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Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2015, 01:59:09 PM »
More on viruses in (or from!) the permafrost:

Giant Viruses Are Hiding In Permafrost
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/27/giant-viruses-are-hiding-in-permafrost-but-not-for-long.html

Scientists Describe How 1918 Influenza Virus Sample Was Exhumed In Alaska -- ScienceDaily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070702145610.htm
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

skanky

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #101 on: October 08, 2015, 07:09:08 PM »
Quote
The Sierra Club, Environmental Media Association and RYOT launched today the first-ever virtual reality climate change public service announcement, which offers 360 degree panoramic shots that catapults viewers into the heart of the Arctic to explore frontline communities and melting glaciers.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/07/jared-leto-climate-change/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=44ffd773bf-Top_News_10_8_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-44ffd773bf-85361089

Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #102 on: October 21, 2015, 05:05:25 PM »
A Toxic Threat Reaches a Remote Arctic Island
http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/10/20/remote-arctic-island-civilizations-impacts-are-persistent?cmpid=tp-ptnr-huffpost&utm_source=huffpost&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=tp-traffic
Quote
In research published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, Evenset and her colleagues reported that the population of Arctic char landlocked in Bear Island’s Lake Ellasjøen contains some of the highest levels of toxic persistent organic pollutants found above the Arctic Circle.

The study found that the Arctic char in Lake Ellasjøen had up to 36 times more polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in their body tissues as the same species in Lake Laksvatn, near Bear Island's northern coast. Female Arctic char in Lake Ellasjøen also showed higher levels of hexachlorobenzene in 2009 and 2012 than they had in 1999 and 2001 and had six times the amount of organohalogenated compounds in their ovaries that they had in their muscle tissue.

plinius

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #103 on: October 24, 2015, 01:30:41 PM »
does not seem very reasonable to me. Virtually all glaciers cycle the ice over thousands of years, so we are continuously "exposed" to thawing diseases. Yet, there are far more dangerous sources of disease to worry about - a single mass animal farm breeds more new and virulent diseases than a giant glacier can spew out in rapid melt.

LRC1962

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #104 on: October 24, 2015, 09:49:43 PM »
does not seem very reasonable to me. Virtually all glaciers cycle the ice over thousands of years, so we are continuously "exposed" to thawing diseases. Yet, there are far more dangerous sources of disease to worry about - a single mass animal farm breeds more new and virulent diseases than a giant glacier can spew out in rapid melt.
Let us divide your issues into 3 parts. warm land, mountain glaciers and sea level ice and land (will includes Greenland and Antarctica in this as the caving points are at sea level.
Warm land. Here the viruses mutate constantly, but at the same time humans exposed it viruses from these areas generally get constant updated inoculations and although can get sick for the most part especially with modern medical interventions do not die in world wide large percentage numbers.
Mountain glaciers can contain viruses, but because of mountain meadow lands and other such areas, nature filters out for the most part those viruses and therefore do not get into the general human population.
Sea level glaciers and frozen lands such as permafrost is a very different story. At one time it was thought viruses got killed off because the people that lived in those areas never got sick with them. It seems that maybe what happened was that they were put into cold storage. If that is the case then humans have no inoculations for those viruses because they have not been around in the general public for a long time. The question that needs to be answered is what and how will they effect the general public now. Will they be ineffective because the the transit from ice to warmth will brake them down to the point they can not harm humans? Is there the critical mass of the virus needed to infect the host to the point it can become a major health issue? Can it be transported from the cold regions to where the hosts live fast enough so that they can repopulate themselves before nature can filter them out using its natural filtration systems?
We now know those viruses live there. We also know that if those viruses got into the general population of their host in numbers that they can thrive in a lot of damage will happen fast because the host no longer have defences against them. Its the other questions we still have no clear answers for yet.
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wili

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #105 on: October 26, 2015, 05:11:36 PM »
Apologies if this has been posted somewhere, but here's an interview with Gavin Schmidt, the first couple questions on Arctic Sea Ice: https://www.skepticalscience.com/interview-gavin-schmidt.html

Quote
CB: Is there any good news at all with Arctic sea-ice? There was a NASA study that suggested that, perhaps, older, multi-year sea ice was recovering a bit since the 2012 low. Is that happening?

GS: So, what you are seeing is, again, some of that inter-annual variability that is driven by, you know, the vagaries of the weather in any particular summer season. It’s not in any sense a recovery, but, obviously, once you have a really exceptional year – the one you had in 2012 – anything after that is going to look like it’s a recovery, but the long-term trends are very, very dramatic. The sea-ice thickness has gone down by over 40%, the amount of old ice – so this is the thick, ridged ice that’s been around for multiple seasons – has gone down to historic lows. So, it’s not going down to the extent where it’s all going to disappear this year or next year, but the decline is very significant and is steady.
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Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #106 on: November 25, 2015, 09:35:36 PM »
http://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-cop21-a-40-ans-de-retard-denonce-mika-mered-specialiste-de-l-arctique.N363749#xtor=RSS-300

A French article translated here with google and me :

A photo with some polar bears who see their ice melt... It's a powerful image that symbolizes global warming. Yet early December in Paris at the COP21, the climate conference, the topic of the Arctic will not be mentioned. Mika Mered advocates that Poles are not forgotten in these negotiations. Specialist of the polar regions since 2008 in Polarisk, he took the head of the institute of geostrategic Council three years ago. In parallel, he also founded the French Polar Cluster. This association, gathering the French players operating in the Arctic, the Arctic will organize meetings to raise awareness of the problems of the region.

