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Messages - F.Tnioli

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701
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: May 05, 2014, 03:26:17 PM »
...
The important thing at this time of year is how thick or thin is the ice in the heart of the Arctic. ...
Yes, this. Plus also (at least to some extent) what happens with snow cover in the NH.

Few pages ago some neat cryosphere + photoshop false colors pictures of snowcover were presented. I join others saying my thanks to the author of those. I think, an occasional update of those (similar pictures comparing 2014 and 2012 same-date snow cover, and also 2014 and 2013 as well) now and then - would be bery interesting to see. And yes, removing ice (last version) makes it even better. //thumb_up

702
The rest / Re: Russian Logic
« on: April 22, 2014, 04:15:19 PM »
Jokes aside, ancient greeks were, as far as i can tell, much like any other people in history: lots of not-so-bright folks (vast majority), and very few brilliant thinkers. Two things influence modern public-opinion about ancient greeks: 1st, the huge gain in human knowledge their culture produced, and 2nd - huge amount of time between us and them. The former is why we still give a nod to great many things of ancient-greek designs; the latter is why we don't have a clue about huge number of nonsense and crap ancient greeks produced: with time, only most correct and most important things remained in the memory of subsequent human cultures, since all the crap does not interest people (except very few historians, if any at all).

I imagine, should some ancient greeks be put among us today, - we'd find nearly all of them NOT loving modern IT. Very few of them - 1 in 1000 may be? - would love modern IT, but this could hardly qualify for "ancient greeks loving IT", you know. Much like any nations today have their own geeks and bigheads, you know.

But i get what you talk about. Those few ancient greeks whos names some few of us still know today, - would love the thing. Sure, many of them would, yes. Because, above all, it allows to test whether any statement is correct or not, - unless one takes a bug to be a feature, of course, but then, proper debugging is one more awesome thing to get busy with. They'd love both. :D :D

P.S. Ah, so that xor code originally operates non-boolean values and it is assumed that initial values of A and B are NOT the exactly same, eh? Yep, then it's completely different story. Probably it is some code which is being executed in a separate device - perhaps a missile warheads? - which ahs very, very limited RAM, and thus, every real-type or even every integer-type variable - is very valuable. Makes sense. I'd do a badge, not a slap, but then, i'm just an amateur in terms of coding. Or rather, _was_ one, even. %)

703
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:04:48 PM »
Jentlemen,

few posts above, it was mentioned that significant (to say the least) amounts of sunlight will be absorbed by dark open waters where usually there is ice (by this time of the year). This, though, is not all.

In everyday terms, one part ice at 0 °C will cool almost exactly 4 parts water at 20 °C to 0 °C. (some numbers about it - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_of_fusion#Applications ).

The opposite is also correct: heating 4 parts of water from 0 to 20 °C - would be prevented, if there was 1 part of ice in that water at the start.

Which, regarding mentioned above regions, is not the case anymore: those regions on photos above - open water have no surface ice, and it seems quite like a glass with dark bottom and without ice cubes, and then that glass is put into the sun. I mean, this is about much faster local temperature rise, since there are no "ice cubes" (in those locations) to halt the temperature rise (driven by sunlight).

This will definitely alter athmospheric events in Arctic significantly (short-term), among other things. I'd expect an increase of number but reduction in average size of athmospheric events in Arctic, as such conditions (more "glasses without ice cubes") develop significantly during last decade. I wonder if such a trend could already be noticed during last ~10 years. Myself, i don't have reliable relevant data to answer this.

near-surface warm water currents are obviously another thing. Good oprtion of that heat which "was expected to melt ice _here_, but since there was no ice _here_ this year - this heat was spent to warm up water _here_ instead" - good oprtion of this heat will be transferred by water currents to nearby location and it'll "meet" some ice some time later, and will melt part of it. Thing is, _that_ ice _there_ - has its own melting forces ("traditional" ones), so it'll melt faster - whole thing feeds on itself, the less ice is there, the more warm water "attacks" it from more and more directions, more and more often. Important thing is, this will get extra heat into cloudy places and effect things there - unlike albedo positive feedback, which is very dependant on (absense of) the cloud cover.

704
The rest / Re: Russian Logic
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:42:24 AM »
just to remind you: If this is about logic, than things like A, !A, B, ... are "statements". And the "values" such statements may have are "true" or "false" and not an animal or such things like a set - that would be set theory, which is part of mathematics. And A or B are not variables like they are used in enginnering like programming languages.

So - if statement A ist true, then statement !A is false. If true is equal to false then you end up with such ancient Greek things...
Oh, i got bad news for you, SATire.

1st, this is about logic, but things like A, !A, B, ... - may be anything. Not just statements. It depends on context. If we'd _logically_ discuss semantics or something like that - then A, !A, B, ... could possibly be symbols, and not statements, for example.

2nd, logic doesn't have to be boolean - it may be, or it may not be, depends on what kind of logic is used by people who discuss the subject. For example, if we'd have mr. Sherlock Holmes here, for some strange reason being interested and posting about our subject, - i bet he'd use his deductive methods left and right; those methods incude operations with values other than "true" and "false", so it ain't boolean thing - and yet, it's logic alright.

3rd, logic itself - tadaaa! - is an ancient Greek thing. No, seriously - check it out, - it surely is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic . So you see, if ancient greeks are folks who have made the whole thing (logic itself), - then who are we to argue if ancient greeks also say that true is equal to false? :D :D

Just jokin'. ^^

705
The rest / Re: Russian Logic
« on: April 18, 2014, 10:32:38 AM »
A = A xor B;
B = A xor B;
A = A xor B;

What a nice piece.

I assume A and B are both boolean. Then, it seems to me this code changes both A and B to opposite values if A != B initially, and does not produce any lasting change if A = B initially.

However, there is one little fine detail. In case A = B = false initially, this code does not change anything at all, HOWEVER, if A = B = true initially, then this code changes A to false in its 1st line, and then changes it bck to true in its 3rd line. End result is the same, yes, BUT, if any other process or subsystem monitors A, especially if A has a timestamp for "last changed" for it, - then cases "A=B=false" and "A=B=true" - will lead to different outcomes (somewhere outside of this particular block of code, of course). Thus, this code may still have a sense, i guess.

Those folks in aviation industries get all sorts of weird stuff workin'. Hehe. :D

706
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 17, 2014, 04:09:16 PM »
I can see it was made 06:29:11 . Is the sun still below horizon on this pic? If yes, can you please give a pic on which sun is well above horizon (if or when such a picture would be available)? Thanks, and another thanks - forward. :)

707
The rest / Re: Russian Logic
« on: April 17, 2014, 03:52:58 PM »
I bet you do, sir.

To remind, the whole gig started when someone said: "precise is an imprecise term". I merely developed this phraze to illustrate that IF and WHEN precise is NOT precise, - then term "imprecise" itself loses its usual meaning as well.

Also, IRT RaenorShine: oh, here we go, the KEY doubt. I knew it'd get to it. See, some people think that "not A" - is "anything" except "A"; others (incluing quite many scientists, especially mathematicians, engineers and programmers) - think that "not A" - is "everything" except "A". I am one of the latter bunch.

And i have this to say to the former bunch: the term "contains" has its own, well known, mathematical equivalent (operand), and it's not "!" (i.e., it's other than negation operation). The symbol is: ∋ (or ∈, depends on which side of the equation which thing is). Funny thing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mathematical_symbols does mention set theory in the details about this symbol.

It's probably the same symbol you've used in your post, RaenorShine. If so, then i completely agree with your post, and am (and, was - above!) just saying the same thing. :)

So, whenever you use word "contains", you gotta use this symbol, indeed - because it's different. Of course, there is a relation between "!" and "∋" - namely, the former is just one of (potentially infinite) possible sets expressed purely with the help of the latter. But still, to me, those are two mighty different logics, and i guess, the main reason i deny the use of "!" in the "anything except" sense (and advocate the "everything except" sense) - is because "anything except" one lacks definity. It's a loose thing. Allows for (potentially infinite) number of solutions, and potentially infinite amount of anything, - is not a thing human mind can easily operate with. I prefer single solutions, and precise logics.

Only then precise is precise, and not imprecise. :D :D

708
The rest / Re: Russian Logic
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:19:15 AM »
Does !A = !A ?

Let's suppose that A is my dog, Rosie, she's a little Jack Russel terrier
So A = (Jack Russel terrier)
!A = !(Jack Russel terrier)
So !A = (bottle of beer)
and !A = (bicycle)

Does (bottle of beer) = (bicycle) ?
No
So !A <> !A

Geez, guys, we got a topic for this! Wow. ^^

To the matter! :)

!A = !A usually, like i said. It does not require any proof. The only case when !A <> !A - is when we _postulate_ that A <> A. Ok?

However, the proof you give, - is incorrect. I'll put every line of your proof and then i'll show how and why there is an error there.

So A = (Jack Russel terrier) // this is OK
!A = !(Jack Russel terrier) // this is OK
So !A = (bottle of beer) // this is an error, because !A = !(Jack Russel terrier) (from the previous line). Translating the previous line into normal english, it states: "an entity known as "!A" - is something which is not Jack Russel terrier". What is this "something"? Quite simply, it is EVERYTHING ELSE than Jack Russel terrier. I.e., whole darn universe, everything existing, including this post, including you and me and 7+ billions of people, and all other dog varieties except Jack Russel terrier, too. And yet, with this line, you equate this all - including you and me - to a bottle of beer??? NO WAI!!! :D
and !A = (bicycle) // this is the same error as the previous line. Also, consider this: if we take this and previous line, and put them together, then we will have: !A = (bottle of beer) = (bicycle), from which we can extract this: (bottle of beer) = (bicycle). Which is obviously incorrect. Ergo, the equations which have led to this - are also incorrect. Namely, both this and previous line of your proof - are ones which are incorrect. This is yet one more - second, - method to easily demonstrate your error.
Does (bottle of beer) = (bicycle) ? No // this is OK
So !A <> !A // this is incorrect, since, as i've shown just above, !A > (beer) and !A > (bicycle). Again, the only way to make the statement "!A <> !A:" to be correct - is to postulate: "A <> A". There is NO other way to make it work. :D


Sorry! :D



709
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:45:28 AM »
Sorry folks, but I promise this is my last post on the subject......

FT,

Precision is taken as measurement that must come with bounds of accuracy. By definition having bounds of accuracy makes any measurement imprecise. Try drawing a Ven diagram of it. Precision must be a fully enclosed subset of Imprescision.

You could say that there's no such thing as precise, just levels of acceptable accuracy.

P.S !A certainly does equal !A.
All true. But - another true. "Analog" one. While i was presenting "boolean", "black and white" truth.

!A = !A usually, yes. Until someone says with certainty that A does not equal A, then with equal certainy he should also state that !A does not equal !A - too. Amazing thing is, many don't. :D

710
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 15, 2014, 08:45:10 AM »
Is the right side of this picture of any practical importance for incoming melt season, and if yes - what are possible effects?


711
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 14, 2014, 03:44:23 PM »
If it's "wodka", then it's not russian - it's polish. Please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodka . Either thing definitely helps to get not too emotional from what i see on those graphs people are posting here, by the way.

712
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 14, 2014, 03:15:10 PM »
Quote
P.S. _If_ "precise" is not any precise for real, then also, "imprecise" is not any imprecise: inversion is a both-way symmetric operation all around the math and logic, isn't it. Therefore, when you said ""precise" is an imprecise term"", - you made a nil statement.

Sorry FT, I couldn't let this one go.

You are implying that because A is not equal to B then B is not equal to B. It's not an inversion, it's a sub-set. Be careful how you extrapolate logical statements.
It is ok, but, i couldn't let THIS one go too - so i am also sorry to make yet one more post without graphs and Arctic 2014 melt info in this topic. I am sorry to everyone here.

But i hope may be it'll provide a minute of relief and may be a smile to few people here, too. BEcause this post is kinda silly in a way... Silly enough to be funny may be. %)

Clarify what you designate as A and B. From what i can guess, you meant that B = "imprecise". Yes, indeed, i said that B is not equal to B - but then and ONLY then if, quote, ""precise" is not any precise for real". This condition does NOT involve any "B" - it does not contain the word "imprecise". Rather, it contains the word "precise", which, i guess, you designate as "A".

I.e., in your terms, i implied this: "because A is not equal to A then B is not equal to B". Note that this differs from your quote above.

And i still stand by it, because we know that "B = !A" (using "!" in this sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negation#Notation ), because prefix "im" means "not" in this case (according to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/imprecise ).

So, if we replace "B" with "!A", then my original statement changes to this: "because A is not equal to A then !A is not equal to !A",

which obviously is correct.

To remind, the whole gig is about "precise is an imprecise term" phraze. In your terms, this would be something like "A equals B". Again, we also know that "B = !A". Therefore, the phraze turns into "A equals !A", or in normal words, "A is not A". Which is, again, a nil saying, - the only thing which actually fits "A equals !A" is the mighty 0 (number and concept).  :)

But _if_ we for a moment allow it - i.e. if we agree that "precise" is an imprecise term, - then this very act of agreement has few consequences, one of which - is the loss of any meaning of "imprecise" term. Ergo, label "imprecise!" stop to mean anything, thus the original phraze is self-nulifying on more than one level. Which is funny to me. %)

However, i plead guilty in using wrong english term - "inversion". I had to say "negation", because it is what was meant, mathematically. This error has to do with my native language in which the term for negation has other meanings similar to english word "inversion". Please accept my apologies for this - but for this only! :)

713
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:28:18 AM »
Alas, the cryosat does not work in the melting season (requires dry ice/snow). No data at all. Same for SMOS, it is a big problem that most we know of volume in the melting season is from piomas.
"Requires"?

According to https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/missions/esa-operational-eo-missions/envisat/instruments/ra-2/design , the frequency 13.575GHz (which is used for radar altimetry instruments of the Cryosat-2 (afaict), too) - is indeed affected by H2O in the athmosphere; however, it says, quote, "The effect of water vapour is smaller than oxygen, but much more variable. It can range from virtually zero over the high, dry ice caps, to about 40 cm in tropical regions". Arctic is not a tropical region, too. And all the sea ice is very near sea level, too - no "high caps" at all. So it is way less than 0.4m possible difference between "most dry" and "most wet" in Arctic, i guess.

Furthermore, the same page mentions using forecasts for the extraction of water vapour signature. If it's a method worth mentioning, then it gotta be at least somewhat effective.

