Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

Saharan Snow, Enjoy, It Will Not Last

December 21, 2016

Global warming is accelerating, as anticipated: the Arctic sea ice is the smallest ever for the season. Also the Polar Vortex wanders. As I have argued in the past, global warming also means, through equipartition of energy, great depressions, great high pressure, and great dynamics. Greats dynamics means great motions of whatever is big and can be moved. From depression, to wiggles in the jet streams, to the polar vortices themselves: whatever can move, will be moved.

This has brought some counterintuitive effects: for decades, Antarctic sea ice spread out away from the icy continent, pushed by stronger winds. Also the accelerating melting of the giant Antarctic ice shelves (some 1,000 kilometers wide), has brought to the surface light sweet water, which readily freezes above the colder, denser saltier ocean water below. Thus climate deniers chuckled that Antarctica was getting colder, whereas, in truth, was they were observing was the exact opposite.

Climate Denying Sites Published Similar Pictures, Where The Forest In the Background Cannot Be Seen, Of Course...

Climate Denying Sites Published Similar Pictures, Where The Forest In the Background Cannot Be Seen, To Make It Look More Miraculous, Of Course…

So, year after year, the Antarctic sea ice spread out, and that was a shining demonstration of the global warming. Of course, this sort of evolution evolves steadily away from equilibrium, until things break, and a completely new attractive minimum comes within reach. This apparently just happened with Antarctica: after a year where the sea ice spread more than two standard deviations above the average, now the sea ice is shrinking two standard deviations BELOW the average.

The Polar Vortex has wandered: for many weeks it was over Siberia. Instead of being around the North Pole. Thus the temperature at the Pole was 20 Celsius (roughly 40 F) ABOVE normal. Then the vortex went to North America last week, and temperatures plunged there. Now higher temperatures are again announced for the Pole.

Ah, and what of this Saharan snow? Actually it was in an Algerian locality perched at 1078 meters above sea level in the Atlas mountains. It receives rain, and is surrounded by (thin) forest. Although this particular locale had no snow for 37 years, it snows every year in the Atlas: Algeria has ski resorts. The Atlas culminate at 4167 meters in Morocco and stretches 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles). Many peaks are above 4,000 meters, and the barrier is formidable. The Atlas actually creates the Sahara, as it blocks moisture from the Atlantic and Mediterranean to reach the interior of the continent (the Sierra Nevada does the same in North America, blocking much Pacific moisture).

***

“What We Are Seeing Now In Greenland Is Out Of Bounds With Anything Seen In the Last Few Millions Year”

Two papers just published in Nature support my old opinion that the Greenland icecap is more fragile than it was previously assumed.  These papers arose from collaborations from many prestigious institutions, in several countries, with support from the US National Science Foundation. It uses new radioactive techniques (new in that context).

Basically, when exposed to the radiation of the natural environment, isotopic compositions get modified: elements become radioactive in specific ways; however, when tucked under kilometers of ice, said radiation does not reach the ground, and elements have a different isotopic composition; thus, scientists are now able to figure out what the ice cover was… even 7.5 million years ago.

A study pondered the Eastern Greenland ice cap. There are high mountains there (up to 3,700 meters). Computer models show that it should not have melted in the last 7.5 million years (some hopefully claim it never will, but that’s just fossil fuel industry driven computations…). This is indeed what was found in the isotopic studies. The leader of the study, Bierman, opined that:

“…the ice sheet in East Greenland responds to and tracks global climate change… The melting we are seeing today may be out of the bounds of how the Greenland ice sheet has behaved for many millions of years.”

That team collected only samples off the mountainous east side of Greenland. Its results don’t provide a definitive picture of the whole Greenland ice sheet. But its findings  provide strong evidence that “an ice sheet has been in East Greenland pretty much continuously for seven million years,” says Jeremy Shakun, a geologist at Boston College who co-led the new study. “It’s been bouncing around and dynamic — but it’s been there nearly all the time.”

However, people on the ground, see the ice sheet retreating by miles, every year, in some places, leaving an eerie landscape behind.