L'Usine Nouvelle: The National Center for Atmospheric Research is an expert in climate prediction. Do you believe, as he announced in September that the Arctic Ocean will melt completely during the summer in 2100?
Mika Mered: According to various estimates made by climatologists, the US Navy says 2035, NASA has several scenarios ranging from 2030 to 2075. It is even before 2100. So it's something clear , clear and precise, the total melting of the Arctic Ocean arrives.

And the fact of limiting global warming to 2 ° C, which is the main objective of the COP21, will not change anything?
The Arctic is melting and it will melt the COP21 there or not. Whatever the agreement of the COP21 is, it will continue to melt.

Yet the subject of the Arctic will not be discussed during the COP21.
There are 74% of the earth's surface which will not be discussed during the COP21. You have half days or thematic days on peoples and forests. But there are two issues that are not scheduled : polar regions and oceans. This may seem completely absurd but the oceans and the poles will not be discussed at COP21.

How do you explain it?
The Arctic, Antarctic and oceans can be "deal breakers"  agreements. That is to say that you can have an early agreement, but when we arrive on the oceans or the poles, there is a blockage.

"The word must be given to Greenland"

What a subject directly threatened by global warming could prevent a deal?
If you enter negotiations on oceans at the COP21, you will therefore initiate a review of the Montego Bay Convention of 1982, which governs the international law of the sea. The agreement was reached after long and difficult negotiations . It would be an tremendous cacophony. Similarly for the Antarctic Treaty and the Madrid Protocol, which is supposed to guarantee the proper use of science and the environment of Antarctica.

There is the Montego Bay agreement for the sea, the Madrid Protocol for the Antarctic, but no treaty on the Arctic. Why is it therefore not included in the negotiations?
The Arctic is inhabited, the Arctic is shared, the Arctic has an existing legal structure and the Arctic coastal states have exclusive economic zone. Based on this principle, it would not be to the advantage of France, with a view to reaching agreement at COP21, to bring this matter specifically in negotiations.

Yet the Arctic meetings "Arctic Encounter" that you organize, will address specifically the Arctic.
That's right, however, Arctic Encounter Paris 2015 aims to be a forum for discussion and not a beginning process towards commitments. On December 11, just after the close of COP21, experts will pick up on what has been done, or not, at the conference to see how the Arctic has been taken into account and analyze the impacts on the area.

The next day, you will give a voice to local actors, why?
The Prime minister of Nunavut, the Inuit province of Canada, will open the day on the 12th December, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economy and Greenland's Mineral Resources will conclude. These people must have a space for talking. They are impacted before us. This should be the logic, it is not this one that will prevail at the COP21.

"The possibility of a reverse gear is gone"

You think the COP21 is a sword in the water?
Paul-Emile Victor, the famous French explorer, said already in the 70s it does ideally require a global ecological awareness. But 40 years ago, you could still do something. That is to say, if at that time there had been the COP21 and therefore, a concrete agreement. The Arctic would not have melted and we would not be talking about it.

It is too late to act?
People born after the 80s are possibly the most committed and aware of the issues. Alas, they have no more influence on near future climate. The new generation of political leader who will emerge, who are now between 15 and 30 years old, will have to manage global warming. The possibility of backtracking is over.

 Interview by Pierre Monnier

Neven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2015, 11:49:25 PM »
Merci, Laurent.
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Steven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #108 on: December 15, 2015, 11:36:06 PM »
NOAA released the 2015 Arctic Report Card:
http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/

See also:
2015 Arctic Report Card: Visual Highlights

Here are some of the topics covered on the "visual highlights" page:

  • Warming waters shift fish communities northward in the Arctic  (link)
  • Arctic tundra “browning down” over past few years  (link)
  • Surface melting affected more than half of Greenland Ice Sheet in 2015  (link)
  • Arctic continues to be significantly warmer than average  (link)
  • Climate impacts on walruses may be masked by influence of hunting pressure (link)

Neven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #109 on: December 15, 2015, 11:56:19 PM »
Thanks for this, Steven.
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GT

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #110 on: December 16, 2015, 02:59:46 PM »
Hi,

I'm new to the site so forgive me if this has been covered before but could somebody explain this massive fracture showing on the AARI website?
 
http://www.aari.ru/odata/_d0015.php?lang=1&mod=0&yy=2015   

I've tried researching online but have been unable to find an explanation. Cheers

Neven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #111 on: December 16, 2015, 04:21:05 PM »
Welcome to the Forum, GT, and well-spotted!

I'm not sure the fracture is real, although there has been some cracking recently because of a high-pressure area over the Beaufort. On the other hand, I think I'm seeing something on this radar image (but very faintly).

I'm copying the question to the 2015/2016 freezing season thread.
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Jim Hunt

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #112 on: December 16, 2015, 07:41:24 PM »
Hi,

I'm new to the site so forgive me if this has been covered before but could somebody explain this massive fracture showing on the AARI website?

