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Messages - dnem

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:09:53 PM »
I'm reluctant to say this since I cannot prove it, but I REALLY am starting to wonder if we're witnessing a somewhat paradigm shift in the Atlantic currents to cause the breakup above Greenland/Lincoln Sea. I realize it's been quite warm in that entire region, but I do not think surface melt alone is enough to facilitate so much action and change.

It's really surprising to see and certainly a hallmark of the post-2019 season. I really do cite the mega crack's formation last year as the first sign that things were changing. Again, I can't say where and how far the current may be spreading north of Greenland, but I'm beginning to suspect that the ice edge along the Fram Strait in some ways are merging with warmer waters in the north Atlantic. It's impossible for me to ignore a 15-30mi wide fetch of exposed water in a region which really has not encountered it (at least in the satellite era, tho I suspect far earlier).

Anyways, given what we have seen with Atlantification, I believe the melting above Greenland really is a sign of the broader changes taking place. The Gulf Stream is really cooking this year and at some level all of these systems are connected. I'll patiently keep watching this area because it's the most exciting to me.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 04, 2020, 01:13:53 PM »
Worry not .. PIOMAS shows plenty of thick ice N of Greenland and the pack firmly attached by thick ice to Svalbard . Our eyes obviously deceive us . b.c.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:05:47 AM »
In physical reality, what matters most is thickness distribution (and volume), then area, then extent. If the ice is driven in a compacting transport, extent will plummet with not much physical impact, while the reverse is also true under a divergence regime. What we can see unfortunately with the satellites and models is the opposite, extent in high accuracy, area in medium accuracy, thickness distribution and volume with low accuracy and delays.
This allows both parties to have numbers and data on their side, which is fine, just has to be interpreted according to physics and not just visible numbers on a chart.
The sunny July did huge damage to the CAB in terms of volume, and the open Siberian seas are a disaster waiting for imports, while the Atlantic front has huge amounts of open water as in 2012 and 2016, very unlike 2019. OTOH the Beaufort is full of ice and the CAA and Greenland Sea are still holding up. The question we do not know is how much of the remaining ice is in marginal conditions - still whole for now but will melt out by mid-Sept. This is what will dictate the area numbers, and partially the volume numbers as well, as volume calculation is tied to measured area changes. The extent numbers will be dictated by area numbers, but very highly affected by compaction or divergence - very visible, much less important IMHO. 2016 was almost as low as 2012 in terms of area, but very high up in terms of extent.
My take on things is that the ice is thinner than appears, due to the impact of July insolation and due to very high movements in the last few weeks, which induced faster bottom melt. I have never seen so many days where the CAB was entirely visible, and this while the ice was doing a crazy dance around the basin. Then came the cyclone with movements induced in the other direction. The CAA has been sweltering in heat and the ice is all broken up. So I expect a some point a lot of the ice which originated with a standard FYI thickness will melt out, and so will some of the thinner MYI. This will probably leave us with a total area record or near-record, even though the Beaufort may not be in record territory at all. Oh yeah, I also expect a volume record. I can't say the same for extent, which might be far away from 2012's record, though surely below 2019. This depends on random September factors so can beat the seasoned forecasters easily.
August is upon us, the answers will be clear in a few weeks time, not much longer to wait.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 01, 2020, 12:35:48 AM »
Glenbuck, Deep adaptation. Really can’t have a foot in two worlds IMO. If it’s over we are just talking something like trying to judge market tops and bottoms if we are waiting for the perfect moment to disengage.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:46:03 PM »
This may be a shaggy dog story.

I was washing he dishes and used too much liquid so at the end loads of bubbles in the sink.

I positioned the tap (faucet) so the water flowed from the edge of the sink across the base. Lo & behold - what happened.

A gyre formed in the sink and most of tbe bubbles formed a rotating circle while the rest formed a stationary ledge along one side of the sink. It was a picture of the Sea Ice in the main Arctic Basin. What amazed me was that it was stable, the soap bubbles refusing to dissipate down the plughole.

But when I changed the direction of the water flow from the tap to another edge of the basin, the bubble gyre collapsed as did the bubble ledge.

So there you are, Gerontocat's speculation that belongs to me of the future of the Ice in the Arctic Basin.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 30, 2020, 06:37:47 AM »
Is it just me or do others get the shudders when they see that Will elf? Sorry, OT.

What would a BOE just below 1 million km^2 look like on a map of the Arctic, anyone have a map marked out with 1 million km^2 to look at thanks? To visualise this seasons BOE, i mean for the 2100 BOE when none of us will be around to see it according to the IPCC.

See this post (Reply #68) in the Maps thread for what 1,000,000 km2 looks like.

