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Messages - gerontocrat

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Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: December 07, 2019, 02:22:39 PM »
Binntho, there will be no convincing you until events convince you, which IMO they will. But have you at least read or heard Bobby Kennedy's iconic GDP speech from 1968? GDP is now widely recognized as a deeply flawed measure that fails to capture much of what human beings actually value in life.  It's well worth a read. Here's an excerpt:

But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all.  Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

An update from Freya Gletscher, E Greenland:
It has become quite cold. The sky is clear, but the valley with the glacier in it does not receive any sun beams, because the sun is already too low.
In that part of Greenland there are only a few cm of snow in the higher altitudes.
See attached photo.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019/2020 freezing season
« on: October 19, 2019, 12:17:23 PM »
Even for the Arctic Ocean, we will be hard press to end the winter with at least a 2m first year ice, putting the risk of a memory of this summer. The islands on the russian side are nearing or breaking record which are only a few years old, like Ostrov Vrangel :

versus 2016 :

Or Ostrov Kotelnyj :

versus 2018

Or Ostrov Vize :

versus 2016 :

And again, a layer of low level clouds is keeping in check the refreze, as shown for example with Ostrov Vrangel between 300 and 600 meters since the end of the Summer :

And SSTs are still extrememly warm, locally up to 7 or 8 (!) °C. And with the clouds in place, cooling is going to be slow. It is a sure bet that southern Chukchi would not freeze before December or January, and it is increasingly likely that this sea could not fully refreeze before the end of the winter.
For now, the downward IR flux at surface is a bit less averaged over Arctic comapred to record holder 2018 and 2016, meaning a bit more heat is escaping the furnace of the Arctic. But we are starting with an ocean wich is way warmer than in 2016 or 2018 and to cool down this thing this small diff is not enough...

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 05, 2019, 09:16:47 PM »
August Area, Extent & Volume losses may have been low, but SST anomalies continued to climb and expand.
I wish I had saved the images from the beginning of the melting season. But I did not. mea culpa.

A quick search didn't reveal DMI's SST file locations. NOAA's SST products going back to 2015 can be found here with a link to the archives.

A daily, high-resolution, real-time, global, sea surface temperature (RTG_SST) analysis has been developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (NCEP / MMAB). The analysis was implemented in the NCEP parallel production suite 16 August 2005. It became fully operational on September 27, 2005.
The daily sea surface temperature product is produced on a twelfth-degree (latitude, longitude) grid, with a two-dimensional variational interpolation analysis of the most recent 24-hours buoy and ship data, satellite-retrieved SST data, and SST's derived from satellite-observed sea-ice coverage. The algorithm employs the following data-handling and analysis techniques:
    Satellite retrieved SST values are averaged within 1/12 o grid boxes with day and night 'superobs' created separately for each satellite;
    Bias calculation and removal, for satellite retrieved SST, is the technique employed in the 7-day Reynolds-Smith climatological analysis;
    Currently, the satellite SST retrievals are generated by a physically-based algorithm from the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation. Retrievals are from NOAA-19 and METOP-A AVHRR data;
    SST reports from individual ships and buoys are separately averaged within grid boxes;
    The first-guess is the prior (un-smoothed) analysis with one-day's climate adjustment added;
    Late-arriving data which did not make it into the previous SST analysis are accepted if they are less than 36 hours old;
    Surface temperature is calculated for water where the ice cover exceeds 50%, using salinity climatology in Millero's formula for the freezing point of salt water:
        t(S) = -0.0575 S + 0.0017 S3/2 - 0.0002 S2,
    with S in psu.
    An inhomogeneous correlation-scale-parameter l, for the correlation function: exp(-d2/l2) , is calculated from a climatological temperature gradient, as
        l = min ( 450 , max( 2.25 / |grad T| , 100 )),
    with d and l in kilometers. "grad T" is in oC / km
Evaluations of the analysis products have shown it to produce realistically tight gradients in the Gulf Stream regions of the Atlantic and the Kuroshio region of the Pacific, and to be in close agreement with SST reports from moored buoys in both oceans. Also, it has been shown to properly depict the wintertime colder shelf water -- a feature critical in getting an accurate model prediction for coastal winter storms.

