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Author Topic: Florida Climate Scientist Provides Alarming Projections in a Recent Interview  (Read 15611 times)

OldLeatherneck

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This Can’t Be Happening – 04.01.15

From the "This Can't Be happening Website"http://prn.fm/this-cant-be-happening-04-01-15/
Full interview with Professor Harold Wanless
http://s51.podbean.com/pb/05e6598d0751116c9b644450178e9822/5522f463/data1/blogs18/661545/uploads/ThisCantBeHappening_040115.mp3

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Harold Wanless, a leading climatologist and geologist based at the University of Miami, returns to the “This Can’t Be Happening!” program after a year to revisit his claim that global warming and sea level rise are going to be much more dramatic than the consensus predictions of the UN Climate Committee, NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and other groups. With recent reports of faster melting on Greenland and in both the Eastern and Western Antarctic, Wanless tells host Dave Lindorff we are now facing a catastrophe that could see sea levels rising by more than 20 feet by the end of the century, and perhaps, if methane begins seriously erupting from the Arctic seafloor, even reduced oxygen levels that could threaten mammals, including humans.

My thanks to ColoradoBob1 for posting this on the Wunderground Climate Blog http://www.wunderground.com/blog/RickyRood/comment.html?entrynum=330, Comment 552.

It is very seldom that I have, or take, the time to read every article, watch every video or listen to every interview that is posted here on the Forum or other reputable climate websites.. This was an exception in that I listened to the full hour long interview and was captivated, alarmed and educated all at the same time. This interview ran the full gamut from rising seal levels in Florida to melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to the slowing of the Gulf Stream to the melting of the permafrost in all of the Arctic regions. Professor Wanless also describes his personal discussions with Florida Governor Scott as well as with Senator Marco Rubio. Needless to say, he does not feel very kindly to their current lack of action on Climate Change, although he manages to inject some humor from time to time.

This interview could have been posted under any number of categories here on the Forum, since professor Wanless has pertinent comments that would add value to current discussions on many open topics in multiple categories.  I found the hour listening to this interview to be well worth my time.

It is imperative that this interview be shared with as many residents of Florida and the entire Gulf Coast as possible.

If only half of what he says comes true in the next few decades, we are headed for disaster!!
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pikaia

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I think that his claim that oxygen levels could fall so low that it would be a threat to humans is hard to believe, and when he was asked about how that would actually happen he failed to give an answer - he seemed very evasive to me. He also talked about sea level rise of 160ft (iirc), which would require more than half of Antarctica to melt, but few people expect that to happen in the next thousand years.

So I would take everything he says with a pinch of salt.

wili

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Just because he may have been a touch off on one issue doesn't mean you have to throw out the whole thing. In fact, we will be and have been drawing down oxygen levels. It just takes an awfully long time to do so given the immense stores of 'fossil' oxygen in the atmosphere.

Up till that point, I couldn't find anything he said that went against anything I know about.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

johnm33

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Did I imagine it or did he say that the acidification of the ocean, causing the death of phytoplankton and algae would halt their contribution to photosynthesis-oxygen creation, and that was the most important source of same?

wili

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He could have been clearer there, too. I'm not sure he pinned it exclusively on acidification. Certainly some phytoplankton seem to do alright with lower pH levels. But generally if you heat up the ocean it's going to tend to stratify and stop circulating and all parts of the system suffer then. Phytoplankton do, in fact, account for a very large portion of the oxygen that is produced by photosynthesis--not surprising given that about three quarters of the earth's surface is covered by water.

The main thing, though, is that with 20% of the atmosphere oxygen, it would take a long time (like thousands of years), even with no new atmospheric O2 being produced by photosynthesis and even with all the hydrocarbons on the planet being oxydized, for that to make a significant dent in the overall oxygen levels, as far as I understand it. But really, we should even be thinking of messing around with anything that could significantly reduce O2 levels in the atmosphere over ANY time frame.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bruce Steele

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Even if we follow BAU 8.5 emissions until 2100 and release another 2000 Gt carbon on top of the ~ 500 Gt carbon we have already released models only show a 3.45% reduction in ocean oxygen levels.

  http://www.biogeosciences-discuss.net/10/3627/2013/bgd-10-3627-2013.pdf

This will result in larger oxygen minimum zones in the ocean to be sure but lowering atmospheric oxygen to levels that threaten mammals is far fetched. I'm calling B.S.

jai mitchell

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Getting back to the subject at hand.  I have considered well the fact that we are now embarking on a Sea Level Rise experience that has not occurred in nearly 14,000 years.  Specifically, the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065.