Last but not least, even if high humidity brings unacceptable error in terms of comparing thickness from different months, - then still, most of this uncertainty is gone if the data is only used to compare thickness from the same single month (or even shorter particular period of a year) collected during several / many years. Assuming same months being on average similar in terms of amount of water vapour in the Arctic. I.e., comparing "wet" periods only with other "wet" periods, if to talk most imprecisely.

I'd rather suspect that the collaboration itself is not willing to release any data for melting periods. Reasons may be many, possibly including pressure (or worse) from AGW-di$mi$$ing entities.

Only IMHO, of course. And i definitely hope the last bit is wrong, too.


P.S. _If_ "precise" is not any precise for real, then also, "imprecise" is not any imprecise: inversion is a both-way symmetric operation all around the math and logic, isn't it. Therefore, when you said ""precise" is an imprecise term"", - you made a nil statement. Doesn't mean a thing. But yet, somehow i feel i get what you mean, and i agree with you there, per se; though i didn't mean this sort of precision you talk about - the absolute sort. I definitely was not expecting (nor will be expecting) to see thickness average values with a gazillion meaningful digits after the decimal, hehehe... :D

714
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 10, 2014, 08:11:11 AM »
No what is measured is free board. Calculating thickness from free board means values of snow thickness,  snow density and ice density needs to be known.
There are severe doubts about how accurate these are known, for snow a climatic value is used, for ice density you need to know the ice type.
See also the Piomas vs Cryosat thread for the uncertainty in the mathematical model used to calculate the free board that you so easily take for granted : https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,8.msg19424.html#msg19424
Thank you for this info. I didn't know. After all, they say it's ice which is measured. Sigh. Anyhows, this is still massively simpler thing than any fully coupled model, isn't it. Thus my previous logic still stands (to a lesser degree) - if "models" meant were fully-coupled (or comparable in complexity) models, that is.

On the other hand, if even cryosat-2 can't give us any reliable ice thickness for (most of) the Arctic - then what can? Without full picture, maximum thickness as well as any precise average thickness - can't be known, i guess. So it's not like we get any better source, right?

One other thing is about how this all relates to the melt season (including this one). I know that some significant portion of the melt season has most of Arctic ice still present, while the snow is already gone. Did anyone try to find out when and how this happens, and apply Cryosat-2 numbers to such an occasion? Without snow, and with knowing density of the ice relatively well (i mean, it can't vary by any huge amount, can it?) - Cryosat-2 numbers can be very interesting thing to look at, eh.

715
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 09, 2014, 03:26:35 PM »
...
@F.Tnioli - Regarding all the colour coded maps, they don't agree with each other and the CryoSat 2 numbers are also the output of a different sort of mathematical model. At the recent Sea Ice Prediction Network meeting when the question of assimilating satellite thickness data into the sea ice models was raised the opinion expressed was along the lines of "CryoSat 2 is still a work in progress".
CryoSat 2 numbers (for sea ice thickness) - are not any sort of output of any mathematical model. Instead, they are the output of SAR/Interferometric Radar Altimeters onboard the satellite, each of the two of those altimeters is able to track changes in the thickness of the ice with a resolution of about 1.3 centimetres. Radar interferometry is, of course, a thing done with mathematics, but i wouldn't call it a "model" for a simple reason: it is possible to calibrate those instruments using in-situ (submarine-based, etc) data for ice thickness.

In the same time, i readily believe the last sentense of the quote. Indeed, _assimilating_ satellite thickness data into _sea ice models_ - is not an easy task, and quite possibly not only a work in progress, but a work which won't be possible to complete in a satisfying manner. Yet, i don't think it is sattelites which are the problem; rather, i think it is models which is the problem. Because, you see, i'd rather believe that complex computer model of Earth climate (or at least, Arctic) - is substantially wrong, than to believe that relatively simple thing - radar interferometry, - is wrong.

The argument "color maps disagree with each other" - sure, there are lots of badly made ones, partially or mostly incorrect ones, etc. The one i gave as an example, however, is done using cutting-edge satellite (cryosat-2), and published not by some blogger, but by National Snow and Ice Data Center. And if my memory serves, this bunch has a reputation for knowing what they are doing. At least, relatively to most other similar scientific bodies.


716
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 09, 2014, 12:13:38 PM »
May be you're right. I thought about deformation, too, long story short, i think much or all of yellow there - might be it, and some of green, too, - but not most of green. Perhaps i am wrong, though. Even then, the initial point stands. Be it 3m or 2m for "how thick Arctic FYI can grow by itself", - it'll still go down to (eventually) much less than 1 meter.

Oh, and also, about the fact that Baikal - is fresh water. Why, sure it is. Means it freezes _easier_. And faster. Than Arctic during same conditions, i mean. As for "fresh water has a peak density at 4 degrees celsius, but sea water does not" - practically irrelevant, i believe; like i said, i think that ice formation in Arctic starts with snow (which falls into the ocean, initially melts, forms a layer of low-salinity water and cools down the surface quickly, and as more snow arrives, ice "skin" starts to form). Thing is, fresh water is lighter (less dense) than sea water. I don't remember any numbers right now, but iirc, even half of salinity difference between typical sea water and fresh water - causes more density difference then any water temperature difference in the range of -2...6C would. This means that even relatively warm sea water (some 6+ degrees celsius) - is still heavier than 0 degrees celcius fresh water. Now just imagine what will happen with a single snowflake landing into Arctic sea water during some November, then imagine few gazillions of similar snowflakes landing nearby - you'll get the picture.

... If that seems strangely limited not far above the average, it is because of there being an equilibrium thermodynamic thickness so that thermodynamic growth stops as it reaches that thickness. I suppose you could have an area of thicker undeformed ice if the upward heat flux was unusually low. That happens to be an area that gets quite warm with pacific water not far below the ice so I wouldn't expect low upward heat flux there.
No, doesn't seem strange. I meant exactly this equilibrium, too. As waters get warmer (especially after the start of gigaton-scale (annual) methane releases, and also as a result of "giving up" thermal inertia - one enhances the other) - upward heat flux will increase in all locations (some faster, some other slower). Minimum winter athmosphere temperatures will rise, as well, reducing "cooling from above". Also, growth - in permanent conditions, - never completely "stops"; it slows down dramatically, yes, but never completely stops. It'd take infinite number of years - again, if to consider permanent conditions - for it to stop. Which means, length of freezing season is also a factor. And this length will be shortening; already is, significantly.

And about "quite warm with pacific water not far below the ice" - i see, yes, this is major factor. However, if your own statement about most/all of this green/yellow being deformed ice - is true, - then it means lots of ice is pushed into the region from central Arctic. And most of this ice is substantially colder than -2 degrees celsius for most of the freezing season time. If so much of it arrives into the region, then it has massive impact to temperatures of water _directly_ behind the ice, i think. Thus reducing said heat flux, i guess. But then it'd allow "not deformed" ice "downstream" to grow faster/thicker, you see?

Whole thing is damn interconnected, too much, for sure. Still, no use to try to understand simplifications if resulting udnerstanding gives much different (to reality) behaviour of a model (even if it's only "how i think it happens", thought-only "model"). Hope you see what i mean here.

717
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 09, 2014, 10:54:48 AM »
Volume April 1979 by PIOMAS ~ 33 K Km^3
Area April 1979 14 M Km^2
So Average thickness 2.36m

Volume April 2014 by PIOMAS ~ 23 K Km^3
Area April 2014 ~ 13M Km^2
So Average thickness 1.77m

How FYI could have been 3m thick when MYI is thicker than FYI escapes me.

http://www.arcticnet.ulaval.ca/pdf/ASMtalks/StudentDay/Galley.pdf
on page 7 says
Quote
first-year sea ice can grow to typical
depths of ~1.80m in the Arctic
Typical 1.80, yes. Did i say "typical"? No. I said "maximum" FYI thickness. "Maximum" and "typical" - are two different things. "Average" is also not "maximum". Perhaps you thought i meant "maximum average thickness" in terms of maximum annual value of the avreage FYI thickness? I didn't. I meant absolute maximum thickness of FYI "in some spot" - i.e. "how thick FYI can get in a single place".

As for where i get it from - why, looking at graphs here and there, i love those color-coded maps. It's much faster than to dig into mountains of discrete data, too. For example, one can see clear map for where FYI (and MYI) was located during MArch 2013 here: figure 5 on https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/tag/first-year-ice/ page. According to it, there was no MYI to talk about near north shores of Alaska and Chukotka. Very conviniently, figure 6 of the same page presents ice thickness map (also color-coded), for March 2012 (right image of the figure 6). It is made based on Cryosat-2 data - which means it's not some smarty-pants model, but actual "what was there in reality" measurement. And on it, i can definitely see some green color (means, ~3 meters thick ice) near north shores of Alaska and Chukotka - considering the scale of those images, we are talking here about thousands of square kilometers of such ice. There are even few small patches of almost-yellow - which means it's hundreds square kilometers of ~3.5-meter-thick FYI there.

Why those locations get maximum FYI thickness - i don't know for sure, probably a combination of relatively cold near-surfgace water currents and extra-chill of the athmosphere from much-more-rapidly cooling large landmass nearby (Alaska and Chukotka, i mean). Still, it's very easy to see that maximum thickness of FYI is indeed ~3 meters, give or take; while typical FYI thickness is, indeed, some 1.8 meters.

There's also the mean atmospheric lifetime of methane, which is much lower than that of CO2.

Even if methane has ~34 time the GHG potential, the short lifetime (IMO) makes it a less significant pollutant. ...
I'd add to previous reply to this that i've recently estimated methane's greenhouse-effect CO2 equivalent ratio (by mass) for a duration which is many times shorter than methane's half-life (which is 1 year or any shorter duration), using two different methods (quite rude, but simple ones) to do so. 1st method gave me x124. Second gave me x131. This is close to results many other people get - including most competent scientists, - for short-term methane GHG potency.

Also, methane can't be "less significant pollutant" than CO2 - EVER, because in the athmosphere, methane (CH4) gradually turns into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O). For every CH4 molecula, one CO2 molecula is formed. Thus, methane _becomes_ CO2, with 1 to 1 ratio - and CO2 can't be "less significant pollutant" than CO2, can it? On top of CO2, said reaction also forms 2 moleculas of water, and water vapour is a strong GHG gas as well.

...
The only salvation is that due to the short life time, CH4 forcing will drop shortly after emissions decrease. I hope that this transient rise in AGW will increase the change in energy generation.

Relevant to the thread topic:
A transient spike in forcing and AGW, as long as the GIS and WAIS do not collapse; is much easier overcome than the centuries of forcing related to the release of CO2.
Unfortunately, methane deposits (in the form of gas and in the form of methane clathrates), plus organic until-now-permafrost soils and seabed layers which emit large amounts of methane once thawed (due to bacterial unaerobic decomposition of organic compounds), - all this in total, in Arctic alone (not talking sub-polar, not talking deep-ocean deposits even closer to equator, and not talking any southern hemisphere) - is estimated to be more than 10 thousands gigatons. ESAS alone contains some ~1400 gigatons of methane, and it's burping much already. Some places near Norway are also emitting methane massively already. AMEG says it was more than 100 millons tons of methane emitted in 2013 in Arctic. I.e., 0.1+ gigaton. Annual emissions back in 1980 were, iirc, some 7 millions tons or something like that.

In other words, there are LOTS of methane presently frozen or trapped under frozen soil and sea floor - more than 10.000.000.000.000 tons of it. What methane Arctic emits so far, - is only a tiny fraction of what will be emitted annually once Arctic warms up for real (i.e., loses most of its June'July ice and snow, this most of its albedo during those high-insolation months).

You said: "after emissions decrease". Well. Bad news are, methane emissions in Arctic won't start to decrease for at very least ~120 years from now. May be times longer, even. By 2025, i think Arctic will release some ~1.5 gigatons of methane annually, plus-minus 70% of that. By 2050, may be some 2.5...5 gigatons. By 2100, perhaps some 4...20 gigatons. Yet, if this will be the pace, - then during 21st century, Arctic will release only some 500 gigatons of methane, total (something of this order of magnitude, i mean). Yet, 500 gigatons - is less than 5% of the total amount (which is, again, more than 10,000 gigatons - probably much more). So even if most of potentially releasable (because of disappearance of permafrosts)  methane will remain in the ground for CENTURIES, - the lesser part is still enough to maintain 1+ gigaton annual Arctic methane emissions for several hundreds years.

It a major deal for whole planet; for Arctic itself - it's enourmous, since being point of origin, it'll naturally have higher concentration of methane. It already does, substantially.

Therefore, "after emissions decrease" = "some 500+ years in the future". Frankly, i don't think it's any kind of "salvation" to the current AGW situation... And, both GIS and WAIS will probably collapse in 500 years (i know old papers say it's "thousands years" for WAIS - but old papers have many massive underestimates, besides, who knew, back in 1990s and 1970s, that last two decades - to nowadays, - will be most feverish GHG emissions ever done). Some chances are WAIS wouldn't fully collapse in 500 years, - but GIS will definitely collapse, and much faster than in 500 years, too. No doubt about it.

P.S. By the way, there are some 50,000+ people permanently living in Greenland. It's a country. They have a capital city (more like, a town). In it, they had nice little bridge over a river - two dozens meters or so. They "had" it, because at some point few years ago, the bridge was washed away. Literally. Too much meltwater going outta GIS. They probably rebuilt the bridge, for now, since it connects two "halves" of the town - much needed bridge, important one. But i think, in about 15 years, this whole capital town of Greenland will be washed away right into the ocean - sooner or later, they'll get large enough melt pulse (it's when large mass of water trapped inside ice sheet - finds an exit "down and out"). By the way, i believe that this is the type of event which, during last ice age's end (deglaciation), caused lots of death - and gave humans survivavors strong memories about "great flood", which eventually ended up written down in several religions (among others, in the Bible, too).

718
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 08, 2014, 01:58:24 PM »
IRT crandles:

We have already lost most of MYI. We were losing it at a rate -15% for extent (Journal of Climate, Fabruary 2012 issue, says it's -17.2% per decade for MYI _area_, - which is ice-only figure, excluding any open water). -17.2% for 3 decades (more like 3.5 decades, since 1979, but it was slower initially, i bet, so let's say 3 decades) - means we lost some 43.8% of MYI _area_ since 1979. However, the _mass_ loss of MYI is much greater, because remaining (so far) 56.2% of MYI - definitely became much thinner than it was in 1979. I'd say we lost more than 75% of MYI volume already, probably much more; it's obvious since the total annual minimum volume of sea ice in Arctic in 2012 was below 20% of 1979's figure.

