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Csnavywx

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2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« on: October 14, 2015, 01:46:34 AM »
This year's El Nino has progressed well into the "strong" category and is beginning to have significant effects on the atmosphere and biosphere. To cut right to the chase, attached is a CAMS model snapshot of atmospheric column CO2:


Csnavywx

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2015, 01:58:30 AM »
The first thing that jumps out is that the greatest concentrations of emissions aren't where you'd expect them. There are two big sources: the Amazon Rainforest and the forests and peatlands of Indonesia.

We've seen bigger and more severe droughts in the Amazon in the last 20 years, but their frequency has also increased, now often occurring on weak to moderate +ENSO events. This year, we're looking at a very strong +ENSO event, which, when combined with pre-conditioning via drought conditions last year (especially over the southern regions of the forest), could set the stage for an unprecedented CO2 emission event:


AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2015, 02:59:09 AM »
Csnavywx,

Great topic and great images, that I hope will motivate both myself and others to dig deeper to keep track of feedbacks in what appears to be a year of acceleration.

Very best,
ASLR
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Csnavywx

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 03:02:04 AM »
Note the extreme 2-3C 3-monthly departures and forecasted 2-4mm/day rainfall deficits over the Amazon. These kinds of moisture deficits add up quickly:

2-4mm/day over 3 months results in a rainfall deficit of 10-18 and 6-month deficits of 20-36" (500-900mm).
+2-3C anomalies in an already hot environment also adds up to greatly increased evaporation and evapotranspiration (between 15-20%) -- resulting in evap. losses around 100-140mm/month or 6-month losses of 600-850mm.
Typical precipitation amounts over a 6-month period in the Amazon run from 1000 to 1500mm. A quick math check comes up with a rainfall reduction averaging 50-60% and losses due to evaporation averaging 50% of normal rainfall (up from the normal 40%).

This is severe enough to result in prolonged periods of net negative water flux.... in a rainforest. Needless to say, that's a fire danger with all of the tree stress and death that will produce.

Those are some crude numbers though and El Nino is already underway, so shouldn't we see the effects already? Yep, we sure do (this is the vegetation health index):





Compared to last year:


Or a normal year:





AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 04:33:34 AM »
The linked article reinforces the points that Csnavywx is making:

http://www.bitsofscience.org/carbon-climate-feedbacks-dramatic-2015-co2-emissions-record-6765/


Posted on October 12, 2015 by Rolf Schuttenhelm

Continuation of Indonesian forest fires could increase global CO2 emissions by 29% – as El Niño and drought intensify over rest of 2015

This is what carbon climate feedbacks look like! Atmospheric monitoring shows dramatic 2015 CO2 emissions record unfolding

Welcome to the future. 2015: The hottest year on record. With a likely coral bleaching record. And sadly also the year with a likely extreme CO2 emissions record. Because, using satellites, we can see the very positive carbon climate feedbacks [the ones that can create the feared runaway warming scenario] already in live action – on a globally significant scale, just two months before world leaders meet in Paris to agree on a new international climate treaty, during the COP21 climate summit in December in Paris.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 04:57:21 AM »
The attached images are One and Two Year Keeling Curves, respectively, thru Oct 12 2015.  They both show an atypical recent fluctuation in the CO2 concentration that may be associated with the rain forest emissions that Csnavywx is documenting.  If so, these fluctuations may continue, or even increase.
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silkman

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 08:55:56 AM »
As ASLR already pointed out the hot spot of CO2 associated with the Indonesian peat fires is remarkable.

Jai Mitchell just posted this link to a 2002 Nature paper indicating that 0.81 - 2.57 Gt of Carbon may have been released by similar fires in 1997 on the Global Forest Watch thread:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v420/n6911/full/nature01131.html

I've got a personal interest in the ongoing ecological tragedy as I have three grandchildren currently suffering from the PM 2.5 in Singapore but the scale of the potential global impact is staggering.


bosbas

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 09:25:52 AM »
Thanks for posting, very interesting. What does CAMS stand for?

Csnavywx

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 12:55:49 PM »
Thanks for posting, very interesting. What does CAMS stand for?

It stands for Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service.

Link to the products page I used http://macc.copernicus-atmosphere.eu/d/services/gac/nrt/nrt_fields_ghg!Carbon%20dioxide!Total%20column!120!Global!macc!od!enfo!nrt_fields_ghg!2015101200!!/.

bosbas

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 03:24:02 PM »
Thank you for the explanation. ASLR wrote: "They both show an atypical recent fluctuation in the CO2 concentration that may be associated with the rain forest emissions that Csnavywx is documenting. " I could not figure out - what is atypical about those curves?

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 04:22:50 PM »
Thank you for the explanation. ASLR wrote: "They both show an atypical recent fluctuation in the CO2 concentration that may be associated with the rain forest emissions that Csnavywx is documenting. " I could not figure out - what is atypical about those curves?

bosbas,

You either need to click on the images, or scroll to the right, to see the recent (say from Oct 3 to Oct 11, 2015) atypical CO2 fluctuation that I am referring to (that temporarily took CO2 concentrations above 400ppm). 

