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Messages - kassy

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: March 31, 2019, 04:57:34 PM »
In 2012 storms dispersed the ice in March, making the extent situation look much better than it was in reality. The thin dispersed ice rapidly melted in May and June. The situation this year is extremely bad because the thick ice is piled up on Greenland at the exit to the Fram strait and storms are thinning the ice at the margins at the Barents, Kara and Chukchi seas.

When we compare years it is most helpful to look at more than just the extent graphs and look at the thickness distribution and the salinity and heat at the 100m and 300m levels.

Yes, the weather this year will make the difference, but it looks very bad so far for sea ice. What we have seen in the past few weeks is the worst possible set up for a disastrous collapse this summer if the weather is warm and sunny.

And the CFS model predicts exactly that for the next 3 months, with a strong jet stream over the northern Pacific and a stronger than normal Aleutian low coupled with warm sunny high pressure over the western Arctic and Alaska.

This pattern ties in with the sudden stratospheric warming in late December coupled with the El Niño and active overturning in the Labrador sea.

All long range forecasts are subject to failure but this is forecast is about as bad as it gets for the sea ice.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: March 28, 2019, 06:34:25 PM »
It is important to remember the origins of the theories of "dark matter" and "dark energy". These are claimed to exist not based on their discovery, but rather solely as a curve fitting exercise using Newtonian dynamics (Keplerian) and the universal law of gravitation as applied to the velocity curves of galaxies and the estimated masses of the visible objects in those galaxies.

The most notable case is M31, the Andromeda galaxy. The light curve for Andromeda shows a central region (the bulge), a transitional region, a region containing the bulk of the galactic disk, and then the region beyond the seeming edge of the galaxy as viewed by human minds.

The central region behaves with a velocity curve that is linear with distance from the center. The transitional region includes a narrow band rotating retrograde to the rest of the galaxy. The main disk shows a velocity curve that looks like a superposition of a linear velocity with distance (with a much lower slope than the bulge) combined with a keplerian falloff with distance added on top of that. In other words, the inner half of the disk portion has a bulge somewhat faster than a linear relation would suggest. The region beyond the visible edge transitions to a velocity curve of near constant value for considerable distance that then falls off slowly with increasing distance. See page 617 of "Exploration of the Universe" by George Abell, 1969 edition for example.

More distant galaxies are harder to resolve their detailed velocity profiles. The inner details are entirely lost.  Most often then, they show velocity curves that rise to a maximum value (disk region), then flatten for considerable distance before falling off.

This is not at all what would be expected from keplerian considerations.

It is these descrepancies that led to the postulation that there must be unseen "dark matter". As that theory was refined, it was realized that "dark matter" alone did not make the velocity curves fit keplerian requirements. Something seemed to be pushing the stars and objects faster. This led to the theory of "dark energy". Today, under the combination of these theories (cold dark matter or CDM), the vast majority of the "mass" of galaxies is proposed to be "dark energy". A minority of the "mass" is "cold dark matter", and a very small portion is the known actual mass of stars, nebulae, gas clouds,  etc...

This theory though widely held and "studied" is pure speculation. No direct evidence of "dark matter" or "dark energy" has ever been found, despite intense efforts to find them. It is only inferred. What most scientists have not done is to consider that some other physical law or difference in physical laws are implied. Also, there is no basis at all in all of physics for a force exemplied by "dark energy", or for particles to support "dark matter", or the force of "dark energy". Adding these would break all of the theories of particle physics. Yet, rather than being taken as a fantasy theory, CDM is often taken as true none the less.

But that is not universally true. One group of scientists and researchers proposed modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) to explain it all. MOND is likewise not a proven theory, and lacks an original explanation as well. However, tests of CDM versus MOND have not ruled either out.  There are other theories as well. MOND does accurately predict the velocity curves of thousands of galaxies using a single parameter change in its theory compared to universal gravitation.  CDM requires the a priori development of an inferred dark matte distribution for each galaxy to work. I.e. Curve fitting.

As theories go, MOND better fits the data with less fiddling. Occam's razor would suggest that of the two MOND is likely right. And MOND has the added benefit of fitting into existing theories. The background acceleration proposed in MOND may well be a measure of the stretching of space-time itself, or viewed differently as the growth of the universe, or ...., or as the integration constant in relativity, the C constant that Einstein added.

DF2 and DF4 are interesting low mass diffuse galaxies that put both theories to the test. And as it turns out, they don't rule either out.

What none of the current theories explain is the rotational curves of M31 and our own Milky Way in the visible light region of the galaxies.

There is much more to be learned about how the universe actually works.

We humans repeatedly make the same errrors through time of assuming that we know everything important to know (to explain everything), and that we as individuals, we as a species, our home - the Earth, our sun, our galaxy, our theories, our philosophies, our deities are the center of everything, and that everything depends on us.

We assume too that we are the peak and end goal of the process that led to us, whatever that process is. On the one hand this is simply pure hubris. On another, it is pure arrogance, ignorance and stupidity. On yet another it is a complete failing to apply the things we know such as logic, physics, ...  We never seem to generalize these lessons or to learn from them. We fall into the same holes time after time, not even understanding we have fallen into a hole, and utterly refusing to listen to people outside the hole trying to tell us we have fallen into a hole, even though it is they who are trying to help us extricate ourselves.

The application of that to human caused climate change and the disasters rapidly crashing in on us at accelerating speed is just one more exemplar. A large portion of humanity has fallen into their comfortable holes. They cannot see out. Worse, they do not want to see out. They like their cozy holes. As far as they are concerned, the people trying to warn them of the impending catastrophes are crazy. From their perspective in their cozy little holes, they both literally and figuratively cannot see the problem. Note here that seeing isn't just a matter of the optics of they eye, but is rather that plus the entire brain process that goes into building our internal map of what we think we "see". Much of what we "see" is a construct created in our brains. It is all too easy for a system built in this way to suffer aberrations in what we "see".


The rest / Re: The Empire vs Venezuela - News and History
« on: March 28, 2019, 04:12:13 PM »
The problem with that video is that the nice, white, privileged lady is obviously pro-Guaido. And pro-Guaido means pro-Bolton/Pompeo/Trump/Imperialist USA. Cenk Uygur calls her out on it and stresses the fact that all this is about, is oil (something that the nice, white, privileged lady and our own nice, white, privileged neoliberal Rob Dekker simply cannot find in themselves to admit).

Cenk Uygur: John Bolton went out on Fox News and said: We're looking forward to protecting American business interests there, including the American oil companies. Nah, and you know, so they're backing Guaido. I can't have us doing a, you know, an unofficial coup of Maduro, back Guaido, and Guaido comes in and goes: Congratulations, mission accomplished, Exxon-Mobil gets all the oil.
Pilar Marrero: Hihi.
Cenk Uygur: I can't have that, but I can't have the status quo, because Maduro is killing the country. There's extrajudicial killings, a million kids are not going to school anymore, it's an absolute disaster. It's as big a no-win situation as you can almost imagine.
Pilar Marrero: Let me tell you something about the history of oil in Venezuela.

See what she did there? Instead of saying "Absolutely, Guaido is a US Imperialist stooge, as we've seen so many of in Latin America during the past century", she changes the subject to smear Chavismo and complain that oil isn't pumped out as efficiently as could be, because it should be left to the free market (ie Exxon-Mobil).

She then goes on to imply that more than oil being the reason for US meddling, it's because Trump wants to put socialism in the spotlight and then say that the Democrats are just like that. Which, of course, is why it's so monumentally stupid to be pro-Guaido, because you then support that dynamic that is aimed at crippling the true left. Hence, if you're pro-Guaido, you are not a true progressive.

But fortunately, Cenk Uygur, being a good journalist who doesn't push establishment narratives on behalf of money interests and TPTB, doesn't let go:

Cenk Uygur: Pilar, let's keep it real. The Trump administration and all the neocons are on a war path against two countries: Iran and Venezuela. There's only one thing that connects those two countries: oil. Okay? And there's one country we invaded: Iraq. Oil. Okay? North Korea, we ain't gonna invade, okay, because they don't have any oil. So, it's definitely, definitely about the oil.
Pilar Marrero (again deflecting): If you ask a lot of Venezuelans today: Would you mind having the American companies go in instead of having your freedom and a good government that will not torture you and kill you and starve you? A lot of people will say 'yes'.
Cenk Uygur: Yes, but the problem is with the American oil companies come, or even American banana companies, they also bring the torture and the human rights abuses...
Pilar Marrero (interrupting): It's already there. It barely can get any worse than it is now.
Cenk Uygur: Not a great way to solve it.

At the end, Cenk explains why binary thinking, where you think you absolutely need to choose between one of two sides (something that Rob Dekker promotes at every turn), is a dumb thing to do:

This is the Venezuelan people being squeezed between these different power players like Russia and the US. The US does not necessarily have your best interests in mind, but neither does Russia. So, if you're a progressive and you think: No, Putin is a good guy, I agree with George W. Bush who looked into his eyes and said he has a good soul, and he cares about the people of Venezuela. You are officially nuts if you believe that. You are also nuts if you think that's what Trump thinks. Neither one thinks that, okay? So, we gotta find a way to protect the people of Venezuela.