It is clear that there will be no protection for South Florida and anyone who wants to get out before their property values totally collapse needs to put their property on the market ASAP.  There is a high likelihood that increased storm intensity/surge and combined sea level rise will produce catastrophic flooding in Miami within the next 10 years.
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Ymir

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  Specifically, the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065.

2065? If the sea ice is gone at the end of the summer melt some time in the next few years - as seems to be generally believed here, then surely it wouldn't take anywhere near 40 years until the arctic is ice free all year round?

viddaloo

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  Specifically, the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065.

2065? If the sea ice is gone at the end of the summer melt some time in the next few years - as seems to be generally believed here, then surely it wouldn't take anywhere near 40 years until the arctic is ice free all year round?
Ymir, it's important to remember that an ice–free minimum just represents one single day of ice–free conditions (or virtually ice–free in most mentions), and that this day comes after a long spring and summer melt. It's very difficult to use common sense or words like 'surely' for what happens next after that, or more specifically for the duration from the 1–day ice–free to 365–day ice–free state. That's why I've used numbers and statistics, and trendlines. According to these, the transition would take from 10 to 15 years, based on official Piomas sea ice volume. If correct, the next decade will be the last one for hundreds if not thousands of years to see any sea ice in the Arctic that hasn't started in the increasingly busy calving front of a glacier.
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crandles

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2065? If the sea ice is gone at the end of the summer melt some time in the next few years - as seems to be generally believed here, then surely it wouldn't take anywhere near 40 years until the arctic is ice free all year round?

6 months of darkness allows a lot of heat to escape to space and once the heat is shed the rate of ice growth is fast when the ice is thin. 2065 seems quite plausible to me as a date for ice <1000000 Km^2 in June.

There are quite a few believing <1000000 km^2 extent for a day in the next 4 or 5 years but get real:

Volume is currently more than each of the last 4 years and barely below 2010. Max volume trend will still be downwards but it is looking to be very slow now we have cleared out a lot of old thick ice that takes time (that is no longer available) to grow thick. If the max volume is only heading downward slowly there is no reason to think min volume will head down quickly.

Ymir

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2065? If the sea ice is gone at the end of the summer melt some time in the next few years - as seems to be generally believed here, then surely it wouldn't take anywhere near 40 years until the arctic is ice free all year round?

6 months of darkness allows a lot of heat to escape to space and once the heat is shed the rate of ice growth is fast when the ice is thin. 2065 seems quite plausible to me as a date for ice <1000000 Km^2 in June.

There are quite a few believing <1000000 km^2 extent for a day in the next 4 or 5 years but get real:

Volume is currently more than each of the last 4 years and barely below 2010. Max volume trend will still be downwards but it is looking to be very slow now we have cleared out a lot of old thick ice that takes time (that is no longer available) to grow thick. If the max volume is only heading downward slowly there is no reason to think min volume will head down quickly.

Although there is six months of relative darkness, what about the warmth within the ocean? Isn't that increasingly being fed up into the artic from the south?


Ymir

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  Specifically, the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065.

2065? If the sea ice is gone at the end of the summer melt some time in the next few years - as seems to be generally believed here, then surely it wouldn't take anywhere near 40 years until the arctic is ice free all year round?
Ymir, it's important to remember that an ice–free minimum just represents one single day of ice–free conditions (or virtually ice–free in most mentions), and that this day comes after a long spring and summer melt. It's very difficult to use common sense or words like 'surely' for what happens next after that, or more specifically for the duration from the 1–day ice–free to 365–day ice–free state. That's why I've used numbers and statistics, and trendlines. According to these, the transition would take from 10 to 15 years, based on official Piomas sea ice volume. If correct, the next decade will be the last one for hundreds if not thousands of years to see any sea ice in the Arctic that hasn't started in the increasingly busy calving front of a glacier.

