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Tony Mcleod

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Ice-free Arctic
« on: February 19, 2017, 01:47:43 AM »
The phrase "Ice-free Arctic" has long been used by those sceptical of mainstream GW science as a confected weapon to mock and sow doubt. It will be used again.

Lurking on denier sites( :o ::)) reveals what gets them really excited and what they, in turn, like to twist and ampilfy back. For example, over at WUWT there is a mocking meme that 1 million sqkm = 1 Wadham.

I see how important is to clearly state the prediction (of an 'Ice-free' Arctic) to leave as little wiggle room as possible for misunderstanding or manipulation.

magnamentis has talked bout this here https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;quote=103624;topic=1846.100;last_msg=103721

and elsewhere.

Not sure how you give a warning about "ice-free" conditions while there is a million square kms of the stuff and not have that mocked or twisted. But I think the discussion is an important one because I just know that, in October this year, there will be another intense, semantic 'debate' about it in the media. And like so many other zombies talking points it will be used, incredibly to me, as evidence we can't trust the science/data, blah, blah, blah... in the coming years.

Unfortunately it needs to taken into account when discussing this subject, because more than any other, it may prove to be pivotal in minds of the general public and for any outcomes that may be acheived.

You'd think a huge area with no ice suddenly appearing would be the wake-up call that galvanises the species... but it probably won't be as simple as that.

So how to express 'ice-free' and have it be patently true?
 

Pmt111500

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 02:19:14 AM »
oo, who gets a unit named after them these days?  But yeah, they're patently silly and stupendously stupid down there. They start to talk about the ice in the clouds soon after the pole is open, I guess.
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Archimid

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 02:36:52 AM »
From the point of view of someone  honorable it would seem  that if you have the perfect argument people won't  be able to pick at it. But to dishonorable people, there is no such thing as a perfect argument.  They will appeal not  to the logic of the argument but to the logical fallacies that appeal to people.

I think scientist should have no political consideration for their arguments. They should stride for the best possible truth they can. If that means predicting the end of the world and failing, then so be it.



I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Pmt111500

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 03:06:25 AM »
The ship visiting north pole next summer should have a buoy with only a pole in it. Some gyroscopic 'tricks' could be used to keep it stable. We ain't havin' some wobbly axises!
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oren

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 07:02:43 AM »
There's no way past the deniers, so I wouldn't bother too much. And for the general public (if any still exist out there) it should be clarified as part of the publication - ice free meaning less than 1 m km2 in September compared to x km2 on the same date 30 years ago.

Tony Mcleod

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 07:48:17 AM »
There's no way past the deniers

Probably right about that - the stronger the evidence the sneakier the scientinst.

I have shut a few of them down with Wipneus' Global Ice graph. Their first reaction:
'there must be something wrong with the satellite". When shown that's not the case they quietly slink away. Lord Monckton amongst them.

They don't like the look of the FDD graphs either.

Neven

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2017, 10:24:39 AM »
For example, over at WUWT there is a mocking meme that 1 million sqkm = 1 Wadham.
That's actually quite funny!  :D

---

I've always liked Walt Meier's definition:

“Instead of simply saying “ice-free”, my view is that it should be described as “ice-free for all practical purposes”. To me this means: seeing blue instead of white throughout the Arctic Ocean (except along the coasts), allowing ships to operate within the Arctic Ocean with little chance of seeing substantial ice, having a significant effect on the Arctic ecosystem, and having a significant effect on Arctic. (The last two are likely already occurring.)
[...]
So I’m not worried too much about what we mean by “ice-free” or what specific number we put on it – that’s for gamblers placing bets to quibble about.”
I also like what I've said myself in a blog post last year called Consensus and consequences:

Discussing the exact definition of ice-free may itself become a smoke screen that shrouds a more important issue, and thus cause even more confusion. Fortunately, the authors seem to be aware of this when they state in their paper's final paragraph:

Many of the impacts of decreasing ice cover will be felt irrespective of the precise date when the Arctic is declared seasonally ice-free.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: An ice-free Arctic isn't some starting shot after which the consequences of Arctic sea ice loss spring into action. They already did so a while ago, but we're just not seeing it clearly as the signal hasn't crossed the bounds of natural variability for long enough yet.
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Meirion

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 10:49:13 AM »
From a media point of view the day you can fly from Svalbard to the North Pole circle it and fly back without seeing any ice sheet will be the day that wakes up the world. It won't be an ice-free Arctic but it will be an ice-free North Pole.

 

anthropocene

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 11:08:29 AM »
There is an interesting discussion going on other thread(s) about the disappearance of the temperature inversion and the impact this will have on the ice. It is becoming more and more clear that the temperature inversion is a feedback mechanism which makes a large contribution to the ice covering at the North Pole being in a stable state. There have been similar points made (mainly by Lodger) about the cold water lens.
When these two feedbacks are gone then the system will jump to an ice-free state and it will be very difficult for large quantities of ice to be generated during the winter months. This can be summarised by saying the Arctic will move from an ice/land climate to an oceanic climate.
A lot of people seem to think that in the future the Arctic will be "ice-free" briefly at minimum in September and then in subsequent years the length of the "ice-free" period will gradually increase. I now tend to think that once the contiguous area of ice decreases below the value that the above feedbacks don't have any significant impact then the Arctic will be "ice-free" for a long time each year. That is,  when it is passed this tipping point  in one year the Arctic will switch to being ice-free for several months.
Therefore from a scientific point of view I suggest the definition of "ice-free" should be the area at which this tipping point occurs. I've no idea what the value is but I suspect it is less than 1 Wadham (which is approximately a circle of radius 600km which (if contiguous and solid) I would guess would be able to maintain its own climate).

