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Messages - josh-j

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Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: November 24, 2020, 12:18:53 AM »
I know this is a scientific discussion and I have no science to add so I'll be brief, but A-Team those "plot Z-stack profile" images, particularly the laptev wedge one, are worthy of display in a gallery somewhere.

An absolutely brilliant visualisation. Like a thinning forest of leaves. It brings the data to life!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: October 15, 2020, 11:25:15 PM »
If the arctic is warm, of course it will radiate more heat than if it was cold and icy. But that isn't a good thing at all, its just physics  ;)

I'm not sure that observing more heat "venting to space" is as much of a feedback as it is just an observation of how hot the arctic is.

You don't look at a red hot pan you put on the stove without water inside and say, well at least there is a feedback in that it being hot means it is radiating heat away more. It certainly is doing so, but that doesn't mean it will reach room temperature faster than if you didn't heat it up in the first place.

Edit: removed broken household heating analogy :)

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: September 21, 2020, 10:31:31 PM »

Table 2 lists 72 places, where we have temperature and/or precipitation estimates for the Pliocene warm period, when temperatures were cca 3-5 C higher and there was no Arctic Ice cap. Generally, Europe and North America saw more precipitation, eg. Arizona had savannas , Nevada ponds, marshes, Utah at least 600 mm rain, Europe had more rain than now, etc.

While I certainly don't have the knowledge to disagree on this point, I would guess there might be a difference between rainfall within the stable warm period and rainfall during a rapid transition into a warm period.

Its the potential year-to-year unpredictability I'm worried about.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: September 12, 2020, 12:58:25 AM »
From the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Its interesting that is in a comedy photography category. For me, having heard of the ongoing struggle and demise of these creatures, the bear might as well be mourning.

Interesting perspectives. And of course that particular bear might be doing just fine.

To me that photo reveals something about how differently people look at the natural world.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: August 26, 2020, 11:36:16 PM »
For what its worth (not much, I'm a mere lurker), it seems this is the right thread for Glenn's post.

I would just add that a string of warm months doesn't necessarily mean a causal link to Covid, especially since sinilar patterns are seen in other years.

But isn't this thread the place to discuss that? 🙂

<How does global aerosol dimming work? Where do we see it? The anomalies at the top of the world on both sides clearly indicate something else, namely ongoing atmospheric changes due to global warming. As a rule of the thumb when a moderator says this is not the proper thread including this hint: The aerosol masking effect is more local to the pollution sources so it´s not involved here kassy>

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 20, 2020, 11:55:37 PM »
Glennbuck -

Whether dimming followed by lockdown caused a cold-hot pattern is speculation.

There are lots of other occurances of such a pattern in previous years (of course that doesn't rule the theory out).

But, off topic. Sorry Oren.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 16, 2020, 08:48:11 PM »
No it isn't:

It is however currently showing a very early minimum

I know its already been stated up-thread, but to be clear - the blue line going up at the end of the prediction range in Slater's model does not mean it is showing a minimum. It just means that what it just predicted at the end of the lead time is higher than what it predicted at the end of the (then) lead time a few days ago.

It does NOT redraw the blue line each model run. It adds the new lead-time prediction to the end of the line. The line is a history of the predictions at a fixed lead time. There's a whole thread about this somewhere, I seem to remember it got a bit heated because of the definition of a "trend"  ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: March 01, 2020, 09:03:14 PM »
Heathrow third runway ruled illegal over climate change

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport have been ruled illegal by the court of appeal because ministers did not adequately take into account the government’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis.

The ruling is a major blow to the project at a time when public concern about the climate emergency is rising fast and the government has set a target in law of net zero emissions by 2050. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, could use the ruling to abandon the project, or the government could draw up a new policy document to approve the runway.


The court’s ruling is the first major ruling in the world to be based on the Paris climate agreement and may have an impact both in the UK and around the globe by inspiring challenges against other high-carbon projects.

Lord Justice Lindblom said: “The Paris agreement ought to have been taken into account by the secretary of state. The national planning statement was not produced as the law requires.”

It’s now clear that our governments can’t keep claiming commitment to the Paris agreement, while simultaneously taking actions that blatantly contradict it” said Tim Crosland, at legal charity Plan B, which brought the challenge. “The bell is tolling on the carbon economy loud and clear.”

Worth noting that Boris Johnson already might've wanted to find a way out of expanding Heathrow (in typical fashion he claimed a number of years ago to be ready to lie in front of the bulldozers should construction begin) - but this still feels like a significant ruling in a country where government support for business-as-usual polluting industries has been pretty unwavering and it feels like markets reign supreme. The tenacious campaigners will be very proud. Special mention to the brilliant people who, some 10 years ago, set up an improvised camp in one of the villages due to be demolished - Grow Heathrow at Sipson - and have been there ever since!

