Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Arctic ice’

Arctic Ice Affects Global Climate, Weather

Posted by feww on March 17, 2010

Arctic ice-melt is not just a local issue, it affects climate, weather globally

Melting sea ice may appear to be  or local at worst regional problem, but NOAA says that changes in the Arctic ice cover also influence weather in the mid-latitudes, where the majority of humans live.

Satellite images show a clear acceleration in the Arctic ice loss for the past 30 years.  For additional information visit
Will the Arctic be free of summer ice in 30 years?

Just about every model available for the Arctic ice cover in the future predict a continuation of the present pattern, an acceleration in the ice melt.

What happens when the open arctic waters absorb the additional heat?

The additional heat impacts the Arctic winds and therefore the Arctic atmosphere, increasing the variability and unpredictability of global wind patterns. For additional information visit How the loss of sea ice leads to a warmer Arctic

Cold arctic winds move to mid-altitude regions of the globe, spawning violent winter storm in the U.S. and Eurasia.

Teleconnections impact mid-latitudes

Warmer temperatures that result from huge losses in the sea ice cover give rise to higher pressure surfaces above the North Pole which in turn impact large scale wind patterns over the Northern Hemisphere. “Climate models show these connections with cold air moving south, producing low pressure areas and unusually cold winters in the eastern U.S. and eastern Asia, and cooler than usual weather in late winter from Europe to the Far East.”  For additional information visit How changes in the Arctic impact weather and climate in Europe, Asia and the US.

See also:  Transitory Impact of AO is the ‘Good News’

How much warmer is the Arctic?

In the figures below, red, yellow and green colors indicate areas over the Arctic region where autumn near-surface air temperatures were from 2 to 6°C warmer than the normal values observed prior to 2002.

Anomalies for autumn in 2002-2005 represent deviations from the normal near surface air temperature values which were observed from 1968-1996. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Anomalies for autumn 2007-2008 represent deviations from the normal near surface air temperature values which were observed from 1968-1996. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Anomalies (above) represent deviations from normal pressure surface elevations over the Arctic. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

Warmer Arctic changes the Arctic atmosphere, impacts global winds

The elevated pressure surfaces above the North Pole persist into early winter and impact large scale wind patterns over the Northern Hemisphere, allowing cold are to move southward.

Figure (below) shows the changes in the Northern Hemisphere wind fields that are associated with late autumn surface air temperature and earlier sea loss. Blue and purple colors indicate areas with wind deviations below normal. Note the much reduced winds north of Alaska and western Canada.2

The reduction in winds opposes the usual atmospheric circulation patterns, allowing outbreaks of cold Arctic air to move southward.

It must be noted that there is considerable year-to-year variability in pressure fields, and that modifications of mid-latitude weather by wind patterns associated with sea ice reduction can be complex (involving storm track and longwave interactions).

However a consequence of the changes in Arctic atmospheric temperature and pressure, following loss of sea ice, is increased likelihood of cold air moving southward via teleconnections to impact weather at mid-latitudes.

As summer Arctic open water area increases over the next decades, we anticipate an increasing influence of loss of summer sea ice on the atmospheric northern hemisphere general circulation in following seasons with resultant impacts on northern hemisphere weather. For more information visit source: Loss of summer Arctic sea ice … and  Arctic Future Web site

Anomalies (above) represent deviations from normal east-west winds over the Arctic. Figure from Overland and Wang via NOAA

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Posted in Arctic winds, Climate Change, Eurasia winter, Teleconnections, US weather | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Guess what, the Arctic temps are 5 ºC warmer!

Posted by feww on October 17, 2008

Who’s Afraid of the Heating Arctic?

Arctic fall temperatures are at a record 5 ºC above normal

Fall temperatures in the Arctic are a record 5 ºC warmer than the average as less sunlight is reflected because of the major loss of sea ice  allowing  more solar heating of the ocean to occur, NOAA reported. Winter and springtime temperatures remain relatively warm over the entire Arctic, in contrast to the 20th century and consistent with an emerging global warming influence.

The Arctic-wide warming trend that began about 4 decades ago continues, with 2007 recorded as the warmest year ever for the Arctic.

Arctic-wide annual averaged surface air temperature anomalies (60°–90°N) based on land stations north of 60°N relative to the 1961–90 mean.

As more more of the ice cover was lost during the the 2005 to 2007 melt season, the ocean absorbed more heat from solar radiation which resulted in the ice freeze-up occurring later than usual.  Surface air temperature (SAT) remained high into the following autumns, with warm anomalies above an unprecedented +5 °C during October and November across the central Arctic. Report summary.

Near surface air temperature anomaly map for October and November for recent years with a reduced sea ice cover, 2005–2007. Data are from the NCEP – NCAR reanalysis through the NOAA /Earth Systems Research Laboratory, generated online CDC/NOAA.

“Changes in the Arctic show a domino effect from multiple causes more clearly than in other regions,” said James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle and one of the authors of the report, Atmosphere.

“It’s a sensitive system and often reflects changes in relatively fast and dramatic ways.”

Ice breaks away from a frozen coastline near the Norwegian Arctic town of Longyearbyen April 23, 2007, an earlier than usual spring thaw. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (NORWAY). Image may be subject to copyright.

Hell hath no fury like a planet with little autumn ice!

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Posted in atmosphere, Climate Change, heating ocean, sea ice cover, solar heating of the ocean | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Only Zero Emissions Would Avert Dangerous Warming

Posted by feww on October 15, 2007

The following is a response to an article in the New Scientist titled Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming. The response was submitted by The Management School of Restorative Business. The original article is posted below.