Tony Mcleod

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2017, 01:35:31 PM »
anthropocene
"This can be summarised by saying the Arctic will move from an ice/land climate to an oceanic climate."

Or when its been geo-engineered from being a frozen desert into a temperate ocean.

Jim Williams

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2017, 03:15:40 PM »
In a previous conversation I proposed that the Arctic Ocean (if not necessarily all the bays) would be ice free when there was no longer enough ice to keep the air from getting warm.  After some diddling, the notion that seemed about right was for DMI 80N to be above 5C (or was it 3C?) for 10 or more days in a row.

Basically, when my soda starts getting warm it doesn't matter if there are still a few flecks of ice in the glass.

Tony Mcleod

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 04:15:55 AM »
I like your idea Meirio, the bottom line is it needs to be a '(tabloid) media view'. A map of the journey and a photo of a blue-water pole would be very persausive meme. The headline: A farewell to ice is spoit by having ice in the picture, even if there is a boat moored alongside.

Cid_Yama

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 05:08:07 PM »
Too many people concerned with what the deniers will say or the masses will think.

We hit 1 million sq km, it is an extinction level event.  Temperatures over much of the Earth will exceed that at which warm blooded creatures can survive.(7C+ above pre-industrial)  Even a few hours of such temperatures will make a place uninhabitable.

Livestock die-off and global crop failures will crash delivery systems.  Famine, pandemics from weakened immune systems, surface water depletion, massive displacement of refugees, war over what's left, you won't be worrying about what the morons think.   
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 05:32:31 PM by Cid_Yama »

Zantage

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 06:57:10 PM »
How about qualifying ice-free in the term itself: "Essentially Ice Free" (EIF)? While the term still requires definition, it would be more difficult for deniers to abuse it, requiring a discussion of the meaning of "essentially." We could even hope (undoubtedly forlornly) for constructive engagement over its use.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 07:08:43 PM »
Too many people concerned with what the deniers will say or the masses will think.

We hit 1 million sq km, it is an extinction level event.  Temperatures over much of the Earth will exceed that at which warm blooded creatures can survive.(7C+ above pre-industrial)  Even a few hours of such temperatures will make a place uninhabitable.

Livestock die-off and global crop failures will crash delivery systems.  Famine, pandemics from weakened immune systems, surface water depletion, massive displacement of refugees, war over what's left, you won't be worrying about what the morons think.   

A gross exaggeration. The ice reduction is a continuum and 1 million sq km is on this continuum, different than 3 million sq km but still connected. I have no doubt we are heading towards such an event for many if not most of us with BAU but it will hardly occur when we hit 1 million sq km. This thread has quickly devolved into a strange conglomeration, more smoke than light whereas the topic of an ice free Arctic has a lot of possibilities.

Michael J

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 11:54:03 PM »
You will never convince the deniers - but I think that presenting good factual science will chip away at the undecided. Eventually the politicians who deny climate change will either get voted out or "see" the light.

Cid_Yama

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2017, 03:53:20 AM »
Too many people concerned with what the deniers will say or the masses will think.

We hit 1 million sq km, it is an extinction level event.  Temperatures over much of the Earth will exceed that at which warm blooded creatures can survive.(7C+ above pre-industrial)  Even a few hours of such temperatures will make a place uninhabitable.

Livestock die-off and global crop failures will crash delivery systems.  Famine, pandemics from weakened immune systems, surface water depletion, massive displacement of refugees, war over what's left, you won't be worrying about what the morons think.   

A gross exaggeration. The ice reduction is a continuum and 1 million sq km is on this continuum, different than 3 million sq km but still connected. I have no doubt we are heading towards such an event for many if not most of us with BAU but it will hardly occur when we hit 1 million sq km.

Many people have a hard time grasping the concept of Abrupt Climate Change.  We seem to be wired to expect linear change.

Hard to reply without knowing what you are referring to when you say gross exaggeration.

Limits of Human Adaptability
It seems to be widely assumed that humans can adapt to any amount of warming, on the basis that humans live in such a wide variety of climates now. We show that when examined in terms of the peak value of the wet-bulb temperature (Tw), which ultimately governs the possibility of transfer of metabolic heat to the environment, the worlds present-day climates are far less variable than one might think based on mean temperature. A warming of only a few degrees will cause large parts of the globe to experience peak Tw values that never occur today; 7C would begin to create zones of uninhabitability due to unsurvivable peak heat stresses (periods when the shedding of metabolic heat is thermodynamically impossible); and 10C would expand such zones far enough to encompass a majority of today's population. It is unknown how much of our present 7- 10C cushion we can live without before experiencing significant problems, making it difficult to draw conclusions about more modest climate changes, but the limits themselves rest squarely on basic thermodynamics.
http://www.pnas.org/content/107/21/9552.full


"So in a matter of 1 to 2 years, there's a very large change out over the ocean, and as a I said, the only thing we can think of that happens that fast is a change in the sea ice extent ..."







Gray-Wolf

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2017, 11:17:09 AM »
Thanks for the bottom link Cid-Tama!

Talk of North Greenland seeing an abrupt change of 10 to 15 degrees reminds me of some of the excursions in temp we have seen this last 2 years across the basin to the pole.