The attached image shows a two-year Keeling Curve through Oct 12 2014, showing only minor CO₂ fluctuations in this same part of the season, thus supporting the idea that we are now entering a period of greater CO₂ variance [as I recently used Mauna Loa data to indicate (in another thread called "What worries you and why?") that in 2015 the CH4 atmospheric concentrations are also showing greater variance than before].

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 04:29:18 PM by AbruptSLR »
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bosbas

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 04:25:47 PM »
Thank you for the explanation!

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 04:27:06 PM »
When tracking feedback acceleration, it is important to understand the baseline conditions. 

In this regards, the first image is from the first linked NASA website about the OCO-2 satellite and shows the Oct 1 to Nov. 11 2014 averaged measured atmospheric CO₂ concentrations, showing higher concentrations over the rainforests, which at the time, NASA attributed to not only drought but more so to local slash and burn agricultural practices at that time of the year.

http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/oco2/nasas-spaceborne-carbon-counter-maps-new-details

The second image is from the second NASA website about the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite launched Jan. 31 2015, and shows the March 31 to April 3, 2015 observations, where blues show drier conditions (like deserts) and reds show more moist conditions (like forests).

http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/smap/nasa-soil-moisture-mission-produces-first-global-maps
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 04:42:19 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 04:41:24 PM »
To re-emphasize my prior point about increase CH4 atmospheric concentration variance, I provide the two attached CAMS methane forecasts from Oct 12 to 17 2015, for the surface and total atmospheric column concentrations, respectively.  These plots hint at a variety of forecast methane emissions sources including rice production, permafrost degradation, agriculture, gas production/transmission and rotting dead vegetation from the rain forests.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 06:51:18 PM »
Thank you for the explanation. ASLR wrote: "They both show an atypical recent fluctuation in the CO2 concentration that may be associated with the rain forest emissions that Csnavywx is documenting. " I could not figure out - what is atypical about those curves?

bosbas,

You either need to click on the images, or scroll to the right, to see the recent (say from Oct 3 to Oct 11, 2015) atypical CO2 fluctuation that I am referring to (that temporarily took CO2 concentrations above 400ppm). 

The attached image shows a two-year Keeling Curve through Oct 12 2014, showing only minor CO₂ fluctuations in this same part of the season, thus supporting the idea that we are now entering a period of greater CO₂ variance [as I recently used Mauna Loa data to indicate (in another thread called "What worries you and why?") that in 2015 the CH4 atmospheric concentrations are also showing greater variance than before].

Best,
ASLR

For those without access to the Keeling Curves here is one for the week ending Oct 12 2015, showing that on Oct 8 2015, several readings were above 400ppm.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2015, 10:30:05 PM »
As albedo loss is another positive feedback that may soon be accelerating, as a baseline for comparison (with possible future loss) I provide the attached image of NSIDC's Long Term Trend for end of season snow cover through 2014
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Michael Hauber

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2015, 12:21:54 AM »
The data shows that we are now about as far ahead of the current warming trend as we have been many times in the past.  This warming trend is a small amount below what is shown in the CMIP5 models.  Of interest is the fact that typically the warming impact of an El Nino is mostly in the following year, so we could see a further significant jump in 2016.  However in 2002 the temperature rose substantially following a warm neutral year in 01/02, and actually dropped back a little in 2003 following a proper el nino in 02/03.
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Csnavywx

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2015, 12:46:21 AM »
The data shows that we are now about as far ahead of the current warming trend as we have been many times in the past.  This warming trend is a small amount below what is shown in the CMIP5 models.  Of interest is the fact that typically the warming impact of an El Nino is mostly in the following year, so we could see a further significant jump in 2016.  However in 2002 the temperature rose substantially following a warm neutral year in 01/02, and actually dropped back a little in 2003 following a proper el nino in 02/03.

I think that's likely given the magnitude of the +ENSO event. 02/03 was a much weaker Modoki (CP) Nino, which doesn't tend to push global temps up nearly as much as a large full-basin or east-based event. We'll have to see how the PDO reacts too. If it slingshots to deep negative, it will of course start throwing the brakes on again. However, if we get an 82-83 type situation (where it only declines to neutral), that would signal (for me, at least) that we're back into a +PDO phase longer term and thus the temp records that are set this year and/or next won't stand very long.

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2015, 04:09:52 PM »
Anyone going to the Fall AGU meeting can get updates on the progress of the following effort to compare ARM ground-based cloud radar measurements with climate model output to see if positive feedback from clouds is increasing with global warming:

Yuying Zhang (2015) "Application of ARM Cloud Radar Simulator to GCMs: Plan, Issues, and Preliminary Results", AGU Fall Meeting presentation board

http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2015/abstract/application-of-arm-cloud-radar-simulator-to-gcms-plan-issues-and-preliminary-results/

Abstract: "It has been challenging to directly compare ARM ground-based cloud radar measurements with climate model output because of limitations or features of the observing process. To address this issue, an ongoing effort in ARM is to implement ARM cloud radar simulator, similar to satellite simulators that have been widely used in the global climate modeling community, to convert model data into pseudo-ARM cloud radar observations. The simulator mimics the instrument view of a narrow atmospheric column (as compared to a large GCM grid-cell) thus allowing meaningful comparison between model output and ARM cloud observations. This work is being closely coordinated with the CFMIP (the Cloud-Feedback Model Intercomparison Project) Observation Simulator Package (COSP, www.cfmip.net; Bodas-Salcedo et al. 2011) project. The goal is to incorporate ARM simulators into COSP with the global climate modeling community as the target user.
This poster provides details about the implementation plan, discusses potential issues with ground-based simulators for both ARM radars, and presents preliminary results in evaluating the DOE Accelerated Climate Model for Energy (ACME) simulated clouds with ARM radar observations through applying the ARM radar simulator to ACME. Future plans on this project are discussed.
This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344."