That in itself gives you some idea of how long this expansion has been looming over communities and campaigners.

It is no longer a case of the aviation industry needing to find a way to grow sustainably; it needs to stop growing, and then it needs to shrink.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Are you hoping to witness a BOE?
« on: August 23, 2019, 08:18:24 AM »
I think its more complicated than Yes or No. I choose both yes and no. Human thought is a complicated thing, after all.

I don't know whether it would be better in the end to have such a sudden and sharp jolt to maybe wake the world up, or better to have longer before chaos reaches where I am (after all some places already face this chaos).

There's a part of me which I suppose is like slowing down to look at a car crash - it's just so dramatic and would be an incredibly historic moment. That part of me wants a BOE, and it's the part which is watching keenly each year when the ice gets low. I cannot deny that.

But the other part of me wants a goddamn normal climate back so that our futures can be bright again, and is fearful of what will come of humanity's reckless destruction of natural cycles. That part of me grieves for the animals (including humans), plants, and diversity and beauty of life that will be lost. This is the part of me that looks intently at a humble fly and watches it finding food and cleaning its wings.

At the end of the day, it will happen at some point. I just want to have a future, and I want the same for the rest of us living inhabitants of Earth. Eventually, there will be light at the end of the tunnel; I'm not totally fatalistic. But whether that is within my lifetime or not is impossible to know.

Anyone here from the UK? Does this have a prayer of being implemented? 10 hour work week for 75% less pay?

I wouldn't rate the chances, but it seems to me that this represents something of the perfect solution to the climate crisis. Work less, buy less, have more free time for whatever else you want - and save the planet. It's a win for everybody except the filthy rich who do just fine the way things are. Therein lies the problem, but still the fact people are talking about this is some source of hope! (Also, automation will just take everyone's jobs anyway...)

The rest / Re: Peak Oil and Climate Change
« on: June 14, 2019, 11:47:08 PM »
The problem is of course not the climate, the resources and the finite planet, all of which take decades to play out, but the humans who react in violence when some threshold is crossed, thus triggering a fast collapse over a few years.

True and insightful. Its not like it would be impossible to distribute resources fairly enough for almost everybody to survive as the climate changes. Will we ever grow up as a species I wonder...

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: May 05, 2019, 01:11:22 PM »
With apparent human influence on climate dating back 8,000 - 10,000 years, what's the point of an "Anthropocene" that covers the same time span as the Holocene?

On the other hand, most of this thread is really about the massively escalated rate of extinction that started much more recently than 10,000 years ago. There are probably good arguments on both sides as to whether that is "separate" (nothing is truly separate in these things but at least different enough to be looked at separately) or part of a continuum of human influence on the rest of the planet.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 25, 2019, 08:34:17 PM »
Define support?  I've been there, repeating the information that you can't keep on pushing CO2 into the atmosphere, since the early 1990's as my interest was triggered in the mid 1980's.  I have taken the abuse, the laughter, the isolation and the derision for decades.  Yet I have never wavered in making sure that I won't be in a room where disinformation is being disseminated without having a say with the truth.

I will still be doing this a decade from today.  But, at least, there will be more people who listen.

ER?  A few demonstrations and a government minister, from a failing and desperate government, agrees to have a few "talks".  Macron agreed to "talk" to the Giles Jeaune's too.  Didn't get very far did it?

With all due respect to  you as someone with undoubtedly greater experience in these matters than myself, all this really says is that you've been campaigning a long time and X/ER haven't. That doesn't seem like a good reason to dismiss what they're doing. This has all only just happened; if the talks go nowhere you can bet that XR won't be going away.

You see that's the problem with being older.  We've already seen this kind of demonstrations.  Over and over and over again.

This conversation reminds me of somebody I met once while I was handing out XR leaflets. He's a seasoned environmental campaigner, somebody who I'd heard of before and who is quite keenly involved in local environmental issues. Broadly speaking the conversation was along the lines of "it won't work because nothing works, I've seen all this before, nothing works and by the way don't trust the police". Now to be fair he did have more specific criticisms of XR and that's totally fair enough, but I really can't get on board with the "nothing has worked, therefore nothing will ever work" thing. Not least because things are different now; we have really short timescales to work with that fall within the lives of people already alive now.