Are we now within the period of rapid change across the basin that will see another hike in N.Greenland temps over a short period, a temp hike that will establish and not be a fleeting forcing?
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magnamentis

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2017, 02:38:26 PM »
Too many people concerned with what the deniers will say or the masses will think.

i think i know how you mean it but the way you say it it's missing an important point. some of the reasons why humans as a whole don't change their habits fast enough to make a timely change are:

a) that deniers feed them with welcome fake news that fits their needs to continue the old, ego-centred lazy path.

b) too many people don't care and/or fall for "a)" and hence continue their destructive path

hence it indeed matters, basically ONLY matters what the masses think and in that context what the deniers say
if we, who do NOT DENY and who are willing to adapt and make changes in our lives can spread the news fast enough and have a chance to see for changes in a timely manner.

i hope it's clear that this post is not meant like who is right or not but giving some input to consider as to whether we should care about the masses or not. about the hard core deniers we can do little because they deny for interests like power and money and belonging to their chosen group more than due to genuine ignorance. i believe that most of the famous and influencing hard-core deniers speak out against better knowledge, similar to ancient popes who had children and fu...ed around while preaching abstinence and chastity.
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2017, 02:47:55 PM »

Many people have a hard time grasping the concept of Abrupt Climate Change.  We seem to be wired to expect linear change.

Hard to reply without knowing what you are referring to when you say gross exaggeration.


I have no difficulty grasping abrupt climate change and it will take far less than a 7C increase in global temperature to destroy human civilization, my guess is 3C will do the trick. At 3C large areas of the planet will be rendered uninhabitable by human beings or any other large mammals. I believe that BAU is putting us on the path to an extinction level event although pockets of humanity will likely survive in niche environments due to our adaptability.

What was stated that is a gross exaggeration is that having Arctic ice drop to 1 million Sq km would cause a 7C rise in temperatures and an extinction level event. It serves no purpose to say such garbage and, in doing so, you provide ammunition to global warming deniers.

My biggest objection to your comment is that it does not belong on this thread which is about an Ice Free Arctic. If you scan the comments on the thread, they were focused on the definition of Ice Free and its implications. There are appropriate threads for your comments and they would serve to contribute to discussions that are already taking place. I think the consequences section of this wonderful blog has several threads where these ideas are being discussed.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/board,1.0.html

« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 03:01:52 PM by Shared Humanity »

Shared Humanity

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2017, 03:11:33 PM »
How about qualifying ice-free in the term itself: "Essentially Ice Free" (EIF)? While the term still requires definition, it would be more difficult for deniers to abuse it, requiring a discussion of the meaning of "essentially." We could even hope (undoubtedly forlornly) for constructive engagement over its use.

I like the idea of EIF. With the trend towards increased dispersion at minimum and the ongoing reduction of ice at minimum as well, we are very close to having SIE drop to 1 million sq km. This will be due, in part, to the 15% threshold for extent. You will still be able to boat around and encounter widely dispersed rubble floating in areas that are below 15%. We may want to define EIF by picking a percentage of the remaining ice that just barely contributes to extent, say 15% to 20% concentration. When this category of ice makes up say 50% of total remaining extent (Picked at random, I don't know what this should be), the Arctic can be declared EIF.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2017, 03:33:01 PM »
The more I think about EIF, the more I like the idea. Thank you for the suggestion. Here's another possible way of measuring this.

Large areas of our Granddad's Arctic could not be navigated except by ice breakers and, even then, there were areas they could not go. At what concentrations of this relatively thin, rotten ice does the Arctic become navigable by ordinary ships and large boats, perhaps the typical yacht owned by a 1%er. I would think 30% is navigable but I am not certain. We should pick a concentration in which the ordinary adventurous person would feel comfortable sailing and, when some fairly large percent of the remaining ice (perhaps 80% or 90%) falls below this threshold, we declare the ocean EIF.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2017, 03:56:58 PM »
I have a speculation that the 15% rule for sea ice extent comes from when ships had sails and no engines. To sail into where sea ice was guessed at more than 15% coverage would be regarded as total folly. But 'tis but speculation - Google can't tell me ?

In a little yacht with their notoriously unreliable engines (and even more unreliable toilets) you would not get me near a sea with 30 % sea ice.
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Pmt111500

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2017, 05:20:11 PM »
30% is usually not navigable for ordinary yachts as the ice moves around you may get in between floes. At least it's very slow going with constant watch and using poles to get them off boat, and this only in silent seas, on rougher seas the floes banging against the on-coming vessel are lethal for many hull materials. Imagine a 10ton small block of 25 cm ice hitting at 10 knots. 15% should be navigable but wouldn't go there either myself.
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Dundee

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2017, 05:54:53 PM »
For all the quibbling about what precisely an "ice free" minimum is or is not, I suspect when the switch flips it will be unmistakable. So far, "seasonally ice free" has been an incremental process - one does not have to look hard to find areas that now reliably melt out in the summer where once they did not. Rather than being locked in at the freezing point, SST's in these basins begin to rise after the ice is gone, and they cannot refreeze until that sensible heat is managed. This brings marked local changes, but to date the Arctic as a whole has been dying a death of a thousand cuts.

Arguably, there has already been a state change - rather than having an effect on only a narrow band of ice (the MIZ), waves/swells now arguably affect a large portion of Arctic sea ice. What we have now does not look or behave like the "ice pack" we learned about in elementary school. Even so, the impact of this remains complicated - things look different, but you can't really point to a large step change in the behavior of extent or volume.