See also:

Betz, E. (2015), Researchers roll clouds into climate modeling, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO027283. Published on 2 April 2015.

https://eos.org/research-spotlights/researchers-roll-clouds-into-climate-modeling
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Steven

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2015, 08:29:15 PM »
Washington Post article by Chris Mooney today, about the Indonesian fires in 2015:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/10/15/how-indonesias-staggering-fires-are-making-global-warming-worse/


Quote
Those emissions are more than large enough to have global consequences. Indeed, according to recent calculations by Guido van der Werf, a researcher at VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands who keeps a database that tracks the global emissions from wildfires, this year’s Indonesian fires had given off an estimated 995 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions as of Oct. 14.

...

"Fire emissions are already higher than Germany’s total CO2 emissions, and the fire season is not over yet," says van der Werf. He provided this figure, which allows you to compare how much carbon dioxide and other emissions Indonesian fires have put into the atmosphere each year since 1997 with the annual fossil fuel emissions profiles of various countries (including Indonesia itself):





As you can see, 2015 is already a very notable year — and it could get considerably worse. Van der Werf says he thinks that for total Indonesian fire emissions, 2015 may ultimately nestle somewhere between 2006 and the truly catastrophic year of 1997.
...
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 10:26:32 PM by Steven »

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2015, 09:42:32 PM »
Washington Post article by Chris Mooney today, about the Indonesian fires in 2015:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/10/15/how-indonesias-staggering-fires-are-making-global-warming-worse/

Quote
“The forests in Indonesia are generally not flammable, so these fires are virtually all caused by people, or land clearing,”

So. the fires seem to be a classical anthropogenic feedback: Unwillingness to learn.
Heck, they had these mega fires at least twice since the end of last century. Peat only burns when dry. They have to restore the old peat hydrology that was destroyed for mega palm oil plantations (mostly, but they also need to feed a growing number of mouths and seem to think Indonesia has bio-logical space for 500 million). (They should try to popularize population pressure reduction (Islamic countries tend to be even more perverse in that respect than catholic countries).)

So, methinks these fires are mostly criminal neglect (if not actively contributing to passive collective autogenocide) -- and somebody (not El Nino) should get some considerable blame for this.

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2015, 12:58:44 AM »
http://phys.org/news/2015-10-plumes-washington-oregon-warmer-ocean.html

Bubble plumes off Washington, Oregon suggest warmer ocean may be releasing frozen methane

Quote
Warming ocean temperatures a third of a mile below the surface, in a dark ocean in areas with little marine life, might attract scant attention. But this is precisely the depth where frozen pockets of methane 'ice' transition from a dormant solid to a powerful greenhouse gas.

New University of Washington research suggests that subsurface warming could be causing more methane gas to bubble up off the Washington and Oregon coast.

The study, to appear in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, shows that of 168 bubble plumes observed within the past decade, a disproportionate number were seen at a critical depth for the stability of methane hydrates.

"We see an unusually high number of bubble plumes at the depth where methane hydrate would decompose if seawater has warmed," said lead author H. Paul Johnson, a UW professor of oceanography. "So it is not likely to be just emitted from the sediments; this appears to be coming from the decomposition of methane that has been frozen for thousands of years."

AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2015, 05:05:02 PM »
The first image shows BoM's Nino 3.4 plot through the week ending Oct 18 2015, showing that our current El Nino is in the Super El Nino range and may be classified as such if it stays in this range for at least three continuous month.  As I have noted in other threads, a Super El Nino can serve as a trigger to activate other positive feedbacks and to sustain our current positive PDO phase.

With a nod to Sleepy, the second image shows the AGGI atmospheric methane concentration through the Spring of 2015, showing either an increase in variance of atmospheric CH4, or the possible beginning of a new trend line slope.

The third image shows the U of Colorado sea level trend line through about June 27 2015, showing a marked near-term increase in global sea level, that might indicate that ice sheet contribution to SLR is accelerating.

The fourth image shows the Keeling Curve for the past two year through Oct 17 2015 showing a marked pulse of CO₂ in the past 2 weeks.