Now, I do accept that doing things *differently* to what has failed in the past might be a good idea. In fact I think this is what XR are doing; they've raised it to a new level. Do you know how much news coverage a march I went on called "Going Backwards On Climate Change" got? Pretty much none really. But look at XR - they've been all over the media (in the UK) in a way that no other climate campaign has ever managed. They've been sat in major TV studios telling the public that civilization could well collapse, that we need deep green adaptation, that we need radical and far reaching change. Rupert Read has been particularly notable in that regard, getting those points across very well in the face of some rather ignorant interviewers.

Just one little problem.  Nobody is going to produce 30 million EV's next week, or next year or next decade (well, maybe that).  As for 26 million solar roof's and powerwalls?  Right, not going to happen is it.

So that's solar.  Wind?  We're already doing that.  Just like Germany our power cost is climbing and everyone is up in arms.  But it's worth the cost.  Well if we can actually get rid of all those CCGT power stations that ensure you have power on a still winters night.

And what about tidal?  Well you see most of those people who support ER don't want a Severn barrier.  Why?  Well, it might, just might, disturb some local species which live there.  The fact that those local species are going to face their own extinction in the next half century, through CO2 based AGW doesn't seem to have filtered through.

Right let me address this a bit in terms of XR's plan. Clearly you've already addressed some issues in overview by stating that nothing will work because isn't it all so difficult - but in fact XR does not seek to set out specifics.

One of the key demands of XR is for a citizens assembly to be formed to decide how to proceed nationally to deal with climate change as an emergency situation. There is precedent for such assemblies, not least in Ireland very recently - and as a result of the blockades last week this concept has had airtime on national TV.

The idea would be for citizens to be randomly selected to serve in the assembly, be fully briefed with all the facts and asked to choose the way forward. XR is not prescribing what needs to happen. It is a rather anti-capitalist movement but frankly the crisis probably does need anti-capitalist measures so I can see why that would be; nevertheless they do not seek to make this a political battle or to claim to be the people with all the answers. They want everybody to be involved and work out what to do; but getting to that point means massively raising awareness and forcing the government to sit up. Hence, blockades and glue.

Before the first actions in London some months ago, Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders) was interviewed saying that there would probably need to be 1,000 or so arrests in order to bring the Government to the table. That happened over the past week (might even be an unprecedented number of arrests in one police operation?) and now the Government has agreed to talks. One step at a time - yes the talks might not go anywhere, but if so we can already see that there is a great deal of support for XR and a large number of people willing to take part in further actions at large scale.

So lets see. For myself, I think this is something which could snowball in a big way (it already has, really).

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:59:20 PM »
The Govt Environment Minister (Michael Gove ) has apparently just agreed to meet Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion

Wow that's a surprise to be honest. I assumed they were just hoping it would blow over - usual tactics, what a "good record" the UK "has" (had) on the environment, blah blah blah protests over, then back to supporting fracking.

I think this time, it will not blow over...

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:48:33 PM »
This one hits close to home, literally. I watched it spread from my bedroom window and man it was fast at times.

Now the whole hillside is black and, sadly, some other small fires have started/been started on other patches nearby - frankly in those places arson is a possibility, but also one fire by a roadside that could easily have been a discarded cigarette.

This after the fairly big (by UK standards) fire in almost the same area in February. That one was indeed arson, but this time the main fire appears to have been caused accidentally by people with a BBQ.

The point is though, that people aren't used to the ground being so dry especially so early in the year. Moorland being flammable in February is not normal! If this is the direction things are moving in, all these upland areas will be a huge fire risk for most of the year - particularly worrying because this is peatland that can burn long and deep, emitting a large amount of carbon in the process.

If only there were TREES and other vegetation. I think I'm right in saying that a typical woodland in the UK would not have as high a fire risk as these open moors because the trees trap moisture at ground level? Unfortunately, Marsden Moor is almost entirely treeless - and for the last week or so dry, and covered with flammable grass tussocks.

I feel pretty bad for the National Trust which has had to spend thousands of pounds an hour on the helicopters fighting these fires; I can hear one flying outside as I type. On the other hand, I really feel that a change in land use is required to allow trees to grow here again without being eaten by sheep or (on other moors) broken down to keep the heather going for the grouse.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:27:00 PM »
Now if this was students out of college, with government in session and the city paralised for a month, I could say "yes this is the message".  But, in fact, those students are going to go back to their studies because, in the end, their immediate future is more important than their long term future with the climate.

If ER were to have protests and disruptions every day, every week, constantly, I would say that this is a real message.

But the REAL message comes at the ballot box and most of these rebels probably won't vote.  In protest you know.

