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Author Topic: This is not good (methane clathrates)  (Read 75214 times)

AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #150 on: January 12, 2016, 12:20:10 AM »
The following two links lead to recent information about permafrost degradation.  I am particularly concern about the impacts of wildfire on permafrost because that can promote the development of thermokarst lakes that could cause Arctic methane emissions to surge beyond current estimates, if Arctic wildfires continue to increase in size and frequency:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34081-five-new-studies-that-change-our-understanding-of-permafrost

Extract: "Until recently, relatively little was known about the repercussions of thawing permafrost. Today, as its role in global carbon cycles grows increasingly apparent, a slew of studies are transforming our understanding of the north's frozen soil. Here are five of the most notable"

See also:
Benjamin M. Jones et al. Recent Arctic tundra fire initiates widespread thermokarst development, Scientific Reports (2015). DOI: 10.1038/srep15865

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15865
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #151 on: January 14, 2016, 04:47:25 PM »
If policymakers were held accountable for the extra lower bound estimate of USD $43 Trillion in climate change associated damage, then we might see some quick action.  Unfortunately, voters seem to think of themselves as shoppers who do not want to pay for climate action now due to perceived  uncertainties in what they think that they are paying for.  This encourages policymakers to take very limited action; which will likely pass the climate change bill down from current voters/shoppers to future voters/shoppers (which is of course an unethical example of moral hazard).

Chris Hope & Kevin Schaefer (2016), "Economic impacts of carbon dioxide and methane released from thawing permafrost", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 6, Pages: 56–59, doi:10.1038/nclimate2807


http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n1/full/nclimate2807.html


Extract: "The Arctic is warming roughly twice as fast as the global average. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at current rates, this warming will lead to the widespread thawing of permafrost and the release of hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 and billions of tonnes of CH4 into the atmosphere. So far there have been no estimates of the possible extra economic impacts from permafrost emissions of CO2 and CH4. Here we use the default PAGE09 integrated assessment model to show the range of possible global economic impacts if this CO2 and CH4 is released into the atmosphere on top of the anthropogenic emissions from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario A1B and three other scenarios. Under the A1B scenario, CO2 and CH4 released from permafrost increases the mean net present value of the impacts of climate change by US$43 trillion, or about 13% (5–95% range: US$3–166 trillion), proportional to the increase in total emissions due to thawing permafrost. The extra impacts of the permafrost CO2 and CH4 are sufficiently high to justify urgent action to minimize the scale of the release."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #152 on: January 15, 2016, 03:07:03 PM »
Vladimir Romanovsky presented findings at the Dec 2015 AGU conference indicating that more than half of Alaska's permafrost could thaw before 2100:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/warming-could-mean-major-thaw-alaska-permafrost-19917


"New work Romanovsky presented at the conference suggests that if warming isn’t tempered, more than half of the permafrost of the North Slope (a region bigger than Minnesota) could thaw by century’s end. Such a thaw would imperil infrastructure, local ecosystems and potentially release more heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."
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Shared Humanity

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #153 on: January 16, 2016, 05:56:50 PM »
Vladimir Romanovsky presented findings at the Dec 2015 AGU conference indicating that more than half of Alaska's permafrost could thaw before 2100:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/warming-could-mean-major-thaw-alaska-permafrost-19917


"New work Romanovsky presented at the conference suggests that if warming isn’t tempered, more than half of the permafrost of the North Slope (a region bigger than Minnesota) could thaw by century’s end. Such a thaw would imperil infrastructure, local ecosystems and potentially release more heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."


And replacing this permafrost will be vast expanses of low, marshy terrain that seasonally freezes and percolates furiously as large volumes of methane are released into the atmosphere.

AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #154 on: January 18, 2016, 06:14:59 PM »
The linked open access reference shows that Alaskan thermokarst lakes are already emitting meaningful quantities of methane:

Lindgren, P. R., Grosse, G., Walter Anthony, K. M., and Meyer, F. J.: Detection and spatiotemporal analysis of methane ebullition on thermokarst lake ice using high-resolution optical aerial imagery, Biogeosciences, 13, 27-44, doi:10.5194/bg-13-27-2016, 2016

http://www.biogeosciences.net/13/27/2016/bg-13-27-2016.html

Abstract. Thermokarst lakes are important emitters of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. However, accurate estimation of methane flux from thermokarst lakes is difficult due to their remoteness and observational challenges associated with the heterogeneous nature of ebullition. We used high-resolution (9–11 cm) snow-free aerial images of an interior Alaskan thermokarst lake acquired 2 and 4 days following freeze-up in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to detect and characterize methane ebullition seeps and to estimate whole-lake ebullition. Bubbles impeded by the lake ice sheet form distinct white patches as a function of bubbling when lake ice grows downward and around them, trapping the gas in the ice. Our aerial imagery thus captured a snapshot of bubbles trapped in lake ice during the ebullition events that occurred before the image acquisition. Image analysis showed that low-flux A- and B-type seeps are associated with low brightness patches and are statistically distinct from high-flux C-type and hotspot seeps associated with high brightness patches. Mean whole-lake ebullition based on optical image analysis in combination with bubble-trap flux measurements was estimated to be 174 ± 28 and 216 ± 33 mL gas m−2 d−1 for the years 2011 and 2012, respectively. A large number of seeps demonstrated spatiotemporal stability over our 2-year study period. A strong inverse exponential relationship (R2 >  =  0.79) was found between the percent of the surface area of lake ice covered with bubble patches and distance from the active thermokarst lake margin. Even though the narrow timing of optical image acquisition is a critical factor, with respect to both atmospheric pressure changes and snow/no-snow conditions during early lake freeze-up, our study shows that optical remote sensing is a powerful tool to map ebullition seeps on lake ice, to identify their relative strength of ebullition, and to assess their spatiotemporal variability.
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jdallen

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #155 on: January 20, 2016, 01:35:26 AM »
A couple of thoughts ...