***

Contrast does not mean contradiction: 

The other study in Nature was led by Joerg Schaefer of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University, looked at a small sample of bedrock from one location beneath the middle of the existing ice sheet. It came to what appears to be a contradictory conclusion: Greenland was nearly ice-free for at least 280,000 years during the middle Pleistocene — around 1.1 million years ago. This contradicts existing computer models: the Common Wisdom was that, after earth entered a period of glaciations 2.7 million years ago, camels disappeared from the High Arctic, and that was that.

“These results appear to be contradictory — but they may not be,” Bierman says. Both studies have “some blurriness… Their study is a bit like one needle in a haystack, and ours is like having the whole haystack, but not being sure how big it is.”

Both teams looked at isotopes within grains of quartz, produced when bedrock is bombarded by cosmic rays from space. The isotopes are created when rock is at or near Earth’s surface — but not when rock is buried under an overlying ice sheet. By looking at the ratio of two of these cosmic-ray-made elements — aluminum-26 and beryllium-10 caught in crystals of quartz, and measured in an accelerator mass spectrometer — the scientists calculated how long the rocks in their samples had been exposed to the sky, or covered by massive ice. The technique is not new, but was never applied before to cores from marine sediments. Now they are busy extending the methods to other places, including Antarctica.

All of this will allow to evaluate better the probability of melting of the ice sheets in the present conditions.

I think the real danger comes from Antarctica, and it’s coming soon. “But there’s enough sea-level rise tied-up in Greenland alone to put a lot of cities and long stretches of coastline underwater,” says Paul Bierman, “including Donald Trump’s property in Florida.”

Well, Trump knows this (whatever he says to assuage his most clueless, suffering supporters). And thus Trump may do more than Obama, who did nothing, except covering up with hot air coming out of his mouth the black reality that the Federal government coal is sold at less than 20% of what it costs (according to a study published in Science in December 2016). Now, in another orgasmic bout of hot air, Obama and Trudeau, less than a month from giving the reins to Trump, have barred drilling in the Arctic. Looks like Obama is suddenly waking up to the possibilities that being a US president brings.

The moral thing to do is to be informed, and to look, in particular, at hypocrisy with a clear eye. Now Obama will be able to claim that he stopped the pipelines and the drilling. Zorro arrived at the last second to save the Earth, seven and a half year too late. History will laugh at how naive his (frantically hypocritical) admirers were.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trumped By Jurassic Climate Nonlinearly Erupting

November 19, 2016

Trump is climate skeptic, it is said, but the climate is not skeptic about Trump. Humanity is the crew, and Earth the spaceship. Trump is now in charge, if anybody is in charge, after eight years of … boyhood. It’s supposed to be a racial insult, I learned. But question: where is the insult, when a 47-year-old (age of Obama when he was sworn in) is supposed to lead the planet, knowing what few other know (as Joe Biden reminded us this week).

Obama went to Germany, and sang the praises of Angela Merkel, her wisdom, etc. Arguably, however, Merkel has been disastrous: her austerity policy, combined with her refusal to support France militarily in a significant way, by re-establishing peace in Syria, manu military, has brought more than one million refugees to Germany, and a near economic and political collapse of Europe (think Brexit, exodus from Portugal, etc.)

All what Obama knows is that his financial sponsors and paymasters tell him austerity is great, Quantitative Easing is great, inequality is great, but we can live with it, etc. 

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic. November 2016.

Meanwhile, Earth’s climate is acting up. The temperature in the Arctic is way above normal. A full twenty degrees Celsius above normal (that’s 36 degrees F above normal). As a result, ice is having a problem forming. Should the situation perdure until the sun starts shining again above the Arctic, a complete disappearance of sea ice, comes next summer, is imaginable… Sea ice levels in at the North Pole are at a record low, by a long shot.

Planetary climate is self-regulating… Except if pushed too far. Planetary climate consists in several entangled machines. The overall climate pattern in place in the last three million years is a Carnot engine, with a heat source, the tropic, and a cold sink, the poles.

