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Messages - 6roucho

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251
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« on: December 31, 2015, 11:14:05 AM »
Yes the heat is being pumped in, but that means more overall energy lost to space...  Energy radiated is proportional to temperature difference squared (or so, it could be ^4 atmospheric physics is complicated ), so the further form its normal - 20 or so, the more energy the world as a whole looses. 
Remember that without sunlight open water has perhaps a 400 w/m energy imbalance,  which is why most of the central Arctic basin freezes the moment the sun goes down.
Interesting. So El Niño as a form of radiating* mechanism has the potential to mitigate net warming?

* Is that the right word in this context?

NOPE.

El Niño weather reflects the sensible expression of heat which has already been (and continues to be) captured by the system. 

The heat we are seeing in the atmosphere is being replaced by insolation at the equator as fast as it is transferring to northern latitudes; it's just reflecting the increased baseline enthalpy present in the system.

Heat transfer between our environment and space will equalize, but, we have a ways to go before the total re-radiation of heat matches the net changes in forcing caused by increased CO2, H2O and CH4 (and others...) in the atmosphere. 

The heating is not uniform, there fore the distribution of heat in the system is not uniform, never was.  However, the net balance due to forcing is increasing the net enthalpy of the system, which makes it over all that more energetic.  More water vapor, more active movement of heat as it attempts to move from higher to lower gradients;  that will continue until we reach a better balance in the system overall.

But no, El Niño does not represent a means by which we can spill heat out of the system;  it is a means by which heat may be redistributed within it.

(yes, right word in context.)
Thanks, nice answer.

252
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« on: December 29, 2015, 06:38:52 AM »
Yes the heat is being pumped in, but that means more overall energy lost to space...  Energy radiated is proportional to temperature difference squared (or so, it could be ^4 atmospheric physics is complicated ), so the further form its normal - 20 or so, the more energy the world as a whole looses. 
Remember that without sunlight open water has perhaps a 400 w/m energy imbalance,  which is why most of the central Arctic basin freezes the moment the sun goes down.
Interesting. So El Niño as a form of radiating* mechanism has the potential to mitigate net warming?

* Is that the right word in this context?

253
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 31, 2015, 02:34:13 PM »
Killian, 6roucho,

Critical slowing is a decreasing recovery from perturbations and it is considered to be a useful indicator of approaching a 'phase transition' or 'bifurcation'. The problem here is that the idea of tipping points has become a common meme which is cast about with little understanding and little regards for physical reality, thus the casting around of the loose idea is likely to lead to incorrect expectation.

Could this oscillation be conceivably interpreted as critical slowing? Yes it could, it could be viewed as a reduction of ability to recover from perturbations (interannual variation of extent or thickness) leading to an oscillation in August extent loss. However would it be expected to have a four year period? I suspect not, I would expect a random periodicity, which with a sufficently large dataset (e.g. parallel runs in a model), might have similar frequency domain charateristics but not a regular cycle (e.g. 4 years in every run of the model).

To invoke the idea of critical slowing and to present this as an early warning of an abrupt transition one would need to establish the causal mechanism. I have already suggested a mechanism, one that does not lead to the conclusion of an imminent crash. If you view this as critical slowing in prelude to a rapid transition, what is the mechanism that you propose?
ChrisReynolds, I happily admit I know zilch about the physics of sea ice. My comment was merely an aside. I like to read what the experts here write about the Arctic.

Although it has to said that people in my industry make large bets with as little knowledge of the fundamentals of markets. Unfortunately.

254
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 31, 2015, 11:09:57 AM »
That looks an awful lot like the wobbles approaching a phase change in a non-linear and/or chaotic system.
It does. The classic three-spikes-and-you're-out rubric of statistical analysis.

255
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 29, 2015, 11:50:35 AM »
Good observation!  Once its is freed from earthly restraints, and since it has lost the structural integrity the cap had pre 2012 era, what else can the ice cap do, except obey the laws of physics?

Has anybody done the sums on what sort of rotation rate an ice cap extending from the Pole to say 85 degrees N would settle into due to Coriolis effects?  A unique situation in the known universe, I would think - a free-floating mass centred on a planet's axis of rotation. 

The ice mass is small compared with the planet (current annual average about 2E16 kg cf Earth 6E24 kg, I think), so there is unlikely to be much feedback from the ice movement into the planet's (in terms of conservation of momentum etc).
Certainly unique at that scale.

There isn't only the Coriolis effect, but centripetal acceleration to consider.