You're also nuts if you think sociopaths like Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein, Harris, Booker, Biden, Clintons, Obama and the other neoliberal Corporatist Republicans-lite think that.

The only way to protect the Venezuelan people, is to stop being pro-Guaido, to stop pushing polarisation, to lift sanctions and to help Venezuela wherever possible to become less reliant on dirty AGW-inducing, Koch-enriching oil, without meddling to install neoliberal puppets.

Some interesting reflections by Dewi Le Bars on the implications of two recent papers for the projections by DeConto & Pollard and for ice-climate feedback modelling (as proposed by Hansen et al, amongst others):

On Edwards et al 2019:
'The claim that MICI is "not necessary" to reproduce past sea level high stands is both not really true and not really useful. The uncertainty range about what could have been the contribution of Antarctica to sea level during the Pliocene is 5-20 m and during the Last Interglacial it is 3.6-7.4 m. DeConto and Pollard’s model without MICI can reproduce up to 6 m and 5.5 m respectively for these two period (see Edwards et al. E.D. Fig. 4). So yes it can reproduce the lower part of the ranges. But most of the Pliocene range cannot be reproduced with the no-MICI assumption. What the figure shows is that the model with MICI covers a much bigger par of the possible Antarctic contribution for these periods. And still, even including MICI, the model can only explain a maximum of 12 m contribution for the Pliocene. Which means additional mechanisms would be necessary to cover the whole range of possible Antarctic contribution for that period. The claim that MICI is “not necessary” is also not very useful practically because projections with MICI are used to make high-end sea level scenarios. The important information is then is it possible or not? If it was not possible then it would be good news and decision makers wouldn't need to take it into account. "Not necessary" only has an impact on low-end scenarios, for which MICI would already not be used anyways.'

On Golledge et al 2019:
'Current state of the art (CMIP5 type) climate models do not include ice sheet models so the coupled effects between ice sheets and climate are a blind spot. In these climate models the ice sheets are just white mountains that do not change over time. They might have a snow layer on top of them but no ice. So snow falls on them accumulate a little bit and when it melts it is put in the nearest ocean grid box. If too much accumulates then it is put directly in the ocean to avoid infinite accumulation. What is missing is a model to transform the snow to ice and then transport it back to the sides of the ice sheet or to the ocean under the force of gravity. This is what ice sheet models do. Golledge et al. use the PISM ice sheet model for Greenland and Antarctica and couple them offline to LOVECLIM, an intermediate complexity climate model. Intermediate complexity means lower resolution and simpler physics compared to CMIP5 type climate models. It is the type of models generally used for long paleoclimate simulations.

What they find is that allowing feedbacks between the ice sheets and the climate model leads to strengthen both Antarctic and Greenland mass loss, by 100% and 30% respectively. For Antarctica this is not a surprise, although the magnitude is much bigger than I expected. Freshwater from the melting of ice leads to increase the ocean stratification, because it is is very light. This reduces vertical ocean mixing and as a result the surface of the ocean cools down while the subsurface warms up. Antarctica mostly looses mass from ice shelves basal melt and calving which is strengthened by warmer subsurface ocean temperature. For Greenland, it comes as a surprise to me that the feedback would increase the mass loss, because Greenland mostly looses mass from surface melt and a cooler atmosphere temperature would tend to reduce surface melt. Unfortunately the paper does not explain the mechanisms at play there (or did I miss it?).

There are a few issues with the ice sheet models that reduce my confidence in the projections. For Greenland the model is not able to reproduce the recent fast mass loss acceleration. Therefore the authors artificially impose the mass loss on the model in two ways: (1) decrease the friction between the ice and the bed (basal traction) to have a faster flow between 2000 and 2015 and (2) reduce the snowpack refreezing between 2000 and 2025. Refreezing is important for the mass balance because on ice sheets more than half of the snow that melts in the summer refreezes locally. It never reaches the ocean. Michiel van den Broeke had a similar comments in Trouw (in Dutch). You can force the model to agree with observations but if the model does not have the proper dynamics to explain observations there is no reason it is doing a good job for the future. For Antarctica, the model starts with enormous mass accumulation (1000 Gt/year in 1900) and accumulates mass until the 1980th. This is clearly not possible, such an accumulation would have been seen by tide gauge measurements. In fact as I said in the last review it is expected that Antarctica was slowly loosing mass in the 20th century. Also, the internal variability of grounded ice is so large in the model (Fig. 1a-d) that I do not understand what is going on physically (please let me know if you do).

In conclusion, the paper’s goal is important and it is the first time that two high resolution ice sheet models are coupled to a climate model. This is a big step in the right direction. However, I am not convinced by the results because of the issues mentioned above concerning the ice sheet models. Nevertheless, it is very instructive as it shows the long way that is left for ice sheet models to reach the level at which we can trust their future projections.'

It's an interesting essay.  It's not a science paper and was rightly rejected.  In some ways it's just "McPherson Lite."  This is his takeaway:

"Recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress. Such disruptions include increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and will not avoid affluent nations."

He relies a fair amount on Wadhams to bolster his most dramatic claims about rapid climate unraveling, so there's that!  The essay examines how we should approach our lives - and particularly how academics in climate and sustainability fields should approach theirs - IF we accept that near term collapse is unavoidable.  He writes well and has some interesting things to say about that.  But, I think it almost goes without saying that he has no more idea about whether or not the climate and civilization will unravel before 2030 than any reasonably well-read poster on this forum.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: February 25, 2019, 07:40:02 PM »
A World Without Clouds

A state-of-the-art supercomputer simulation indicates that a feedback loop between global warming and cloud loss can push Earth’s climate past a disastrous tipping point in as little as a century.

At high enough atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, Earth could reach a tipping point where marine stratus clouds become unstable and disappear, triggering a spike in global warming, according to a new modeling study.

The researchers also found that once the cloud decks vanished, they did not reappear until CO2 levels dropped to levels substantially below where the instability first occurred.

This event—which could raise surface temperatures by about 8 Kelvin (14 degrees Fahrenheit) globally—may occur at CO2 concentrations above 1,200 parts per million (ppm), according to the study, which will be published by Nature Geoscience on February 25. For reference, the current concentration is around 410 ppm and rising. If the world continues burning fossil fuels at the current rate, Earth's CO2 level could rise above 1,200 ppm in the next century.

The study could help solve a longstanding mystery in paleoclimatology. Geological records indicate that during the Eocene (around 50 million years ago), the Arctic was frost free and home to crocodiles. However, according to existing climate models, CO2 levels would need to rise above 4,000 ppm to heat the planet enough for the Arctic to be that warm. This is more than twice as high as the likely CO2 concentration during this time period. However, a warming spike caused by the loss of stratus cloud decks could explain the appearance of the Eocene's hothouse climate.

Possible climate transitions from breakup of stratocumulus decks under greenhouse warming, Nature Geoscience (2019)


Unprecedented Biological Changes in the Global Ocean

By way of illustration, here are two applications of the model, for the periods running from 2005 to 2009 (top) and from 2010 to 2014 (bottom). Red indicates substantial biological changes; yellow, minor changes. No color means no change

Using a new computer model, an international team led by the CNRS and involving researchers from Sorbonne University has demonstrated that biological changes are accelerating, which has consequences for our use of marine resources. Their findings are published in Nature Climate Change.

Over time, marine biological systems have experienced changes of varying magnitude due to natural climatic fluctuations. Abrupt biological shifts—dubbed "climate surprises"—have also been detected in many regions of the ocean.

When initially tested for fourteen oceanic regions, the model accurately predicted actual biological changes observed in the field since the 1960s. By next applying the model to the global ocean, the researchers were able to quantify the force and spatial extent of these biological shifts. The model also allowed them to draw attention to a recent, unheard-of rise in the number of "climate surprises," which may likely be attributed to El Niño, temperature anomalies of the Atlantic and the Pacific, and Arctic warming.

The rest / Re: The Empire vs Venezuela - News and History
« on: February 22, 2019, 10:56:15 AM »
I am truly amazed by the spread of socilaism in the West especially amongst the youth. It can only happen to those who did not live in a totalitarian-socialist/communist regime. I did. I know how terrible it is and why it does not work. We had a joke: "Introduce socialism in the Sahara and soon sand will be in short supply". These regimes ALWAYS destroy human dignity, lead to opression, suffering, and lowered living standards. I can not comprehend how anyone can take the side of Maduro (Chavez).

Since I am in that exact group of young people who fight for socialism I think I should reply to this. And I don't reply to attack you, I just want to give you an insight of why I (and many many more especially in the youth) hold those beliefs.