Methane is going to be a serious short/near term forcing problem because of how it will amplify current changes.  As yet though, I've failed to see convincing arguments which support assertions massive prompt conversion of clathrates will take place.

I also think the permafrost thaw may be the bigger issue in this regard.  More carbon, longer duration release.

Sadly, our lack of action will be the headache of people 5-10 generations down the road.  Our chldren and grandchildren will just be getting the foretaste.
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Sleepy

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #156 on: January 20, 2016, 05:57:29 AM »
As I see it, we are tasting AGW right now, we can't afford natural feedbacks/forcings at all.

But what we emit is what we should be addressing right now. Are we?
As a single world region, the eight Arctic nations emit more anthropogenic methane and have a larger technical abatement potential than any other major world region (e.g. Latin America, Middle East, Africa or China)


That quote is from here.
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC99758

Theta

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #157 on: January 20, 2016, 06:49:34 PM »
A couple of thoughts ...

Methane is going to be a serious short/near term forcing problem because of how it will amplify current changes.  As yet though, I've failed to see convincing arguments which support assertions massive prompt conversion of clathrates will take place.

I also think the permafrost thaw may be the bigger issue in this regard.  More carbon, longer duration release.

Sadly, our lack of action will be the headache of people 5-10 generations down the road.  Our chldren and grandchildren will just be getting the foretaste.

The current El Nino and possible full on melt of the Arctic Sea Ice, as a result of the warm winter in the Arctic along with the possibility of a summer that is very conductive to melt, would lead to the rapid degassing of Methane from the Arctic Ocean.

Also isn't permafrost on-par with Methane hydrates, or am I misinterpreting that?
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #158 on: January 22, 2016, 08:24:06 PM »
The linked open access reference indicates that degradation of continuous areas of permafrost (such as in Siberia) currently results in increased local evaporation which in turn promotes local summertime rainfall that promotes snow cover loss, resulting in a current positive feedback for accelerated climate change (global warming).  However, the paper also notes that in the distant future when the permafrost is largely degraded, this pattern should result in less rainfall and a general drying out of the Arctic regions:

Trent Ford & Oliver W. Frauenfeld (January 2016), Surface-Atmosphere Moisture Interactions in the Frozen Ground Regions of Eurasia", Scientific Reports, Vol 6, No 19163, doi: 10.1038/srep19163

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep19163

See also:
http://www.newswise.com/articles/future-of-arctic-may-depend-on-permafrost

Extract: "The researchers analyzed numerous data sources in high-latitude areas and found that permafrost conditions are directly tied to Arctic precipitation. They examined land and atmospheric data from 1979 to 2012 to determine patterns and trends in permafrost conditions across Eurasian high-latitude areas.
“We were able to establish a direct relationship between permafrost and summer rainfall in the Eurasian Arctic,” Frauenfeld explains.
“Humidity, convection and rainfall have all been increasing in areas where there is continuous permafrost, but decreasing in areas where there is only patchy or no permafrost.”
The researchers believe that whether the Arctic lands will turn into wetlands or drylands in the future because of declining permafrost is a big unknown in the scientific community.
“We think we are the first to directly link Arctic precipitation to permafrost,” Frauenfeld adds.
“The study shows that where there is discontinuous or no permafrost at all, there will be a lower likelihood of rainfall. If permafrost degradation occurs, there is less precipitation and therefore this suggests that drying, or a ‘drylands scenario,’ will be the more likely outcome.
“The repercussions of this would be that the wetlands ecosystems that currently exist in the Arctic would disappear in the future, and that Arctic\polar deserts would expand.
“As climate change causes continuous permafrost to decline or disappear, this will likely alter the entire Arctic hydrologic cycle.”"
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 11:28:47 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #159 on: March 16, 2016, 06:13:19 PM »
The researchers of the linked reference suspect that the giant seafloor craters in the Barents seafloor formed bout 11,700 years ago, during the Holocene Optimum, due to the abrupt release of methane.  As sea level during the Holocene Optimum were close to what they are today, we should not find comfort in these findings:


Malin Waage, Stefan Bünz, and Karin Andreassen (2016), "High-resolution 3D seismic investigation of giant seafloor craters in the Barents Sea", Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 18, EGU2016-14375, EGU General Assembly 2016


http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2016/EGU2016-14375.pdf

Abstract: "Multiple giant craters exist on the seafloor in an area of ~ 100 km^2 east of Bear Island Trough in the west-central Barents Sea. It has been hypothesized that these craters might have been caused by gas eruptions following the last deglaciation. Gas seepage from the seafloor occurs abundantly in this area. The crater area is still likely to represent one of the largest hot-spots for shallow marine methane release in the arctic. In summer 2015, we acquired high-resolution P-Cable 3D seismic data in this area covering several of the craters and their associated pingo structures. Due to the shallow and hard Triassic bedrock, penetration of the seismic signals is limited to approximately 450 ms bsf. The crater structures are up to 1 km wide and 40 m deep. Pingo structures occur on the rim of some of the craters and are up to 700 m wide and up to 15 m high above the surrounding seafloor. The 3D seismic data reveals faults, fracture networks and weakness zone that resemble pipes or similar vertical, focused fluid-flow structures in the Triassic sedimentary rocks below the craters. The principal orientation of the faults is in a ~NW-SE direction that coincides with regional faulting from Permo-Triassic extension. The seismic data also show high-amplitude anomalies beneath some of representing shallow gas accumulations that might be the intermediate source of the gas seepage. This might suggest that craters are caused by high pressured gas that migrated from deeper petroleum systems and accumulated in the shallow Triassic rocks during the last glaciation.
Previous work indicate that craters of similar size are likely a cause of enormous blow-outs of gas. Our study discusses the formation mechanisms and timing of these potential blow-out craters and whether they formed during the last deglaciation, when this area was likely quite unstable as severe glacial erosion caused localized high isostatic rebound rates here. We also investigate the role of gas hydrates that might have formed within the Triassic rocks beneath the ice sheet during the last glaciation."

