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Messages - Lou

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: August 15, 2019, 08:24:31 PM »
<snip> Clouds have hidden a great deal of the action there, because clouds are jerks. <snip>

Your analysis is both entertaining and deeply insightful, Ossifrage. Thanks a lot!  :)

Agreed.  I would add that if this site were to make an official T-shirt, I could think of much worse things to do than cover the back with memorable one-liners, including, "...clouds are jerks."

Walking the walk / Re: Master List of Easy Changes?
« on: August 04, 2019, 09:37:51 PM »
Even easier: reduce your energy bills. Turn off unneeded lights, switch to LED bulbs, when using A/C set the temp higher, when heating set the temp lower.
Switch to a more efficient car.  Even better, get an EV. Use an e-bike if you can.

If you happen to live in a place where you can pick your electricity supplier, then go with one that provides 100% green electrons.  My wife and I do this, and I drive an EV (Nissan Leaf), which makes my marginal carbon footprint for transportation plus my total household electricity footprint both virtually zero.

That's a big improvement, but it's nowhere near enough.  A vast amount of the water consumption, energy consumption, and various nasty emissions we're responsible for all happen before we buy/use/consume a product.  So the old "reduce/reuse/recycle" advice is still excellent, as is the general concept of knowing, to the greatest extent one can, the various footprints of products and services you buy, and taking that information into account when making buying decisions.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The caa-greenland mega crack
« on: July 29, 2019, 01:51:17 PM »
I won't pollute this topic with my wildly uneducated guesses about the future of this crack, but I do want to say that watching such things arise and develop as we slide ever closer to the first BOE and beyond is one of the more grimly fascinating parts of watching the doings on top of the world.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 26, 2019, 09:36:15 PM »
The only thing that makes any sense to me is to start with the idea of what is going to happen to AGW in general and AGW in the Arctic in particular in the immediate future, i.e. the next 5 to 10 years. And that looks pretty grim to me. How you stick that into a curve is beyond me. I don't have a few cray computers to help me out, either.

I agree with virtually everything you've said in this topic, but the part above about trying to come up with a curve that models reality, prompted me to emerge from the shadows for a moment...

While I'm not at all optimistic that the first BOE will trigger a social/cultural change, as in making us wake up and leap into action, I assign it a non-zero probability, perhaps 5%.  Since I think the first BOE in recorded history is inevitable and will not trigger a massive, catastrophic tipping point, I'm hoping it happens sooner rather than later.  Call it a lottery ticket approach.

But I think it's also fair to say that part of the reason I don't expect the first BOE to have a huge social impact is that I think it will not mark the beginning of an age of yearly BOEs.  As the underlying trend of Arctic sea ice declining continues, it means we need less extreme weather every year to cause a BOE.  As I type this, there's considerable discussion on this board about the current hair raising conditions in the Arctic, yet the strong consensus is that we might challenge 2012, but won't come near a BOE this year.  I agree. 

But eventually we'll see the underlying trend plus the chaos of weather combining to deliver a BOE.  And the BOE+1 melt season is highly unlikely to see the same weather, so there won't be back-to-back BOEs.  We might not even see the second one for several years after the first.  And we all can guess how the deniers will spin that -- at least until the trend reaches a point where average weather results in a BOE, then we'll have one roughly one year in two.

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: July 15, 2019, 09:53:52 PM »
Let me also express my thanks for this thread.

In my view, a near-term (as in under a decade) BOE with a frequent recurrence is a certainty.  The amount of GHG in the atmosphere already plus melting and other changes already set in motion guarantee it.  The most pertinent question then becomes: OK, what happens next?

While I am NOT a climate scientist and do not want to appear to be impersonating one online, it seems clear to me simply from a systems basis that a BOE is not just another milestone along the way, but an event that could trigger enough changes to constitute a true biosphere tipping point.  And given all the variables in play, I am not in the least confident that we know how that will play out in different time frames.

For example, will the first (or first few) BOEs make ensuing ones more or less likely?  And once we have the first one, how many will we see in the ensuing decade?  None?  Three?  Nine?  (I realize that that question is a probabilistic one, given the huge influence weather is likely to continue to have post first BOE.)  Will even a single BOE have any meaningful effect at all on public sentiment and therefore public policy?  Where I live (the US), I think the answer is, sadly, "no".

I've been following energy and climate issues very closely since early 2003, and I find all this uncertainty about the advent of BOEs terrifying.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: August 01, 2018, 06:39:02 PM »
It is madness. Worse than pure denial of the entire situation. I'm less bothered by those who think it is all an elite globalist ploy to enslave the masses, than I am by those who engage with the data on a daily basis but come to the conclusion that mild solutions will be sufficient to save civilization.  OR for that matter those who think that it is no big deal to change the climate drastically and kill off humanity cuz the earth will bounce back.  Are we really going to successfully prevent nuclear war as everything falls apart? Are we really going to successfully decommission the hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world? Even if you aren't bothered by the collapse of civilization and the horrible deaths of billions of people, the possibility of turning the earth into a planet like venus or mars should give you some pause.

While I agree with your whole post, the quoted graf really resonated with me.  I find it astonishing how many people, many of them real, honest-to-Pete scientists, see the data and the (often conservative yet terrifying) projections, and aren't standing on tables screaming about this mess we've created.  Just as bad are the environmental activists who will argue that you can't tell mainstreamers the full truth about CC or "you'll scare them away".  (I've had that argument numerous times with local enviros.)

Barring some nearly miraculous ramping up of carbon removal and sequestration, there is no way we'll avoid something between horrific consequences and a full-blown, worldwide catastrophe.

As for the topic of this thread, while I missed the voting window, I would definitely have voted for the 2020-2025 period.  Trends plus variability means we won't need some wildly improbable set of events in a given summer to hit <1M km^2.  I would also predict it gets no more than 60 seconds of, "Golly, look at that!" coverage on TV news, with the usual suspects talking about the economic benefits of newly-opened shipping routes every summer.

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