RE: Zero emissions needed to avert ‘dangerous’ warming

MSRB concurs with the overall conclusion of the University of Victoria report that the only way to stabilize the temperature is by total elimination of industrial emissions.

However, according to our model, even with the total elimination of industrial emissions effected immediately the temperature would stabilize above 3.2oC probably by 2025.

Further, their timeline appears to be too optimistic. According to our model the global warming “tipping point” occurred in mid 2006, beyond which all changes are irreversible [in the short run.] We expect to experience catastrophic climatic events starting by 2009-2010. By as early as 2015, we believe dramatic ecosystems collapses including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, depletion of food and natural resources, unethical conduct, war and disease pandemics would result in the depopulation of most of our population clusters.

The world entered a double exponential* phase in 1980, when Earth’s “torching energy,” exceeded 9.51 terawatts {q[torch] > 9.51TW.} According to MSRB model the countdown toward the Earth’s “Terminal Energy” had started. The q[torch] for the first half 2007 averaged at 16.8TW. See and

*[Note: Double exponential functions grow even faster than exponential functions.]

Apart from the obvious political reasons, most climate models are fundamentally flawed because they (i) use tired old formula to “predict” the future changes based on empirical analysis, (ii) base their calculations on the “official” data, (iii) are “one-dimensional” and therefore unable to model accurately or forecast the behavior of sophisticated, highly interdependent systems such as Earth’s ecosystems.

The best [and the only intelligent] course of action on global and national levels would be an immediate “powerdown” to the “safe” energy consumption levels of about 60EJ, while allocating most of the resources to creating low-energy communities that provide food, shelter, education and safety for as many people as possible.

The Management School of
Restorative Business (MSRB)

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Original Article:
Zero emissions needed to avert dangerous warming
16:56 11 October 2007 news service
Catherine Brahic

Only the total elimination of industrial emissions will succeed in imiting climate change to a 20C rise in temperatures, according to omputer analysis of climate change. Anything above this target has been identified as “dangerous” by some scientists, and the limit has been adopted by many policymakers.

The researchers say their study highlights the shortcomings of governmental plans to limit climate change.

A warming of 20C above pre-industrial temperatures is frequently cited as the limit beyond which the world will face “dangerous” climate change. Beyond this level, analysis suggests the continents will cease to absorb more carbon dioxide than they produce. As the tundra and other regions of permafrost thaw, they will spew more gas into the atmosphere, adding to the warming effect of human emissions.

The end result will be dramatic ecological changes, including widespread coastal flooding, reduced food production, and widespread species extinction.

Established model

In January 2007, the European Commission issued a communication stating that “the European Union’s objective is to limit global average temperature increase to less than 20C compared to pre-industrial levels”.

Andrew Weaver and colleagues at the University of Victoria in Canada say this means going well beyond the reduction of industrial emissions discussed in international negotiations.

Weaver’s team used a computer model to determine how much emissions must be limited in order to avoid exceeding a 20C increase. The model is an established tool for analysing future climate change and was used in studies cited in the IPCC’s reports on climate change.

They modelled the reduction of industrial emissions below 2006 levels by between 20% and 100% by 2050. Only when emissions were entirely eliminated did the temperature increase remain below 20C.

A 100% reduction of emissions saw temperature change stabilise at 1.50C above the pre-industrial figure. With a 90% reduction by 2050, Weaver’s model predicted that temperature change will eventually exceed 20C compared to pre-industrial temperatures but then plateau.

Stark contrast

The researchers conclude that governments should consider reducing emissions to 90% below current levels and remove what is left in the atmosphere by capturing and storing carbon (see Chemical ‘sponge’ could filter CO2 from air).

There is a stark contrast between this proposal and the measures currently being considered. Under the UN’s Kyoto protocol, most developed nations have agreed to limit their emissions to a minimum of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. What happens beyond this date is the subject of ongoing debate and negotiation.

The European Union nations have agreed to limit their emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and support dropping global emissions to 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

“There is a disconnect between the European Union arguing for a 20C threshold and calling for 50% cuts at 2050 – you can’t have it both ways,” says Weaver, who adds: “If you’re going to talk about 20C you have got to be talking 90% emissions cuts.”

Vanishing point

Tim Lenton, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in the UK, agrees that even the most ambitious climate change policies so far proposed by governments may not go far enough. “It is overly simplistic assume we can take emissions down to 50% at 2050 and just hold them there. We already know that that’s not going to work,” he says.

Even with emissions halved, Lenton says carbon dioxide will continue building up in the atmosphere and temperatures will continue to rise. For temperature change to stabilise, he says industrial carbon emissions must not exceed what can be absorbed by Earth’s vegetation, soil and oceans.

At the moment, about half of industrial emissions are absorbed by ocean and land carbon “sinks”. But simply cutting emissions by half will not solve the problem, Lenton says, because these sinks also grow and shrink as CO2 emissions change.

“People are easily misled into thinking that 50% by 2050 is all we have to do when in fact have to continue reducing emissions afterwards, all the way down to zero,” Lenton says.

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters ( DOI: 0.1029/2007GL031018 )

Fair Use Notice: See Article 107, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 17 of U.S. Copyright Code

Posted in collapse, double exponential phase, ecosystems, environment, fossil fuels, Global Warming, lifestyle, Zero emissions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »