Under Occasional Construction... like right now!! (3/13/14)
(Notes to self: Ctrl+S to Save, highlight text then click on link button to add target, rem Publish button was hidden off-screen upper far right
The Carbon Greenhouse Theory of a Fossil Fuel Burning Global Warming Crisis is theoretically dubious and empirically disproven!
Starting with a summary, followed by a mid-section of unfinished stuff which might become a lengthy review and discussion of the whole mess, and ending with a chronological list of informative Global Warming/Climate Change Links I've accumulated that should help you not be frightened by the warm-mongers! (I haven't much consulted other skeptical sites, so this is mostly my own thinking, but the logic is pretty obvious, so it no doubt reproduces their efforts.)
"Carbon Greenhouse Theory? Huh?"
-- It would be tempting and much more elegant to just call it the Carbon Panic or the Global Warming or Greenhouse Crisis Theory. Unfortunately, even though I'll argue that there's no current reason to be afraid of carbon-induced warming, I can't address carbonic ocean acidification, the latest bugaboo dreamt up to terrify us, nor rule out other greenhouse gases, including water, in the apparent warming of the Earth, nor the possibility that the warming might start up again and be a problem in decades to come; so, I'm left with this clumsy but accurate phrase. And I'm not going to get into whether the warming spell(s) could be natural: that's incidental to my point. Nor will I dispute the warming here: there was very good reason to be skeptical about it, as there were huge sampling biases, but rather surprisingly, recent analyses seem to validate the numbers (so all that Climategate cherry-picking and number rigging wasn't even needed!)
Are They Crazy? (Or Just Lazy?)
-- The theory is superficially plausible: carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, trapping the heat that's produced when sunlight is absorbed by the Earth's surface, and that's as far as most people bother to think about it; however, it's a weak greenhouse gas and very rarefied in the Earth's atmosphere (1 part in 3,000). We believe that we understand its behavior well and, at the trace amounts in our atmosphere, its warming effect is minimal, no more than 1/30th that of water vapor, accounting for less than 1/300th of the Earth's total temperature. That's all settled science. There is no reason to imagine that its greenhouse effect could be a problem in itself: the Carbon Greenhouse theory absolutely requires that this effect be magnified by other factors, principally, a theorized spiral of self-increasing humidity and warming after surface waters were slightly warmed by increased CO2. If water actually did this (which it hasn't... in fact the humidity is dropping -- Water Vapor in Stratosphere Declines), and did nothing else, the theory would be rock solid, but water does many things (except that one, apparently!)...
"But how could it not be true?!"
-- Self-regulation (instead of self-immolation). From both experience and intuition we expect complex, seemingly stable, long-persisting systems, like the Earth's climate system, to be self-moderating, self-preserving. Living things have biological systems to maintain the state of their interiors even as conditions outside change... in the Gaia Hypothesis, the entire biosphere acts as a living being, but we find self-moderation, negative feedbacks, even in simple chemical systems, as embodied by Le Chatelier's Principle: if we stress a chemical equilibrium in one direction and there is a way for it to alter itself to reduce that stress, it will do so. In the standard climate models, the Earth has no way to cool itself except by getting warmer and "glowing" hotter: it just lies there like a (warm) lox. The obvious prospect for a planetary self-regulating agent is the water system: there are some 70 atmospheres worth of water in the oceans, and water vapor, which is a much stronger greenhouse gas and 1,000 times more prevalent than CO2 in the air, warms the atmosphere by 30 degrees C, at least 30 times what CO2 should. Water vapor can do several things that could counter an added warming effect, including carrying heat away from the Earth's surface and the increased formation of clouds types that block sunlight from reaching the surface in the first place, thereby short-circuiting the greenhouse effect there. Less obvious is the reduction of the other cloud types that principally hold heat in. Intuitively, we would expect changes in cloud cover to moderate against warming (because they can)... and here's a link about that: Clouds May Moderate Warming in the Tropics. Meanwhile, the warm-mongers speculate, with the scantest theory and shakiest evidence, that the clouds would change, on net, to amplify added heat, and factor this into their failed climate models. (Note that we are talking about very small changes in heat and cloudiness, some in the less-visible cirrus haze, perhaps spread across an entire hemisphere of the Earth over the course of the year, not something that would be apparent to us here on the surface.)
