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Messages - SteveMDFP

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The Mail's Great White Arctic Sea Ice Con
« on: September 15, 2019, 09:47:45 PM »
I suppose if you get some enjoyment from it, go for it.
But frankly,  I just can't be arsed to spend any of my limited resources to tell them they are a bunch of shits.

You're certainly right that engaging with a committed denier won't alter the denier.
But in a public forum, there's always many more people reading than participating.  Many of them are on the fence.  Effective, reasoned posts can shift the views of the readership.

But it's a massive, thankless, Sisyphean task.   Kudos to Jim for fighting the good fight.  Personally, I don't have the patience, time, or stomach for it.  Maybe when I'm retired from employment.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: September 15, 2019, 08:49:09 PM »

Whenever a curve or line is fitted to a graph it is to illustrate a correlation; such a correlation is the decline in sea ice volume over the last few decades. I'm no expert in sea ice modelling but, there is a fundamental need to understand how one would apply a model to be able to predict future conditions.

To understand a correlation a model is built. The model can perhaps take the starting data and then show how sea ice has changed on a year to year basis (hind casting). It can then be used to predict the future, and it's skill tested by it's ability to do so. Models are only as good as the test conditions applied. Hindcasting can be tricky as there is the temptation to model fit the data.

Obviously models based on a line fit are incorrect, they can be trivial disproved by projecting backwards in time and showing that there wasn't that much ice 10000 years ago. I hear the 'but there wasn't GHG emissions" so immediately the model has to include global warming from GHG gases. Assumptions are disproved, the model improves. If a model can effectively hind cast current sea ice from pre industrial times, then we perhaps have a chance of predicting more accurately what the future holds.

At least correlate global temperatures with sea ice volume, that seems like a better starting point than time.

Thank you.  This is a very nice summary of the issues at hand in the matter of projecting ongoing arctic sea ice loss.

The rest / Re: Unsorted
« on: September 07, 2019, 11:03:59 AM »

Deep Thought: ... the answer to the life, the universe, and everything is ...

(-80538738812075974)^3 + 80435758145817515^3 + 12602123297335631^3 = 42

Oh, dear.  Now the earth's purpose is complete, and will be promptly scrapped.  The dolphins will evacuate, the mice will exit into pan-dimensional hyperspace, and the Vogon fleet is at our doorstep.

So much for my hopes of converting to BEV an old Ford Prefect.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 05, 2019, 06:05:12 PM »
is located 41 nautical miles south east of Charleston, and looks to be in Dorian's eye at the moment:

Great find!  Thanks Jim.  Also of note, a spun-off tornado near Myrtle Beach, SC:

Video clip of this beast at:
VIDEO: Tornado spotted in North Myrtle Beach; warnings issued throughout morning

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: September 05, 2019, 05:47:59 PM »

And I mostly agree with you, except (as could be expected)  for where you say "... and the flattening of the graph of SIE at minimum over the past decade ...". I don't think that there is a flattening, but a steady (if highly variable) decline.

And this presumption actually changes everything. If we presume that the ice is flatlining around 4M then what you are saying is quite reasonable.

But if we assume a steady decline, as per the trendline in this image of -0.811 MKm2 per decade then we should be seeing values hovering betwen 3 and 4 in the 20's and 2 and 3 in the 40's.

But these values to me indicate an increasingly unstable ice pack. If we had half the extent we have now, I think it would more or less automatically be blown all over the place and melt out more or less constantly.

So my attempt at an answer: In the 20's a combination of extremes may give us our first BOE. In the 30's a BOE will start to happen regularly, in the 40's it will be more or less an annual event.

I would tend to agree that a simple linear trend line makes most sense for projections.  Mostly based on Occam's Razor.  A linear trend line includes the smallest number of variables--just one point and a slope define it.  Any curved projection suffers the objection "entities should not be multiplied without necessity."

In particular, polynomial curves to fit the data are almost certainly a poor alternative choice.  Given enough terms, curves can be created to nicely fit any data set.  But in all relevant polynomials, the extreme left and right ends curve to nonsense.