Welcome GT!  Excuse the cross posting, but the fracture would seem to be real. This Sentinel 1A Synthetic Aperture Radar image (obtained via the Arctic section of PolarView) reveals part of it:

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #113 on: February 13, 2016, 07:18:47 PM »
Not really new... 53m (thousands ?) years

Flightless bird with giant head roamed swampy Arctic 53m years ago
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/feb/13/gastornis-flightless-bird-arctic-ellesmere-island
Quote
Gastornis was also discovered in Wyoming but scientists confirm finding of fossils on Ellesmere island as bird thought to migrate during dark Arctic winters
Scientists said the discovery of Gastornis on Ellesmere island provided a better understanding of the consequences of a changed climate.
Scientists said the discovery of Gastornis on Ellesmere island provided a better understanding of the consequences of a changed climate. Photograph: Marlin Peterson

Oliver Milman

A giant, flightless bird with a head the size of a horse’s roamed the Arctic 53m years ago when the icy wilderness was more like a swamp, scientists have confirmed.

A joint study by American and Chinese institutions found that the massive beast, known as Gastornis, existed on what is now known as Ellesmere island, found above the Arctic circle. It’s estimated the bird was 6ft tall and weighed several hundred pounds.

The evidence for Gastornis’s presence in the Arctic comes from a single fossil toe bone, found by researchers in the 1970s. Scientists have now finally confirmed that the bone matches that of a fossilized Gastornis of similar age found in Wyoming.

“I couldn’t tell the Wyoming specimens from the Ellesmere specimen, even though it was found roughly 4,000km (2,500 miles) to the north,” said Prof Thomas Stidham of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Stidham and his colleague Jaelyn Eberle, of the University of Colorado Boulder, matched the bones through techniques such as studying where muscle attachments lay. The research has been published in Scientific Reports.

The research raises some interesting questions over the behavior of Gastornis. The giant bird may have migrated south during winters in the Arctic, where darkness envelops the region for months at a time. The species was originally thought to be a formidable carnivore but recent research suggests that Gastornis was probably a vegan, using its huge beak to munch through leaves, nuts, seeds and fruit.

Eberle said bird fossils found in the Arctic are “extremely rare” and that the researchers aren’t sure whether Gastornis lived in the area year round.

“There are some sea ducks today that spend the winter in the cold, freezing Arctic, and we see many more species of waterfowl that are only in the Arctic during the relatively warmer spring and summer months,” she said.

Canada’s Ellesmere island is the 10th largest island in the world and lies adjacent to Greenland. Riven with fjords and attached to vast aprons of ice, Ellesmere is one of the coldest, driest and most remote places on Earth. Temperatures can reach -40C (-40F) in winter.

It was a very different place 53m years ago, however, during the Eocene epoch. During this time, Antarctica was still attached to Australia and global temperatures were unusually warm, which meant the world was mostly ice-free. Ellesmere island would have been covered in the sort of cypress swamps now found much farther south in the US, with evidence that the area hosted turtles, alligators, primates and even large hippo-like and rhino-like mammals.

While apes and alligators won’t be returning to Ellesmere any time soon, the researchers said that the discovery of Gastornis provided a better understanding of the consequences of a changed climate.

“Permanent Arctic ice, which has been around for millennia, is on track to disappear,” Eberle said.

“I’m not suggesting there will be a return of alligators and giant tortoises to Ellesmere island any time soon. But what we know about past warm intervals in the Arctic can give us a much better idea about what to expect in terms of changing plant and animal populations there in the future.”

Chuck Yokota

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #114 on: February 13, 2016, 09:51:20 PM »
Laurent, that would be 53 million years ago.

AbruptSLR

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #115 on: February 17, 2016, 03:53:23 AM »
On the Blog Neven recently posted about an expected severe ozone hole in the Arctic this spring.  The linked article provides a lot of information on this subject:

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674slap_on_the_sunscreen_arctic_ozone_could_hit_all-time_low_this_spring/


Extract: "The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty which went into force in 1989, bound nations to phase out human made ozone-depleting chemicals.

But ozone is still being destroyed in other ways and this year, it seems to be happening on a grand scale.

Scientists are predicting ozone destruction over the Arctic this spring will exceed the highest recorded depletion, which took place in 2011. That year, 80 per cent of the ozone over the Arctic was destroyed.

The science behind this phenomenon is interesting, albeit complicated, and we can expect it to happen more frequently as the earth’s climate warms, said Manney. Here’s why.

There is a fixed amount of heat radiating from the sun.

As greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, collect in the earth’s atmosphere, these gases trap more heat closer to the earth, warming the climate.

But as a result of that entrapment, less heat leaks out into the atmosphere’s higher altitudes in the stratosphere.

And so the stratosphere is getting colder. When that happens, water vapour and nitric acid condense more frequently at high altitudes to form what are called polar stratospheric clouds — beautifully colourful, but foreboding in nature.

When a harmless form of chlorine gas, which is naturally present in the stratosphere, comes into contact with those unusual clouds, the chlorine is transformed into its “active” form.

And chlorine, in its active form, destroys ozone."
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plinius

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #116 on: February 17, 2016, 04:35:18 AM »
The heat trapping part is a bit bitter in that article. It's radiating more heat where the optical depth is lower...

