in the BBC today about the rise of lower carbon ferries in Norway and elsewhere:

Policy and solutions / Water management
« on: April 03, 2017, 12:29:15 PM »
I've just read an article suggesting better management of water, green space and wetlands as a means of ameliorating Climate change:

How much mileage do people here think there might be in this approach?

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland ice sheet retreat
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:35:39 PM »
Re 1 and 2: technically not ice sheets.

Re 3: Greenland's ice mass hits a new low practically every year, as the link I posted in the previous comment indicates. How much the ice mass drops this year we have yet to find out, but yeah, I doubt this year will be an exception.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: March 17, 2017, 02:08:23 PM »
Looks that way, yeah - as Jim Pettit pointed out on the IJIS thread, no previous year has seen a rise from this date on that would push us back over 13.88.

And even if we do get such a record rise, there's no way extent will climb over 14 million now. I declare the 13.75 to 14 category the winner.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: March 13, 2017, 05:17:44 PM »
Btw, Neven, "sis" is usually a colloquialism for "sister". Although I'm sure seaicesailor wouldn't be offended by the monikor.

Yeah, even with only the NSIDC figures to go on in the other thread recently, I think we can call this for the 2 to 2.25 bin. Good guesswork, everyone!

Arctic sea ice / Re: NSIDC Arctic sea ice news
« on: March 09, 2017, 01:11:59 AM »
February's monthly update is out:

In brief summary, it's another record low monthly extent, as anyone on this forum would be aware. Also, the final section regarding concerns about the lifespan of current satellites tracking sea ice is well worth taking note of, imho.

I'm away over the weekend.  Let's compromise and call it on Monday :-)

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: March 08, 2017, 01:11:15 PM »
When do we feel we should call time on the max? I'd be tempted to set March 21st as the date to announce the poll winner if we aren't then at or very close to the max for the year, as a post-equinox max seems unlikely.

It's looking quite a lot like we have a winner (2 to 2.25), though I'd like to wait another week or so before calling it, just in case.

Walking the walk / Re: Top climate-friendly actions
« on: March 07, 2017, 12:11:25 AM »
I'd just like to link here to a good article on the issues with and limitations of ethical consumerism:

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: March 06, 2017, 08:25:02 AM »
Too bad, Oren.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Poll: 2017 PIOMAS Maximum Monthly Figure
« on: March 05, 2017, 10:33:41 PM »
20.5 to 21.0, based on a 21st century average volume growth from end Feb of 2.1.

Policy and solutions / Lists of current elected denialist politicians
« on: February 28, 2017, 02:36:55 PM »
I was thinking we could do with lists of elected politicians that we particularly need to challenge on climate change. After a little research, here's a shortlist of denialist UK MPs, sorted by party:

Peter Lilley (Con)
John Hayes (Con)
Owen Patterson (Con)
John Redwood (Con)
David Davis (Con)
Christopher Chope (Con)
Andrew Tyrie (Con)
Nigel Evans (Con)
Sammy Wilson (DUP)
Graham Stringer (Lab)
Douglas Carswell (UKIP)

If anyone has any modifications to suggest to this list, and/or any lists from other countries to suggest, they'd be very welcome :-)

Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: February 28, 2017, 01:18:18 PM »
I think it's fairly likely it may have topped out for the year, particularly as conditions forecast for the next few days seem more conducive to loss than gain ( Only time will tell, though.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: February 28, 2017, 10:18:49 AM »
I see the aim for less unsustainable global consumption as reading equally on reducing individual impacts and also reducing population growth gently, as total human consumption = (total human population) x (mean individual consumption), after all, giving the two equal weight. Although consumption by the rich obviously affects mean consumption much more than consumption by the poor, with a very skewed distribution from Trump-like extreme consumers on one end to subsistence farmers on the other.

But I have to emphasise the "gently" in population reduction. At current fertility rates of 2.5 children per woman worldwide, we're only a little way above replacement fertility, with many countries, eg Japan, well below it.  There are still many women with unmet needs for access to contraception, education, employment etc worldwide, however, and addressing these unmet needs is about the best proven thing we can do to ensure people have fewer children later, which in turn should slow down population growth.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:08:42 PM »
Casual prediction: Extent to peak by the end of February. (Relatively high temperatures forecast over the current ice edges this week plus the aforementioned long term forecasts of heat coming back into force).