256
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 23, 2015, 10:12:54 PM »
This has been a very interesting melt season to me. The big story isn't the end of "the recovery," as I don't expect dead cats to bounce very high or for very long, even if the Daily Mail and the Torygraph do. Although June had a very low area/extent loss, plunging from first to eighth, it did grind up some of the thickest ice in the Beaufort sea as this animation from Sam Carana shows:

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/06/dramatic-sea-ice-decline-in-beaufort-sea-in-june-2015.html

I consider that to be the major event in the Arctic this year.

Now, as pointed out by Gonzo recently on this thread, there is much less thick ice north of Greenland and the CAA, even compared to 2012. So, whether the Arctic's "current account" ends up second or fifth, it's "deposit account" will be very low, due to the massacre of that four metre ice in the Beaufort Sea. With a huge El Nino, and likely heat bleed-off into the Arctic, this loss bodes ill for the 2016 and 2017  melt seasons. "The rebound that never was" can now join "the warming haitus that never was" in the Fantasy Museum of Global Warming Denial. That had better be built well above current sea levels, if it is to survive as a warning to future generations.
As a finance geek, that kind of talk makes me hot.

257
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 20, 2015, 02:29:07 PM »
... I doubt they are being used that way by anyone.
...  I don't think anyone is saying "Look, this chart shows red pixels in August, therefore the ice is in great shape and everything is fine." 

You really must read WUWT to get a better feel for the range of thinking that actually occurs in reality.
Nice ironic use of 'thinking', and 'reality'.
I believe he meant something like this: "some people think things so crazy one wouldn't believe". I think he meant that it's wrong to think few red pixels means ice is in great shape and all is fine, but in the same time he meant that quite some people may well think exactly so, perhaps some people who have certain cimilarities in their ways of thinking to ways of "thinking" often present at WUWT. I think there is nothing ironic in it.

I may be wrong.
It was me that was being ironic, by implying that what goes on at WUWT probably isn't thinking, and what they perceive probably isn't reality, and that was what cesium62 probably meant, when he probably didn't. It loses it's zing when explained like that. Alanis Morisette I'm not. :-[
Where's that red dot?

258
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 20, 2015, 10:36:34 AM »
... I doubt they are being used that way by anyone.
...  I don't think anyone is saying "Look, this chart shows red pixels in August, therefore the ice is in great shape and everything is fine." 

You really must read WUWT to get a better feel for the range of thinking that actually occurs in reality.
Nice ironic use of 'thinking', and 'reality'.

259
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 12, 2015, 05:06:23 PM »
Quote
F.Tnioli: As you may note, Wadhams' prediction remains at ~1M (0,98M, i read elsewhere)
Whoa. I put it at about same as 2012 or even less, but Wadhams sounds like someone on this forum (forget who) who says s/he always puts it at zero ice, because he knows he'll be right one day.
But if Wadhams is based on real measurements, maybe all those maps that are put out every day are just very vague approximations. Ie. give or take a million square kilometres or two.
Wadhams probably has a lot more funding than many of the others, so that in itself could make it a different kind of model - access to better technology? info. from submarines?.
I reckon that Wadhams, the professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, at the University of Cambridge, leader of 40 polar field expeditions, and holder of the Polar Medal, probably outranks that poster. Of course that doesn't mean he's right, this year. Appeals to authority are only worth as much as the post hoc confirmation they're written on.

260
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 12, 2015, 10:38:37 AM »
Thanks, I'm just a newbie here as well really and ask similar types of questions.
slow, you undoubtedly qualify as a poster of valuable scientific information now.

261
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 08, 2015, 10:28:18 AM »
Maypole dancers is a cute analogy. Clockwise dancers move towards the east. Anticlockwise dancers move toward the west. None are in the east or west, other than by an arbitrary convention.

262
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 03, 2015, 09:42:13 AM »
Guys, I find the unadorned use of "bad" and "good" as descriptors of melt conditions to be quite confusing, especially since they're used oppositely by different people.

Apologies. I am a (rational) optimist. I hope people use 'good' to mean ice retention. If you don't then it might imply you have spent to long arguing with climate change deniers!
I was asking for a clarification about definitions, not expressing an opinion either way. You said that you'd appreciate any criticism of your posts. Defining terms is the foundation of any scientific discussion. I simply didn't know what your posts meant.