@LRC: No, a virus does not live. A virus does not live in the arctic, and new mutations of any pathogens happen only in living animal populations (in particular humans for human infections). And no, if you freeze out a couple of little protein packages, your supervirus is long-decayed before you get to any human being. It's something very different from someone digging up Spanish flu victims (90years ago, best conditions, human corpse with infection) and isolating the virus with state-of-the-art scientific methods, and fairy tale horror stories of killer microbes emanating from iceblocks. So, please worry about your favourite beach ceasing to exist in your life-time, or some researcher building a perfect virus in their lab, but do not worry about being infected by a thawing ice-block.


Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #117 on: February 18, 2016, 09:21:13 PM »
“It’s unraveling, every piece of it is unraveling....”

Scientists are floored by what’s happening in the Arctic right now
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/18/scientists-are-floored-by-whats-happening-in-the-arctic-right-now/
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Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #118 on: March 15, 2016, 01:41:59 PM »
Amplification of Arctic warming by past air pollution reductions in Europe
http://www.nature.com.sci-hub.io/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2673.html

Quote
Amplification of Arctic warming by past air
pollution reductions in Europe
The Arctic region is warming considerably faster than the rest
of the globe
1
, with important consequences for the ecosystems
2
and human exploration of the region
3
. However, the reasons
behind this Arctic amplification are not entirely clear
4
. As
a result of measures to enhance air quality, anthropogenic
emissions  of  particulate  matter  and  its  precursors  have
drastically decreased in parts of the Northern Hemisphere over
the past three decades
5
. Here we present simulations with
an Earth system model with comprehensive aerosol physics
and chemistry that show that the sulfate aerosol reductions
in Europe since 1980 can potentially explain a significant
fraction of Arctic warming over that period. Specifically, the
Arctic region receives an additional 0.3 W m

Anne

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #119 on: March 15, 2016, 03:22:53 PM »
Ilulissat's Hotel Arctic webcam is back up and running.
http://hotelarctic.com/om_hotel_arctic/webcam/

Gray-Wolf

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #120 on: March 15, 2016, 03:23:20 PM »
Really makes you wonder just what we already have in store as the old Soviet Polluting fades and China cleans up her act?

If even with all the negative natural and china's worst efforts we still saw global temp increases then what when China cleans up and naturals are positive?

Just how close are we to triggering natural feedbacks boosting warming further?
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Anne

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #121 on: March 15, 2016, 03:34:50 PM »
Degrading ice wedges reshape Arctic landscape

Quote
Ice wedges, a common subsurface feature in permafrost landscapes, appear to be rapidly melting throughout the Arctic, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The wedges, which can be the size of a house, gradually formed over hundreds or even thousands of years as water seeped into permafrost cracks. On the ground surface, they form polygon shapes roughly 15-30 meters wide -- a defining characteristic of northern landscapes.

The micro-topographic features of ice wedge polygons affect drainage, snow distribution and the general wetness or dryness of a landscape.

Anna Liljedahl, an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Water and Environmental Research Center, and her co-authors gathered information about the types of ice-wedge polygons and how they changed over time across the Arctic. They collected the information while performing various other permafrost studies.

Although these regions contain "cold permafrost," with an overall average temperature of about 7 degrees Fahrenheit, surface thawing still occurred at all of the 10 study sites.

Ice wedge degradation has been observed before in individual locations, but this is the first study to determine that rapid melting has become widespread throughout the Arctic.

"Here we're combining observations from people working in the field across the Arctic -- Russia, Canada and Alaska -- where we're seeing the same ice wedge melting phenomenon," said Liljedahl, the lead author of the study.

Such thawing could bring significant changes to the hydrology of much of the Arctic as it alters the ground-surface topography. Melting of ice wedge tops makes the ground that surrounds the polygons subside, which in turn allows drainage of ice-wedge polygon centers. This can create a connective drainage system that encourages runoff and therefore an overall drying of the landscape.

"It's really the tipping point for the hydrology," Liljedahl said. "Suddenly you're draining the landscape and creating more runoff, even if the amount of precipitation remains the same. Instead of being absorbed by the tundra, the snowmelt water will run off into lakes and larger rivers. It really is a dramatic hydrologic change across the tundra landscape."

A comprehensive satellite image survey hasn't been done to determine how common polygon ice wedge patterns are in permafrost areas, but as much as two-thirds of the Arctic landscape is suited to their formation, Liljedahl said.

Gradual warming of permafrost has been well-documented in the Arctic, but the polygon study indicates that a brief period of unusual warmth can cause a rapid shift in a short time period.

At the sites that were studied, ice wedge degradation occurred in less than a decade. In some cases, a single unusually warm summer was enough to cause more than 10 centimeters of surface subsidence, enough to result in pooling and runoff in an otherwise relatively flat landscape.

Vladimir Romanovsky, a UAF geophysics professor who monitored ice wedge degradation for the study at a site in Canada, said the overall conclusions of the study were striking.