I'm sorry, I don't understand. 365 day ice free around 2065 but the process from 1 ice free day is 10-15 years?

viddaloo

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I'm sorry, I don't understand. 365 day ice free around 2065 but the process from 1 ice free day is 10-15 years?
That's right, that's what the trend shows, but 2065 isn't an estimate I put my name under. I think that's way too conservative and, frankly, irresponsible.
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pikaia

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What Jai actually says is ".. the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065" i.e. the Arctic is ice free from Mid June, not 365 days a year.

crandles

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Although there is six months of relative darkness, what about the warmth within the ocean? Isn't that increasingly being fed up into the artic from the south?

Yes I do expect downward trends from increases in ocean heat, increases in GHGs, atmospheric heat transport... Maybe these are more major than I expect but all the effects have been evaluated by models and they show volume being lost at rates that decline as ice free is approached. This seems very robust from lots of different models.

We have had a period where the heat content at the end of August has risen considerably as a result of lower maximum volume allowing albedo feedback. The delay in the freeze up can be seen to be about 10 days at most. Given the way the rate of ice growth is much faster when the ice is thin, another 10 or 20 day delay to the start of the freeze up has very little effect on the thickness by the time of peak thickness. Your increases in ocean heat have been occurring during this time; do you expect them to suddenly accelerate? Shouldn't we expect heat transport items to decelerate as the difference between Arctic temperature and mid latitudes decrease as the Arctic warms faster?

There could be some noise in the heat transport increases and maybe this has just happened to give the volume recovery of the last three years and then we will revert to the strong downward trend? Have you some evidence that this is a better explanation than the one I gave: max volume loss being the important cause of recent declines and that this looking like it is declining in effect?

Ymir

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Crandles, I don't have any evidence and was just asking a question, I don't have the levels of knowledge of most or all of the regular posters and so am here to learn more than anyting else . I had forgotten about the rate of warming from the equator decreasing as the poles warm up.

crandles

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Crandles, I don't have any evidence and was just asking a question

No problem. I am open to other people providing the evidence. I just didn't want to phase it as I believe I am right and giving an impression of an attitude that no-one is going to change my mind. I hope I am open to other evidence that other people may offer. The slow transition seem pretty persuasive to me but maybe someone will present more credible evidence that it is wrong.

viddaloo

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What Jai actually says is ".. the acceleration of Greenland ice will increase a hundredfold once the arctic sea ice completely melts out in Mid June around 2065" i.e. the Arctic is ice free from Mid June, not 365 days a year.
Correct, pikaia. Yet the quote also reveals that the good Jai shares the assumption with most posters here, that June sea ice — and thus also mid–winter sea ice — will linger on till at least 2065. So Ymir is also correct in questioning this for the incredibly long duration for the transition from 1–day ice–free (around 2020) to 365–day ice–free (2065, per Jai).
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wehappyfew

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Just to play devil's advocate...

Wouldn't it be crazy if sea ice melt plus faster GIS melt put enough freshwater into the North Atlantic to start a series of mini D-O oscillations?

Some rapid swings of 5C would be quite" interesting" for European agriculture.

And if the AMOC continues declining, the seesaw effect documented by Shakun might start the Antarctic ice sheets melting faster, along with shutting down the Southern Ocean sink for our CO2 emissions.

I decided I don't really want the times to be quite so interesting anymore...



wili

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Ymir, it's not just the increasingly warm ocean that will help keep the Arctic Ocean relatively ice free later and later into the freeze season. The much greater surface for evaporation will mean that there will be a very thick blanket of watervapor over the entire region that will help to prevent heat from escaping even through the long 6 months of dark.

What the time line is on that state, I don't hazard a guess. But I would think that near-ice-free conditions in the fall would be a crucial turning point in moving toward that state.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

OldLeatherneck

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Ymir, it's not just the increasingly warm ocean that will help keep the Arctic Ocean relatively ice free later and later into the freeze season. [My Edit]The much greater surface for evaporation will mean that there will be a very thick blanket of watervapor over the entire region that will help to prevent heat from escaping even through the long 6 months of dark.

What the time line is on that state, I don't hazard a guess. But I would think that near-ice-free conditions in the fall would be a crucial turning point in moving toward that state.

Willi,

We have to remember that the very cold Arctic waters will not release that much water vapor.  However there is another "Wild Card" that still remains that could severely impact winter refreeze.  That is the turbulence of the open ocean waters.  How frequent and how severe will storms be??  If the sea state remains high and there is frequent upwelling of warmer water that could impact the eventual thickness as well as area and extent of the annual maximum.
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Laurent

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And there is the polar cell that will be inverted in summer, it should be more difficult after that to reverse the engine...?