     Description of changes effective November 1, 2016
        The analysis now uses satellite SST retrieval data from the GOES satellites. In addition, the values of "SST" over land areas are now generated by an SOR Laplacian solver, which replaces the legacy "weaver" code.
    Description of changes effective August 26, 2016
        Handling of satellite SST retrieval data in the analysis was modified so the analysis will proceed in the absence of satellite data.

    Description of changes effective July 15, 2015
        Hot spots in the Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea were replaced by more temperate values of SST. Cool Congolese waters were replaced using a climatology from Robert Grumbine.
Here showing sep4, 2015-2019 for comparison.
edit: dates were in the wrong order, forgot scale
@bbr - hudson bay quite cool the last 2 years

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (July 2019)
« on: July 06, 2019, 07:33:01 AM »
Fram export  was higher than average in June.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: June 16, 2019, 05:11:54 PM »
University of Bremen link still not operational.

IMO this is by far the best substitute for what you were looking for and for several reasons

try out the various features including large and very large image.

AFAIK the source is the same as well, hence no significant change of result between platforms to be expected

Arctic sea ice / Re: AMSR2 Snow & Ice Volume/Thickness
« on: June 02, 2019, 01:01:30 AM »
Volume continued below the mean, but thickness went up at the end of the month. It looks like the Beaufort gyre compacted sea ice against eastern Siberia and Hudson Bay ice was compacted against the southern coast.

Full size images and May animation at:

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: May 30, 2019, 02:35:04 PM »
New nuclear plants should not be built.  Existing nuclear plants should be maintained as much as possible until most FF plants are retired.

Arctic sea ice / Re: AMSR2 Snow & Ice Volume/Thickness
« on: May 03, 2019, 11:29:48 AM »
Another month of low overall gain, but above average thickness.

Full size images and April animation at:

Science / Re: Underground temperatures trends
« on: April 02, 2019, 08:52:07 PM »
A slippery slope: How climate change is reshaping the Arctic landscape article about study by Antoni Lewkowicz, University of Ottawa, published in Nature Communications
Increasing ground temperatures in the Arctic are indicators of global climate change, but until recently, areas of cold permafrost were thought to be relatively immune to severe impacts. A new study ... shows that areas of cold permafrost can be vulnerable to rising summer temperatures.

… recorded an astounding sixty-fold increase in the number retrogressive thaw slumps—landslides caused by the melting of the ice in the permafrost—on Banks Island over the past three decades.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: March 23, 2019, 09:42:14 AM »
A pod of narwhal in the Arctic

Antarctica / Re: PIG has calved
« on: January 26, 2019, 05:56:57 PM »
Pine Island Glacier: 18 months of flow and calving

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: January 01, 2019, 06:36:02 AM »
It seems that the climate scientists have not come up with a generally accepted reason for this third year of much lower Antarctic sea ice extent, though there has been much speculation about this in this thread

The conventional wisdom (not just from Hansen by any means) is that as Antarctic ice sheet melt increases, additional fresh and cold water should encourage an increase in sea ice. The last 3 years data is in contradiction to that. I can find no science paper on this contradiction at all. When the GRACE mass data re-starts (from early 2019), perhaps this will tell us the extent to which the rate of Antarctic ice sheet mass loss has increased or decreased over the last 3 years.

Those still alive will see in another decade or two. Meanwhile, adding Hansen's latest mailing.
As yet the rate of freshwater injection onto the Southern Ocean may not have yet reached a level large enough to counter the loss of sea ice due to global warming, as judged from the large sea ice area reduction that has accompanied the warming of the past few years.

 Nevertheless, it is clear that amplifying feedbacks will produce increasingly rapid sea level rise if fossil fuel emissions and global temperatures continue to increase unabated. Even in the case of slowly changing paleoclimate forcings, ice sheet disintegration on a number of occasions achieved a rate that produced meter and multi-meter sea level rise in a century, confirming the existence and the potential large magnitude of amplifying feedbacks. Once the global warming effect on ice sheets is sufficient to strongly spur the amplifying feedbacks, we would expect the rate of mass loss by the ice sheets and the rate of sea level rise to grow nonlinearly, at a faster and faster rate.