Denialist have at least 15-years of faux hiatus data to point at to raise doubts about the current upward trends in positive feedbacks, but time will tell where Earth Systems are headed.
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2015, 10:30:09 PM »
While the topic of wildfires has been discussed in other threads, I thought this it would be good to provide the attached satellite plot of cumulative active fires detected in Indonesia through Oct 15 2015 (which is currently contributing more GHG emissions than the USA); and I note that fire may persist in Indonesia well beyond January 2016:

http://mashable.com/2015/10/16/indonesia-peat-fires-carbon-bomb/#3D2Sc3Gf35qk
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jai mitchell

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2015, 10:45:16 PM »
I echo sleepy, I do NOT like the look of that jump at the end of the CH4 curve.
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Theta

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2015, 08:55:12 PM »
The Climate is changing in a very disturbing manner and is beginning to become more pronounced. I find it frightening that wildfires are even continuing in places, releasing more carbon and damaging the system further, and I also see that Methane is coming, not from the Arctic Ocean, but from the sea around Oregon, that is crazy because that is not supposed to happen, not for a long time.

I have to wonder if Guy McPherson's hypothesis on Climate Change induced human extinction is actually correct and if these tipping points are the markers of it.
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2015, 09:07:13 PM »
If I remember well, there is also some plumes found on the east US coast, New-Zeland certainly somewhere else...
As Guy McPherson's hypothesis, I just hope he is wrong but my feeling is despite some off the charts views, he is globally right...

here it is :
http://www.livescience.com/37517-east-coast-gas-seeps-discovered.html

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11441247.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 09:14:27 PM by Laurent »

Theta

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2015, 09:13:59 PM »
If I remember well, there is also some plumes found on the east US coast, New-Zeland certainly somewhere else...
As Guy McPherson's hypothesis, I just hope he is wrong but my feeling is despite some off the charts views, he is globally right...

here it is : http: //www.livescience.com/37517-east-coast-gas-seeps-discovered.html

Hmm, that is really bad, really really bad... Hopefully it will at least not be as early as 2030...
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Laurent

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2015, 09:37:00 PM »
You know about the Jason Box tweet, do you ?
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8401/20140805/fd-methane-plumes-seep-frozen-ocean-floors.htm

Methane is said to be 34 times more powerful than CO2 but that is on a 100 years basis, expecting the global emissions declining at a rate of 100% in 15 years ? That is not what is happening, methane is increasing so even though there is some methane removal, globally the emissions are increasing, so we should calculate on an instantaneous value (130 I have heard).

So if I am correct the CO2e (instant) should be like that :
CO2e (I) = 400 + 1,85 x 130 + 0.3 x 300 + ...
   = 724 ppm

hum, hum, that will send us way off the charts...
I join the charts I found. If you have better I'll take it.

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2015, 09:55:18 PM »
The Climate is changing in a very disturbing manner and is beginning to become more pronounced. I find it frightening that wildfires are even continuing in places, releasing more carbon and damaging the system further, and I also see that Methane is coming, not from the Arctic Ocean, but from the sea around Oregon, that is crazy because that is not supposed to happen, not for a long time.

I have to wonder if Guy McPherson's hypothesis on Climate Change induced human extinction is actually correct and if these tipping points are the markers of it.
Theta,

This thread is not specifically about tipping points as some of the feedbacks discussed here (like fires & methane) will fluctuate.  For example you can monitor the changes in active wildfires at the following NASA website.  In many cases the tipping points will not occur until well after this year:

https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/firemap/

Best,
ASLR
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2015, 10:04:01 PM »
You know about the Jason Box tweet, do you ?
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8401/20140805/fd-methane-plumes-seep-frozen-ocean-floors.htm

Methane is said to be 34 times more powerful than CO2 but that is on a 100 years basis, expecting the global emissions declining at a rate of 100% in 15 years ? That is not what is happening, methane is increasing so even though there is some methane removal, globally the emissions are increasing, so we should calculate on an instantaneous value (130 I have heard).

So if I am correct the CO2e (instant) should be like that :
CO2e (I) = 400 + 1,85 x 130 + 0.3 x 300 + ...
   = 724 ppm

hum, hum, that will send us way off the charts...
I join the charts I found. If you have better I'll take it.

For better, or worse, most policy makers denial that we will follow any radiative forcing scenario worse than RCP 3PD.  So they say that while CH4 emissions are currently increasing, soon they will be falling.  That said, attached is an old plot of different GWP for CH4 at different timeframes assuming current atmospheric conditions (for both the old 2007 thinking with only direct input and the post-2009 thinking including both direct & indirect inputs):
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Csnavywx

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2015, 06:33:25 PM »
Update from original post (00hr analysis and 120 hr forecast from CAMS):


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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2015, 06:43:30 PM »
Some pics from Manaus -- the city in the "heart of the Amazon":

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/multimedia/Severe-Drought-in-Brazilian-Amazon-Leaves-Boats-High-and-Dry-20151019-0044.html

(Edit by DM: url fixed)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 08:18:21 AM by DungeonMaster »

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2015, 07:13:51 PM »
To me it certainly is disturbing that the AR5 model projections:

- Include TCR values based on short-term observations (dominated by the faux hiatus) that almost certainly underestimate the true value for TCR.
- Exclude consideration of wildfires.
- Exclude consideration of Arctic methane emissions.
- Exhibit proven Double ITCZ bias that downplay the importance of deep tropical atmospheric convection and that underestimate the likely extent of positive feedback from clouds.
- Ignore hosing from ice melt; which Hansen et al (2015) have demonstrated to be important.
- Exhibit proven bias w.r.t. the critically important Southern Ocean responses.
- Heavily discount the importance of Earth System phases including PDO and ENSO cycles.
- Heavily discount the implications of the current rapid build-up of Ocean Heat Content and the associated marine glacier ice mass loss (especially on the AMOC).
- Over emphasize linear feedbacks while under-emphasizing non-linear feedback behavior.
- Ignore forest emissions of VOCs and their role in masking past high climate sensitivities.

