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Messages - Chuck Yokota

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Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: March 19, 2019, 04:01:11 PM »
I found the polio article full of BS with a heavy conspiracy theory mindset, about like a typical denier rant against climate science.

Anyway, Big Pharma has no interest in promoting treatments that cost a few dollars once in a lifetime; the real money is in medications for chronic conditions that people need to take every day. That is where the scandals about unethical and illegal marketing and promotion have been revealed.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: September 29, 2018, 06:59:23 AM »
It may not affect the final vote, but it gives me a glimmer of hope that there is a bit of bipartisanship put into the process.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: September 09, 2018, 05:28:56 AM »
Thanks for your answers to my question from a few days ago. I can see that winter is warming increasingly quickly. I was asking about a graph for the decadal average for the daily dmi 80+ to see if finer grained trends could be observed; e.g. if some months have been changing faster than others.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: September 03, 2018, 11:15:48 PM »
Is there available a graph of the decadal averages for the north of 80 temperature? I'm interested in seeing how much the winter temperatures have increased.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: May 24, 2018, 11:45:00 PM »
Beginning the data series in 1979 is in no way cherry picking. It was in fact the first year that satellites made possible the direct observation of the entire Arctic ocean on a daily basis. Prior to that time, data was spotty at best, with vast stretches of the Arctic going unobserved for weeks or months at a time. Prior to 1979, the Arctic sea ice extent numbers were only estimates and extrapolations from sparse observations.

In the decades since 1979, research has endeavored to get a better picture of the Arctic sea ice extent from earlier times. More than a one and a half centuries of whaling ships' logs of the edge of the ice pack, compilation of observations of Arctic expeditions, and proxy information such as examination of sea floor sediments have provided a better picture of the sea ice extent in earlier decades.

They show that the sea ice extent has consistently been larger than the current time, with much more older and thicker sea ice. There is no trace of a 40 year cycle; that is a myth that deniers have invented to cast doubt on the importance of the decline in sea ice during the past 4 decades.

Edit: Sorry for off-topic response.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Accuracy of poll predictions
« on: June 17, 2017, 05:24:07 PM »
I tend to vote pessimistically, as I would rather be pleasantly surprised than the opposite.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: June 15, 2017, 06:54:37 PM »
You do mean June rather than May, don't you?

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: June 10, 2017, 03:06:32 AM »
It is very sobering to see what is supposed the oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic crumbling away as it moves.

I voted 2.25-2.75 million because I think volume will be driving extent this year.  1000 km3 = 1 million km2 x 1 meter thick.

I voted 2.0 -2.25 million, because I think volume will be driving extent this year.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The Fast Transition
« on: April 30, 2017, 02:50:44 AM »
Excellent summary. I might generalize a bit and say: how much of the extra energy accumulated by the oceans in the case of a loss of summer sea ice will stay concentrated in the arctic, and how much will be distributed elsewhere in the earth? Is that a fair question? And if so, what are the main mechanisms by which this energy is distributed? I ask out of ignorance, not because I think the answers are not known.

Since the net flow of heat has been and will continue to be from the warmer latitudes to the arctic, it might be a better way to ask the question as, will a warming arctic slow down the flow of heat from the lower latitudes?

From a simple heat conductance viewpoint, the answer might seem to be yes. For example, heat conductance through a wall decreases with a smaller temperature difference between the two sides of the wall.

However, the heat flow toward the arctic does not move by conduction, but by convection, with warmer air and water moving by currents carrying heat to the arctic, including water vapor that releases its heat through precipitation. A slowing AMOC would slow heat transport by ocean currents. On the other hand, increasingly turbulent weather would increase the flow of warm air to the arctic, and the air arriving at a warmer arctic would carry more precipitable water. I don't know what the net difference would be.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:36:48 AM »
Interesting that this polynya that appeared about 1 week ago in ESS is about the only one within the Arctic proper not showing signs of refreeze. Why there?
Being April 22 big chances it will stay open.