See also:

http://www.livescience.com/54069-craters-unrelated-to-bermuda-triangle.html

Extract: "The scientists suspected that the craters were caused by methane explosions on the ocean floor that occurred after the last ice age, about 11,700 years ago."
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TerryM

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #160 on: March 16, 2016, 08:26:28 PM »
IIRC Similar cater & pingo structures on the floor of Hudson's Bay have been dated as post breakup of permanent ice cover. Iceberg keel scars were interrupted by pingos &craters which makes them quite recent.
Similar ages for similar structures isn't a huge stretch.


Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #161 on: March 18, 2016, 01:38:40 PM »
I recall the teams looking at the E.S.S. permafrost noted features that had grown from mere metres across to up to 1km across over a single year? ( the 'chimneys'). Could these structures be precursors to such craters and , if so, how long before the go 'pop'? 
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #162 on: March 19, 2016, 04:29:56 AM »
I recall the teams looking at the E.S.S. permafrost noted features that had grown from mere metres across to up to 1km across over a single year? ( the 'chimneys'). Could these structures be precursors to such craters and , if so, how long before the go 'pop'?

I think that that is a question for chaos theory, as the pressure required to form the giant seafloor craters takes sometime to build-up; while smaller features down to small chimneys can take much less time; and their behavior changes from location to location.  Nevertheless, it is safe to say: "This is not good".
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Gray-Wolf

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #163 on: March 19, 2016, 11:12:00 AM »
The 'reluctance to pop' is a bad thing in that the pressures needed to initiate such would mean little of the CH4 is 'absorbed' by the ocean, and all becomes atmospheric, as the sea floor 'burps'?
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oren

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #164 on: March 19, 2016, 11:16:01 AM »
I recall the teams looking at the E.S.S. permafrost noted features that had grown from mere metres across to up to 1km across over a single year? ( the 'chimneys'). Could these structures be precursors to such craters and , if so, how long before the go 'pop'?

I think that that is a question for chaos theory, as the pressure required to form the giant seafloor craters takes sometime to build-up; while smaller features down to small chimneys can take much less time; and their behavior changes from location to location.  Nevertheless, it is safe to say: "This is not good".

Indeed!

AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #165 on: March 19, 2016, 01:13:07 PM »
The 'reluctance to pop' is a bad thing in that the pressures needed to initiate such would mean little of the CH4 is 'absorbed' by the ocean, and all becomes atmospheric, as the sea floor 'burps'?

In general terms you are correct that it is typically better to continuously vent methane from the seafloor as in small quantities it can be both absorbed by the water and digested by certain micro-organisms.  However, not every case is the same.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #166 on: March 19, 2016, 06:07:19 PM »
The linked (open access) reference cites research indicating that the relatively high temperature sensitivity and heterotrophic respiration of mineral soils in areas of the tundra contribute to Arctic Amplification:

Julia I. Bradley-Cook, Chelsea L. Petrenko, Andrew J. Friedland and Ross A. Virginia (2016), "Temperature sensitivity of mineral soil carbon decomposition in shrub and graminoid tundra, west Greenland", Climate Change Responses, 3:2, DOI: 10.1186/s40665-016-0016-1


http://climatechangeresponses.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40665-016-0016-1

Abstract: "Shrub expansion is transforming Arctic tundra landscapes, but the impact on the large pool of carbon stored in high-latitude soils is poorly understood. Soil carbon decomposition is a potentially important source of greenhouse gases, which could create a positive feedback to atmospheric temperature. Decomposition is temperature sensitive, but the response to temperature can be altered by environmental variables. We focus on mineral soils, which can comprise a substantial part of the near-surface carbon stock at the landscape scale and have physiochemical characteristics that influence temperature sensitivity. We conducted a soil incubation experiment to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from tundra soils collected from west Greenland at two depths of mineral soils (0-20 cm and 20-40 cm below the surface organic horizon) incubated at five temperatures (4, 8, 12, 16, 24 °C) and two moisture levels (40 % and 60 % water holding capacity). We used an information theoretic model comparison approach to evaluate temperature, moisture and depth effects, and associated interactions, on carbon losses through respiration and to determine the temperature sensitivity of decomposition in shrub- and graminoid-dominated soils.
Results
We measured ecologically important differences in heterotrophic respiration and temperature sensitivity of decomposition between vegetation types. Graminoid soils had 1.8 times higher cumulative respiration and higher temperature sensitivity (expressed as Q-10) in the shallow depths (Q-10graminoid = 2.3, Q-10shrub = 1.8) compared to shrub soils. Higher Q-10 in graminoid soils was also observed for the initial incubation measurements (Q-10graminoid = 2.4, Q-10shrub = 1.9). Cumulative respiration was also higher for shallow soils, increased with moisture level, and had a temperature-depth interaction. Increasing soil moisture had a positive effect on temperature sensitivity in graminoid soils, but not in shrub soils.
Conclusion
Mineral soil associated with graminoid-dominated vegetation had greater carbon losses from decomposition and a higher temperature sensitivity than shrub-dominated soils. An extrapolation of our incubation study suggests that organic carbon decomposition in western Greenland soils will likely increase with warming and with an increase in soil moisture content. Our results indicate that landscape level changes in vegetation and soil heterogeneity are important for understanding climate feedbacks between tundra and the atmosphere."
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6roucho

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #167 on: March 20, 2016, 02:20:34 PM »
Some interesting discussion here about doomsday scenarios vs. climate change denial.

