Warm Arctic Winds Rip Polar Vortex in Half, Blast East Face of Greenland Ice Sheet

Last night, at around 9 PM Eastern Time, a broad region just south of the North Pole was undergoing an extraordinary warm-up. Temperatures along the 37 W Longitude line just 80 miles south of the pole had surged to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. A reading warmer than a region of central Michigan thousands of miles to the south but running over an area of sea ice more accustomed to -5 F or lower temperatures during the great dark of the December night.

image

(Knife of warm air drives above freezing temperatures to within 80 miles of the North Pole on December 1 of 2014. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: UCAR, OSCAR, NCEP.)

It was the much warmer than normal core of an intense and anomalous Arctic heat surge. One that blasted up over Svalbard and flooded into the high Arctic. Meeting with a similar but weaker air surge to the south, both surface and upper layers of the Arctic Ocean atmosphere hosted a joining of rivers of warm air.

This warm air double envelopment neatly sliced the polar vortex in twain. The remnant cold air cores at the Jet Stream level slipped down over both the Canadian Archipelago and Central Asia. Leaving open the lane for warm, maritime air to surge over the Arctic Ocean region.

image

(Jet Stream level atmospheric circulation shows polar vortex cut in two with one circulation over the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and the other over Yamal, Siberia — scene to the freakish methane blowholes earlier this year. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data Source: UCAR, OSCAR, NCEP.)

It is a pattern of negative phase Arctic Oscillation (AO) — featuring a warming in the central Arctic which flushes the cold air out. But this ripping of the polar vortex in half is also related to polar amplification due to the human heat forcing. In which the high Arctic has warmed dramatically in comparison with the rest of the globe. So the heat anomalies we see now are much higher than they would otherwise be, with abnormal warmth remaining even into a positive phase of the AO (which we may see a bit more of, should El Nino finally emerge).

It’s a feature also related to a warming of the upper atmosphere at stratospheric levels. Such Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events can often be associated with the kind of polar vortex split we are seeing now. And, from recent observations, we find temperatures over the Arctic Stratosphere are now in record range.

According to weather blogger, Matthew Holliday:

Even though I wouldn’t categorize this as a *sudden* stratospheric event as of yet, the warming that has already occurred will likely have effects by middle December. In fact, the warming that has occurred is currently at record levels for this time of year.

Recent scientific studies have also indicated an increasing prevalence of SSW events as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise.

Extraordinary Arctic Warming

For much of November, readings in the Arctic as a whole have ranged from +1.5 to +2.5 degrees Celsius above the global average. A region featuring the highest global anomalies in a world that just saw its hottest ten months in the past 136 years, and probably its hottest ten months in many thousands of years. A region well known for its cold — but warming far faster than almost anywhere else.

Global anomaly Dec 1

(The Arctic hits an extraordinary early December +3.16 C positive anomaly on the first day of the month amidst a flood of warm air from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Image source: The University of Maine. Data Source: Global Forecast System Model.)

Today, beset by this abnormal heat, overall Arctic departures hit 3.16 C above the already hotter than normal 1979 to 2000 average. Regions within this warm zone showed readings well above 36 F higher than average. A kind of winter Arctic heatwave. One that will keep worsening as the human heat forcing continues its terrible advance.

Near Freezing Temperatures Over Zachariae Glacier During Meteorological Winter

Much of the added heat expanded through the region between the North Pole and Greenland, wrapping in a surface circulation that has tended more and more to envelop the frozen isle, Baffin Bay and the accompanying Canadian Archipelago.

image

(Warm front off Atlantic Ocean featuring blow torch like wind flow over the Zahcariae Glacier collides with Greenland, pushes far into Arctic Ocean. Image source: Earth Nullschool. Data source: Data Source: UCAR, OSCAR, NCEP.)

This morning, some of that circulation and its entrapped warm air flow rode up over the East Coast of Greenland, surging over the ocean-facing cliffs of the Zachariae Glacier. Pushing temperatures to almost above freezing in a period where much deeper cold should be firmly established.

A great flood of abnormal winter warmth and moisture. The leading edge of a flow of ocean and atmospheric heat driven all too obviously by human warming.

Links:

UCAR

James Hansen: If It’s Warm, Why is it So Damned Cold?

Earth Nullschool

University of Maine

OSCAR

NCEP

Global Forecast System Model

National Climate Data Center

Changes in Northern Hemisphere Stratospheric Variability Under Increased CO2 Concentrations

Hat Tip to Wili

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194 Comments

  1. james cole

     /  December 2, 2014

    For the life of me I just can’t imagine what weather patterns would set up in the arctic should we reach this much talked about 2C warming that so many think is the point at which we must arrest global warming. By what we see now, extrapolate warming up to 2C and imagine just how much more heating would be setting up in the arctic!
    My read of Government policies around the developed world is that the powers that be are holding out and doubling down on the fossil fuel model for at least the next three decades. They claim our economies would crash to rubble should fossil fuels be in anyway displaced. Governments build military planning around access to fossil fuels and seek to control the pipeline routes. There is no glimmer of awakening at any level it seems. The saga of Easter Island’s fate is looking like not so much a warning of our future fate, but instead as “the model” of our future fate. Who will drill the last well and claim a rising stock valuation when earth already is pushing 5C and ruin is all around us?

    Reply
    • About 6 C average warming in the Arctic at 2 C global. During winter, this means spikes to, say, 9-15 C above average or higher. In other words, pretty amazingly brutal. Which is one of the reasons scientists have identified that threshold as a hard one.

      Reply
    • Well, Mr Cole, my estimation is that TPTB, with government help and subsidies, will continue to double down on fossil fuel extraction until it is economically infeasible to extract another drop, grain or cubic centimeter at a price that any end user can afford. Us peakoilers think that time is coming soon (but not soon enough! Grrrrh…).

      Reply
  2. Great post Robert. I gotta ask, is it normal for Antarctica to have periodic cold spells like we saw in November in the Southern Hemisphere’s fall/winter period. I understand why the Arctic is as warm as it is this time of year but with ocean surface temps so warm why is the southern hemisphere lagging so much this time of year?