I believe the real shift will occur when the refreeze, rather than working from the central ice pack out (as it has for as long as it matters), has to work from orphaned or land bound ice far from the pole back toward the center of the CAB. The most enduring cold in the Arctic (so far) has been in Greenland - unlikely to be ice free any time soon. Cold spots are also generated by jet stream waves -  it is easy to imagine them being stable enough to shelter significant remnant ice. Be that as it may, and no matter how much or how little remnant sea ice survives a season, growing a healthy ice pack from the margins (across waters, exposed to sunlight and un-buffered by ice, whose temperatures are well above freezing) will be a lot tougher than it would be if even a modest bit of ice survives deep in the CAB (damping motion in the water beneath it, holding SST's at its margins firmly at freezing, from which ice can begin growing just a few degrees below zero rather than the -10C typically required in open water to overcome heat transfer from depth, and divorced from the heat of the sun almost at the stroke of the equinox). It could happen in one season or over the course of several but once the pattern of Arctic Circle in replaces Pole out, everything will be different and going back will probably not happen until long after it will matter to us, our grandchildren, or their grandchildren.

I don't expect it will be amenable to a tidy number, but as the saying goes, I think we will know it when we see it. To mis-use another cliché, we won't have to look for an "ice free" September, it will come and find us.

(Off topic, but I am afraid that even though this shift will attract attention, it won't necessarily bring about action. There are an awful lot of people out there that believe 'global warming' means they won't have to move to Arizona after all, they won't need to replace their snow blower when it wears out, Canada will become an extension of the very productive Corn Belt, and Arctic oil and minerals will finally become accessible. Going down the list of talking points - it ain't happening - if it is happening, we didn't do it - why stop it from happening because it will be great! - and finally, but never uttered in public, even supposing what we are doing right now is making the really, really bad things inevitable if they won't actually happen until long after I retire from office, who cares? Right now, we have an election to win!)

Koop in VA

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2017, 06:10:29 PM »
I think this is a good discussion to have but I think we also need contextualize the conversation.

The first time I learned that "ice free" did not mean zero ice was when I was trying to understand Maslowski's prediction of an ice free Arctic.  I think he made the prediction in 2007 and indicated that 2013 might be the year where we were "ice free".  I think his current prediction is "ice free" within 3 years of 2016.  Anyway, the point being I don't know if I fully understand whether Maslowski's definition of "ice free" is common within the sea ice community or if this was merely his definition.

The other context that I believe is important is to understand the broad consensus of when the Arctic is expected to be "ice free" and then to understand where Maslowski and others are on the spectrum of predictions.

For example, in this 2013 article, the author writes that most models predict an ice free Arctic by 2100.

http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/news/local_news/nps-researchers-predict-summer-arctic-ice-might-disappear-by-years/article_f0d1fc46-56dc-11e3-9766-001a4bcf6878.html

Anyway, yes, we can come up with an alternate way of expressing "ice free Arctic".  "Essentially ice free" basically works for me but if we went that route the "skeptic" community will eviscerate the change in language in much the way that they continue to hammer how "global warming" morphedinto "climate change".  Therefore, I would argue that while a new understanding of "ice free" needs to come about, the context behind the reason for the change and the context of the predictions for when "ice free" will occur is more important and will help the lay person better understand the ramifications of a blue Arctic.

Cid_Yama

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2017, 06:13:02 PM »

Many people have a hard time grasping the concept of Abrupt Climate Change.  We seem to be wired to expect linear change.

Hard to reply without knowing what you are referring to when you say gross exaggeration.



What was stated that is a gross exaggeration is that having Arctic ice drop to 1 million Sq km would cause a 7C rise in temperatures and an extinction level event. It serves no purpose to say such garbage and, in doing so, you provide ammunition to global warming deniers.

My biggest objection to your comment is that it does not belong on this thread which is about an Ice Free Arctic.

In your opinion, which, since you provide no actual counter-argument, seems based on nothing but your feelings about it.

This IS about an ice free Arctic as a trigger to abrupt climate change.  Your feelings about it, not withstanding.

As stated I could give a rat's a** what the deniers have to say, or you for that matter.  We are way past being able to do anything about it.

A state change in the climate is imminent.  The changes in weather patterns, including rain tracks moving northward towards the poles, will profoundly impact global crop yields and surface water availability.   

And just what do you think will happen to the already mostly degraded subsea relic permafrost following a blue ocean event?

The ESAS is the largest shelf in the world, encompassing more than 2 million square kilometers, or 8 percent of the world's continental shelf. Shakhova believes it holds an area-weighted contribution to the global hydrate inventory of "at least 10 to 15 percent."

"These emissions are prone to be non-gradual (massive, abrupt) for a variety of reasons," she told Truthout. "The main reason is that the nature of major processes associated with methane releases from subsea permafrost is non-gradual."

This means that methane releases from decaying frozen hydrates could result in emission rates that "could change in order of magnitude in a matter of minutes," and that there would be nothing "smooth, gradual or controlled" about it; we could be looking at non-linear releases of methane in amounts that are difficult to fathom.

She explained that the transition from the methane being frozen in the permafrost, either on land or in the shallow northern shores of the East Siberian Arctic, "is not gradual. When it comes to phase transition, it appears to be a relatively short, jump-like transformation from one state of the process to another state. The difference between the two states is like the difference between a closed valve and an open valve. This kind of a release is like the unsealing of an over-pressurized pipeline."

These immediate methane releases in the ESAS could be triggered at any moment by seismic or tectonic events, the subsiding of sediments caused by hydrate decay or sediment sliding due to permafrost degradation and thaw. The ESAS is particularly prone to these immediate shifts because it is three times shallower than the mean depth of the continental shelf of the world ocean.

"This means that probability of dissolved methane to escape from the water column to the atmosphere is from three to 10 times greater than anywhere in the world's oceans," Shakhova said. "In the ESAS, methane is predominantly transported as bubbles. Methane bubbles rise to the surface at a speed from 10 to 40 cm s-1; this means that it only takes minutes for methane to reach the water surface and escape to the atmosphere."
link


Even the relatively staid IPCC has warned of such a scenario: “The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, cannot be ruled out. Positive feedback from warming may cause the release of carbon or methane from the terrestrial biosphere and oceans.”