I have to say that as a full-time quantifier of risk I tend towards the doomsday end of the conversation. Our civilization is continuously balanced on a knife-edge of viability. That would not be so much the case if we had a smaller population, but we are where we are. Even small economic shocks de-stabilise us severely.

I don't see how our global systems can survive the kind of fast contraction that climate change threatens to bring.

Why should that be so? Why can't we adapt?

Because we've already adapted, over a century or two of intensive construction work, carried out at the limit of our capabilities. We've built a global physical infrastructure that we'll struggle to reproduce on any timescale, let alone those required to weather a climate change storm.

How will we rebuild our coastal infrastructure, with the teeming populations that live there? Will we just keep moving it inland? The short answer is that we can't. Wealthy America has struggled to rebuild just one city inundated temporarily by a hurricane. Multiply that by a hundred, and combine it with rolling economic crises and resource wars.

How will the users of Asia's great river systems adapt to the melting of the Himalayas' glaciers? They won't. Water limits the size of populations. Relocation isn't an option. They'll die back in huge numbers. Hundreds of millions of people will cease to exist.

If that sounds alarmist, it's because I'm alarmed.

If we don't at some point acknowledge how bad it is really going to be, we won't do anything about it. Catastrophe alarmism is where we need to be. We have to be explicit. Sadly that causes people who aren't comfortable with that to clench their ears. And so we continue to sit on our hands, while we nibble at the edges of the problem, and preserve an inoffensive consensus.

Perhaps we've reached the end of our evolutionary niche.

Or maybe we can regroup in the future, older but wiser, with a smaller population, and a better understanding of how to manage a planet.

If the methane lets us.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 06:39:55 PM by 6roucho »

AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #168 on: March 21, 2016, 10:47:32 PM »

Or maybe we can regroup in the future, older but wiser, with a smaller population, and a better understanding of how to manage a planet.


It is along these lines of thinking that I have been slowly making posts in the "Adapting to the Anthropocene" thread in the Science folder.
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magnamentis

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #169 on: March 21, 2016, 10:57:30 PM »
that's how things will and always have restarted after each major event like wars etc. but if you ever tried to build a community of more than 2-3 guys one can easily observer how soon an to what destructive effect politics start to kick in, no matter how small the scale. EGOs are greating and only EGO-control can change that and it's virtue of only very few. not going there here and i'm not trying to preach anything but all these things are very well described in the bible and they had no internet and lived half as long to get their wits together. hat off from my side to all those guys of old times who understood so much and often got killed for it.

this was meant as an example, not meant to evangelize or anything like that, just stating the obvious.

thanks to all you people for the good read you give me (and others) every day. i'm not a scientist in that field
and cannot contribute much scientific stuff but this forum adds a lot to the learning curve which is good to say at my age of 68 LOL.
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sidd

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #170 on: March 22, 2016, 04:44:29 AM »
" ... community of more than 2-3 ... "

There is some kinda Parkinson's law about 5 being a critical number for a committee

but adding the last word reveals one problem already ...

" ... community of more than 2-3 guys ..."

magnamentis

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #171 on: March 22, 2016, 09:50:44 AM »
numbers are not relevant for what i wanted to say, could have said more than 1 or more than 10 human beings, that's not the point. further it was not a scientific statement. just an expression of agreement with the post before mine and expressing my thanks to the members of the forum and it's interesting how always someone will destroy well meant statements and ride on words. which last word? guys? sorry, should have used persons instead but i don't understand what that reply is about. thanks anyways for confirming what i tried to say so imperfectly. with your reply you have basically just confirmed, 3 guys and one negative among them who is profiling himself with pseudo scientific half sentences in telegram style. :(

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sidd

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #172 on: March 22, 2016, 07:57:55 PM »
I seem to have given offence, albeit inadvertently, and for that I apologize. I was actualy agreeing with the sentiment that it is difficult to make decisions with more than a few involved.

My comment was from a thesis in one of C. Northcote Parkinson's books that a committee of more than five bogs down, and a more recent finding that including women in decision making groups improved the probaility of reaching consensus. I cannot immediately recall the reference for that last statement.

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #173 on: April 23, 2016, 09:57:11 PM »
I fear major clathrate releases from the Greenland continental shelf as ground level rises due to rebound from ice melt. IIRC the clathrates burst if internal pressure increases due to overheating or due to the release of pressure. Both factors could come into play as the cold (but light) melt water accumulates at sea level, warm atlantic waters are trapped below and can't release their heat to the atmosphere & the sediment the clathrates are buried in are topped by less water due to rebound.
 
Under these circumstance the released CH4 would also have less water to work it's way through before being released.

Since abiotic methane was proven last year I've assumed that clathrates form indiscriminately at most depths, however there might be an argument made that they preferentially form at the top of their particular temperature, pressure gradient since free methane would be under huge pressure to ascend. If a clathrate doesn't form the free gas exits into the ocean & or atmosphere, therefor everything above this level has or is vented. The level just below this is where free gas should be most prevalent & or where most clathrates are formed.
Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #174 on: April 24, 2016, 07:34:16 PM »
Terry, sea level will also probably drop, or at least rise much less near GIS (and Antarctica) than anywhere else in the world, as the gravitational pull shifts away from these melting ice sheets.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #175 on: April 27, 2016, 08:25:41 PM »
I provide the attached Mauna Loa Methane Concentration plot from 2008 thru April 24 2016, and I note that the daily methane concentrations are currently above the running average line; which may (or may not) portend an increase of the slope of the trend line:
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #176 on: May 03, 2016, 09:59:12 PM »
The linked article discusses a positive feedback mechanism for losing coastal permafrost land to the oceans without coastal erosion:

http://www.hakaimagazine.com/article-short/new-tipping-point-disappearing-arctic

Extract: "“You can lose land to the ocean without coastal erosion, just because land in these Arctic lowlands is so low that any depression of several meters can allow it to fill with seawater,” Romanovsky says. “This process is not commonly known or discussed, but it’s happening.”

