May 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm #12472
Carrying on from the Waiting for better weather thread which is full
Transitions between greenhouse and icehouse states tend to be rapid, with dramatic consequences for life on Earth. The most recent of these fundamental climate transitions began around 50 million years ago and culminated at ~34 million years ago at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary with the rapid growth of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Due to the nature of the rock record, this most recent transition is the best studied and most well documented of the greenhouse to icehouse switches, but nonetheless the processes responsible are still much debated. The most popular, but not the only, hypothesis is that it was caused by a decline in the atmospheric CO2 – an important greenhouse gas.
By burning fossil fuels, CO2 concentrations may reach values typical of the greenhouse world of the Eocene by the end of this century. It is therefore becoming imperative to better understand the role of CO2 in driving these natural cycles of Earth’s climate. Consequently, the principal aim of this project is to determine the main driver of this most recent and dramatic switch in climate state.
Climate is very complex; therefore, to achieve our goal, we are using a multidisciplinary approach that has aspects of both new data collection and sophisticated computer models. By combining computer simulations of the past with the generated new data we will be able to isolate which of the myriad of potential processes was responsible for triggering this fundamental shift in climate and better determine how they impacted the evolution of life.May 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm #12473
Given this longer term view of forcing, the s for future fossil fuel use stand out as being even more extreme, and the business as usual (RCP8.5) would amount to a forcing by CO2 that is largely unprecedented in the geological record (as far as we can tell).May 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm #12474May 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm #12475May 6, 2014 at 9:43 am #12531
Hi Ulvfugl, I wonder if you’ve read any intelligent-sounding criticisms of the greenhouse effect. I am starting to become skeptical because all of the alarm rests on this. I found it difficult to read something in a tone against what I believe, but now I am trying to see it from the other perspective.
I know the first is a writer for Ars Technica, but his arguments are good. The second blog(ger) thinks very much like myself.
“This is false. How many times do we have to go over this? Where are the equivalent measurements from before 2007? Did they monitor the same plumes expanding in size? (No.) This narrative is made up. Case in point: the two Shakhova papers estimating total ESAS emissions. They made an estimate, went back, gathered more observations in a different area, and revised their estimate (upward). AMEG treats these as two independent measurements of the same thing, and claims that actual emissions are increasing. That’s nonsense. If I walk into a stadium and estimate the crowd based on the number of people in one section, visit a different section in 2 hours and estimate a larger crowd than I had before, I cannot claim the crowd increased. I can’t know that.”
http://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/04/a-tale-of-two-versions/May 6, 2014 at 11:54 am #12533
No, there isn’t any intelligent criticism of the greenhouse effect. It’s absolutely solid science going back for 150 years.
The two sources you mention are crap, but for different reasons. The first guy, Scott whatever, just cannot see that the Earth and it’s climate is a whole system, where everything is joined to everything else, and so he thinks in reductionist terms looking at parts trying to see where there might be a mistake.
It’s like doctors who say about a dying patient ‘But look the liver is healthy, the heart is healthy, there can’t be anything wrong’ because they can’t see what’s in front of their eyes.
Watts is different, he’s backed by denialist money, and has gathered all the loonies, and they are basically scientifically illiterate and have no real understanding,
The whole issue has become political, so the actual science hardly matters any more. It’s a war over which side you are on, mostly in America.May 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm #12542
I don’t get it. The second url quotes Watts and strongly disagrees:
“The last thing that can happen, in fact, the thing which would defeat them, is if the entire thing was exposed as a fraud, or at least as a dumb mistake if the masses can not accept the concept of intentional fraud. This is precisely what would happen if it were exposed that their “alarming greenhouse effect” is pure pseudoscientific BS, and this is precisely why the Sith apprentices defend it.”
An hour ago I read the fourth url there, and it seemed good enough to change my mind. (There are 2 separate theories being referred to with one term). What is solid science about CO2 warming the planet? That same author, of the climate sophistry blog, talks about the flow of heat only going from hot to cold which supposedly invalidates AGW (for him this is what it all hinges on; CO2 is the source of life; there has been many times more CO2 than today on the planet before (and *WITHOUT* runaway climate change) and because of the ice-age cycles the CO2 needs to be replenished, though that is on a separate article/url)
Can you provide something to confirm the inverse?
These days I think; “What if it’s too late?” “Then I have nothing better to do.”May 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm #12551May 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm #12563
Okay, that previous post’s contents all look like junk. I should’t have posted it without thinking on it first. It’s bad judgement on my part. In the other thread though, what I was saying was far more within what I can make good judgements/assessments on.