So yes, i do have a substantial reason to believe winter FYI thinning will remain to be substantial for several decades ahead. I named those reasons in previous message just alright, but i can do it again:

reason #1 - warmer air and water entering Arctic (including during winter). It slows freezing, which results in FYI thinning through the winter,

reason #2 - accelerating rise of GHGs, both global and local. Mankind keeps to pump increasing amounts of CO2 into the athmosphere, - coal consumption is rapidly rising last few years, and it's the most CO2-intensive fossil fuel there is; China builds 2 new coal power stations every day; number of ICE (internal-combustion-engine - how ironic!) cars - still increases in accelerating manner; deforestation, desertification, and decreasing solubility of CO2 in water as temperatures rise - all those decrease CO2 sinks' efficiency, worldwide. Furthermore, personally, i do believe that methane situation in Arctic is being vastly underestimated by mainstream climatology. I do believe we'll see gigaton-scale methane emissions by the end of this decade, or in the 1st half of 2020s latest. Unless there is a super-volcano eruption or all-out nuclear exchange, either of which can put huge mass of sunlight-blocking ash and aerosols into stratosphere, thus causing multi-year "winter", with corresponding results in Arctic in particular. Hopefully those two kinds of disaster we'll avoid; but then, rising levels of GHG gases will trap more and more heat during autumn and winter in Arctic, resulting in slower temperature drop in Arctic (both athmosphere and thus also surface water), which results in thinning of FYI,

reason #3 - albedo loss, and also, thermal inertia. The process won't stop by the moment we'll lose (nearly) all late-summer sea ice in Arctic. It will go on, with still earlier and earlier melts in Arctic and subpolar regions, which means more and more sunlight absorbed, more and more heat content. Lots of this extra heat will remain in the system through autumn and winter every year, slowing or halting thickening of FYI "from below" (warmer water) as well as "from above" - later and less snowfall, higher athmosphere and snow initial temperature, etc.

The most dramatic days will be not when we'll have 1st year of (nearly) no sea ice in Arctic during late August / early September; this will be the sign the process is now completely unstoppable, yes, - but not the most important practicall change. Most important practical change will be when Arctic will have (nearly) no sea ice during June and July - maximum insolation during those months with little albedo to speak about will result in truly dramatic change for Arctic and massive change for the rest of the Northern hemisphere, as well. I expect it to happen some time in 2020s. And even then, the actual "arrival" of most dramatic climatic effects because of such a loss of sea ice during maximum insolation months (June, July) - won't be felt "instantly" once there's no ice (and thus no albedo to talk about) - because of thermal inertia.

Now, thermal inertia in etrms of whole Earth - is the fact that it takes decades (2...5 decades, estimates vary, see http://arxiv.org/pdf/1307.6821.pdf as an example) between any substantial increase of radiative forcing - and actual temperature rise. Mainly caused by huge thermal capacity of water and huge amount of water at and near Earth surface, this mechanic certainly applies to Arctic as well as to other parts of the globe. However, larger radiative forcing additions - which is the case due to Arctic amplification (and will also be further increased by gigaton-scale annual methane emissions in Arctic and subpolar regions, i dare say), - this larger _regional_ radiative forcing (annual, total) - will result in faster-than-global rate of temperature change, rate of ice thinning change, etc.

The example of lake Baikal in my previous post is excellent in several regards, one of which is ice thickness. You see, Baikal is large enough to have storms and large waves (up to 5 meters high waves in storms), much like an ocean or a sea, and insolation pattern of Baikal region is quite similar to Arctic's. It gets very little sunlight during winter - sun is above horizon for a few hours only, and it's very low, so much of sunlight is absorbed by the athmosphere before even reaching the ice. Most of what remains of sunlight - gets reflected, too. Baikal's climate is much "sea climate", too. Yet, maximum FYI thickness (all ice in Baikal is FYI, of course), - is nearly 1 meter, and even less than that if it's a snowy winter in there (can be as low as 70 centimeters). In compare, typical maximum annual thickness of FYI in Arctic - is some 3 meters, give or take.

So yes, i expect this "3 meters give or take" - in Arctic, - to become much more like Baikal's "1 meter, give or take" in about 30...40 years, and go even thinner (slowly) in further decades after that. The extent and area of maximum Arctic sea ice cover may well nearly stabilize times faster (may be in some 10...15 years), - yet substantial FYI thinning will go on for at least 5 decades, me thinks. With time, relative equilibrium between "really warm water below despite it's being during winter in Arctic", on one hand, and "very chilling athmosphre above" (which even with global warming would still be there during winter, because of polar night) on the other hand - will be achieved, with ice thickness (consideing probably lots of snow above) being some 30...50 centimeters for most of winter Arctic sea ice area by the year 2100... And most/all of Arctic, by 2100, will probably be much like Baikal in terms of no-ice months: June to December will be (nearly or even completely) sea-ice-free.

719
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 08, 2014, 09:36:38 AM »
I gave some thought about future "shapes" of those graphs few years ago, crandles. My guess is, summer (minimum) extent has downward acceleration and will keep having it all the way to (near) zero minimum extent, the reason for this - is consideration of main forces which cause the process.

I mean, let us see, what exactly forces the process of decreasing annual minimum sea ice extents? AFAIK, it is those forces:
 - greenhouse gases increase
 - warmer water and air entering Arctic from the south
 - decreasing (as a result of earlier and larger melts) albedo
 - massive amount of sunlight during summer in Arctic (polar day - sunlight 24/7)

Now, as far as i know, all except the 4th - are increasing in power as years go by. CO2 levels are rising with acceleration, methane release in Arctic itself is also accelerating, SSTs in "south" are rising with acceleration, loss of albedo in Arctic and subpolar regions - is also accelerating. The last force - sunlight, - remains nearly constant.

So, in total, forces which cause decreasing annual minimum sea ice cintent in Arctic - are getting stronger not linearly, but with acceleration. And since we know the end result _can_ be zero summer ice in Arctic - i don't see any large reason why the downward acceleration on the graph for minimum annual ice extent could stop. It should remain.

Accordingly, since there can't be much volume if the extent is zero, - the same (downward acceleration) dynamic will remain to be present on minimum _volume_ graphs for Arctic sea ice.

Which means we'll definitely see ice-free summer (late summer, first) in Arctic in a few years. May be 2015 or 2016.

However, maximum extent is not the same. I believe that present "downward acceleration" on maximum winter extent graph - will remain for some time, but the acceleration will at some point start to decrease, and reach 0. The reason for it - is polar night. See, from purely practical, every-day experience we all know that in subpolar regions (places not so far from 60 degrees north latitude), - lakes during summer can get quite warm, but during dark (very little sunlight) winters, - ice forms despite high summer water temperatures.

Good example is lake Baikal. It's a huge mass of water. During summer, with lots of sunlight, surface water temperatures in Baikal are: in the middle of the lake it's 14...15°C (august), in shallow bays - some 18...22°C. Yet, whole lake freezes every year by January, and remain mostly frozen (surface) till May.

I expect the same to happen in much of the Arctic, threfore, maximum (winter) sea ice extent will stabilize at some significant figure. The "downward acceleration" which we can see for maximum ice extent graphs today - will disappear, and then, deceleration trend will start. Further very small long-term reduction in maximum extent will probably be (due to on-going global warming), of course, but i think maximum extent will remain nearly stable.

Maximum volume, though, will keep its downward acceleration for much longer, i guess. It takes very thin ice to count an area as "a part of ice extent", and with ice being lighter than water, thin "skin" of ice can stay on top of much warmer (than -1.9°C, which is frezing point for sea water) water. I think it all starts with snow: without sunlight, athmosphere gets into negative celsius temperatures, snow forms, snow falls to the Arctic ocean, and even if the water is very warm, - melt snowflakes form a very thin layer of low-salinity water, which freezes easier than sea water. This, very thin, surface layer of low-salinity water emits IR radiation and also loses heat by convection (since the athmosphere is colder), which inevitably leads to ice formation. Even if water below it is much warmer. The warmer the water is, the slower is ice growth. Surfaces waves is a big factor when present, too. But, even with waves, it just needs "enough snow" to form thick enough layer of less-salinity (and thus, less-density) water for freezing to eventually overcome the heat of deeper (and possibly much warmer, but also high-salinity and thus more dense) layers, and thus form some thin surface ice. And then it's a matter of equilibrium between how much heat deeper layers are still (slowly) transporting to the surface - which is a force preventing further freezing or even melting some ice from-below, if intense enough, - and how much energy is lost from the ice surface via convection (to a very cold athmosphere) and IR radiation.

So, winter freezing in terms of _volume_ will continue to be slowed and decreased by those 3 accelerating forces mentioned above, and maximum volume will continue to be decreased in more or less linear manner for at least several decades, i think. GHGs are important even during polar night, since they trap heat which Earth emits; albedo loss is still important even without sunlight due to its "delayed" effects - higher heat content of water columns, (shallow) sea floor and shores; air and water currents keep going during winter, some from the south, too.


720
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 04, 2014, 03:58:34 PM »
lanevn,

I wouldn't worry about those, though. The report is about 24000 "solid radioactive objects" (i.e., pieces which are not in any liquid or gaseous form). And i am pretty sure all 24000 objects have density much higher than 1 ton per 1 cubic meter. This means, these things will sink to the bottom, and stay there.

Plus, considering the number, i bet most of those objects are not themselves containing radioactive fuel nor any significant mass of fission matherial. The report says it's about parts of nuclear-powered icebreaker "Lenin", K-27 submarine and "numerous" parts of atomic weapons. Most, if not all, of those pieces - are made of steel and other normally non-radioactive construction metherials (i bet that reactor cores were taken out and kept elsewhere, or recycled). Thus, we talk about secondary (induced) radioactivity, which those matherials now emit as a result of being in close proximity to fission matherials for a long time (in the past).

This is very similar to "machinery graveyears" near Chernobil, where thousands of vehicles and devices are buried.

Important thing is, secondary radioactivity is always times (usually hundreds to thousands times) weaker than primary radioactibity of fission matherials and unstable isotopes (like Cesium-137) of substantial concentration. This, plus the fact all those pieces will sink down to the floor of the ocean, plus the fact that the place is very distant to any significant agriculture and/or populated areas, - makes this issue completely insignificant to humans. As for the rest of Gaia, - i don't think it would do much harm, either. After all, most areas immidiate (in direct vicinity) from Chernobil #4 reactor - are now teeming with wild life.

Why Gismeteo would publish this piece - is an interesting question to which i have 3 possible answers, none of which is argumented enough to share it here, besides, it'd be totally offtopic, too. I just would say that true purpose of the publication - in this case, - is definitely not its face (literal) meaning.

721
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 04, 2014, 08:19:25 AM »
... Not sure why you expect "Press department of Moscow water channel" to talk about much else than Moscow water supply. Though there could well be a dearth of other articles as I haven't looked.
"Channel" doesn't mean "news channel" or "TV channel" here; it is just literal translation of the name of the organization which manages Moscow water supply: "Moscow water channel". It is so named because the organization achieves its goals mainly by regulating water flows through artificial channels (water channels - dag through the ground) around Moscow. Then, this organization has a press department, which is to talk with any press company around - make press releases, answer journalists' questions, etc.

And no, i don't expect this company - "Moscow water channel" - to talk about anything else than their duties. I expect journalists who publicate messages from this company to talk about related things, though. Which they didn't.

722
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 03, 2014, 01:32:48 PM »
Reduced snow cover, and its early disappearance this year - has massive consequences other than albedo reduction. Today, i found a news article (originally in russian - http://www.m24.ru/articles/41590 ), most of which i'll translate into english and put here, because i believe similar situation is now developing in other than Russia countries, and in other than Moscow regions - and not all of such countries and/or regions may be as well prepared for it, as Moscow region presumably is.

The news are:

"header: Moscow won't have water shortages, despite the lack of snowmelt water pulse this year
...
Press department of Moscow water channel says that specialists have managed to circumvent the absense of snow melt water pulses.

Usually, annual snow melt water pulse is filling Moscow's water-keeping locations, which provide water for Moscow. This year, there is practically no snow melt water pulse - mainly due to unstable weather and frequent change of warm and cold spells. This have led to changed conditions of snow melt - for example, maximum in-flow to "Moskvoretzky" water-keeping areas was below 100 cubic meters per second. For comparison, same measurement taken in 2013 - is 730 cubic meters per second.

However, Moscow water channel's specialists have managed to circumvent this, and fill water-keeping areas to 85% of planned amount.

Total volume of "Mokvoretzky-Vakuzsky" system is 975 millions of cubic meters of water, and this amount is sufficient to provide water for Moscow for a year.
"


Additional comment from me: not only it is obvious that availability of water is much affected in many regions as a result of reduced snowcover and chaotic snow melt, - it is similarly obvious that less or absent snow-melt water pulses will result in lower moisture content in the upper soil during the spring, and consequently less humidity, and higher vulnerability to drought in affected regions. Furthermore, vast subpolar areas which nowadays suffer this change of snowcover - will inevitably influence athmospheric events above and near such locations, and part of such athmospheric events will have direct influence on Arctic itself.

I definitely don't have enough knowledge to even guess what kind of influence (faster melt - or slower melt of surface sea ice?) this will be. Yet, i havea feeling that this must be a BIG issue.

P.S. As usual, the press doesn't care about it, though. Whether Moscow will have its water - oh yes, this is serious, this is worth a news article for sure. But whether Arctic will have its ice melt, or whether some place will suffer massive drought some time in the future - naaah, they don't bother, they probably don't even see any connection, eh... :(

723
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:23:43 PM »
I wouldn't call it "mister", though, considering this: https://translate.google.com/#es/en/el%20ni%C3%B1o . In fact, it bears mighty meaning - the temperatures we see now - is indeed sort of a child... Our, - mankind's, - child.

724
Permafrost / Re: What is Happening under a Cloud of Methane?
« on: April 01, 2014, 05:08:42 PM »
Acceleration to the speed of sound is an easy part.