In the last two centuries, the amount of methane in the atmosphere has increased from 0.7 parts per million to 1.7 parts per million. The introduction of methane in such quantities into the atmosphere may, some climate scientists fear, make increases in the global temperature of four to six degrees Celsius inevitable.

And keep in mind that the various major assessments of future global temperatures seldom assume the worst about possible self-reinforcing climate feedback loops like the methane one.

Here’s the question: Could some version of extinction or near-extinction overcome humanity, thanks to climate change — and possibly incredibly fast? Similar things have happened in the past. Fifty-five million years ago, a five degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures seems to have occurred in just 13 years, according to a study published in the October 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Atmospheric and marine scientist Ira Leifer is particularly concerned about the changing rainfall patterns a recently leaked IPCC draft report suggested for our future: “When I look at what the models predicted for a 4C world, I see very little rain over vast swaths of populations. If Spain becomes like Algeria, where do all the Spaniards get the water to survive? We have parts of the world which have high populations which have high rainfall and crops that exist there, and when that rainfall and those crops go away and the country starts looking more like some of North Africa, what keeps the people alive?”

The IPCC report suggests that we can expect a generalized shifting of global rain patterns further north, robbing areas that now get plentiful rain of future water supplies. History shows us that when food supplies collapse, wars begin, while famine and disease spread. All of these things, scientists now fear, could happen on an unprecedented scale, especially given the interconnected nature of the global economy.
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5to10

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2017, 06:40:44 PM »
Cld_Yama:

Though I am a layman, I am inclined to agree with you intuitively.

How on earth could anyone imagine anything but total societal collapse in the next 5-10 years, given the plethora of available information? Discount "cherry pickers" all you want, but have you looked around and noticed the orchard is becoming a lot more productive as time progresses?

The way I see it... If we're truly dealing with exponential change and not just a phase.. We are fucked in 5-10 years (society collapses). In the past, yearly temperature records may have been broken every several years. More recently, years have been breaking the priors records for temperature consecutively. Then, months began breaking their own records consecutively.

I don't have to be a learned scientist to grasp that if this is not just a phase, but an exponential longterm trend, that soon it will be weeks and perhaps even days in the very near future.

As an audio guy, I know feedback always starts quietly, seems to rise in a linear manner.. until it just suddenly stops seeming linear anymore and it almost immediately blows your speakers.

You people know all this. I'm not a scientist, again, but even a layman can grasp that potentially none of you are able to account for all current feedback mechanisms at play here, or exactly how the effects of an ice free arctic will cascade into other fields of envirosci, and that it's unlikely any of the models can be accurate in relation to time (at least when it comes to ice-free or EIF arctic). Are you not able to recognize that these flaws likely pop up in other fields.. that a lot of models are wrong or missing key things.. That perhaps, it's nigh impossible to model the apocalypse?

All I'm saying is, depending on the severity of the feedback mechanisms related to global warming, I seem to land on the conclusion that we have WAY less time than commonly predicted.

Am I not wrong in stating that according to the temperature inversion thread, NO models on arctic warming have thus far accounted for the feedback mechanisms (Specifically water vapour in that thread, if any, certainly not all of them?) Then my god, how do you come to any conclusion other than rapid collapse? This planet is so intimately connected that I just cannot picture anything other than a rapid plunge into chaos once the arctic remains ice free. Dominoes will just continue to topple after that.

I simply cannot believe anyone who says they know the full consequences or the speed of the consequences related to an ice free arctic, but my intuition screams that our downfall will be fast and furious afterwards. Pull your lungs out of your body and see how life is afterwards. Crude comparison, but the point is there. That is an absolutely phenomenal amount of change in a phenomenally short period of time.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 07:18:16 PM by 5to10 »

Martin Gisser

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2017, 07:42:43 PM »
I have stopped worrying about the subsea methane bomb - and decided waiting for news from paleo climatologists, i.e. what happened during the last deglaciation. But haven't yet heard (come across) anything.

Land based permafrost melting seems to be not such a methane bomb: Soil microbes will convert much into CO2 (said Tim Lenton).
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 07:59:23 PM by Martin Gisser »
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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2017, 07:56:21 PM »
I have stopped worrying about the subsea methane bomb - and decided waiting for news from paleo climatologists, i.e. what happened during the last deglaciation. But haven't yet heard (come across) anything.

Land based permafrost melting seems to be not such a methane bomb: Microbes will convert much into CO2 (said Tim Lenton).

Maybe then, You should "only" be concerned about:
1) albedo feedback kicking in- dark ocean water absorbs 9 times as much heat (so what 'd happen if You got a salary rise of 9x, instantaneously...)
2) latent heat "bomb": as soon as the last chunk of ice is gone, all that heat 334 kJ/kg will go into warming the water at 4,2 kJ/kg per Celsius (again, another exponential and instantenous salary rise)

I guess these, two alone are enough- even without the methane bomb to slingshot the global temperature catastrophically.

PS: to understand basic Physics You don't need to talk to paleoclimatologists.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2017, 09:04:54 PM »
Welcome, 5to10, your profile has been released.

Cld_Yama:

Though I am a layman, I am inclined to agree with you intuitively.

How on earth could anyone imagine anything but total societal collapse in the next 5-10 years, given the plethora of available information? Discount "cherry pickers" all you want, but have you looked around and noticed the orchard is becoming a lot more productive as time progresses?