"We were not expecting to see these dramatic changes," he said. "We could see some other places where ice wedges were melting, but they were all related to surface disturbances, or it happened a long time ago. Whatever is happening, it's something new for at least the last 60 years in the Arctic."
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/uoaf-diw031116.php

Link to the paper: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2674.html

« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 03:40:55 PM by Anne »

Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #122 on: March 30, 2016, 06:24:33 PM »
Nome, Alaska may become the next top tourist destination -- for cruise ships.

A new Titanic? US and Canada prepare for worst as luxury Arctic cruise sets sail
Coast guard officials are training for catastrophe as melting sea ice opens up Northwest Passage allowing liner to cruise with 1,700 from Alaska to New York.
Quote
On 13 April, coast guard officials from the US and Canada will train for a cruise ship catastrophe: a mass rescue from a luxury liner on its maiden voyage through the remote and deathly cold waters between the Northwest Passage and the Bering Strait.

The prospect of just such a disaster occurring amid the uncharted waters and capricious weather of the Arctic is becoming all too real.

The loss of Arctic sea ice cover, due to climate change, has spurred a sharp rise in shipping traffic – as well as coast guard rescue missions – and increased the risks of oil spills, shipping accidents, and pollution, much to the apprehension of native communities who make their living on the ice.

It’s into these turbulent waters that the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity will set sail next August, departing from Seward, Alaska, and transiting the Bering Strait and Northwest Passage, before docking in New York City 32 days later.
...
Nome, which saw just 35 dockings in the 1990s, had more than 730 last year.

“I think tourism is good for Nome,” Beneville, the town’s indefatigable mayor, said. “In tourism there is a saying: ‘if people can get there, they will go’, and that is becoming possible.” He went on: “There is a lot at stake here. We want Nome to be a strategic point in the north.”
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/28/us-canada-arctic-cruise-ship-titanic-emergency-training-coast-guard
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jdallen

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2016, 07:46:47 PM »
Nome, Alaska may become the next top tourist destination -- for cruise ships.
<snippage>

Leave it to cynical capitalists to monetize catastrophe, self-absorbed clueless elites to think its a good thing,   *AND* by their actions, hasten the eventual outcome and destruction of communities in the Arctic.

<face palm>
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Espen

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #124 on: March 30, 2016, 08:55:12 PM »
Its an unavoidable process, in my young and backpack days, I visited 100s of places around the globe, many of the those sites are today ruined by mass tourism.
The lesson to be learned is: Avoid the backpackers! (in this case science, unfortunately)
Have a ice day!

Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #125 on: March 30, 2016, 10:09:13 PM »
I'm sure there is scientific knowledge to be gained by watching this video. ;)  On the other hand, it's just beautiful.

Fly over giant icebergs in the North Atlantic in this gorgeous drone video
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/03/30/fly-over-giant-icebergs-in-the-north-atlantic-in-this-gorgeous-drone-video/
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A-Team

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #126 on: April 13, 2016, 02:14:21 PM »
I looked through the Arctic sea ice sector of abstracts from the EGU spring meeting, a similar event to the December AGU meeting. These provide a preview of ongoing cryosphere research that has not yet reached the journal submission stage. (A lot can change.)  A key word search at google with url restricted to 'meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/' is effective. No posters are available even for the poster session but sometimes it pays to re-google the title. I found a dozen items of interest ... just the titles are given below.

Fram Strait Spring Ice Export and September Arctic Sea Ice

Snow depth on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice derived from autonomous (Snow Buoy) measurements

Recent sea-ice reduction and possible causes

The impact of under-ice melt ponds on Arctic sea ice volume

Mapping wave heights in sea ice with Sentinel 1

Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

Spring melt ponds drive Arctic September ice at past, present and future climates in coupled climate simulation

Recent Improvements in the U.S. Navy’s Ice Modeling Using Merged CryoSat-2/SMOS Ice Thickness

Robustness of the large-scale modes of variability of winter Arctic sea ice concentration

On the possibility and predictability of rapid Arctic winter sea-ice loss

Neven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #127 on: April 14, 2016, 06:02:48 PM »
I'll be going to some of these presentations next week, and will report on the ASIB. I'm looking forward to it.
Compare, compare, compare

jdallen

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #128 on: April 14, 2016, 09:04:43 PM »
I'll be going to some of these presentations next week, and will report on the ASIB. I'm looking forward to it.
I am such a geek - all of those look quite interesting and some positively excite me. I'm envious.  I'll look forward to seeing your posts later, Neven.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #129 on: April 14, 2016, 11:58:33 PM »
I'll be going to some of these presentations next week, and will report on the ASIB. I'm looking forward to it.

If you have time/interest, I would love to hear about what DeConto, Pollard & Gomez have to say in the following ESU session on Antarctic paleoclimates, SLR & ice dynamics:
Orals
 / Thu, 21 Apr, 10:30–12:00 / Room -2.47
Session details

CL1.12/CR1.17/OS1.11 Media
Antarctic palaeoclimates, sea level change and ice dynamics in past warm episodes: marrying models and data (co-organized)
Convener: Peter Bijl 
Co-Conveners: Carlota Escutia , Aisling Dolan 
Evidence from field observations of sedimentological records alongside geochemical, microfossil and seismic data analysis suggests that the entire Cenozoic Antarctic ice sheet witnessed several episodes of dramatic waxing and waning in concert with evidence for climates moderately warmer than today. In contrast, numerical modelling studies have not always been able to predict such dynamic behaviour given reasonable climate forcings. In general, the causes and consequences of major ice sheet volume and sea level changes in the past are often poorly understood.