    Reply
    • It’s spring/summer there now. So the period for peak polar amplification there is over. Antarctica hasn’t yet to amplify as much as the Arctic. This lag was predicted to a degree by GCMs which attributed more inertia to the great ice sheet there. Also, surface cooling over the Southern Ocean is enhanced by fresh water outflow from glaciers melting at their bases in the 20 to 700 meter range as they contact a mid level warm current. The heat of this current has been intensified by warm water down welling at the equator and by the increased stratification due to the fresh water outflow from basal regions of melting glaciers.

      Lastly, the outflowing fresh water drives saltier water in the southern ocean downward. This generates a heat sink in which the downwelling water captures atmospheric heat and drives it into the oceans in that region.

      These factors combine to keep the atmosphere over Antarctica more insulated against polar amplification. But despite these factors, Antarctica is still warming, still showing some amplification. But not as much during Austral spring/summer and nowhere near as much as the Arctic.

      Cheers to you and hope this answer helps,

      –R

      (Please excuse any typos, I’m on my ipad)

      Reply
  3. Great post. Small typo “2015” under the first map should be 2014.

    Reply
  4. Spike

     /  December 2, 2014

    The second picture (of the Earth) reminded me of the face in Munch’s The Scream. A screaming Earth seems very appropriate.

    Another fantastic post Robert, shared on Twitter.

    Potsdam estimated 1.6C threshold for Greenland deglaciation – looks possible.

    Reply
    • Good analogy. And very appropriate.

      At 0.8 C we have the whole ice sheet edge destabilizing. Some glaciers are in irreversible collapse already. Potsdam is probably right.

      Reply
  5. Kevin Jones

     /  December 2, 2014

    Just noticed over at Arctic Sea Ice on Graphs Page DMI shows about +13C for region north of 80N (to North Pole)

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014

    Hotter, weirder: How climate has changed Earth

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In the more than two decades since world leaders first got together to try to solve global warming, life on Earth has changed, not just the climate. It’s gotten hotter, more polluted with heat-trapping gases, more crowded and just downright wilder.

    The numbers are stark. Carbon dioxide emissions: up 60 percent. Global temperature: up six-tenths of a degree. Population: up 1.7 billion people. Sea level: up 3 inches. U.S. extreme weather: up 30 percent. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica: down 4.9 trillion tons of ice…………………………..To see how much the globe has changed since the first such international conference — the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 — The Associated Press scoured databases from around the world. The analysis, which looked at data since 1983, concentrated on 10-year intervals ending in 1992 and 2013. This is because scientists say single years can be misleading and longer trends are more telling.


    Our changing world by the numbers:

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014

    Eleven people have been killed by floods triggered by torrential rain in Morocco, just a week after a heavy storm left 36 dead.

    The torrential rain caused many rivers to burst their banks which led to widespread damage, especially in Morocco’s Guelmim region, said a televised report on Monday.

    The resort town of Agadir also experienced the equivalent of one year’s rainfall, over 250 mm, between Friday and Sunday.

    Link

    Reply
  8. joni

     /  December 2, 2014

    http://grist.org/news/seas-are-rising-in-weird-new-ways/

    Here’s a fun fact about “sea-level rise”: The seas aren’t actually level to begin with. Because of predictable, long-term patterns in climate, global winds push more water into some oceans than others. This leaves the seven seas (not really a thing) divided into six “basins” (actually a thing). Water in these interconnected systems can slosh around to different areas while the overall volume stays the same — much like water in a bathtub.

    Or so we thought!

    Last month in the super-sexy-sounding journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists published research suggesting that changes to the Earth’s climate are driving changes in the way sea level rises in some of these ocean basins. Historically, the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere operate as a closed system, with an inverse relationship between the Indian and South Pacific basin and the South Atlantic basin: When one goes up, the other must come down. Using satellite measurements of sea level to track the flux in level, the researchers were surprised to find that, starting in the late ’90s, both basins began to rise in unison.

    The total increase in this basin is about 2 millimeters a year — for you Americans, that adds up to a little more than an inch since 2000. It’s not weird that the oceans are rising, obviously, but it is strange to see such a distinct shift in the way they rise. The scientists trace this weirdness back to changes in the east-west wind patterns — changes for which they have several hypotheses, all of them linked to climate change.

    Reply
  9. Phil

     /  December 2, 2014

    There is also a possibility of some cyclones forming in the WPAC area and tracking towards north west towards the Philippines or Japan. Not sure if they will ultimately move towards the arctic from the pacific side like the monster last month.

    The other issue will be if more cyclones form during the next week or two.

    The other issue is whether they generate WWB’s in WPAC that reinforce a push towards El Nino. Apparently the one above has generated some westerly wind movements.

    Reply
    • SOI has been in the range of -8 for more than three months. The WWBs and warm Kelvin Waves keep coming. Although these have tended to be moderate. NOAA has El Niño at 58 percent the Australian weather bureau puts it at 70% probability. Oddly, some forecasts are calling for a rather strong El Niño by mid summer 2015, though others show it fading out by then.

      Reply
  10. wili

     /  December 2, 2014

    Hey, I got a hat tip!!
    (Now if I can just get the rest of a hat, maybe I can keep my ears warm from the Arctic blasts streaming down from the north! ‘-))

    Congrats on another great post, rs.

    Reply
  11. Loni

     /  December 2, 2014

    Great post, and the graphics out of ‘earth.nullschool.net’ are very informative.

    If there is an increase in the SSW occurrences, (keeping in mind the hole in the troposphere in the Pacific equatorial region), how “elastic” are these atmospheric interfaces? Could we possibly see them starting to “mix”?

    Reply
    • SSW is basically a planetary wave/Rossby wave that went vertical. The chief launching pad for SSW is in the region of Asia. It generally occurs when a planetary wave pattern interacts with the Tibetan a Plateau. The result is a heightening and warming of the atmosphere in this region that telegraphs directly over Asia and onto the pole.

      The tropospheric hole in the Pacific is related to warming in that region and related atmospheric thickening. The patterns are loosely related in that warming has been found by some studies to increase SSW frequency and that warming results in a heightening of the troposphere and thickening of the atmosphere in equatorial regions.

      Reply
      • Loni

         /  December 3, 2014

        Thank you for your time Robert, what are the chances of a Saturn style, (multi atmosphere-layer height, [if I understand what I see on Saturn correctly]), hurricane popping up here and there, possibly a morphed world-wide weather including El Nino, et. al.