The Illuminati said somewhere on the site “it is never acceptable to give up.” I know you can cite those things, species extinction times 1000x faster, or was it 100.. but aside from the way I don’t look at life as nihilistic and pointless anymore, as I see it I am still a curious introvert until societal collapse comes and there’s nothing else I could do generally. I don’t value any sort of short-term relocation to a different place. I can’t escape what I am: a construct of reality itself. These things don’t scare me in the slightest, now. I used to worry but it’s exhausting in and of itself.May 6, 2014 at 7:58 pm #12571
There are a handful of names who keep denying that there is any AGW or any AGW problem.
They’ve all be thoroughly investigated repeatedly for years. None of them have got a reputable case.
Either they are cranks who have got crackpot theories that nobody else accepts, because they simply seem wrong and cannot be backed up with evidence, or they are being paid large amounts by oil and coal companies, or they simply don’t understand science at all and just make up crap because they don’t like the idea of warming climate, or whatever.
Billions of dollars are being spent every year by Kochs, Exxon, and coal companies to confuse the public and stop any legislation which will restrict emissions.
I don’t have time to into it with you, I’m involved with too many other things, but there’s a good video by Naomi Oreskes explaining how it works,May 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm #12588May 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm #12635
Melting at one of the largest ice caps on Earth has produced a big jump in its flow speed, satellite imagery suggests.
Austfonna on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago covers just over 8,000 sq km and had been relatively stable for many years.
But the latest space data reveals a marked acceleration of the ice in its main outlet glacier to the Barents Sea.May 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm #12640
“Methane emissions are one example of a positive feedback between ecosystems and the climate system. The permafrost carbon feedback is one of the important and likely consequences of climate change, and it is certain to trigger additional warming. Even if we ceased all human emissions, permafrost would continue to thaw and release carbon into the atmosphere. Instead of reducing emissions, we currently are on track with the most dire scenario considered by the IPCC. There is no way to capture emissions from thawing permafrost as this carbon is released from soils across large regions of land in very remote spaces.”May 13, 2014 at 12:26 am #12696
The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday.
The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis.May 14, 2014 at 8:13 am #12760
Thomsen and his colleagues have discovered that changes in ocean currents triggered by storms raging on the sea surface can
alter the release of gas from the hydrate mounds. The team reported last year in
Geophysical Research Letters that as currents scouring the seafloor increase in intensity, more methane seeps out of the mounds. So while it may take decades for warming at the sea surface to change deep-sea temperatures, alterations in wind-driven events may have more immediate effects. NEPTUNE’s continuous monitoring allowed Thomsen’s team to make the first connections between hydrate release and climate-induced changes hundreds of meters above.May 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm #12873
Greenland’s icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by glaciologists. The work shows previously uncharted deep valleys stretching for dozens of miles under the Greenland Ice Sheet.May 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm #12894
Ice-loss moves the Earth 250 miles beneath our feetAt the surface, Antarctica is a motionless and frozen landscape. Yet hundreds of miles down the Earth is moving at a rapid rate, new research has shown.
The study, led by Newcastle University, UK, and published this week in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, explains for the first time why the upward motion of the Earth’s crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly.
Previous studies have shown the earth is ‘rebounding’ due to the overlying ice sheet shrinking in response to climate change. This movement of the land was understood to be due to an instantaneous, elastic response followed by a very slow uplift over thousands of years.
But GPS data collected by the international research team, involving experts from Newcastle University, UK; Durham University; DTU, Denmark; University of Tasmania, Australia; Hamilton College, New York; the University of Colorado and the University of Toulouse, France, has revealed that the land in this region is actually rising at a phenomenal rate of 15mm a year – much greater than can be accounted for by the present-day elastic response alone.May 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm #12905
Events In Space Effect Earth’s Climate More than Scientists BelievedMay 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm #12991
“There is a lot of carbon at depths where nobody is measuring,” says Erika Marin-Spiotta, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of geography and the lead author of the new study. “It was assumed that there was little carbon in deeper soils. Most studies are done in only the top 30 centimeters. Our study is showing that we are potentially grossly underestimating carbon in soils.”
The soil studied by Marin-Spiotta and her colleagues, known as the Brady soil, formed between 15,000 and 13,500 years ago in what is now Nebraska, Kansas and other parts of the Great Plains. It lies up to six-and-a- half meters below the present-day surface and was buried by a vast accumulation of windborne dust known as loess beginning about 10,000 years ago, when the glaciers that covered much of North America began to retreat.