That area is above -10C, so wave and wind activity will prevent freezing.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:47:13 AM »
What Archimid said. Also, someone earlier gave the rule of thumb that seawater won't freeze above -10C due to mechanical effects. And ice will get thicker faster the lower the temperature goes.

Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: April 13, 2017, 01:07:39 PM »
Heading back into record low extent for the date. Considering the state of the ice, it may keep setting records for months. :(

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: March 21, 2017, 01:45:22 AM »
I have no words to describe this . . .

Trump advisers want concessions for coal if U.S. stays in climate pact

Trump advisers want concessions for coal if U.S. stays in climate pact

The White House may be willing to remain in the Paris agreement if it can win support for technologies to reduce greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

By Andrew Restuccia

03/17/17 06:00 PM EDT

Trump administration officials have told lobbyists and European diplomats that the U.S. won't stay in the nearly 200-nation Paris climate change agreement unless it can secure wins for the fossil fuel industry, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

In a series of recent conversations with industry groups and European officials, Trump advisers have said the White House decision on the Paris deal could hinge on international willingness to come up with a strategy to commercialize and deploy technologies that will reduce emissions from fossil fuels.

That may not sit well with Democrats and environmental groups, who have long argued against spending billions of dollars to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants when the same money could help speed the transition to wind and solar power. But such a deal could avoid the enormous disruption that would result if the United States, the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, walked away from the most comprehensive international agreement ever crafted on global warming.

Administration officials who want to stay in the 2015 Paris agreement believe that creating a future pathway for fuels like coal is the only way to win support from conservative and industry groups that want the U.S. to withdraw from the accord. And some fossil fuel supporters are beginning to come around, despite their overall skepticism toward the climate pact.

“If the world can’t go on without us in the Paris accord — that’s a bit of an overstatement, but to illustrate my point — then perhaps we ought to be in it,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a pro-oil lawmaker who advised the Trump campaign on energy issues. “And if we have that much influence, perhaps we have enough influence to moderate it.”

In recent weeks, administration officials have met with many of the country's major energy companies and trade groups. Those who have talked to the administration include representatives from the American Petroleum Institute, as well as the Independent Petroleum Association of America, ConocoPhillips and coal company Peabody Energy, among others, according to people familiar with the meetings.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the administration did not yet have any announcements to make regarding the Paris agreement.

Science / Re: Validation of GCM Models
« on: March 19, 2017, 12:06:03 AM »
I think that where Jim Williams goes wrong is in the expectation that GCMs should be expected, or are designed, to make predictions about events in the next few years. It is a fundamental confusion between what is weather and what is climate. Climate is the long-term statistics of weather, or when the climate is out of equilibrium (as with excess greenhouse gases adding energy to the Earth system) the change in the long-term statistics of weather as the system moves to re-establish equilibrium.

Notice the words "long-term" and "statistics". GCMs are concerned with how the Earth system changes in accordance with the laws of physics, reflected in how the statistics of weather will change in statistically significant periods of time, i.e. greater than 30 years. Short-term trends will be affected by chaotic and random factors such as volcanic eruptions, weather--chaotic in periods of days and weeks, and multi-year and multi-decadal oscillations whose causes are poorly understood. That is the value of hindcasting; by plugging in the actual forcing events of a number of years, researchers can see how well or poorly the model results reflect the historical results.

To use a simple analogy: Statistics can tell us that a fair six-sided die will come to rest with equal probability with any number up. It is helpless to predict what the outcome of the next roll will be. Weather forecasting would analogously be observing the flight of the die when it is thrown, measuring the translational and rotational velocities, plugging in the elastic coefficients of the die and table, the coefficient of friction, air resistance, and so forth, to make a prediction of how the die will come to rest.

Of course, climate models have a lot more to work with than an idealized die, and so have much more to say about the shape of the future climate.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: March 18, 2017, 10:37:38 PM »
The weather reports are getting quite strongly validated and have been demonstrated to work fairly well to about 10 days now.  I see no EVIDENCE that the GCM can make any better prediction -- and actually have never seen any evidence they can even do 10 days.

If you have such evidence then please present it over in the GCM validation thread under SCIENCE.