I support the cause.  I really do.  But if you want change you do it every day, constantly, like the daily grind of a job.  You use every tool at your disposal.  When an election comes up you USE your vote instead of abrogating responsibility by failing to vote, allowing others who do not share your views to have even more impact with their own vote.

NeilT, you say you support the cause, but do you do it every day, constantly, like the daily grind of a job?

For what its worth, climate is way higher in public consciousness as a result of just this one week of XR (combined with the school strikes and Attenborough of course). Not only that but they're still there in Marble Arch (now marched to Parliament) and don't show any sign of going away. And not only THAT, but they aren't just students at all, and the ones who are may be involved in the "YouthStrikes4Climate".

I know that a week's disruption isn't going to change the world - that's obvious. But XR didn't even exist less than a year ago and now it is an international movement; this is only just getting started. Greta Thunberg has now advocated for a general strike (I know others have done so many times before, but she has a high media profile right now!) - that to me would be a great next step to combine with further XR disruptive actions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 22, 2019, 02:01:54 PM »
Greetings  from Extinction Rebellion Marble Arch! Two of my friends were arrested at Waterloo Bridge but they are back here again. It's a marvellous atmosphere , I went to the initial rebellion in October, amazing how far it has come in 6 months

It's incredible how fast and how far it has come. I must say, I'm struggling a bit with what to do; my heart and soul want me to become 'arrestable' - I'm not great at meeting people I don't know, joining groups or whatever - it just isn't my thing, but I sure as hell would be dragged off a bridge into a cell if it could help keep this movement going (after all, I have white privilege on my side.. :s ). Apart from donating money that would probably be the most useful thing I could do.

The one problem is that I work in an "enhanced vetted" job, and even an arrest with no charges can show on the record my employer views. They would probably not think highly of such a record. But who knows, is it could be worth the risk....  :o The planet is burning after all (literally - there's a moorland fire outside my window right now).

Seriously considering asking my manager how it might be viewed; its hard to say, because I work in a very large company so it isn't just a question of asking the boss  :-\

You must be proud of your friends, Sparkles - hope the party can continue a good while longer in London. Amazing atmosphere all over, and absolutely fan-friggin-tastic to see XR and climate change all over the news and new people joining and donating all over the place!  ;D :D

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 20, 2019, 01:42:50 AM »
Yours truely demanding the Nelson Council in New Zealand declare a climate emergency. See short video at link below.

Wow - now THAT deserves respect, brilliant RBB!

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 20, 2019, 01:29:18 AM »
Thanks for the thanks but I have not yet gone so far as to be arrested! (Might cost me my job. Still, there's a temptation there, especially when watching other people taking that step. I have a video of the roar of applause and cheers as someone is carried off by four police officers. People really have their hearts in this.)
But I have sat in the roads and added to the numbers.

I can't emphasise enough how brilliant and inspirational XR activists have been this week! Waterloo Bridge is like a plantation of small trees and other plants, watered by volunteers. People bring more plants as they attend. This bridge is usually heavy traffic! The bright pink boat which was in Oxford Circus for four days took all afternoon for police to remove, because protestors blocked surrounding roads when they tried to drive it away.

The protests continue and a few of my family members want to go there too and show support. I think the combination of school strikes, Extinction Rebellion and now David Attenborough in such a short space of time has really changed something. Greta Thunberg visits next week, which will help too.  :)

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: April 18, 2019, 08:06:34 PM »
Over 400 arrests in London so far this week as protesters retain hold of a number of sites across the city for a fourth consecutive day. An attempt to evict protesters from Parliament Square failed last night with XR rebels able to move back to their blockades following a number of arrests but with many more waiting to be arrested.

Also reports of police struggling for custody capacity, with some of those arrested being moved into custody outside London.

Some pictures are probably appropriate!

Amazing to see that this is still snowballing, and to see that Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England - and François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France - chose this Rebellion Week to publish a letter stating that financial institutions cannot afford to ignore climate change.

David Attenborough is on the BBC tonight with a programme specifically about climate change, and is guaranteed an extremely high viewership here in the UK. Could this be a watershed moment?

If not now, then soon?

I will be in London tomorrow to join Extinction Rebellion in solidarity.

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: April 10, 2019, 09:14:38 AM »
Potentially good news there Vox!

By eating less meat and paying farmers to give land over to nature I think we humans can really significantly lessen the burden on insects, indeed on all sorts of creatures. All around where I live is open moorland (see photo), whose only agricultural value is for grazing a small number of sheep - yet those sheep mean there are no trees and very little else for miles at a time. Sheep farming in such areas (Im in the UK by the way) is not profitable and is subsidised heavily by the government; I do wonder whether some farmers might be willing to be paid instead to oversee the restoration of this land?