The rest / Re: Are you hoping for a global civilisational collapse?
« on: August 29, 2019, 04:39:55 PM »
I thought this presentation was quite interesting, on the subject of past civilization collapse:

Eric Cline | 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

I think this format of articles is perfect. Title, link, short quote.
thanks for all the updates Tom.

Indeed.  Tom has been quite receptive to constructive suggestions about posting.  He's making a solid contribution to the community here.

Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: August 22, 2019, 01:06:04 PM »
Nope. Colonization of the solar system is well within the realm of science. As proof, the ISS has been continuously occupied for decades. Space is a more inhospitable environment than mars and we can already inhabit it. The trick is that it has to be continuously resupplied.

In the same way a Mars colony would have to be continuously supplied for decades or centuries. That requires a prosperous Earth. Mars is not a life boat.

Surviving within the Earth's magnetic shielding makes survival possible on the ISS.  On the moon or Mars, people would have to live underground.  Mars soil is toxic, and the Moon has no atmosphere.  Mars doesn't have much atmosphere, either.

You're right that humans on Mars or the Moon would need regular resupply, and some urgent trips back for medical treatment.  These resupply missions would each be very expensive (hideously expensive in the case of Mars).  You're right that it might well take a century or two to be able to develop self-sustaining colonies.  Building a whole industrial civilization in those environments would take many trillions of dollars.  The earthly carbon footprint of each human in these places would probably be equivalent to a small town.  Ultimately, support from Earth will at some point falter, and the colonies will fail.

The only beings we should send should be AI-controlled autonomous robots.  They don't need air, food, water, or medical care.  Given the ravages of deep space on humans, they'd probably be more effective and versatile.  Give them a century to construct an industrial base and palatial living quarters, and then, maybe, we can send humans.

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: August 19, 2019, 07:48:53 PM »
Really nice words. . .

The CEOs of nearly 200 companies just said shareholder value is no longer their main objective

"The Business Roundtable, a group of chief executive officers from major U.S. corporations, issued a statement Monday with a new definition of the “purpose of a corporation.”

The reimagined idea of a corporation drops the age-old notion that corporations function first and foremost to serve their shareholders and maximize profits. Rather, investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities are now at the forefront of American business goals, according to the statement. .."

... but I'll believe it when we can see concrete changes.

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: August 18, 2019, 09:59:27 PM »
A new fungal pathogen now marching slowly around the world might (or might not) directly be a consequence of global warming.   But almost surely this process is facilitated by global trade, something that helps drive warming.

In this case, we may lose the common banana:

Our Favorite Banana May Be Doomed; Can New Varieties Replace It?

"...There's a deadly fungus that attacks banana plants. In the past century, an earlier version of this fungus wiped out commercial plantings of a banana variety called Gros Michel that once dominated the global banana trade.

Now history may be repeating itself. A new version of the fungus, called Tropical Race 4, is killing off the Cavendish variety.

Tropical Race 4 has marched across China and Southeast Asia, laying waste to banana plantations. It's killing bananas in Australia, and cases have been reported in southern Africa...."

Well, at least the extinction might result in less tropical foods being flown to northern cities.

The forum / Re: ASIF Statistics
« on: August 18, 2019, 09:33:29 PM »
Someone must have mentioned the forum somewhere?

Possibly a Reddit posting, about a month ago:
Arctic Sea Ice forum is getting interesting...

Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan.
« on: August 18, 2019, 08:30:14 PM »
CBD bacon?

Cannabis-infused pork jerky strikes me as a potential innovative market.  Shelf-stable, portable, and some consumers probably prefer a savory edible over a sweet one. 

Given the short local distance there between some pigs and some growers, it might be a relatively low-carbon activity.  Wood smoking releases CO2, but it's at least considered unimportant, as it's not using fossil fuels.

Policy and solutions / Re: Greta Thunberg's Atlantic crossing
« on: August 17, 2019, 03:30:02 PM »
The people here speculating about Greta being manipulated are pathetic.

If you bothered to watch her interviews and have capacity to understand peoples motives then you would know she is doing this because she believes in what she is doing and rather than being manipulated she is influencing the people around her.