Your statement he equivalent of saying, "I see no EVIDENCE that your automobile can wash clothes any cleaner than my washing machine." You demonstrate that you do not understand the purposes and uses of climate models. They are not intended to make weather predictions 10 days in advance any more than an automobile is intended to wash laundry.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: March 11, 2017, 02:49:07 PM »

UN: World facing greatest humanitarian crisis since 1945

The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, the United Nations says, issuing a plea for help to avoid "a catastrophe".

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said that more than 20 million people faced the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria.

Unicef has already warned 1.4m children could starve to death this year.

Mr O'Brien said $4.4bn (£3.6bn) was needed by July to avert disaster.

"We stand at a critical point in history," Mr O'Brien told the Security Council on Friday. "Already at the beginning of the year we are facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations."

"Now, more than 20 million people across four countries face starvation and famine. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease.

"Children stunted and out of school. Livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost. Communities' resilience rapidly wilting away. Development gains reversed. Many will be displaced and will continue to move in search for survival, creating ever more instability across entire regions."

Mr O'Brien's comments follow on from a similar appeal made by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last month.

At that time, he revealed the UN had only received $90m (£74m) so far in 2017, despite generous pledges.

Despite the dire situation, this humanitarian crisis is receiving almost no attention from the media. Do we truly live in a post-compassion world?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: March 03, 2017, 05:33:31 AM »
With multiple bonds in a molecule, there exist more modes of vibration. In addition to the amount of spring energy in a single bond, the springs could be both stretching at the same time, or one could be stretching while the other is contracting, or the springs could be bending, changing the angle between the bonds. The many more modes of vibration produce many more energy levels for the molecule, with energy differences that fall into the range of IR photons.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: February 21, 2017, 04:42:22 AM »
Suggestion: Rename the "California Drought Emergency Declared" thread to "California weather and climate"

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2017 sea ice area and extent data
« on: February 12, 2017, 04:56:53 AM »
Am I reading the graph correctly, that NSIDC area has been the record lowest every day since mid-October?

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: February 02, 2017, 11:19:05 AM »

Bay of Bengal: depleted fish stocks and huge dead zone signal tipping point

Long treated as a bottomless resource pit, over-exploitation of the ocean, pollution and rising sea levels are having a catastrophic impact on life in the bay

The Bay of Bengal’s basin contains some of the most populous regions of the earth. No less than a quarter of the world’s population is concentrated in the eight countries that border the bay. Approximately 200 million people live along the Bay of Bengal’s coasts and of these a major proportion are partially or wholly dependent on its fisheries.

For the majority of those who depend on it, the Bay of Bengal can provide no more than a meagre living: 61% of India’s fisherfolk already live below the poverty line. Yet the numbers dependent on fisheries are only likely to grow in years to come, partly because of climate change. In southern India drought and water scarcity have already induced tens of thousands of farmers to join the fishing fleet. Rising sea levels are also likely to drive many displaced people into the fishing industry.

But the fisheries of the Bay of Bengal have been under pressure for decades and are now severely depleted. Many once-abundant species have all but disappeared. Particularly badly affected are the species at the top of the food chain. The bay was once feared by sailors for its man-eating sharks; they are now rare in these waters. Other apex predators like grouper, croaker and rays have also been badly hit. Catches now consist mainly of species like sardines, which are at the bottom of the marine food web.

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

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: February 07, 2016, 03:12:27 AM »
Naomi Klein: “There are no non-radical options left before us”
The famed author of "This Changes Everything" explains why markets cannot be relied on to solve global warming

. . .
Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. I began with the most basic question:

This changes everything — how?

Naomi Klein: So the ‘this’ in This Changes Everything is climate change. And the argument that I make in the book is that we find ourselves in this moment where there are no non-radical options left before us. Change or be changed, right? And what we mean by that is that climate change, if we don’t change course, if we don’t change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world. And that is what climate scientists are telling us when they say business as usual leads to three to four degrees Celsius of warming. That’s the road we are on. We can get off that road, but we’re now so far along it, we’ve put off the crucial policies for so long, that now we can’t do it gradually. We have to swerve, right? And swerving requires such a radical departure from the kind of political and economic system we have right now that we pretty much have to change everything.