I was born in this world which is run by an untouchable elite class, which has - during the last several decades - accumulated enough wealth (which in a capitalist system is power) to have total control over the life of the lower class, since money is something you need to survive in capitalist society. They have done this by exploiting people and the planet for the sole sake of profit. Since they are also the ones that are profiting from the status quo, they put a lot of effort into maintaining it. Therefore, nothing will fundamentally change (by which I mean that whoever is in power in this system still has the main goal of accumulating profit and staying in power).

Now, as you might understand, I don't like this. I don't like growing up on a planet that I will most likely see collapsing ecologically and economically. I don't like it that my life and future is controlled by same ultra-rich old men who are responsible for that and don't feel any effects of what they are doing to the people and the planet. And what I despise the most is that I have absolutely no ability to change that, since the capitalist system is built in a way that it can always survive by giving more and more power to the elite and smash every movement which intends to build a society without those classes through propaganda, sanctions and repression.

It's really not cool to look into a future where more and more people will suffer. And instead of collaborating and working together to fix the issues we face, I see leaders embracing nationalism and encouraging individualism. The "Fuck you I got mine" mindset is ultimately rooted in capitalism, and this just has no place if we want to keep this planet alive.

What I don't understand is why the majority of people keeps defending a system that is knowingly, actively and inevitably destroying lives, our planet and our future.

This went pretty off-topic sorry, but I just wanted to give an insight to El Cid. Now back to topic.

The rest / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: February 11, 2019, 09:41:13 AM »
Scheer Intelligence has a very goot interview with Ron Kovic and Danny Sjursen. Ron Kovic is the man who is depicted in the Oliver Stone film "Born on the Fourth of July."

Sjursen: " And I would submit that between Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in one sense we, the collective we, this society has learned very little, and made some of the same mistakes. But then in another sense, the foreign policy elites have learned something rather profound. "

"the foreign policy elite, the militarists who run this government, learned a different lesson. And the lesson they learned is that if you conscript people, if you draft people, if you bring the American people along into a war, then there might be protests. There might be people who turn against that war when the time comes. But if you send a small group of volunteers over, and over, and over again, even to fruitless wars that are not in our national security interests—like Iraq, like Afghanistan, like Syria—you can maintain a war endlessly. "

"I went to Iraq first and then Afghanistan—really shattered those illusions that America was a humanitarian force for good. Instead, in Iraq, I saw us shatter a society that went into a civil war, in addition to attacking us. And watched how we had just completely destroyed that country through our ill-advised invasion. And then in Afghanistan, I found an unwinnable war that was probably more similar to Vietnam than the Iraq War was, in the sense that it turned out that all the Afghans were not Americans secretly waiting to jump out of their skins. They didn’t want the American version of government, and they did not see us as legitimate. "

"What I really saw was the results of American messianism in the world, of American exceptionalism, the notion that we could remake societies in our own image. What it really meant was a whole lot of dead children, a whole lot of car bombs, a whole lot of teenagers shooting each other in the night. And then of course, a whole lot of Americans getting killed as well, although less of us than the Iraqis. When I went to Afghanistan three years later, I no longer had any faith in the wars; I was just a professional. "

"what I found there was slightly different from Iraq. It wasn’t so much a civil war as it was a mass insurgency that we were never going to break. And it turns out, we only held the ground we stood on, which probably sounds very familiar to Mr. Kovic. "

Kovic: " I and other veterans who opposed that war [Vietnam] during that time, in the late sixties and early seventies, we knew that every day was important in trying to save lives. We were here back at home, we had come back from the war, but we knew how important it was that we protest that war, do everything possible to speak out until our voices were raw, against that war. And I remember, you know, sitting behind bars; I hated it, I didn’t like—I was already in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, and here I was inside of a jail cell. It wasn’t fun. But all I could think of was, whatever it takes, you know, to stop this war. I had been inspired while in the hospital by Martin Luther King and others. And I knew that that war that I had fought in and sacrificed in was wrong, and we had to do everything possible, and it was hurting my country deeply as well."

Sjursen: " When I was put in front of those cadets and asked to teach American history in the normal patriotic lens, I couldn’t do it. And I think that was the breaking point. And at that point, I decided to do what Ron Kovic decided to do, which is to speak out every day to try to minimize the number of Americans that die in these wars. And that’s where I’m at now, and I wish it would have happened sooner for me, but I can’t go back and change that. All I can do now is bring a new version of patriotism, and that is dissent against meaningless, harmful wars."

The whole article is very, very worth reading:


Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: February 01, 2019, 11:20:01 PM »
Sulfur Dioxide has continued to increase in our atmosphere, which settles and dissolves in water as sulfidic anions—specifically, sulfites and bisulfites.  Sulfites cleave thiamine at its methylene bridge, causing its destruction.

Thiamine is one of the most unstable of the B vitamins and naturally degrades rather rapidly at pH at or above 7, in the presence of sulfites.

Recent studies of thiamine degradation at ambient temperatures has shown that increasing temperatures accelerate the degradation.

The wastewaters from many of our industries contain sulfites.  Herbicides, pulp and paper, food processing (preservatives), oil recovery, mineral processing, textiles (dyes), and, surprisingly, flue gas scrubbing.  All of this runoff reaches the oceans.

One more way we are contributing to our own extinction.  Destroying an essential (cannot be synthesized by our body) vitamin in our environment, which, because it is water-soluble, is not retained by the body, and must be constantly replenished through our diet.





Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: February 01, 2019, 05:36:57 PM »
Terry, I used to post on the carbon cycle but I haven't kept up reporting. I agree the deep ocean sink of 2 Gt is the only long term carbon sink. It is dependent upon biological processes that are threatened by ocean acidification however. So all the efforts at soil carbon farming or forestation are only stopgap measures. All the terrestrial carbon , or a vast majority of it, moves back into the atmosphere where the ocean can then absorb ~ 25% of it. Of that current 2.5Gt ocean carbon sink only 2 Gt moves into the deep ocean particulate sink, the rest is labile and will over a thousand year timeframe re-enter the atmosphere . We are emitting about 10Gt carbon annually and most of it will cycle back into the atmosphere over the next thousand years whether it goes into terrestrial or oceans sinks.People just have a very hard time with thousand year timescales. If we keep emitting carbon at the current rate nobody will be here to witness what happens in a thousand years anyhow.
 I agree with Lurk that we need to get somewhere close to 100% reduction in carbon emissions. So electrical production, transportation, food production and land use All need to be included in the zero carbon plans. The Tesla /Glory thread is an indication of how most, even very bright people , can't seem to get their brains around zero.  You , Lurk and I are just misfits.
 Sorry to be such a bummer but I have been hanging around the Holocene Extinction thread too long. I realized I haven't even seen a single butterfly for a very long time . I have started to look into other people's automotive grills at their radiators looking for bugs. Not seeing them.
 I realize this is OT but really what point is there in counting numbers on CO2 if we can't admit we are going over the cliff ?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 30, 2019, 05:47:14 PM »
New renewable energy projects are replacing fossil fuel plants as they age out:

Here's an article about the EU:

New wind, solar and biomass power generation displaced hard coal last year – especially in Germany, France and the UK – according to a 2018 review of European electricity statistics by two leading energy policy think tanks.

Renewable energies continued to pick up last year to reach 32.3% of total power generation in the EU, up two percentage points from the previous year, according to the report, published today (30 January).

Total coal power generation fell by 6% across the EU in 2018 and is now 30% below 2012 levels, the analysis found, confirming the rapid decline of coal in electricity generation across most European countries.

“This was caused by renewables growth in Germany and the UK and by the return of hydro in Italy and Spain,” said the report by Agora Energiewende and Sandbag, two leading energy think tanks.


China’s renewable power capacity rose 12 per cent in 2018 compared to a year earlier, official data showed on Monday, with the country still rolling out new projects despite transmission capacity concerns and a growing subsidy payment backlog.

China has been aggressively promoting renewable power as part of an “energy revolution” aimed at easing its dependence on coal, a major source of pollution and climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Total capacity – including hydro and biomass as well as solar and wind – rose to 728 gigawatts (GW) by the end of last year, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said.

That amounted to 38.3 per cent of China’s total installed power capacity, up 1.7 percentage points on the year and around 7 percentage points higher than at the end of 2015.

The USA:

Xcel Energy, based in Minnesota, has 3.6 million customers in 9 states. It began the transition by announcing a plan to transition to 100% zero emissions energy by 2050 — the first utility company in the US to make that a corporate goal. Economics has a lot to do with that decision. Wind power in the Midwest is abundant and inexpensive but solar farms are also springing up across America’s heartland.

But there is something other than the bottom line at work here. Ben Fowke, Ecel’s CEO, said at a news conference back in December, “We knew we could step up and do more, at little or no extra cost.” His remarks were spurred in part by the latest IPCC 6 climate report and the recent climate assessment published by the US government in November.

Consumers Energy, with 1.8 million customers in Michigan, announced a plan in June to transition to more solar power over the next 20 years. Until now, it has relied on coal-fired generating stations for most of its electricity. “Our vision considers people, the planet and the prosperity of our state and the communities we serve,” Patti Poppe, its CEO said at the time of the announcement.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company said last year it plans to close all of its coal-fired facilities within 10 years. It currently gets 65% of its power from burning coal. It says building new renewable energy resources simply costs less than keeping those coal fired plants open any longer.