Though ice wedge degradation has been previously observed in individual locations, this new research is the first time scientists have been able to show, via remote sensing imagery and on-site observations, that rapid melting has become widespread throughout the Arctic. Ten of the 11 sites surveyed in three countries showed evidence of ice wedge degradation. Though big land subsidence is slowly playing out over several decades, it only takes a few years of warmer weather to trigger the initial onset.



“You can think of [melting] ice wedges as an early warning because it’s really just the beginning,” he says. “This process can accelerate the thawing of permafrost, which will greatly lower down the land’s surface.”

A good example, he says, is Barrow, Alaska, where the land is roughly three meters above the ocean. It’s quite possible, he says, that the region will see three meters of subsidence within the next 100 years."
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salbers

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #177 on: May 18, 2016, 11:37:01 PM »
Couple of points from the NOAA/GMD annual meeting as to why some are less alarmed about Arctic Methane trends.

1) The excess of CH4 ground-based values of north polar latitudes vs south polar latitudes is actually less now than in the 1990s. The main reason is the fall of the Soviet Union.

2) The suggestive spikes in Barrow's CH4 measurements happen during southerly winds, so they are from local land sources.

So this should hopefully be squared with the other evidence being discussed in this thread to have a consistent picture of things?

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #178 on: May 19, 2016, 12:04:53 AM »
Couple of points from the NOAA/GMD annual meeting as to why some are less alarmed about Arctic Methane trends.

1) The excess of CH4 ground-based values of north polar latitudes vs south polar latitudes is actually less now than in the 1990s. The main reason is the fall of the Soviet Union.

2) The suggestive spikes in Barrow's CH4 measurements happen during southerly winds, so they are from local land sources.

So this should hopefully be squared with the other evidence being discussed in this thread to have a consistent picture of things?

salbers,

I have no problem with the facts that you listed; which seem to me to square with the other information listed on this thread.  However, as to whether people should be alarmed about Arctic methane, while I agree that people should not panic about methane hydrates; nevertheless, they should realize that thermokarst lakes in the tundra could be a major source of methane emissions as indicated in the attached image (and if we have a blue ocean event in the Arctic soon the timeframe for methane emissions would be accelerated from the RCP 8.5 scenario indicated in the plot):

Best,
ASLR
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #179 on: May 28, 2016, 03:08:02 AM »
The linked article indicates that huge Canadian wildfires may well accelerate permafrost degradation:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2087214-canadas-huge-wildfires-may-release-carbon-locked-in-permafrost/

Extract: "The effects may extend far beyond Canada and Alaska, because of the frozen organic matter under the forest permafrost. Wildfires can strip away the protective vegetative blanket and release all that stockpiled carbon into the atmosphere, says Merritt Turetsky, an ecosystem ecologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario. The thawing soil could also trigger microbial activity, releasing more carbon dioxide and methane.

In other words, more wildfires can mean more greenhouse gases, accelerating the very climate change that may have helped kick off the fires in the first place — not to mention changing the equation for rest of the globe.

“This is carbon that the ecosystem has not seen for thousands of years and now it’s being released into the atmosphere,” says Turetsky. “We need to start thinking about permafrost and we need to start thinking about deep carbon and everything we can do to inhibit the progression of climate change.”"
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #180 on: June 10, 2016, 11:54:00 PM »
The linked article cites research indicating carbon dioxide will play a key role in permafrost degradation:

http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2016/june/carbon-dioxide-biggest-player-thawing-permafrost.html

Extract: "Carbon dioxide emissions from dry and oxygen-rich environments will likely strengthen the climate forcing impact of thawing permafrost on top of methane release from oxygen-poor wetlands in the Arctic, according to a study in Nature Climate Change. 
The study, published today, was led by Northern Arizona University assistant research professor, Christina Schädel. One of her collaborators is Evan Kane, an assistant professor of soils at Michigan Technological University."
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #181 on: June 19, 2016, 04:02:53 PM »
The linked reference provides field evidence that the sub-lake permafrost beneath shallow Arctic lakes is degrading much faster (by 70-years faster) than that projected for terrestrial permafrost thaw in northern Alaska.

Christopher D. Arp, Benjamin M. Jones, Guido Grosse, Allen C. Bondurant, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, Kenneth M. Hinkel & Andrew D. Parsekian (16 June 2016), "Threshold Sensitivity of Shallow Arctic Lakes and Sub-lake Permafrost to Changing Winter Climate", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2016GL068506


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL068506/abstract

Abstract: "Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shape lowland Arctic landscapes. Sub-lake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceeds lake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABT) remain below freezing. However, declining MIT since the 1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high temperature sensitivity to winter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data. Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1-m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last 30 years (2.4 °C), with MABT above freezing five of the last seven years. This is in comparison to slower rates of warming in deeper (3-m) lakes (0.9 °C), with already well-developed taliks. Our findings indicate that permafrost below shallow lakes has already begun crossing a critical thawing threshold approximately 70 years prior to predicted terrestrial permafrost thaw in northern Alaska."
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #182 on: July 22, 2016, 07:11:53 PM »
jplotinus posted this in the Arctic Images thread. I though it should be here as well since it looks "not good."