We have to change the kind of free trade deals we sign. We would have to change the absolutely central role of frenetic consumption in our culture. We would have to change the role of money in politics and our political system. We would have to change our attitude towards regulating corporations. We would have to change our guiding ideology.

You know, since the 1980s we’ve been living in this era, really, of corporate rule, based on this idea that the role of government is to liberate the power of capital so that they can have as much economic growth as quickly as possible and then all good things will flow from that. And that is what justifies privatization, deregulation, cuts to corporate taxes offset by cuts to public services — all of this is incompatible with what we need to do in the face of the climate crisis. We need to invest massively in the public sphere to have a renewable energy system, to have good public transit and rail. That money needs to come from somewhere, so it’s going to have to come from the people who have the money.

And I actually believe it’s deeper than that, that it’s about changing the paradigm of a culture that is based on separateness from nature, that is based on the idea that we can dominate nature, that we are the boss, that we are in charge. Climate change challenges all of that. It says, you know, all this time that you’ve been living in this bubble apart from nature, that has been fueled by a substance that all the while has been accumulating in the atmosphere, and you told yourself you were the boss, you told yourself you could have a one-way relationship with the natural world, but now comes the response: “You thought you were in charge? Think again.” And we can either mourn our status as boss of the world and see it as some cosmic demotion — which is why I think the extreme right is so freaked out by climate change that they have to deny it. It isn’t just that it is a threat to their profits. It’s a threat to a whole worldview that says you have dominion over all things, and that’s extremely threatening.
. . .

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: January 20, 2016, 04:51:27 PM »

U.N. food agency says 14 million face hunger in southern Africa

About 14 million people face hunger in Southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather pattern, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday.

The worst-affected country is Malawi, where 2.8 million people, 16 percent of the population, are expected to go hungry, followed by the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar where almost 1.9 million are at risk, WFP said in a statement.

In Zimbabwe, 1.5 million people, more than 10 percent of the population, face hunger, WFP said.

"With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is alarming," the U.N. agency said.

"WFP is looking to scale up its lean season food and cash-based assistance programmes in the worst-hit countries but faces critical funding challenges," it added.

The drought has hit much of the region including the maize belt in South Africa, the continent's most advanced economy and the top producer of the staple grain.

South Africa faces its worst drought in decades after 2015 was the driest calendar year since records began in 1904. Expectations of a dire crop this season could force the country to import up to 6 million tonnes of maize, over half of its consumption needs.

Maize prices in South Africa hit record highs on Monday, with the March contract for the white variety scaling a new peak of 5,106 rand ($304) a tonne, according to Thomson Reuters' data.

In countries such as Malawi, much of the maize crop is produced by small-scale farmers, often just to feed their own families. The vast majority are utterly dependent on rainfall as they cannot afford irrigation systems.

The drought has been worsened by an exceptionally strong El Nino weather pattern, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that occurs every few years with ripple effects around the globe, scientists say.

El Nino events typically bring drier conditions to Southern Africa and wetter ones to East Africa. The dry, hot conditions are expected to persist until the start of the southern hemisphere autumn in April or May.

Today on US public radio, the Diane Rehm show will have a discussion of the melting of the Earth's ice sheets. There may not be much discussed that followers of this forum don't already know, but it will indicate the status of the public discourse in this country. I don't know if this belongs here, but I didn't see any better thread to post it on.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: November 08, 2015, 02:34:11 AM »
An unprecedented second tropical cyclone is headed for Yemen, a week after Cyclone Chapala.
Locals on Yemen's beleaguered Socotra Island have taken emergency shelter for the second time in a week as yet another tropical cyclone tracks towards them packing potentially devastating winds and rain.

Cyclone Megh, which formed in the Arabian Sea earlier in the week, appears set to hit Socotra directly on Sunday morning as it travels west towards the Yemeni mainland.

It comes hot on the heels of Cyclone Chapala, which killed a number of people and caused widespread damage a week ago as it brushed past Socotra on a similar path from the Arabian Sea.