Right now, the poles are still very cold, but more energy has been pumped into the tropics, from the increasing greenhouse (what’s called “climate forcing”, 60% due to COE, 17% due to CH4, and the rest completely from man-made gases like NOx). Thus the climate engine is roaring more than ever (it gets more efficient, from an equation Carnot discovered nearly two centuries ago). An effect, as I predicted long ago, is that more energy will be stored dynamically (jet stream twisted all over) and potentially (high and low pressure systems both more so).

This is what we observe.

How will it evolve? Among the entangled machinery, some is (still) dormant: fabulous quantities of methane are locked in a sort of ice in medium depth sea floor, and more in the tundra. Should those be released, the temperature of the planet would go up five degrees Celsius nearly instantaneously, and, in turn, huge quantities of CO2 locked in the northern latitudes would be released.

Once the latter happens (it’s more a question of when, not if, barring vast technological advances), Earth would go back to Jurassic conditions nearly instantaneously.  

What can one do? First have everybody understand the danger. Differently from the dinosaurs, or the mammals who lived under them, we have the means to understand and act.

Obama had as National Security Adviser a politically, dynastically connected woman, with lots of stocks and connections, but not a warrior. Trump just selected as National Security adviser a four (no, three, thanks Richard Reinhofer!) star Lieutenant General, Michael Flynn. Flynn, ex head of the Delta Force, became Director Army Intelligence in 2012 (however, Obama never met with him, and fired him for being too tough about Radical Islamism). That’s a rational choice. Flynn is a “registered Democrat” (that is, not GOP).

The general considers “RATIONAL” to be afraid of Islam. And then recommended to propagate that message, because rationality is not afraid (OK, agreed, Flynn made the mistake of saying “afraid of Muslims” instead, as he should have, “afraid of Islam”.)

General Flynn ✔@GenFlynn

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions... http://youtu.be/tJnW8HRHLLw

5:14 PM – 26 Feb 2016 Or this:@FieldofFight Obama and Hillary’s Refusal to Name Radical Islamic Terrorism: Aiming to ‘Dumb Us Down’ – Breitbart

As the New York Times puts it: “General Flynn…sees the United States as facing a singular, overarching threat that can be described in only one way: “radical Islamic terrorism. All else is secondary for General Flynn, and any other description of the threat is “the worst kind of political correctness,” he said in an interview three weeks before the election.

Islamist militancy poses an existential threat on a global scale, and the Muslim faith itself is the source of the problem, he said, describing it as a political ideology, not a religion. He has even at times gone so far as to call it a cancer.

For General Flynn, the election of Mr. Trump represents an astounding career turnaround. Once counted among the most respected military officers of his generation, General Flynn was fired after serving only two years as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then re-emerged as a vociferous critic of a Washington elite that he contended could not even properly identify the real enemy — radical Islam, that is — never mind figure out how to defeat it.”

I have argued that Literal Islam is totally incompatible with civilization. And the best proof is that what was long the world’s richest area, the Middle East (including the Fertile Crescent, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia) became one of the poorest.

Clearly the voters agreed (Trump destroyed the famed “Blue Wall” of states Democrats thought were secured, and thus got a large Electoral College victory).

Islam, a savage-from-the-desert Middle Age system of thoughts and moods is nothing much, a self-destructive obsession. However, as it has invaded the Western psyche, it has become a distracting cancer. To handle the serious problems, like the planet blowing up, we have to reduce this sort of maddening distractions. Nor can we talk falsely about Islam, while talking truly about the climate. The mood of telling the truth has to be global. Irreverential. The Obama administration and its poodle regimes (Merkel, France, etc.) have been talking falsely not just about Islam, but also about economics, society, globalocracy, plutocracy, taxes, taxes on the wealthiest, corporate fascism, dark money, etc.