Utility companies used to base their future plans on an expectation of rising energy demand. They could justify building new fossil fuel plants because the cost would be offset by selling more electricity. That is no longer the case as the demand for electricity has remained flat for several years. Not only is coal no longer competitive economically but natural gas has a history of fluctuating significantly in price.

1. Record corporate renewable energy purchasing

U.S. corporations have spurred a global movement towards purchasing renewable energy over the last decade, and 2018 was a banner year. Companies in the United States purchased a record 6.43 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power, enough to power more than 1.5 million American homes each year and  more than double the previous record of 3.22 GW in 2015. The number of corporations entering in to renewable energy deals for the first time doubled. There were also a record number of deals through utility-offered, large-scale renewable energy purchasing programs, called “green tariffs.”

A growing number of large buyers are also publicly committing to source 100 percent of their electricity from renewables. Today, there are 53 Fortune 500 companies with 100 percent renewable energy goals; there were 23 companies with the same target in January 2017.

2. U.S. cities make ambitious commitments to renewables

In the absence of a federal renewable energy push, local governments are taking matters into their own hands. More than 300 U.S. cities, towns or counties have made commitments to climate action.1 As of November 2018, 99 U.S. cities have committed to 100 percent renewable energy, up from just 50 cities a year ago.

Of these, six U.S. cities (Aspen, CO; Burlington, VT; Georgetown, TX; Greensburg, KS; Kodiak Island, AK; and Rockport, MO) have already met their 100 percent renewable energy goals through a variety of approaches, including on-site installations, off-site purchases and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

Since many cities are just starting to set these commitments, they are at the beginning stage of the learning curve. In 2019, it will be important to watch how cities can push utilities to provide more clean energy.

There are also large renewable projects underway in India, Brazil and many other countries.  It's not difficult to envision that by 2050 most of the energy production in the world will be from renewables.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: January 18, 2019, 09:52:19 PM »
How awesome and fitting.

The rest / Re: Immortality
« on: December 29, 2018, 05:53:03 PM »
Well, I'm glad I pulled out of this sermon of yours when I did, because you just told the exact "story" that I was saying needed to be discarded. Yours is the same old "separate man from nature" story we can get from any religion anywhere.

Listen to how you just referred to nature:

"You, as a human being, can't just live like an animal, coming into being without questioning, just eating, drinking, fucking, breeding, dying, end of story."

How disparaging, and just an opinion by the way, and a very simplistic one too. A fallacy, actually.

And here, you give mankind some sort of special, better than nature, imaginary purpose:

"THAT is not your business, not your final imago, you want, you must go beyond carnal needs."

"It all transcends sheer animal existence."


So this is just yet another regurgitation of the "we're not like nature, we're on a special magical journey to transcend reality" garbage that, through a bunch of word salad, gives simple minded people who fall for it permission to mistreat the natural world that we are all a part of. That's the actual behavior that emerges out of people when people are fed this tired old religious story of yours. After all, the way you worded it made animals out to be very much beneath you in the purpose you ascribed to them, and then your story elevated yourself into being some sort of special human creature on some cool magical journey to transcend reality, very much more worthy than those eating and fucking grunt animals you just disparaged with your disparaging use of language towards them.

I could walk into any Mormon church and get the same story you know. The exact same story. That's the story that's been imprinted on the civilized mind for millennia now, the one I was indicating needed to be undone and discarded ... and here, you just told it again for us in your own little way.

Several generations of raising children under that sort of a story, and you'll most certainly get people disrespecting the biosphere that supports life on the planet, which is exactly what we see happening right now ... as a result of this story you tell yourself, a story which merely just arose out of civilized living conditions, and has permeated the minds of civilized culture for thousands of years now ... east, west, north, south ... everywhere that civilization has gone, we hear this same silly story told ... that mankind has a goofy magical special purpose, a different purpose from the grunt nature as you just described it, and that this is why man is here! It's a bad story, dude, and has proven to be a destructive one. That's the reality that emerged out of this story you tell ... a bad reality for the rest of life on the planet, and the biosphere that supports that life ... including us.

So how is what you've preached to us here useful anymore as a worldview? This is the same silly story I was suggesting needed to be undone from civilized minds, the "animals only just eat, drink, fuck, breed, die, end of story" crap you just spewed, which means that you've just brushed all other animals in the biosphere off as being beneath you, as being different from you? In your mind, through nothing more than an assertion and a bunch of unsupported word salad ... you've now separated yourself from them, by distinguishing yourself as being created for some superior purpose from them, apart from them, one that you claim is "transcending reality."

That's the exact meaning when people criticize religion for separating man from nature ... they're not talking about something physical ... they're  criticizing a mental attitude people hold in their heads. The attitude you just tried to push at us, and it's a damaging, self destructive attitude.

So, all you're doing here is pushing more of the same old civilized religious thought at people that created the mess we're in; word salad, the exact story that I would've said needs to be undone. The one that intellectually separates man from nature the way you've just done here, and declares him special, which is then when people start abusing the biosphere that they don't regard as being part of this "special purpose" they were created for, the fairy tale purpose you just described for us about "transcendence of reality." That's why it's a harmful fairy tale to tell people. It's lead to very bad results for civilized culture to think this way for thousands and thousands of years.

Boo. You're a dinosaur, dude. There is nothing helpful here, your story only brings damage. You've literally just preached about how mankind is separate in design and purpose from nature, which is the exact religious based story that needs to be dropped. I'd rather talk to a fish than someone like you, any day. You're a very good example of a very big problem.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018/2019 freezing season
« on: December 26, 2018, 10:31:29 PM »
AMSR2 image for 3rd December contrasted with present extent line (in orange).

The front has extended slowly south in the vicinity of Svalbard but it's tough going against the west Spitsbergen current.

Meanwhile the retreat in the Kara is around 200km long !

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: December 19, 2018, 03:13:29 PM »
I did an interview with prof. Peter Wadhams for a doc series I am working on about Lake Tanganyika and I am only using a few excerpts. He did find it strange that I wanted his input on the fate of Lake Tanganyika :) but the interview is of course mainly about the arctic.

Here's the full interview:

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: December 16, 2018, 12:53:29 PM »
An amateur attempt to match argo float 3901910 to amsr2 to see how close to the ice edge it travelled, aug18-dec14. It reported weekly until nov30 and has reporting daily since. Report (cycle) numbers are overlayed onto Greenland, bottom left.
edit:added temp labels

Approximate data based on eyeballing the attached charts is in text below. Timing the temp/salinity data to the animation makes the gif too large. Easiest to download both gifs and step them manually for analysis. (or even better, advice from someone with netcdf skills pls)

The main observation for ice watchers is that the warm current alongside the ice front is ~2.5C at surface recently.

cycle   lat              long          temp C    sal      date
60   80.06547      5.16783      2.75      32.4      0818
61   80.20849      5.23104      5      34.45   0825
62   80.38986      4.78623      2.6      33.65   0901
63   80.48555      6.0284      4.5      34.42   0908
64   80.49247      6.82373      3.8      34.1      0915
65   80.58095      7.16061      4.3      34.1      0922
66   80.44863      8.30625      3.8      34.4      0929
67   80.43952      9.16231      4      34.75   1006
68   80.37718      7.56771      1.5      34.4      1013
69   80.51731      11.28802      0.3      34.1      1020
70   80.84061      14.77375      3      34.75   1027
71   80.85687      16.35878      1.5      34.6      1103
72   81.43671      17.30993      1.6      34.64   1110
73   81.56787      21.71607      -1.2      34.15   1117
74   81.61883      26.34895      -0.7      34.35   1124
75   81.62392      31.29192      -1.5      34.26   1201
76   81.82774      34.03102      -1.1      34.32   1202
77   82.01424      35.80637      -1.6      34.26   1203
78   82.1778      38.04842      2.5      34.82   1204
79   82.28333      39.82095      -1.6      34.23   1205
80   82.29029      39.77042      2.3      34.77   1206
81   82.28489      39.64985      1.8      34.74   1207
82   82.29791      39.56938      2.7      34.86   1208
83   82.25532      39.58456      0.8      34.61   1209
84   82.22805      39.50098      2.7      34.86   1210
85   82.20667      39.35864      2.5      34.86   1211
86   82.21352      39.10944      1.2      34.45   1212
87   82.21687      39.05996      -1.2      34.29   1213
88   82.21415      39.16856      0      34.49      1214

data here
choose 3901910

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:05:41 PM »
Am I the only one that checks in with the webcam in Utqiagvik to see if the house on the left hand side of the image has its door wide open again?  It's cold up there.  Why is the damn door open so often?  Maybe we should call them to let them know?

no your not alone, perhaps that shack is used as a dog shelter or for other animals or perhaps they store something there that should not warm/melt but at the same time should stay protected from precipitation and/or winds.

even though i'm curious like yourself, i'm quite sure that they have a good reason to do things how they do them. people that far up north have learnt early not to neglect protecting their home and stuff. let's see, perhaps we get an answer one day.