        Reply
        • Saturn? Gas giant Saturn? No chance. Although some of Hansen’s models pointed toward continental scale frontal storms packing the strength of hurricanes in conjunction with very rapid Greenland and West Antarctic melt and 2 C warming about mid century.

    • Loni

       /  December 3, 2014

      So sorry to have wasted your time Robert, I meant the gas giant Jupiter with that permanent “cyclone” that it has spinning around. Is there any model that shows a possibility of a cyclone reaching through the atmosphere like that?

      Reply
      • I’m not aware of it. If we do see something of a near-permanent cyclone feature, it would tend to occur in regions where cold ice came into contact with warming oceans. Greenland and West Antarctica would be places for models to consider.

        As I said before, I haven’t seen anything like it in the studies I’ve looked at. Perhaps someone else has.

        In any case, it’s rather highly speculative at the moment.

        Reply
  12. Great post which demonstrates an obvious alarming trend. Do you think that will cause that shift in the cold air mass to keep going South to cause another cold late December/January in North America? ie another year of incorrectly reported Polar vortex?

    Reply
    • That may depend on what happens with the potentially developing El Niño.

      If we get an intensified storm track in the Pacific, it should tend to suppress ridging in EPAC and near Alaska. We would expect that to put a bit of a damper on these very strong dipoles and polar vortex disruptions we’ve been seeing.

      The El Niño seems to be trying to develop. But the fact that it has yet to prevent these kinds of major warmings and negative AO events may be due to polar amplification having a greater influence than in previous years. A speculative statement for certain. But it is a bit surprising to see these excursions with the Equator tilting more and more toward warm.

      I suppose it may be worthwhile to ask and investigate questions like — does the expanding Hadley Cell/tropical troposphere impact SSW? What is the role of this kind of teleconnection in the overall picture of polar amplification? In other words, what is the interplay between Equatorial and polar air at the upper levels and are we now seeing a warming driven change that makes negative AO more likely?

      Lastly, if there is a link between equatorial warming and polar amplification, does it now manifest in the form of an amplifying feedback in which traditional atmospheric circulation patterns, especially those involving the polar air mass, are more radically altered and eventually overwhelmed over time?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 2, 2014

        ” does the expanding Hadley Cell/tropical troposphere impact SSW? ”

        I was wondering kind of the same thing, but my specific questions are doubtless much dumber:

        Does the polar vortex essentially define the polar cell in the Hadley Cell system? If so, could the event we’re witnessing here be part of the collapse of that three-cell-per-hemisphere system into something else? Doesn’t an expanding Hadley Cell squeeze either the Polar or the Ferrel Cell (or both) smaller and smaller and eventually out of existence? What would a new cell system look like, and how much havoc would be wrought on the way toward the establishment of a new regime?
        (Sorry for the barrage of questions. No need to address them all, but something on the first two would be nice.)

        Reply
      • wili

         /  December 2, 2014

        OK, I thought about it and checked it out and remembered that it’s the jet stream that sits between the Polar and the Ferrel Cells. Does that whole system have any relevance to Polar Vortex behavior?

        Reply
        • Absolutely. In the case of strongly negative AO/polar vortex collapse, we often see very strong meridional flow patterns often associated with high amplitude Jet Stream waves. The polar cell is disassociated by the warm air influx and parts of it spill out into more southerly latitudes.

          The Ferrel Cell is a beast of instability. Baroclinicity drives it. Its poleward edge rides up over the colder air to the north and sinks below the warmer air to the south.

    • wili

       /  December 4, 2014

      Thanks much, rs.

      Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014

    November was the hottest month and ended the hottest spring on record for Australia, meteorologists say.

    The soaring temperatures are part of a trend putting the world on track for the warmest year on record.

    Maximum temperatures were warmer than average across nearly the entire continent, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

    Nine of the warmest springs on record occurred since 2002, said BoM Manager of Climate Monitoring Karl Braganza. ……………………………………………..

    ‘NSW baking’

    Spring 2014 was the warmest on record for Australia for the second year running. Both mean temperatures and maximum temperatures were highest on record for the season.

    Spring rainfall for Australia as a whole was 34% below the long-term mean.

    In the Murray-Darling Basin, in the interior of south-eastern Australia, this spring was the equal tenth driest on record. The area is one of the most important agricultural areas in the country.

    Some of the hottest temperatures in November were recorded at Roxby Downs in South Australia with 46.1C, and in Richmond in NSW with 45.3C.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-30271707

    Reply
    • If November was also the hottest on record globally, 2014 is almost certainly a shoe-in for hottest year on record.

      It’s strange we’ve had two hottest Australian Springs on record with no El Niño. The BOM down there must be going nuts. Quietly, most likely, due to the ridiculously adversarial political situation ongoing down there.

      Reply
      • uknowispeaksense

         /  December 2, 2014

        Indeed. 900 job losses from the CSIRO will have the BOM scared. They have been reporting “maybe” for an el nino for nearly a year.

        Reply
        • I find it unlikely the conservatives will stop a much needed downfall of fossil fuels. Sadly, they are doing their damnedest to take it out on climate scientists who are, somehow to them, a kind of reasonable enemy. Kill the messenger.

  14. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014

    Gulp ………………
    UW team explores large, restless volcanic field in Chile

    MADISON, Wis. — If Brad Singer knew for sure what was happening three miles under an odd-shaped lake in the Andes, he might be less eager to spend a good part of his career investigating a volcanic field that has erupted 36 times during the last 25,000 years. As he leads a large scientific team exploring a region in the Andes called Laguna del Maule, Singer hopes the area remains quiet.

    But the primary reason to expend so much effort on this area boils down to one fact: The rate of uplift is among the highest ever observed by satellite measurement for a volcano that is not actively erupting.

    That uplift is almost definitely due to a large intrusion of magma — molten rock — beneath the volcanic complex. For seven years, an area larger than the city of Madison has been rising by 10 inches per year.
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-12/uow-ute120114.php

    Reply
    • Something to keep an eye on. Could be a good test on the human RF increases. Something 10-100 times St Helens might stop human warming for a few years.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  December 2, 2014

        And do volcanoes spit off CO2 as well? Methane? Other GHG?
        What actually worries me is the volcanoes and fault lines laying in the arctic.
        The Ring of Ice as You put it in one essay, if not mistaken.

        Reply
        • Yes. But you would have to have quite a large event to even come to 10% of the human emission. As an example, the yearly volcanic ghg addition average is 1/150 that of the human emission. That’s all the eruptions in one year over the entire globe.

          The ring of ice — the volcanoes surrounding the Arctic that may be more immediately vulnerable to crustal rebound from GIS ice sheet loss. Surprised you recall that one, Ouse. It was some time ago.

      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 2, 2014

        And it’s rhyolite magma , the most explosive kind.

        Reply
        • Which means it could end up not going off at all, or going off at almost any time. A 5×10 kilometer magma pool sounds rather large. I wonder how that compares to the magma dome that built up under St Helens before it exploded.

      • wili

         /  December 2, 2014

        Ouse, my understanding is that there are a variety of kinds of volcanoes, but major eruptions tend to lead to short term (one to a very few years) of cooling, then long term warming.

        Reply
        • You got it. The aerosol cooling effect from volcanos is due to injection of a large volume is sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The particles diffuse sunlight and result in global cooling over a relatively short period. For example, the large eruption of Pinatubo during the 90s caused a fall in global temperatures that lasted for about 2-3 years. It was a minor speed bump to the larger warming trend, though, and did little to challenge it overall.

          During that time, human related ghg forcing was in the range of about +1.8 watts per meter squared at the top of the atmosphere. Now it’s above + 2.5 watts per meter squared. If a large eruption happened 5 years from now, we’d be rather close to +3 watts (including aerosols). So we’d need something rather larger than Pinatubo to have a similar effect.

          Over the long term the ghg emission from volcanoes can have an impact on climate — if the emission rate is strong enough. During the geological past, great ages of volcanism like the Permian flood basalt so had extraordinary impacts on world climates, almost certainly playing a major role in the mass extinctions that occurred during that time. But, even then, the rate of ghg gas emissions from volcanoes each year was less than the current yearly human emission.

          Today, we equal about six Permian Flood Basalts and climbing.

        • GFS model shows strong Pacific storm track over the next seven days. Looking more and more like an El Niño type pattern. Will see if it holds up. AO also goes positive.

    • Andy in San Diego

       /  December 3, 2014

      One could expect significantly reduced agricultural output worldwide from a large event (similar to Pinatubo in 91) inflaming populations due to commodity price spikes. National hoarding, anti government sentiment rising in net importers.

      Reply
      • The effect from a 100x Mt St Helens event would be similar to what we would see from widespread geo engineering — droughts and floods of major scale and intensity in unexpected places.

        Reply
  15. Kevin Jones

     /  December 2, 2014

    Robert: Sorry to be WAY off topic but with your history in these realms: CBS reports Iran is providing air support to Iraq against ISIS using F-4 Phantoms ‘purchased’ during the Shaw’s time. Where’d all the spare parts come from? Hope this isn’t too rude an interruption.

    Reply
    • Iran actually did some reverse engineering to keep the supply chain going for US arms. In addition, the F 4 was common enough so that parts could be bought on the international black market. Pretty amazing really. They’re flying relics.

      Reply
  16. KK

     /  December 2, 2014

    If the whole ocean warms up uniformly then it is not an El Nino? Let mi put it in a different way, if the whole darn ocean warms up uniformly, does it really matter if it is an El Nino or Nina anymore?

    Reply
    • It’s a good question in the sense that El Nino’s weather and climate impacts are partly tied to warming in comparison to the rest of the world ocean system. EQPAC is warm, but NEPAC is still extraordinarily warm. And the anomaly relative to the pole is still rather minor.

      Reply
      • Phil

         /  December 3, 2014

        I saw a report on the arctic sea ice forum that from PMEL/TAO data that negative wind anomalies seems to have emerged over far eastern pacific (around 110W) which appears to be unusual.

        This was in addtion to some earlier evidence of westerly wind between 135E-150E from the current cyclone that had formed in WPAC area. Not sure if these are still occurring and latest track of that cyclone.

        Things seem very fluid at the moment.

        Expecting some rainfall this weekend in many areas of Queensland (possibly up to 6 inches with also possibility of severe storms). Some areas of Brisbane still to be fixed up from the storm last week. Estimated insurance costs of around $350 million – mainly car but also some house/office damage especially to windows.

        I should also mention that the reason Abbott is toxic at the moment relates to broken promises and attempts to introduce ‘tea party’ type policies without explaining this before the election especially aimed at disadvantaging poorer parts of society (pensioners, students, young unemployed, migrants) while doing everything to enable the big end of town, including fossil fuel interests and large national and multinational companies. In another word, his budget was blatantly unfair and he has been on the nose ever since.

        Reply
        • We have a report of heavy rainfall causing a CVS roof to collapse in California. This is the first report I’ve seen of rainfall alone causing a structure to collapse. Clearly something the building designers didn’t have in mind…

          Can you link the TAIB comment thread on negative wind anomalies in EPAC? Would like to take a look.

      • Phil

         /  December 3, 2014

        Robert, I had trouble posting in the link. The information is in the second paragraph of the Consequences/2014 El Nino thread, the second last blog entry by Lord M Vader.

        Reply
  17. Kevin Jones

     /  December 2, 2014

    Upon further research, apologies. Something about ‘the black market’…. Back to Earth!

    Reply
    • You may also want to take a look at Iran’s defense industry. It’s actually rather robust.

      Reply
      • When it comes to defense industry Iran can’t hold a candle to the good ol’ US of A.
        Man, have we got some freakin robust defense & plenty of perpetual war to go with it.
        Ain’t no Muslims gonna hurt us.

        Reply
  18. West Antarctic melt rate has tripled

    ” A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade.

    The glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica are hemorrhaging ice faster than any other part of Antarctica and are the most significant Antarctic contributors to sea level rise.”

    http://news.agu.org/press-release/west-antarctic-melt-rate-has-tripled/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 2, 2014

      todaysguestis –

      Nice catch, and it reminds me that the “Fall” meeting of AGU is about to happen in San Francisco. We are all about to be flooded with new papers. Last year, 20,000 people attended.

      RS –
      Your research team is doing “cracker jack” work , ” Cracker Jack “.

      Reply
    • This worries me more than the volcano.

      Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  December 2, 2014

    Brazil: Amazon Deforestation Increases for First Time in Ten Years [PHOTO REPORT]

    A large part of the country faces a third year of drought, thought to be caused partly by deforestation of the Amazon, which is altering the climate in the region by drastically reducing the release of billions of litres of water by rainforest trees.

    According to Brazil’s National Space Research Institute, deforestation causes a dramatic decrease in the humidity that comes from the Amazon in the form of vapour clouds, drying up key reservoirs in Sao Paulo and neighbouring states.

    About 20 billion tonnes of vapour evaporate from the Amazon region every day. A big Amazonian tree, with a crown measuring 20 metres, can evaporate up to 300 litres a day, compared with one litre evaporated by a square meter of ocean, according to the Space Research Institute.

    Link

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    The capture of governments world wide by corporations is all around us . We are run now by groups of Putins. Just look at Canada, Australia, and the US, the rise of the carbon mafia .

    The feed backs are coming much faster than they ever dreamed of.

    Example one :

    Australia just signed giant beef export agreement with China. Well , Australia’s cattle stations are selling off cows because there is no water, and there is no feed.

    And no amount of stripping the Canadian Tar Sands is going to change this.

    Reply
    • It will make matters worse.

      Tar sands and petro Canada are about to feel the impacts of the resource curse as prices fall due to OPEC price war and the fracking glut. No pipeline to the world market, so price pressure on that expensive and energy intensive bitumen is brutal at the moment.

      If the renewable fuels standard lives and the cellulosic ethanol isn’t killed off by republicans, the damage cuts deeper. And, due to fact that solar and wind now compete directly with nat gas there is rather little recourse for petro companies and states.

      The industry is facing retraction. A true test of their power and resilience. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the facade starts to crack.

      Oh, and as an aside, that renewable energy government loan program republicans tried to demonize through their ridiculous attacks on Solyndra is a raging success. All loans paid off ahead of schedule with huge growth in renewables as an upshot. And the American tax payer made a profit. Definitely not something you will see on Fox. But republicans are rapidly becoming the party of ‘we were wrong.’

      Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    The scientists noted that glacier and ice sheet behavior worldwide is by far the greatest uncertainty in predicting future sea level. “We have an excellent observing network now. It’s critical that we maintain this network to continue monitoring the changes,” Velicogna said, “because the changes are proceeding very fast.”

    Reply
  22. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    Colorado Bob: your news from the cattle stations reminded me that I noticed my local deli advertising Marinaded Cowboy Steaks. Thought of asking them if that was really what they were…. thought better of it.

    Reply
    • Veganism helps prevent the soilent greenism.😉

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 3, 2014

      Read the beef deal between China and Australia. It’s Billions of pounds a year , giving that the beef deal is a fiction compared to what Australia can supply , I find Tony Abbott , Just a fool. And after he leaves office we should hunt him done like a dog, and make him pay every day. , all of us. This guy makes Nero look like “Newman”.

      Reply
      • It certainly is a prime example of how backwards a Prime Minister can be.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 3, 2014

        No, it’s fiction a of the fun house we live in . I’m still riding Honda’s in the Hills with my first great love.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  December 3, 2014

        Except, nobody is paying me to run the state of Australia.

        Reply
      • Phil

         /  December 3, 2014

        Latest polls for Abbott are 53 to 54 per cent to the opposition and 46 to 47 per cent for Abbott. Last weekend, the first term conservative government in Victoria was kicked out of office.

        Most of this is about broken promises made especially by Abbott since he was elected. They are in disarray at the moment and a few other state elections due within the next year. Not evident that conservative Governments will lose in those states although things appear very tight in Queensland in particular. Interesting times ahead.

        Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    The mace of the future –

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    The face of the future –

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 3, 2014

      When you were dying Genoa in 1338 , this guy came to get your body.

      That guy was the full extent of human science .

      Reply
      • Rather advanced for the 14th Century.

        Sometimes it’s amazing how things progressed. The 20th Century takes all the credit. But it’s just all the pieces over the ages that finally came together.

        Reply
  25. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    We all stuff herbs into a mask to save our sorry asses. That is all of us who can afford to have a mask made for our sorry ass.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  December 3, 2014

      Carbon Dioxide does not give a rat’s fuzzy butt what mask you wear.

      It’s coming to change our world , if we agree , or not.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  December 3, 2014

        You mean the laws of physics don’t care about who said what and when? Sounds like a conspiracy made up by the periodic table!

        Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  December 3, 2014

        Andy, apparently it’s due to Barbara Streisand, who, if you’re to believe Senator Inofe, is the holiday liberal most responsible for spreading the ‘global warming conspiracy’. No joke, I read this recently and it wasn’t in the Onion.

        Reply
        • Wow. It appears the era of Al a Gore climate bashing has finally ended. Possibly due to the fact that Gore was mostly right.

  26. Is this cause for optimism? co2 max warming peaks only 10 years after emitted?

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/warming-climate-can-be-slowed-in-a-decade-141202.htm

    Reply
    • Yes. But it’s the long tail that gets you…

      Of course, we should be reducing CO2 as rapidly as possible.

      Reply
    • In other words, not taking into account the related Earth system feedbacks.

      Reply
    • Yeah I found that part of the study confusing. What about the large lag in ocean warming, aerosols, and ofcourse positive feedbacks.

      Reply
      • A bit of a cherry pick, really. Narrowing down to just CO2, don’t even see much mention of CO2’s impacts on water vapor over the long term, either.

        Reply
      • I’ll be honest, I’m still confused about this study. Peak warming as in peak forcing or peak warming as in a peak equilibrium temp based on CO2 only? What continues to happen after the 10 years?

        Reply
        • I think they focus in on CO2 only, rather than other longer term impacts like water vapor, ocean heat, surface changes, carbon cycle feedbacks, albedo changes etc.

  27. Survey Shows 8-in-10 Americans Believe in Climate Change

    More than eight-in-10 Americans now believe the climate is changing – although they place that concern beneath issues like global political instability, economic crisis or a pandemic.

    Munich Re America’s inaugural 2014 Climate Change Barometer survey released on Tuesday shows that 83 percent of the 1,000-plus Americans surveyed believe climate change is occurring, and 63 percent are concerned about changes in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.

    The survey shows Americans living in the Northeast the most concerned about climate change. More than three-quarters of Northeast residents are concerned about changes in the severity of weather events, more than those in the West (65 percent), while concern in the Midwest (60 percent) and South (59 percent) followed.

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/12/02/348726.htm

    Reply
    • This is the republican’s weak underbelly if I ever saw one… That and their single focus on fossil fuel extraction and burning.

      Reply
    • Bill H.

       /  December 3, 2014

      Wow, That is a surprise for the “skeptical” U.S. Watts, Monckton and the Crew will have to re-double their cherry-picking efforts to persuade people of the “18-year pause” or whatever it is they are now pushing. The poll was not about the cause of Climate Change so it might be that many of the 80% believed that the change was not anthropogenic. However, the fact that 60% were in favour of moving away from fossil fuels as a response to it indicated a strong majority are now accepting AGW.

      Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    I went to buy more beer tonight, as I left tonight, I saw a whole family in need of transport. I GAVE THEM A RIDE . It could be the this best thing I ever did. They were about to pay a cab for a trip from food to home.

    I am rather happy . I live in a jungle. One never knows what kind nest will kill you.

    They asked me to share Christmas with them , they have nothing.

    I will attend.

    i have am about 1 degree above them . I have a car. they don’t . In America that makes you a God.

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  December 3, 2014

    “Get ready little lady . Hell is coming is coming to breakfast”

    Reply
  30. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 3, 2014

    “One of the warning signs that a dangerous warming trend is underway in Antarctica will be the breakup of Ice shelves on both coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula, starting with the northernmost and extending gradually southward.”

    Dr. John Mercer, “West Antarctic Ice Sheet and CO2 Greenhouse Effect: a Threat of Disaster” Nature, 26 January, 1978

    Reply
  31. Anthropocene

     /  December 3, 2014

    (sorry – posted in wrong place because don’t seem to be able to reply to actual comment) For those asking about possible impacts on polar, ferrel and hadley cells – search for ‘equable climate’. One argument for a method to get an equable climate is a single cell in each hemisphere. So discussions about how an equable climate can occur will ask (and answer) the same questions. There have been several (excellent) discussions on these topics on Neven’s ASI forum.

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  December 3, 2014

      Some comments have “reply” boxes in the lower right, some do not. If you are attempting to respond to one that does not, that’s because it’s a response to an earlier comment. Scroll back to the first comment above that has a box and reply to that. Your reply will appear below other replies, rather than at the end of all the comments.

      Reply
      • Yeah. I think WP does this to limit an infinite narrowing of posts. Although they may solve this by adding an ‘in reply to’ text. But that can sometimes be confusing as well.

        Reply
    • Thanks Anthropocene. Thread links would help too.

      Reply
    • RWood

       /  December 3, 2014

      what do you mean “we” kimosabe?
      [pardon, pardon, for not resisting impulse][cf snowpiercer]

      Reply
    • After a 42 yeah hiatus, it appears NASA has finally been given back the reigns to expanding the boundaries of human space exploration. Lots of lost time…

      Reply
  32. WMO press release…

    2014 on course to be one of hottest, possibly hottest, on record
    Exceptional heat and flooding in many parts of the world

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_1009_en.html

    Reply
  33. Greg Smith

     /  December 3, 2014

    U.S. NRG and now Germany’s E-ON, seeing the future and dumping latent FF power plant portfolios. Hopefully a sign of significant momentum in the right direction:

    Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  December 3, 2014

      Who decided to use that loaded photo in this story!? The subliminal message, with Che’s picture in the background, is that global warming is the province of the far-left (whatever that means).

      Reply
    • rayduray

       /  December 3, 2014

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the photo take. Boy, oh boy does Che Guevara seem like an icon of a distant era at this point in time. Today, instead of a communitarian legacy in the Congo based on Che’s work with Patrice Lumumba (assassinated by our ever-efficient CIA), we have Lumumbashi, a city of 1.5 million with 1.46 million of the town’s residents living in slums. Thank god we shot Che in Bolivia. Imagine the fate of those people if they ran their own lives.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubumbashi

      Reply
    • ‘The particular headline is not helpful. “Obama wants teachers and students to toe the line…”

      How about “Obama wants teachers and students to have an inkling about what’s coming and not fall prey to rampant misinformation…”

      Reply
  34. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    (go to 2nd comment)

    Reply
  35. Near 120W 40N

     /  December 3, 2014

    Lots of very warm rain in California. Some analysts and observers are falling over themselves calling this an El Nino-driven storm. There are some problems with this:

    – El Nino has not been declared by NOAA. SST’s haven’t been warm enough long enough to meet the criteria yet. There are signs and signals in the Pacific that an El Nino might emerge, but it’s too soon yet.
    – Even if there is an El Nino, it is a weak one.
    – The connection between weak El Ninos and Calif rainfall is very spotty. There is not a strong correlation (see studies by Jan Null).

    What’s troubling is that these analysts and observers put El Nino (or PDO or AO) in a vacuum and pretend they are the sole drivers. These are empirical patterns — which is fine if the Earth is steady state, but the past patterns aren’t as relevant when climate change is raising the floor of ocean and atmospheric temperatures.

    Personally I think in California we are seeing a new unknown mixture of some natural forcings plus added energy from AGW.

    Reply
    • I have to agree with you here. It’s a tough job matching a still incomplete atmospheric sciences with what is a climate that appears to have been strikingly altered.

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 4, 2014

      Well said and I could not agree more as well.

      Reply
  36. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    Mark, their desperation is becoming hilarious.

    Reply
    • Mark in New England

       /  December 3, 2014

      Well, if there was no doubt before, it’s obvious that “US News and World Report” is a ‘rightist’ publication, like the Wall Street Journal.

      Reply
  37. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    Hey, Mark, lets get a warm up hike in before I do the campaign for finance reform walk this January. Need the exercise. Enjoy the company.

    http://www.nhrebellion.org/

    Reply
  38. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    r

    Reply
  39. Kevin Jones

     /  December 3, 2014

    rayduray: appreciate your appreciation. We can’t make this history up!

    Reply
  40. Andy in San Diego

     /  December 4, 2014

    PJ Webster et al had stated (Sept 16 / 2005) that there will be chance in cyclone numbers, duration and intensity.