The answer to it - is that RMS speed ("root-mean-square speed") of air molecules - which, very roughly, we can consider to be "an average speed of any air moleculae", - this RMS speed is not much different from speed of sound; those internets say, RMS speed for O2 (oxygen) is some 461 m/c, for N2 (nitrogen) - is some 493 m/s. Those two gases form most of our athmosphere, and said speeds - is how fast those gases would have their molecules moving at 273°K (i.e. zero degrees celsius), should the athmosphere be pure 100% oxygen or 100% pure nitrogen.

Speed of sound is so much known and important because once any thick body exceeds it, - increasingly many molecules in the air are unable to "get away" fast enough, because they don't have enough speed to do so; so air start to "pile up" in a sort of shockwave around the "nose" of the moving object - one can see it around a nose of super-sonic fighter which breaks sound barrier.

It creates massive additional resistance, hence sound _barrier_ name - takes much additional energy to overcome this extra air resistance in order to further increase speed.

There is, then, clear dependance on molecular weight of the gas, - and its RMS speed. The heavier moleculas are, the lower their RMS speed. CO2 RMS speed is some 393 m/s (at 0°C), since the molecula is much heavier than both O2 or N2 - CO2 has three relatively heavy atoms per molecula, while both O2 and N2 have only two.

The opposite is also true. CH4 is much lighter moleculae than all those 3 gases mentioned above. Atomic weight of carbom is 12 (iirc), of hydrogen - is 1; so 1 moleculae of CH4 has atomic weight of 16 - exactly HALF of oxygen (O2 moleculae). Thus, methane's RMS speed must be much higher than all above - possibly it's well above 500 m/s for 0C? Thus, methane moleculaes (unless chemically tied to something else), - i.e., "pure" methane, - indeed tend to accelerate to speed of sound (and even well above it) very quickly, once they are free and in the air.

Alas, i'm not sure if "accelerate" is the most proper term; may be "decelerate" is? Because speed of sound in the water - is much greater than in the air. And, methane may well be dissolved right before being emitted into the athmosphere. But, since deceleration is a sort of acceleration - it just has negative increment, but principle is the same, - i guess either term would do anyways. :D

725
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:21:40 AM »
... My gut feeling is that the main influence will be on next freeze season which should start to kick in at the height of the El-Nino. This could leave the ice in an even worse state than the last 'warm-freeze' that we've just seen, setting 2015 up for a truely far reaching melt. ...
No, i don't think so - not in terms of this effect i am speculating about, at least. If the peak of this el-nino will be during next freeze season, then it means large mass of near-surface much-warmer-than-usual water will be present where El-nino is - i.e. quite near equator. It's quite far from Arctic, you see. Then el-nino itself will probably disappear (so far, it never lasts for many years straight, right?) - eastern and/or central pacific SSTs will return to "modern-day average". The north pacific gyre will "move away" waters with higher-than-usual SSTs, - 1st to the west, then to the north. It'll take some 8...20 months for those waters to arrive to high latitudes (near Alaska; again, i am not sure about speeds of all those currents, nor did i calculate distances precisely; though i know that part of the gyre which goes north - most of it at least, - is quite fast, being ~3 kph). If it's ~8 months or even less for the "trip", - then 2nd half of melt season in Arctic in 2015 can be affected. If it's longer - then freeze season 2015/2016 and/or melt season of 2016 may be most affected by this El-nino.

Once this warmer water (part of it - anyways) arrives to the north, - melt (or slow ice growth in winter) events would probably happen much faster than in the past, since Arctic itself is much more prone to melt nowadays.

726
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 31, 2014, 04:15:28 PM »
Sure, i don't put "much" weight into my speculation above. Please note usage of words "may be", "probably", "seems to be" in my previous post.

Yet, there is more "behind" my speculation above. I'd explain. Please, dear reader, feel free to skip it if my bubbling doesn't interest you or you have no time for it.


See, we know that El-nino - is a massive change of heat distribution dynamics on Earth. And we know it takes significant time - months to years, - for enourmous masses of "unusually cold" or "unusually warm" water to travel around the globe (or to dissipate into "normal" - not unusually cold or warm - mass). In case of north pacific, there is that North pacific gyre (good pic of it - is  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:North_Pacific_Subtropical_Convergence_Zone.jpg ).

When i look at this picture, i see that distances involved are measured in tenths of thousands kilometers. Speeds involved are few kilometers per hour (for example, Kuroshio is said to be some 2.7 ... 3.6 kmh, and it's said that this is "fast" for a current of such a sort). Let's say average speed, then, would be 1.5 kph or so. Simple calculation for how much time unusually warm water (a result of an el-nino) would need to travel a significant portion of the gyre - would be something like this:

20000 / 1.5 / 24 / 365 = 1.52 years.

(20000 kilometers is "a significant portion of the gyre", 1.5 - is average gyre speed (purely guesswork by me).

Of course, there are different El-ninos, too. Some are "true" ones - happening mainly in eastern pacific; this means warmer water has to go nearly full circle around to reach those "Alaska" and "Bering" arrows on the picture. Relatively long time. But then there are "Modoki", too - an El-nino which is close to the central pacific, - this type could suuply warm water to high latitudes in less time, correspondedly.

Once some _part_ of "still unusually warm" water (on average, at least - and, to some degree, of course) "arrives" to places near Alaska and Bering, - it won't result in less ice cover right away, too. It takes time for ice to melt, for waters to mix (there are all sorts of "smaller side-circles" around any strong ocean current), and considering the scale, - it can't happen over-night nor even in one week, can it? The dissipation of all that extra heat will take months, possibly many months. Seasons don't wait for such processes, of course, - seasons come and go; but whatever time of the year it is, the extra heat from "last el-nino" - should still be felt. It'd slow glaciation in winter, and accelerate summer melt during summer.

Furthermore, as the Gyre transports "warmer than usual" waters closer to polar regions, - corresponding athmospheric events will also happen. More evaporation than usual, possibly stronger cyclones (on average for the duration of the effect), thus both more precipitation and also higher humidity and/or higher air temperatures, - and some part of such athmospheric events will certainly enter Arctic, i think. Stil, those events also take time to happen (may be less than "many months", but still some weeks at least, right?).

Granted, there are other factors in play, some are likely to be more potent, too. What i say is that El-nino will likely contribute in terms of summer ice melt (mainly directly or possibly via reducing winter ice growth - doesn't really matter) in some ~2 or so years from the peak of El-nino.

And since so far the strength of forming El-nino seems to be unprecedentally high - the "delayed effect" to Arctic (which is, again, is only my speculation) - might also be unprecedentally high. Especially since the balance seems to be going towards more melting even without El-nino.

727
Permafrost / Re: What is Happening under a Cloud of Methane?
« on: March 31, 2014, 10:10:48 AM »
If it's pure CH4 - sure, it should mix well.

There are some people who state that methane which gets into the athmosphere from water - is initially not free (not pure), but in some chemical way still bound to water. For example, those internets say that professor Ryskin published a paper in 2003, which had this in it, quote:

"Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life"

I certainly have difficulties imagining "methane loaded with water droplets", but this phraze could possibly be an example of incorrect translation (if the paper was originally in russian, which i guess it was). I'm not saying this quote is all correct; all i am saying is that perhaps there are several possible "modes" for athmospheric methane to exist, at least shortly after being emitted?

728
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 31, 2014, 09:19:00 AM »
Not sure of the direct impact it will have on the cryosphere but Mr. El Nino is about to go ape ****.




This the warmest since 1979 at the least.  Even warmer than the sub surface build up to 1997.  Like it's pulling away from 1997 at this point that is how absurd it is so far.

Remains to be seen if it can become as established but the chances of a Super nino are becoming more and more favorable.


One thing is for sure.  Watts and Co are about to watch the global temp anomaly get decimated.

Why, this boy may well be the killer which will be responsible for practically complete summer melt of Arctic ice by the year 2016, thus making predictions of Wieslaw Maslowski and Peter Wadhams to be 100% correct.

Previous time we had a strong El-nino - which was in 2010, - it did lots of erratic weather, including unprecedented (to this day!) drought in Russia (reducing national crop harvest massively; we lost nearly 40% of wheat harvest, the main crop of the country, and had to ban its export completely - which certainly resulted in higher prices for food in general around the world, and, some say, high food prices - was one of main true causes of so-called "arab spring"). But in terms of Arctic, the important thing is that 2 years after that El-nino, massive and sudden drop in Arctic ice cover happened (2012).

Somewhat similar thing happened after yet previous El-nino - in 2003, there also was massive, completely unprecedented, long-lasted drought (but this time, it was not in Russia, but in western and central Europe); and once again, few years later - not 2 years, but 4 years later in this case, - we had a massive drop in Arctic summer ice cover (2007).

Arctic melt accelerating during last decade in general, it may even be that Arctic "reaction" to presently developing El-nino will happen not in two years from now, but even faster - in 2015. Also, since the general trend is, so far, exponential melt, - 2014 may well be on par or even below 2012 in terms of minimal ice cover (in september), yet in terms of general trend it would still be a "cold" or "average" year (any year which does not break the record for minimum annual Arctic ice cover - is a "cold" year, nowadays; IMHO). An extremely warm year in Arctic - next "analogue" of 2007 and 2012, - will probably result in minimum ice cover below 1 million, and this developing El-nino seems to be a herald of this to happen (possibly in 2016)...




729
Permafrost / Re: What is Happening under a Cloud of Methane?
« on: March 28, 2014, 08:51:25 AM »
...
So, methane is probably a very important GHG for the runaway greenhouse effect as experienced on Venus, but hopefully will not reach that peak here on Earth!  8)
...
"Hopefully"? I can't see how can it reach that peak here on Earth, because Earth does not get enough solar radiation to get that hot. Amount of heat radiated out by any warm body is proportional to FOURTH POWER of temperature difference ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan%E2%80%93Boltzmann_law ), and last time i calculated maximum possible theoretical increase of surface temperature (global average) on Earth, i got something not far from +32C (iirc) as a maximum possible warming above pre-industrial; this was done assuming nearby space being 3K (kelvins), and Earth albedo being 0% (completely black body).

In other words, i don't see how Earth could ever get to 50C average global temperature, even, - unless sun's output would be dramatically increased (Nova?), or unless something will move Earth's orbit much closer to the sun (some 50+ millions kilometers closer).

EDIT
I gave it some more thought, and it seems i was wrong just above, considering the context of this discussion (namely, how much forcing methane would do locally). For land surfaces, at least.

Land surface is not transparent (in a usual sense of the word), for most if not all wavelengths of sunlight, right? Thin enough layer of a typical land surface matherial (rock, sand, soil) - would be transparent, though. A micron-thin layer or so, rudely speaking. Point is, most photons of sunlight do not go deeper - they are either reflected (smaller fraction right?), or absorbed.

So reality should be - a very thin layer of atoms at very surface (on land) getting "hotter" as they absorb sunlight. Then, some of those "excited" atoms (hotter ones) - emit another photon, likely infrared spectre, out. Random direction. If it goes "down" - it is "spent" to warm up deeper layer. If it goes "up" - good chances are it leaves the surface, and is on its way back to space (unless absorbed by some GHG gas, of course).

But then, what exactly would be the mean temperature of this very thin layer near surface? How hot it is, actually?

I know, - as many of us do, - that sand gets very hot (in most usual sense of the word) during a sunny day, with clear skies. So hot one can't walk on it - one's feet can't take it, so hot it is. So, quite a layer of sand - probably few centimeters at least, - seems to be at some 70C or higher temperature (for skin to not be able to withstand the sensation, right?).

If few centimeters of sand is some 70C+, then how hot the micron-thin upper layer is? Few hundreds degrees? 300? 500? No idea, but it gotta be quite hot.

This layer will emit on corresponding wavelengths, i guess. Making above considerations about W/m^2 affected, i guess. So methane would be not some +2...+3W/m^2 max possible forcing, but much more than that. During sunny days over land, that is. Of course, night is different, and then there are cloudy days, too.

And then there oceans, and water is quite transparent. Most of sunlight travels many centimeters through the water column without being absorbed, i guess? Still, it's not clear to me how "hotter" atoms (mainly H and O, since most of ocean is H2O) will get upon absorbtion of a single photon. Do they "instantly" warm up hundred degrees, and remain so until they emit some IR back? My physics are totally insufficient to have any clue. But at least i can see how transparency of water would prevent formation of this "very hot, thin" surface layer like it happens on land. Thus there must be massive difference about methane forcing above land and above open ocean.

Snow (which covers most of ice, anywhere) - is something in-between, and it's also colder, in general, than average land surface tempeature.

Edit2

Obviously, presence and density of vegetation will also be a key factor to this. Tried to find any solid data on the effect. It seems "LST", a.k.a. "Earth skin temperature", is only a rude measurement, barely accounting for the "micron-thin hotter layer" effect i suspected just above. LSTs are measured some 0.4 centimeters deep into the surface, - nothing like micron-scale i am thinking about. Still, in hotter places of the world, this "official" Earth-skin-temperature - does get near or sometimes above 70 degrees celcius, every year, which is higher than ever-recorded near-surface air temperatures, of course.

The consideration about major role of vegetation - is indirectly confirmed by this nice picture which demonstrates amount of infrared radiation which Earth emits (2003-2011 - average, i guess):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AIRS_OLR.png

Desert areas are definitely far ahead of areas with much vegetation (even at same latitude), much more than a difference of just ~dozen degrees would cause, imho. Sadly, i am so far unable to find any solid experimental data about measuring land surface temperature in terms of micron-scale upper layer... :(

Edit 3

An  interesting detail about water. Water's transparency seems to drop dramatically for most (all?) infra-red wavelengths. Just seen a statement that on some infrared wavelengths, 30-micron-thin layer of water absorbs 90% of the radiation.

730
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 28, 2014, 07:02:15 AM »
F.Tnioli


You might want to check the "What is happening under a cloud of methane" thread under "Permafrost" for some earlier discussion of the subject.


In Southern Ontario Canada we've had the harshest winter in some time. The warmth you've felt in Moscow has been absent here & consequently it's been difficult to bring Global Warming to anyone's attention.


Are people in Moscow questioning the advisability of drilling in the Arctic or is your government (like ours) attempting to downplay the downside of extracting and burning ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels.


Terry
Thank you, i'll check that thread out.