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: July 16, 2015, 07:48:12 PM »

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: June 15, 2015, 03:13:07 PM »
plinius -- At a guess; lake effect fog, formed when colder air moved onto the lake, and the water evaporating from the lake water condensed as fog.

Policy and solutions / Re: Ships and boats
« on: June 15, 2015, 02:51:48 PM »
icefest -- The article says the ferry's battery weighs 10 tons and is the equivalent of 1600 car batteries. Further, one picture shows the battery is constructed as banks of individual cells, each fastened separately.

Antarctica / Re: Will Antarctica sea ice set a new record in 2014?
« on: June 03, 2015, 10:33:20 PM »
plinius- The non-landfast sea ice nearly all melts every summer and refreezes every winter. There is no real carryover from year to year. Also, the sea ice is in the shape of flat ice floes, icebergs calved from glaciers are very thick and irregular.

Antarctica / Re: Will Antarctica sea ice set a new record in 2014?
« on: June 03, 2015, 02:42:23 PM »
Also, the increase has been happening during a period of time when the water and air temperature have both been getting warmer, so it is clear that other factors, perhaps surface salinity or the way the ice spreads out, are the cause. Antarctic ice expanding is probably just as much a result of global warming as Arctic ice decreasing, but it just runs counter to our intuition.

The period 5-7000 years ago was during the Holocene Thermal Optimum. This was the latest maximum temperature during the 100,000+ glacial/interglacial cycle. We know what causes these cycles: variations in the Earth's orbit called the Milankovitch cycles. Natural variation isn't some magic that varies for no reason, but is due to physical causes.

According to the Milankovitch cycles, we have been very slowly cooling off since the thermal maximum, as confirmed by research, and would have dropped into another glacial period in a few thousand years. But due to anthropogenic global warming, we have overcome that cooling trend of thousands of years, and surpassed the maximum in a couple of centuries. There is no natural cause that can explain this sudden global warming, but it it is well explained by the physics of greenhouse gas warming.

EDIT: Ninjad by Neven while I wa typing.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: May 01, 2015, 05:53:36 PM »
From the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Ice salinity, temperature, and ecological interactions

As seawater freezes and ice forms, liquid brine and air are trapped within a matrix of pure ice crystals. Solid salt crystals subsequently precipitate in pockets of brine within the ice. The brine volume and chemical composition of the solid salts are temperature-dependent.

Liquid ocean water has an average salinity of 35 parts per thousand. New ice such as nilas has the highest average salinity (12–15 parts per thousand); as ice grows thicker during the course of the winter, the average salinity of the entire ice thickness decreases as brine is lost from the ice. Brine loss occurs by temperature-dependent brine pocket migration, brine expulsion, and, most importantly, by gravity drainage via a network of cells and channels. At the end of winter, Arctic first-year ice has an average salinity of 4–6 parts per thousand. Antarctic first-year ice is more saline, perhaps because ice growth rates are more rapid than in the Arctic, and granular ice traps more brine.
The freezing point depression of first year ice at the end of winter would be 0.2 to 0.3 degrees.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: April 08, 2015, 03:44:48 PM »
Has there been a discussion here on the forum about the stability of the halocline (that keeps a cap of colder and fresher water over the warmer and saltier deep waters) and how it might be affected by declining sea ice? Or could someone provide links to information on this topic?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: March 19, 2015, 08:01:20 PM »
Peter Ellis, thank you for that analogy. It was helpful, at least to me.

As someone unfamiliar with the methods and details of PIOMAS, I would make an observation about the discussions about its accuracy. It appears that in years when PIOMAS shows a decrease, various posters defend its accuracy against the criticisms of deniers, but when it shows an increase, some raise questions about its accuracy. I cannot judge the validity of their positions, but it gives the perception of special pleading. PIOMAS is what it is; just be patient and the downward trend will reassert itself.

Not that simple - the criticism last fall was that the change to past year was opposite to what cryosat actually measured. The difference is not catastrophic, but this is just new facts that make people a bit more weary about the accuracy of PIOMAS, and does not have a lot to do with the actual measured trend. It's also the usual progress of science, that with new (ice thickness) data available the criticism on models will increase and usually lead to revisions.