 A capable means of assessing possible Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet mass loss became available with the first precise monitoring of Earth’s gravitational field from a satellite (Fig. 17). Early results from the gravity satellite showed shockingly rapid growth of the mass loss rates for both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, for Greenland through 2012 and for Antarctica through 2015 (Fig. 17). Doubling times for mass loss rates were only of the order of a decade for both Greenland and Antarctica. However, in Greenland in 2013 and Antarctica in 2016 the rapid growth of mass loss was interrupted by a negative feedback: increased precipitation (snowfall).

 Decreased summer melt and increased snowfall over Greenland were associated with a change of summer weather patterns. The 2012 summer was characterized by sunny weather and a steady stream of warm air streaming from the south over Greenland, but subsequent summers have had a high proportion of cloudy days with moist marine air. Increased snowfall over Antarctica in the past two years was associated with reduced sea ice in the adjacent Southern Ocean, which coincided with rapid global warming during that period. The magnitude of the sea ice loss may have been related to the coincident strong El Niño. On the longer run, it has been predicted that increasing ice discharge from Antarctica, especially in the Western Hemisphere from the Ross to Weddell seas, will tend to cause an increase of sea ice cover, altering the precipitation feedback (see Fig. 16).

The rest / Re: Unsorted
« on: December 14, 2018, 10:48:08 AM »
When you mentioned Carson in February I downloaded it, no library nearby.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: November 22, 2018, 06:02:17 AM »
During the Sangamon interglacial, rivers flowed north into the Arctic dumping organic material onto the shelves. At the start of the last glacial, ice dams formed, forcing the rivers to flow south. The sea level in the Arctic dropped exposing the shelves. The shelves remained exposed throughout the last glacial, and as the Holocene began, glacial meltwater turned the shelves first into a wetland, then with the rise of sea level, the shelves were submerged.

The permafrost that formed throughout the last glacial began to degrade even before the shelves were submerged as thermokarst lakes and rivers formed taliks. Much like is happening to terrestrial permafrost today.

Once submerged, the new warmer subsea environment, the salinity (think what happens when you put salt on a frozen doorstep), and geothermal flux from below, worked over the last 8,000 years to degrade the permafrost to the point that it now is pourous, and even totally gone in places, over an area of 2 million sq km.

Much of the methane hydrates that formed over the last 100,000 years since the Sangamon, dissociated, leaving a large reservoir of free methane gas under pressure, prevented from releasing only by the layer of permafrost which until now had acted as a cap.

Since the shelf is on average about 50 meters deep, any methane released does not interact with the water column, but releases directly to the atmosphere.

This is the end result of a geological process that has been going on for thousands of years and is a part of a natural cycle.

Over the last decade, the size of the areas releasing methane has increased and the amount being released has accelerated.

The release of just 1% of the available free methane on the shelf is enough to cause catastrophic warming.

Since there is no way to refreeze the degrading permafrost cap, the methane release is inevitable.  There is no way to shut it off.  And the methane will continue to release until there is no more left to release.   

Whoever is questioning the decades of observations and research conducted by Semiletov and Shakhova haven't got a clue.  Semiletov is the head of the far eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dozens of scientists have participated in this research.   

If you have research papers providing rebuttal to their work, post it.

Just saying "some people say" doesn't cut it around here.
Here, we present research papers and discuss them.         


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2018-2019 freezing season
« on: September 19, 2018, 03:34:20 PM »
In the freezer it goes, and I'll pull it out again once JAXA goes 25K above the preliminary minimum reached yesterday. Traditions are there to be respected.  ;)

Walking the walk / Well done but it's not over.
« on: September 08, 2018, 07:36:49 AM »
For my t-shirt hobby (it's far away from a business, I was looking for ideas to create a T-shirt about non violence.