They talked falsely about Islam, precisely because the Obama adminstration, and the Deep State

Obama, talking at Der Spiegel: “Many people who voted for me, voted for Trump… I think that’s indicative that there is some impulse towards some sort of change, politicans have to be more sensitive to the desire for change.” where have you been my lost son? Obama sounds increasingly like Sleeping Beauty waking up after eight years’ slumber…

In any case, Trump is telling the truth about Islam, or even Mexicans (“terrific people”). Let’s keep truth momentum. Trump seems willing to replace wishful thinking by rationality (just as the pivot to Russia, however worrisome and potentially dangerous it is, is better than Obama’s boiled noodle opposition).

Meanwhile, there is little doubt that the climate has started to act nonlinearly.  It will be rational to also act even more nonlinearly in return.

Patrice Ayme’

Asia After Full Glacial Melt

April 24, 2016

The Way Of Life Of Some "Leading" Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

What is that a map of? (Answer at the bottom.)

The positive side of a full glacial melt is that the devastated Aral Sea will be reconstituted to its former glory, and more. Tourists may be able to travel from Missouri to the Aral Sea on electric cruise ships. Let’s notice in passing that shallow seas were characteristic of the Jurassic, and exerted a positive feed-back on the climate, which was remarkably warm and wet then… thanks to these shallow seas. The Earth was ice-free (except on the top of very high mountains).

The Decision Is Now. The Next Two Decades Will Decide If This Is What Will Be

The Decision Is Now. The Next Two Decades Will Decide If This Is What Will Be

Some may sneer, but there is tremendous inertia in the system. Here is a depiction of temperatures in the last half a billion years:

The Projection That We Are On Two Degree Centigrade Rise By 2050 Is Optimistic: It Ignores Positive Feed-Back On Ice Melt

The Projection That We Are On Two Degree Centigrade Rise By 2050 Is Optimistic: It Ignores Positive Feed-Back On Ice Melt

As soon as we launch the shallow sea effect, it will feed-back on itself. That will be another feed-back on top of the ice melt feed-back. Scandalously, a European Union Commissioner just declared that the COP 21 treaty will be ratified in 2018 only. The French government has declared this “scandalous”, and intends to do something about it on Monday (EC Commissioners have been obviously on the take from major fossil fuel company such as Exxon, as stealth recordings recently showed).

Hence the moral quality of the following graph depicting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, per capita, and per country:

GHG Per Capita: The Redder, The Worse. The Way Of Life Of Some "Leading" Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

GHG Per Capita: The Redder, The Worse. The Way Of Life Of Some “Leading” Countries Brings Us Back To The Jurassic

At this point, some always ask: what can we do? Shall we recycle? Recycling is a related question, yet mostly independent of the energy problem. It’s much more efficient than fighting racism by never saying “nigger”, but still, it pales relative to burning fossils. Energy procurement has got to change radically. One has to de-carbonize. Now. Not just in 2050: by then it will be too late.

To de-carbonize, there is just one way: tax carbon so heavily that silly activities such as frantic tourism by plane, disappear altogether. So those who want to do something moral should agitate for an enormous carbon tax (while compensating for the poor with some of the proceeds).

Something similar is to push for local sustainable energy. An example: San Francisco just passed a law requiring plants or solar panels on roofs of all new building less than ten stories tall (to start with). Starting January 1, 2017. The law is identical to a mandate passed in France last year that all new buildings be covered in partial green roofing or solar panels.

In France, buildings producing more energy than they use have been erected. In other French news, Paris organized its first car race since 1951… 65 years ago. It was done with Formula One style cars: monospaces. It was also remarkably silent: the cars were electric. An Audi driven by the Brazilian Di Grassi won this “Formula E” event. There will be another one, next year (a necessary way of fighting terrorism is to act and behave as if there was no terror).

If enormous de-carbonization is not imposed quickly, fabulous wars may ensue… Except if some countries have such a lead in military matters that none of the others will try anything; as is presently the case of the West, mostly the USA, relative to the Rest; a fascinating twist on might makes right.

