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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.

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 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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.

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