The way I see it... If we're truly dealing with exponential change and not just a phase.. We are fucked in 5-10 years (society collapses). In the past, yearly temperature records may have been broken every several years. More recently, years have been breaking the priors records for temperature consecutively. Then, months began breaking their own records consecutively.

I don't have to be a learned scientist to grasp that if this is not just a phase, but an exponential longterm trend, that soon it will be weeks and perhaps even days in the very near future.

As an audio guy, I know feedback always starts quietly, seems to rise in a linear manner.. until it just suddenly stops seeming linear anymore and it almost immediately blows your speakers.

You people know all this. I'm not a scientist, again, but even a layman can grasp that potentially none of you are able to account for all current feedback mechanisms at play here, or exactly how the effects of an ice free arctic will cascade into other fields of envirosci, and that it's unlikely any of the models can be accurate in relation to time (at least when it comes to ice-free or EIF arctic). Are you not able to recognize that these flaws likely pop up in other fields.. that a lot of models are wrong or missing key things.. That perhaps, it's nigh impossible to model the apocalypse?

All I'm saying is, depending on the severity of the feedback mechanisms related to global warming, I seem to land on the conclusion that we have WAY less time than commonly predicted.

Am I not wrong in stating that according to the temperature inversion thread, NO models on arctic warming have thus far accounted for the feedback mechanisms (Specifically water vapour in that thread, if any, certainly not all of them?) Then my god, how do you come to any conclusion other than rapid collapse? This planet is so intimately connected that I just cannot picture anything other than a rapid plunge into chaos once the arctic remains ice free. Dominoes will just continue to topple after that.

I simply cannot believe anyone who says they know the full consequences or the speed of the consequences related to an ice free arctic, but my intuition screams that our downfall will be fast and furious afterwards. Pull your lungs out of your body and see how life is afterwards. Crude comparison, but the point is there. That is an absolutely phenomenal amount of change in a phenomenally short period of time.
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5to10

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2017, 09:58:05 PM »
Thanks, and sorry if I come off as alarmist or doomsdayish. However from all the information I've processed the past few months, I have trouble ending up elsewhere.

I appreciate all the posters here, this is a wealth of information that very few seem aware of.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2017, 11:00:16 PM »
I am also not a scientist, but it does make sense to me that the reduced albedo effect itself will have huge, and not fully understood, impacts upon the Northern Hemisphere weather patterns and climatic conditions. Methane releases and other impacts would simply be the icing on the disaster cake.

The range of possibilities, and the chaotic conditions inherent in a move to a new equilibrium state, would be enough to severely test any nation. We should not underestimate though, the ability of some nations to survive such changes. Things may be really "shitty", but civilization may not completely collapse.

One possibility that I have seen is that the rapid reduction in temperature gradients in the NH will drive us to an much more equible climate, as the Hadley Cell rapidly moves northwards, and the
Polar and Ferrell cells are removed as a barrier to warm air moving northward. This paper seems to point to a relatively small variation in the temperature gradient being required for such a change:

https://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/10-11/biomathstat/Langford_W.pdf

The recent storms tracking heat and moisture into the polar region may be a precursor of this phenomenon. I havn't seen any recent papers on this, and would much appreciate if anyone could point me to them. I am not saying that this will happen, it is just one of the many bad possible outcomes from the huge arctic experiment that we are running.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2017, 02:28:41 AM »
I didn't say I stopped worrying about all things Arctic. Just, the only bomb I worry about is still the A-bomb.

I'm not buying into guru Guy McPherson's scare story of imminent extinction. Nope, I worry more about BAU followed by non-extinction long after I'm dead, ca. 2100. The McPherson scenario is just another excuse to throw up hands and do/learn nothing. That is worrying me more and more.
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2017, 02:49:41 AM »
PS: to understand basic Physics You don't need to talk to paleoclimatologists.
Maybe I should ask in the "stupid questions" thread - but this seems worth more a "basic questions" thread:

What global average temperature increase do climate models predict for ice free Arctic?
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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2017, 06:04:31 AM »
Too many people concerned with what the deniers will say or the masses will think.

i think i know how you mean it but the way you say it it's missing an important point. some of the reasons why humans as a whole don't change their habits fast enough to make a timely change are:

a) that deniers feed them with welcome fake news that fits their needs to continue the old, ego-centred lazy path.

b) too many people don't care and/or fall for "a)" and hence continue their destructive path

hence it indeed matters, basically ONLY matters what the masses think and in that context what the deniers say
if we, who do NOT DENY and who are willing to adapt and make changes in our lives can spread the news fast enough and have a chance to see for changes in a timely manner.

i hope it's clear that this post is not meant like who is right or not but giving some input to consider as to whether we should care about the masses or not. about the hard core deniers we can do little because they deny for interests like power and money and belonging to their chosen group more than due to genuine ignorance. i believe that most of the famous and influencing hard-core deniers speak out against better knowledge, similar to ancient popes who had children and fu...ed around while preaching abstinence and chastity.

Agree. Climate change mitigation will be decided in the court of public opinion and those opinions are heavily swayed by clever denier memes that find there way onto faux news. Those memes include opportunities to mock predictions like "ice-free".

I'm running with Meirion's ice-free from Svalbard to the pole and back. In fact I just used it over at Lets Sneer at that (WUWT). I'll see if I get any nibbles.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2017, 07:50:25 AM »
We should learn a great deal in the first few years after "ice-free".   It's definitely going to be a great demarcation and possibly a tipping point. 