There seems to be an attachment to preserving things "as they are" in nature orgaisations here, rather than seeing that the land is in a bad state which is not natural.

Trees, birds, animals, insects. It can be done I'm sure. Rewilding needs to happen.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 20, 2018, 11:06:37 PM »
We might want to live in a system that can accommodate degrowth and a rapid transition. But we don't.  We live in a global system that will fail if and when we do what needs to be done (pull Greta's emergency brake).  And when it fails, billions of people all over the world will be unemployed, bewildered, bereft, and scared.  That's what we are facing.

I suspect you may be right, but this really makes me think. Why is it that we are so seemingly incapable of working out how to carry on the basics of "mass survival" even though millions of people (billions globally of course) are no longer employed?

What is it about our way of doing things that is so set in its ways that we expect billions of people to die rather than be able to work out a more sensible way of surviving on this planet?

I don't doubt that there is probably a terrifying bottleneck looming but it frustrates me so much that it doesn't have to be this way, if it wasn't for our own pigheaded approach to change and systems thinking. We have the resources; population, yes, is sky high - but with proper planning and people actually engaging in a systems-thinking approach, it can be reduced. I see no reason why the population should necessarily be rapidly reduced (by which, remember, we are talking about mass death and suffering on a huge scale) to whatever the carrying capacity of Earth really is all over the course of a few years or decades. (But the way we're going...)

It seems to me that we have the potential to undergo managed decline and avoid the most horrific outcomes. Call it the physical potential if you want. Yet it all seems so impossible because we have the system we have, people aren't thinking outside the confines of that system, and what thought people have for the future has been warped within the system too; retirement somewhere in the sun, and all the rest of it.

It's depressing. Deeply so.

But also, at least for me right now, its incredibly frustrating and verging on comedically ridiculous. Humanity can do so much better, can we not? What are we playing at?

Apologies - I don't have the depth of thought or understanding as many of the other posters here. I'm very grateful for this discussion. For now, for me, the dark comedy of humanity's current predicament shall take hold - and I'll drink another cider! Or not; there is an Extinction Rebellion event tomorrow in my local area  :o

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 16, 2018, 12:26:33 PM »
The simple fact is. Humans can’t live on a dead planet. And the amount of species that will go extinct in the future and the fact that human animals will lose habitat is everything. Keeping civilization going will make matters worse.

But yes, ideally we would be able to re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature. That works constantly to live within its bounds, that could truly be sustainable over the very long term. But that would be a very, very different civilization than the one we have and than the one most here seem to be imagining.

I think my answer to your point WhereIsTheIce is the hope that we can make something like this part of Wili's reply. I don't doubt that civilisation as it exists now is completely unsustainable and is going to go away one way or another - but I hold out some hope that part of the process of it collapsing might either become a transformation into a better civilisation, or at least set the seeds for that to happen afterwards.

Rupert Read has done a very good talk about this; he too holds no illusions of false hope. He sees movements like Extinction Rebellion, if I understand him correctly, as a necessary attempt to try for the best outcome - even if it might not be likely to succeed. He does also advocate planning for failure as well - which is entirely wise. Deep green adaptation is a big focus of this talk:

n.b.This is not a happy and smiling talk; I don't know how to stop the forum previewing the video like this!

This Civilisation is Finished: So What is to be Done?

So yes, I wouldn't say I expect efforts to transform our current disaster of a civ into a nature-compatible one will be successful, but its about the only hope there is of avoiding complete (human) catastrophe and maybe that's worth a try. Perhaps it is only postponing the inevitable, but it might lay the groundwork for the future. Perhaps it will cause more devastation by prolonging a broken model. Or, on the other hand perhaps it will save us from our doom.

Who knows. Best to try, hey? Humans are complicated beasts; we don't have to live in the destructive way so many of us do now.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: December 15, 2018, 03:56:41 PM »
Hi Cid,

I know what you're saying, but I disagree (mostly). How can we know exactly how bad things will get, or how much of a difference can be made?

Your argument works if we are 100% sure of complete and total disaster, I mean like zero humans left, scorched earth type of thing. I don't think we are in that situation (although don't get me wrong, I'm very sure that there is a hell of sorts approaching). What we know for sure is that changing nothing guarantees disaster. Trying to change things might help a bit. It might not, but it might. It won't save everybody, but it might save some.

The truth is coming whether people like it or not - to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

There's maybe a stronger argument to be made that having civilization burn out faster is better in the long run, but actually I'm not convinced by that either. Since the ideal result for me would be a new and non-destructive civilization rising out of the ashes; and the sooner the collapse, the less thought has gone into how that might happen.