263
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: August 02, 2015, 05:22:38 PM »
Guys, I find the unadorned use of "bad" and "good" as descriptors of melt conditions to be quite confusing, especially since they're used oppositely by different people.

264
seaicesailor, isn't it somewhat restrictive to restrict input to people with a very solid knowledge of the matter? One of the great benefits of these forums is the opportunity for scientists and science enthusiasts from many disciplines to argue and learn. As long as the discussion remains on-topic and scientific then I'm sure that'd be fine with the admins.

265
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 31, 2015, 10:03:40 AM »

Actually it is a great disperser for the ice by virtue of Coriolis (if he put the name to the force rightfully)
Rightfully in the northern hemisphere. Leftfully in the south.

266
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 28, 2015, 06:08:41 PM »
Quote
Groucho
The time for waking up was perhaps twenty years ago.

Yes.
This is from a long article I wrote for the group 'Students for Alternatives to Genetic Engineering' in about 1996, for the Home page of the website we created back then. The article was about GMOs but also had a section called "More Pollution" and touched on the dangers.

"Scientific advancement is a powerful tool with many benefits, however, science shows us that the more powerful a technology is, the more caution needs to be exercised in its usage...
The 20th century provides ample evidence worldwide that the current education system is seriously lacking something fundamental and universal. The serious problems facing humanity today are the result of partial knowledge, and fragmented development in education. Thus, scientists have repeatedly created technologies which are detrimental to health and the environment, and society has administered their destructive force indiscriminately. Genetic engineering is another in the list of dangerous technologies that result from the ongoing tradition of partial knowledge in our educational institutions."
-- S.A.G.E. website 1996.
(SAGE website was followed by journalists and others, because we updated with most recent scientific research very effectively every week or so, some of those journalists got the US National Award for Ethical Journalism, and e-mailed me at one point to praise our site, but SAGE is now defunct because no-one listened and we ran out of steam.)

I had letters read out on national UK BBC radio in the 1980s, in which I talked about alternative technology and dangers of nuclear power (that was before Chernobyl and Fukushima.)

I designed kinetic sculptures in the early 1980s that would have used wind and solar power, and some would have followed the sun, moon around the sky, and close up at night etc., and other ways to indicate the symbiotic nature of man and environment. It was too expensive, and I went off on a different artistic track anyway, which from then, until now, has been more like a homage to the nature we are loosing, and a sort of prayer of gratitude in a way, to Earth and the Universe, rather than some of the political/activist messages that may have creeped into my art when I was younger. You can see some of that later art here. I still have tons more to upload yet ----> http://www.satwagraphics.com/painting1.html

I also stood as a candidate for UK MP in the 1990s, for a political party that promoted sustainable living and alternative technology.

I worked on sustainable buildings many times, in fact helped to build aspects of this eco-village in the early 2000s when it was still mostly just a field (started by a good friend of mine.)
Abundance EcoVillage (it is now more advanced than the pictures here, which are old, and the village is bigger now.)
---> http://www.abundance-ecovillage.com/
My friend, Lonnie Gamble, who started the eco-village, then helped with the development of the largest completely off-the-grid building on any university campus in the world, about a mile from Abundance EcoVillage. The building has classrooms, offices, bathrooms, everything, and has zero emissions, with all waste water, etc. re-cycled, purified for plants, washing, and other usages, permaculture and food growing all around it, all construction materials and wood from sustainable sources, and even generates extra electricity for the campus. (The campus has the largest Sustainable Living degree, student body in the world.)
It is the most advanced building in the world --->

Many have moved ahead, to what we call deep ecology now, because nobody listened to us back in the 80s and 90s, in fact we were widely ridiculed, and I doubt they will listen now.

Yes, it is probably too late for the Arctic, and, according to scientists, that will affect the whole world.

The only solutions now are a form of 'deep ecology' that we have been proposing for decades now.
Fascinating stuff Tommy, although I fear I've dragged both of us off topic. I had similar experiences as a Green Party activist in the UK in the 90s, trying to convince party members that climate change was a more crucial issue than nuclear disarmament. I think we should be very alarmed. We're conducting an experiment with the production copy of our environment, under the control of random commercial and political interests. Interesting times.

267
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 28, 2015, 09:31:32 AM »
Scientists these days are displaying thinly disguised alarm.
We can avoid the worst of the coming changes if people wake up.
Can we really? There's nothing we can do to save the Arctic sea ice, which may mean that there's nothing we can do to prevent catastrophic climate change. The Arctic is one of the major systems contributing to global climate and weather. It's in the process of changing in a binary way from an icy to an ice-free state. The time for waking up was perhaps twenty years ago.