As for people in Moscow - simple folk (the majority of the populace) here - are unable to connect the dots. I.e., they surely know "something is wrong" about weather, but they are unable to see that drilling in Arctic - is one of things which will make the weather worse. Most have no idea what the difference between weather and climate is, even. Few who are able to see the connection between drilling in Arctic and climate change, - are unable to talk any much about it in russian section of the internet, since there is much pressure from both official "science" on the subject (which, in Russia, is extremely denialist "for public"), and also from a number of commenters who seem to join any discussion of the subject to harass, insult, mislead and "kill by spam" any worthy discussion.

Few pieces about climate change i've seen on russian TV channels, - they are not any frequent, - are all denialist. Many are poorly made from the point of view of any informed scientist - lots of nonsense, - but are obviously "good enough" for most of general populace. I've seen some of my relatives believing those TV programs, an extremely sad picture. Of course, it has to do with the natural desire of people (often subconsious) to reject threatening-their-future facts and ideas. Psychological block, so to say...

I am not surprised about the heavy denial from the state, and active denialist propaganda and russian-internet "trolling" which is being done. Russia, so far, is one of most heavily fossil-fuel-based economies. Any large-scale movement against fossil fuels - is a direct danger to the state. It is not, nor will be allowed in this country, as long as there is federal government here (it doesn't even matter what kind of government - they all will keep pumping oil and gas, making coal coke and melting steel, exporting alluminium, etc).

In the same time, i am quite sure that there is lots of not-made-public scientific work and effort aimed to adapt and endure climate change, which is being done in russian Academy of sciences and corresponding scientific institutions of the country. The government knows that current state of affairs won't last. Relatively recent intensification of far-east development in the country is one of visible signs of large-scale preparations which are being done. It's just that most of the public is kept ignorant about true cause of such preparations, as well as about true scale. Yamantau complex may well be another part of such preparations, but i don't know for sure (there are several signs that it is, but i don't have complete proof).

You may then wonder, why exactly russian government allows to drill in russian sectors of Arctic. I believe, the answer is quite simple: demand defines. This means, if Russia will ban any drilling in Arctic (for "conventional" oil and gas extraction), - then existing demand for fossil fuels will result in more non-conventional extraction elsewhere, which will result in MORE emissions total, rather than less. Oh, and Russia will lose quite massive income, too. I don't think that it is a difficult choice in such a situation, especially under current leadership of this country (which is quite, how to say it... Pragmatic, i guess).

731
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 27, 2014, 03:27:54 PM »
I see. Being some ~0...+20C surely seems much more like something which could be caused by winds, yes. Thanks!

I now wonder, is it that mainly-southern winds - is a new development in the area, or is it that direction of winds didn't change much any recently, - but air temperature did? I'd guess the former is the case, but not any sure... But if so, then may be we see a gradual appearance of the "new jet stream" system, somehow? I suspect changes in ice cover in the Arctic could lead to a very different shape/form/direction of polar air currents, including year-round ones. May be it's what we see here, then?

732
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 27, 2014, 08:03:43 AM »
...
Not methane? Then tell me, what else could it be?

I'm afraid the explanation may be much more benign.

Persistent mild southerly winds, courtesy of strong upper level ridge over the area.
...
Persistent so much those winds blow, without any noticeable pause, during all the last winter? Really? I didn't think it'd be possible for any place on Earth to have winds blowing from the same general direction (like, "south" in this case) for some 5+ months in a row.

But what do i know. If you say it's winds, i really, really hope it is winds. It'd be much better than a massive ongoing methane release, that's for sure.


edit: about snowcover. According to the map posted just above, snowcover near Moscow, Russia have disappeared during last week. Living in the area, i confirm the fact itself, however, it is important to note that this snow cover which was present ~week ago - was not all-winter snow cover, nor even month-long snow cover. Here in Moscow, snow cover was ABSENT most of the winter, - appearing after some cold spell, then lying around for several days, then being melt by a warm spell. We spent most of the winter here having no snow cover at all. Sure, there is heat island effect, but i think much of Eurasia was in the same mode of "snow cover for a few days then no snow cover for several weeks, rinse repeat" for most of this winter.

Nobody i ask can remember a winter like this in the area. Nobody.

733
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:27:51 AM »
Apparently, there was no freezing in this area last winter. None to talk about, at least. Cryosphere today maps show no ice last november, last december, this january, this feabruary, and this march. If there is no freezing, can't talk about "freezing anomalies", you know.

The fact that this region does not freeze at all, despite some ice still forming on the northern side of western half of Novaya Zemlya - is imho significant. Makes one doubt this persistent anomaly has anything to do with remains of Gulfstream, you know.

edit: especially so since i see, on same maps, that north shore of eastern half of Novaya Zemlya had some 80%...100% ice cover in January 1983, and in January 1996 (just some random years to check) - while in the same time, to the north of WESTERN half of Novaya zemlya - ice cover during said years/months was much more similar to what we have seen this winter, - i.e. far lower than 80%. So it seems to me that general warming in the Arctic resulted in a significant decrease of winter ice cover to the north of western half of Novaya Zemlya, yes, - but to the north of eastern half of it, nearly complete ice cover just some 15...20 years ago went to be open water year-around nowadays.

Not methane? Then tell me, what else could it be?

734
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: March 26, 2014, 10:05:34 AM »
That hot-spot in the northern Barents is quite eye-catching. And very persistent - wintertime anomaly is 5C+ for the last decade, and just getting bigger:



Does anyone know if there's been research/articles on this 'Barents Burn'? Or maybe any well-known explanations?
I am not sure how "well" known is this, - but it's known to me that
 - in the Arctic, there are massive methane clathrate deposits, methane gas "pockets" and lots of organic matter which release large amounts of methane when decomposed;
 - this particular place we talk about had to experience massive warming last decade as a result of greatly reduced (recent years - absent) ice cover during maximum insolation months (June, July);
 - this particular place possibly got even more warming if relatively nearby land mass sheds increasingly warm meltwater (average temperature) in increasing volume as years go by (which seems likely to me, considering overall Arctic amplification);
 - high local concentrations of athmospheric methane are likely to cause additional local temperature increase year-around - even without sunlight, methane, being relatively non-transparent at certain infra-red wavelengths, - slows down heat emission from the surface to space, returning some fraction of radiated heat back to the surface.

So, the only explanation i can think of - is that there are massive methane emissions in the region, which lead to this persistent anomaly locally, and contribute to higher-than-global-average methane content in the Arctic athmosphere, as well as to increase of global methane athmospheric content (proportionally, with time) just as well.

I would be very interested to see actual athmospheric methane measurements at this location. I haven't seen any, so far. I am not sure if such measurements were even done any systematically there.

735
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: December 05, 2013, 12:07:51 PM »
Good day, everyone.

Quite some time have passed since my last post here. Interesting things happened in Arctic, namely large increase in ice's volume and extent since August 2013 (relative to same periods of 2012, that is). One thing i suspect, - but can't prove, - is that a big geoengineering effort started in Arctic in early August 2013. An attempt to "re-freeze" it, so to say. Nearly two years ago, i've seen one excerpt out of one "not meant to be public" talk between some few Arctic specialists (scientists), discussing dynamics of Arctic ice retreat, and one of them mentioned that "we have to to start it" no later than 2013, otherwise "it" would definitely have "no significant chance of success". I never had a chance to learn what "it" he was talking about is, - but it is difficult to imagine anything else other than large geo-engineering process of some sort, given the context.

If this is the case, then 2014 might continue re-freezing. I say "might" - and not "will", - because of current (very high) methane readings in Arctic. Relatively recent estimate by Shakhova says that conservative figure for ESAS alone is 17 teragrams (megatons) of methane annually; seeing massive methane concentrations between Norwegia and Greenland this Novermber, which are definitely times more intense, in terms of amount of methane emissions, than what happened during November within ESAS, i tend to think that for whole Arctic, the figure is much above 100 teragrams annually for 2013 and onwards. If this doubles or triples in 2014, - which i guess is possible due to near-bottom temperature in shallow (<100 meters) waters getting much above methane hydrate stability maximum (due to mixing), thus destabilizing methane hydrates which are close to the sea floor - then even massive geoengineering effort in Arctic could be either weakened, or completely negated by additional methane-induced warming.

But, if 2014 will have methane emissions comparable to 2013, then i guess that any significant re-freezing geo-engineering done there during 2014 - will result in further re-freezing (possibly well above 2007's levels), which would - for me, at least, - be a clear confirmation that large geo-engineering action is going on in Arctic.

Both bad and good consequences are to happen out of any massive "let's cool it down!" geo-engineering done in Arctic. The most obvious good is that Earth - and in particular, our technological civilization, - gets more time before collapse. Our species gets better chance to avoid complete extinction. Nice, isn't it. One of bad things, though, is exactly same as the former above: more time before collapse of modern technological civilization - means even more damage, total, which said civilization will inflict upon biosphere of Earth. One other bad thing, - assuming that Arctic geo-engineering effort will be kept secret from vast majority of Earth human population, - is that Arctic re-freezing (artificially caused by geo-engineering) would be a major argument in hands of climate-change-deniers.

Meanwhile, none other than IEA recently released their estimate for observable future temperature rise (in their annual report for 2013). It's very much about quite "worst" scenarios becoming truth: IEA says we are likely to get to +3.6C by 2035 ( http://climate-l.iisd.org/news/iea-world-energy-outlook-highlights-energy-sector-trends-predicts-3-6c-temperature-increase/ ). This basically equates to shutdown of vast majority of existing industries and collapse of most of civilization by ~2040 at latest (both magnitude and _speed_ of this sort of change are improtant; modern global civ could probably survive +3.6C warming if it'd be over, say, 300 years; but over 30 years, it is very unlikely to survive as a whole). It might happen earlier, of course, due to ongoing, increasing instability in politics and economics (which when things get bad equals military action, up to nuclear-weapons conflicts). Pakistan, which was already hit by massive disasters (repeated catastrophic floods) - is a nuclear-armed country, for example.

And to comment earlier post,

I'd agree it's certainly a good time to be preparing, given the extensive efforts and timescales and resource requirements of serious plans. It ought to also be noted that the human environment of existing societies is very hostile (albeit in some measure unintentionally so) to any serious planning for continuity by minor (ie average person or citizen) actors. Most people are bound by laws that will essentially seriously degrade their prospects if they comply.
...
Indeed, time to prepare - is now. And i agree with you about "most people"; however, not primarily because of reason you gave - bound by laws, - but primarily because of the other reason: namely, that most people - are not fit to become part of small "survivors" societies. Small relative to present 7-billlions population, that is. Presently existing in "developed" and also much in "developing" countries (already) culture of consumption - should i say, mindless consumption, - renders "most people" being unable to overcome difficulties and challenges of existance in lower-tech, hard-work societies (which surviving "oases" of civilization will inevitably be). In other words, "most people" existing - are too weak. "Good quality of life", so long being a goal and feature of "modern societies", - weakens most of us. Both physically but most importantly, intellectually. Yet, this all does not reduce the validity of my earlier post, in my opinion - because survival of "oases" of civilization is not about "most people" at all; it is very minority, relatively very few people, who are needed to make it happen. "Minor actors" who "plan for continuity" - if among them are ones smart enough to plan _properly_ - i.e. effectively, in a way which will indeed work, - then these ones are also smart enough to circumvent the law. This includes doing most, or even all, preparations in a very subtle, secret manner. Like the author of "Beyond Collapse: Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch" puts it, - don't tell about preparations to your friends, don't even tell your family, don't even tell any much to anybody who is helping you to prepare; reveal only bits and pieces which you absolutely need to reveal; disquise your preparations as going to picnics, as "innocent" hobbies, as sport activities, etc.

...
Given that is the case, I'm not sure it's really time to start moving on such a scale - one could spend the extra time before collapse refining preparation and improving ones prospects, whereas as soon as you start to move you will add extensive drag to your operations - even if you somehow have the means to obtain a location to move to and to support yourself there. It is of course very hard to select any single location that will be empirically viable, and hence I prefer the idea of being mobile (at least initially).
...
In my earlier post, i was talking about "moving out" as a society, - dozens thousands (or more) humans from all corners of the globe, ones both willing and able to live humbly and to get through much trouble, for the sake of surviving through incoming thermal maximum, - forming a number of settlements which will intentionally be designed to be self-sustainable (thus relatively low, ~19th-century on average, level of technologies), durable, remote and protected against most threats (both human-made and environmental threats). You here talk about individual survival. On this level - yes, of course, mobility is the key. Without exceptional ability to travel, individual / family's chances to survive during collapse of modern civiliazation - are very close to zero. But, where you expect to settle down (sooner or later, you'll _need_ to settle down, as every known mobility methods is finite)? In a wilderness? Not a good idea; you and yours would end up doing just Lykovs did at best, - surviving for a few decades, gradually losing your intellectual and reproducing abilities, eventually dying out. No. You'll _need_ to get part of some larger group of humans. Settled group. I.e., you'll need to join some society. There are two possibly beginnings for such a society: it's either starts before the collapse of modern global civilization, or it starts after it. We can hope the latter is possible, but we can't count on it: it's always much harder to settle a new village / town / region than to just maintain already existed settlement, specially having no already-functioning settlements supporting you. Famous settlers in North America - conquerors of the "wild west" in USA, - we backed up by quite productive "east"; first european settles in North America - were supported by much settled Europe (both the case with Vikings and with guys like Columb); etc. In a post-collapse world, such support is likely to be absent. This is one of the reasons i say it's really needed to have some "designed to survive collapse of global civilization" places way before collapse happens. Another reason to it - is higher overall level of technologies and better overall security, resource base and social structure, all possible to create and maintain if "survivors' " societies are to be found well before the collapse, rather than after. Because, it's definitely easier to create a functioning society / permanent agriculture / security / etc while still having all the modern means of travel, communication, industrial power, - than without those.

Sure thing, no matter whether such societies will be created before collapse or not, - relatively large number of humans will manage through initial stages of collapse. In the worst case, all survivors (of the collapse) will go through such a phase. So yes, preparation for it is important and needed. And yes, moving out to some remote location right now as an individual (or as a family) - seems yet premature as of now. But time to start building up places and infrastructures for future "oases of remaining civilization" - is, in my opinion, already now. Perhaps, some few places are already being built, too - for example, re-purposed from "good old days" Yamantau ( http://exploringdystopia.freeforums.org/mount-yamantau-is-russia-preparing-for-the-unthinkable-t652.html ). Note, this (and some other) sources say it's about 60.000 people; according to one of my sources (which i am not willing to share here), correct figure is 40.000 people in full autonomy for half a year; 60.000 is max possible number of inhabitants in an event of much shorter (than half a year) autonomous housing.