Anyway, for me the main point is that we don't know exactly how any of this is going to play out. We can see something terrifying approaching, but we don't know what's on the other side.

Finally though I want to reiterate that I think I do understand your line of thinking, and certainly there's an extent to which blind optimism or hope is totally unrealistic (not that hope has to be realistic, in my view).

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: December 01, 2018, 12:16:11 PM »
“It feels like we’ve dropped the ball in some giant collective way.”

Ain't that the truth!  :(

Systems thinking is so important; nothing exists in isolation. A pesticide might work great under test conditions but once spread over huge areas... A crop might grow nicely and without affecting much of anything around it, but once there are millions of square miles of the crop replacing everything else...

edit: Wow, this is really a very good (and worrying) article. I'm almost lost for words.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: November 18, 2018, 11:48:30 AM »
That extinction symbol I posted about a while ago has become a lot more visible recently thanks to the Extinction Rebellion (UK site here) which has grown rapidly over the past few weeks.

Yesterday 5 major bridges in central London were all blocked simultaneously with around 100 arrests (see my photos), and of course the wonderful Greta Thunberg in Stockholm:

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: October 26, 2018, 09:20:33 PM »
Certainly pretty damn scary but to me that graph looks more like the continuation of a roughly linear trend (for now) - just with a flatter bit in recent years 2000-2017ish.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Glossary ... for newbies and others
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:07:51 PM »
It wasn't added, it was just given as a response to a question (hence my  ;D emoticon)  :D

Arctic sea ice / Re: Global sea ice area and extent data
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:06:00 PM »
Thanks for those charts Wipneus - it's like a once healthy heartbeat suddenly looking dodgy... !

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: October 23, 2018, 08:38:08 PM »
Thanks wdmn and ASLR,

This graph and the idea behind it is perhaps more complicated than I assumed. I will have to give it some thought. Ultimately the answer will be known in following El Ninas!

Thanks again.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: October 23, 2018, 06:37:31 PM »
I must say, I dont understand the reasoning behind Hansen's graph. The minimums are compared with the latest reading, which is closer to the linear trend than then minimums (or course - since the minimums are below the trend and max are above... And we are currently in between). So drawing lines from the minimums to that end point will show steepening lines even if the minimums stay the same distance between the linear trend line.

Its geometry, or even mechanics. You have a line that runs underneath a pivot point, connect a sliding rod through a point attached to that lower line with the other end attached to that higher pivot point. Now slide the bottom point along the lower line and reproduce this exact graph.

I dont get it - but as a not particularly knowledgeable random person on the internet I'm happy to be proven wrong!

Edit: If the latest data point IS a minimum, and therefore a minimum higher than the others, that's surely just one point and not particularly evidence of a trend surely. Connecting those other points to this one still doesnt look valid scientifically.

Consequences / Re: Ecosystem service collapse
« on: October 20, 2018, 01:20:20 PM »
"Environmentalism" is always seen as an attack on quality of life (shrinking economy, costing jobs, etc). However, the opposing argument is also made; we lose something of our quality of life when we lose species, habitat, the ability to breathe clean air, see dark skies, hear a full chorus of birds, frogs, and insects, look at undisturbed or intact landscapes. We point to the fact that the wealthiest people pay a lot of money to have such experiences as evidence of their desirability.

Thanks for that wdmn, I'd never really thought of it with that level of clarity.

Science / Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« on: October 15, 2018, 10:02:44 PM »
Quick question - are the various reports here about artificial intelligence actually relating to "adapting to the Anthropocene", or do they better fit the description "charging headlong into the Anthropocene"?

 :-\ :-X

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018/2019 freezing season
« on: October 15, 2018, 08:37:47 PM »
I don't really get cci gfs 2m anomalies. It doesn't seem to match EC and GFS models on meteociel at all. Yeah sure there are some positive Temp 850hPa anomalies on meteociel as well, but nothing dramatic, and there are even some negative fields on the map."

In case this helps anybody, anomalies both at 2m and at 850hpa can be viewed with the same colour scale at Tropical Tidbits:
(height level can be selected under Thermodynamics)

As the 2m temps there seem to match CCI, whatever the reason for the difference it probably isn't to do with CCI, rather the GFS (and/or reality). Which, of course, doesn't answer your question... but I find it so much easier to look at a two charts together when they have the same colour scale. :)

Arctic sea ice / Re: Glossary ... for newbies and others
« on: September 21, 2018, 06:21:20 PM »
SOI - Southern Oscillation Index  ;D

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: September 20, 2018, 09:03:40 AM »
Gerontocrat, it seems to me that a very large number of people spend their time in jobs which are relatively pointless - the most obvious example probably being working for a company producing (let's say) the plastic toys which are inside Christmas crackers, or indeed all sorts of consumer goods companies if we could only learn to buy less and fix things. For so many other jobs, automation will eventually be able to replace people (a whole topic on its own, and a frightening one at that).