I'm sure there are many valid reasons for discussions about the accuracy of PIOMAS; I just feel that they would be more appropriate in the Science section in a thread about the accuracy of sea ice metrics.  In the middle of a discussion of the current year melting season, it gives the impression, to the uninitiated such as I, of explaining away current measurements.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: March 18, 2015, 11:25:31 AM »
Peter Ellis, thank you for that analogy. It was helpful, at least to me.

As someone unfamiliar with the methods and details of PIOMAS, I would make an observation about the discussions about its accuracy. It appears that in years when PIOMAS shows a decrease, various posters defend its accuracy against the criticisms of deniers, but when it shows an increase, some raise questions about its accuracy. I cannot judge the validity of their positions, but it gives the perception of special pleading. PIOMAS is what it is; just be patient and the downward trend will reassert itself.

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: March 16, 2015, 06:31:03 PM »
East Antarctica Melting Could be Explained by Oceanic Gateways

AUSTIN,Texas — Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) in the Jackson School of Geosciences have discovered two seafloor gateways that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica’s largest and most rapidly thinning glacier. The discovery, reported in the March 16 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience, probably explains the glacier’s extreme thinning and raises concerns about how it will affect sea level rise.

Totten Glacier is East Antarctica’s largest outlet of ice to the ocean and has been thinning rapidly for many years. Although deep, warm water has been observed seaward of the glacier, until now there was no evidence that it could compromise coastal ice. The result is of global importance because the ice flowing through Totten Glacier alone is sufficient to raise global sea level by at least 11 feet, equivalent to the contribution of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet if it were to completely collapse.

“We now know there are avenues for the warmest waters in East Antarctica to access the most sensitive areas of Totten Glacier,” said lead author Jamin Greenbaum, a UTIG Ph.D. candidate.

The ice loss to the ocean may soon be irreversible unless atmospheric and oceanic conditions change so that snowfall outpaces coastal melting. The potential for irreversible ice loss is due to the broadly deepening shape of Totten Glacier’s catchment, the large collection of ice and snow that flows from a deep interior basin to the coastline.

The rest / Re: Cli Fi
« on: August 26, 2014, 05:34:52 PM »
"A change in the Weather" by Raymond Welch
A Change in the Weather follows the Russell family during the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of the polar ice cap, from March 2028 through May 2029. The Arctic has inverted from heat reflector to heat sink, and the jet stream has broken from its age-old trajectory to whip the globe like an unattended fire hose. Rainfall patterns shift seasons, location, and intensity the world over. Agriculture fails. The international economy collapses. Terrorism surges.

In the ensuing panic, the United States embraces President Roland Strauch, a Biblical literalist who heads the American Homeland Party and its armed militia, the Order of the Eagle and Cross.

Each member of the Russell family does what he or she thinks is right in an America where democracy and Christianity struggle to survive. What each thinks is right couldn't be more different.


But theories behind AGW, and the results and projections derived from them, are yet weak from a scientific point of view.

You are completely wrong about global warming theory.  I am not a climate scientist, but I recently took a course in global warming science from a prominent and respected climate scientist, Dr. Kerry Emmanuel, in an online course that covered the same material as in the MIT undergraduate course in global warming science which he teaches.  Global warming theory does not depend upon adjustable parameteres and computer simulations.  It rests upon simple measurable physical phenomena. 
1. Energy comes to the Earth from the sun, mainly in the the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation.
2. A portion of this is reflected away, while the remainder is absorbed.
3. All bodies re-radiate energy away, depending upon their temperature.  At the temperature of the Earth's surface, this is in the longwave infrared spectrum.
4. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb the longwave radiation coming up from the surface, and re-radiate it in all directions.  The amount of energy re-radiated back downward is observable and measurable, as is the energy that escapes from the top of the atmosphere.
5. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing, at a rate consistent with the amount of those gases being released by fossil fuel burning and other human activities, and the Earth being able to absorb a fraction of them.
6. The difference between the amount of solar energy absorbed and the net longwave energy radiated from the Earth is the amount by which the Earth is gaining energy, resulting in warming.