LRC1962

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However there is another "Wild Card" that still remains that could severely impact winter refreeze.  That is the turbulence of the open ocean waters.  How frequent and how severe will storms be??  If the sea state remains high and there is frequent upwelling of warmer water that could impact the eventual thickness as well as area and extent of the annual maximum.
Storm winds will not be even needed. Just a regular wind blowing over 100's of miles of open water then traveling under hundreds of miles of ice would cause major problems.
The other issue would be that if the polar vortex continues on as it has in the last few years by residing over eastern US and pumping Pacific heat into the Arctic, that would interfer greatly with freezing as the Arctic gets ever warmer.
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jai mitchell

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Just for the record,

I expect that we will experience an ice free arctic state before 2025, possibly well before if China aggressively reduces its SO2 emissions.

Then I expect that there will be variability and returns of summer sea ice to a degree, potentially with longer ones as increased spring-cloudiness conditions occur as the polar cell continues to break down and mid-latitude moisture blocks out the sun, preventing early melt pool formations. 

From 2025 to 2040 or so we will still see remnants of summer sea ice but it will get weaker and weaker.

2040 to 2065 I expect a rapid retreat of summer sea ice with the <1,000 km^2 point occurring between Aug 1 and Sept 1 for 2040-2055 and between July 1 and Aug 1 for 2055-2065. 

By 2065 I expect that a June 1 arctic sea ice free condition will be met but that in later years it may still occur between June 1 and July 1.

I don't expect to see an annual ice free condition anytime before 2150.

All of this, of course, is predicated on no attempts at global dimming and is based on RCP 8.5 BAU emissions scenarios.

However, even if we somehow get an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 (with significant carbon dioxide atmospheric removal technology and CCS online by then), we will still experience the effects that I have predicted up through 2065.  Since most of these effects are based on lagging climate responses and near term mitigation will only prevent so much arctic amplification.

But then again, there are (especially in my case) "unknown unknowns"
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viddaloo

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I don't expect to see an annual ice free condition anytime before 2150.

Interesting. Then we have a spread from the statistical expectation of 10–15 years for the transition from 1–day ice–free to 365–day, and to the other extreme, the gut–feeling expectation of 135–140 years. Anyone else think the transition in question will take more than 100 years?
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wili

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Many good points. Just one additional one--apparently much of the Arctic was icefree year round during the Eemian when the region was just a couple degrees C warmer than today.

Does anyone think that the region will not warm by at least two degrees in the next, say, 50 years? Why would that not lead to ice free conditions as it has in the past? Would it really take another 50 years to achieve, given how fast we have seen sea ice disappear at much lower temperatures?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

OldLeatherneck

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Warm climate -- cold Arctic? The Eemian is a poor analogue for current climate change

Article dated Jun 14, 2012 Phys.Org;
http://phys.org/news/2012-06-climate-cold-arctic-eemian.html

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The Eemian interglacial period that began some 125,000 years ago is often used as a model for contemporary climate change. In the international journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists from Mainz, Kiel and Potsdam, Germany, now present evidence that the Eemian differed in essential details from modern climatic conditions.

.....................................SNIP...............................................................

Dr Bauch's group examined sediment cores from the seabed in which information about the climate history of the past 500,000 years is stored. These come from the Atlantic to the west of Ireland and from the central Nordic Seas to the east of the island of Jan Mayen. The sediments contain minute calcite tests of dead microorganisms (foraminifers). "The type of species assemblage in the respective layers as well as the isotopic composition of the calcitic tests give us information about temperature and other properties of the water in which they lived at that time", explains Dr Bauch.
The samples from the Atlantic delivered the higher-than-Holocene temperature signals so typical for the Eemian. The tests from the Nordic Seas, however, tell quite another story. "The found foraminifers of Eemian time indicate comparatively cold conditions". The isotope investigations of the tests, in combination with previous studies of the group, "indicate major contrasts between the ocean surfaces of these two regions ", according to Dr Bauch. "Obviously, the warm Atlantic surface current was weaker in the high latitude during the Eemian than today." His explanation: "The Saalian glaciation which preceded the Eemian was of much bigger extent in Northern Europe than during the Weichselian, the ice age period before our present warm interval. Therefore, more fresh water from the melting Saalian ice sheets poured into the Nordic Seas, and for a longer period of time. This situation had three consequences: The oceanic circulation in the north was reduced, and winter sea ice was more likely to form because of lower salinity. At the same time, this situation led to a kind of 'overheating' in the North Atlantic due to a continuing transfer of ocean heat from the south."
On the one hand, the study introduces new views on the Eemian climate. On the other hand, the new results have consequences for climatology in general: "Obviously, some decisive processes in the Eemian ran off differently, like the transfer of ocean warmth towards the Arctic. Models should take this into consideration if they want to forecast the future climate development on the basis of past analogues like the Eemian ", says Dr. Bauch.