Perhaps the solution to an aging population necessitated by birth rate reduction is to stop doing and buying all this crap and instead be free to look after our families and neighbours?

I guess what I mean to say is that population and the consequences of population reduction are tied to the nature of our economic system, which values non-essebtial production yet does not reward the real human actions like caring for ones family and community.

Good job that system already needs to change then hey...!   ;D

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: September 15, 2018, 11:02:33 AM »
This is the sort of thing that makes me want to start sticking extinction symbols up everywhere. Tragic, all around us and yet somehow invisible.

Humanity has lost touch with nature, and blindly steps on it without a thought. I'm hopeful that collectively this can be changed; but after how many more creatures are lost?

From the page:
The symbol above represents extinction. The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species. The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and this symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000  species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction. This ongoing process of destruction is being caused by the impact of human activity. Within the next few decades approximately 50% of all species that now exist will have become extinct. Such a catastrophic loss of biodiversity is highly likely to cause widespread ecosystem collapse and consequently render the planet uninhabitable for humans.

In order to spread the message as widely as possible, please create this symbol in any location you feel able to. Thank you.

Walking the walk / Re: Pat yourself on the back
« on: September 06, 2018, 09:18:02 PM »
Thanks Ghoti and Etienne. I think I need to remember this thread and take notes. Perhaps it is more feasible than I thought!

Walking the walk / Re: Pat yourself on the back
« on: September 03, 2018, 12:01:15 AM »
Ghoti - a 6kw array - that makes me jealous! Well done on your heat pump setup, it looks like an investment in time but nothing unachievable for a lot of houses assuming they can be adequately insulated. A few years ago the government here (UK) was going to make all new houses be built to that kind of standard, but just before it came into force it was cancelled...

My house was built around 1930 and designed to "breath"; it would need quite a lot of work to be heated by heat pump though I'm sure it could be done. So like Oren I'd be interested to know how well insulated your house is!

There must be millions houses like mine here but no real plan to help people take the sort of steps you've taken. The people who can't afford to do so include the people stuck in fuel poverty because their leaky homes use tons of gas to heat...

Anyway this is the Pat Yourself on the back thread so: (!)

A while ago I posted about trying not to use heating over winter. I'm happy to say that my own slightly reckless venture to reduce emissions was very successful - I didn't freeze to death! Lowest temperature inside the house was about 3c but more often about 6-8c if I remember correctly. That seems pretty good considering the "Beast From the East" we had in the UK, outside temperatures down to about -6c or so at night. Even my pipes didn't freeze (I think it was close) But I needed a ridiculous amount of warm layers, sleeping bag, sleeping bag plus warm bedding for sleep, and so on. Nevertheless, this is supposed to be an urgent problem, right?  ;D :o

Same again this winter :) The things you can do when you're single and living on your own.... lol :)

Arctic sea ice / Re: What's new in the Arctic ?
« on: August 30, 2018, 09:35:24 PM »
It's only a matter of time.  Today's AMSR2 should be alarming to anyone.  Pretty clear we only have a couple years left.  And if something dramatic and unexpected happens...

Not to say that I disagree, more that I don't understand - but is it not the case that extent and volume are higher this year than 2012 when it looked like collapse could be imminent? I'm sure we could get unlucky any time soon and sooner or later yes the inevitable will happen, but a couple of years left?

I've looked at the recent AMSR2 images and don't know enough to know whether I should be alarmed, but from a simplistic novice perspective things look better this year than they have in (some) past years - acknowledging of course the relentless downward spiral.