I first arrived on the web site of the King Center that have an interesting glossary where I kept 2 key words :
  • Ahisma, which means more or less non violence (« a » for non and « hisma » for violence)
  • Satyagraha which is best defined by a quote “Satyagraha is literally holding on to Truth and it means, therefore, Truth-force. Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as soul-force.” M. K. Gandhi

When googling both words, I followed different links and had the feeling that in Gandhi’s concept, holding on to the truth seems more important than non violence. Non violence would be to be the way to act, but holding the truth is the corner stone that is required if non violence is to be used.

About satyagraha, I found 2 interesting links,

Here are some quotes

"Gandhi believed in the scientific method of:
  • accumulation and presentation of evidence;
  • review of the logical processes employed for arriving at a conclusion;
  • joint examination of these processes and evidence;
  • replaying that tape by which one has arrived at a conclusion so that one may detect the point where divergence commenced;
  • investigating whether the refusal to see evidence and logic is the result of ego-centric attitudes and perceptions and if it is found that this is what leads to intransigence, then
    divesting oneself of ego-based considerations that have only a limited place within the unalterable paradigm of interdependence that rules humanity;
  • reassuring the “adversary” that the effort is not to deny his needs and interests, while promoting introspection in the adversary through love and the readiness to suffer (voluntary suffering).

In spite of all these efforts on one’s part, one may not be able to dissolve intransigence on the other side. Such a situation where all efforts of persuasion seem to have failed would demand Direct Action."

"Nonviolent non-cooperation and Civil Disobedience can be effective only if operational conditions are controlled to prevent the outbreak of violence, and loss of control by the leadership of a struggle. Gandhi firmly believed that two antagonistic forces could not work to supplement each other. »

I just wanted to say that it looks like we are doing a good job, that it is important to go forward. I feel that always more people are aware that things have to change. I believe that we are right, that we have to hold to it and that, walking the walk, we are somehow doing a direct action to change the game. Let's continue.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: July 15, 2018, 11:47:14 AM »
Thanks Geron!

They also have a great 10 day ice concentration map that I like to keep tabs on.

Click image to play

Arctic sea ice / Re: How soon could we go ice free?
« on: June 18, 2018, 12:25:28 PM »
I think Figure 1 from Tietsche et al 2011 is important.

This shows two things - firstly, the general shape of the (modelled) decline in Arctic ice over the coming decades, and secondly the time taken to recover from extreme events such as the summers of 2007 and 2012.

For the latter, the conclusion is quite simple - the Arctic has a "memory" of about two years, and so any major excursion will bounce back to the long-term trendline within a couple of years.  They only modelled downward excursions, but my guess is that it holds the other way too - even if by chance we have a particularly good year for ice retention, it'll be gone in another couple of years.  The paper discusses the mechanisms for this, but fundamentally it's quite simple - if you have a massive loss of ice one autumn, that means a correspondingly massive extra heat loss in the following winter.  By the end of spring, first year ice has grown back. A low summer minimum has very little effect on the following maximum.  This is believable, and we've seen it after every major loss year for more than a decade now.

For the longer term decline, look at the shape of the curve.  Note how it's staggered and stepped.  This reflects the shape of the Arctic ice basin. There are shallow seas around the edge, and a deep central portion that covers about 5 million square km. So, as ice loss progresses, there's an initial period of rapid decline that plateaus at around 4.5 to 5 million until about 2020.  That's exactly where we are now, in that plateau, where the summer minimum roughly covers the deep parts of the Arctic Ocean but the peripheral seas melt out each summer. Subsequently, there's another period of rapid decline that plateaus again at 1.5-2 million.  This is the "remnant above Greenland" stage.  The final collapse comes after that.

The shape looks entirely plausible to me, all that we need to work out is the scaling on the X axis, and to be honest I'd be surprised if they're far off. Right now we're on the verge of the second period of decline - but it'll plateau again in another couple of decades, probably before hitting the "ice free" threshold of 1 million.

It may be we need to squash the X axis up by 10% or so to fit reality - someone with more time than I can probably make an overlay - but it's really not far off.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2018 sea ice area and extent data
« on: June 16, 2018, 05:51:27 AM »

June 15th, 2018: 10,236,731 km2, a drop of -81,224 km2.
2018 is the fifth lowest on record.

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