This session aims to bring together research fields of numerical ice sheet, climate and oceanographic modelling and field/proxy data, as a way to foster model-data comparison. We invite submissions that aim to present new insights from improved numerical modelling experiments of ice sheet, oceanographic and sea ice dynamics as well as those presenting new field data from sedimentary records around the Antarctic Margin (e.g., those from Integrated Ocean drilling program Leg 318 to the Wilkes Land Margin, ANDRILL and their predecessors) or proxy data pertaining to conditions in the Southern Ocean. We welcome research from all areas related to ice sheet dynamics, e.g. bedrock responses to ice sheet changes, the gravitational isostatic responses to glaciation, potential thresholds in climate (induced by orbit or carbon dioxide changes). Submissions considering both proxy-evidence and modelling studies are encouraged.


Geophysical Research Abstracts
Vol. 18, EGU2016-3577, 2016
EGU General Assembly 2016
Large-Ensemble modeling of past and future variations of the Antarctic
Ice Sheet with a coupled ice-Earth-sea level model
David Pollard (1), Robert DeConto (2), and Natalya Gomez (3)

To date, most modeling of the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s response to future warming has been calibrated using recent and modern observations. As an alternate approach, we apply a hybrid 3-D ice sheet-shelf model to the last deglacial retreat of Antarctica, making use of geologic data of the last ~20,000 years to test the model against the large-scale variations during this period.  The ice model is coupled to a global Earth-sea level model to improve modeling of the bedrock response and to capture ocean-ice gravitational interactions.  Following several recent ice-sheet studies, we use Large Ensemble (LE) statistical methods, performing sets of 625 runs from 30,000 years to present with systematically varying model parameters. Objective scores for each run are calculated using modern data and past reconstructed grounding lines, relative sea level records, cosmogenic elevation-age data and uplift rates. The LE results are analyzed to calibrate 4 particularly uncertain model parameters that concern marginal ice processes and interaction with the ocean. LE’s are extended into the future with climates following RCP scenarios. An additional scoring criterion tests the model’s ability to reproduce estimated sea-level high stands in the warm mid-Pliocene, for which drastic retreat mechanisms of hydrofracturing and ice-cliff failure are needed in the model. The LE analysis provides future sea-level-rise envelopes with well-defined parametric uncertainty bounds. Sensitivities of future LE results to Pliocene sea-level estimates, coupling to the Earth-sea level model, and vertical profiles of Earth properties, will be presented.

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Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #130 on: April 20, 2016, 05:14:44 PM »
Some orcas were stuck in the Arctic but Russians helped them out.
http://skr.su/news/258343


Four orcas rescued after getting trapped in ice

Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #131 on: April 25, 2016, 10:05:42 PM »
Quote
Dramatic sea ice break/melt in #BeaufortSea (4/1 vs. 4/24, #MODIS Terra 1km) nearly a month earlier than normal
https://twitter.com/zlabe/status/724626347625082880

The link above has a comparative GIF.

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Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #132 on: April 29, 2016, 08:42:19 PM »
Pangnirtung, Nunavut, hits 10 C, smashes April heat record
Quote
Pangnirtung, Nunavut melted a 90-year-old heat record Tuesday as temperatures climbed to 10 C, according to Environment Canada.

The community is located almost 300 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit on Baffin Island, just south of the Arctic Circle. It is known as the 'Switzerland of the Arctic' for its steep mountains and fiords.

Pangnirtung's previous heat record for April 26 was set in 1926 with a high of 6.7 C, said Dave Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist. Seasonal temperatures are usually closer to —7 C.

"I mean, these would be warm days even for the dog days of summer," said Phillips.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/pangnirtung-heat-record-1.3553971
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Steven

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #133 on: May 02, 2016, 08:32:24 PM »
New paper by James Screen and Jennifer Francis:

Contribution of sea-ice loss to Arctic amplification is regulated by Pacific Ocean decadal variability

Abstract:

Quote
...

Through analyses of both observations and model simulations, we show that the contribution of sea-ice loss to wintertime Arctic amplification seems to be dependent on the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

Our results suggest that, for the same pattern and amount of sea-ice loss, consequent Arctic warming is larger during the negative PDO phase relative to the positive phase, leading to larger reductions in the poleward gradient of tropospheric thickness and to more pronounced reductions in the upper-level westerlies.

Given the oscillatory nature of the PDO, this relationship has the potential to increase skill in decadal-scale predictability of the Arctic and sub-Arctic climate.

Our results indicate that Arctic warming in response to the ongoing long-term sea-ice decline is greater (reduced) during periods of the negative (positive) PDO phase.

We speculate that the observed recent shift to the positive PDO phase, if maintained and all other factors being equal, could act to temporarily reduce the pace of wintertime Arctic warming in the near future.

(I added paragraph breaks for readability)

jdallen

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #134 on: May 02, 2016, 09:25:48 PM »
New paper by James Screen and Jennifer Francis:

Contribution of sea-ice loss to Arctic amplification is regulated by Pacific Ocean decadal variability

Abstract:

Quote
...