I call you all pathetic because this young girl is actually making a difference and your here wining that building the yacht that she's sailing on had some carbon emissions. Really, she made the best choice she could about how to travel to the US where she probably will make even more a of an impact and all you can do is whine about this.

This seems like the denialist bullshit that doesn't gets past Neven's moderation for very long.

+1  Greta's words, and they way they have inspired many to stand up, speak for themselves.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: August 16, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »
I would think foraging but there is little evidence like fishbones or shells or even DNA traces.

I'd agree.  The exostoses in the ear canals likely reflect some kind of inflammation.  H sapiens typically gets otitis externa (said inflammation) from getting water trapped in the ear canal.  But it's a bit of a stretch to suggest this was the exact etiology for a different species.

Cats (who avoid swimming) get otitis externa from infection, such as mites or the fungal genus Malassezia.

Neanderthals are known to have had a much heavier bone structure than modern humans.  It's plausible that they were faster to form bony growths in areas of inflammation.  Given the absence of other evidence for an aquatic lifestyle, I'd think a propensity to acquire Malassezia infections in the ear canal might be a more likely explanation.  Possibly H sapiens introduced Malassezia to the Neanderthal population.

There are certainly examples of incursions of a population into new areas that led to devastating epidemics in indigenous peoples.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 15, 2019, 08:00:12 PM »
Who quoted an article:
"The problem is that the only answer which can resolve this situation, without spending more on the grid than we do on wind farms, is to double our Nuclear power strategy and deliver it in half the time."

There certainly seems to be a substantial problem with the grid in the UK.  But I think this is the wrong solution.  Quite simply, overbuilding renewable sources can be done in far less time (and far lower cost) than building nuclear reactors.

Add some battery load-balancing, long distance transmission, and bit of demand management, and there should be a reliable grid adequate for the EV transition.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: August 15, 2019, 07:46:50 PM »
I love it. Plus I learned what "frazil ice" actually means. (it's what I use for my Margaritas)

And I re-learned that "nilas" have nothing to do with nilla wafers.  ;-)

Well, that is fine.
I used to paste the article on another site but got called out for copyright violations. If you want more science I will try to accommodate.

Rarely, if ever, will posting an abstract be an issue with a copyright holder.  Wide dissemination of abstracts is part of the business model of the for-profit publishers.

But to accommodate busy forum users, entire abstracts are usually overkill.  A couple of pertinent sentences usually will suffice.

Is Daily Climate clickbait? This is where I get the majority of my articles.

In an attempt at constructive criticism....
Most of the links you post seem to point to articles in the popular press.  For a science-based forum, such articles are commonly useless.

When you find an interesting article in the popular press, they're often over-simplifications of actual research papers.  Rather than supplying a link to the popular press, it would be more useful to dig up the actual article, read it, and *then* decide whether it merits posting to the forum.

Also, it would be helpful, when posting a link, to provide just a little more of a summary as to why the item may be of interest here.

I hope this is helpful.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: August 12, 2019, 12:57:55 AM »
That link is broken. Try this: .

How do they know that person isn't just cold?  :D

These politicians and also the masses just don't get it, at all. It would take a hell of a lot of civil disobedience to make any real impact. Armed revolution more like. Won't happen...

The comments on the article at that RT page are quite discouraging.
Civil disobedience is essential to prompt needed change. 

Antarctica / Re: Majestic Antarctic Images
« on: August 10, 2019, 10:54:32 AM »
Sorry Sebastian, i don't know any detail about it. I found it on Reddit and as a location, only Antarctica was mentioned.

I believe the origin of the image is here:

Photograph by Sander Klaassen
Cathedral Iceberg   #antarctica #iceberg
This very amazing shaped iceberg was shot in Plenau Bay, Antarctica
Date Uploaded:   Jan 16, 2009
Copyright:   © Sander Klaassen

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 07, 2019, 05:52:46 AM »

OK, so we are back to  --

99% of those people will die within a month of collapse.


Quite the opposite.  Civilization collapse would likely cause the vast majority to switch to a low calorie diet and greatly increase their activity level. No choice there. Meanwhile, insulin can be kept at room temperature for at least a month, with FDA-approved levels of potency remaining.   Beyond which, most Type II's need only oral medication, with stability of agents for many months.