Yamal Peninsula




"Bubbles of gas have created wobbly waterbed-like patches of ground in the Yamal Peninsula after unseasonably high temperatures sparked bizarre underfoot conditions.
The fun-looking patches of bubbling land were discovered by researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich. Some 15 examples of the phenomena were discovered in the area, according to The Siberian Times.
When the patches were punctured, methane and carbon dioxide gases were released, according to the pair. The researchers theorize that unusually high temperatures in the area may have caused permafrost to thaw, releasing gases and forming the bubbles."

Source:

https://www.rt.com/viral/352688-siberia-earth-wobbling-methane/

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #183 on: July 25, 2016, 06:41:00 PM »
I know our bogs ( up on the moors above Hebden Bridge) will wobble when you jump on them when they are filled with rainfall but even that would not be good for so called 'permafrost'?

The heat that liquid water would transfer into the underlying ice layers must increase thaw rates ( and so kick start decomposition of the frozen vegetation ?)

I just wonder if we will see consequences over the coming months?
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #184 on: July 28, 2016, 11:50:06 AM »
BBC's 'Newsnight' ended on the Video last night (27th) ? I wonder if anyone noticed?
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #185 on: October 02, 2016, 04:19:47 AM »
The linked references (& associated articles) indicates that evidence for the risks of significant GHG emissions from permafrost degradation is increasing:


Donatella Zona. Biogeochemistry: Long-term effects of permafrost thaw, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/537625a

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v537/n7622/full/537625a.html

Abstract: “Carbon emissions from the Arctic tundra could increase drastically as global warming thaws permafrost. Clues now obtained about the long-term effects of such thawing on carbon dioxide emissions highlight the need for more data.”


Min Jung Kwon et al. Long-term drainage reduces CO2 uptake and increases CO2 emission on a Siberian floodplain due to shifts in vegetation community and soil thermal characteristics, Biogeosciences (2016). DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4219-2016

http://www.biogeosciences.net/13/4219/2016/

Abstract. With increasing air temperatures and changing precipitation patterns forecast for the Arctic over the coming decades, the thawing of ice-rich permafrost is expected to increasingly alter hydrological conditions by creating mosaics of wetter and drier areas. The objective of this study is to investigate how 10 years of lowered water table depths of wet floodplain ecosystems would affect CO2 fluxes measured using a closed chamber system, focusing on the role of long-term changes in soil thermal characteristics and vegetation community structure. Drainage diminishes the heat capacity and thermal conductivity of organic soil, leading to warmer soil temperatures in shallow layers during the daytime and colder soil temperatures in deeper layers, resulting in a reduction in thaw depths. These soil temperature changes can intensify growing-season heterotrophic respiration by up to 95 %. With decreased autotrophic respiration due to reduced gross primary production under these dry conditions, the differences in ecosystem respiration rates in the present study were 25 %. We also found that a decade-long drainage installation significantly increased shrub abundance, while decreasing Eriophorum angustifolium abundance resulted in Carex sp. dominance. These two changes had opposing influences on gross primary production during the growing season: while the increased abundance of shrubs slightly increased gross primary production, the replacement of E. angustifolium by Carex sp.  significantly decreased it. With the effects of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production combined, net CO2 uptake rates varied between the two years, which can be attributed to Carex-dominated plots' sensitivity to climate. However, underlying processes showed consistent patterns: 10 years of drainage increased soil temperatures in shallow layers and replaced E. angustifolium by Carex sp., which increased CO2 emission and reduced CO2 uptake rates. During the non-growing season, drainage resulted in 4 times more CO2 emissions, with high sporadic fluxes; these fluxes were induced by soil temperatures, E. angustifolium abundance, and air pressure.

Anna K. Liljedahl et al. Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology, Nature Geoscience (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2674

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n4/full/ngeo2674.html

Abstract: “Ice wedges are common features of the subsurface in permafrost regions. They develop by repeated frost cracking and ice vein growth over hundreds to thousands of years. Ice-wedge formation causes the archetypal polygonal patterns seen in tundra across the Arctic landscape. Here we use field and remote sensing observations to document polygon succession due to ice-wedge degradation and trough development in ten Arctic localities over sub-decadal timescales. Initial thaw drains polygon centres and forms disconnected troughs that hold isolated ponds. Continued ice-wedge melting leads to increased trough connectivity and an overall draining of the landscape. We find that melting at the tops of ice wedges over recent decades and subsequent decimetre-scale ground subsidence is a widespread Arctic phenomenon. Although permafrost temperatures have been increasing gradually, we find that ice-wedge degradation is occurring on sub-decadal timescales. Our hydrological model simulations show that advanced ice-wedge degradation can significantly alter the water balance of lowland tundra by reducing inundation and increasing runoff, in particular due to changes in snow distribution as troughs form. We predict that ice-wedge degradation and the hydrological changes associated with the resulting differential ground subsidence will expand and amplify in rapidly warming permafrost regions.”

See also:

http://phys.org/news/2016-09-biologist-comments-startling-climate.html

Extract: “"The authors report that the net effect of draining in their study is an increase in the amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere, which will ultimately magnify climate change," Zona wrote in her commentary.
Zona published a study about the effects of drainage in permafrost earlier this year in the journal Nature Geoscience. Additionally, she and fellow SDSU ecologist Walt Oechel, along with colleagues at several other institutions, published another study last year showing that the emission of methane, another greenhouse gas, is highest in the Arctic during the region's cold season. That was surprising, as most scientists thought little if any greenhouse gases escaped the frozen soil during the cold season.”