Through analyses of both observations and model simulations, we show that the contribution of sea-ice loss to wintertime Arctic amplification seems to be dependent on the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

Our results suggest that, for the same pattern and amount of sea-ice loss, consequent Arctic warming is larger during the negative PDO phase relative to the positive phase, leading to larger reductions in the poleward gradient of tropospheric thickness and to more pronounced reductions in the upper-level westerlies.

Given the oscillatory nature of the PDO, this relationship has the potential to increase skill in decadal-scale predictability of the Arctic and sub-Arctic climate.

Our results indicate that Arctic warming in response to the ongoing long-term sea-ice decline is greater (reduced) during periods of the negative (positive) PDO phase.

We speculate that the observed recent shift to the positive PDO phase, if maintained and all other factors being equal, could act to temporarily reduce the pace of wintertime Arctic warming in the near future.

(I added paragraph breaks for readability)
Interesting that the relation seems somewhat weak - 2013 and 2014 had significant to moderate -PDO but considerable recovery on the part of the ice.

Contrarywise - 2015 had positive PDO but very significant ice loss.

If they are factoring in pre-2012/2007, that may explain it.  Even in view of that though, I think pre- and post-2007 are going to be very different systems in how they react to various other changes.

Recent PDO numbers for reference.
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/pdo/
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AbruptSLR

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #135 on: May 02, 2016, 10:07:06 PM »
The linked Scribbler article contains a nice summary of the current trend in the Arctic:

https://robertscribbler.com/2016/05/02/arctic-sea-ice-is-falling-off-a-cliff-and-it-may-not-survive-the-summer/

Extract: "… our Arctic sea ice coverage has been consistently in record low ranges throughout Winter, it has been following a steepening curve of loss since April, and it now appears to have started to fall off a cliff. Severe losses that are likely to both impact the Jet Stream and extreme weather formation in the Northern Hemisphere throughout the Spring and Summer of 2016."
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Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #136 on: May 04, 2016, 12:57:43 AM »
My apologies if this is old news....

Scientists scrambling to track Arctic sea ice after key satellite sensor dies
Quote
Aware that the F17 satellite was getting old, the NSIDC had been running calibration tests to maintain a consistent record of sea ice extent between the sensor on the F17 satellite and the DMSP F19 satellite, which was launched in 2014.

But that ended on Feb. 11, 2016, when F19 went completely dark.

"Well, F19 died,” Serreze said. “That was not good, we kind of picked the wrong horse there.”

The important thing for Serreze and his colleagues is that any breaks in sea ice data are minimized, which is why they take time to iron out any kinks from one instrument before they switch to it. Such calibration periods, as they're known, are a crucial part of climate science research and monitoring.
Because of the F17 sensor outage, though, they are being forced to cope with a discontinuity or gap in the data.

"The problem was initially seen in data for April 5 and all data since then are unreliable, so we have chosen to remove all of April from NSIDC’s archive," the organization stated on its website.

To restart the gathering of sea ice extent information, scientists are running parallel data streams from instruments on two other Defense Department satellites, known as DMSP F16 and F18. Both of these satellites have a design lifetime that ends this year, though many spacecraft continue functioning long after that point.

Serreze said the hope is that sea ice data from these satellites will be available within the next week or so, just in time for the start of the annual summer melt season.
http://mashable.com/2016/05/03/arctic-ice-satellite-outage/
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crandles

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #137 on: May 12, 2016, 07:55:10 PM »
Quote
Cryosat spacecraft's ice vision is boosted
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36272728

European scientists have found a way to super-charge their study of the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.

It is about swath altimetry: "it permits researchers to see broader regions of the ice sheets in any one pass overhead, and at a much finer scale."

Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #138 on: May 21, 2016, 10:15:21 PM »
Waning Sea Ice Threatens Fragile Arctic Food Web
Faced with the grim reality that this year’s Arctic sea ice may once again hit the all-time record lows of 2012, scientists weigh up the subsequent risks.
Quote
Svalbard bears number around 3,000 in winter, but the permanent local population is only in the hundreds. A recent paper correlated disappearing sea ice with a steady increase in polar bears plundering Arctic seabird colonies. Jouke Prop, a biologist from the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, first noticed predation at his study site in southwest Svalbard in 2004. A decade later, not a single chick had survived the breeding season.

Prop has watched a lifetime of study gobbled up in a few short seasons. A hungry bear can raid 50 nests in an hour and a half, consuming 200 eggs, akin to a 20kg (44lb) omelet. According to Prop, a small number of bears have learned when and where to return each year for the best meals; such intense predation may eventually destroy ancestral breeding sites.
https://www.newsdeeply.com/arctic/articles/2016/05/18/waning-sea-ice-threatens-fragile-arctic-food-web
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Laurent

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #139 on: June 23, 2016, 04:57:54 PM »
The Arctic’s pretty but alarming strawberry-pink snow
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/23/arctic-snow-is-turning-strawberry-pink-pretty-maybe-but-alarming/
Quote
Pink snow was a high-latitude curiosity described by Arctic explorers such as Britain’s John Ross. Upon receiving word of the reddish snow, the London Times speculated in 1818 that the color came from meteoric iron deposits. Biologists know now that the red hue is the result of a chemical reaction within the algae Chlamydomonas nivalis and other cold-loving species. These algae are normally green, but as they start to suck up ultraviolet rays, they turn red.