You're right, though, about the less common Type I folks.  Without insulin, they're gonners, regardless of diet and exercise.

I think you are extremely naively optimistic.

The initial carnage of the first week or two post-collapse would probably result in the deaths of a very substantial portion of the population. No law, no order, no food for some -- in dense areas you would probably be seeing cannibalism by the third week.

It's hard to guess what collapse will look like.  But I think the example of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico may be a good case study.  Weeks of no grid electricity.  A functioning military and national guard for quite some time.  They're geared for operating for long periods without a grid or gas stations.  It was actually the rural areas that had little or no support.  Urban areas had better lifelines. 

In all, I expect a stuttering collapse--two steps backwards for each periodic step forward.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 07, 2019, 05:29:40 AM »

OK, so we are back to  --

99% of those people will die within a month of collapse.


Quite the opposite.  Civilization collapse would likely cause the vast majority to switch to a low calorie diet and greatly increase their activity level. No choice there. Meanwhile, insulin can be kept at room temperature for at least a month, with FDA-approved levels of potency remaining.   Beyond which, most Type II's need only oral medication, with stability of agents for many months.

You're right, though, about the less common Type I folks.  Without insulin, they're gonners, regardless of diet and exercise.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 06, 2019, 08:46:31 PM »

Tell that to the Type II diabetics and they will start jumping on treadmills today, why wait for societal collapse! Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? Hey everyone, SteveXYZ has cured the diabetes, praise jeebus! Now give them their cure pills.  ;D

Sigh.  The reason Type II DM is widely considered a chronic, incurable disease is that it's bloody difficult for most such sufferers to change life-long habits to get sufficient exercise and substantial weight loss.   For some, even dramatic changes won't totally put the condition into remission, but almost all will have very substantial improvement.  Type II DM has multi-factorial pathology.

It's quite different for Type I DM, of course.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 06, 2019, 06:13:07 PM »
Has anybody considered that even if everybody survived collapse, within 3 months about ~10% of the US adult population would be dead from lack of insulin. Stockpile now!

Not to mention all the other health conditions that would suddenly go untreated.

Ten percent may be diabetics (mostly older, sedentary, overweight Type 2), but I can't believe 10% of the population are treated with insulin. 

If civilization collapses, obligate fasting will control blood sugars nicely for most.  For most of the others, increased exertion will help control blood sugar levels.  Civilization collapse would likely be curative of the diabetic state for most, within a month or so.  A silver lining.

Death is not a cure, and you are delusional.

You're jumping to conclusions about my words.  Reduced caloric intake  + exercise will often resolve Type II diabetes, no demise required.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 06, 2019, 03:43:18 PM »
Has anybody considered that even if everybody survived collapse, within 3 months about ~10% of the US adult population would be dead from lack of insulin. Stockpile now!

Not to mention all the other health conditions that would suddenly go untreated.

Ten percent may be diabetics (mostly older, sedentary, overweight Type 2), but I can't believe 10% of the population are treated with insulin. 

If civilization collapses, obligate fasting will control blood sugars nicely for most.  For most of the others, increased exertion will help control blood sugar levels.  Civilization collapse would likely be curative of the diabetic state for most, within a month or so.  A silver lining.

Policy and solutions / Re: Green Capitalism: The God That Failed
« on: August 05, 2019, 08:06:41 PM »

but the actual information here undermines his argument, severely.  It's all an elaborate rationalization for a wasteful use of human and electrical energy.

Wasteful for you because you don't see the value. Goto 10.

My point should be further clarified.  Cryptocurrencies have some useful characteristics.  I'm not opposed to cryptocurrencies in general.  It's Bitcoin in particular.  Many crypto alternatives have mechanisms other than profligate energy use to limit supply.  Many crypto alternatives have vastly lower per-transaction energy costs.

If a financial system can be operated on kilowatt-hours instead of megawatt-hours, it's damaging to the world to pick the latter.  An utterly needless use of resources.  Eliminate the needless extra energy costs, and you also eliminate the quite nasty theft of other people's electricity and computing hardware that comes with Bitcoin.