736
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: September 12, 2013, 12:18:38 PM »

Glad to see someone else make this point that I try to bring up regularly.

Even given the normal vicissitudes of history, it would seem quite likely that every nuclear (and, as you say, chemical) plant would at some point be subject to: war, greed, incompetence, terrorism, malfeasance, accident, earthquake, tsunami...or some combination of these.

... But there are an awful lot of people within the distance of a future plume. And those areas will be dangerous to live in for quite a while (again, as you say, depending on the isotopes involved and the distance of the spread...).
Excellent summary. I agree with it.

I forgot if i mentioned it before, but this is exactly one of major reasons why i say so much about running far away. Alaska, forests of Canada, Siberia, remote areas of southern parts of South America (its most cool parts in terms of climate), Tibet, some high platous in Africa may be, etc - basically, regions which have little to none fission matherials nor complex chemical production (something as simple as fractioning oil would hopefully not produce highly toxic things).

It'll be too late to start packing up and running away when hundreds of nuclear and chemical industrial objects will start to pop up - especially since very reasons for them to pop up, named in the quote, - are also very much reasons of huge difficulties in travel and security.

Note, by "packing up" i mean more than just personal of family survival (this too, of course, but not just it). For me, "packing up and settling some place far away" primarily means whole societies doing so. Indeed, to survive for any long (more than a generation) and in any civilized manner, at least couple dozens thousands of humans, - i.e. society of some kind, - is to be. Now imagine how darn difficult it'll be for whole society to pack up, go far away, and settle down in some safer place, if the process of such a migration is started when obvious problems are already happening - i mean indeed some combination of war, greed, incompetence, terrorism, malfeasance, accident, earthquake, tsunami. Even if most powerful entities would make their main goal to set up some remote-and-safer-place societies in hope to survive in them, - i'd say it will be close to impossible to do it by then.

Since we know that sooner or later global tech civ will indeed ram itself into this sort of trouble, and since we do not know when exactly it'll happen, and since there is no indication it couldn't happen next month or next year, - i say the time to pack up and move (again, whole societies!) - is NOW. And of course i don't mean taking some existing city and moving whole of it out there; it won't work. Instead, most likely, the new places will have to be filled with people from all corners of the globe, most likely ones who are able to live without ruining their local and regional life support systems, too (this is about culture, religions, traditions, education, laws and government systems, all together). Infrastructure for such settlements will have to be made nearly from scratch, using only regionally-sustainable (without extrernal industrial nor informational support) things and technologies (much lower-tech inevitably). Huge work, probably taking many years at least (if not decades). Still, for our species, it's either this, or pretty much die (as a civilization at least - i'm not convinced physical extinction is very likely).

Any flaw in my logic? Dam i'd be glad if there's one... And grateful if someone would show one to me. Can't see one myself.

737
Could it though be not errors, but intended disinformation? I imagine that people who control HYCOM are well aware that:
 - Arctic ice will be gone in September in a few years, and in 2020s, several months of ice-free Arctic ocean will be annual norm;
 - Average Joe around the world is quite stupid, but not stupid enough to not realize that if whole Arctic melts, then it means massive warming is going on;
 - Average Joe does not fly to Arctic himself, nor has any trusted peers who do, therefore he's only able to know that Arctic melted if specialists tell him it did;
 - It is possible, with sufficient effort and money, to make some specialists to make data and reports which are very far from reality;
 - It is possible, with sufficient effort and money, to shut up the rest (at least in terms of any significant mass-media, large internet portals included).

Could it be that HYCOM "new" system is just one of first, relatively small, steps of mass-disinformation campaign, one which is only starting as of now, aimed to make public to keep thinking, in observable future, that Arctic sea ice is not a goner (while it actually would be)?

738
Arctic sea ice / Re: New Arctic Sea Ice News article
« on: August 21, 2013, 04:12:42 PM »
...
Quote
... By contrast, Antarctic sea ice is near a record maximum extent for mid-August.
Which may be happening, at least in part, because Antarctic continental ice sheet's melt accelerates now. Because, in initial phases of new, accelerating, mode of melting, one of first things which happen in there - has to be forming of melt ponds and small lakes on top of ice sheet itself, during summer, and much of that water goes under and "lubricates" the bottom of coastal glaciers. Just like it happens in Greenland, same thing. At least, some glaciers are affected by this very much. Which leads to large acceleration of sliding of ice from land to ocean. And i think this effect - this accelerated movement of ice from land (Antarctic continent) into lower elevation (into the ocea) - i think it goes on well into winter, if not significantly year-round. It's just the sheer scale of Antarctic continent and masses of ice involved which makes it that more able to go on "dropping extra ice" even during winter; the bottom, where liquid water increasingly "lubricate" rockbeds, is well insulated, in many places, from cold air above, - and Earth's own heat is also a factor.

Not so long ago, one big piece finally went off: http://www.nasa.gov/content/antarctic-glacier-calves-iceberg-one-fourth-size-of-rhode-island/ . If things like this are happening more often / in larger scale, due to increasing amount of under-ice water in coastal areas of Antarctic, then it's no wander that global warming leads to growing ice extent around Antarctic.

This must and will change once coastal areas in Antarctic would lose all "easy to part" ice, though - together with increasing meltwater annual drop, at some point max (and min) sea ice axtent there will switch from stable/slowly_rising from rapidly shrinking, which is already the case in Arctic, which has times less total mass of ice (i mean sea ice plus land-based ice combined).

The process is noted, in some sense, even by sceptical science: http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm (green part, that is).

739
... I understand that solar heating can be and is significant.  But it's significance is proportional to how "static" the medium it's heating is.  If I dig a hole in my back yard and line it with black plastic and fill with water, it will heat up fast.  If I do that and run a stream through it so the water is constantly turning over it will barely heat up a bit.  ...
Depends on what you mean by "heating" term. If you mean how much degrees Kelvin (whatever) is the difference between temperature of water before and after Sun does its work on your hole, then yes, the dependancy you mention is true and large (static waters heats up much warmer, flowing water heats up a little). But, if by "heating" you mean how much additional energy, total, Sun managed to "insert" into the water you have in your hole, - then it's (almost) the same no matter how static or flowing your water is. Because, when you have your pit with static water, all that energy accumulates in a small volume of water - volume comparable to the volume of your pit; but if it's flowing, then all that same energy still gets "inserted" into the water just the same, but it is simply distributed into many times larger volume of water - the faster is the flow, the larger is the total volume of water which had "some" sunlight striking it.

In terms of Arctic, i believe it is the latter case which is important. Energy.

In other words, if you'd do two pits in your backyard, both black plastic and same volume, and then if you'd have pit #1 having 10 liters of static water (no flow), and pit#2 having circulating 1000 liters of water through it (closed loop), and let Sun to hit both for some time, and then if you'd drop say 5 liters of water ice, same temperature, into both pits (having circulation still going on in pit #2) - i bet you'd have very same proportion of ice being melt in both pits.

IMHO only, of course. My last physics class was many years ago, too. But i believe i am not wrong here, so i wrote.

740
...could it be that Greenland is indeed dropping much more - possibly, times more, - meltwater every year in compare to what it was just some 3+ years ago?
If this were happening I would expect it to have been picked up by the GRACE satellites.

These are using gravity measurements to measure the melt/snowfall accumulation of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. If you visit the blog of Jason Box - http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=1120 - you find that the Grace estimate for 2012 was a contribution of just under 1.5mm from Greenland melt to global sea level. The up to date graphs are here: http://polarportal.dk/en/greenland-ice-shelf/nbsp/total-mass-change/

As to the SSTs to the West of Greenland, I can find a map of the sea level depths here - http://geology.com/world/arctic-ocean-bathymetry-map.jpg - which shows that the seas there are relatively shallow. I think the warm SSTs there are just a result of early sea-ice melt allowing the shallow seas to warm in the sunshine, just as in the Barentsz sea.
Anomalously warm SSTs there (near both east and west shores of Greenland, 72-73 degrees northern latitude) are certainly influenced by sunshine, no doubt; however, can't be solely caused by it for a simple reason: the very map you are showing demonstrates shallow shelves along those coasts being all the way from 64 degrees up to 83 degrees northern latitude. If sunshine would be the sole or main driver, then we'd see a gradient of steadily dropping from south to north temperatures. Instead, we see 2 definite anomalous regions with high SSTs, with SSTs being a few degrees lower both to the south and to the north.

GRACE data for 2012 and 2013 - up-to-date graph your gave a link to, - is very interesting. It does show that during summer times (July, August - exactly the time we are at now) Greenland loses ~150...170 cubic kilometers of mass, net change per month. So, it's 150+ billions of tons of meltwater a month = ~5 billions tons of meltwater dropped into Arctic ocean every day.

If we'd imagine that ~4 billions tons of that comes out as two big "rivers", one flowing to the east and the other to the west, each dropping some ~2 billions tons of water every day, then that's exactly what could be causing those anomalously high SSTs along Greenland coast at ~72...73 degrees.

Ob - one of largest siberian rivers, - has average discharge of 12.475 cubic meters per second. Roughly, 12.500 tons per second = 1,08 billions tons every day.

There is a link from the graph you gave to this abstract: http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/6/3397/2012/tcd-6-3397-2012.html . Which says (quote, part):
"... For the whole GRACE period our trend estimate for Greenland is −234 ± 20 Gt yr−1 ... These trends show a clear (with respect to our errors) increase of mass loss in the last four years. " Clear it indeed is, seeing 2012 is some 500+ Gt yr-1 mass loss.

So the authors themselves admit that last few years, there was large ("clear with respect to our errors") increase of annual mass loss. But then, why they INCLUDE years 2011 and 2012 into the "average" - into the base with which recent years are to be compared to? Why on both graphs i see on the page you gave the link to - http://polarportal.dk/en/greenland-ice-shelf/nbsp/total-mass-change/ - these last years with greatly increased mass loss are included into the average? You see, including last 2 years - with the dataset being only a decade, - increases the average dramatically, makes it closer to 2012 values. 95% confidence area also moves up much. This creates an impression of slower than actual increase of meltwater discharge. No idea if they did this intentionally or it was just sloppy thinking on their part; anyhows, in the abstract itself, they give that simple number - ~234Gt net mass loss per annum for Greenland, - and on their graph for 2012, we can see it was more than 500Gt net mass loss for 2012. So it more than DOUBLED in reality, - something not readily obvious from graphs themselves exactly for the reason i just described.


Thank you for links and your opinion, but so far i still think it's meltwater which creates those two large SST anomalies along Greenland costs. I still think increase in annual meltwater discharge from Greenland affects polar region noticeably, and if amount of meltwater discharge would continue to grow, so will continue to grow this process' significance for (remnants of) Arctic sea ice, ocean itself, and climate in Arctic.


edit/addition: I made a picture to illustrate the idea which i meant earlier:

where:
1 - Arctic ocean;
2 - Greenland's ice sheet (part);
3 - Greenland's rockbed;
L1 - under-ice lake #1;
L2 - under-ice lake #2.
years given are just to illustrate time flow, otherwise meaningless: no intention to define time scale of the process nor any actual dates of any tipping points.

So you see, as time go on and amount of melt water which sips down to those lakes from above increases bit by bit, lakes get bigger - they "eat" the ice which is their "ceiling", - and at some point, becoming "full" with liquid water in terms of rockbed, excess water from them start to run out - eventually to Arctic ocean.

Depending on rockbed profile, increases may happen
 - gradually, as is the case on this picture: "lower" and "smaller" lakes get full 1st and whatever water was previously just adding to their volume - starts to run out to the ocean, however, "larger" and/or "higher" lakes are not full yet, and don't yet start to produce excess runout (the middle part of the picture above, marked "2012", is such a state); but once thos bigger and/or higher-placed lakes get full, they further increase net meltwater runout ("2015" case in the picture).
 - abruptly, - which would be the case if L2 on the picture would get "full" before L1 would. Then, at some point, excessive meltwater runout from both lakes would "instantly" start to go into Arctic ocean - since before that instant, all excess water from both lakes would still end up filling either L1+L2 or still L1 alone.

Real rockbed is, of course, varied; some places, it's gradual increase from this, other places it's abrupt. Net total is, therefore, would be somewhat gradual increase of annual meltwater runoff from Greenland, but will some spikes of increase, spikes of all possible sizes, but the larger the spike, the less often it happens.

No idea if this would be useful to anyone, but here it is, i have this thought, i shared it before i'd forget it.

741
Thanks for links, man, i'll read thouroughly to learn as much as i can.

I doubt very much that surface temperature anomalies currently in place near Greenland are from Gulfstream - especially the one west from Greenland, - because the form of anomalies themselves (i mean, look at those concentric half-circles of lower and lower temperature anomaly around relatively small chunks of Greenland coast) - is very suggestive of a relatively small, point-like sources of warm water right at the shore of Greenland. One near the west coast of Greenland is located at such a place where Greenland shore comes nearly strictly from south to North, too. So you see, it is hard for me to imagine how exactly Gulfstream would 1st get deep enough not to influence (any much) surface temperatures to the south of said SST anomalies, then, 2nd, travel deep underwater, as a warm current, northward for thousands of miles along _both_ east and west coasts of Greenland, then 3rd - re-surface in relatively small areas, despite having still much more open water to the north (in general), and 4th, to do all that while still being substantially warm.

742
...
Quite something when such warm anomalies can be considered to constitute a relatively "cool" year, though.
Was thinking same thing, too. Went on to see a few regional maps in locations of large rivers entering the ocean - those places have SSTs for thousands square kilometers of the ocean being some 18...20 degrees C. Looking back at the one i posted here with my previous message, i see that some most anomalously hot regions are indeed ones where big rivers come in.

And then i see two large and rather red anomalously warm regions near Greenland. What is it? Greenland melt waters? If yes, and if to assume that the temperature of melt waters there should be much lower than temperature of rivers going into Arctic ocean from continents, - for a simple reason that rivers go largely through now ice-free areas for hundreds of kilometers, being warmed up by the sun - while Greenland melt waters are going through/under ice and thus are being kept rather close to freezing point - then, with such an assumption, some wild guess about the volume of melt waters there - is really scary. That is, if melt waters are indeed near freezing point temperature, then it must be extremely very huge volume of melt waters to produce those large anomalously warm regions near Greenland.