It is an arctic entryway, it is designed to stay below freezing but out of the snow and wind. It is a good place to leave gear that will suffer if it thaws. The door will probably get closed when it get colds enough so that the inside temp stays below freezing. If it has a door...

The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 29, 2018, 10:24:21 PM »

From the Guardian article:

A separate internal document written by Ecuador’s Senain intelligence agency and seen by the Guardian lists “Paul Manaford [sic]” as one of several well-known guests. It also mentions “Russians”.

Okay, that's enough, Rob Dekker and Martin Gisser are on board. Anybody denying the veracity, nay truth, of this article, is a paid Russian troll. Show the evidence that proves the opposite (No, that doesn't count. That doesn't count either. Neither does that. See, you have no proof. Putin loses).


Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: November 28, 2018, 11:17:22 PM »
A Catholic Bishop, an Islamic Iman, a Jewish Rabbi, and a Tesla saleswoman walk into a bar .......... (fill in the blank)

And the bartender bellows "What is this, some kind of joke?

The rest / Re: Russia, Russia, Russia
« on: November 28, 2018, 05:07:49 AM »
"People living in glass houses should not be throwing stones." Truism

Jesus: Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You, hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

Buddha: The faults of others are easier to see than one’s own; the faults of others are easily seen, for they are sifted like chaff, but one’s own faults are hard to see. This is like the cheat who hides his dice and shows the dice of his opponent, calling attention to the other’s shortcomings, continually thinking of accusing him.

Short enough?

Lurk: "There are as many fake Buddhists as there are grains of sand on a beach!"

Permafrost / Re: Northern Hemisphere Winter 2018-2019 Snowcover / Misc Obs
« on: November 28, 2018, 12:59:06 AM »
I calculated how long in each year (2000-2017) a gridcell is covered by snow or ice. The presentation is quite bad with google sites so I recommend viewing the images in the google drive folder or even better download the netcdf file and choose the visualization yourself.

NetCDF & Images:


Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: November 23, 2018, 08:01:18 PM »
Links to papers posted earlier in this thread, to save you the time of looking for them.,12.msg130821.html#msg130821,12.msg126031.html#msg126031,12.msg131768.html#msg131768,12.msg132298.html#msg132298

Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, published 22 June 2017.

And here is a link to my methane archive so you can see how this progressed over the years to where we are now.  Being able to see where we were 2 years ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, provides an important perspective, allowing you to see just how fast and dramatically this has accelerated.

The rest / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 18, 2018, 12:58:32 PM »
I've said a couple of weeks ago that I would give my opinion on Bellingcat one last time, after watching a recent documentary a couple of times for work. Might as well do it here.

What I came away with, is that it's a tragic story. Mind you, it wasn't presented as such. It was a documentary that promoted the hero story, of ordinary people just like you and me, who do the things the media or the police should be doing, but don't. It fits in well with that sentiment in consumer culture that anybody can become a hero or a celebrity, like we see exemplified in the immensely popular talent shows on TV.

Bellingcat is simply a pawn in a geopolicital game that is all about money, corporate access, weapons sales and so on. I've seen enough of Eliot Higgins now (but I had already strong suspicions after reading through his Twitter feed), to know that he has a huge ego and narcissistic tendencies. The way he licks his lips, the way his eyes twinkle, when talking about all the media attention he receives, or how intelligence agencies and governments are interested in his work. He is simply in it for the fame, and perhaps the money as well. The same, to a lesser extent, goes for Christiaan Triebert. They're running with this for all they're worth, there's not much ideology or idealism involved.

The others on the team that are presented in the documentary, are mostly nerds (Aric Toler is a perfect example), who get a kick out of doing the geolocation stuff. And rightly so, it's pretty cool what they're doing. But it's very one-sided, and they all have clear biases. One Syrian guy is obviously anti-Assad, and so is mostly interested in collecting and archiving evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the government. That's fine, but it shouldn't be presented as some objective, neutral endeavour, because it isn't. The other two (older) guys have a clear anti-Russia bias, one being ex-Finnish military, the other a German who used to work for the Stasi.

All of this is fine. The problem I have with it, is the implication that what they do, is objective, neutral, evidence-based, transparent, and so on. Some if it is, some of it isn't. Normally, this wouldn't get much attention, like most of what most bloggers do. The reason it does get attention, is because Bellingcat serves the purpose of promoting narratives that people will no longer accept from mainstream media. And the driving force behind Bellingcat, Eliot Higgins, is very eager to fill this niche, in exchange for fame (and probably money). His early embrace with the Atlantic Council and his bragging that a weapons manufacturer was interested in hiring him, attest to this fact. It's a small, but powerful movement that has a hand in a lot of the stories that promote neocon warmongering. From FusionGPS to Propornot, from CrowdStrike to the Magnitsky Prize, it would be quite easy to draw up an organigram, where Bellingcat also plays its role. 

Now, why is this a tragic story? It has all the hallmarks of a tragedy. There's the tragic anti-hero Higgins, who is presented as a hero thanks to his connections, rather than his work (which also relies heavily on connections he wouldn't normally have). And the thing with tragic characters is that it usually doesn't end well for them. In the best case, Higgins gets exposed for what he is. In the worst case, something bad happens to him that serves the propaganda purposes of one of many players in the story, be it the GRU or the NSA or MI6, or whatever.

In a TED talk, I saw Higgins talking about how open-source investigations can be used to 'influence the powerful, challenge the powerful, and hold the powerful to account'. Bellingcat is not doing that. The most powerful organisation in the world is the US Pentagon. If Bellingcat really was about speaking truth to power, 90% of what they'd be doing, would be focused on American empire. It's not. If it would be, if these guys would be real heroes, they'd be withering away like Assange, in some cell or embassy. The fact that they aren't, the fact that they aren't smeared by mainstream media, means they are doing things that the powers that be approve of, things that further the goals of powerful interests.

It's not going to do much good over-all, and it's not going to end well. I feel sorry for everyone involved with Bellingcat, especially for those who are unselfish and mean well. It's a tragic story.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: November 18, 2018, 06:27:14 AM »

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: November 14, 2018, 06:59:53 PM »
If you don’t mind, I would like to set up a thread that deals with “the impeachment process”.

The Political theatre/wrestling thread can be used for that. I'd rather see Trump deposed at the ballot box, based on substance (ie policy and a vision for where Americans want to go), than on legal technicalities. I don't believe Russiagate can even accomplish the second, although the rampant corruption could, albeit with a massive effort. But there will be a price for that, because it strengthens Trump's fake argument that he is not part of the establishment, and that the elites wants him out because he is draining the swamp. This argument will be strengthened even further if all the other Washington corruption (also on the Dem side) doesn't get addressed. And then the US is set up for something much worse than Trump.

Now, if and when there is something substantial on the impeachment front, instead of the ratingsbait we've been subjected to for two years now, I may change my mind on whether a special thread is warranted, or whether it fits anywhere else than in the Political theatre/wrestling thread. But for now, that's the place.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (November)
« on: November 08, 2018, 03:04:15 AM »
Thanks Juan for the tables. Oct 2018 is the first month since Aug 2017 with a decreased volume compared with the same month a year ago.
You are welcome!

Focusing on what has happened…

I started contact with Neven in May or June 2012 and I was shocked with the ASI drop on August, after the Great Arctic Cyclone. I was also impressed by the 2012 PIOMAS Volume graph made by Wipneus. So, when on the first months of 2013 appeared cracks on the ASI, well, several of us were concern of what could happen that year. Finally, 2013 was a good year for the ice and 2014 was even better. It had passed 6 years since 2012 and the collapse has not happened.

Or it has happened?  :o

On extent, the ASI has not even able to break the 2007 record, not to mention the 2012 record. So, there are some people saying that 2012 is an outlier and even 2007 will be difficult to break. But I don’t like extent! Yes, it is important to measure the effect of the Arctic Ocean albedo. But to measure the ASI drop, I am convinced that we should use volume, even if it is harder to measure than extent.

So, what do I see on volume?

First, volume on 2007 has been broken several times. On volume, 2007 is the ninth lowest on record! And even that September 2012 is still the lowest, the difference between 2012 with 2010-2011 and 2016-17 is not that big.

But on the other hand, while 2012 has not been broken, the decadal average show us that we
have a very different Arctic. By example, look at Aug-Oct average on a decadal basis.  The 1990-99 average of 93.6% changed to 68.5% on 2000-09 and to 39.5% on 2010-18.

So, do we need a catastrophe to prove a catastrophe? From my point of view, the catastrophe has already happened. The 39.5% ice that we have on 2010-18, versus the 1979-2000 baseline, is climate change, not just one year, not weather change.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: November 02, 2018, 12:48:07 PM »
Hi I am a longtime lurker. Inspired by a post on Jason Box's Twitter feed I was one of the 1000 people at the Declaration of Rebellion for Extinction Rebellion on Wednesday. It was a glorious autumn day and I felt privileged to be at the start of something so significant.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: November 01, 2018, 09:50:26 PM »
What are the predictions for the US winter ?