See also:

T. Schneider von Deimling, G. Grosse, J. Strauss, L. Schirrmeister, A. Morgenstern, S. Schaphoff, M. Meinshausen, and J. Boike (2015), “Observation-based modelling of permafrost carbon fluxes with accounting for deep carbon deposits and thermokarst activity”, Biogeosciences, 12, 3469–3488, 2015 www.biogeosciences.net/12/3469/2015/ doi:10.5194/bg-12-3469-2015




http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/3469/2015/bg-12-3469-2015.pdf


Abstract: “High-latitude soils store vast amounts of perennially frozen and therefore inert organic matter. With rising global temperatures and consequent permafrost degradation, a part of this carbon stock will become available for microbial decay and eventual release to the atmosphere. We have developed a simplified, two-dimensional multi-pool model to estimate the strength and timing of future carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes from newly thawed permafrost carbon (i.e. carbon thawed when temperatures rise above pre-industrial levels). We have especially simulated carbon release from deep deposits in Yedoma regions by describing abrupt thaw under newly formed thermokarst lakes. The computational efficiency of our model allowed us to run large, multi-centennial ensembles under various scenarios of future warming to express uncertainty inherent to simulations of the permafrost carbon feedback. Under moderate warming of the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 scenario, cumulated CO2 fluxes from newly thawed permafrost carbon amount to 20 to 58 petagrams of carbon (Pg-C) (68 % range) by the year 2100 and reach 40 to 98 Pg-C in 2300. The much larger permafrost degradation under strong warming (RCP8.5) results in cumulated CO2 release of 42 to 141 Pg-C and 157 to 313 PgC (68 % ranges) in the years 2100 and 2300, respectively. Our estimates only consider fluxes from newly thawed permafrost, not from soils already part of the seasonally thawed active layer under pre-industrial climate. Our simulated CH4 fluxes contribute a few percent to total permafrost carbon release yet they can cause up to 40 % of total permafrost-affected radiative forcing in the 21st century (upper 68 % range). We infer largest CH4 emission rates of about 50 TgCH4 per year around the middle of the 21st century when simulated thermokarst lake extent is at its maximum and when abrupt thaw under thermokarst lakes is taken into account. CH4 release from newly thawed carbon in wetland-affected deposits is only discernible in the 22nd and 23rd century because of the absence of abrupt thaw processes. We further show that release from organic matter stored in deep deposits of Yedoma regions crucially affects our simulated circumpolar CH4 fluxes. The additional warming through the release from newly thawed permafrost carbon proved only slightly dependent on the pathway of anthropogenic emission and amounts to about 0.03–0.14 ◦C (68 % ranges) by end of the century. The warming increased further in the 22nd and 23rd century and was most pronounced under the RCP6.0 scenario, adding 0.16 to 0.39 ◦C (68 % range) to simulated global mean surface air temperatures in the year 2300.”

See also:

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/06/10/permafrost-greenhouse-gases-global-warming-465585.html


Extract: “What’s happening today really started about 22,000 years ago, when the world began to warm at the end of the last Ice Age.


None of the permafrost thawing beneath millions of lakes across the Arctic is accounted for in global predictions about climate change—it’s “a gap in our climate modeling,” says Katey Walter Anthony, a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher who studies permafrost thaw across Alaska and Siberia. 


But according to the latest estimates, published last year in Biogeosciences, thawing beneath lakes in yedoma permafrost—the oldest, most carbon-rich type of permafrost found in Alaska and Siberia—could, by 2100, increase the amount of methane accumulated in the Earth’s atmosphere by as much as 2.6 billion metric tons.  By 2300, that could spike to 10 billion metric tons. Before 2000, yedoma permafrost hadn’t thawed enough to begin forming these methane lakes. Now there’s no looking back. “It’s like the food for microbes has been locked away in the freezer for 30,000 years,” Walter Anthony says, “and now the freezer door is open.” The degree of warming that implies is catastrophic. “The methane causes climate warming, which causes more permafrost to thaw, which causes more gas to be produced, which causes more warming, so you get a positive feedback loop.” “
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Anne

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #186 on: October 05, 2016, 10:56:09 AM »
The Siberian Times is carrying a story about the latest Semiletov research in the Laptev
New expedition in Laptev Sea suggests increase in the rate of underwater permafrost degradation.
The findings come from an expedition now underway led by Professor Igor Semiletov, of Tomsk Polytechnic University, on the research vessel 'Academic M.A. Lavrentyev' which left Tiksi on 24 September on a 40 day mission.

The seeping of methane from the sea floor is greater than in previous research in the same area, notably carried out between 2011 and 2014.

'The area of spread of methane mega-emissions has significantly increased in comparison with the data obtained in the period from 2011 to 2014,' he said. 'These observations may indicate that the rate of degradation of underwater permafrost has increased.'

Detailed findings will be presented at an international conference in Tomsk on 21 to 24 November. The research enables comparison with previously obtained data on methane emissions.
http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/others/news/n0760-arctic-methane-gas-emission-significantly-increased-since-2014-major-new-research/

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #188 on: November 06, 2016, 11:57:30 PM »
Saw a documentary about an attempt to row the NWP in 2013, (bad timing). Local Inu located near Banks Island were saying that they were losing ~200 feet per year from their coasts. Elders recalled that in the 1950's their bay remained frozen all year while now it's ice free every summer.


No recriminations for us screwing up their world, just wistful memories.


Terry

Anne

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #189 on: November 07, 2016, 01:38:45 AM »
The thing that gets me is that a good friend of mine, who read physics at university and now works in sophisticated software design and who prides himself on scepticism watched Thin Ice and was contemptuous of the anecdotal evidence of Inuit. He thought it weakened the force of the science and chuntered on about belief in climate change being a religion reinforced by old people going on about "the good old days when I were a lad". To me, it seemed as if his professional training in science (don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it's the style of training I'm criticising) went much further than making him critical of anecdotal evidence - it made him regard it as the antithesis of science rather than an adjunct. I've come across this a lot with classically educated natural scientists in the UK - a disposition to regard AGW as a religious sect, and inclined to disregard anything that hasn't been scientifically coded and measured.