However, morality means “the mores”, what has proven sustainable to a tribe. And this brings still another moral twist. Some tribes (also known as nations) have profited a lot from war, thus may not be, very secretly, deep down inside, that adverse to adversity of the lethal type. Indeed, if adversity enables them to unleash the Dark Side, their empire may extend. Or, at least, such is the computation. because, in the past, war always proved such an excellent lever. It is especially the case of the USA (although Russia also lives under that illusion; and giant countries such as Canada and Australia are not far behind in that same general mood; even China, considering its recent conquest of gigantic, highly profitable Tibet and Xing Kiang, may feel that way, all too much).

Notice in passing that the US emits close to 20 tons of GreenHouse Gases per year, per capita. That’s around three times more than the French. And France is not three times poorer, per capita. Actually, according to Hillary Clinton, France is richer, per capita, than the USA: she herself says that the USA cannot afford universal health care. Whereas the French can afford a universal health care system. It is even worse than that, as the French health care system (with the Italian and Swedish ones) is leading in quality, whereas the USA trails, in quality of health care, behind all developed countries.

Once again, what Hillary really means is that those who are paying for her propaganda and helping her with various services, cannot afford a country with universal health care, because they are too busy overdosing inside their private jets (allusion to Prince, one of many). One’s morality not better than one’s logic.

The naïve, gullible and thoroughly obsolete, often believe there is just one way to be logical. But logic can be pretty much anything. Anything goes in logic. Differently from cooking ,where a few rules apply. In cooking at the very least, one should not put too much salt, or burn food to such a crisp that it becomes, well, pure carbon.

However logic is much more adaptable. And thus, a fortiori, is morality.

Tomorrow’s morality has often be made from yesterday’s computation. And computations can sometimes go awry.

So what to do? Change the moods ASAP. Solar roofs are an example. Another is the just announced change of the Twenty Dollar Bill. It figures president Jackson. Jackson followed Jefferson’s example, conquering and annexing giant swathes of territory for the USA. Those two, with Washington himself, were the three most important presidents, in the sense that they created, not just the USA as a state, but also its extent and its mood. Jackson was as macho as Washington, if not more. He went on his conquests, as the head of the US Army, without any order, and Congress did not dare contradict him, lest he made a coup. He had no problem harboring a bullet or two from successful duels.

Nowadays, more and more people in the USA feel that Jackson’s mentality is something which should not be viewed as an example anymore. So Obama and his sidekicks want to replace him by an abolitionist ex-slave who happened to be a woman (I had never heard from, I think, demonstrating that the masses need to further their education, indeed.)  Not bad. At the last hour, Obama and Al. minister admirably the details. However, if one removes all the slave masters from US currency, one may be left with the insipid mild and neutral pseudo-bridges found on European currency.

Removing the face of slavery would not be progress, if all one did, was to forget, and thus deny, where one came from, institutionally speaking, and in the genealogy of moods.

Without its demonic males to lead and fabricate appropriately evil systems of thought, the USA would not have become the world’s leading empire it is now. Beyond whether this is right or wrong, it’s important to remember that, first of all, that’s what happened. Yes, the USA was fabricated by slave masters. This politely brings in the natural question: Is the USA still ruled by slave masters?

The first moral duty is always to the truth. When the morality used is the one closest to the essence of the genus Homo. Yet, special circumstances, (such as inheriting a continent which has been grabbed,) have incited special moralities to blossom.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Proof ANTARCTICA Is BREAKING UP

March 2, 2016

OUTSMARTING NASA (or is NASA, and other climate “scientists” being deliberately dumb?):

Abstract: Found below is the proof that Antarctica Is Already Breaking Up. Using a recent NASA study is crucial. Interestingly NASA drew the opposite conclusion from its own data. Had NASA been more ASTUTE, its data would have let it to the conclusion below. Amazingly, it did not. It’s all about the water level not changing in a glass with melting ice, and contrasting it with what happens when one starts with ice only!

***

I was reading the description of the damage from Sea Level Rise (SLR) in “Learning From Dogs”:“Interconnections Two”. Therein are found reference to “scientific” papers. The big question is what does “scientific” mean? “Science” means what’s known. The problem is that today’s scientists are afraid of the biggest questions, because the answers attached to them are very ugly, something intolerable in the age of beauty, celebrity, and philanthropy (aka plutocracy).