I could go on with the list of inappropriate assumptions that AR5 modelers have made; but I think that I have listed enough that policy makers should not believe that the projections that they current have been provided are adequate to ensure public safety.
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2015, 01:46:02 AM »
Do I read the red map right: Amazon now getting worse CO2 emitter than Indonesia?
The pictures from Manaus are frightening. Doom of the Amazon?

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2015, 02:27:10 AM »
The linked article discusses satellites used to monitor climate change on earth:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/climate-change/pulse-of-the-planet-text

Edit: The attached images shows the observed atmospheric CO2 concentration from June 7-23 2015 (note that this is near the period of minimum global CO2 concentration & is out of the boreal Fall fire season that we are now in).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:23:08 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2015, 04:08:13 AM »
That is rather nice of them to keep the lower values in the scale of the image. (y). Makes the map a bit harder to read, but anyone can remap the scale with the current tech rather easily. I'd suggest only one change in the scale, that is, they could use the blue hues for values of  345-370ppm and green hues for values of 370-395 ppm. This would make the future maps more easily readable and the yellow-green value of under 395ppm in the present chart would eliminate itself next year. Nice touch of them to run the scale around via white, this presents a clear line for the highest values.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:19:50 AM by Pmt111500 »
Cooling the outside by heat pump.

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2015, 05:02:12 PM »
While this thread is focused on pointing at recent measurements indicating that the responses of key feedbacks (most prominently now due to wildfires) have now (2015) reached bifurcation points (not tipping points) where their rates of responses have abruptly accelerated (possibly triggered by our current Super El Nino event).  While looking at satellite measurements is reassuring because their uncertainties are relatively low, what is most important is that Earth System Models, ESMs, not only capture such non-linear accelerations, but also the synergistic interactions between the various feedbacks (given that: "All models are wrong, but some models are useful), as this synergistic interaction will give us all a better idea where climate change is going in the next few decades.  In this regards, in addition to they El Nino triggering of droughts and associated tropical rainforest wildfires, I list some other feedback synergies that it will be important for state-of-the-art ESMs like ACME to accurately model, if policy makers are going to have reasonable model forecasts of what is coming (assuming that 2015 is a turning point):

A) Permafrost degradation is not only accelerated by wildfires (currently not modeled, & especially not the burning of the peat & forest litter) but also by the polarward migration of burrowing animals and forest killing invasive insects.
B) Not only do droughts (including that induced by our Super El Nino) promote tropical forest wildfires (with high CO2 emissions), but subsequent flooding leads to submergence of the dead vegetation that leads to accelerated CH4 emission in subsequent years.  Also, tropical rainforests generate atmospheric conditions that promote rainfall, so the current high rates of deforestation & tropical wildfires will result in less future rainfall, and more droughts (even without El Ninos).  Also, I note that run-off from tropical rainforests contains high levels of CO2, so we can expect the next round of floodwater to carry unusually are amounts of CO2 into the oceans, thus accelerating ocean acidification.
C) Both paleo-evidence and Hansen et al. (2015) point both to the synergy between the bipolar seesaw and both Arctic Amplification and also to planetary energy imbalance, via changes with both polar sea ice and the MOC.
D) I note that both increasing ocean heat content and ocean acidification contribute to a trend indicating a reduction in the size of plankton which synergistically results in less CO2 absorption, less dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions, and less CO2 sequestration into deep ocean waters.
F) Accelerating global deforestation (due to droughts, insect damage, wildfires, etc.) result in reduced VOC emissions, which means less negative feedback.
G) The increase in tropical atmospheric deep convection works synergistically to promote stronger El Nino events, more positive cloud feedback and poleward telecommunication of atmospheric energy thus promoting Polar Amplification.

Such synergies between non-linear feedback mechanisms could lead to future tipping points that will be extremely difficult to reverse such as:
A) A possible atmospheric flip to an equable climate (possibly by the end of this century).
B) Abrupt collapse of the marine portions of ice sheet (possibly starting in a couple of decades time).
C) A possible MOC collapse (if the marine portions of the ice sheets collapse).
D) A possible abrupt transition to a Canfield ocean (with high sulfide producing bacteria).
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2015, 05:14:38 PM »
The linked Mashable article documents that the fact that September 2015 was the warmest month on record, this record temperature is not solely tied to our current Super El Nino, but also to an acceleration in feedbacks:

http://mashable.com/2015/10/21/september-warmest-month-by-far/#yzeOIyPXqgqV

Also, I note that October 2015 is now on track to exceed September's temperature anomalies by a wide margin.
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2015, 09:05:25 PM »
The linked article in Mashable didn't mention what I thought was the biggest news:
"The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2015 was the highest for September in the 136-year period of record, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F), surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.12°C (0.19°F)."