Policy and solutions / Re: Green Capitalism: The God That Failed
« on: August 05, 2019, 06:23:41 PM »
I invite everyone thinking Bitcoin is oh so wasteful to read up on the topic.

Hint: It's not!

Link >>

Actually, it is.  The article throws out a lot of facts and numbers but the actual information here undermines his argument, severely.  It's all an elaborate rationalization for a wasteful use of human and electrical energy.  Look at the energy use table:

Currency can be used as a store of value (e.g., money in piggy bank).  Bitcoin's value is extremely volatile, making it a poor choice for this purpose.  Money is subject to inflation, but when converted to low risk bonds, yields approximately equal inflation (at least in the US).

Currency can be used as a hedge (e.g., buying Swiss Franks when your own nation seems to be headed into inflation).  The same kind of transaction can be speculative.  There's no net economic gain in speculation, however.

Most importantly, currency is a medium of exchange.  This is where Bitcoin needs to be compared to dollars.  There's a value presented for all the energy cost of creating currency in that table, and it compares *very* favorably to Bitcoin, especially when you consider all the actual currency in the world, compared to all the Bitcoin in the world.

But even that table is misleading.  Most "currency" isn't minted, it isn't physical, it's electronic.  The close to zero cost of currency creation currently needs to be contrasted with the very steep cost of creating bitcoin.  That's *all* wasted energy.

The argument that there's some benefit to Bitcoin mining activities buying up the cheapest electricity isn't an argument in favor of bitcoin, it's an argument that maybe that energy use isn't quite as profligately wasteful as using pricey electricity for the purpose.

Cheap electricity can be totally wasted by producing Bitcoin, or it can be used for economically valuable work---pumping up hydro, charging batteries, sending long distance over HVDC lines, desalinating water, producing hydrogen.  There are all kinds of productive uses for time-flexible cheap energy that don't result in zero net economic benefit.

Bitcoin mining should be banned globally.  Bitcoin transactions are also bad energy wasters, but not as severely.

Walking the walk / Re: When was the last flight you took?
« on: August 04, 2019, 08:23:41 PM »

What is her argument of the change?? Just curious....

Most people will adopt the attitudes and opinions of their peer group.  It's usually not a rational process.

Hang out with pleasure-seeking jet-setters, and you'll embrace the same attitudes they do.

Good luck changing that dynamic as long as jetting is cheap.

Walking the walk / Re: When was the last flight you took?
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:53:08 PM »

Some (like me) think that the addiction to air travel is a symptom of a societal disease that is not "sustainable" (defendable, defensible, justifiable, maintainable, supportable, tenable). If air miles were reduced as a result of changing attitudes to the measurement of success by things, perhaps the trashing of the planet can be brought under control - sort of.

So the breakneck growth in air travel is more of a symbol of man's recklessness than anything else ?

Most air travel seems to be convenience, luxury, and vanity.  There are vast numbers of people who zip around the globe apparently so they can take selfies at Machu Picchu.  Or get in line for the summit of Mt. Everest (etc).

The question is how to affect the global culture to tamp down this eco-insane vanity.  A very steep tax on fossil jet fuel strikes me as a good start.  Let the industry figure out how to use biofuel or electric or liquid hydrogen or trains or whatever.


For example....if someone wants to post a petition for others to sign, should ASIF have a place for that?. . .

There's a thread for that:

What's New in Climate Change Acceptance and Action,1364.0.html

Please use it.  You'll catch a lot less grief if you limit your efforts to that thread, and cease doing so on other threads.  Everyone will be better off.

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: July 31, 2019, 07:58:18 PM »
The GRACE-FO is a German / NASA joint project.

NASA have never answered a query yet.

Germany comes up with the goods every time.

Increasingly, Federal employees have to go through layers of approval before sending any communications to members of the general public.  This seems to be especially true for agencies involved with climate and the environment. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 31, 2019, 04:28:35 PM »
Ultra-thin layers of rust generate electricity from flowing water

New research conducted by scientists at Caltech and Northwestern University shows that thin films of rust—iron oxide—can generate electricity when saltwater flows over them. These films represent an entirely new way of generating electricity and could be used to develop new forms of sustainable power production.