What may look like an Arctic accident involving gallons of pink lemonade is, in fact, reddish algae blooming in the snow. The unusual phenomenon is also found in high altitudes, and sometimes called watermelon snow or blood snow.

Despite the Willy Wonka tinge, the snow hides a sobering reality: According to a new study, the algae cause Arctic melts, which are already happening at an unprecedented pace because of climate change,to worsen.

jplotinus

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #140 on: August 05, 2016, 03:15:51 PM »

Sigmetnow

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #141 on: August 11, 2016, 03:27:40 PM »
Guest post: Piecing together the Arctic’s sea ice history back to 1850
A guest article by Florence Fetterer, principal investigator at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in the US.
Quote
Satellites provide a near-continuous record of Arctic sea ice cover, allowing scientists to monitor changes from one day to the next. But because this data spans only the most recent three and a half decades, we need to look elsewhere to gather information on variations over longer periods.

This data is necessary as there are some research questions that can’t be answered with only short-term records, such as:

Has Arctic sea ice cover been this small since the start of the industrial revolution?
Has sea ice ever declined this rapidly in the historical record?
How is sea ice affected by natural fluctuations over multiple decades?

To tackle this problem we set about constructing a record of sea ice going back to 1850. And this meant gathering data from some rather unusual sources. ...
https://www.carbonbrief.org/guest-post-piecing-together-arctic-sea-ice-history-1850
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Archimid

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #142 on: August 11, 2016, 07:46:19 PM »

wow. Thank you Sigmetnow. This is bad news, since it confirms suspicions, but at least it brings a sense of certainty.
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RoxTheGeologist

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #143 on: November 05, 2016, 10:11:25 PM »

plinius

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #144 on: November 17, 2016, 12:52:14 AM »
Quite exciting feature - suppose though that it was rather (sea-)iceballs rounded by mutual abrasion in the tidal/wave breaking zone?

Juan C. García

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #145 on: November 18, 2016, 11:53:35 PM »
Which is the best answer to Sep-2012 ASI lost (compared to 1979-2000)?
50% [NSIDC Extent] or
73% [PIOMAS Volume]

Volume is harder to measure than extent, but 3-dimensional space is real, 2D's hide ~50% thickness gone.
-> IPCC/NSIDC trends [based on extent] underestimate the real speed of ASI lost.

oren

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #146 on: November 19, 2016, 01:53:22 PM »
I'm afraid this door can be unslammed should the new folks in DC so desire.

Sleepy

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #147 on: November 19, 2016, 03:38:18 PM »
Mr T's friend on the other side will keep the doors open.
www.gazprom-neft.com/press-center/news/1114092/
And this in Yamal:
http://www.gazprom-neft.com/press-center/news/1114988/
Quote
A new oilfield has been discovered at the Zapadno-Chatylkinsky license block, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, under licence to Gazprom Neft subsidiary Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz. Drilling of three exploratory wells has revealed six independent oil deposits, with total geological reserves estimated at more than 40 million tonnes, subsequently confirmed by the State Commission on Mineral Reserves.

SteveMDFP

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #148 on: November 19, 2016, 09:08:21 PM »
I'm afraid this door can be unslammed should the new folks in DC so desire.

Depends.  Most regulatory decisons and content rest on a foundation of legislation.  Laws have to be changed for most regulations to be revised quickly.

The Republicans in Congress can't now pass whatever legislation they like, as long as Senate Democrats retain the power to filibuster.

There is, paradoxically, a risk to Democrats deciding to be highly assertive in exercising this power.  That is, the power to filibuster can be revoked in the Senate with a simple majority vote.

The Republicans are, I think, unlikely to revoke this power unless they're pushed to severe frustration.  After all, if the power is revoked for use by Democrats now, then the Republicans won't have that power whenever the Democrats are back in the majority.

The key to minimizing the rollback in progress (on many fronts) may lie in Democrats allowing some significant rollbacks on some significant fronts.  It's a challenging strategic position for both sides of the aisle.

Jim Pettit

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Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« Reply #149 on: November 20, 2016, 02:25:10 PM »
The key to minimizing the rollback in progress (on many fronts) may lie in Democrats allowing some significant rollbacks on some significant fronts.

So, roll over and play dead for the next four years? Six? Eight?

No.

The left has spent the past eight years trying to compromise in the spirit of bipartisanship only to see very little progress on very few fronts because their opponent's primary--and perhaps only--plank was to obstruct and say no. That eight years was more than enough to drive home the lesson that one should never argue with drunks or crazy people. So no rollbacks; no relenting; no capitulation. The answer isn't for us to cower and throw more olive branches at the feet of the Right; they only gather up those boughs and light them in huge bonfires while laughing at us. No, we have to fight; we have to defend what we can. And we will.

(There are a number of reasons Clinton lost two weeks ago, and one of them was a Democratic Party unwilling or unable to show enough spine to get things done; young people, especially, saw no one championing that which they acre about, so they stayed home. In droves. We can't let that happen again.)