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Topics - Tor Bejnar

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1
Greenland and Arctic Circle / Nares Strait Flushing Poll
« on: July 07, 2016, 03:29:33 PM »
Every year after the Nares Strait ice bridge(s) break*, it takes a while for the ice to flush out.  Once the ice gets going though, it can zip through.
Several years ago, Moira Dunbar published the attached table.

According to an internet calculator:
.83 m/sec  = 72 km/day
.59 m/sec = 51 km/day
.24 m/sec = 21 km/day

Nares Strait is just over 500 km long, so ice 'never' travels the distance in less than a week.

This poll will remain open until July 27.
_____
* - No ice bridge formed during the winter of 2006-7.

2
Policy and solutions / Law of the Sea Treaty
« on: October 01, 2015, 02:22:30 PM »
I knew about the "Law of the Sea" Treaty as it was being developed in the 1970's and early 1980s, and have been dismayed that the U.S. government never ratified it. As a brief introduction, here is some background from the UN Law of the Sea Treaty site.

The Law of the Sea Treaty, formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS III, was adopted in 1982.  Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans and to replace previous U.N. Conventions on the Law of the Sea, one in 1958 (UNCLOS I) and another in 1960 (UNCLOS II), that were believed to be inadequate.

Negotiated in the 1970s, the treaty was heavily influenced by the "New International Economic Order," a set of economic principles first formally advanced at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).  That agenda called for "fairer" terms of trade and development financing for the so-called under-developed and developing nations.

Another way the New International Economic Order has been described is "redistributionist."

The Law of the Sea Treaty calls for technology transfers and wealth transfers from developed to undeveloped nations.  It also requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment.  Such provisions were among the reasons President Ronald Reagan rejected the treaty in 1982.  As Edwin Meese, U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan, explained, "...it was out of step with the concepts of economic liberty and free enterprise that Ronald Reagan was to inspire throughout the world."


Here are exerts from an article in E&E (subscription required); an internet search doesn't turn up any real recent articles about the Law of the Sea, but there is plenty not-quite-so-current articles to look at!
As ice melts, Law of the Sea increasingly relevant -- expert
Ariel Wittenberg, E&E reporter
Published: Thursday, October 1, 2015

The United States risks missing out on economic opportunities in the Arctic because of Congress' failure to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, a retired Navy official told congressional staffers yesterday.

Speaking at a briefing about melting Arctic ice, retired Rear Adm. David W. Titley noted that in not ratifying the convention, the United States forfeited its right to make claims to its extended continental shelf.

"We have the data, we know what our extended continental shelf claim would be under the convention, but we haven't ratified it," he said at the briefing, which was hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "That is essentially money on the table that we are leaving there. There is a lot of undersea land that we are simply not claiming."

Though the United States generally follows the convention and respects decisions made by the United Nations regarding which countries' claims to honor, America cannot give its input to the official decision.

...

Titley was one of four experts speaking at the briefing, which focused on explaining how a melting Arctic could affect the greater United States.

Much of the briefing reviewed scientific data proving that Arctic ice is melting and that man-made climate change is causing it. Researchers Jennifer Kay of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center explained why multiyear ice is more stable than single-year ice and how Arctic ice melts faster as the Earth warms due to positive feedbacks.

At one point, a member of the audience asked, "If Arctic ice has melted in the past, why do we care about stopping it now?"

UCAR President Michael Thompson answered, "It's not that the climate hasn't changed before. But for all of human civilization we have had this Goldilocks period of climate stability relative to what the Earth can do, and that is now changing and we know why. We are essentially embarking on an experiment with 8 billion people and figuring out how we are going to feed them and provide electricity in an environment that we have literally never seen before."

3
Arctic Background / Psychology of Climate Change Denial
« on: July 01, 2014, 06:29:44 PM »
http://climatedenial.org/

I regularly visit this blog that "explores the topic of the psychology of climate change denial - with observations and anecdotes about our weird and disturbed response to the problem."