268
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 27, 2015, 09:02:36 AM »
I think "cap" (Ice, polar, etc)  came about as an analogy for something covering the top of a head.  Much like the ice covers the top (I know, Northern Hemisphere bias) of the world.
From the Latin caput. Which is appropriate.

269
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 21, 2015, 04:43:35 PM »
Neven, I think the point might be that the models don't know that.

The point is that people shouldn't refer to models that are clearly having problems and then say that 2015 is in a much worse state than 2012, for example.

All this talk reminds me about that story about the neocons who wanted the US to spend more money on defense towards the end of the Cold War. They ordered the CIA to spy on the Russians, but the CIA came back and said that the Soviet Union was about to collapse and didn't have money to maintain their arsenal, let alone build new weapons. The neocons then said: Aha, their weapon technology must be so advanced that we can't see it!

It's bad enough as it is, especially if the rebound gets wiped out. I'd rather focus on that than on some imminent catastrophe. I'm not saying a catastrophe isn't imminent, but this isn't the year.
With all due respect, I don't think we really understand the science of the ice at the moment.

I personally have no opinion about the qualty of the broken models you're referring to (I certainly wasn't referring to them) but some people will make low predictions for perfectly rational reasons. Denigrating those  opinions because of the prediction of models that aren't broken isn't necessarily scientific. My point is that all models are broken in these situations. Get used to it.

Discounting them because of physics is of course another matter, as long as you're right.  :)

I speak from bitter experience as a model developer.

270
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 21, 2015, 12:31:34 PM »
Or could it be that the models are working fine but the 'ice' just doesn't have the mass we're used to, slush, crusty snow, rotten ice call it what you will.

How do the models know that? Do they have some parameter for ice quality or mass?

Look, 2012 was followed by two cold rebound years. The amount of multi-year ice increased, and so did volume most probably. This melting season started out slow, despite warmer conditions than in 2013 and 2014. How can the ice possibly be super weak and on the verge of collapse?

If, and that's a very big if, if these weather conditions persist, and there's a massive amount of compaction in August, extent/area could go lower than 2007/2011.

But the models are now saying the party is over in 5-6 days from now, with the high pressure shifting to Siberia, and lows taking over on the Canadian/Alaskan side.

And so the short-term question for this melting season is: What will happen when weather conditions change? Will the melting come to a standstill, or has enough melting momentum been built up in the past few weeks for this rate to continue a while longer?

And the long-term question for this melting season is: What happens to the rebound in MYI and volume? Will it be conserved or wiped out?

That's the key question, and has been from the start of the melting season (see my winter analysis on the ASIB).
Neven, I think the point might be that the models don't know that. As the state of the physical system changes (before our eyes) the variables required to successully model the system change.

I have to admit that I know zip about climate science. But models of markets have similar difficulties with rapid change.

271
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 21, 2015, 06:30:20 AM »
Some people are throwing the "impossible" word around a little too freely.  Something can be very difficult...and very unlikely to happen....but not be impossible.

Getting down to 1 million is VERY...VERY....unlikely.  But it is NOT impossible.
I think unlikely is perhaps the correct term. That kind of dramatic discontinuity does happen when systems change state. It could happen one year soon, from a base not much lower than this, and everyone will remark upon how drattedly discontinuous it was, and on how no one could have predicted it. But it will probably happen during more "perfect" conditions than now, when the weak ice is attacked not only by heat but other elements of weather. What is very, very unlikely is that models will predict it happening that year.

272
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 08, 2015, 04:23:54 PM »
...
Now this year will likely spend the next few weeks with a dipole/major ridging.
This reminds me weather forecasts during July/August 2010 in central Russia. Moscovites were told week after week, - for some 5 or 6 weeks in a row, - that "it is likely" the high pressure would go away in just couple days, and that "it is likely" those peat fires will ease up, and that "it is likely" extraordinary heat can't last any much more.

Guess what, it did.

What i mean is this: well, how do you _know_ next few weeks will be major ridging? It's rhetorical, of course. Besides, it'd be sure interesting to see Arctic frying up for months on end. Western Europe got its summer cooking in 2003, Russia in 2010, dozens thousands people killed in both cases, and to be honest, i don't doubt "if" similar thing - in terms of persistent temperature and pressure anomalies - would happen in Arctic; i only doubt "when". May be "now"? Why not. Long over-due, imho.
Probability isn't rhetorical, except for a few French philosophers.

