Author Topic: The future Arctic  (Read 4930 times)

Kevin

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The future Arctic
« on: February 01, 2014, 04:21:06 pm »
Here is a news article & journal paper from my modeling and sea ice colleagues about the impact of future carbon emissions on the Arctic. File under: 'why we all do what we do here at Old Weather'. Some of the numbers are astonishing.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-arctic-warming-sea-ice-carbon-emissions-20140130,0,6296635.story#axzz2s4rc4qnk

Janet Jaguar

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 04:34:48 pm »
Thanks, this is an article that should be shared.

studentforever

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 06:00:33 pm »
Scary numbers.  Goodness only knows what this will do to ocean circulation.  Scotland could be in for chilly winters if the Gulf Stream shuts down.

Thursday Next

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 06:31:57 pm »
Are they talking in Fahrenheit or Celsius?  I couldn't see it specified anywhere.

mapurves

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 06:45:25 pm »
The article was in the LA Times (Los Angeles) Has to be fahrenheit. My problem with the article is that it minimises the downside. According to the article, on the "good" side, open water for shipping and oil exploration, on the "bad" side, hard for the walruses and polar bears. I saw an interesting article from the University of Exeter

The where and when of wetter and drier: disappearing Arctic sea ice plays a role. Get used the rain, good people in England. Get used to the drought all you people in Spain, Italy and Greece.

And even that is nothing compared to what could happen if the methane releases in the arctic accelerate, the Gulf Stream shuts down, etc etc.

Sadly, given the choice between the "good" listed in the article against the discomfort of a few bears, I can imagine what most people would choose.

Craig

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 07:30:37 pm »
Quite so, Michael. The warming of the Arctic reduces the temperature difference between low and high latitudes. One of the consequences of this is a "lazy" jet stream, which has already caused a lot of grief.

Kevin

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 02:21:17 am »
Are they talking in Fahrenheit or Celsius?  I couldn't see it specified anywhere.

The journalist is quoting the paper so C. But he should have specified.

Thursday Next

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 06:27:49 pm »
Oh dear - that makes the figures even more scary.  :(

mapurves

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 11:21:06 pm »
Sorry, Kevin. He was quoting the paper, but converted to degrees F. They expect warming of 13 deg C, which is 23.4 deg F. (The number in the paper.) Similarly 9F => 5C, 12.6F => 7C, 5.4F => 3C and 3.6F => 2C. 13 C is a huge amount of warming, but 23.4C???

Hanibal94

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 07:49:35 am »
Thanks for the correction, Kevin. I found the figure of 23.4 C kinda suspicious too.
But 13 C is already pretty bad.... I'm especially worried because this might wreck the Gulf Stream, which until now has made winters in Western and Central Europe (where I live) milder than they could be.

But it's hard to tell because there's so much uncertainty, as is often the case in climate change. That's one of the reasons why I focus entirely on weather readings while transcribing - to help clear up some of this uncertainty (I hope).

Craig

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 11:10:44 am »
I agree, Hanibal. That's my hope too.

Craig

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2014, 09:18:56 pm »
I read your paper Early 20th century Arctic warming in retrospect, Kevin and I am wondering if it is known whether the ocean-current patterns that prevailed between 1920 and 1940 are making some contribution to the Arctic warming that is happening now? I see from your Figure 4 that the Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index has a high between 1980 and 1995, which doesn't coincide perfectly with the timing of the temperature increases but it doesn't coincide perfectly in the early period either. The "MI 4" circulation index (shown in the same figure) seems to have a better fit with the temperature anomalies in both periods although it seems more erratic.

I am surprised that the early Arctic warming has not received more attention in the recent discussions related to the Arctic. The modern warming has been going on for about 20 years now so perhaps we will see some cooling if some of this warming is due to another "random climate excursion" ?


Kevin

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2014, 01:06:38 am »
Yes, we can expect natural variability to continue such that (like 2013 in the Pacific sector) there are some cooler seasons with somewhat greater ice extents. After all, 2013 rebounded to the sixth lowest ever. The public's focus on ice extent overlooks the fact that much of the durable & thick multiyear ice is gone, and the remaining thinner ice is now even more sensitive to anomalous winds and subsequent  ice-albedo feedback. However, it is important to remember that, as far as we know, the early warming was primarily an Atlantic-Arctic phenomenon (not synchronous Arctic-wide) and not accompanied by anything like the present ice loss and spectacular retreats like 2007 and 2012.

I am just wrapping up a synthesis paper on the last 10 years in the Pacific sector - it would be easy to post my top 10 list of good (and readable) science papers referenced therein if desired.

studentforever

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2014, 08:01:28 am »
It would be nice to be able to find them if we wanted to check out some of the wilder speculations in the press.

Craig

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Re: The future Arctic
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2014, 09:57:45 am »
Yes, I would like to see these, Kevin, as well as your paper when it's complete.

I can see that the ice thickness would be a key factor. How reliable are the data on this in the 20s and 30s? It seems to me that it was only recently that we had extensive measurements of Arctic ice thickness?