But wouldn't the last 1M of ice more likely be along the Greenland and Canadian Archipelago coasts instead of around the Pole?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 29, 2020, 08:30:59 PM »
This thread becomes completely unreadable since quoting is done incorrectly all over the place.

The things YOU say must be AFTER the closing quote tag (i.e. [ /quote ]).

For EVERY opening quote tag (i.e.[ quote ]) there must be a corresponding closing quote tag (i.e.[ /quote ]).

Everything you are not responding to should be deleted.

It's not too hard folks.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 27, 2020, 09:25:40 AM »
Please my crazy refers to "wouldnt it be crazy" not the person making the predictions is crazy. So I just feel that once August comes some parts of the far North Pole are colder and will stop melting. Also I am talking about extent and I think that dispersion from storms may spread out the ice while thinning it thereby offsetting the loss of ice with increase in extent in those areas while other sectors may no doubt get decimated  I just hope that by the end of August the onset of more darkness saves the top Arctic. I am just giving my wrong opinion but I apologise for the incorrect use of adjective crazy where I should have probably put more thought into that post and said "scary" "frightening" though you have to admit that if 2.5million did happen wouldnt it be absolutely crazy! in mad, ludicrous, mental and mind boggling. I think I will read posts in future and not write.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 25, 2020, 10:31:55 PM »
Hundreds of Texas Bar Owners Plan to Open Saturday as a Statement to Gov. Abbott

Hundreds of bar owners have said they will defy Texas governor Greg Abbott’s order to shutter amid a statewide surge in coronavirus cases.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that nearly 800 proprietors have pledged to participate in Freedom Fest in defiance of Abbott’s mandate at the risk of their state liquor licenses.

... In Tarrant County, Arlington’s G Willickers Pub, Burleson’s Cooter Brown’s, the Rail Club Live and Fort Worth’s the Eight Ball Billiard and Bar will participate. Bars from Houston, Pasadena and Sabinal also are scheduled to participate.

Chris Polone, owner of Fort Worth music venue The Rail Club Live, says he organized Freedom Fest to make the voices of bar owners heard and to show people that bars can open safely.

“If you can get every single bar to stand up in solidarity, well, that’s a statement that won’t be ignored,” Polone said.

Polone said it isn’t right that Abbott deemed bars as the place where COVID-19 spreads while other high-traffic service industry locations still operate.

Abbott described his initial decision to allow bars to reopen with restrictions as a mistake when he ordered them to close down again on 26 June.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it would have probably been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting,” Abbott told KVIA-TV. “And how a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic. People go to bars to get close and to drink and to socialize, and that’s the kind of thing that stokes the spread of the coronavirus.


... to paraphrase The Graduate (1967)

Mr. Maguire: I want to say one word to you, Benjamin. Just one word.
Benjamin Braddock: Yes, sir.
Mr. Maguire: Are you listening?
Benjamin Braddock: Yes, I am.
Mr. Maguire: Plastics Coffins.
Mr. Maguire: There is a great future in plastics coffins. Think about it. ...

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 25, 2020, 08:53:58 PM »
We have an absolutely insane week of weather ahead. Please observe the deep low in the Chukchi & Beaufort seas, the hurricane developing in the main development region of the Atlantic and the crazy storm that tracks from the coast of Spain to the east coast of central Greenland advecting north African air towards the pole. There's strong agreement of the ECMWF and GFS on all three storms, giving us confidence in the forecast. The ECMWF takes the hurricane into the Caribbean while the GFS takes it north of the Caribbean but there's really strong agreement on the 2 storms that will advect enormous amounts of heat from the north American and Atlantic sides towards the pole.

I should be posting this in all caps for drama, but it's not my style.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 24, 2020, 08:59:36 AM »
I thought it would penetrate deeper into the CAB, but now it seems it's going into the ESS

It follows the direction of the wind direction we had due to the GAAC. This, IMHO, tells us that the HP caused a clockwise ocean movement here. Maybe an answer to the question of why the Beauford has seen less melt as well.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 23, 2020, 09:06:40 AM »
I've softened some of Friv's comments above but left the Friv-binntho exchange intact as it saves me some speeches. While I fully agree with Friv's analysis of the melt momentum, and share his frustration with some of the comments on this thread, binntho is exactly right in his rebuttal - wrong people are wrong, not trolls, and by posting wrong opinions they are not derailing the thread. They are probably derailing their future reputation as ice forecasters, and showing that even on the famed ASIF people can be spectacularly wrong.

Please avoid continuing this meta-discussion on this thread, consider binntho's as the last word. I will continue editing if needed when posters make personal comments about other posters' character or intentions. Of course, feel free to comment about other posters' wrongness.