Hypothesis Becomes Hypotheosis: The Carbon Greenhouse Panic is Born
-- In the early 1980's, a few (ambitious) climatologists noted that, over the 20th century, the Earth seemed to have periodically warmed (with a burst in the 1970's) in tandem with rising CO2 levels produced by fossil fuel use (they also blame methane, but primarily CO2). I shouldn't need to point out that many, many other things had increased similarly over a century of rapid material change and growth. Undaunted, and emboldened by their success modeling the simpler (water-poor) atmospheres of other planets, these climate scientists audaciously proposed that they understood the climate system sufficiently well that they could not only identify but confidently eliminate all possible causes aside from changing CO2 levels to explain the apparent warming: they went on to predict a climate calamity in decades to come and to request ever-larger amounts of money, acclaim, and influence for their studies and themselves. Still, science is all about proposing plausible theories and seeing which pan out. It was perfectly plausible that CO2 could be an important, even dominant, root cause of global warming: as for reorganizing our civilization to control its emission, I've always said the facts were way too uncertain to justify spending precious resources and sacrificing needed growth to do so. Many here in the U.S. are suffering deeply from anti-carbon policies as food prices skyrocket and jobs vanish, and vast numbers of the world population are still desperately poor. Three decades passed... de-carbonization policies squandered resources and aggravated poverty as Green profiteers made fortunes... dissenters from the climate orthodoxy were black-listed and demonized... and though humidity levels didn't rise as required by the Carbon Greenhouse theory, it staggered along: the climate models needed ad hoc tweaking to fit each new year's data, but there were plenty of fudge factors to adjust to allow a suspension of disbelief, and, as alternative theories and evidence contrary to the Carbon Greenhouse were suppressed, the public was indoctrinated to think of this theory as the default, as "settled science," doubted only by cranks and by villainous corporations and their amoral shills.
Reality Rears its Ugly Head
Note for 3/2016: these graphs come live from NASA's GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies), so they are constantly updated. They look different than when I wrote the following section, and the numbers may have been "massaged," to support the crisis theory; they used to show a definite slowing or pause in the warming trend after the turn of the century, which you can still see if you focus on the suspiciously flat section of the period 2003-2013. A graph that focuses in on the past 50 years might still clearly show the slow-down of the trend. If you read my argument through to the end, I think it still stands up, but it's no longer as obvious from the chart. I don't have time now to redo the following sections right now, or to find a chart to show this, but I will assert that even the warm-mongers admit that their climate models predicted wildly more warming than has occurred, no matter how hard they fudge the numbers, and have no explanation for it. Here is a link where they acknowledge the pause but try to get us to ignore it: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721181805.htm There are numerous such articles, which I should add, somewhere... someday. Furthermore, I'll assert that this pace of warming is not a crisis. Now back to 2014:
According to the theory, there should be a clear trend upwards over the past decade-plus, but there isn't! (Note that NASA GISS's departing boss James Hansen is a warm-monger who rocketed to the top of the scientific establishment by promoting global warming panic! Cui Bono?)