273
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 05, 2015, 01:20:31 PM »
Thanks to a heads up from Chris over on the blog here's my take on the current situation, complete with video presentations by both David Barber and Peter Wadhams:

Is Time Running Out for Arctic Sea Ice?

Yes is the answer, and quite quickly. According to Prof. Wadhams at least.
As a mathematician, I find it relatively easy to credit Wadham's prediction (although I haven't seen his data). A physical scientist might argue that there's no good reason to predict that behavior based on previous measurements of the system. A mathematician might reply that that's the point. The final melt of the ice is quite likely to be predicted by an outlier like Wadham's.

No. A physical scientist would say there is no good reason based on observational data and physics.
Chris, I'm not sure we understand the current ice state well. Perhaps (perhaps!) we understand the equations. But it doesn't seem obvious that we understand the data. I can't help but feel skeptical of predictions of complex systems on the edge of change. Of course that works both ways. Evidence of discontinuities in similar systems in the past is no evidence that Wadham is right. Only that his arguments might be plausible.

274
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015 melting season
« on: July 05, 2015, 09:01:50 AM »
Thanks to a heads up from Chris over on the blog here's my take on the current situation, complete with video presentations by both David Barber and Peter Wadhams:

Is Time Running Out for Arctic Sea Ice?

Yes is the answer, and quite quickly. According to Prof. Wadhams at least.
As a mathematician, I find it relatively easy to credit Wadham's prediction (although I haven't seen his data). A physical scientist might argue that there's no good reason to predict that behavior based on previous measurements of the system. A mathematician might reply that that's the point. The final melt of the ice is quite likely to be predicted by an outlier like Wadham's.

275
Arctic sea ice / Re: Is the Arctic being geoengineered (in secret)?
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:44:43 AM »
My takeaway from this excursion is that arctic is being geo-engineered, but not in secret. I'll use that elsewhere, thanks everyone.

But more seriously, geo-engineering may happen in the future and us civilians may not be given a voice in the matter. How we'll know is both an interesting science and philosophy question. Initially there'll be a period of observational bafflement. Then some arguments about the nature of conspiracy theories. Then it'll really be the long night of the tinfoil.

Interesting times for our children.

The fact that you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

276
Arctic sea ice / Re: Is the Arctic being geoengineered (in secret)?
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:34:56 AM »
you realize that he is a plant, probably, trying to disrupt discussion and cast a doubtful light on the quality of the forum's discussions.   

The Anagram "tinfoil" gave it away.  Such an obvious con.

A meta-conspiracy theory.  ;D

277
Arctic sea ice / Re: Is the Arctic being geoengineered (in secret)?
« on: August 14, 2014, 05:05:46 PM »
I think it's quite likely that an unpublicized geoengineering project would initially play out quite like current situation, with head scratching and remarked discontinuities compared to previous model predictions.

Not that that's an argument for secretive geoengineering: however I think that strenuous assurances that it "isn't" happening are like strenuous assurances of atheism: highly likely to be correct, but epistemologically presumptious.

Occam's razor is what tells us it probably isn't happening.

The engineering skeptic in me says that the first real evidence we'd have for a successful systemic intervention would be the disastrous, unintended consequences.

278
Arctic sea ice / Re: Is the Arctic being geoengineered (in secret)?
« on: August 14, 2014, 03:04:35 PM »
Imagine the carnage on here if you're right!

I also have doubts about clandestine geoengineering.  Yet some action to counter AGW, however panicked and flailing, is pretty much an eventuality.  Political will is lacking to pay for a true solution, such as finding alternatives to burning fossil fuels.  (Wouldn't it be prudent to keep some in reserve for our descendants to use at the next Milankovitch minimum?)  Inaction will soon be unacceptable - maybe only a few Sandy-scale storms away, whether or not they're firmly linked to climate change.  Geoengineering will be seen as the quick-and-dirty fix, and the Arctic is an obvious target.  It's where the greatest amplification is occurring, and the best earth-scale mechanism for seasonal thermal lag.

There's definitely an apocalyptic future story in there. Governments regularly make huge plays on high-risk outcomes, for far less good reasons than science. Electoral advantage is often sufficient motivation. A forum like this might be where such a move is discovered, by people taking a sideways look at the data.