One thing I will not allow further without some references - the claim that ice in the middle of the ocean is ridged and stacked in the summer under a HP ("compaction") regime. While I know nothing much of the subject, this has been a recurring talking point (esp. Michael Hauber) with no proof presented, and under dispute by many other posters. So I ask further claims of this type to be made in a separate thread and scientific references be presented to bolster said claim.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 20, 2020, 06:52:13 PM »
>snippage>This explains why area has not kept up with extent loss in terms of the rankings of 2020 and other strong melt seasons.

Thanks FooW.  This is the first explanation for area's persistent lagging extent that makes full sense to me.   

(my bolding on your comment).
From Gerontocrat on the area/extent thread - today's numbers:

- 2020 area is at position #3 in the satellite record.         
- 2020 Area is 403 k less than the 2010's average         
- 2020 Area is 1,213 k less than the 2000's average         
- 2020 Area is 209 k less than 2016         
- 2020 Area is 95 k more than 2019         
- 2020 Area is 89 k more than 2012

Area *may* have been lagging, but it really isn't any longer.  When you consider confidence intervals, 2020, 2019 & 2012 - the years with the lowest area - are currently in a dead heat in the race to the bottom.  The differences between them amount to less than 1 days melt at current rates.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 20, 2020, 05:04:26 PM »
The Trump administration's private company is controlling the data from the coronavirus at this point.

Expect case numbers to start leveling off, and death tolls to spike, but level off.
The problem of the pandemic is solved, all we needed to do was control the data.

Good one, US - taking notes from the Chinese and Brazilian playbook of simply manipulating the data.
If that proves to be the case, then the standing of the USA in the world will be even more damaged than it is already. I don't think people in the USA are really aware of the extent to which the USA's traditional allies since WW2 (e.g. Germany), even before Covid-19, have publicly stated that the US cannot be considered any more as a reliable partner. (Except the UK, where the current Govt - i.e. Boris, is in full grovelling mode to the Trump administration).

Interfering with the public record of data such as this will feed the already high distrust of US Government abroad and at home.

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: July 17, 2020, 01:13:18 PM »
Indeed. Renewables are partially replacing fossil fuel additions, and just in the electricity sector. It's a good thing, but so very far from decarbonization. A long way ahead.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 17, 2020, 05:50:46 AM »
To Friv, and all, please don't be frustrated by some dissenting voices here. Part of the forum is about educating less knowledgeable folks, who sometimes make ignorant comments. These do not dominate the conversation, though they can piss off sometimes.

I will take the feedback to heart though, and from now on I will try to moderate and edit more heavily claims that are in contradiction to common knowledge and established ice science (as far as my limited knowledge allows). Ignorant and insistent posters will have to suck it up or take the arguments to less popular threads.

This is certainly an unprecedented melting season, and the damage done will manifest itself even more in the next two months. Stick around! You won't be sorry.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: July 16, 2020, 10:30:31 PM »
Dust storms are a genuine inhibitor. Thunderstorm activity around the 10N line in Central Africa is picking up though and bringing moisture to the runway. Don't bet against 2020 in the mayhem department.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 13, 2020, 09:23:14 PM »
Our entire society depends on crowded gatherings, and crowded indoor rooms, and crowded transportation. 

In fact, if there's anything that defines the 21st century, it's crowds, massive historical crowds.

Our way of life is severely threatened.  Should this virus continue to produce massive rates of hospitalizations, our way of life may in fact, be over.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 13, 2020, 03:01:16 AM »
Grandul, take a look at Freegrass' wind and temperature animation. During this episode of strong and persistent high pressure there are many  variations in wind direction and speed near the shelf breaks. This variability is bringing ice imported into the Beaufort sea into close contact with warm water from the Mackenzie River and water upwelled along the shelf break. Of course, there are going to be storms over the Arctic ocean in late summer so we will get to see the impact of storms on ice and the September minimum.

In the summer of 2014 there was a storm over the Canadian side of the Arctic ocean that hit in mid to late July, cooling the temperature and stalling the melting season. It ended up being a pretty good summer for ice because of the cooling and the reduction of overall ice transport that the storm brought on. The worst summers for ice such as 2007 and 2012 have had persistent ice transport. Recovery summers have typically had variable winds and no persistent high or low pressure patterns.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 01:03:10 PM »
A major reason why reactions are different to Covid versus car accidents, malaria, diabetes, cancer etc is exponential growth. Many are back to thinking linearly now that the danger has passed for them.
Covid exponential growth becomes apparent only after it is fairly widely disbursed in the society. The increase in IFR is a knock on effect of out of control Covid and has been shown several times (morgues unable to deal with the inflow of dead bodies - Wuhan, Lombardy, NYC.) Covid isn't a problem and doesn't deserve the lockdowns or overreaction etc until it is a problem.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:03:27 AM »
You can definitely argue that lockdowns cause more harm than good.