    Certainly an observation I’ve had the past 2 years, and more so in 2014 is the intensity increase over time changes. It appears that cyclones are now able to strengthen quicker, going from Cat 1 to say 3 or 4 within a much shorter period of time than what the time span was in the past.

    Anyone else notice this, or am I simply out of my mind?

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  December 5, 2014

      As someone who is nothing more than a casual observer of tropical storms, I sure have noticed this. The string of storms that formed in the EPac early in this season all seemed to make the jump to a major system very rapidly.

      Reply
  41. Apneaman

     /  December 4, 2014

    I’m sure this will work out for the best.

    New Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Take Deposits and Pensions

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-brown/new-g20-bailin-rules-now-_b_6244394.html

    Reply
    • We should have ruled out this kind of nonsense by breaking up the big banks during the first crash. Now we risk a second and worst set of debacles.

      Reply
  42. Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your informative and objective writing. I just want to know, given your strong interest and holistic knowledge in this field, what do you feel about what we are going to be going through in the next 5 to 10 years? How real is the possibility of a near term human extinction event and how do you contextualize the work you are doing in light of what you believe will happen? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Climate related stresses to civilizations will continue to ramp up over the next 5-10 years. Gradually, the age of near misses will turn into the age of solid hits. My view is that it will be more in the range of 10-20 years (2024 to 2034) for this transition.

      What this means is increasing damage and stress to current civilizations. Increasing droughts, floods, powerful storms. Increasing impacts from sea level rise. Instances where events occur in succession or persist for so long that it will require serious interventions to prevent widespread structural breakdowns. In some instances, breakdown will not be preventable without global effort and coordination by nations. The timeframe for civilization stress is now 2014 to 2040.

      Even with a far worse set of feedbacks arising in the Arctic than currently envisioned by mainstream science, it is very unlikely we will see near term human extinction over the next 5-10 years. That would take catastrophic impacts even outside the range I track here.

      In general, and what I am trying to get across, is that even a response equal to 10% of current human emissions from the global carbon pool is a bad outcome. And we will almost certainly see that before the end of this century even with the most rapid and effective reductions in human greenhouse gas emissions.

      A response equal to 35% of the human emission would probably lock us into a runaway to hothouse environments as seen in the worst greenhouse gas extinctions in the geological past.

      The timeframe for this range — the range in which amplifying feedbacks start to really get out of hand and set off potential human population stress and reductions — is on the decades to century scale. In the case of BAU, we could see powerful influences that begin to put widespread population pressure on humans (enough to reduce the global population) by the early-mid 21st Century (2030 to 2060). For context, World War II did not put enough population pressure on human beings to reduce net growth during the mid 20th Century. I would put the potential for this as moderate to moderate-high as we approach 2060 under a BAU scenario. Rapid emission reductions would reduce risk of this outcome, but not eliminate it entirely.

      Human extinction potential… Which would mean the total wiping out of humankind (now composing more than 7 billion highly adaptive individuals) after civilization failure. A failure that would involve the near complete loss of beneficial technology and medicine. I would not put that in the range of even low-moderate probability under BAU until after 2080. In the time frame of 2100 to 2300, under BAU I’d call the potential moderate. I suppose the question we need to ask is — could humans live through something that is likely to be worse than the Permian extinction? Basically, we’d have to support artificial environments and food growing on a scale large enough to support civilizations and build structures that are resilient enough to withstand major storms and Earth changes. Humans might well have this capacity, if they can work together effectively. But then that begs the question — how would we see ourselves after we wrecked our world. After we rendered it mostly lifeless?

      I don’t think we want to be that race of beings that presided over severe extinction and just managed to scrape by. I think we want to be that race that turned the world into a vital and more life-filled place.

      Of course, if anything extraordinarily catastrophic and unexpected did arise — like a major tectonic-type upheaval in the global carbon store — then these prognostications would be rendered effectively useless. So I can only give my particular forecast a rating of moderate confidence.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 4, 2014

        “how would we see ourselves after we wrecked our world. After we rendered it mostly lifeless?”

        How do we see ourselves now, when we know that we are in the midst of likely doing just that.

        Denial is not just a river in Africa!

        Reply
        • Denial is a good way of putting it. It seems that at least half of the science is also in denial. A milder, luke-warm denial. But denial nonetheless.

  43. Apneaman

     /  December 4, 2014

    Maximum warming occurs about one decade after a carbon dioxide emission

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/12/124002/article

    Reply
    • Based on what we know about how the Earth System responds, this statement is incorrect in the broader context. It is possible, I suppose, that CO2-only warming (not water vapor or other feedback related warming due to CO2 heating influence) is that fast (although I’d like to see more support in the science for it than this).

      Reply
      • wili

         /  December 4, 2014

        Yeah, that was my first impression–that they must be just looking at direct CO2 warming, not any feedbacks (or only maybe one really fast one?). But I haven’t looked at the paper. I wonder if it is being discussed/critiqued intelligently anywhere on line.

        Reply
        • That’s a good question. I’ll look to dig it up and, perhaps, give some more insight.

        • I’ve read through it.

          They’re basically backwards modeling climate sensitivity and have come to the conclusion that CO2’s effects are more rapid when it relates to warming but that total climate sensitivity and carbon cycle sensitivity is lower.

          The paper is in direct contradiction to paeloclimate proxies that show we lock in about 5-6 C of warming with CO2e in the range of 550 to 600 ppm. If the paper were to be an effective model of reality we would see 1.2 to 2.2 C additional warming between now and 2024 from the current levels of atmospheric CO2 at 400 ppm alone.

          The 425 ppm CO2e forcing when taking aerosols into effect would push that still higher and the 481 CO2e yet higher still.

          The paper is, thus, extraordinarily optimistic both on initial effects of CO2 and on overall Earth System sensitivity to CO2. A modeling study that is unlikely to be born out as valid in the real world under observation.

        • As an informal comment, I have to say — what were they thinking??

        • If the full feedback is expected within 10 years, then we’d have already warmed by 1.2 to 2.2 C, not the 0.8 C we see today. If the study assumes less sensitivity, then it begs the questions — if CO2 and ghg are the primary driver, then why did an increase of 100 ppm CO2 at the end of the last ice age sustain a 4-5 C rise in temperature, and why was the Pliocene at 400 ppm CO2 2-3 C warmer than the 20th Century average?