-- The warming trend continued until around the turn of the century, then vanished; a blizzard of excuses has replaced it. No amount of jiggering with the numbers could save the climate models. In the theory, if CO2 rises, temperature must do so too (excluding yearly fluctuations and major events like volcanic eruptions). CO2 has risen by 20 ppm in the last decade, which they predicted (based on the 1975-1998 trend) would result in a .2 degree C increase in global temperature. There's been no global warming since around 2000! As they declared back in the '80's, and by their own arguments, a decade is enough time to show a pattern. Since no known major event has intervened, both the assumptions and predictions of the Carbon Greenhouse Theory are disproven. They now argue that some mysterious effect, or a combination of many little effects, has put the warming "on hold," but the theory rests on there not being any mysterious effects, since they could just as well have caused the putative warming in the first place! E.g., if the heat's hiding in the ocean now, how do we know that it wasn't coming out of it before? (Indeed, some of the alternative theories the establishment long belittled are now being recruited to provide excuses!) Those matching temperature and CO2 trends were the only reason to conclude that CO2 caused the warming spell, and the theory was declared to be proven after fewer years of the warming than we've had of stasis. And the Carbon Greenhouse Theory requires spiraling humidity to amplify it (more on this later)... that has never been demonstrated (you'd have heard about it very loudly if it had)! They say that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof," but there was never any proof, only a vague hypothesis that was promoted to scientific (and ideological) dogma. Somewhere along the line, this theory became a belief, a possession to be defended: it's natural for people to be conservative, to become attached to the familiar, to what they've worked on for decades, but science requires a greater discipline, a devotion to the pursuit of the truth, rather than the defense of the comfortable. When a theory fails, scientists are supposed to reconsider the premise and ponder the alternatives, not scrounge around for excuses to "save" it.
Four out of Five Climate Scientists Choose Crest
-- We hear about polls of "climate scientists" (a nebulous term, pardon the pun, that could include every code monkey the industry employs) that suggest overwhelming support for the belief that global warming is man-made. But that's a query on their belief, not their expertise or even certainty. If we were to rephrase the question as, "Discounting what your climatology textbooks and colleagues say, based solely upon your personal research in climate physics, would you stake your professional reputation on the assertion that carbon dioxide is definitely responsible for the warming of the late 20th Century?" we might get different percentages. Now consider that climate dissenters are publicly labeled as monsters, blacklisted, driven from the field... it's surprising there are any dissenters left, much less that they dare to admit their dissent! You don't get to be a Cardinal by questioning the divinity of Christ... you get burned at the stake by the Inquisition.
-- When they launch a space mission, the Flight Director goes around the department heads asking if each department is "Go?" for launch. If only 80% of departments reply "Go for Launch," that isn't considered good enough! For thirty years, the entire Cloud Department has been shouting, "NO GO! Abort!" about the whole Greenhouse Gas Panic, and have been ignored by the rest of the team. Even if "only" 20% of scientists in a field disagree with the ruling dogma, that's still a pretty big number: if that fraction includes almost everyone in a critical sub-specialty, it's definitely not to be dismissed. Like the old space program, climate science is a sprawling endeavor of thousands of scattered people: no one person knows everything about the program, they only know their little corner of it. Consider the Challenger Disaster... What percentage of the shuttle program workers even knew about the vulnerable O-rings in the Solid Rocket Boosters? If you'd done a poll of the team the morning of the fatal launch, asking, "Is it safe to launch at this temperature?" an overwhelming majority would surely have said yes, based on their own specific area of concern and their faith in their colleagues. The Flight Director did poll them and they all said, "Go for Launch." The engine specs said not to launch in such cold weather, but the bosses bullied even the Solid Rocket Booster guys into saying "Go for Launch." And the astronauts, their comrades, died. Even with the lives of people they knew on the line, actual rocket scientists were wrong. Then, after the Columbia disaster, the NASA rocket scientists, even having seen the video of the foam insulation hitting the wing on lift-off, couldn't believe that this could have damaged the heat shield until it was demonstrated before their eyes in a lab: some gasped in shock, still in disbelief, even then. So, human beings, even very smart, highly educated, dedicated, honorable ones, can be blind to the faults in the ideas they are aligned with, especially if they are taking them on faith from the "consensus" of their peers.
"Well, what's your explanation?"
-- I don't need to have one. That's not how science works. If you want to burn a "witch" because you blame her for the bad harvest, the burden of proof is on you to convince us that your theory is correct and that your proposed solution is reasonable and appropriate, not on me to formulate a more compelling theory. The Carbon-driven Greenhouse Theory has been disproven by the climate record: clinging to it out of familiarity, or lack of imagination, or as a tenet of Green religion is bad science and bad public policy. If I did pose some alternatives, the record of practically every human activity besides CO2 levels also matches the same exponential "hockey stick" as the global temperature: they're all suspects. Back in the '70's, when they were contemplating a fleet of dozens of super-sonic planes, serious concerns were raised about their possible impact on the planetary ozone layer, so we have to keep an open mind about activities that seem incidental... e.g. extensive high-altitude jet transport, ice-breaking, and the surprisingly significant effect of ocean traffic on the sea surface. Lead dust is believed to enhance cloud formation, and plain old dirt dust has global effects. Rising humidity is needed as the immediate cause of the large heating that CO2 was theorized to induce... almost everything people do directly alters the humidity, with no need to invoke CO2: power generation, paving and building, dams, irrigation canals, crop growth, industry. If humidity did change in coincidence with changing temperatures, maybe some other pattern in human activity correlates to the humidity. Now, as it so happens, I recently read an article claiming an excellent correlation between chlorofluorocarbon levels and global warming, which should satisfy people who need to blame human pollution (and they can pat themselves on the back even harder for banning CFC's): Did CFC's Cause the Warming Spell?
Is... It ... Dead?
-- Due to the changed climate trend, CO2 has dropped far down the lengthy suspect list, but it can't be discounted altogether... The fact that global warming has stopped dead does suggest that the cause has ceased, rather than that various other factors are mitigating it (they'd hardly be likely to balance out as nicely they seem to have since the turn of the century). Explaining why rising CO2 might not add to water vapor's giant greenhouse effect at all is far easier than explaining why it would just stop doing so or what else might have done so. Alternative theories are being explored, despite the best efforts of the establishment to suppress them: many have been "ruled out" in the process, which is to be expected in proper scientific investigation... this by no means rules CO2 back in! Could the Carbon Greenhouse Theory be resurrected by sounder science in the future? Perhaps, but only if the science and data lead the theory, instead of being forced toward a foregone conclusion.
But What About Ocean Acidification?
-- One Goddamn thing at a time! I think I have some links about this below, but that's a new and different wrinkle. We should bear in mind that once CO2 became the Devil, it's only human nature to start thinking of other reasons to fear it (and get in on the funding action)... especially as the main theory has gotten wobbly and the Green faith system needs to be bolstered with new terrors of climate hell.
-- Are there immediate climate problems? There always are! Will Global Warming/Warming-Related Climate Change be a genuine crisis some day? Probably. If we don't have a Global Cooling crisis first! Will it be Anthropogenic (caused by people)? Why not? But maybe there'll be an asteroid impact first, or Yellowstone will erupt. Lots of things could happen, and some things inevitably will. Shit happens. But right now the Fossil Fuel-burning Greenhouse Panic looks like a devastating crock of bull, which should come as a great relief, if we let it. Global Warming just isn't happening right now, and since we don't even have a solid theory why it happened, "we" don't know what "we" might do to stop it: it isn't something "we" should be very worried about right now, especially since "they" have been "cooking the numbers" all along! (e.g., Climategate). We have enough real problems to worry about, and we have to start doing legitimate climate science again so we can recognize real climate problems and deal with them. We surely shouldn't cripple our civilization and condemn billions to eternal poverty because of a worrying warming trend that stopped a decade ago! To me, the warm-monger's worst case scenarios (Florida under water) are far preferable to their best-case scenarios (Asia a perpetually impoverished farmland). I want everyone to be rich. Half the Netherlands is built below sea level — they seem pretty happy! Rich countries can spend a little to stay comfortable, whatever the climate: poor countries are always miserable; the problems poor countries would face in a warming climate are the same ones they face right now, and the cure is progress, not stasis.
Unfinished Section, watch your step for pointed prose... link section at bottom
Review (Well, How Did We Get Here?)
If A Tree Falls in the Forest, Was it Pushed?
There's a notion people have that nature is pure, pristine, perfect, and unchanging, and that if it's not, it must be because people messed it up... this is a re-purposing of the doctrine of Original Sin, and is part of an array of other cultural presumptions that educated people are indoctrinated in from birth... that industry and commerce are dirty and declasse and that fossil fuels are wicked, as is the growth of human populations and settlements. Seeing as humans have been altering the planet significantly for tens of thousands of years (ever since we started cutting and burning down things), it's probably not possible to separate anything between natural and man-caused, but we should be aware of this ingrained bias and that there were dramatic shifts in local conditions long before the Industrial Revolution. Research has shown that the supposedly pristine Amazon bio-system has been significantly altered by the "indigenous" peoples who supposedly live in harmony with it (and who in fact once had a settled agricultural lifestyle); when European explorers first reached Oklahoma (or one of those states!), they found a sea of sand dunes -- this was long discounted as hyperbole but recently shown to be an accurate account of what existed at that time but soon vanished. So it's hardly a smoking gun of human causation if the Arctic warms up... and civilization fires so many "guns" that it would be mighty hard to pick out the shooter!
In that same vein, there's no "natural" line between the ranges of Grizzly and Polar Bear: the ranges of different animals overlap and are constantly varying, and the Polar Bear is an offshoot of the Grizzly that's only been around for 100,000 years -- they've prospered during ice-free periods and are prospering now -- don't listen to any B.S. about them facing "local extinction" -- there's no such thing. Sub-populations of a species are always in flux, with old colonies failing, and new ones springing up: by the eco-weasels' logic, the entire species is endangered because of "very local extinction" because every polar bear eventually dies! (And most have always died in the first year of life: it's a tough existence in the wild.) What is the "ideal" number of polar bears? Zero. They're not even good to eat!
"What's All This Fuss I Hear About Greenhouse Passes?"
There was never any data that firmly implied that CO2 was the predominant cause of an apparently warming world, only a trend that wasn't inconsistent with it. We've know of a lot of things that should make the Earth grow warmer. Carbon dioxide gas is just one of many. So are methane gas, water vapor, CFC's, clouds that hold in the heat, and a reduction in cloudy, snowy, and desert areas that reflect sunlight back to space, plus many, many more things. We've thought up still more things that might be able to warm the Earth. Some of these are natural occurrences, others are products of our civilization, and some can be hard to categorize: if a "wetland" is deliberately "restored" to a pestilential, fetid, methane-spewing swamp, is that an act of man or nature? (I'm mostly eliding over man-produced methane because, rightly or wrongly, it isn't seen as the main greenhouse villain, and isn't growing as rapidly... of course, neither is the temperature!) The chief source of CO2 today is the burning of fossil fuels, but other man-made emissions can cause a greenhouse effect, the most abundant and influential being water, in vapor or cloud form, as well as simple fine-droplet pollutants and more exotic chemical compounds. This is usually all put under the category of "greenhouse gases," but since they aren't all gases, and aren't all actually acting to retain heat, we really mean warming agents. The misnomer is a potent one, because it narrows the field of public attention in the direction of gases, and, tying in with the misanthropic principle outlined above, into industrial emissions, thus, pollution... something nasty that comes out of a smoke stack or exhaust pipe, hence, carbon dioxide. Water seems natural, therefore harmless, and we don't usually think of it as a pollutant, but remember that it's the real villain in the Carbon Greenhouse Theory...
The bottom line could be that water vapor dominates the other greenhouse gases and essentially negate changes in them. introduce this later in: location location location (of greenhouse agent in atmosphere) also have to point out that it didn't and doesn't prevent all warming plus issue of prehistoric (natural) co2 levels and T
where's the humidity link?
how do you know it wasn't coming out of the ocean?
climate "change" a non-disprovable hypothesis
change is natural stasis is not
Does it matter if dominant or important? yes!
Lisa: But can we gamble with the planet? Apu: Who is this 'we' shit, white man?
cool me like a hurricane
how can the climate change at all if powerful negative feedbacks?
an amplifying positive feedback and the sole estimate of its size (a painfully simplistic linear feedback form is just assumed — see cloud-related links below).
CO2 is easy to measure
lies, damn lies, statistics and computer models
Despite the warm-mongers' claims, there have always been huge gaps in our understanding of the climate system, which is modeled as a series of interconnected mathematical formulas: these gaps are so large that our theories not only can't calculate many of the critical numbers in these formulas, but we can't even say with much confidence how many formulae we need. Many atmospheric scientists, particularly those who study clouds, have protested all along that our understanding of these critical climate components was far too primitive to design such models, and that the predictions of the models didn't jibe with their experience with and intuition of the atmosphere. Back in the 1980's, the warm-mongers proposed a set of equations and parameter values that fit the climate record of the time; some of these parameters have a basis in physical theory, others were simply chosen to fit the curve. One danger of using such a complicated equation and slapping the numbers in afterward to fit is that it can be made to fit almost any curve, especially as the uncertainties of the measurements and vagaries of year-to-year behavior allow that curve to be flexed. The theory thus becomes very slippery: since there's nothing solid to grab on to, it's almost impossible to disprove. If the curve disobeys your predictions, you can just tweak the parameters until it fits again. needed yearly tweaking ever since
If this were merely an exercise in academic folly
These parameters required yearly tweaking for t
But Doomsday is far too appealing a narrative to be slowed down by science, and the theory was embraced by opportunistic politicians and the portion of the population predisposed to accept its ideological overtones and quasi-religious satisfactions.
not merely aren't
able to calculate the numbers
only don't we know
was never a theoretical basis for the connection or its size, merely matching trends declared to be a correlation — that's the only source of the numbers in their climate models. As the years passed, the models failed to predict the heating curve and the parameters of the various climate sub-equations had to be continuously fiddled with on an ad hoc basis (devoid of theoretical underpinnings) to conform to the climate record.
(Magnifying factors are called "positive feedbacks," while those that restrain, reduce, and moderate an effect are called "negative feedbacks.")
On a Clear Day, You Can't See the Clouds
-- The carbon dioxide warming crisis theory required large positive feedbacks to magnify the small heating from added CO2 into a larger, potentially dangerous heating: the chief imagined culprit being water vapor produced by extra evaporation...
Water vapor is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, and far harder to understand, as (among many complications) its very evaporation cools the ocean surface and it forms varieties of clouds which can reflect sunlight, cooling the Earth, and absorb heat trying to escape, holding it in like a blanket. The basic
In the crisis scenario, the extra CO2 heats the atmosphere, hence the ocean surface, causing increased evaporation and higher humidity, hence more greenhouse effect heating...
Necessarily, we must conclude that the water cycle is ultimately self-limiting, that it has a net negative heat feedback, and there is no reason to believe that there's a special exemption for CO2-driven heating. But what the climate modelers have done is to assume clear skies, however much humidity is added: under this artificial constraint (effectively, ignoring the clouds and looking only at clear patches of sky), water vapor does act as a magnifier... but we know, from above, that this the exception, not the rule. The models attempt to add clouds back in later, but by breaking up the climate system into components as they have done, they've discarded the essential behavior that we know
which we know
treat the Earth's surface like a lab beaker, with the notion of adding clouds in later.
(Indeed, see below for a study of monthly cloud variations that showed the expected negative feedback.) Note that amplified CO2-heating isn't an outright absurdity: different cloud types behave differently, clouds reflect sunlight but also retain heat, reflective snow pack can spread or shrink with changing temperature and precipitation... it would be strange but not inconceivable that the complicated behavior of atmospheric water might produce an initially positive amplification followed by a limiting negative one, but there's no theoretical reason to believe this, and the data says otherwise.