Of note... if water vapor as an atmospheric conveyor of additional warmth to the arctic increases, we may see summer melt stall, but autumn melt increase with more severely reduced ice growth in winter and spring.  This could potentially delay an "ice-free" arctic.  It would in no way mean that the problem was less severe.  This might mean that worsening follows a different trajectory than expected.  While I cannot predict this... it does seem consistent with recent meteorology.   

On the other hand if there is an "ice-free" arctic this year that does not mean the world is coming to an end.  The second law of thermodynamics paraphrased as heat moves automatically to cold has been perplexingly ringing in my mind for a few years now. Is it possible that Earth's atmosphere will accommodate this idea? Is it possible that in general the poles warm first?   

Mammals survived the Eocene so why shouldn't we survive this Anthropogenic Global Warming?   After all we as a species can burrow underground with the best of them.  Humans will be the last living animals on the planet - duh - have you not met one? A human will eat it's own, will sacrifice anything to survive.   Doomsday scenarios rely on people behaving as predicted.  Don't know 'bout you folk but where I'm from we don't f-ing do that.

Get real about this.  Please.

Can't remember who posted about audio feedback.   Great analysis except... no.  That's a basically closed feedback loop that doesn't occur in nature.   And, exponential itself is not one thing, yes difficult concept to get, but there are variations and different curves.  And, while nature may be described by mathematicians, nature itself isn't math. 

Science is helpful, scientists are heroes, models are imperfect, humans are imperfect, still a scientist tries to do their best.  (thankfully, I am not a scientist and can slack-off)  ;)

5to10

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2017, 08:00:45 AM »
I posted about audio feedback. I realize it's crude and not exactly the same, but the similarities exist both in relation to feedback mechanisms at play, and the collapse of society/near or total extinction, well enough for the comparison I hope.

The changes may seem slow and steady, until suddenly they just.. aren't anymore. It doesn't take much to go from teetering on the brink to doomed, is all I mean, if there is any truth to certain apocalyptic (albeit not peer reviewed) NTHE predictions. So many phenomena happening faster than any other time in recorded history. It's just.. kind of... pointing towards bad news soon.

Martin Gisser

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #38 on: February 22, 2017, 03:49:59 PM »
It's just.. kind of... pointing towards bad news soon.
I stopped accounting bad climate news in 2010 (which was the climatologico-agricultural prelude to the Arab Spring and the collapse of Syria).

I'm "optimistic" that bad news will keep coming for a long time, i.e. I don't expect one final bad news to end all bad news. :-)

There are many feedback loops in the Earth system, but they all have limits. No audio amplifier meltdown or speaker blow out. There are also fast balancing loops like cloud albedo or tropical lapse rate decline. And then there are slow balancing loops like rock weathering (so slow it won't save us) or ocean CO2 sequestration (300 years).
A runaway greenhouse with unchecked feedback melting down the Earth system is extremely unlikely.

But, in contrast, human systems can quickly collapse in runaway feedback. From banking panic to suigenocide by population explosion (Yemen today) there's plenty of opportunity.

But we can also devise balancing loops. A lot of that is meanwhile starting in the developing world: With careful non-destructive agriculture we can green deserts or restore desertifying land. Here is an example:
http://www.dw.com/en/sewage-effluent-fights-desertification-in-egypt/a-19318165

Problem is the carbon sequestration rate achievable by soil recarbonization. I would guess 2GtC/y is easily practicable. Agricultural soils alone could sequester a total of 500GtC (According to Rattan Lal, conventional agriculture) if not 1000GtC (my conservative estimate using biochar, making Chernozem soils).

This first anthropogenic balancing loop would be so easy to implement that industrial world technocrats can't yet wrap their heads around it. Luckily the third world is marching forward, out of necessity, for they need to feed people and retain ground water. Here are examples from the Sahel zone:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yacouba_Sawadogo (ridiculously simple method invented by now famous man)
(Trees, People and Regeneration of the Sahel)

Well managed agriculture can stabilize social systems.

Yet bad agriculture is historically a major factor in collapse of civilizations and ecosystems, and ultimate cause of war. (Latest example: Syria. Yemen seems more about population explosion beyond available water resources.)
We just need to want to learn this lesson and break the power of the stupid overlords from the city.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 03:59:31 PM by Martin Gisser »
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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2017, 05:10:55 PM »
Yemen being bombed back into the stone age by it's oily neighbours may have a little to do with it's current state ..
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2017, 06:34:17 PM »
Yemen being bombed back into the stone age by it's oily neighbours may have a little to do with it's current state ..
I think this is an effect, not the ultimate cause. The war is a self-propelling causal feedback loop that veils the ultimate problem - as happens very often.

Here's a snippet from Years of Living Dangerously: 'Climate Wars - Yemen' with Thomas Friedman
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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2017, 06:42:46 PM »
Yemen does have severe water resources problems. But as the US military put it, it is a threat multiplier. Add bad governance, tribal and regional rivalries and you get civil war plus regional powers conducting a proxy war.
If Russia and the USA are dumb enough to get involved even more than they are already - who knows.
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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2017, 06:50:07 PM »
JMP - most posters here are not subscribing to an "end of all things" scenario when we reach an ice free Arctic.  I'd caution you about telling us to "get real"; I'd offer you the suggestion that you apply yourself to digesting the serious science which has been assembled on these forums before attempting to school us.

We will likely survive climate change as a species. There is a distinct non- zero chance that civilization might *not*, with the attendant prompt deaths of millions if not billions of human beings.

Back to topic - I'd put the probability of a sub 1 million km2 SIA pack happening this season at about 30%.  It hinges on three factors - how much insulation gets past clouds, how much open water we have at the equinox, and where PIOMAS volume stands at the start of the active melt season.