Energy conversion via metal nanolayers

Interesting.  Seems to need either a salinity gradient or oscillatory flow.  Possibly one could use ocean wave action to provide oscillatory flow.  Perhaps a tethered floating device could work around the tidal level changes of a shore-based device.

Energy consumption of AI:

So AI energy consumption isn't that large now, but could become problematic.
In terms of energy use for computing, there's a lot of low-hanging fruit to address, like BitCoin mining and video streaming (Netflix, YouTube, and the like):

Streaming online pornography produces as much CO2 as Belgium

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: July 29, 2019, 06:05:52 PM »
...Regarding SH's assertion that ASIF is a site dedicated to fighting AGW.... I'll agree that ASIF is a premium knowledge resource resource regarding AGW and an asset. But I don't think you can claim that it is dedicated to fighting AGW w/o declaring it as your mission.

I would certainly welcome a formal declaration that stopping AGW is an essential part of the mission here.

This is the "Arctic Sea Ice Forum," not the Climate Activism Forum.  We engage in science-based discussion, with articles, data, analysis, and interpretation.  Nothing wrong with that.

I'd guess 95% of those who post here recognize global warming as a civilization-threatening phenomenon.  I'd give a wild guess of 70-80% of non-posting readers also recognize this.

Declaring ASIF to be an activism hub undermines the credibility of the science discussions--thus counterproductive.  Careful, nuanced analysis of the science is and should be the centerpiece here, even when a few of the nuances might suggest "maybe it's not that bad" sometimes.  Seems to me the overwhelming body of evidence suggests things are worse than we thought before, but all the science is appropriate to discuss.

Many here individually already take dramatic personal action to try to move the needle.  There are side-threads where discussing such actions is welcomed by Neven.  That seems appropriate to me. 

Badgering anyone here to "do more" is just preaching to the choir.  It's pointless and distracting from the real work being done here.

That's how I see it.  If you disagree, there's little point arguing with me, take it directly to Neven, this is his garden.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The Rammb Slider Thread
« on: July 27, 2019, 06:52:20 PM »

Here is an interesting feature at about 80°N, 5°W.
Very interesting, with those circular movements. Is it the wind doing that, or ocean currents? This Rammb slider thing is really showing us details that I for one didn't know existed.

I suspect a moving ocean vortex, possibly initiated by tidal flows somewhere.  Initially I assumed a small atmospheric low, but the ice is moving in the opposite circular motion for that to be so.  Plus, lows tend to have clouds.

In water, vortices can be surprisingly long-lived, and travel long distances.  For a swimming pool demonstration:
Crazy pool vortex

Policy and solutions / Re: Low GHG Meat
« on: July 26, 2019, 06:08:24 PM »
I am a little embarrassed with polls on education but I still sruggle with my position in life and try to keep up.

Bruce, in this forum you have contributed some of the most interesting, insightful, and useful contributions of anyone.  You have an outstanding grasp of marine biology and low-carbon farming.  It matters not a whit what initials you might have after your name. 

In this realm, you are a prince. 


For me, keeping an eye on arctic matters is watching the canary in the coal mine as it gets weak, wobbles, and approaches demise.  So folks here comment on the wobbles a lot.  Nothing wrong with that.

A few people are freaking out in response to the challenge to a religious belief about imminent ice collapse. Some people were condemned long ago for asserting that the earth is not the center of the universe. Today you get the same treatment for asserting that near term ice collapse is not Central to the coming ecological disaster. We've already lost enough! Disaster is here and now.

The canary is dead. We may (or may not) still have a chance. But the canary is dead.

I'm sorry, but I think the disagreement you cite is a tempest in a teapot.  Changing analogies, we're tied to train tracks and all agree that a freight train is approaching.  Some say it's still 50 miles away, some say it's only 5 miles.  Some insist we'll see smoke from the engine well before it crushes us, some don't agree (i.e., a BOE).

Everybody already knows we have to act urgently to get off the tracks ASAP.  Arguing about how many minutes we have left is unhelpful, however many minutes there actually are.


I'll be transparent and acknowledge that I'm trying to influence the conversation at ASIF. We're clearly heading to a massive ecological catastrophe for humans and other critters and I think the emphasis should be on acceptance and constructive engagement such as Extinction Rebellion is engaging in.

