T Nation

Might As Well Kiss Your Ice Goodbye

The models are wrong. Good news; We’ll have answers to GW quicker than expected. Bad news; The end is near(er).

Arctic Sea Ice Is Melting Fast

Arctic sea ice is melting at a much faster rate than projected by the most advanced computer models, says a government-funded study published online on May 1 in Geophysical Research Letters (DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029703). In February, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded on the basis of computer models that September sea ice in the Arctic had declined an average of 2.5% per decade between 1953 and 2006. (September marks the yearly minimum of Arctic sea ice.) In the new study, scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Snow & Ice Data Center, both located in Boulder, Colo., compared decades of measurements by ships, airplanes, and satellites and found that the area of September sea ice actually declined 7.8% per decade over that period. As a consequence, they predict that if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, the Arctic will be ice-free in September as soon as 2020.

http://pubs.acs.org/isubscribe/journals/cen/85/i19/html/8519govc.html#4

As I recall, Hansen was saying the IPCC’s models were too drastic/catastrophic. Even the consensus on GW isn’t a consensus.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
The models are wrong. Good news; We’ll have answers to GW quicker than expected. Bad news; The end is near(er).

Arctic Sea Ice Is Melting Fast[/quote]

What are the underlying implications given to the melting of arctic sea ice? Have any been given?

Keep in mind, that it is sea ice and thus will NOT contribute to rising sea levels–though Greenland certainly would (a little).

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

What are the underlying implications given to the melting of arctic sea ice? Have any been given?[/quote]

Oddly enough, they don’t delve into that very extensively. Except to say that the region of interest is a harbinger for things to come. I’m assuming they must be funded by Exxon because the general theme of the paper is pretty strictly that the IPCC’s models are wrong;

[i]Abstract

From 1953 to 2006, Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the melt season in September has declined sharply. All models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) show declining Arctic ice cover over this period. However, depending on the time window for analysis, none or very few individual model simulations show trends comparable to observations. If the multi-model ensemble mean time series provides a true representation of forced change by greenhouse gas (GHG) loading, 33-38% of the observed September trend from 1953-2006 is externally forced, growing to 47-57% from 1979-2006. Given evidence that as a group, the models underestimate the GHG response, the externally forced component may be larger. While both observed and modeled Antarctic winter trends are small, comparisons for summer are confounded by generally poor model performance.[/i]

I would assume, given the IPCC’s relative resources, If their models are wrong, few others are qualified or capable of making better downstream predictions. At least any better ones.

True, as I said, I think it’s more telling about the spurious application of linear systems modeling than it is of any global weather prediction or “catastrophe forecasting”. It’s also pretty revealing about the “mania” of global warming zealotry, showing that anyone preaching about how we can reach down, pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and save us from global warming are deliberately blinding themselves from the fact that it may already be too late.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
True, as I said, I think it’s more telling about the spurious application of linear systems modeling than it is of any global weather prediction or “catastrophe forecasting”. It’s also pretty revealing about the “mania” of global warming zealotry, showing that anyone preaching about how we can reach down, pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and save us from global warming are deliberately blinding themselves from the fact that it may already be too late.[/quote]

I agree. I am not going to decide one way or another about man made GW as the science, right now, is tenuous at best.

I think our environmental focus should primarily be on reducing our “footprint” as much as sanely possible and opening a discussion on economic sustainability.

While I can’t agree that CO2 is a greenhouse warming gas I know for a fact that wastes from production are not clean and if left unchecked at our current rate of development will eventually choke us or bury us in garbage.

Whether or not a gas is a “greenhouse gas” is defined by physics.

However, I’m sure there are other aspects related to CO2 that might be arguable.

Ice? What ice?

Wait, the models are wrong, so now projecting (on our new model), GW will be here faster?

Are they sure the new models are better? I’m just asking for clarification, not exactly challenging you.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Whether or not a gas is a “greenhouse gas” is defined by physics.
[/quote]

I think the term “greenhouse” is misleading for a number of reasons…in an actual greenhouse CO2 is breathed by plants and oxygen is respired. There is a natural cycle that keeps it from building up as long as there isn’t more than can be used by the plants. Theoretically, the plants could grow larger to take it in the excess.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

I think the term “greenhouse” is misleading for a number of reasons…in an actual greenhouse CO2 is breathed by plants and oxygen is respired. There is a natural cycle that keeps it from building up as long as there isn’t more than can be used by the plants. Theoretically, the plants could grow larger to take it in the excess.
[/quote]

IMO, this is a minor aspect of the misnomer. The glass is the largest component of the true greenhouse effect.

A greenhouse filled with suffocating levels of CO2 is trivially warmer, if at all, than one filled with air. Everyone should know this but I guess “Hot car at lunchtime” effect isn’t as catchy.

[quote]Agressive Napkin wrote:
Wait, the models are wrong, so now projecting (on our new model), GW will be here faster?

Are they sure the new models are better? I’m just asking for clarification, not exactly challenging you.[/quote]

There aren’t new models generated by the IPCC (yet), and the NCAR’s “models” don’t model global warming, just “GHG effect” on the sea in question. Moreover, the NCAR’s empirical evidence of sea ice doesn’t agree with the melting data that the IPCC forecast modeled on.

On a more political level, it’s more entertaining than that. Empirical records of the Medieval Warming Period (this is the big one, there are other areas of contention) are bunk because there’s not enough evidence outside Europe to confirm them (which isn’t technically correct but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt) and local warming isn’t indicative of global warming.

But completely contradicting those said tenets is a region of arctic sea ice that bucks all the modeling trends and is, supposedly, a strong indicator of the future of the global climate. (All of this is contigent on the fact that you ascribe “leftover warming” to GHGs).

I’d say it’s like watching a dog chase it’s tail but the rigmarole is more twisted, self-damning, and, at times, more sophisticated than that. It’s more like watching a dog castrate itself with a scalpel hanging from its collar.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
IMO, this is a minor aspect of the misnomer. The glass is the largest component of the true greenhouse effect.

A greenhouse filled with suffocating levels of CO2 is trivially warmer, if at all, than one filled with air. Everyone should know this but I guess “Hot car at lunchtime” effect isn’t as catchy.
[/quote]

I think you guys are getting stuck in trivial matters.

It’s the reflection of infrared, thereby trapping heat, which is the factor in question (the “hot car” effect).

Whether or not something reflects infrared energy is a matter of physics, not politics.

Obviously, the overall impact on climate is pretty complex, and corrective adaptations may occur, though the pure physics aspects are fairly simple to define.

[quote]vroom wrote:

Obviously, the overall impact on climate is pretty complex, and corrective adaptations may occur, though the pure physics aspects are fairly simple to define.[/quote]

The individual components are all simple to explain, but then, they’re not the interesting stuff that’s being studied.