This speculation i just did would not be significant enough to post here, if not this:


Last 2 years, it's a sea level rise of some 10-11mm every year; could it be that Greenland is indeed dropping much more - possibly, times more, - meltwater every year in compare to what it was just some 3+ years ago? Could it be happening because Greenland's under-ice lake-like reservoirs of liquid water are now "full", while until some ~3 years ago they still were not, and much of melt water was not dropped into the ocean, but was still filling up those land-based "lakes" in Greenland itself (under ice)? This would be something which never happened before (last couple thousands years at least, i guess); just like ~10mm/year sea level rise - which, obviously from the graph, never happened before (in recent past) for 2 consequetive years.

I'd be glad if someone would show me where my guess is demonstrably wrong; cause if i am not wrong, then it's quite a new mode for the whole Arctic, and its sea ice in particular: huge amounts of meltwater where there was times less of it before - would be massive and increasingly powerful factor, influencing currents, bottom melt, salinity, quality of (relatively nearby) masses of MYI, you name it...

743
Significantly large areas being some +8 degrees C anomaly according to



 - how typical is this in terms of last ~5 years, though? Anybody knows? I really have a bad feeling about it. Also, i recon it's about the surface temps; how deep this anomalous heat in open-water areas may go, though? ~50 meters on shelves? More?

744
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: August 13, 2013, 04:18:49 PM »
Finally! A person who understands. Ccgwebmaster, your message is one i completely agree with.

I did make further considerations from facts you mentioned, and concluded that
 - while humans are indeed hard to get rid of as a species, - Gaia almost managed to do it couple dozens thousands years ago, when human population of Earth was as low as ~2000 souls, living in just one small area IIRC (at least that's what geneticists tell us). So, in your terms, we better have - means, maintain locally after global IC collapse, from local matherials, using only local knowledge and locally-rebuildable infrastructure, - more technology than just fire and pointy sticks. If we are seriously about to increase chances of the species to survive through incoming thermal maximum big mankind have triggered, and which - also worth noting, - is faster than any similar (at its scale) event humans may have endured before, many times faster - like 10...40 times faster i guess;
 - whatever social structure and form of civilization we end up living with after global IC shutdown, - it will have to be truly sustainable. Can't repeat mistakes of killing our environments - mistakes which are characteristic not only for present global IC, but also for so many regional civilizations of the past. Egypt was not always such a huge desert, nor Greece was always so scarce with forests and other green things, nor middle east; even in Bible, mentions of forests are - for places which are little more than barren sand nowadays;
 - since we humans will need rather substantial levels of technologies, and the highest possible level of understanding how to live without compromising the environment, - it's much needed to do some serious R&D for what those small "oases" of civilization will be. We'll need to have them not too complex, obviously, in the same time. It's also much needed to start preparing working "nodes" which after shutdown of global IC will turn into those oases; preparations such as introducing much desired, locally-maintainable technologies; much needed ideas, social agreements, knowledge; required local infrastructure; security; personnel.

That's what i was talking about above, using other words and discussing more general things. What you'd think about all this? Dreams? Can't be done? Nobody will do? But, is there any other way?

745
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: August 13, 2013, 12:25:04 PM »
...
The world does not run in a vaccuum, isolated from what other countries, nations are doing. Not anymore. The failure to gain global acceptance and meaningful changes in time means extinction for all. It's that simple.
It ain't that simple.

You say, "extinction for all". Well, this must then include the extinction of, say, Nenets people ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nenets_people ). All 41000+ of them.

Now tell me, what, exactly, will kill them?

Higher temperatures? Not likely. As Arctic becomes ice-free, average humidity, especially during summers, rises up in their lands. The area is expected to have higher precipitation annual average as global warming goes on (Dai et al, projecting PDSI for all regions of the world for temperature climbs of up to +4C). This effectively counters temperature climb of maximum highs during summer - and, given the place, those highs were very modest, too, so there is still very much room before 35C wetbulb would be seen there, too. As for winters, i don't think Nenets people will be killed by a rise of averages for winter months from some -30 to some -15. It'll still stay well below 0 no matter how hotter world gets, due to polar night every winter.

Perhaps, extinction of other species? Not likely. Grass and other plants in tundras are very resilient. Their seeds survive extremely low air temperatures in winter (as low as -60 celcius). Grass itself also had to survive through arid periods during summer, too. More water would make it bloom, in fact. Ergo, reindeers and other fauna will still have ample food (quite possibly, more ample than ever before).

May be collapse of global civilization would kill them? I doubt. While partially "civilized" as of now, still many of them are nomads, like they were for centuries before. Yes, nowadays, they use modern guns for hunting, and lots of industrially produced things, from knives to cloth. However, these are still only conviniences for them - i recon they are still so close to the old ways they would easily manage to gradually get used to once again go without any modern industrially-made thing. Gradually, because even when global IC shuts down - things Nenets have - guns, clothes, knives, whatever else - won't disappear overnight. Those things will break/fail/become_useless one after another in a matter of a couple decades, give or take.

May be radioactive pollution from failing nuclear power plants worldwide will kill Nenets people? I don't think so. They don't have much, if any, nuclear matherials piled up all around their pastures, and remote (hundred+, more like thousands miles away) outbursts of radioactive matherial won't kill them.

May be sea level rise will kill them? Nope. Their land, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nenets_Autonomous_Okrug , is made out of some mountains and the rest being plains, and about 90% of those plains are 100+ meters above sea level. Complete melt of Greenland and Antarcctica will raise sea levels some 76...82 meters or so (uncertainty is because we don't know exactly how much total thermal expansion of ocean water there will be by the time said land-based ice-caps melt).

May be the mega-tsunami i mentioned above would kill Nenets people? Well, if you'd look on the map i just linked, you'll notice how Nenets okrug is kind of "shielded" by Scandinavia from the west; a mega-wave from Greenland will arrive mightily weakened, and perhaps won't go through all those 100+ meters above-sea plains of the Nenets okrug. Antarctica is on the other side of the globe, even - Nenets okrug would be among the least affected places of the world, if Antarctica burst some insanely powerful melt-water tsunami to the world, at some point. Still, if big enough discharge, plains of Nenets okrug could possibly be hit in entirety. But Few thousands Nenets would possibly survive in mountains there, and populate same plains after a couple of decades after the mega-wave.

May be increasingly erratic weather will kill Nenets people? Well, again, amount of precipitation is projected to increase in the area. Heavier downpurs? Sure, but, the region has good natural drainage into the Arctic ocean. Occasional draughts? Sure possible, but there are TONS of big rivers, lakes, swamps, and underground water tables there are not exhausted by modern industrial farming and irrigation. There most likely still will be large harm done by fires and heatwaves in terms of fires, death of green plants which are far from any big water source (on- or under-ground one), reflected by increasing troubles to find good pasture for reindeers; however, much of pasture will still remain, surviving on water in the system (said sources), - and from which, areas which were devastated by draught will keep recovering.

So tell me, did i miss something? Well, apart from indeed "not really inevitable in observable future" events like huge asteroid hit. And please tell me, indeed, how exactly you tihnk Nenets people will end up "extinct"?


Because at the moment, my humble opinion is: people like Nenets and some other small nations in "remote areas", which are still much old-ways societies - might even barely notice that big, modern, industrial civilization went belly up; they'll go on and live. It'll be more difficult even for them, but extinction? Can't see how.

746
I guess it'll look quite blue. In Bremen's colors, that is.

747
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: August 12, 2013, 11:39:59 AM »
I don't know if to congratulate you, or be sorry, so i guess i'll just nod to the fact that significant head trauma you mentioned, Wili, did not kill you, nor made you crazey (nuts, bonkers, silly - that sort of thing).

Better luck next time - either dodging it or getting out by it (no idea which one you'd prefer). Heck, no idea which one i'd prefer, even.

P.S. Heh, guess there is a song for you, Wili. Be sure to listen in entirety; only then cadenza becomes truly magical.


748
Arctic sea ice / Re: When will we see open ocean at the north pole?
« on: August 12, 2013, 11:30:38 AM »
Not sure about when, but as for direction, I reckon from the south  :P Sorry.
Disputable.

Geographic pole (the averaged spot around which Earth's rotation axis fluctuates) does not match magnetic pole. Assuming we talk ice-free geographic pole, and then assuming magnetic compass is used to see where "north" is, the issue becomes slightly more complicated. %)

749
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: August 09, 2013, 12:40:43 PM »
Can't append previous one - max length limit reached. Well, here the rest is.

...
It is really most in the middle and upper classes of developed countries, particularly in Anglophone countries, that make up your #3 group, imho.
...
Not only. Billions of poor farmers (in total) of India, China (at least until recently), in many poor countries of Africa are also group #3 - majority of those folks are group #3. If they would be group #1, then they wouldn't, in ANY case, have families of 3+ children. Why? Because it's important to pass the knowledge, to pass the understanding, to as many as possible - to those few who got enough brain power and enough interest to learn and become part of group #1; yet by having many children, one is spending oh so much time to simply feed them, to provide for them on the most basic level. For humans, genes define a significant part of what we are, but only a LESSER part; the majority of our behaviour, actions, decisions and production - is defined by our culture (non-genetic knowledge). And our mainstream - in other words, dominating at the moment, - culture - is fatally flawed, killing the life on which it itself depends, and unable to stop doing so. Do poor farmers know those facts? Why, some few possibly do. But most of those with large families didn't even hear that there is some problem with increasing CO2 content, you know? Quite obvious, most of them is group #3, and will remain so: even until now, mere physical individual/family survival there was difficult; in deteriorating world, they'll have even less desire, time and energy to spend it on anything else but keeping their stomachs at least a quarter-full.

Lower classes are mostly group #3 as well. Yes, i based general description on a typical city-dwelling family (more than half of people alive live in cities nowadays) - but it was to give an idea of "usualness", so to say, and not to exclude poor workers, homeless, dwellers of slums and other "got little money if any" people out there. In fact, most of those actually do raise kids and grandkids, as far as i can tell - and in fact, they are very busy and quite often very happy doing it. Yes, poorer people do have significantly high empathy, and they often know much more about global problems created by modern industries and technologies. This is, sadly, balanced back by a disabling factor: they are, well, quite poor in terms of money - which means they can do really really less than middle and upper classes. After all, in modern world, money _do_ give power to make things happen - you probably noticed that yourself, i guess. Yep. Probably, you did. :D

...
As you say, as the science has become clearer and clearer, the world has been emitting more and more CO2. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at all-time highs, and the rate at which it is increasing is at an all-time high as well. ...
In fact, science knew about grennhouse effects of CO2 even in 19th century. And science also knew that burning coal emits lots of CO2. This knowledge didn't stop coal revolution. You can easily find names and dates of related discoveries in the net.

Another fact is, completely definite experiments in laboratory, confirming without a doubt detailed mechanism of greenhouse effect of CO2, were done in 1970s. And, in 1970s, science was already very clear about amounts of CO2 in the athmosphere, amount of fossil fuel reserves (in terms of orders of magnitude, at least), - and thus it was very clear that by burning even a quarter of fossil fuels down there, the greenhouse effect will become planetary problem of catastrophic proportions. Perhaps, this knowledge and consequent attempt to act about it - was the true, unspoken to the public cause of the huge oil price increase in 1970s ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Crude_oil_prices_since_1861.png ), in an attempt to force the system to reduce oil consumption and extraction levels (higher prices = less consumption, quite naturally). If it was such an attempt indeed, then it failed: after a few years, prices fell back to traditionally low values.

...
I challenge anyone here to come up with a remotely plausible scenario (or even an implausible one) whereby we rapidly go to zero C emission in the next very few years. Only such a trajectory has the remotest chance of averting or even ameliorating near-universal extinction (various bacteria will doubtless survive just about anything we throw at them).
Gee, this is an easy one. Scenario is: dropping a couple hundreds nuclear warheads into world's key centers of industry and population. Is it nice? Nope, definitely it isn't. I've seen that UK movie made in 1980 about nuclear war - what was the name of it, "Threads"? Yep, that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threads . Very simple to grasp what nuclear war is in reality, and how pityful will be little remains of mainkind after it. Especially the very last moment... Poor girl. To literally EVERYONE who didn't see it, i highly recommend to go and watch it ASAP. Here it is, even embeddes nicely:

But. You didn't say "nice". You said "plausible". With large stockpiles of nuclear weapons existing in several countries, and systems like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-135_anti-ballistic_missile_system , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Hand_%28nuclear_war%29 and similar ones which, i do not doubt, our american "friends" are using, - it's quite plausible scenario. You can get some basic idea how close we were to it in the past if you'd read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov , and even after USSR collapse - still same thing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident . I heard americans had quite a few close calls, too.

Anyhows, large-scale (potentially global bar Antarctica) nuclear exchange, despite all its horrors, would indeed stop nearly all man-made CO2 emissions. It'd kill most of humans, and create nuclear winter which would kill most of plants too - and by extension, most of animals as well, though. Not to mention the radiation... It's not acceptable. Still, it is 1) plausible scenario even if we do not like it, - if only by some too unfortunate series of mistakes and malfunctions within aging nuclear armament and deterrent systems, - and 2) able to stop CO2 emissions.

So, here we go, good question - good answer, i say...

There is (probably is - still alive, not sure) professor Eric Pianka. He was considering Ebola. It kills relatively quite fast. Lethality is high (sokme 90% or higher). It affects only humans, if i remember correctly. But, unlike the professor, i do not think it's a plausible ones. There won't be people with enough guts and courage and madness all mixed together to prepare, organize and execute world-wide Ebola epidemy - nor it's any easy to ensure that _all_ major population masses a hit by it. Quite rather difficult to infect most of humans alive - those "bastards" are worse than roaches, they'll hide, they'll run away, they'll get underground for a long time and they'll be darn very inventive about staying alive and not infected. So this probably won't work even if tried. Despite all that, good professor Pianka had some audiences making some standing applauds to some of statements of his related to this. May be there was some point i didn't get? Not sure. Still, i don't think this or similar - any genocidal, - solutions would work. Plus, it'd be, by itself, a largest crime in the history of mankind, and it'd be an abandonment of all hopes for a "miracle" which somehow would still save most or all of humans now alive.