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2015, 07:06:41 PM »
Insect invasions cannot be monitored by satellites, but stories of first time insect invasions this year (like that below) are increasingly common:

http://www.grandforksherald.com/outdoors/wildlife/3867766-forests-face-peril-invasive-insect-confirmed-duluth

Extract: "Emerald ash borer, the invasive insect that threatens million of acres of Minnesota ash forest and tens of thousands of boulevard trees, has been confirmed in Duluth for the first time."
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #41 on: October 25, 2015, 12:08:17 AM »
While this thread is focused on pointing at recent measurements indicating that the responses of key feedbacks (most prominently now due to wildfires) have now (2015) reached bifurcation points (not tipping points) where their rates of responses have abruptly accelerated (possibly triggered by our current Super El Nino event).  While looking at satellite measurements is reassuring because their uncertainties are relatively low, what is most important is that Earth System Models, ESMs, not only capture such non-linear accelerations, but also the synergistic interactions between the various feedbacks (given that: "All models are wrong, but some models are useful), as this synergistic interaction will give us all a better idea where climate change is going in the next few decades.  In this regards, in addition to they El Nino triggering of droughts and associated tropical rainforest wildfires, I list some other feedback synergies that it will be important for state-of-the-art ESMs like ACME to accurately model, if policy makers are going to have reasonable model forecasts of what is coming (assuming that 2015 is a turning point):

A) Permafrost degradation is not only accelerated by wildfires (currently not modeled, & especially not the burning of the peat & forest litter) but also by the polarward migration of burrowing animals and forest killing invasive insects.
B) Not only do droughts (including that induced by our Super El Nino) promote tropical forest wildfires (with high CO2 emissions), but subsequent flooding leads to submergence of the dead vegetation that leads to accelerated CH4 emission in subsequent years.  Also, tropical rainforests generate atmospheric conditions that promote rainfall, so the current high rates of deforestation & tropical wildfires will result in less future rainfall, and more droughts (even without El Ninos).  Also, I note that run-off from tropical rainforests contains high levels of CO2, so we can expect the next round of floodwater to carry unusually are amounts of CO2 into the oceans, thus accelerating ocean acidification.
C) Both paleo-evidence and Hansen et al. (2015) point both to the synergy between the bipolar seesaw and both Arctic Amplification and also to planetary energy imbalance, via changes with both polar sea ice and the MOC.
D) I note that both increasing ocean heat content and ocean acidification contribute to a trend indicating a reduction in the size of plankton which synergistically results in less CO2 absorption, less dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions, and less CO2 sequestration into deep ocean waters.
F) Accelerating global deforestation (due to droughts, insect damage, wildfires, etc.) result in reduced VOC emissions, which means less negative feedback.
G) The increase in tropical atmospheric deep convection works synergistically to promote stronger El Nino events, more positive cloud feedback and poleward telecommunication of atmospheric energy thus promoting Polar Amplification.

Such synergies between non-linear feedback mechanisms could lead to future tipping points that will be extremely difficult to reverse such as:
A) A possible atmospheric flip to an equable climate (possibly by the end of this century).
B) Abrupt collapse of the marine portions of ice sheet (possibly starting in a couple of decades time).
C) A possible MOC collapse (if the marine portions of the ice sheets collapse).
D) A possible abrupt transition to a Canfield ocean (with high sulfide producing bacteria).

Out of all the feedbacks, that last one is the most important because an abrupt transition to a carnfield ocean seals the deal on a great extinction event, thus the chances of this feedback occurring are terrifying, especially with the (not sure how abrupt) abruptness of the feedback.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #42 on: October 25, 2015, 05:43:19 AM »
While this thread is focused on pointing at recent measurements indicating that the responses of key feedbacks (most prominently now due to wildfires) have now (2015) reached bifurcation points (not tipping points) where their rates of responses have abruptly accelerated (possibly triggered by our current Super El Nino event).  While looking at satellite measurements is reassuring because their uncertainties are relatively low, what is most important is that Earth System Models, ESMs, not only capture such non-linear accelerations, but also the synergistic interactions between the various feedbacks (given that: "All models are wrong, but some models are useful), as this synergistic interaction will give us all a better idea where climate change is going in the next few decades.  In this regards, in addition to they El Nino triggering of droughts and associated tropical rainforest wildfires, I list some other feedback synergies that it will be important for state-of-the-art ESMs like ACME to accurately model, if policy makers are going to have reasonable model forecasts of what is coming (assuming that 2015 is a turning point):