Then please stop.  Everybody on the forum knows the significance of global warming, most know that it is a potential civilization-ending matter.  Most know that the Arctic and its sea ice is the early barometer of change. 

People have their own responses to approaching calamity.  It's high-handed and arrogant for any of us to try to steer others towards what one of us thinks "the emphasis should be."  The approach is obnoxious and toxic to the community.

For me, keeping an eye on arctic matters is watching the canary in the coal mine as it gets weak, wobbles, and approaches demise.  So folks here comment on the wobbles a lot.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 21, 2019, 08:08:11 PM »

But this is not all, the shape of the maximum trend line also has consequences for the losses line. When there was a fast rate of max volume decline, this translates into more/faster open water formation and more albedo feedback so the losses increase at a faster rate. However, now that the fast rate of max volume decline has gone away, this effect also goes away and the rate of increase in losses should also be expected to be slower. (That isn't even considering whether losses decline as the ice shrinks to areas that are harder to melt)

I think the opposite is true.  Near record low minima, year after year, has meant more open water at the beginning of the arctic night, with vastly increased outgoing radiation to space in the arctic night.  Yet, the minimum has been trending down, despite this strong negative feedback.

By end of winter, there's still a (thinner) snow+ice cover over most of the traditionally ice-covered arctic, presenting a fairly typically low albedo for the spring high-insolation period.  And yet, losses have been trending to greater values, despite this negative feedback.

There's good reason to believe the observed trends will continue, as GHG levels continue to increase and sub-surface ocean warmth continues to increase.

Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: July 21, 2019, 07:56:22 PM »
On the other hand,

5 Reasons Going To Mars is a TERRIBLE Idea

and an interview with Bill Nye on the topic:

Should you go to Mars? ft Bill Nye

Between radiation, need for oxygen and food, and toxic Martian soil and dust, human beings are far too fragile for such a scheme. 

Send AI-controlled robots to build habitats and ecosystems and industry.  In a century, with improved technology, we can deliver people to a self-sufficient, tolerable home.  But it would still be a pretty miserable life.

If society can't survive another century, we just don't deserve to expand beyond Earth.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 20, 2019, 06:21:16 PM »

Trump should consider who is the laughing third (axis) that is the Russian/Chinese axis.

They can lean back and chuckle and jump in upon risk-free opportunities  like in Syria.

The standoff raises oil prices, which helps Russia but hurts China.  Of course, the people in Iran are hurt the worst.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:40:58 PM »
This might be somewhat off topic but it touches on the subject.

I believe in an alternative civilization.

No cities, no suburbs. In their place a million villages. Self reliant eco-villages of 300-500 persons. Permaculture for their food supply. Stockpiles of food for 10 years - not so much for a social breakdown but necessary for ecological disruption and its consequences for agriculture.

Also, electrical power from windmills and/or solar.

Prepping for social collapse would require that these villages have the tools necessary to live throughout the generations without any input from society at large.

I envision an alliance of these villages both to create an alternative civilization and for the sake of self defense.

Seems you're basically describing the Amish.  Why re-invent the wheel?

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: July 15, 2019, 03:15:13 PM »

At this point I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible and isolate the variables. Perhaps it's incorrect, but I'm working with an assumption of 1 layer in 10m deep coastal water.

Sounds reasonable to me, as long as there's a little wind and/or waves.  But even this would be seasonally variable.  In freezing season, salt is excluded from the forming ice, and sinks to the bottom.  In melting season, melting ice releases fresh water, which floats above the saltier water below.  Still, in 10 meters of depth, it won't take much wind or waves to mix the whole column of water, once the surface ice is gone or pulverized.

We have very little data for depth/salinity/temperature plots on the Russian side of the arctic.  The few buoys we periodically discuss here all get placed on the US/Canadian side.

For the submerged permafrost, degradation will be slow, because heat from the ocean waters above hasn't a strong tendency to move down--heat rises.  At the bottom surface of the submerged permafrost geothermal heat is quite weak, as the permafrost layer is insulated from the geothermal heat by great depths of ancient sediment.