Anyone knows any advanced species from other stars who can get in in time and fix our problems with a few button presses? Call 'em if you do, please, tell 'em we need their kind and althruistic help. ... Joking, of course, with this. But you know - hope, it dies last. Who knows. May be. No theoretic principal obstacles. We got unlucky with so much fossil fuels and oxygen athmosphere which is so good at making lots of energy outta them. How about we get really lucky and get some good-hearted, god-like aliens arriving and fixing our problems? In terms of Michio Kaku (i mean the bit in which he speaks about other possible civilizations out there), even level 2 civ would suffice - one which is not hostile, that is (and we simply do not know whether they'd be, so there's a hope they wouldn't be hostile).

I wouldn't call this exactly "plausible", of course... But, again, hope dies last. People's wisdom says that while ones is indeed to hope for the best, - one is also to be preparing for the worst, though. So here we are talking about what's what, exactly for this reason.

Thanks for listening to me. I hope i did help a bit. Cheers!

750
Consequences / Re: Highly unlikely Worst Case Scenarios
« on: August 09, 2013, 09:43:27 AM »
Laurent, I can only paraphrase Lovelock--Leaving humans to care for the maintenance of the earth's living systems/climate is like leaving a goat in charge of a garden.
This understanding is incomplete. Term "humans" here is true ONLY if it means "typical humans". In terms of my previous post - humans of group #2 and #3. But, group #1 is exactly those few folks around who would do very GOOD at allowing earth's living systems and Earth climate to continue functioning naturally, - and with time (long time, centuries at least!) - may be even learn enough to become able to indeed maintain the biosphere and climate, which would include jentle, small adjustments in key elements of those systems, which would successfully prevent most harmful natural fluctuations of those extremely very complex systems of Earth - so complex that even now, nobody yet knows in sufficient detail how both work, nor everything about how those two systems interact with each other and change each other. With time (centuries or even many millenia), sufficient effort and smart information storage and transmission technologies (not nesessarily electronic) the complete understanding could be achieved - it's just tremendous work, but nothing impossible. Then, long-term sustainable management of Gaia itself may well begin. This is something goats could never do _in principle_, - not without evolving into fully sapient creatures 1st, at least.

F.Tnioli, I like what you wrote 8), let me summarize using one your sentence:
Quote
I say, it is now time to stop fighting the dinosaur and start doing what we can to survive consequences of the dinosaur's reigh.
Ivica, this is proper summarization indeed, well done! Yet, if i'd post only that one sentense, nobody would probably understand what i meant, eh. THere's a typo there, too; i meant "reign", not "reigh". Sigh. Sorry.


... But this all prompts the question: "Do humans, and even more human 'civilization,' deserve to survive, given what we have managed to do to the living planet during our short stay here so far?" ...
This one i was thinking about alot, too. It also puzzled me at some point. I saw many reasons for and against it. Confused, i started to investigate why so many reasons both for and against "whether man is worth living" do exist. I have found that just like humans themselves, "civilization" is not a same thing every time and every place. There were and still are places and communities who live in harmony with their environment, stable for thousand+ of years in some cases - despite being civilized enough to have professions, writing, complex social structures, sophisticated small-scale manufacturing. So you see, civilization itself does not nesessarily kill the planet. What it provides, though, is tremendous amplification of man's powers. If powers are destructive to environments (which they are among people from group #2), - then such an amplification is disastrous. If powers are non-destructive, though (group #1) - then such an amplification is very desirable to whole Gaia, to all life on Earth! Here's excellent example: asteroids. Sufficiently big asteroids to cause very huge extinctions of life on Earth - fall down once in a while (once in some 60-100 millions of years, give or take). Without civilization, humans could do nothing about it. Once next one arrives, BOOM, next extinction of all larger-than-mouse land species, and most species in the ocean too. Within modern civilization, there are astronomical observations and technologies to alter the trajectory of any possible threat of such an asteroid long enough before the impact to avoid the impact entirely. NASA keeps track of many thousands of potentially dangerous ones, and there are ways to alter their trajectory, and even ways to simply evaporate them shortly before an impact (precise enough launch of a heavy ICBM up to few hundreds kilometers - into the space, - and then detonating all its warheads in the precise moment when incoming asteroid would be very close to the ICBM).

From just this one example, your question can be re-phrazed as: do we humans - the only species on this planet during ~4 billions years of evolution of organic matter who are actually able to stop regular onslaught and vast reductions of biodiversity, both of which is made rather regularly by large asteroid hits, - do we humans deserve to survive?

The correct answer to this - both this form and your original question - is neither "yes" or "no". Correct answer is: majority of now existing humans do not deserve to survive, but some people do more than deserve it - in fact, they, together, are to be saved at all costs, because only they can rebuild and nurture and restore what majority of mankind so quickly screwed up (and as of now continues to ruin); and similarly, mainstream consumer and "popular" culture - does not deserve to survive, it's too much an abomination, but some other cultures - among which some indigenous ones, and some just-born and yet-forming truly sustainable ones, and some properly scientific ones, - do more than deserve survival, and are also to be saved if at all possible. I guess. Would you agree with this, i wonder?

...
Most would want to brush past such a question, but I think it is partly because most aren't willing to ponder these kinds of fundamental questions deeply enough that we have managed to get ourselves and the planet into such a mess in the first place. ...
True. Most would. Some would even get hostile about it - many religious people, i guess, among others. But, look ahead. Those who fail to get responsible about such matters will end up dead - their cultures, their beliefs, and their families and bloodlines in most cases as well. We need to care and tihnk about those few people and cultures who _do_ have any realistic chances of long-term survival, - not about those who are obviously going hed-on to wiping themselves out of existance by their own inability (for whatever reason it be) to address all critically important questions, - this one (whether mankind is worth to survive or not) included. I know i sound harsh. Yet, as far as i can tell, that's what reality of today is. Weather is not "evil" nor "good"; increasingly erratic weather and climate is still not "evil"; but it definitely can be very harsh to us humans, and to most other lifeforms as well. Harsh and difficult to deal with. Some of my messages are just like that, i know it, but, it can't be helped. Still, i feel sorry writing this... I wish there would be a prettier alternative, but there is none.

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One point, though. I think you may be either underestimating many in group three or undersizing group one. Look at how many people around the world have taken part in "350" demonstrations. IIRC, a recent poll of Filipinos found that GW ranked first in peoples issues of concern, even though many in that country are suffering from dire poverty and other immediate problems. ...
I see. Perhaps i was too general in defining group #1, though. The key phraze there - is this one: "few who do care about global matters". Perhaps i said it in a way which allows multiple understnadings. Sorry for that. By this phraze i meant people who act and achieve significant results in adressing critically important global matters, and keep doing it as one of top-priority activities of their life. As a result, such people "do" things which help larger (than just one's family or one's farm) systems to remain functional and within reasonably healthy parameters (up to global, planetary systems) - such a help, materialized, is what i described as "care". So you see, group #1 "do care", and results of their doing are significant and real (existing in physical world).

Most of the people who vote in polls, take part in demonstrations, buy "eco-friendly" goods (from recycled bags to electric cars) - do not do any much practical care. This statement seems to contradict itself, doesn't it? :) But, there is no contradiction. We should never underestimate amount of scum and "trickery" existing in modern world.

Did you know that electric cars of today, while being believed by so many to be the solution of cars' CO2 emissions, - are in fact making more CO2 emissions than a car of the same size and mass which has fuel-efficient internal combustion engine? Surprise, surprise. World still gets 80%+ of its electricity from fossil fuels. Then, this electricity suffer noticeable losses while it travels through long-range transmissions lines from power stations to the charging stations for electric cars. Then there are further significant losses of power upon charging betteries. Then more losses when discharging matteries. All those losses are not present for internal combustion engines - well, except tiny fraction of gasoline which is lost to evaporation while transporting it and fueling cars' tank. The nail in the coffin, though, is the mass ratio. Energy density of gasoline/petrol is many times higher, per unit of mass, than energy density in even best li-ion batteries used to pwoer electric vehicles. That's why electric cars have such a shorter range "on one charge" in compare to gasoline cars "on one tank" - and that's why there is much more weight in the electric car being it's "fuel" - i.e. its batteries. And, batteries are not "removed" gradually as electric car goes on on one charge - while gasoline cars, the fuel's mass goes away gradually, towards a completely empty tank (zero mass), as the car goes on. This all together result in some 120....200% higher CO2 emissions for a mile travelled in modern electric car in compare to just usual ford focus or such - and even times higher difference for state-of-the-art gasoline-based cars, like that small series of VW cars which spend under 1 liter of fuel for 100 kilometers travelled.

"Recycled" bags is a simpler case; they simply suffer from utter insignificance, and often hypocrisy (i couldn't believe when i found in one of large local super-markets that paper-made bags were sold, having writings on them saying that they are made from "renewable" resource, - wood; man, in a world in which more than half of naturally existed forests are gone, and with a price times higher than synthetic ones, what is it if not a hypocrisy?).

Examples go on and on, general thing is, however, that majority of humans who participate in "green" mass movements - do not have any really good clue what they are talking about, and about what their money and time is _actually_ invested to. For two examples just above,
 - thousands of people who bought electric or hybrid cars are honestly thinking that high price they paid - is serving to help the well-being of Nature, of Earth, helps the future of mankind, etc - while in reality, high price they paid actually HARM those, and helps only capitalists behind corresponding industries (battery industry, modern mettalurgy, plastics, retailers, etc);
 - millions of people buying those paper "renewable" bags in supermarkets are paying high price thinking they are acting responsibly, - but if anything, this simply leads to a further, if very small, increase of man-made deforestation.

That's why those people are in group #3. They may have best intentions, they may be trying to help, to act, to do good; and despite examples above, quite often they do some good care about Earth indeed. But their inability and/or lack of willing effort spent to understand things properly, - quite often in large extent caused by all sorts of "brainwashing" which not only mainstream culture and education, but also corrupted "green" movements themselves do, - that lack of sufficient udnerstanding renders net total of their efforts to be close to zero, sometimes even net negative despite their best intentions. Those people, despite my huge sympathy to them, are also going to extinct; Nature does not transform directly by intentions or wishes of men - but only by physical changes made by men. If between wishes an intentions and actual actions there is a major corrupting force - well, end result will not be good.

One more factor is weaknesses. Physical, emotional, societal. Many people do not even suspect how weak they actually are. As long as they are comfortable in their homes, offices, molls, - they talk big about helping the Earth, importance of stopping global warming (although it's a wrong idea as i explained above, with what we know today - better get busy preparing to survive the big warming which will happen anyways), about stopping pollution. They even go demonstrations - having a drink they just bought in nearby supermarket, clothed in things made in some poor country by "cheap labor force", and carrying a mobile phone which is made without much consideration about how safe it'll be to dispose of it, which was made without any much desire to make it durable - able to function not just for 1-2 years until "new model" comes out, but for some 10+ years, and which was made from matherials extracted from Earth without any much consideration whether it's safe for the planet to extract and use them.

Tell to those folks: come, leave your comfortable places, join me living in some miserable shack, possibly made by your own hands and effort, in a place with harsh climate to begin with, - strong frost in winter, short, arid and very hot summer. What you think most of them will _do_? Will majority of them indeed go and join us? Nope. Some of them will straight say: sorry, we can't; we're too much city dwellers now; we won't make it, we are too weak for it. Some others will say: heck, there are other ways, better ways, we wont' go - instead, (for example), we'll keep on fighting for reductions of CO2 emissions, this is EXTREMELY important, and we can do that best right here, in cities! In their _beliefs_ - much intentionally "implanted" by corresponding propaganda (can we call 350.org a propaganda device, i wonder?), - they won't be able to go, which is also a form of weakness - not good enough intellect to distinct between facts of reality and skilfully crafted propaganda, designed to indeed mislead the masses. Few will agree to leave big cities - or to leave their quite comfortable, with many modern industrial goods and entertainments, farms and villages, - and will try to exactly "stop fighting the dinosaur and start doing what we can to survive consequences of the dinosaur's reigh" in a practically sound, realistic way. Few. And many of those few will find themselves too weak in practice. They will find that their expectations of good things was too high, and expectations of difficult and painful things, - too low; they'll find they can't bear it "anymore". Those will get back to modern industrial civilization, at least partially. Can't blame them, too; modern life shapes men very much, making many very dependable on the big system for very survival - even if they think they could live without it, it's not the case in reality.

After all above and some other matters, very few people who are able to actually _do_ any significant care about Gaia, and about increasing long-term (50+ years) chances of survival of human species and of good parts of present civilization - are some 0.1%...1% of total population. This is actually an optimistic estimate, even. Still, even 0.01% of current population is 700.000 people; and we know from genetics that in the past, there was a moment when total human population of Earth was ~2000 souls. 700.000 people is still much higher than 2000. So it's not that we don't have enough people who actually can care about Earth properly (so they wouldn't deteriorate their own life support to the point of failure, which modern big mankind does, heading right to collapse) - it's that currently, we have such people - the group #1, - spread around, thinned, disconnected from each other, and often even not giving any thought about finding others who're truly alike, and starting to cooperate with them in practice.

P.S. I have a cell phone. It's Motorola c113a. It's some 9 or 10 years old, and it still works. Charger failed few years ago, i had to by another (universal), thankfully, works well. And ~2 years ago, key "7" on the phone became quirky, but pressing it from bottom-left corner of the button gets "7" typed in not too few attempts. How many people around would keep using same mobile phone for a decade? More than 1%? Probably not. Meanwhile, anyone who does not do this - finding reliable, durable phone is not TOO difficult even despite most of them are "paper-made" - prone to fail after very few years of service, - is probably not group #1. In the same time, of course, the phone thing is just one of many possible "signs"; it does not guarantee that the person who sticks to it - and to things in general, not doing any avoidable replacements, - is one of group #1; many other things are needed to in fact be one of the few who are actually both able and willing to be responsible, sustainable long-term, resisting all the temptations of easy life and massive power of industries, man. As for me, i'd like to think i am one of those who are group #1 - but i am not completely sure. May be i am one of those who are too weak in some or other way - i had quite more of experience surviving on land and surviving elements of nature than average Joe has, but even this is far from enough to be sure i got all it takes; may be i'll end up not doing any significant care to Earth even while i am thinking i do. So while i say "we" when i mean people of group #1, in fact it's merely a hope of mine that i am among; not a complete certainty. Yet, i guess, my understnading of these matters and my desire to belong to this group #1 - is enough for me to keep saying "we".

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