Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

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Magritte
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Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Magritte » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:45 am

Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked and worried

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/ ... nd-worried

A "radical shift" is plunging the Arctic Ocean towards an ice-free state for the first time in millions of years. One of the world's foremost ice experts, Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, calls it a "global disaster" that will cause such a big boost in global temperatures that even such extreme measures as geo-engineering need to be considered urgently.

Climate science has long understood that disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic would be a "tipping point" in the Earth's climate system, accelerating global temperatures and causing extreme weather and other climate changes far beyond the Arctic. Yet nearly every expert has been shocked by just how rapidly this "continent of ice" has been vanishing, and how dramatic the impacts have been already.

Climate scientists and ice experts are now using phrases like "unprecedented", "amazing", "extreme", "hard to exaggerate", "incredibly fast", "death spiral" and "heading for oblivion".


Not good.
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:09 am

I've been looking for that fining for a couple of years now. It's very depressing. I've seen numerous reports on Polar bears can't find enough ice. It's happening much faster than I thought it would. I guess about five or so years ago I realized we would start to see the results very soon. How many more decades will take the neanderthals to realize it's really happening?
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by met » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:47 pm

I'm gonna repost this on my FB page every day for a week! :(

Looks like one way or another, our opulent developed-world lifestyles are gonna have to be reduced. And soon! Are u ready for that?
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Magritte » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:02 am

I think we need to be wary of tying environmental concern to phrases like "opulent developed-world lifestyles". There is a common theme on the right that being green means you don't want people to have nice things, that this is a moral issue about rich lifestyles, and that environmental concern is a smokescreen for the Commie desire to take away wealth and have everyone stand in line for buses and brown bread rations.

I for one believe that we have within our grasp a world where everyone lives better, works less, eats healthier, if only we are wise about how we use technology and manage our resources. The suburban sprawl of north american lifestyles and the expansion of commutes to one and two hours is a mismanagement that helped imperil the environment, wildlife, our stock of easily extracted and processed fossil fuels, and even the economy (mortgage meltdown) and our sanity, over the last few decades. Compare that to many European countries that managed their land and lifestyles differently. (I strongly believe that Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain should tell the IMF and the EU in general to go fuck themselves and then nationalize their banks, but that's another matter)
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:44 am

Magritte wrote: I think we need to be wary of tying environmental concern to phrases like "opulent developed-world lifestyles". There is a common theme on the right that being green means you don't want people to have nice things, that this is a moral issue about rich lifestyles, and that environmental concern is a smokescreen for the Commie desire to take away wealth and have everyone stand in line for buses and brown bread rations
Having spent months with communist Chinese, I know for a fact that they largely don't care about the environment. :mrgreen:
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Magritte
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Magritte » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:21 pm

Heh, that's the impression I get when I see pictures and read reports about the smog haze hanging over China. But I'm talking about some of the common counterarguments (if you can even dignify them as arguments; they're more like slogans) that get used against environmental concern - they're commies, they want to make us go back to the stone age, etc.

(And in some cases it's true! Guys like Kunstler and Rifkin act like they get sexually aroused by the thought of the decline of modern industrial civilization. I think they do more harm than good to public opinion and policy with those attitudes.)
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by met » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:49 pm

Magritte wrote:I think we need to be wary of tying environmental concern to phrases like "opulent developed-world lifestyles". There is a common theme on the right that being green means you don't want people to have nice things, that this is a moral issue about rich lifestyles, and that environmental concern is a smokescreen for the Commie desire to take away wealth and have everyone stand in line for buses and brown bread rations.
Mag, once there was a CARM-spinoff board where a lot of us who've posted here - me, Meta, ST, Urbie, TT - used to post, and in 06 or 07 or so, a poster there (uid emmylou) posted an article on a UK climatologist who claimed it was already too late to save the world from global warming, and that all that could be done now was to stash information and instructions and such so that someday civilization could be restored. The calculations he was using assumed much more interdependence of the planet's systems and climate phenomena than most experts' models, and produced a vision of accelerating climate change feedback-loops creating much chaos much sooner than we expect and subtler-than-we-anticipated chain reactions making the whole thing much more dramatic and occurring at a much faster rate than the majority of predictors indicate. Unfortunately, those results are pretty much in line with the events described in your link and with other more recent phenomena (that are still, of course, mostly ignored by the media).

So, if I seem a little pessimistic, maybe that's why.....

OTOH, if the polar ice-caps disappear in 4-10 years - even just in summer- that's pretty dramatic. The implications are chilling & maybe even just strait-up "we're toast'" isn't too strong a response. :shock:
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Magritte » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:50 pm

It seems highly likely that we will lose summer sea ice in the arctic in less than a decade, which means -
Prof Wadhams said: “The point about summer conditions is that as long as there is SOME ice present on the sea surface, however thin the layer, then the ocean temperature below it is held to 0 degrees Celsius because the absorbed solar radiation melts the ice rather than warming the water. Also the atmospheric temperature is held to close to 0 degrees Celsius because warmer air melts the surface snow layer on top of the ice and is thereby cooled. The sea ice, even when thinned, continues to act with 100% efficiency as an air conditioning system for ocean and atmosphere alike.”

“BUT”, Prof Wadhams continues, “as soon as the sea ice layer goes, this process ceases and the sea can warm up rapidly (to typically 7 degrees Celsius by the end of summer - which is not much colder than the North Sea), as can the atmosphere (which speeds up Greenland ice sheet melt when that warmed air passes over Greenland). Latent heat is an enormously powerful buffer - the amount of heat that you have to pump in to melt 1 kg of ice will subsequently heat that same amount of melted water to 80 degrees Celsius. So once the ice goes away entirely there is a big jump in temperatures in the upper ocean and atmosphere (with dire consequences for permafrost), and it is very difficult to see how one can ever go back to an ice-covered summer ocean once this has happened.”
http://ameg.me/index.php/39-prof-wadhams-on-latent-heat

- which means, we are basically fuckadoodled. BTW, is that your UK climatologist?

I hope geoengineering can produce some results... good luck trying that though when a large proportion of the supposedly educated first world population believes in Illuminati "chemtrails".
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by met » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:06 pm

Conspiracy, perhaps, is more reassuring than just plain ignorance and looming chaos?
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
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Re: Arctic "death spiral" leaves climate scientists shocked

Post by Magritte » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:21 pm

Exactly. People love a narrative to make sense of the world even if it's a horror story. If you pay attention to conspiracist websites - there's more and more of them - they love to see agency behind Fukushima, hurricane Sandy, whatever. Maybe they think we can send a Navy Seal team after the bad guys and that's reassuring. But who do you send after the methane deposits? If only we could punch Lex Luthor to stop this from happening....
One of the hallmarks of freedom is that when you recognize someone is being intellectually dishonest or arguing with you in bad faith, you have the option to walk away without being punished, imprisoned or tortured.

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