No complex computer simulations needed, in fact no computers needed.  Over a century ago, a generation before the invention of computers, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius calculated by hand the amount of warming that would result from a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere at about 4 degrees Celsius, a number which falls within the range of modern computer-assisted calculations.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: May 30, 2014, 10:37:45 PM »

I am agreed with you entirely on this. Considering the level of knowledge present here it was disheartening last year to see such a massive undershoot on the predictions vs the reality.

I suspect that some of the undershoot was due to noobs like myself throwing in an uninformed guess just for a lark, without realizing that it might reflect poorly on the site.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: May 27, 2014, 03:13:39 PM »
That's a useful quantification; however it does not represent a net increase in energy capture.

I would disagree; that immediate patch of water might not have a net increase in energy, but there will be an increase in the total energy of the area, whether due to back radiation of the radiated energy, or in the latent energy contained in evaporated water.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: May 09, 2014, 01:00:28 AM »
That diagram seems to suggest you can only get to current middle stable zone from ice free world and you cannot get there from ice covered world. Is that right and if so why can't/don't you get a jump from ice covered to partial ice cover?

As I understand it, the snowball Earth has such a high albedo that only a small part of the solar flux is absorbed by the Earth.  This makes the cold state very stable, and it would take a very high greenhouse gas forcing, many thousands of ppm, to break it out of that state.  Once it is broken out of the snowball state, that high greenhouse gas forcing, along with the Earth's decreasing albedo, pushes on to its new equilibrium state, which is at the ice-free world.

It is like a roller coaster climbing up to the top of its first peak, and rushing down the other side.  It cannot stop at the first dip, because its momentum (i.e. greenhouse forcing) is too high, so it rushes past it to the lower level.  Now if the roller coaster cars were stopped at the lower level,  you could push it backwards (negative forcing) past the lower peak, and it would settle down in the low point between the peaks.

Science / Re: edx online course MITx: 12.340x Global Warming Science
« on: April 29, 2014, 03:51:27 PM »
I'm at 46% myself.  I'm finding that I don't remember enough of the math I learned 40+ years ago, especially the calculus and differential equations.  I'm glad they said that the final will be more conceptual.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: April 21, 2014, 02:55:20 AM »
The reflected sunlight stays in the same short wavelengths as it arrived.  The fraction of sunlight reflected by the Earth is its albedo, which is accounted for separately from the energy that is absorbed and re-radiated.  It is only when the sunlight is absorbed by matter that it is radiated back out in the long wavelengths. 

Science / Re: edx online course MITx: 12.340x Global Warming Science
« on: March 19, 2014, 12:43:30 PM »
I've started watching this week's videos.  Oh my, the level of mathematics in the lecture has jumped up now that we are past the introduction.  :o

Science / Re: edx online course MITx: 12.340x Global Warming Science
« on: March 15, 2014, 04:18:49 PM »
How's everyone else getting along?

My problem set scores now read 100% 82% 94% 100% - a few silly mistakes and one not considering what the question meant carefully enough.

My problem set scores have all been 100% - but it's a good thing they give us 2 or 3 tries at getting the right answer.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: March 14, 2014, 03:32:11 PM »
It is not the length of time it takes the infrared energy to get to the top of the atmosphere and escape, but the fact that the energy is absorbed and then re-emitted non-directionally, as likely downward as upward.  This means that in order to get enough energy up to the top of the atmosphere, the surface and lower part of the atmosphere have to heat up (using the downward-emitted energy) to produce enough infrared energy that the part of it that is emitted from the top of the atmosphere balances the incoming solar energy.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: March 12, 2014, 02:28:17 PM »
I don't know how significant it is, but Rayleigh scattering can scatter up to 1/4 of the solar flux (making the sky blue).  This diffuse sky radiation would, I would think, have an advantage over low angle direct sunlight in penetrating the ocean surface.  Does anyone have any data on this?

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