I invite folks to react to Dr. Marshall's perspectives and to include references and discussion of this topic from other sources.  (I know I've read relevant things on Skeptical Science, such as http://skepticalscience.com/recursive-fury.html.)

Latest entry on Dr. Marshall's blog:
BALD BLOKES TALK ABOUT EXTREME WEATHER
George Marshall @ 12:57 pm

I was recently privileged to speak on a panel at the British Library about the peculiar lack of public discussion about climate change in areas damaged by extreme weather and the tendency for people to interpret these impacts in terms of their own politics and worldview.
...


4
According to a new report, after 2047 every year -even the coolest- will be hotter than the hottest years ever recorded. This deadline offers an original and potentially very useful new frame for climate change that breaks with the history of environmentalist deadlines and brings a sense of proximity, and a narrative of a journey that leads to an irreversible transformation.
      Climate Change Denial blog (http://climatedenial.org/)

This new report is in Nature:  "The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability"
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v502/n7470/full/nature12540.html
Abstract:
Ecological and societal disruptions by modern climate change are critically determined by the time frame over which climates shift beyond historical analogues. Here we present a new index of the year when the projected mean climate of a given location moves to a state continuously outside the bounds of historical variability under alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Using 1860 to 2005 as the historical period, this index has a global mean of 2069 (±18 years s.d.) for near-surface air temperature under an emissions stabilization scenario and 2047 (±14 years s.d.) under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario. Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.

5
Arctic Background / USCGC Healy: scientific missions to the Arctic
« on: July 12, 2013, 04:31:36 PM »
United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy has left Seattle again.  Is the icebreaker headed north or is this just another sea trial?  Or do we care?  Magma wrote on July 3, 2013 in the ASIB - Problematic predictions 2
Based on the planned 2013 scientific missions, this year's route of the Healy may be of less interest to those interested in Arctic sea ice than its 2012 tracks were.

But the mission schedule at http://icefloe.net/healy-current-mission denies me access ('homeland' security?).

ship position:  http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=NEPP
ship webcam:  http://icefloe.net/Aloftcon_Photos/index.php?album=2013
ship information:  http://www.uscg.mil/pacarea/cgchealy/

old ASIB threads focused on the Healy:
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2011/08/through-the-eyes-of-healy.html
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/uscgc-healy-has-entered.html
http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/uscgc-healy-is-nearing-80n.html

-------

edit Neven:

Vergent had also opened a USCGC Healy topic in the Arctic Sea Ice subsection along with these images:




6
Quest through the Pole: Sailing the Arctic, from Barrow, Alaska to Spitsbergen, Svalbard
Summer 2013
French: http://www.sebroubinet.eu/
English: http://www.dptechnology.com/lang/cn/northpole2013/index.asp

From their blog:
  • 8-Jul-2013   Baboushka on her way to Spitsbergen!
    Sebastien and Vincent left Barrow at around 4pm on July 6th, and sailed 6 nautical miles in free water from Point Barrow before reaching ice and had to decipher: lands of recent thin ice, blocks moved by tidal current, and large slabs with high pressure ridges across which they finally decided to push Baboushka during a few hours before stopping for setting up the "night" camp. ...
  • 10-Jul-2013  [Bing translation] Today, the path of the pole offers fog and blocks in all directions, it is chaos with just water to bathe when blocks on which we walk flow or they capsize. The boat is very busy at the beginning of expedition, it suffers and suffering men.It is eager to find more favourable conditions. Otherwise all is well on edge.


7
Arctic Background / Arctic Maps
« on: July 05, 2013, 03:20:56 PM »
The first map of the Arctic that I found on the internet that included a scale was this National Geographic map:  http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps/atlas/arctic-ocean-geopolitical.html.  (The scale is in the upper left corner, to which you may need to scroll.)

There is a Google Map of Greenland (and Nares Strait) with lots of location names here on the ASIF: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,277.0.html.  This thread has other Greenland area maps referenced as well.

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