I am confident this will massively and permanently affect global circulation such that that end of season summer extent will not recover in our lifetimes, or even that of our manys great grandchildren.  In many global locations this will disrupt agriculture in profound ways which even without the prompt danger of 35C wet bulb temperatures will threaten billions of people. It is an existential threat we cannot marginalize.
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5to10

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2017, 07:21:58 PM »
JMP - most posters here are not subscribing to an "end of all things" scenario when we reach an ice free Arctic.  I'd caution you about telling us to "get real"; I'd offer you the suggestion that you apply yourself to digesting the serious science which has been assembled on these forums before attempting to school us.

We will likely survive climate change as a species. There is a distinct non- zero chance that civilization might *not*, with the attendant prompt deaths of millions if not billions of human beings.

Back to topic - I'd put the probability of a sub 1 million km2 SIA pack happening this season at about 30%.  It hinges on three factors - how much insulation gets past clouds, how much open water we have at the equinox, and where PIOMAS volume stands at the start of the active melt season.

I am confident this will massively and permanently affect global circulation such that that end of season summer extent will not recover in our lifetimes, or even that of our manys great grandchildren.  In many global locations this will disrupt agriculture in profound ways which even without the prompt danger of 35C wet bulb temperatures will threaten billions of people. It is an existential threat we cannot marginalize.

Is it not true that if civilization collapses, global warming intensifies?

So near or total extinction is certainly soon to follow after widespread collapse, no? Even partial collapse of industry/transportation will reduce dimming, which will then quickly lead to full collapse as warming hastens, correct?

So.. The pertinent question is, how long do we have left until that partial collapse happens? Is it already happening? How fast could it happen, over the course of days? Weeks? Years?

The biggest concerns seem to be food supply and economics. How do we keep this all from unraveling as our food supply is slowly devastated? It seems to me that everything is speeding up, and speeding up faster as time progresses. I can't see it taking very much longer for everything to fall apart. Everyone is too focused on the concept of TOTAL collapse or extinction via solely the consequences of climate change being "unlikely".

I don't think people are giving enough weight to the notion that only partial collapse needs to occur, which it already appears to be, for the whole thing to come crashing down soon after from the shockwave. It seems like everyone is looking at the issue in black and white: "No way warming/climate alone will kill us/collapse all of civilization in 10 yrs at this rate". Well, take into account partial collapse and partial loss of dimming and where are we left off?

Am I wrong here? I'm not the type to discount rational objection, I just see too many scenarios wherein we don't have more than 10, maybe 20 yrs left.. likely less.. and I have yet to hear or read any realistic, optimistic scenario that discredits the idea. I don't look to be pessimistic or optimistic, but realistic, and thus far this is where I'm left standing.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2017, 08:14:29 PM »
I didn't say I stopped worrying about all things Arctic. Just, the only bomb I worry about is still the A-bomb.

I'm not buying into guru Guy McPherson's scare story of imminent extinction. Nope, I worry more about BAU followed by non-extinction long after I'm dead, ca. 2100. The McPherson scenario is just another excuse to throw up hands and do/learn nothing. That is worrying me more and more.
[/quote

I would think, as things get progressively worse and proliferation of nuclear weapons continue to expand, it becomes inevitable that nuclear weapons will be used. Once tactical weapons are used by some group ... strategic city busters and emp release weapons will follow very soon. McPherson may well not see the climate/species collapse happen simply because, once the door is open to such weapons in the next decade or so he, and many of the rest of us, will be dead from such things.

I can see where there can be arguments of high quality regards when and how quickly the loss of polar ice will affect our ecology, I just also feel it is human greed and murderous tendencies pushed by ecological changes that has the best chance ( and very soon) to end life on this planet.

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2017, 08:17:14 PM »
My apologies for not using the "quote" mechanism properly. Very new here 😖

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2017, 08:37:24 PM »
Should I rename this thread to People-free Planet?  ;)
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5to10

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2017, 08:54:11 PM »
Should I rename this thread to People-free Planet?  ;)

Man, I would love to have a more optimistic perspective, but optimism is not realism.

Personally, if I'm being irrational in my perspective, I want to know so that I can think rationally about it instead. I have not come across much of any realistic, optimistic information that discredits at the very least a near term partial collapse of civilization scenario, which has immediate effects on dimming, which will just continue to snowball...

Ice-free arctic seems like the first in a series of rapid, extreme incoming global changes. This cannot be good.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 09:00:53 PM by 5to10 »

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2017, 10:00:11 PM »
Argh. This thread is getting a bit frustrating. Can we start posting some science in here? I mean, speculation is fine, so long as it is presented as just that -- speculation.

By the way, are we talking JUST about ice free in the summer or ice free all year-round (before I start posting literature)? Or both?

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Re: Ice-free Arctic
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2017, 10:01:20 PM »
Given an immediate/imminent crisis, government's can rapidly turn around and do whatever is necessary - including things that were "off limits" previously. In the 2008 financial they printed trillions and bailed out whoever necessary to keep things going. In World War 2 they imposed a centrally planned economy and redirected society within months.

A good example is that of Cuba after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990's, they had to totally redesign their agricultural system and economy without the cheap oil and subsidies from their communist friends. People lost weight in the first few years (an average of about 12-20 pounds), and actually got healthier, until the new organic agricultural systems started to provide more food.

https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/oa4/OA-CubaGoingAgainstGrain_FoodCrisis.pdf

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/04/how-cubans-health-improved-when-their-economy-collapsed/275080/

We have so much waste in our societies, the basics could be kept going through central planning and rationing. Depends on the quality of governance and the resources available of course.

Now back to the science, and posting this stuff in the right place.