Lockdowns are not optional. Lockdowns will happen when hospital services become overwhelmed. What happens to the IFR if hospital services are overwhelmed? It rises to almost match ICU rate. Your cars and malaria argument becomes obsolete by the sheer numbers of this virus without medical services.

It is false to assume that lockdowns are optional. The only real option is when to lockdown.

Lockdowns will happen when hospital services are overwhelmed. Given Wuhan, Italy, Spain and NYC we know that from the start of lockdown ( hard lockdown) to the number of new cases going down to manageable levels takes several weeks. So the moment for a lockdown is about 3-6 weeks before hospitals get overwhelmed.

In societies that have low C19 prevalence and plenty of hospital beds, the goal is to establish the least intrusive but most protective measures possible to keep cases as low as possible for as long as possible while keeping the society working.

Then if the efforts are not enough to keep R<=1, lockdown as hard as possible for 3-6 weeks, bring cases down, rinse repeat until cure/vaccine/immunity.

Almost assuredly the IFR will keep decreasing, immunity will increase, and eventually, the extra risk of dying a lonely death or killing grandma because you went out to eat disappears.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 11, 2020, 10:07:00 AM »
It's not an either/or situation, either COVID is real or it's all one massive conspiracy.  It's both/and.  COVID is real and there is some major dirt happening right now.

Let me just add, a pandemic is not needed for a malicious governmental player to play their dirty game.

All that stuff attributed to the pandemic does occur without any pandemic around, for decades, mostly without any scrutiny from the now oh so concerned ones.

So, why do people make this connection? Easy, it's made a political issue by trump and other fascists. How scientific thinking people can fall for that is beyond me.

Beware, Covid is causing covidiotism!

John, hope you feel better. Get well soon.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 10, 2020, 10:45:12 PM »
People make their own choices as to what is important.
Divisive issues seem to be politics and this is also a touchy subject while they are both not the main subject of the forum.

No one chased Sam, he made a choice. People are free to do so.
He basically made a choice not to discuss or participate in the discussion.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 10, 2020, 05:08:01 PM »
What Dnem said!

Science / Re: 2020 CO2 emissions
« on: July 05, 2020, 04:34:04 PM »
So we are 10 pandemics away from solving climate change. I'll talk to some bats and pangolins I know.

As at 26 June 2020,

- The NASDAQ Composite Index is 22% higher than a year ago,

- The S & P 500 Index is 2.3% higher than a year ago,

- The DJ 30 index is still 6% lower than a year ago.

The 30 stocks which make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average are:
3M, American Express, Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, Chevron, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Disney, Dow, ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, McDonald’s, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Travelers, Raytheon Technologies, Unitedhealth, Verizon, Visa, Walgreens, and Walmart.

I am sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

I decided to go short on the market Thursday after seeing the scenes at bounemouth beach.  The market is insanely overvalued for the state we are in.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 27, 2020, 01:11:31 PM »
but the biggest assumption of all is that SARS-CoV-2 suddenly popped up in November 2019 on a wet market in Wuhan

The origins of the virus are irrelevant to fight it. The origins of the virus may be the biggest assumption from the perspective of mass media or historians, but from an epidemiology and healthcare perspective, the origins are barely relevant. ( except to the super detailed expert developing cures and understanding based on genetics and other specific markers.)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 26, 2020, 05:12:36 PM »
I can't imagine anyone thinking the virus is less dangerous after seeing a vivid picture. But i learned to never judge others by my own standards. Also, humans are really weird. So...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 25, 2020, 11:30:35 PM »
Depending on the day, sometimes I think the US is so advanced, then other days I find it so backwards in just about everything except maximizing capital for a minority.

Man I do feel good not living there anymore.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: June 19, 2020, 04:21:06 PM »
What's causing Arctic amplification?

      Thanks KiwiGriff.  Your post deserves more prominence than the "Stupid Questions" thread. 
       It speaks to the centrality of the ASI to the future habitability of our planet... sooner than most people realize.  What happens when we start hitting BOE in September, then BOE in August and October a couple of years later?  With July (with near peak insolation) next up on the stove.  And before each month reaches BOE, EVERY month trends toward more open water and lower albedo. 