279
Arctic sea ice / Re: Is the Arctic being geoengineered (in secret)?
« on: August 14, 2014, 02:25:04 PM »
F.Tnioli, don't go. I'm one of the people who disagrees with your hypothesis, but everything should be discussed. Ignore the brickbats. Stay and fight the good fight. It's a fun topic and it has the potential to draw out some serious discussion. Imagine the carnage on here if you're right!

280
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: August 08, 2014, 03:29:37 PM »
...  It's basically overlying the 2009 track for the last couple of weeks, and is if anything lower than the historical average melt rate for the time of year.

I mean that last sentence absolutely literally.

Melt over the last week was -376335 km^2.  Average for the 2000s is -508913 km^2.  Average for the 90s is -455647   km^2.  Average for the 80s is -501229 km^2.

That's not a cherry picked date either.  Whether I look at the last day, the last three days, the last week, the last ten days or the last fortnight, or any value in between, the current rate of loss of Arctic sea ice is lower than the 2000s average, lower than the 1990s average, and lower than the 1980s average.

...
This is a very important observation, but not in a way most collegues would initially suggest.

I ask everyone here: how, exactly, do we have much-slower-than-ever-recorded melt, given the fact of general warming in the Arctic and within subpolar areas of northern Hemisphere during last 3+ decades?

I mean it. We know Arctic is MUCH warmer than it was 30 years ago, in general. We clearly see - until last two years, - accelerating summer melt (the trend of increasing difference between any year's maximum and minimum Arctic ice coverage). We clearly see trends of decreasing maximum and minimum extents during 1990s and 2000s. It doesn't take an Einstein to say: yep, it's getting warmer, in general.

2013 had its "if"s and "but"s, but not everything was explainable with those. Now, even with a big (or is it "huge"?) area of high pressure right over Arctic, we see record-low melts.

Why?

I have no way to prove it, but i have my reasons to suspect (such as certain parts of some discussions which i - nor any person of "general public" - was not meant to see) that man-made cooling of Arctic - in fact, geo-engineering project, - has started in the Arctic in 2013. I had this suspicion in 2013, when rather unprecedented halt of Arctic ice area decrease happened for some 10+ days during early August 2013. Current events are but one more reason to suspect that such a project not only have started in 2013, but continues to be implemented right now.

If my suspicion is correct - i.e. if such a project is indeed being implemented inthe Arctic, - then there are cons and pros to it. Good thing, obviously, is that Arctic ice will continue its recovery (assuming the project will be as efficient as it is so far). It's awesomely great news for all of us, since consequences of losing practically all summer sea ice in the Arctic are no less than catastrophic for the climate of Earth (and consequently, for human agriculture, safety from "natural" disasters, sea level rise (Greenland melt would be massively affected), global warming itself (including methane clathrates problem, "no more heatsink in the Arctic" problem), etc. In the same time, it's bad news in that 1) mankind becomes dependant on ongoing (and inevitably intensifying) geoengineering project in the Arctic, and there is no certainty such a project could continue for any given length of time; 2) Arctic sea ice complete summer loss prevented, this gives a big-time argument to deiers, and big-time "go for it" to fossil fuel companies, resulting in worse-than-otherwise-expected pollution levels (all sorts related, from CO2 to oil spills); 3) such a geo-engineering project will possibly have unforeseen side effects, and nobody can know for sure how destructive such side-effects may be.

All this is not even a hypothesis - rather, it's just a thought, nothing more. But i am curious to know what you people would say about this. Especially in the way of "ok, if we'd suppose, just for a moment, that such geo-engineering project ("cooling") in the Arctic started some time in 2013 and goes on right now, affecting this year's melt season, then this allows to explain this-and-this-and-this, but this contradicts that-and-that-and-that".

So please, tell me.

Alternatively, these could simply be strong perturbations in a system on the edge of chaos, preparatory to a change to a new stable state. We can fail to explain these perturbations, or associate them with known physical factors, because the relationship between the system and its physical drivers is changing in a way we currently have no measurements for. Personally, I wouldn't be taking bets against any year in the next decade resulting in a substantially ice-free Arctic.

281
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: August 08, 2014, 09:47:56 AM »
I keep seeing "standard deviation" being invoked as an occult incantation rather than anything vaguely related to the scientific method. The term is meaningless unless there is a statistically significant baseline against which to measure the next sample.

One might just as well measure the position of a bullet before and after the gun has been fired, and conclude that the chances of it hitting the target are infinitesimal, since it would require an 11.3 SD change in velocity, measured in furlongs per fortnight.