A) Permafrost degradation is not only accelerated by wildfires (currently not modeled, & especially not the burning of the peat & forest litter) but also by the polarward migration of burrowing animals and forest killing invasive insects.
B) Not only do droughts (including that induced by our Super El Nino) promote tropical forest wildfires (with high CO2 emissions), but subsequent flooding leads to submergence of the dead vegetation that leads to accelerated CH4 emission in subsequent years.  Also, tropical rainforests generate atmospheric conditions that promote rainfall, so the current high rates of deforestation & tropical wildfires will result in less future rainfall, and more droughts (even without El Ninos).  Also, I note that run-off from tropical rainforests contains high levels of CO2, so we can expect the next round of floodwater to carry unusually are amounts of CO2 into the oceans, thus accelerating ocean acidification.
C) Both paleo-evidence and Hansen et al. (2015) point both to the synergy between the bipolar seesaw and both Arctic Amplification and also to planetary energy imbalance, via changes with both polar sea ice and the MOC.
D) I note that both increasing ocean heat content and ocean acidification contribute to a trend indicating a reduction in the size of plankton which synergistically results in less CO2 absorption, less dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emissions, and less CO2 sequestration into deep ocean waters.
F) Accelerating global deforestation (due to droughts, insect damage, wildfires, etc.) result in reduced VOC emissions, which means less negative feedback.
G) The increase in tropical atmospheric deep convection works synergistically to promote stronger El Nino events, more positive cloud feedback and poleward telecommunication of atmospheric energy thus promoting Polar Amplification.

Such synergies between non-linear feedback mechanisms could lead to future tipping points that will be extremely difficult to reverse such as:
A) A possible atmospheric flip to an equable climate (possibly by the end of this century).
B) Abrupt collapse of the marine portions of ice sheet (possibly starting in a couple of decades time).
C) A possible MOC collapse (if the marine portions of the ice sheets collapse).
D) A possible abrupt transition to a Canfield ocean (with high sulfide producing bacteria).

Out of all the feedbacks, that last one is the most important because an abrupt transition to a carnfield ocean seals the deal on a great extinction event, thus the chances of this feedback occurring are terrifying, especially with the (not sure how abrupt) abruptness of the feedback.

It was not my intention in my post to focus on the tipping points, but rather on the synergies of the numerous positive feedbacks (that seem to be currently accelerating) that could lead to such tipping points (all of which are discussed in other threads).  But speaking about importance, I note that the three top priorities (to avoid unexpected/unpleasant surprises) for the ACME program are to more accurately model: (a) ice mass loss from ice sheets; (b) mechanisms that lead to more positive cloud feedbacks (such as deep equatorial atmospheric convection); and (c) mechanisms associated with acceleration of the water cycle. 

While there is a fair amount of discussion in this forum on both ice sheet mass loss and positive cloud feedback mechanism; I feel that there is insufficient discussion about mechanisms associated with acceleration of the water cycle.  Therefore, I re-post the following information about the linked reference, which provides evidence that the equation most commonly used in current climate models to predict evaporation flux is most likely in error.  As water vapor is most abundant GHG in the atmosphere, it is critical that current climate change models be up dated to reflex these new findings (which indicate that evaporation flux can be significantly greater than currently assumed, and can be significantly affected by the speed of the wind above bodies of water [and I note that wind velocities increase with continued climate change]):

Robert Hołyst, Marek Litniewski and Daniel Jakubczyk (2015), "A molecular dynamics test of the Hertz–Knudsen equation for evaporating liquids", Soft Matter, DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01508A

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2015/SM/c5sm01508a#!divAbstract

Abstract: "The precise determination of evaporation flux from liquid surfaces gives control over evaporation-driven self-assembly in soft matter systems. The Hertz–Knudsen (HK) equation is commonly used to predict evaporation flux. This equation states that the flux is proportional to the difference between the pressure in the system and the equilibrium pressure for liquid/vapor coexistence. We applied molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of one component Lennard-Jones (LJ) fluid to test the HK equation for a wide range of thermodynamic parameters covering more than one order of magnitude in the values of flux. The flux determined in the simulations was 3.6 times larger than that computed from the HK equation. However, the flux was constant over time while the pressures in the HK equation exhibited strong fluctuations during simulations. This observation suggests that the HK equation may not appropriately grasp the physical mechanism of evaporation. We discuss this issue in the context of momentum flux during evaporation and mechanical equilibrium in this process. Most probably the process of evaporation is driven by a tiny difference between the liquid pressure and the gas pressure. This difference is equal to the momentum flux i.e. momentum carried by the molecules leaving the surface of the liquid during evaporation. The average velocity in the evaporation flux is very small (two to three orders of magnitude smaller than the typical velocity of LJ atoms). Therefore the distribution of velocities of LJ atoms does not deviate from the Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution, even in the interfacial region."

See also:
http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/new-thinking-on-evaporation-may-affect-climate-models.html

Extract: "The hitherto model of evaporation was based on the principle of conservation of mass: the mass of molecules released from the surface of a liquid had to respectively increase the mass of the gas in its surroundings. Physicists from the IPC PAS noticed, however, that since the particles released from the surface have a certain velocity, in order to describe this phenomenon what should be applied is the principle of conservation of momentum.

The discovery of the IPC PAS researchers is of the utmost importance for, among others, the understanding of the real mechanisms responsible for global warming. Contrary to common belief, the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere of our planet is not carbon dioxide but water vapour. At the same time, it is known that the speed of flow of air masses over the oceans can significantly exceed one hundred kilometres per hour and therefore they will certainly affect the rate of evaporation. The hitherto evaluation of the rate of evaporation of the oceans must therefore be subject to error, which will certainly affect the accuracy of the predictions of contemporary models of the Earth's climate."
 