Years 'o Links
-- These are articles which I have chosen because they (mostly) buck the alarmist dogma, if only in the fine print. Obviously, the climate-catastrophe priesthood has a different spin/emphasis.
My spin, if not self-evident (you may have to read carefully for it)
Little thermal lag -- no "warming in the pipeline"
Problems with the simplistic models
By a factor of 6!
Ocean temperatures drove the 1975-1998 warming; the oceans are cooling right now -- there's no warming hiding "in the pipeline."
"Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature"
The fear was that methane frozen in permafrost and on the seafloor would magnify global warming.
Just for context, here is doctrinaire alarmist result of intricate multi-variable model (see below)
"Controversial" result of direct measurement!
Actually, the researchers say it's the natural ocean cycle NOT climate change and will recover soon.
Dr. Spencer says what pretty much every (non-climatologist) atmospheric scientist and meteorologist thinks, "Our paper is an important step toward validating a gut instinct that many meteorologists like myself have had over the years," said Spencer, "that the climate system is dominated by stabilizing processes...," (i.e., the Gaia Hypothesis), "...some, or even most, of the global warming seen in the last century could simply be due to natural fluctuations in the climate system." The fact that the greenhouse effect hasn't ever run away on Earth (as it did on Venus) is a powerful argument for self-stabilization.
Spencer again: in as close to a controlled experiment in warming as we can get, the warming is self-limiting. The warm-mongers' thermal models use linear feedback (with no numerical basis from physics, only guesstimation to fit the curves): their climate is a passive entity that responds the same at all temperatures, rather than adjusting and responding in a way that varies with temperature.
Spencer again, same subject.
The fear was that this would plop into the sea and cause large, rapid rise of sea level
Enlarge the image and notice how much more area is thickening (green and blue there is), especially in Greenland (pun intended), and how all the melt is at the water's edge, i.e., it's warmer water melting the ice, not warmer air
Bingo! It was warmer water -- in fact, it's sneaking in to the Artic basin from the south, not necessarily atmospheric warming up there.
Again, the reduction in ice in the Arctic Basin isn't necessarily due to local atmospheric warming but to the opening of the basin's margins to let ice escape south and warm water flow north (i.e., an amplification of a lesser warming trend).
A "30-year record low in Antarctic snowmelt ... occurred during the 2008-09 austral summer" "However, the melting trends over the whole continent derived from satellite data are not statistically significant... 'Thirty years is not enough to tell the overall trend for Antarctica."
Gulf Stream Conveyor Belt, which keeps Europe warm, is diffuse, not narrow (hence, I infer, perhaps more robust)
Note that the melting is actually half of what they thought it might be, since ice is actually thickening inland, which I say is what matters most in terms of the ice sheet stability!
The worry was that the Greenland ice cap might rapidly melt away (see above for comforting info) disrupting the salty conveyor belt with a big freshwater melt, as an enormous temporary lake behind the melting North American glaciers did when it burst its damming ice
The above was a unique event at the end of one ice age, a rare occurence for which there is no likely modern counterpart.
Dr. Spencer again.
The Climategate charlatans spent years trying to erase the Medieval Warm Period from the climate record, then to claim that it was just a local warming... this disproves their lies (from the abstract: "This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula.")
This is generally interesting... we were taught for decades that America's East Coast Winters were colder than Europe's (Madrid is at the same latitude as New York!) because the Gulf Stream warmed her: turns out, it's America that's cooled by an atmospheric effect of that warmer water! (There had been concern that arctic warming could stop the Gulf Stream and freeze Europe... if anything, North-East Winters would grow milder should this happen.)
"New research lends support to evidence from numerous recent studies that suggest abrupt climate change appears to be the result of alterations in ocean circulation uniquely associated with ice ages.
'There might be other mechanisms by which greenhouse gases may cause an abrupt climate change, but we know of no such mechanism from the geological record.'"