Some food for thought.


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crandles

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100 years is about my expectation but I don't have much confidence in the accuracy of it - it could easily be 60 years or 200 years and I certainly wouldn't rule out even greater uncertainty than that.

Of course the 'statistical expectation' isn't for 10 -15 years we have seen a lot of commentators disagree with Viddaloo's interpretation of his graph and that this has no effect on Viddaloo's interpretations, beliefs and estimates. So the 10-15 years is only Viddaloo's interpretation of his own graph. It is quite obvious that you can draw all sorts of other graphs with different periods to ice free year round and that there is no statistical reason to prefer any particular version.


OldLeatherneck

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Does anyone know how to access the full database from which DMI provides it's charts for Temps North of 80o??  While we know that during the period of max insolation the temps hover just above the freezing point.  However we know that the winter moths seem to be warming incrementally.  I would love to see the decadal increases in mean temps North of 80o.  That might give us an idea as to when winter temps are not sufficienty cold enough to maintain a cherent ice pack during the winter.
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crandles

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Many good points. Just one additional one--apparently much of the Arctic was icefree year round during the Eemian when the region was just a couple degrees C warmer than today.

Does anyone think that the region will not warm by at least two degrees in the next, say, 50 years? Why would that not lead to ice free conditions as it has in the past? Would it really take another 50 years to achieve, given how fast we have seen sea ice disappear at much lower temperatures?

2 degrees will reduce volume a bit but not dramatically. Ok 2 degrees annual average may well be 5 degrees in winter and no significant change in summer.

Have you seen
http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/fdds-and-sea-ice-loss.html

currently at about 3500 FDD over a winter. If '2 degrees' is a 730 reduction in FDD, this would reduce the max volume by about a fifth. That might be just about enough to get extent below 1m km^2 for a short portion of September.

We have seen a reduction in FDD of 500 since 1990 25 years ago so I think we will get to more than 2 degrees in 50 years.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 12:29:45 AM by crandles »

viddaloo

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If I chalk up the so–called disagreements to my collapse graph, about 60% of them numerically have a hard time understanding the concept of an average, pretty basic stuff, and most of the other 40% are random things thrown at me because they are annoyed with me A) because they didn't know what it was and I didn't think about explaining what an average was, or B) because I did explain what an average was and they felt humiliated that I would explain it to them.

I wouldn't worry too much about those 'disagreements'. The graph is sound, IMO.

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Neven

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The point is, again, that statistics only get you so far. If it isn't coupled to an understanding of underlying physical processes (which can change over time), predictions are very unreliable.

Let's not have this discussion again.
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viddaloo

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oren

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The point is, again, that statistics only get you so far. If it isn't coupled to an understanding of underlying physical processes (which can change over time), predictions are very unreliable.

Let's not have this discussion again.

Thank you Neven

jai mitchell

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Many good points. Just one additional one--apparently much of the Arctic was icefree year round during the Eemian when the region was just a couple degrees C warmer than today.

Does anyone think that the region will not warm by at least two degrees in the next, say, 50 years? Why would that not lead to ice free conditions as it has in the past? Would it really take another 50 years to achieve, given how fast we have seen sea ice disappear at much lower temperatures?

The Eemian was summer ice free, not annual

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq/#summer_ice
Quote
The next earliest era when the Arctic was quite possibly free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian. Temperatures in the Arctic were higher than now and sea level was also 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 feet) higher than it is today because the Greenland and Antarctic ice.

The most recent period of annual ice free "hothouse" climate was about 55 million years ago during the Eocene, when globally averaged temperatures were about 14C above pre-industrial levels.

Haiku of Past Futures
My "burning embers"
are not tri-color bar graphs
+3C today