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 20, 2017, 06:03:15 PM »
Will the temperature above 80 make it to the baseline? Maybe the circled "hot" air intrusion delays it a bit, but it looks good so far. This late freeze might give us the head start needed for the melting season.

Eh, the forecasts attached to Neven's blog show the arctic warming up again from about Thursday onwards. Not nearly enough time to make up for freezing opportunities lost.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: February 16, 2017, 03:42:22 PM »
Two consecutive days of century rises... Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how often that's happened before this late in the freezing season? I'd guess not very often, partly because what helped make it so possible was starting so low two days ago.

Meanwhile, I'm going to stay out of all the speculation as to whether/when we'll go above 14m, expect to say that I expect the daily rise in extent to slow down a bit.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 14, 2017, 03:54:09 PM »
Eventually, but not right away. In addition to being so far to the north, there's a fair bit of Iceland over 1000m in elevation and peaks over 2000m. In addition, some of the glaciers in Iceland are pretty big; they include Vatnajökull, which at 3000 km3 is Europe's largest.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: February 14, 2017, 12:15:37 AM »
Side observations on the graph:
- That grey area was significantly widened by 2016
- 2017 will have widened it significantly further this time next year (the first part at least, but quite likely at least some of the rest)
- Do peak temperature years (looking at 2015 and 2016) correlate with an earlier maximum? I'm sure there were plenty of local drivers as well, of course, but still.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: February 13, 2017, 10:18:45 AM »
During February, IJIS has stayed on the 13.31 and 13.37 million km2. That is, no a single increase on the first 11 days! IJIS could reach the 13.5 million km2 mark, because there is still one month in which there could be a freeze, but I starting to doubt that we will reach the 13.75-14 million km2 range. Under 13.75 will be a huge low maximum.  :(

2017 still isn't far below the previous lowest years for date, though. I think that 13.75-14 remains the most likely outcome, but it all depends on conditions over the rest of February and March.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:31:07 AM »
Down another bin in the poll... Will this be the final bin, or will it go one lower?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 09, 2017, 03:18:30 PM »
I'm with Pauldry. Could well be lowest, but no way it'll hit bottom yet.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 09, 2017, 08:47:10 AM »
I'd still predict there may be a little more melting to come this next week, in Belliinghausen anyway, based on the forecast temperatures and fragility of what's there.

5 day temperature anomaly forecast from

(And the high winds forecast for the same sea from the same source)

Arctic sea ice / Re: NSIDC Arctic sea ice news
« on: February 08, 2017, 07:23:26 PM »
Got it. Will include a brief summary and also plan to copy maps and graphs with links in future updates.

Arctic sea ice / NSIDC Arctic sea ice news
« on: February 08, 2017, 05:52:49 PM »
February edition is out:

I'm planning to start a monthly update on this, if that would be useful - please feed back on whether it would.

Key figures in the first paragraph:

"Arctic sea ice extent for January 2017 averaged 13.38 million square kilometers (5.17 million square miles), the lowest January extent in the 38-year satellite record. This is 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 square miles) below January 2016, the previous lowest January extent, and 1.26 million square kilometers (487,000 square miles) below the January 1981 to 2010 long-term average."

Arctic sea ice / Re: What are you expecting to see this melt Season?
« on: February 07, 2017, 12:30:33 PM »
I think you are too pessimistic. When looking at the antarctic melt season, it's currently on record low numbers, because almost everything except the Weddell Sea has melted.

Actually, it's only the Ross and Amundsen seas that could reasonably be said to have melted out. The rest could all meet a bit more, depending on how conditions go the next few weeks. (See Wipneis' regional extent charts, correlate with concentration maps).

Arctic sea ice / Re: What are you expecting to see this melt Season?
« on: February 07, 2017, 11:50:12 AM »
Rough prediction: sea ice minimum volume of 2000 km3, based on a net drop from Jan 31st's volume halfway between the average and the maximum for the past ten years, as described in a comment on the main blog. I'd put wide error bars on the upper end in particular, expecting the minimum to fall somewhere in the 1000 to 6000 range; it's always possible we'll get poor melting conditions, but some of the oldest and thickest ice remaining is not likely to melt out this year whatever the conditions.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: February 06, 2017, 07:44:47 PM »
I'd agree with the areas 2&3 (Belliingshausen sea) forecast for a drop, especially as there's been a recent rise there that's likely to be dispersal under current conditions.

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