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #190 on: November 07, 2016, 04:02:13 AM »
The thing that gets me is that a good friend of mine, who read physics at university and now works in sophisticated software design and who prides himself on scepticism watched Thin Ice and was contemptuous of the anecdotal evidence of Inuit. He thought it weakened the force of the science and chuntered on about belief in climate change being a religion reinforced by old people going on about "the good old days when I were a lad". To me, it seemed as if his professional training in science (don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it's the style of training I'm criticising) went much further than making him critical of anecdotal evidence - it made him regard it as the antithesis of science rather than an adjunct. I've come across this a lot with classically educated natural scientists in the UK - a disposition to regard AGW as a religious sect, and inclined to disregard anything that hasn't been scientifically coded and measured.
You often find retired engineers telling you everything follows a predator prey-relationship and thermodynamic principles will balance it all out: they're off the head and very aloof people some of them.
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #191 on: November 07, 2016, 04:06:43 AM »
The thing that gets me is that a good friend of mine, who read physics at university and now works in sophisticated software design and who prides himself on scepticism watched Thin Ice and was contemptuous of the anecdotal evidence of Inuit. He thought it weakened the force of the science and chuntered on about belief in climate change being a religion reinforced by old people going on about "the good old days when I were a lad". To me, it seemed as if his professional training in science (don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it's the style of training I'm criticising) went much further than making him critical of anecdotal evidence - it made him regard it as the antithesis of science rather than an adjunct. I've come across this a lot with classically educated natural scientists in the UK - a disposition to regard AGW as a religious sect, and inclined to disregard anything that hasn't been scientifically coded and measured.

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #192 on: November 07, 2016, 03:36:34 PM »
The thing that gets me is that a good friend of mine, who read physics at university and now works in sophisticated software design and who prides himself on scepticism watched Thin Ice and was contemptuous of the anecdotal evidence of Inuit. He thought it weakened the force of the science and chuntered on about belief in climate change being a religion reinforced by old people going on about "the good old days when I were a lad". To me, it seemed as if his professional training in science (don't get me wrong, I'm all for science, it's the style of training I'm criticising) went much further than making him critical of anecdotal evidence - it made him regard it as the antithesis of science rather than an adjunct. I've come across this a lot with classically educated natural scientists in the UK - a disposition to regard AGW as a religious sect, and inclined to disregard anything that hasn't been scientifically coded and measured.

A word from Asimov on the need to increase the rate our global society's acquisition of wisdom.

all true except the "right now" part because it has always been that way and won't change, in parts it's even logical to be like that but of course not the part which is due to human ego-centric behaviours that is obviously meant here. :-)
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #193 on: November 07, 2016, 04:59:24 PM »
Anne I don't know if you've ever looked into what the 'catastrophists' [as opposed to the uniformitarians] say, but the anecdotal accounts of the ancients tell a very different story to that of science. We [humans] seem to be able to make sense of the world through almost any prism, though of course the truth may be very different to our view. An unfortunate consequence is that whether by default or design we tend to blank out, as simply impossible, anything that contradicts any worldview we've bought into, and rapidly move on.

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #194 on: November 09, 2016, 07:36:34 AM »
I wasn't really talking about the Inuit stories of catastrophe (though they are interesting in themselves) but rather the first hand evidence (if you can call it that - my friend doesn't) of hunters who say that the ice was thicker when they were young men, that the ice stretched further, that they can no longer travel safely by sled on places they always used to when they were young, and so on - the personal stories told in Thin Ice.

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #195 on: November 16, 2016, 09:46:07 PM »
The linked SciAm article is entitled: "Thawing Permafrost Would Accelerate Global Warming", the only questions are at what rate and for how long (at least for another 100 years).

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/thawing-permafrost-would-accelerate-global-warming/

Extract: "Thawing Arctic tundra will likely speed up climate change for a century or more. The question is: How drastically?"
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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #196 on: November 28, 2016, 06:33:56 PM »
“We have obtained a range of interesting data, but we won’t announce them until scientific papers are published. However, we have proved methane releases are increasing at the shelf. We reached and examined about 20 stations which had been measured earlier and each one showed the releases increasing. To underline that methane mega releases – with the area of over 1 km – are registered only at the East Siberian Shelf,”
said head of the TPU’s Arctic Sea’s Carbon Study International Laboratory, RAS Associate Member Igor Semiletov.
http://tpu.ru/en/news-events/987/


The latest word from S&S seems  to be that they won't be giving out more information until their papers are published. :-\


Terry

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #197 on: November 30, 2016, 09:07:22 PM »
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v540/n7631/full/nature20150.html?cookies=accepted

Seems like the soils in higher latitudes are also going to bring us extra GHG forcings along with any permafrost 'burps'
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AbruptSLR

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #198 on: December 05, 2016, 09:37:33 PM »
The linked reference and associate article provide evidence of high carbon release rates from thawed permafrost during the last interglacial period (at rates on the order of seven times current rates):

T. Tesi et al. Massive remobilization of permafrost carbon during post-glacial warming, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13653

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13653

See also:
http://phys.org/news/2016-12-permafrost-carbon.html

Extract: "The study, published this week in the journal Nature Communications, documents how Siberian soil once locked in permafrost was carried into the Arctic Ocean during that period at a rate about seven times higher than today."

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

idunno

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Re: This is not good.
« Reply #199 on: December 05, 2016, 10:50:37 PM »
Could some moderator/Vergent (thread starter) consider editing the title of this thread to clarify what is not good, what is being discussed here? I concur that it isn't good, incidentally.