          The study only matches with reality so long as climate sensitivity is less than what we already observe. So, as a whole, it doesn’t really make much sense.

        • In any case, for this to be right I suppose our estimation of aerosol effects could be rather drastically low. In which case, the Faustian bargian looks that much worse.

        • Exactly. And I think your back of the cocktail napkin of a computation of aerosols blocking 2.6 deg C of AGW could very well be correct.

          What a filthy bargain our ancestors made with Mephistopheles, when he said hey ~ and we, or our PTB by extension ~ could loot all the fossil fuels from his Cave of Wealth and Death!

        • More likely that this is due to failure to take ESS into account and only basing the models on ECS or worse TCS measures (both artificial, in my view).

        • To me, the reason they do not take ESS into account is that they think it would take centuries or millennia for ESS to kick in (well it did previously, but that’s only because of a much more gradual rise in CO2, sometimes combined with sunlight-blocking aerosols).

        • True in the sense that our build-up is six times faster than say, the Permian or PETM spikes. But even if there is a nearly direct corollary between temperature response time and rate of increase (a somewhat reasonable assumption) dividing by six for initial forcings still puts on the scales of hundreds of years for full response.

          The ocean circulation, for example, takes 1,000 years. The carbon cycle response is mostly unknown, but will almost certainly not happen in ten years. The ice sheet response and related albedo response over a ten year time frame is very, very fast. Well outside anything we’ve seen in the geological past, especially when you start thinking about related ice sheet melt negative feedbacks.

          That said, if the aerosol negative feedback is 2.6 C, then that’s a rather terrible overhang. My opinion is it’s not. But it’s a scary thought nonetheless.

        • 1000 years for a molecule of water to make a complete circuit: yes, that’s a given. maybe 1500 years. So yes, — or no –, we will not see NTHE anytime soon. Still, the ice is already melting….😯

        • Yes. It’s a matter of degree. We are seeing far faster responses than expected. But to flip completely to a 10 year temperature response is about on the outside as asserting that response times are thousands of years or more.

          We probably see about 1/4 of the temperature response nearly immediately. About 1/2 on the century scale (ECS) and the full response over many centuries (long tail/ESS). The speed of response is generally slower when the energy is going to melt ice and warm oceans. Without ice and oceans, the rate of temperature response is much more rapid (due to ice and water having a high thermal inertia and also due to negative feedbacks coming from ice sheet melt).

          And yes, the ice sheets are melting faster than expected. But that was because we came up with this artificial limitation in which it was assumed that ice sheets take a long time to respond. And what we’re seeing now is that the ice sheet response time is starting now. This is a surprise because we assumed it wouldn’t happen so soon and we looked at the climate system as a more static body than it really is.

          Does this mean that temperature response times are ten years? Or is this even evidence that full system response times are ten years? I’d say no. It’s just that ice sheets are more sensitive to changes than we thought and that the climate system and geophysical system in general is more sensitive than we thought.

          Considering paleoclimate and the amount of energy it takes to melt ice sheets and warm oceans, considering the amount of time it takes for the carbon system to respond, then I think it very, very unlikely that the full warming effect of CO2 is achieved after 10 years.

          The scientific community missing an aerosol negative feedback masking 2.8 C warming, in other words, is less likely than this report being correct.

          Let’s do a little back of the napkin to confirm this notion. For example, if we have 4 C ESS warming locked in from 481 CO2e (rounded), then we assume about 1 C warming now. Sitting at 0.8 C is roughly confirmed by the negative feedback of aerosols and the longer residence time of 450 and 400 CO2e forcings (resulting in more overall warming). So we are in the range expected by the mainstream science on temperature even if we are not seeing the slower ice sheet and ocean responses expected. This means that the overall impact of warming on the climate system is greater than expected, that the extra heat is going to unexpected places and doing more work to change the physical structure of the Earth System more rapidly.

          I don’t think we see much evidence of an aerosol negative feedback masking 2.6 C. Nor do I think we see evidence of lower climate sensitivity implied by this study.

        • Although I must say I do agree with the sentiment in that reducing emissions through shutting down fossil fuel use is the best policy.

      • wili

         /  December 5, 2014

        “for this to be right I suppose our estimation of aerosol effects could be rather drastically low”

        Yikes. I hadn’t thought of that as a possible interpretation. So what would this study say is the level of heat that aerosols are shielding us from. IIRC, other models have a pretty wide range of .5 go 2 degrees or so. Would they be saying that it’s even higher than 2 C?

        Reply
        • Let’s see… 481 CO2e = 4.25 C total warming assuming ECS 3C and ESS 6C (my estimate is 3.8 C to be conservative, but let’s stick with round values for simplicity). But we have to go back 10 years to get 448 CO2e and 3.6 C ESS.

          So this would imply aerosols block out 2.8 C if we assume total ESS warming in ten years for CO2 heat forcing.

          Now, if the model is using ECS as the base value, and it seems it is, then aerosols would be blocking out only 1 C. But then you run into the problem that the paper claims that maximum warming from CO2 occurs over 10 years. And since the ECS measure artificially excludes so called slow feedbacks, then the ten year maximum is likely an artifact of plugging the already, outside reality, ECS measure into the equation.

          In general, this is one of the problems I have with ECS, that it can tend to become so abstracted as to be a useless measure when it is taken too literally.

          The notion that we could draw a line and say, well, glaciers only respond after 100 years and oceans only respond after 100 years is somewhat absurd. Glaciers respond a little at first and then more and more over time. Albedo changes a little at first and then more and more over time. The Oceans respond gradually to the heat as well and then the response builds with time.

          We’re thinking about it all backwards by saying only this century matters, developing an ECS model regime for only this century, and then arbitrarily forgetting that there’s a natural process going on that doesn’t give one goddamn about this century and will do what it wants when it damn well pleases.

          In the end, it appears that this paper took ECS as end all, be all reality, made a rather ludicrous statement based on that assumption and then wrote a few caveats as a nod to ESS and what we’ve already learned from paleoclimate.

  44. Oh goodness! Not again😦

    Reply
  1. Climate Degrading FAST | Survival Acres Blog

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