The region where the Brady soil formed was not glaciated, but underwent radical change as the Northern Hemisphere’s retreating glaciers sparked an abrupt shift in climate, including changes in vegetation and a regime of wildfire that contributed to carbon sequestration as the soil was rapidly buried by accumulating loess.
“Most of the carbon (in the Brady soil) was fire derived or black carbon,” notes Marin-Spiotta, whose team employed an array of new analytical methods, including spectroscopic and isotopic analyses, to parse the soil and its chemistry. “It looks like there was an incredible amount of fire.”
The team led by Marin-Spiotta also found organic matter from ancient plants that, thanks to the thick blanket of loess, had not fully decomposed. Rapid burial helped isolate the soil from biological processes that would ordinarily break down carbon in the soil.
Such buried soils, according to UW-Madison geography Professor and study co-author Joseph Mason, are not unique to the Great Plains and occur worldwide.
The work suggests that fossil organic carbon in buried soils is widespread and, as humans increasingly disturb landscapes through a variety of activities, a potential contributor to climate change as carbon that had been locked away for thousands of years in arid and semiarid environments is reintroduced to the environment.May 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm #13017
First it was the bad news from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet:
Then came the bad news from the Greenland Ice Sheet:
And, as if this was not enough, now we also need to worry about the East Antarctic Ice Sheet:
” the removal of a specific coastal ice volume equivalent to less than 80 mm of global sea-level rise at the margin of the Wilkes Basin destabilizes the regional ice flow and leads to a self-sustained discharge of the entire basin and a global sea-level rise of 3–4 m.”
Let us hope that these things take long time to unfold. But I think we need to start thinking really hard about how to live with rapidly changing sea levels…May 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm #13026
The human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated according to an international team of researchers from Brazil and the UK, led by Lancaster University.
This is equivalent to 40% of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation – when entire forests are chopped down.
This is the largest ever study estimating above and belowground carbon loss from selective logging and ground level forest fires in the tropics, based on data from 70,000 sampled trees and thousands of soil, litter and dead wood samples from 225 sites in the eastern Brazilian Amazon.
The forest degradation often starts with logging of prized trees such as mahogany and ipe. The felling and removal of these large trees often damages dozens of neighbouring trees.
Once the forest has been logged, the many gaps in the canopy means it becomes much drier due to exposure to the wind and sun, increasing the risk of wildfires spreading inside the forest.
The combination of selective logging and wildfires damages turns primary forests into a thick scrub full of smaller trees and vines, which stores 40% less carbon than undisturbed forests.May 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm #13035
House Science Committee decrees IPCC report not scienceJune 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm #13068June 3, 2014 at 10:48 pm #13071June 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm #13101Trade winds. The east-to-west flow of airs across more than ten thousand miles of Pacific waters. Starting just off the coast of Ecuador, these winds typically blow in the range of 15 to 25 miles-per-hour uninterrupted across the vast Pacific before terminating in the South China Sea. The winds are a normal condition in the Equatorial Pacific. So constant that sailors relied on them as a kind of ocean conveyor during the days when sailing ships still ruled the waves. Year in, year out, the trade winds blow. Usually only subject to minor insults and brief interruptions from the massive and powerful weather phenomena that is El Nino.But, starting yesterday, something rather odd began to happen. A six thousand mile stretch of the trades simply went dead.June 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm #13178
Arctic high pressure dominated, which means little or no cloud cover. A large part of the Arctic ice cap is under the influence of sunlight. In addition, warm air masses from North America and Asia attracted over some of the areas covered by ice. This applies especially to those places where the ice is gone, which shows ice coverage map below. Water absorbs solar energy much more effectively than ice, which increases the amount of heat in the Arctic. This energy is consumed in the melting of ice, hence the Arctic Ocean has no thermal anomalies such as winter. On average, the temperature is now higher by 0.5-0.8 there about C compared to the period 1979-2000 .June 10, 2014 at 4:30 am #13238
Ten Cubic Kilometers of Ice Lost From Jakobshavn Glacier in Less than One MonthJune 10, 2014 at 4:36 am #13239June 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm #13251June 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm #13370
The answer is that it us not just the sun that has changed. The Earth also evolved, with the appearance of land plants around 400m years ago changing atmospheric composition and the amount of heat Earth reflects back into space. There has also been geological change with the continental area steadily growing through time as volcanic activity added to the land-mass and this, too, had an effect on the atmosphere and Earth’s reflectivity.
Remarkably, biological and geological evolution have generally produced cooling and this has compensated for the warming effect of our ageing sun. There have been times when compensation was too slow or too fast, and the Earth warmed or cooled, but not once since life first emerged has liquid water completely disappeared from the surface.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.