The Arctic sea ice anomaly baseline is statistically significant.

282
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: August 08, 2014, 09:07:27 AM »
Exponential trends can be relatively volatile when recent outliers are absorbed by the linear trend.

283
Permafrost / Re: Major Arctic Methane Research - SWERUS-C3
« on: August 04, 2014, 05:34:48 PM »
Somewhat more forceful icebreaking a few years ago, also from the Oden's perspective:



The 50 let Pobedy went to the North Pole a couple of days ago.

I've been on her sister ship the Yamal in rather more forceful icebreaking circumstances than that!

284
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: August 03, 2014, 06:03:18 AM »
The very fact that the models seem so often wrong (not just this year) says something important, imho. Are these not the same models that are used to predict long-term outcomes?
No.  They're weather models, not climate models.  As with pretty much any weather model anywhere in the world, you can't really believe much of what they say beyond ~5 days or so - as you'll be familiar with from your own local weather reports.  They're a bit worse for the Arctic than for temperate latitudes, but the central issue is that weather is _not_ predictable more than a few days in advance.  Chaos theory and all that.
Forgive my ignorance, but why is this so different from our inability to predict what will happen in say 20, 50, or 100 years?

Weather models  predict the evolution of the atmosphere, given information about its initial state. (In predictability theory this is called predictability of the first kind.) This is primarily an initial value problem, and is mainly dependent on detailed observations. Climate models predict the evolution of the statistical properties of the climate system in response to changes in external forcings over time. (This is called predictability of the second kind.) It is essentially a boundary value problem, and is more dependent on the modeling of the factors influencing the system.

285
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 27, 2014, 01:33:23 PM »
Ignoring *any* information is foolhardy and unscientific.  Synthesizing and weighting information is - at times - as much an art as it is science.  At least when we're in situations where there is a large uncertainty in the outcome (based on the best science).  Obviously arctic weather and sea-ice loss fall into the large uncertainty area.

Well said, and robust argument is one way to synthesize information. Unfortunately science people often lack social negotiating skills.

As the last two posts appear to be pointed my way I'll explicitly point out no one is suggesting you should ignore long or middle range forecasts, they point to possibilities and when the ensemble predictions start to line up that way it's a reasonable indicator of what may occur but that caveat is important.

I don't dislike Frivs posts, I'd just prefer less emotive language and more descriptive language to be used. *shrug* I don't see how that should be a contentious position.

His posting of model forecasts does adds more information to the thread.

No siffy, I didn't mean you. :-) We're all about equally robust in our opinions and in varying degrees as quick to take umbrage at a wide range of wrongness. It's probably a good thing.

286
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 27, 2014, 01:17:08 PM »
Ignoring *any* information is foolhardy and unscientific.  Synthesizing and weighting information is - at times - as much an art as it is science.  At least when we're in situations where there is a large uncertainty in the outcome (based on the best science).  Obviously arctic weather and sea-ice loss fall into the large uncertainty area.

Well said, and robust argument is one way to synthesize information. Unfortunately science people often lack social negotiating skills.

287
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 27, 2014, 10:44:45 AM »
We have to be governed by the actual data, not by the most pessimistic interpretation of the longest-range forecast we can find.
So you think Friv is overreaching by looking at 5 to 10 day forecasts, but you're willing to predict where we'll be in the middle of September based on where we are now?

I think that Peter is arguing that the state of the ice is better data (or at least less chaotic data) than 5-10 day weather forecasts. I guess the problem is that may longer be true. It's a feature of systems on the edge of change that physical correlations based on past data become less reliable. It's quite likely that in the season (or some number of seasons before) the ice substantially melts out that predictions based on previously predictive variables will become unreliable, and new predictive variables will emerge. That seems to be happening now.

288
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:43:47 PM »
Not proposing - stating. Yes, i am. No, not "dark forces", - there is no definite ethical evaluation possible; dumbing down of "average Joe" has its benefits in terms of survival of human and non-human species, - benefits and drawbacks too, of course.

Interesting thesis. I have to say this never occurred to me before.

289
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 22, 2014, 09:37:34 AM »
Different. Tobacco is against the system now. Tobacco is a mild brain stimulator, it helps to think more and better (if you didn't know that, well, dig into relevant papers). Nowadays, the system doesn't want "peasants" to think. If not for large fraction of people being smokers and tobacco lobbies, it would already be illegal and criminal offense.