      IMHO we are very close to even more dramatic ASI loss acceleration.  That in turn poses major risk of systemic shifts in the weather patterns that we depend upon for agriculture and everything else.  By soon I mean that 2030 is looking bad.  Even that is an understatement given that we have already lost >75% of the September ASI volume, so 2020 is already bad.  But the situation is likely to get much worse in the next 10 years unless we act forcefully in the right direction.  I hope we all vote and act as if we are in a planetary crisis, because we are.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 16, 2020, 06:22:03 AM »
I expect a continuous stress due to outbreaks and local quarantines until it becomes uncontrollable in a few weeks/months. Much Softer than prior wave for many reasons, but chances are high we lockdown again... if we can afford it. Perhaps a Sweden way is the way in the second wave cause we just can’t depress economy anymore.

The problem, Neven (and I apologize again) is that people refuses to consume en masse, to travel en masse, etc. even if they are allowed or even with incentive from government. The reality is that this virus screws the lungs, kidneys, cardiovascular systems of a minority, but nobody wants to play lottery when death or a life of complicated health is the winner trophy for 1% to 20% of tickets. Coronavirus panic is dumb but it may save your ass.

The economic domino effect will then ensue and be unstoppable. One year of a potential vaccine is too long.
From what I read, the Swedish model didn't save the economy, just moved the responsibility on the population.
The main problem for me is that we need a peak consumption, it is happening now, and instead of going local,   the consuption left seems to be concentrated on globalized product which doesn't bring any resilience in the system.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 09, 2020, 06:07:32 PM »
Where did I say that?

Sorry, Dnem, copy&paste error. I fixed it!

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 09, 2020, 02:06:33 PM »
Everwhere edition:

Australia’s top climate scientist says “we are already deep into the trajectory towards collapse” of civilisation, which may now be inevitable because 9 of the 15 known global climate tipping points that regulate the state of the planet have been activated.

Australian National University emeritus professor Will Steffen (pictured) told Voice of Action that there was already a chance we have triggered a “global tipping cascade” that would take us to a less habitable “Hothouse Earth” climate, regardless of whether we reduced emissions.

Steffen says it would take 30 years at best (more likely 40-60 years) to transition to net zero emissions, but when it comes to tipping points such as Arctic sea ice we could have already run out of time.

Evidence shows we will also lose control of the tipping points for the Amazon rainforest, the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the Greenland ice sheet in much less time than it’s going to take us to get to net zero emissions, Steffen says.

For more details see:

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: June 09, 2020, 01:19:01 PM »
June 4-8.

The link to the prior year comparison is a wonderful feature Aluminum. We see that Beaufort Sea is now making a move toward expansion of open sea, but the contrast with 2019 shows a staggering difference.

And then there is the part of Beaufort which we can't see, which is that the parts which are ice covered are twice as thick this year as last year at the same time.

I wouldn't consider it likely yet, but there is a possibility that Beaufort Sea leaves a few hundred km3 of ice at the minimum. The impact of insolation is much reduced with so much less open sea during peak insolation intervals and thicker ice which doesn't allow the incoming EMR to penetrate through. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: June 02, 2020, 12:41:30 PM »
No mystery here. The NSIDC algorithm can see wet ice or melt ponds as loss of area, thus local surface freezing or snow can increase concentration. Besides, there is a reason why they use 5-day averaging - the data is known to be noisy. In general, I would appreciate if posters don't feed into wd88's posts.

I live in north central South Dakota around 98.9 degrees west.  My personal experience on the ground indicates that, at least up here, the line is not moving east.  If anything, it is moving west.

Now, this may just be a temporary phenomenon.  The northern plains have an extremely variable climate.  There really is no normal.  We go in cycles, sometimes up to several decades long, where a given trend will stick around.  Ridiculously snowy winters come and go.  Wet and dry summers come and go.  Cold winters come and go.  I attribute this to being directly in the center of the North American continent, and thus subject to all the various weather patterns controlled and moderated by the oceans at the edges of the continent doing battle in the middle.

That said, it's stuck around for a while now.  Back in the late '90s, we had a bunch of fairly wet years together, along with the infamous winter of '96-'97 where it snowed SO MUCH.  Minnesota residents might remember the Halloween blizzard of '96.  It had already moved over us by the time it was time to go trick-or-treating, so my parents were able to safely drive me through temperatures approaching 0f to go trick-or-treating in the mall.  Anyway, spring '97, all that snow melted and made a bunch of new lakes that never went away.  They are still there today.  The state had to spend millions of dollars building up roads that now went through lakes.  That's why, if you're ever driving through NE SD and wonder why in the world they went through all the effort to make a road through a lake, they didn't.  The road was there first.  And once the lakes formed, there was no other way to get where that road went.

We have had an occasional dry year or three since then, even hitting D3 or D4 on the drought monitor, but that's normal for us.  The drought monitor measures soil moisture relative to average, but does not take into account standard deviation, which is huge here.  After those dry years those lakes never went away.  Now especially since ~2010, much like in neighboring MN, we have been getting much, much more humidity in the summer.  This reduced envirotranspiration as well as enhanced precipitation.  We historically averaged 17" of precipitation a year.  The latest 30 year average from 1980 to 2010 is 20".  It will undoubtedly go up when they refigure for 2020.