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2015, 05:51:38 AM »
The linked Weather Network article discusses the fleet of satellites monitoring Earths weather, environment and changing climate:

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/watch-a-space-fleet-track-earths-weather-and-environment/58146/
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2015, 06:14:59 AM »
As I raised the topic of satellite monitoring of ice sheet mass loss, I provide the following link to NASA videos showing the acceleration of this mass loss through June of 2014 (see the attached image for West Antarctica); and I note that I expect ice mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, WAIS, to accelerate still further in 2015 (but the 2015 GRACE satellite data is normally not available until the summer of 2016 due to efforts to improve the signal to noise ratio):

http://www.carbonbrief.org/new-nasa-videos-show-stark-ice-loss-from-earths-ice-sheets/

Edit: See also:
https://www.princeton.edu/geosciences/people/simons/pdf/EPSL-2015a.pdf
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 12:20:43 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #45 on: October 25, 2015, 09:01:43 PM »
I have over 200 pages of articles related to climate feedback. I've been holding back, but as I note that the first two of your points above have to do with wild fires, I just want to point out that there is also an expected increase in lightening strikes already from GW with more to come as we continue to head down our warming path.

Quote
A) Permafrost degradation is not only accelerated by wildfires (currently not modeled, & especially not the burning of the peat & forest litter) but also by the polarward migration of burrowing animals and forest killing invasive insects.
B) Not only do droughts (including that induced by our Super El Nino) promote tropical forest wildfires (with high CO2 emissions)...

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/13/lightning-strikes-will-increase-due-to-climate-change

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6211/851

"Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming"

    David M. Romps, Jacob T. Seeley, David Vollaro, John Molinari

Abstract:

Quote
Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. Here we propose that the lightning flash rate is proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation explains 77% of the variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Storms convert CAPE times precipitated water mass to discharged lightning energy with an efficiency of 1%.

When this proxy is applied to 11 climate models, CONUS lightning strikes are predicted to increase 12 ± 5% per degree Celsius of global warming and about 50% over this century.
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2015, 05:02:36 PM »
The linked Mother Jones article highlights the seriousness of the current wildfires in Indonesia (see attached image):

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/10/indonesia-climate-change-fires-palm-oil-el-nino
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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2015, 05:44:58 PM »
The first linked article indicates that Atacama Desert in Chile is experiencing its greatest bloom of flowers ever reported due to this year's El Nino; while the second linked reference shows that the arid portions of Australia are experiencing such seasonal surges in vegetation growth that it is reducing the streamflows.  In my opinion this indicates that the Faustian Bargain that James Hansen warned about (that the continuing increase in atmospheric CO₂ concentrations is currently leading to surges in vegetation growth [particularly in arid areas] that is temporarily masking the associated greenhouse effect) has extended from the Northern Hemisphere, NH, (see the flat spot in the attached Keeling Curve from Jan to Feb 2015 [when the deserts bloom in the NH]) to the Southern Hemisphere, SH, (see the flat spot in the attached Keeling Curve for Oct. 2015 [the SH Spring].  Further, it is my opinion that the flat spot in Oct 2015 is temporarily masking the tropical wildfire induced surge of CO₂ concentrations associated with the current strong El Nino; and if I am correct then this will likely lead to above trend-line atmospheric CO₂ concentrations in Dec & Jan as the SH desert bloom die-off and return some of the CO₂ that they previously absorbed:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2015/1030/Why-are-lush-carpets-of-flowers-thriving-in-the-driest-place-on-earth

Anna M. Ukkola, I. Colin Prentice, Trevor F. Keenan, Albert I. J. M. van Dijk, Neil R. Viney, Ranga B. Myneni & Jian Bi (2015), "Reduced streamflow in water-stressed climates consistent with CO2 effects on vegetation", Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2831

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2831.html
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2015, 04:57:29 PM »
The linked article cites NASA satellite data indicating that the drought in Brazil is more severe than was previously expected; which will not only accelerate net CO₂ emissions from the Amazon but when the next La Nina (possibly in 2016) creates flood conditions, the CH4 emissions will also accelerate from the Amazon:

http://www.trust.org/item/20151030184853-66fu4/?source=jtDontmiss

Extract: "New satellite data shows Brazil's drought is worse than previously thought, with the southeast losing 56 trillion liters of water in each of the past three years - more than enough to fill Lake Tahoe, a NASA scientist said on Friday.
The country's most severe drought in 35 years has also caused the Brazil's larger and less-populated northeast to lose 49 trillion liters of water each year over three years compared with normal levels, said NASA hydrologist Augusto Getirana.
Brazilians are well aware of the drought due to water rationing, power blackouts and empty reservoirs in parts of the country but this is the first study to document exactly how much water has disappeared from aquifers and reservoirs, Getirana said.
"It is much larger than I imagined," Getirana told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "With climate change, this is going to happen more and more often.""
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AbruptSLR

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Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2015, 05:05:56 PM »
The attached NASA map of significant wildfires for the past 72 hours prior to Nov 2, 2015, indicates that the wildfires near the equator are slowing down compared to the last few weeks, while they are increasing away from the equator in places like North Australia, Manchuria, Mozambique, and Northern India.
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