"Another vortex would be catastrophic" well, if that's the case, buckle up.  The average for polar vortex displacement / split occurrence is above 1 per winter.

NOAA put out a winter outlook a couple of days ago:

Figure is from a master's thesis:

Fortin, Ashley, "The Impact of a Changing Climate on the Frequency of Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events" (2017). Master's Theses. 4797.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: October 24, 2018, 05:49:25 AM »

October 23rd:
   2018: 6,575,429 km2, an increase of 183,372 km2.
   2010's Avg.: 7,245,129 km2, an increase of 116,049 km2
2018 is the 2nd lowest on record.

The 1990's average minimum is 6,548,129 km2, so todays value is the first on the 2018-19 freezing season in which 2018 is above the 1990's minimum by 27,300 km2.

The 1980's average minimum is  7,229,571 km2, so 2018 is still -654,142 km2 under 1980's average minimum.

Do we need a catastrophe to prove a catastrophe?
Or are we having a catastrophe right now, but we have not notice it yet?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018/2019 freezing season
« on: October 21, 2018, 01:41:38 AM »

Sorry I like the guy, he seems nice and all and always responds to everyone very civic way, but he is at odds with established scientific facts, and one has to reject that from the outset.

How many times have you been to the arctic to take measurements?   Im guessing you are reading from an undergraduate thermodynamics textbook and pretending to be an expert.   College text books are great for talking about theory under ideal conditions in the lab.  However, I have been involved in science for almost 30 years, and theory almost never matches reality. 

We have very little observational data from the arctic.  Wayne did us a great service by taking measurements, in the arctic, and reporting them to us.  The real world is very different from what computer models and undergraduate text books say it is. 

I usually keep my mouth shut and just observe on this forum.  Almost everyone who contributes to this forum is really smart.  But lately people who are overbearing, and often times wrong, are dictating the direction of discussion and ruining it for everyone. 

There are many, many things we don't know about the arctic.  If you have a theory great!   But don't call it "established scientific fact" unless you can point to undisputed peer reviewed journal articles that have established those facts through observational data. 


Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: October 19, 2018, 02:35:26 PM »
Therefore I think it would be interesting to repeat your method on longer time spans, and include pre-1950 data to get a longer term view.

Has anyone done an estimate for ECS based on hemisphere, not the globe? What is the ECS of the Northern Hemisphere?

It seems to me that because the SH is mostly covered with water with the south pole covered with land, and the NH has much larger land surface area with a north pole covered in water, their ECS might be significantly different. 

You all don't ask much, do you?   ;D  Actually, I love all the suggestions -- these are great.  Let me tackle the first one first.

Here's the same method, applied to (a) Cowtan & Way, and (b) Berkeley Earth, for the entire length of their data (1850-2017):

Over that time period, the CO2 forcing was 1.914 W/m2 and the total (including solar & volcanic) was 2.036 W/m2, for a ratio of 0.940.  Multiplying the two slopes by 0.94 and dividing by 0.74 (our assumed TCR/ECS ratio) gives ECS of 2.7 (Cowtan and Way) or 3.0 (Berkeley Earth).

Next, for Archimid's truly excellent question about differing values of ECS for different hemispheres:

We can do even better than that.  NASA GISTEMP provides land/ocean temperature records from 1880-present by zone (Arctic, tropics, N vs S hemispheres, etc.) for 14 latitudinal zones.  I applied the same methodology:

* All zones have their own temperatures, but use the same CO2 data (obviously).

* Likewise, all zones use the same CO2/Total_RF ratio (which for 1880-2017 is 0.883).

* Likewise, all zones use the same TCR/ECS ratio (the same 0.74 we've been using all along).  This could well be a problem, in fact I think it almost certainly is, but for consistency let's run with it for now, while I try to figure out how to do this better.

Anyway, here are the results:

ASIF readers will be astounded (NOT!  ;) ) to learn that ECS for the Arctic is much higher than for the rest of the globe. 

Note that I'm rather dubious about the overall validity of this as an estimate of ECS -- the numbers are very much plausible, but as we move from doing this for the whole globe to doing it for latitudinal zones, I am increasingly uncomfortable with the assumed (and fixed) TCR/ECS ratio, plus the assumption that the slopes are actually representative of TCR over this long time period.

With that caveat, here is a table with the CO2 vs temperature slopes, and the final ECS estimates:

ZoneT/CO2 slopeECS estimate

Thanks to wehappyfew and Archimid for the suggestions.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018/2019 freezing season
« on: October 14, 2018, 12:16:39 PM »
I find it interesting that the 365-day mean air temperature is barely cold enough to freeze sea ice.  How warm is the water under that ice?

Why do I always see that question? I wonder if there are any monitoring devices up there? Whatever happened to that camera on Buoy 14? Last I clicked on it I saw a shot from 2 years ago! Why doesn't Neven send a team of crack Sea Ice Forum members up inside 80N and answer some of these questions for us? He's sitting there warm in his mansion...LORD knows where....collecting all the loot generated by this world-class forum, and does nothing to answer these nagging quesions: What is the temperature of the water 753 fathoms under that ice-flow off Ellsemere? How many healthy Polar bears are frolicking in Franz Josephland?
Just send Juan and Jim and Fishoutofwater (PLEASE!) and Wip and Geronimo and set them up with a few tents and a stack of firewood up on some ice-flow circling the CAB, and they can do the rest. Let's get some answers!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018/2019 freezing season
« on: October 14, 2018, 11:55:03 AM »
Looks like extent gains are finally beginning to get going in the CAB

Oct 13th - Oct 11th

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: October 11, 2018, 06:05:00 PM »
Climate Scientist Sees Stage Set for Reprise of Worst Known Drought, Famine
VANCOUVER, Wash. - A Washington State University researcher has completed the most thorough analysis yet of The Great Drought -- the most devastating known drought of the past 800 years -- and how it led to the Global Famine, an unprecedented disaster that took 50 million lives.

She warns that the Earth's current warming climate could make a similar drought even worse.

The Global Famine is among the worst humanitarian disasters in history, comparable to the influenza epidemic of 1918-1919, World War I or World War II. As an environmental disaster, it has few rivals. Making matters worse were social conditions, like British colonialists hoarding and exporting grain from India. Some populations were particularly vulnerable to disease and colonial expansion afterwards.

"In a very real sense, the El Niño and climate events of 1876-78 helped create the global inequalities that would later be characterized as 'first' and 'third worlds'," writes Singh, who was inspired by "Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World." The book details the social impact of the Great Drought and subsequent droughts in 1896-1897 and 1899-1902. ..."Millions died, not outside the 'modern world system', but in the very process of being forcibly incorporated into its economic and political structures. They died in the golden age of Liberal Capitalism"... Its author, Mike Davis, is a distinguished professor at the University of California, Riverside, and a co-author on Singh's paper.

The Great Drought actually was several droughts, Singh found, beginning with a failure of India's 1875 monsoon season. East Asia's drought started in the spring of 1876, followed by droughts in parts of South Africa, northern Africa and northeastern Brazil. There were also droughts in western Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia.

The length and severity of the droughts prompted the Global Famine, aided in no small part by one of the strongest known El Niños, the irregular but recurring periods of warm water in the tropical Pacific Ocean. That triggered the warmest known temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean and the strongest known Indian Ocean dipole -- an extreme temperature difference between warm waters in the west and cool waters in the east. These in turn triggered one of the worst droughts across Brazil and Australia.

Deepti Singh et al, Climate and the Global Famine of 1876-78, Journal of Climate (2018).

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:03:21 PM »
Back to ITP110. X marks the spot on the image below where I think ITP110 is today. An estimate based on the latest drift track above. Salinity at 300m there is modelled at ~34.5. The scales are different but ITP110 had simliar 300m salinity until recently.
If it keeps heading towards the Mclure Strait there should be a significant rise.

Science / Re: Comparison: forcings from CO2, CH4, N2O
« on: October 10, 2018, 02:09:32 PM »
Here's some more context: a comparison of the WMGHGs to all the other major categories of anthropogenic forcing:

The darkest bars are the forcing over the past 30 years (1988-2018).  Lighter bars are the two previous 30-year periods (1958 to 1988, and 1928 to 1958) for comparison.

What's kind of stunning is that during the past 30 years, every other bar [positive or negative] is less than 10% of the magnitude of the CO2 forcing.

Other comments

* Methane, N2O, halocarbons, fluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone were the largest non-CO2 forcings [in that order], but all were pretty small.

* Over this period, there has been no large negative anthropogenic forcing.  Aerosols barely produced any forcing at all over the past 30 years, and if you combine the direct and indirect (cloud albedo) effects, they nearly cancel out entirely.

* Non-anthro forcings (solar and volcanic) probably each produced a small negative forcing over the past 30 years (not shown).