2019 was both the wettest and snowiest calendar year on record, with 30.35" total yearly precip including snow water equivalent, and 97.3" of snow, in Aberdeen.  We set a few dewpoint records last year too.  This is in a historically semi-arid climate.  Prickly pears grow here.  Or at least they did, until they probably all got drowned out last year.  Again, a whole bunch of new lakes formed that have not gone away.  This time, one even formed on our farm.  I'm thinking of stocking it with fish if it doesn't go away this summer.

Most climate models agree that we will get wetter, however the increases in temperature are expected to offset those increases and still lead to an overall increase in evapotranspiration.  So far, that does not appear to have occurred.  Increases in summertime humidity if anything have decreased it.  So, what are we looking at going forward?

There are a few factors.

One.  Possibly, we are just in a long multidecadal wet cycle, and it will get dry here soon enough.  Very possible.

Two.  The models failed to account for the expansion of King Corn's domain, and massive fields of corn are responsible for the significant dewpoint increases we've seen.  This is sort of a side effect of roundup ready corn.  When I was a kid here, no one grew corn or soybeans, they all grew wheat, sunflowers, barley, oats, rye, millet, sorghum, that kind of thing.  Cultivation and tilling and plowing release a great deal of moisture from the soil into the atmosphere with each pass.  Having to go over each field many times a year for weed control lost lots of moisture.  Now, they only have to till going from corn to beans, and even then, not all the time.  No till from beans to corn, and of course, no cultivation during the growing season either since all weeds are controlled by sprays.  You see spring wheat or sunflowers every now and again these days, like 1%-5% of fields in this area, but the rest is all a corn/soybean rotation.  So that corn transpires a lot of water, and as corn's range extends west upwind of us in southern SD and Nebraska, we are getting their evaporated corn water triggering thunderstorms up here.  Corn has been shown to increase local dewpoints from 5 to 15 degrees fahrenheit.  I think actually that overall, agriculture is a poorly understood influence on global climate that is probably underestimated.

Three.  The models failed to account for the increase in plant water use efficiency due to elevated CO2 levels, and while the climactic evapotranspiration line may indeed move, it may do so independently of the plant life.  We have found already through satellite imagery that, independent of yearly precipitation variation, the world's deserts are greening due to CO2.  The more of a water deficit a biome operates at, the more sensitive the plants are to CO2.  This is because the plants must open their somata to absorb CO2 for carbon to build their structures, but in so doing, they lose water at the same time.  Higher CO2 concentrations mean plants lose less moisture in acquiring the same amount of carbon.

I think point number 3 is already having noticeable effects in semi-arid agriculture.  While 2019 was wet, both 2017 and 2018 were major droughts.  D2, D3, areas of D4 popping in and out through the summer.  And they still harvested a halfway decent corn and soybean crop here even so.  I don't live in town, I am surrounded by crops as soon as I leave my house, and I spend a lot of time outside gardening.  I watched those crops all summer long, thoroughly convinced from April through July that they were dead men walking, going to die any day now.  No way they could keep alive through all of this.  All this stuff is dryland, we don't have irrigation here.  2017 hit 100 a couple times and 2018 we went over 100 5 times and hit 105 once.  An inch or two of precip a month both years, usually in one big storm a month that came with the fury of Thor and did a lot of damage with high winds and hail.  But live they did, and the farmers made money.  Nothing short of amazing.  I do know they are breeding drought tolerant corn and beans, but all the same, I mean, you just had to see it for yourself or you wouldn't believe it.  It wasn't just hot.  The plains are windy, almost all the time, and often very very windy.  You've probably seen the Wyoming Wind Sock.  We evaporate a LOT of water.  It can't just get 105 here without a stiff, stiff SSW wind pumping in air straight from the desert before it has a chance to cool down.  The best you can do in calm air is typically mid 90s.  What I mean to say is the wind was stiff out of the southwest all summer long.  We had several dust storms in 2018 like what you saw pictures of from the great depression.  It got dark enough the photosensitive nighttime light in the driveway turned on.  None of the farmers are afraid of drought anymore, because they all say only half jokingly, "well we learned in 17 and 18 that you don't need moisture to grow a crop."  Just absolutely incredible and I don't have any other explanation for it.

Four.  Things I'm not thinking of.  Do you have any idea what they might be?

I don't really know what to expect in the next 100 years.  Especially considering the region naturally oscillates between dry and wet on long and short timescales. is a great paper on the recent history of plains droughts.  But that was in a relatively stable climate.  Now everything is changing.