It works a little differently between land and marine permafrost degradation.  Freshwater lakes tend to have a temp of +4 degrees C at the bottom, because that's the temp at which fresh water is densest. These "thermokarst" lakes keep melting permafrost at their bottoms.  This is not the case for seawater, which is densest at about its freezing point. 

So melting of submerged permafrost will be very slow.  But I think it's effectively impossible for submerged permafrost to grow in depth, it can only thin and degrade over time.  Like, apparently, thousands of years.  Of course, the submerged permafrost has had something like 10k years to get along on the process since the last glacial maximum.

Shakhova and Semiletov have published voluminously on arctic permafrost.  I've only skimmed a few of their articles.  So if you want *real* expert information, I'd suggest perhaps starting here:

For these polls, I make my choice when they open, and don't change it.  It's supposed to be a prediction.  So I picked "Between 2.75 and 3.25" and I'm standing pat.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:00:07 PM »
Looks like the route a pesky illegal immigrant would take, to me, walking all the way, no doubt.  We've gotta get the Canadians to stop them at the northern border!  :o Except for a few Africans, of course, we or our ancestors were pesky immigrants our/themselves.

Spitzbergen isn't sending their best foxes.

Developers Corner / Re: Test space
« on: July 03, 2019, 02:03:47 PM »
I profoundly dislike A-Team, now that he went public with the drama and explicitly demanded people be expelled. He is an elitist and almost everything is shit for him. Well DEAL WITH IT, if you have IQ 160 you have to learn to live with 99.73% more idiots than you. 

There is zero value in commenting on other members.
This is generally a science-based forum.  Science isn't a democracy, it's a meritocracy.  Meritocracy only looks like elitism to those who don't appreciate talent and ability.
Most of us would put up with a lot of distasteful behavior from an Einstein, while being intolerant of the same from Joe Blow. 

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:52:20 AM »
A-Team is highly respected on this forum not because of his attitude or his supposed CV, but because of his unparalleled scientific, analytic and image-processing contributions. Forum Decorum would dictate not lashing out at such posters.

Completely agree.  A-Team, over a number of years, has presented extraordinary work here.  Some apparently plagiarized by other research authors.  We're greatly privileged to have some of his contributions.

He's only requested a resolution to a problem that Neven and many others have complained about--important, central threads being derailed and clogged by thoughtless members.  We have other threads for all those posts.  If a very busy, expert, valuable member is irritated enough to leave, than I'm sure others feel the same way--most would just leave without telling us why.  It would be a shame to have that happen.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 25, 2019, 01:31:38 AM »
Other threats Iran has over us: Terrorism:
Are you serious Tom? Or is this meant as an example of America yellow press hysteria? Because it is.

The article would be better cited in "The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism".  The author of the piece appears to be a catastrophe-monger.  He's here promoting his book "Get Prepared Now."  I wonder how sales of that are going.

The real problem in the situation isn't in Tehran, it's in the White House.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: June 17, 2019, 05:25:05 PM »
By burning hydrocarbons we got a lot of chemical energy. I don't know much about chemistry but am thinking you have to put the same chemical energy back in (actually more) to rebind the CO2 (on the same scale). Is my simplistic thinking correct?

Yes.  But you don't have to separate the oxygen from carbon.  Mix with essentially any alkali and water and you get carbonates, like chalk (in the case of calcium).  Some rocks are fairly alkaline (like olivine, apparently).  I'd think it might be plausible to crush such rocks and put the gravel in faster-moving streams (just downstream of dams would be ideal).  Almost certainly cheaper per ton than trying to pull CO2 directly out of the air and having a reduction reaction in a container. 

The cheapest, of course, is to grow any kind of plant, then prevent breakdown of the organic material.  Say, forests.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 08:19:56 PM »
Don't know about Gandhi, but there are also rich and powerful people supporting Greta, otherwise she would still be with a smal group of people in Stockholm. Having been active against different projects, I know the difference if there is support or not. As an activist, you can contact the press, but you don't choose if and how you are published.
I agree that some secrecy might be needed in order to be able to inform of future events.

I suspect quite a number of oligarchs would prefer to avoid collapse of civilization, too.

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