* Oren asked about the impact of a 10% decrease in atmospheric methane.  As shown in the previous post, that would create a negative forcing of -0.08 W/m2, basically dropping the methane bar in this graph to near 0.

* a 10% decrease in aerosols would produce a positive forcing of around +0.11 W/m2 (direct+indirect).


CO2_RF: CO2 Forcing
CH4_RF: Methane Forcing
N2O_RF: Nitrous Oxide Forcing
FGASSUM_RF: Total forcing from all fluorinated gases controlled under the Kyoto Protocol (HFCs, PFCs, SF6)
MHALOSUM_RF: Total forcing from all gases controlled under the Montreal Protocol
TOTAER_DIR_RF: Total direct aerosol forcing
CLOUD_TOT_RF: Cloud albedo effect
STRATOZ_RF: Stratospheric ozone forcing
TROPOZ_RF: Tropospheric ozone forcing
CH4OXSTRATH2O_RF: Stratospheric water-vapour from methane oxidization
LANDUSE_RF: Land-use albedo
BCSNOW_RF: Black carbon on snow


Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: October 10, 2018, 09:36:38 AM »
volume will always show a faster rate of decline than either area or thickness, but will slow down as the other parameters catch up.
I'm not sure this is always true, but I'm not a thermodynamics anything (not an expert nor even particularly knowledgeable).  If a significant cause of ice melt is bottom melt (which will likely increase as thickness decreases, as solar input into this process increases with ice thinness), then declining thickness will accelerate as zero volume approaches, while area remains fairly unchanged.  If area decreases 'at all', it might be a 'fact' that volume will decrease at a lower rate than does thickness (although faster than the area decline).  But I think this doesn't require volume declines to actually "slow down".

It is a case of simple mathematics.  The current minimum sea ice extent is ~60% of the extent measured in 1980.  The minimum volume is ~30% of 1980.  The thickness is ~50% of 1980.  Volume is just a product of these two; and since both are decreasing, the volume must decrease faster.  As extent and thickness decrease, the volume loss will slow because there is less volume to lose. 

This is different from the typical ice cube in a glass experiment, whereby all sides melt equally.  The large disproportionate dimensions leads to a difference in the physical melting properties.  The larger extent (or area) dominates the melting characteristic. 

If one were to assume that volume is the key parameter, and volume continues to decrease at its current rate, then the decline in thickness would need to double and the decline in extent more than triple, so that all three parameters reach zero simultaneously.  That is not what we are experiencing currently.
The key  point  you  are missing is that the thickness is an average measure over the entire ice cap.  The area that is less than 20cm thick at maximum is 20 - 30  times greater than the are that is 2 m thick for the same volume. The simple formula V=A*T  only  works for a single cell.

Over the entire cap the  AverageThickness = sum(( T  * N ) / Total(N))  for all thicknesses where N is the number of cells of a given thickness.  As the ice melts the ratios between the various N's doesn't change much  so the average thickness doesn't change either.

Simple example; there are 100 cells at thickness 0.1m and 10 at  thickness 1m;  after massive melting the number of cells has reduced to 10 at 0.1m and 1 at 1m.  The ratio hasn't changed and the average thickness hasn't changed despite area declining by 90%. 

Science / Re: Comparison: forcings from CO2, CH4, N2O
« on: October 04, 2018, 02:54:20 PM »
In essence, NedW's very first sentence gave Teapotty and ASLR a green card to post whatever they like in this thread.

What a weird comment.  This thread was started in order to look at quantitative comparisons of the radiative forcing from CO2, CH4, and N2O.  One reason for doing that is because I had the impression that many people here don't have a clear mental picture of the relative magnitudes of the forcings from those three agents. 

I'm not in a position to give (or deny) anyone a "green card to post whatever they like".  People who want to keep threads on-topic will limit themselves to posting things that are on-topic; people who don't want to will post whatever they feel like posting.

I stopped posting because (a) I got busy, and (b) the direct, quantitative comparison called for in the thread title had been addressed nicely here:

and here:

(for the recent past)

(and for the next couple of decades)

Take-home points that relate to the topic of the thread:

1. The radiative forcing from CO2 in recent decades (say, the past 50 years) has represented by far the largest fraction of the total forcing over that time period. 

2. Since the launch of CMIP5, radiative forcing from CO2 has been slightly below what was projected in RCP8.5, and slightly above what was projected in the other RCPs.  Forcing from CH4 has been quite a bit smaller, both in absolute magnitude and relative to what was projected in RCP8.5, but well higher than the other RCPs.  However, this is a short time period.

3. Over the next three decades, the CMIP5 concentration pathways show that CO2 will continue to be the most important climate forcing, with methane at about one-fifth of the CO2 forcing (in RCP8.5, and much less in the other scenarios).  N2O forcing was projected to be smaller.

All of those forcing values were recalculated using the most up-to-date formulations from Etminan et al. (2016).

We probably could have short-circuited a lot of this, by jumping straight to the IPCC AR5's Figure 8.6(d):

which shows the decadally-averaged annual forcing (W m-2 yr-1) for each of the three gases, but (a) I like to calculate things for myself, and (b) the data in the AR5 figure aren't updated with Etminan's forcings, and I wanted to do that.

So that's the main reason I stopped posting in this thread: the questions implied in the thread topic had been pretty thoroughly answered, as far as I was concerned.

The rest / Re: GOP Losing Ground for the 2018 Mid-Term Election
« on: October 02, 2018, 01:54:11 PM »
Nothing in this procedure is designed to get at the truth. Both sides are hoping that public opinion will win the day... On September 12, Ford's accusations were publicly aired. On that date the Republicans held a 9.2% advantage over the Democrats - today the Republicans hold an 8.4 lead. On September 12 among likely voters, Trump's disapproval numbers were 13.4% ahead of his approvals - today the number is 9.5%.
Meh. Anyone familiar with the science behind polling knows that day-to-day and week-to-week numbers fluctuate, sometimes wildly. As with temperature and Arctic sea ice, the trend is the important thing--and both Trump's and the GOP's numbers have been trending downward for months.

While Kavanaugh's possible sexual indiscretions as a teen have driven most other political discussion from the airwaves, the Democrats have dropped .8% in popularity and Trump's approvals have increased by a whopping 3.8%.
Anyone who dismisses or downplays the issue as Kavanaugh's "possible sexual indiscretions as a teen" should maybe stay out of the conversation. Rape and assault aren't "sexual indiscretions"; they're abuses of power and privilege. And Kavanaugh wasn't some dewy-faced 14-year-old with peach fuzz and raging hormones; he was an upperclassman at Yale, who knew better than to do what he did and acted as he acted. And he has lied about it. Multiple times.

I'd love to see the Republicans crushed in a Blue Tsunami this November. We can use an "October Surprise" - but focusing the media on BS stories about groping a cheerleader through her clothing and a bathing suit may not be message that Americans are willing to coalesce behind.
Again: anyone who dismisses or downplays the issue as a "BS story about groping a cheerleader through her clothing" should maybe stay out of the conversation. Americans overwhelmingly don't want or need a proven liar with a rage-drinking problem, a history of sexual assault, and spoken grudges against both Democrats in general and non-submissive women in particular handed a lifetime appointment to one of the most powerful positions in the nation. Period.

But as always, your "concern" is noted.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: September 13, 2018, 09:46:09 PM »
In other words, they're basically polar opposites!  ;D

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: September 10, 2018, 05:17:27 AM »
The Arctic Sunrise was in San Francisco today, and we visited the ship.
Pictures attached.

I have a close connection with the Arctic Sunrise, and Greenpeace in general, as they are one of my favorite charities. They are working hard to preserve the Arctic; to keep oil exploration out and Nature in.

This is our planet. This is our time.

Let's not waste either.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: September 08, 2018, 04:00:12 PM »
I believe (and correct me if I am wrong) that this exercise is just curve fitting to the best possible line.  What we lack (me included) is an explanation as to why any particular fit should be chosen.  Oftentimes, a linear fit can approximate a particular data curve over a specified range.  As the data approaches zero, I would expect this to fail, although in which direction is debatable.  In an unknown situation, oftentimes a moving average can best define the trend, as it incorporates recent data, without bias.  Not that it is any more accurate, but it tends to smooth out the data, removing variations which may mislead the eye.  Lastly, extrapolated beyond known parameters is always highly speculative, as we do not know how that affects the environment.  In short, it is a guess.  But we strive to make it the most educated best possible, and your guess may be different than mine, depending on which parameters we each feel might predominate in a future scenario.

Yes it is highly speculative.

>What we lack (me included) is an explanation as to why any particular fit should be chosen.

I try to refer to the models and if they almost all show a Gompertz like shape, then why would you use a different shaped curve to fit the data? A better fit might be one reason but if this gompertz shape does pretty well at reducing the RMSE that seems additional reason to go with it.