Anyone else living near the meridian at other points that can comment on their experience on the ground?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: May 27, 2020, 11:26:50 PM »
Wow...I never thought I would see the day, but I FINALLY saw the dude who owns this house just vibing in his doorway enjoying some mid 30's degree weather!

Consequences / Re: Temperature signals from Covid-19
« on: May 27, 2020, 03:16:02 PM »
Come on guys the CO2 impact from COVID-19 & the impact on global temperatures is so minuscule it's noise at best.  The fact that you think will be able to track it month-by-month global mean temps affects is silly.

You realize that CO2 concentration growth year-over-year is responsible for an additional radiative forcing of like ~0.03 W/M².  Estimates have 2020 *annual* emissions down 7%.  That's doesn't even account for all anthropogenic CO2: land use changes, etc..  Regardless, that 7% drop in emissions due to COVID-19 is a drop in radiative forcing of  ~0.00021 W/M².

Also what's the obsession with satellite data?  Surface temperature data is way more accurate for global mean estimates.  You realize that satellite data goes through massive algorithms & corrections because of changes in orbits & time of day passes.

The focus should be on aerosols not CO2 concentration changes when talking about COVID-19.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: May 23, 2020, 03:03:18 PM »

We don't know what is going to happen in June but so far we are likely going into June in best modern set up to ravage the inner Arctic basin.

I guess that's a matter of opinion. 2012 and 2016 had very weak freezing seasons which preceded them and set the stage with thinner ice. By comparison, 2020 was a much better freezing season. Hoping for a mid-May PIOMAS volume update which gives us a better idea of thickness.

That isn't what we use to define a melting season.

Everyone agrees that 2007 was the melt season on record.

Because the conditions for melt June-Aug were amazing.

If we had an exact repeat of 2007 weather wise we would crush 2012 lows.

The preconditioning that has taken place and is still to come taking place is putting 2020 in one of the best spots  going into June in modern times.

2020 having slightly more ice thickness means nothing if we have melt weather going into June.

Yep, 2011-2012 had a strong winter +AO (Arctic Oscillation) and high area/extent with more volume coming into that spring, yet it was quickly destroyed by preconditioning and the early June dipole. Winter/spring thickness does have an impact, but it explains somewhere around 30-40% of final volume. The rest is up to progressively earlier melt and albedo destruction as the Arctic warms up progressively earlier in the spring. (One small caveat to comparing directly to that season is that the 2011 melt season was a sneaky CAB ice destroyer that didn't show up particularly well on area/extent metrics.)

Speaking of preconditioning, MODIS is indicating some sneaky patchy surface melt and diurnal wetting of the surface in the CAB as we speak. There's a good chance we start seeing more substantial melt by the 28th as that new ridge attempts to set up. Surface temps have been running a little higher than would be expected given the 850/925mb temps we're seeing, but that's probably down to the fact that the big ridge we saw last week has effectively destroyed the low-level cold pool that's typically still present at this time. Since it cannot be regenerated radiatively given the (now) late May sun angle, this might prove crucial. Generally, in the warm season, it takes diabatic processes (cooling through precip and lift), cloud cover, fresh snow and recirculation within a low or TPV to generate a new cold pool and protect the ice. That can still happen, but we're running short on time before the onset of more severe preconditioning. The EC and GFS are in agreement that we should start to see near basin-wide melt starting on the 28th or so.

A couple of important surface stations to watch over the next week (in addition to MODIS pictures) will be Eureka (CWEU) and Alert (CYLT). If those stations are near or above freezing by then and we're seeing significant reddening on the 3-6-7 bands on MODIS, the game is on.

With the Hudson Bay region staying below normal temperature wise, this year is potentially setting up for a big June cliff (Bay melt will probably be delayed to coincide with Basin melt).

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: May 21, 2020, 05:30:17 PM »
& one more for luck.

I like to invert concentration into dispersion., i.e. extent divided by area.
The higher the dispersion, the more mobile the ice can be, & therefore more pone to damage by rough weather, and more radiation getting into the ocean?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: May 21, 2020, 03:06:31 PM »
Welcome Butterflyy.
This theory is best discussed elsewhere. Note that its more extreme version (the "Quebec reglaciation") has been promoted all over the forum by a certain user  and is frowned upon by the new moderator.  8)

Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: May 21, 2020, 12:56:41 PM »
In the case of the Michigan dam inadequacy, the dams are not even owned by the public.

The problem in the US is near complete regulatory capture and lack of ownership / responsibility for public welfare. The problems with the Edenville Dam were well documented, but the buck doesn't stop anywhere.