Antarctica Stripped Of Ice. In Some Places, Ice Rests On The Ground 2,500 Meters Below Sea Level (a mile and a half).

Antarctica Stripped Of Ice. In Some Places, Ice Rests On The Ground 2,500 Meters Below Sea Level (a mile and a half).

[NASA picture. The greyish area is now covered by kilometers of ice. The ice presses down with enormous weight, so its bottom is kilometers below sea level.]

Up to 2015, no reputable scientist would have dared to consider that the polar ice sheets could melt before several millennia. Such a contemplation was way too dangerous for their careers and livelihood. Thus the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) excluded considering the gigantic masses of ice covering Greenland and Antarctica for its computations of Sea Level Rise. This is rather curious as the main factor in SLR is the melting of ice. This how the IPCC got to a roughly ONLY one meter of SLR by 2100 CE.

However, there is an obvious way to melt maybe half of the ice sheets instantaneously on a geological time scale: four degree centigrade (38 F) water is the densest, and can melt the threshold, the stoop holding them tight. Once that’s done, the water can flow down on the other side, a mile down or more.

Scientists have to be careful, because they need to be funded. In the plutocratic USA, funding varies from year to year, like carrots do for donkeys from day-to-day. The authorities funding “scientists” ultimately depend upon the fossil fuel lobby and related plutocratic lobbies which fund both politicians and private (“elite”) universities. So scientists cannot dare to roll out a half-baked theory, before we get fully baked ourselves. (But don’t worry, plutocrats want to roast us ASAP.)

Dr. Hansen, who used to work for NASA as chief climate scientist, published last Spring (2015) what he viewed as his “most important paper ever” arguing that ice sheet melting could rise sea level within a century or two by several meters. I am not that sanguine, I think it will happen much faster, and I can prove that it already started.

Indeed there is an obvious theory, full of brand new science, which demonstrates that the break-up of Antarctica ice sheets has already started: on October 30 2015, NASA published studies showing that Antarctica is actually gathering snow… And not losing it.

NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses:

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”

This is expected as the warmer it gets, the more the air carries water, the more it snows (until it turns to rain!) “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”  Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

To deduce the “net gain”, NASA, also using satellite data, watching changes of altitude carefully computed how much the volume change:

“Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

NOW THE BIG QUESTION:

So, if Antarctica is gathering ever more snow, as NASA showed, and as Sea Level Rise is accelerating, what is going on?

Officially, no one knows.

But I do know what is going on, because I think, and, as I am not funded by fossil fuel plutocracy, and I am strongly motivated as I consider anthropomorphic climate change the greatest problem humanity ever faced.

As all other factors have been considered, and as Sherlock Holmes would observe, all is left is what we cannot see: the ice sheets are already breaking up, from below. As I described in several essays, there is evidence that the Totten glacier, the plug holding the giant Aurora Basin in Antarctica, has melted on hundreds of kilometers, much below its apparently placid surface.

How come NASA did not see it? Because, if one puts ice in a glass containing water, and keep the temperature high enough to melt all the ice, the water level will NOT change. (This can be viewed as a consequence of Archimedes Principle).

So far, so good. However, the ice sheets are not floating: they rest on the ground, until the famous “grounding line”. So one cannot apply Archimedes Principle to start with. although one has to apply it, once the ice shield has become an ice SHELF, and floats, because it melted.

The very fact NASA saw nothing, no change of elevation, means a loss of mass from the ice sheets. This is due to the fact that ice occupies more volume than water. Relative to water, ice has only .91 of the density: this is why ice floats on water (Archimedes Principle).

So the ice sheets are breaking down, MELTING FROM BELOW, and they don’t go down, because more water is coming in.

Contemplate an ice cube in a glass: contemplate the top surface of the ice cube. That is what NASA’s satellites look at. If an ice cube melts in the glass, its top surface goes down until it completely disappears, level with the water surface. This loss of altitude is what NASA did not see, and thus it claims there is no melting. However, in the case of an ice sheet, to start with, the ice is resting on the ground, and there is NO water.