Things won't stay ordinary. But that doesnt mean things will change in the way you expect either. We all know the trends but this is a complex system. I'm sure something dramatic could happen that gives us a winter BOE but that doesnt mean it will happen any time soon. It might be reasonable to predict it as a possibility but not assume it is near-certain to happen within a few decades.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: August 01, 2018, 07:02:31 PM »
A scenario of year-round ice-free Arctic can only be reached (IMO) by further a northward reach of the warm ocean currents.
I keep reading this dreamy misconception everywhere. People seem to be forgetting about the fact that the quantity of heat energy required to melt 1kg of ice (of just below freezing) to 1kg of water (of just above freezing) would raise the temperature of that same 1 kg of water to 80 degrees Celsius. This means that as soon as ice is gone, and there is heat energy (i.e. Sunlight), the oceans will be very hot at the surface (provided that surface T will also keep on rising as it does) all around the Arctic circle. It already is super anomalously warm, by the way. So when the sun is gone at the polar caps, all it needs is a little flow from warmer lower ocean currents to keep it from freezing up, and/or surface winds blowing the warmer (sun-heated) waters Northwards. Considering all the additional feedbacks, I'd say year round ice free poles could be a reality around 2035 at the very latest.

But water is not just stagnant in the Arctic and waiting to warm. While its true that a lot more heat can go into the water once there's no ice to melt, its also the case that the worlds oceans are very large, very deep, and circulating. I find it hard to believe that mainstream science is so wrong on the timescales for a year-round BOE. I'm not saying the current mainstream predictions are gospel and won't change, but 2035 is so at odds with the mainstream view that I find it hard to accept. No ice in winter also means more can escape, does it not? (No really, correct me if I'm wrong - I'm no expert!)

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 30, 2018, 11:29:49 PM »
4. WOW; 200 more years before the arctic could go ice free for the whole year. Yes, greenland may create a local effect which allows for some ice formation to its north for longer than the rest of the arctic but in general this idea is delusionally conservative. A simple extrapolation of current volume trends puts that timeline off by at least 150 years...without any lag and without any continued emission.
(My bold)

I'm not sure that a simple extrapolation of the trend is necessarily correct when talking about a complex system. Various posters here have highlighted the "slow decline" theory in which the decline slows because more open ocean in summer means more space for ice to grow in winter.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018 melting season
« on: June 15, 2018, 06:44:36 PM »
He may be referring to most places in Siberia, too. When i arrived, say, to Langepas in 1986, very next winter i sometimes walked through as low as -56°C air. Freezes your eyes, no joke. While summer-time, sometimes it got up to ~35°C. However, this all proves nothing, and is in fact off-topic. The graphic presented was about temperature _anomalies_. This means, all the drastic seasonal temp difference was already accounted for; all the wild colors are "on top" of it.

I dont dispute anything in the general discussion here, but wouldnt the anomaly be relative to the average for the particular time of year - and therefore not on top of whatever fleeting anomalies might be common in the area? (In other words, averaging out various warm and cold times in a location removes the variability and just gives one figure lying somewhere in the middle).

If the answer is more complicated than that I'll take the thought over to the Stupid Questions thread of course.

Arctic sea ice / Re: How soon could we go ice free?
« on: June 15, 2018, 02:43:46 PM »
If the DMI modeled ice thickness has any validity, you should be very happy since the ice volume is significantly higher than the past few years at this date. As a result, it is doubtful the arctic will be ice free this year (or any year in the foreseeable future). Also, the NW passage is not likely to open this year. Just my guess.

Archimid beat me to it but there is a massive difference between "this year" and "any year in the foreseeable future". I agree with you regarding the former, but certainly not the latter - and I doubt many scientists studying the ice would agree either.

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: June 09, 2018, 11:32:58 PM »
One option to building additional runways at crowded city airports is to provide fast transportation to/from other nearby, less used airports....

Another option is to fly less (particularly frequent fliers), and build less. That seems more sensible than building new infrastructure in order to encourage more aviation growth incompatible even with existing climate goals.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: May 16, 2018, 09:02:57 AM »
6) Keeping a detached cold blooded scientist perspective. We are privileged to witness a crucial turning point in the history of Life (not just the bloody hominins).

That does it for me. It may be very worrying but its also amazing and genuinely fascinating to see first hand.

Other things: bringing it up in conversation; trying to spread the message (and remembering that you never know how many people end up taking it to heart); energetically trying to align ones own lifestyle with what needs to be done by everybody - low carbon, etc.

No doubt you are not alone, GW.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Global sea ice area and extent data
« on: May 13, 2018, 02:35:56 PM »
Quote from: litesong
Its best to consider that the solar TSI has been languid for 50 years & low for 11+ years (including a 3+ year period, setting a 100 year record low radiation level). Yet, global sea ice continues near its least quantities.

Forgive the straying off topic but just one question for litesong - I don't see a languid 50 years in kiwichick's link. But I don't know much about the subject; could you link your source?

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: May 10, 2018, 02:27:49 PM »
Three newspapers confront one challenge: Sea-level rise is real, South Florida needs all hands on deck — now

Now that is heartening to see! Excellent article.

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