Use too many parameters and you can get a better fit and send the extrapolation off in any direction you choose. Hence it is necessary to try to minimise the number of parameters used. This can be considered to be a form of Occam's razor - if you don't need extra complexity to explain the data then that extra complexity is likely just wrong and should be omitted.

These considerations (particularly considering the physics which is what the models do) tends to act to place some limits on where the extrapolation goes.

Yes, it is highly speculative and the more so the further you go away from the known data. But at least it is based on something. If the alternative is making stuff up off the top of your head, and the people doing that sort of thing tend to be concerned about the issue and therefore likely to give a biased view towards catastrophic effects in order to motivate action,.... guess which I think should be preferred?

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: September 06, 2018, 05:45:07 PM »
You know, when Donnie ultimately gets around to firing someone, he has a great candidate for his administration out in California.  Duncan Hunter, Congressman from California, has been indicted on charges he misused over $250,000 of campaign funds for personal expenses, which included expenses for FIVE different affairs.  He would be perfect for Donald’s cabinet. 😱

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 22, 2018, 02:11:08 PM »

Sea ice extent on the Atlantic side of the #Arctic has reached a new all-time record low for the region (combined Barents-Kara-Greenland Seas). Each line shows one year from 1979 (purple) to 2017 (white). The previous record was just last year.

[Daily data is from the @NSIDC]

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 22, 2018, 05:38:20 AM »
Oh, no one there at the Guardian knows the difference between an iceberg and a floe. A sub-editor just picked some vaguely related click-bait off a Getty stock photo collection. Be grateful there wasn't a scantily clad Inuit carving up narwhale blubber. It is the same with newspaper headlines. Total disconnect with the reporter. Just about every article, every newspaper.

I am more concerned about plagiarism of our site by scientists. Naturally, people trolling earlier about sunspots (#2 on the Skeptical Science nonsense thermometer) is a total turn-off. However this event was noticed here 3 full weeks prior to the Guardian article and has undergone huge technical development on multiple high-visitation forums.

The hit counts here indicate multi-100,000 views of postings and graphics on the article's subject. Please don't tell me that those don't include a whole lot of mainstream Arctic researchers. They come here because it's a huge time saver over daily trawling of satellite resources. Two clicks in the left column, set an alert as many have done, and you can skip over the sunspots and speculation right to coverage of the event.

Plagiarism is failure to cite or credit. Just because it is open source doesn't mean there's no obligation to link. What they are doing is reading the blog, taking the better ideas, and then re-doing the graphics and research text, often ineptly. That's not original research, it's theft. They don't want to credit the site because of loonies here, because it's just the internet, because people mostly post anonymously, because not everyone here is a card-carrying academic scientist.

However I am, the 6,700 cites to my peer-reviewed papers are more than all the scientists quoted in the Guardian article put together. This is plagiarism as it is understood in the scientific world and I am getting real fed up with it.

I got back from vacation with my family last night and this morning discovered the story covered on dailykos by a well intentioned non-scientist. Then I took a quick look at the Guardian article. My scientific career was not as outstanding as A-Team's nor is my contribution to this blog, but I was disturbed about the lack of credit to our group effort at synthesizing the massive amount of data on what's happening to the sea ice.
My personal experience with poor scientific ethics by other scientists goes back to my dissertation research. I had a grant from the USGS to do an earthquake research study by a never-used-before methodology. About a year into my research I found out that a USGS researcher was using the same new technique in a way that was unlikely (in my opinion) to produce useful results. His research failed badly and hurt everyone who was working in related areas, especially me. Forty some years later research gate is telling me that people are citing my work which got positive results on an extremely difficult problem that continues to be investigated.

I was badly burned by poor scientific ethics and the anti-environmental science attitudes of the Reagan administration. I went into developing research programs; managing, overseeing and directing nuclear waste safety research for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All of NRC's waste safety research was eliminated in 1994 when Newt Gingrich & his wrecking crew took over Congress. Not long after that my wife finished her Ob/Gyn residency and we moved to Kauai where I greatly improved my body surfing skills and helped propagate endangered endemic plants.

I still love science and try to contribute what I can but the politics of earth and environmental science in the USA has been brutal and unethical in my personal experience. This latest unethical event is consistent with my experience. A-Team has made spectacular visualizations and done expert analysis and deserves credit for his work. Of course, I feel that, I too, deserve credit for my contributions, but I am not surprised when I don't get it.

As to the TSI: If the tiny decline in TSI were significant sea ice volume and extent would have been increasing for the past twenty years. That is not the case.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (August mid-monthly update)
« on: August 21, 2018, 07:00:30 PM »
They should start to use data from UH but U.S. scientist refuse to use non-U.S. data most of the times. sorry if that's not a qualified statement but as an observer in various fields of science and technology one can get the impression. ready to stand corrected if that's an entirely incorrect assumption
Of course that's a wrong assumption, their model was built in 2003 long before AMSR2 was launched. NSIDC is integrated into the model. Overhauling models never comes easy. In addition, there is no historical data for AMSR2 before 2012, while PIOMAS has monthly volume calculations since 1979 and daily calculations since 2000.
I assume recalibrating PIOMAS for AMSR2 data so that it would fit the historical data calculated using NSIDC is doable, but surely very difficult. I am certain this has nothing to do with such U.S/non-U.S politics as you suggested.
BTW, Dr. Zhang is extremely nice. They used to publish PIOMAS data once a month. At some point I wrote to him, told him how much the data was valued at the ASIF, and asked whether they could publish it twice a month. He simply said yes... and they have been doing it ever since.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 20, 2018, 11:14:05 PM »
wonder how much elevated SST would affect the forthcoming freezing season
Good question. While we wait for jd to crunch the numbers, it is worth asking whether we should be monitoring -- and comparing year-on-year -- the heat burden in near-surface waters that accrues during melting season. The temperature of open surface water is observable by satellite and the depth of the mixing layer is known though we don't have the temperature profile without operational buoys.

The overall heat budget of the Arctic Ocean is greatly influenced by incoming Atlantic Waters; though these are initially at ~300m depth, they don't exit with all the heat they brought in. Over the short term, this lost heat doesn't much influence temperatures of surface waters.

Other complications come in from sunlight penetrating thinner ice quite effectively, warming the water below. And that sunlight can fuel algal growth on the underside of the ice which then adsorb the energy right there rather than it going deeper in the water column.

In any event, Mercator Ocean only offers 2017 and 2018 for today's date (plus various water depths, not shown). The animation below compares them by arithmetic variations (such as subtraction of pixel RGB values) directly on the graphics. That leads to new colors though and so 2D color legends.

Water temperatures now should have considerable predictive power as to which peripheral ice sectors will melt out over the next month (if only we knew how the floes would move relative to warmer water temperatures). At the end of melt season, these surface temperature pockets suggest lagging areas of freeze-up (if only we knew what air temperatures would be associated with them).

Last winter, elevated Bering Sea temperatures (and lack of ice) were unprecedented. The Chukchi didn't fully freeze until early January. How much of that should be attributed to local SST vs imported SST vs mixing layers vs currents/eddies vs air temperatures?

Compare current to 2007
How? It's in a distorted cylinder projection, doesn't go above 80ºN and is unreadable/unreliable there, plus it would have to be cut down to comparable ice covers which isn't practical without having the data in polar stereographic projection. Are the grid cells really of adequate resolution for the Arctic seas and islands -- I can barely make out Greenland.

 Overall, there are a great many climate statistics like this, really focused on the equator and mid-latitudes, with the poles just bones thrown to the dog. We are not so interested in oblique observation of the Arctic from satellites in equatorial orbits, as is done for example with lightning. Data quality deteriorates with latitude -- even the 80º cutoff is likely a stretch.

Arctic sea ice / Re: SMOS
« on: August 20, 2018, 09:07:05 PM »
The SMOS images are back online.  Here are some updated graphs obtained using a pixel-counting script.

First, here's a look at the beige pixels, which are at the far right end of the SMOS color legend:

The graph below counts more pixel colors, lumping together all the pixel colors from beige to green in the SMOS color legend (including the intermediate yellow, red and purple colors).  At this time of year, this graph has a good correlation with the September minimum extent.

Finally, here is a weighted average of all pixels in the SMOS image, with each pixel weighted according to its numerical value in the color legend:

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 17, 2018, 01:49:29 PM »
I'm happy to have this thread polluted with calls for action. The specifics at this point are doom porn. We have the information we need. It is time for action, starting with resolution on appropriate plan of action.

While cluttering the forum with off-topic posts might make you happy, our experience has shown that most users prefer more focused, on-topic discussions, especially in the most popular threads such as this one, so kindly stay on the rails. There are threads here for talking about policies and solutions; this isn't one of them. Thanks!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: August 15, 2018, 12:19:33 PM »
Some sentinel playground shots of the ice in the north Beaufort off the mid CAA.
And a couple of the shrapnel pouring out of the CAA into Foxe basin. Sentinel may have a tricky and frustrating interface to master. But its worth taking the time. The 250m pixel size on worldview can make stuff like this look like solid ice that's not moving. Clearly not  true.

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