As the melting proceeds, water appears below. If the top level of the cube does not come down, it is that more water has been brought in.

How would we know this is happening? Well, if the global Sea Level is rising. Not only that, but SLR is accelerating (by 30% in the last three years).

If I find time, I will draw a little cartoon of the situation, but that’s not easy on a smartphone (I don’t own a tablet…)

Antarctica is breaking up. It’s happening from below, sight unseen. It requires a bit of logic to understand it, as we saw. When the unexplained Sea Level Rise will become blatantly catastrophic, and the climate in public opinion will be safe enough to parrot the reasoning above, said reasoning will be made by all scientists. Of artful parroting, and “hiding one’s sources” a successful scientific career is made… said no less an authority than Albert Einstein. However, that’s not as bad as hiding the main source of accelerating Sea Level Rise, as all climate scientists are presently doing, led by NASA.

A “scientist” is someone who knows. When “scientists” don’t want to know, lest they don’t get a paycheck, are they still “scientists”?

More generally, thinkers, those who think creatively, tend not to get a paycheck, because really new ideas are unsettling to all ideas. Those have most of the money generally have no interest to unsettle the established order upon which their fortunes rest. And it is the more so, the richer the richest individuals are. This is why a state owned by just one family, like Saudi Arabia, is so “conservative”. So, do we want to think, or do we accept to drown? That is the question.

In its own press release, linked above, NASA scientists declared:

“The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

Well, it’s coming from Antarctica. It’s your logic which is faulty.

Patrice Ayme’

Biblical Flood Starting Anew

February 23, 2016

Abstract: update on Sea Level Rise. The meat of the essay is at the end, in the section “THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC“.

Heard of The Flood? As in the Bible? Sea level rose 120 meters (400 feet), in the period centered around 10,000 years ago. The cause? More than half of Earth’s ice melted in a few millennia,  During the rest of the early Holocene, the rate of rise of the world’s ocean reached peaks as high as 60  millimeters (2.5 inches) per year. The melting of the ice happened because Earth’s positional and orbital parameters had made northern hemisphere’s summers too warm (most of the ice shields rested on the large continents of the north). Nowadays only two enormous ice shields are left: Greenland and Antarctica.

Those who enjoy catastrophes will love it: we have 75 meters of further sea rise to enjoy pretty soon, on our way to a Jurassic climate (the Jurassic was characterized by gigantic warm shallow seas on top of the continents). Her was the situation in the Miocene, when CO2 was at 500 ppm (where we will be at in ten years, see conclusion below).

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

Absent Drastic Measures Immediately, This Miocene Antarctica State Will Happen Right Away. In this picture, the WAIS, in front has collapsed, Wilkes and Aurora basins partly so. Google With my full name and the features to find out more.

[Even then, that picture from the U.of Mass. did not fully collapse the Aurora Basin, up right, which I expect to collapse first. Maybe they did not drill there, and are just speculating, whereas I have a reasoning on the Totten Glacier, outlet to the Aurora extremely deep basin, which is being quickly undermined as we speak.]

Says the New York Times in “Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”:

“The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday.

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.

The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.

Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.”

In a way, this is Biblical justice, perfectly appropriate for a deeply Christian community: America has sinned, being, by far, the most country most guilty in the burning of fossil fuels (and don’t brandish China: this is the place where global plutocrats, mostly of US obedience, have their factories, so that they can escape all regulations, including those trying to abate fossil fuel burning (all European countries have de facto hefty carbon taxes).

The USA is guilty of letting its plutocrats run amok, not just subjugating civilization, unleashing the terrorists, but also, even worse, burning their way through the biosphere. Now the USA has to pay the price. New York Times:

“Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests.

“I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.”

In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions.

They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

Experts say the situation would then grow far worse in the 22nd century and beyond, likely requiring the abandonment of many coastal cities.

The findings are yet another indication that the stable climate in which human civilization has flourished for thousands of years, with a largely predictable ocean permitting the growth of great coastal cities, is coming to an end.