Science / Re: 2020 CO2 emissions
« on: May 16, 2020, 09:35:38 AM »
Latest forecast is down 11% in USA CO2 emissions

"After decreasing by 2.8% in 2019, EIA forecasts that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will decrease by 11% (572 million metric tons) in 2020. This record decline is the result of restrictions on business and travel activity and slowing economic growth related to COVID-19. CO2 emissions decline from all fossil fuels, particularly coal (23%) and petroleum (11%). In 2021, EIA forecasts that energy-related CO2 emissions will increase by 5% as the economy recovers and stay-at-home orders are lifted. "
A complete disruption of the world's financial & economic systems including mass unemployment results in perhaps an 8% drop in CO2 emissions.

So how the hell is the world going to manage a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030?

Surely you cannot mean that the 4 trillion USD  fed rollout means that the US deficit has decreased by 4 trillion ? 

But this discussion probably needs moved to another thread.


It's still relevant, because the Federal Reserve is again pursuing quantitative easing and related measures right now in dramatic fashion.  This is a potent tool to fight economic contraction/deflation/contraction of the money supply (these are three facets of a single economic phenomenon).

The Federal Reserve balance sheet is a collection of assets (treasury bonds and now some commercial bond assets).  And these are true assets, with a real rate of return--that goes to the Treasury, to help pay for the fiscal budget.  This is exactly like a sovereign wealth fund.

So, acquiring these assets doesn't reduce the deficit, it reduces the debt, in real macroeconomic terms.

The Federal Reserve doesn't give money to any entity other than remitting profits to the Treasury.  It lends, and it buys.  It lends to banks at a policy-derived interest rate, and it buys mostly Treasury bonds at the market rate.  In severely troubled times like this and the Great Recession, it can buy other assets.  They just announced they will be buying corporate bond ETFs.  This isn't some taxpayer giveaway, plenty of normal investors are buying corporate bond ETFs.  And the Fed will receive interest payments, which then will be remitted to the Treasury.

In effect, when the Treasury sells a trillion dollars of bonds to the market, and the Fed buy a trillion dollars of Treasury bonds from the open market, then the government has just printed a trillion dollars to pay for a trillion dollars in spending.

This sounds terribly reckless, a prescription for hyperinflation.  But it's not.  Most of the money in circulation in the economy never was created by the Fed, nor the Mint, nor the Treasury.  Most money gets created in the process of credit/debt, borrowing/lending.  This majority component of circulating money is inherently unstable in amount.  In a recession, borrowing and lending stops, and the money supply contracts, creating deeper recession, further suppression of borrowing and lending, causing further contraction of the money supply.  Positive feedback is present.  There's also positive feedback in the other direction with inflation.

The macroeconomic system is thus dominated by positive feedbacks.  Systems dominated by positive feedbacks display oscillations.  In macroeconomics, the inevitable oscillations from these positive feedbacks are called "the business cycle."

Deflation is deeply destructive, and high inflation is also bad.  The oscillations can really only be effectively tamped by actions of the Federal Reserve.  Essentially it's entire function is to be the economy's thermostat. 

These ideas are part of the foundation of Modern Monetary Theory.  We could do a lot of progressive good by gradually replacing much of the credit/debt-based circulating money with government-issued money.  Doing so could go far in eliminating the positive feedback cycles that produce the instability and oscillations that plague economies.  It can also fund massive amounts of federal spending without causing inflation.

The limit is when the users of the currency lose faith in it as a store of value and a means of trade. It could be next year or in a millenium.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 15, 2020, 04:33:12 AM »
Thanks for all the warm wishes and good advice!
Terry, are you okay?
Terry? I hope all is well. We would all appreciate a quick hand wave.

Terry's silence is concerning, since his last posts described Covid-like symptoms.
The forum software reports:
Last Active: May 09, 2020, 02:52:07 AM
Last post:  April 23, 2020, 12:19:38 AM

Anyone have a back-channel way to contact him?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: May 14, 2020, 08:56:57 PM »
According to Wikipedia Lebanon declared a national emergency on March 15 at around 20 new cases a day. Then according to worldometers 6 days later cases peaked at 53 cases and then dropped like every other place with a successful lockdown. By late April early May Lebanon was dealing with 4 new cases a day.

Then last week a minor outbreak happened. If it grows depends mostly on luck, contact tracing and the amount of distancing in the population. The latest wave of cases shouldn't show up in death until next week.

Jordan seems a bit different from the Wikipedia page. It seems they went the massive quarantine route and went into emergency mode early March. They always kept their numbers low.  Their numbers are noise. They can keep it that way if they use the power of summer, social distance, and contact trace.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: May 12, 2020, 12:29:07 AM »
Ahh yes, I had to revive this thread as it's one of my favorites.


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