An Aside: The Bees are alright!
Just throwing in a warm-monger's take on cloud measurements.
"... new research now indicates that such tipping point is unlikely to exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice "
No increase in hurricane frequency with warming
Humidity in the crucial stratospheric level decreasing,contrary to panic theory.
...during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth's ancient past... "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."
Not from ocean-bottom deposits that some feared would be released due to warming ocean.
Correlation yes, causation dubious, and obviously excludes other human activities.
"Significant" but small. This wasn't supposed to happen in the standard theory and invalidates its assumptions! How can we know that the previous warming wasn't caused by the ocean releasing heat, and that this is just the other half of the cycle? The surface temperature is what drives evaporation and warming amplification... the 2000 feet underneath are irrelevant to that.
vs warming... this area is a choke point for ice to escape from the Arctic: when this point opens up, the polar ice cap thins
... reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers.
"Leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit show how the world's weightiest climate data has been distorted, says Christopher Booker"
but ultimately caused by changes in Earth's orbit and sunlight
... "astonishing" documentation that intense warm intervals, warmer than scientists thought possible, occurred there over the past 2.8 million years...
"During the relatively cold phases, sea surface and air temperatures behave coherently and respond to atmospheric CO2 faster. However, during warmer intervals, ocean surface and air temperatures behave more independently of each other and atmospheric CO2
We'll just ignore the parts that don't fit: "The rapid but short (decadal) variations are believed to be due to changes in ocean flows, such as El Nino and the Gulf Stream." In violation of the 1984 Greenhouse alarm warning, ten year trends will now be ignored, conveniently allowing us to discount the fourteen year failure of the theory as on of the mystery factors we said didn't exist!
"Multiyear sea ice reached a minimum between ~8500 and 6000 years ago, when the limit of year-round sea ice at the coast of Greenland was located ~1000 kilometers to the north of its present position."
"Heat transport in the Atlantic Ocean during the last Ice Age was not weaker, as long assumed, but in fact stronger than it is today."
again, the choke point of the Arctic ice opens
this is just generally interesting
interesting link both ways between volcanoes (which can spew carbon dioxide) and warming
"Intense but small-scale polar storms could make a big difference to climate predictions, according to new research."
A warm Arctic is a good thing!
"New research shows that, in recent decades, fall is the only period of extensive warming over the entire Antarctic Peninsula, and it is mostly from atmospheric circulation patterns originating in the tropics."
There was a fear that stored carbon would be released from cold dirt. "What they weren't expecting was that two decades of slow and steady warming had not changed the amounts of carbon in the soil, despite changes in vegetation and even the soil food web."
"Disintegration of floating glaciers could be responsible for freezing of seawater"
as good a fit any anything else
Researchers estimate the melt pond in the picture was just over 2 feet deep and a few hundred feet wide, which is not unusual to find on an Arctic ice floe in late July.
Neat new way to measure atmospheric temperature. Note: "But these gases, including carbon dioxide, are increasing in the upper atmosphere as well, where they have a cooling effect."
"The findings revealed that a reduction in ice cap concentration was the most significant factor." I.e., ice is escaping the Arctic.
Dr. Spenser again, "... because as much as 50 percent of the warming since the 1970s could be attributed to stronger El Niño activity, it suggests that the climate system is only about half as sensitive to increasing CO2 as previously believed"
"Think Greenland’s ice sheet is small today? It was smaller — as small as it's been in recent history — from 3-5,000 years ago"
"Scientists previously attributed streamflow declines in the Pacific Northwest USA to warming temperatures..." now they blame changes in wind patterns instead.
"Since water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas, this effect leads to a negative feedback on climate change. That is, the increase in water vapor due to enhanced evaporation from the warming oceans is confined to the near- surface area, while the stratosphere becomes drier."
highlight text then click Link button to add target to make it a link
save page to fix annoying unenterable field issue
right click to add rows