F.Tnioli, are you proposing that measures against tobacco are the result of dark forces in society seeking to reduce the computational power of individuals, and not a medical response to its physical toxicity? Or am I being whooshed?

290
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: July 10, 2014, 10:17:51 AM »
As a statistician (in an unrelated field) it's very interesting watching subject matter experts grapple empirically with a system on the cusp of change. My maths head tells me that when that change comes it will be quite unpredictable from the current data except on very short timescales, and will occur with shocking rapidity. Then we'll try to piece the causal event together. Of course nothing will piece the poor entropic ice pack together.

291
Speaking as a statistician, I don't think anyone should be beating themselves up about reasonable estimates based on the trend.

Clearly, people with a tendency to guess low are more likely to be right in low years. That doesn't mean they're generally right: it simply means the variables suited their tendencies this time.

What we could beat ourselves up about is misunderstanding the nature of the trend.

Have we done that. Who knows? These are unusual times.

292
Consequences / Re: Melting Arctic an "economic time bomb"
« on: August 17, 2013, 01:03:32 PM »
wili, I share your anguish. The problem of the marketing of science is often an impediment to doing science. But we are where we are. Policymakers, with all their illogic, are crucial now. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

293
Consequences / Re: Melting Arctic an "economic time bomb"
« on: August 17, 2013, 05:34:16 AM »
Why mustn't it be a headline in the media?
Because to convince people to change their society we need to keep a credible message.

One that is sober and based on the best science, not some wild speculation fed into an economic model to generate headlines for the authors.

The names lining up against this report are the names of well established credible voices for climate science.

Wild speculation fed into a glorified version of Sim City is not the most sober or defensible bit of science to be in the headlines.

This is true. Humans are drawn towards simplifying probabilities, and in the case of low probability events, no matter how severe the potential outcomes (indeed, especially if the potential outcomes are severe) this can lead to popular misunderstandings and thus distortions of the real mitigation actions that need to occur. Unfortunately there are already decision makers dismissing methane release as bad science, simply because alarmist reporting has made it an easy target, and this forms part of the general rhetoric against the idea of climate change.

294
Consequences / Re: The Third Carbon Age
« on: August 10, 2013, 05:23:35 PM »
I have a different view to Klare.

I work as a risk analyst in the energy business. I was once an energy quant in investment banking, and now I have my own business producing software to analyse investment risk.

The relationship between renewable and fossil fuels, and therefore in effect the relationship between high and low carbon energy sources, is driven almost entirely by the market. No matter how well-meaning the intentions of policy makers, the only real effect they can have on what type of energy source is used depends on the price.

Most of the conservationist (as opposed to conservative!) actions of lawmakers are therefore aimed at changing the price, and they have been more or less successful. For example, the Australian carbon tax has had a substantial effect on the mix of investment in the Australian energy market, simply because it has changed the price.

Sadly, the policies of lawmakers come and go. In Australia a conservative government may soon be elected who will undo this good work.

But all is far from lost. The long-term prognosis for the cost of energy produced from renewable sources is excellent. For example, the cost of electricity generated from solar and wind is already at 5c per kw/h in the United States, and if projections are to believed, they will fall to 1c per kw/h over the next 50 years.

This isn't driven by policy, or politics, but the cost of technology. Fuel from the sky or the wind is inherently cheap, because we don't have to pay for it or ship it to plants.

Never forget, the energy from the sun is free. All we need is the technology. And we have the technology now. So don't despair: oil companies may be a potent bogeyman, but the market is a category 5 hurricane that will blow them away.

295
Tor, just when you think this thread couldn't possibly get more informative, it delivers.  :)

296
Saying HYCOM is crap shows total ignorance. It is a wonderful tool with extraordinary ideas and hard work to give closure to uncertain terms of the governing equations, based on solid physics, assimilate (imperfect) observations, and propagate solutions using sophisticated methods to solve the resulting integro-differential equations. It is imperfect, in some cases yielding very good qualitative results but with poorer quantitative performance, the opposite for different conditions. As an example people wisely note that the tool predicted the genesis of the arctic bight when many doubted the thing would realize. But a better proof of its usefulness as a prediction tool is people here: the tool is cited here tens of times per day. Not much more out there to show trends in ice evolution accurately.

Less frivolity and more respect please. And that also goes for the satellite-based products. It fills one satisfaction to see these products well used by bloggers and posters but pay respect for the people behind these titanic efforts. Thx, a humble lurker/contributor

Although hopefully not so Titanic as to be sunk by ice.  ;)

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