“I think we can definitely be confident that sea-level rise is going to continue to accelerate if there’s further warming, which inevitably there will be,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor of ocean physics at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, and co-author of one of the papers, published online Monday by an American journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a report issued to accompany that scientific paper, a climate research and communications organization in Princeton, N.J., Climate Central, used the new findings to calculate that roughly three-quarters of the tidal flood days now occurring in towns along the East Coast would not be happening in the absence of the rise in the sea level caused by human emissions…The change in frequency of those tides is striking. For instance, in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days.”

Four feet by 2100? 1,2 meter? That would be nice; it would give us plenty of time to correct the error of our ways. In truth, we are running out of time. I think a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) is likely. By the way, we have enough refined knowledge now to know that the “Little Ice Age” between 1400 CE and 1800 CE dropped sea level by 8 centimeters.

THE SITUATION IS ACTUALLY CATACLYSMIC. The United Nations’ IPCC did not include in its computations the possible melting of the ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica. For three reasons: first, it was viewed as impossible, before, at least a few millennia; secondly, there was no mathematical model for the melting; finally, no plausible mechanism was held to be plausible to melt said ice shields.

My reasoning is the exact opposite: first an obvious mechanism for the melting of the ice shields exists: the ice shields can up up to 4 kilometers thick. Thus they press down on the continental crust so much, that much of Greenland and Antarctica is well below sea level. Not by just a few hundred feet, but outright, by kilometers. Deeper than the Grand Canyon. In these gigantic areas, the ice of the ice shields is in direct contact with the continental crust. Those areas are protected by rock thresholds on the margins of the ice shields (where the crust goes back up, because where the ice ends, there is no more weight pressing down on the continent).

Right now, warm water, which is denser at 4Centigrades (40 Fahrenheit), eats at the “grounding lines” of the ice shields where the ice of the shields touches the rock directly. When past the threshold, warm water will be able to drop down on the other side, deeper than the Grand Canyon, and should be able to shock fracture and melt a Texas sized ice shield ice shield in a few decades. That will be found all too soon.

Scientists presently handsomely paid to strike moderates postures will be very “surprised”.

Three scientific papers published in the last two months support my, admittedly drastic, point of view. One observed the collapse of a colossal glacier in northwest Greenland, eaten by a current at one degree C. It was a miniature reproduction of what to expect for entire ice shields. Two others observed the past, and that Antarctica was unstable at 500 ppm CO2. What they did not say is how dramatic the situation was. Indeed, sounding moderate is how they get funded by a benevolent, plutocratically ruled government (and by government, I also mean the corrupt Supreme Court, not just the latest elected buffoons). The scientists who evoked the 500 ppm of CO2 omitted two significant details, where the devil lurks. They claimed that it would take 30 years to get there. That’s not correct; at the present rate, we will add 100 ppm of CO2 within 25 years. But not just that: there are other man-made GreenHouse Gases (GHG): CH4, NOx, Fluorocarbons, etc. All these gases warm up the lower atmosphere much more than CO2. So the correct measurement is not CO2 ppm, but CO2 EQUIVALENT ppm.

We are right now ABOVE 450 ppm in EQUIVALENT CO2, and will be at 500 ppm within ten years. Let’s hope there will be more boats than on the Titanic.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: If anything, the preceding is a conservative estimate. Indeed very serious scientists evaluated already the man-made greenhouse gases at 478 ppm in 2013. This means we will be above 500 ppm in CO2 equivalent within six years, in line with my previous analyses, such as “Ten Years To Catastrophe“. See:

http://oceans.mit.edu/news/featured-stories/5-questions-mits-ron-prinn-400-ppm-threshold

New Climate Lie: Magical CO2 Stop Possible

February 20, 2016

I went to a concert depicting climate change, past and future. Trust Californians to be innovative. The climate change had driven the composition of the music.

Several of the musicians sat behind computers, three sat behind real instruments, one some sort of electric piano, the other two a bass guitar, and a violin. On the planetarium screen, one could see the Earth, and then, starting in the Eighteenth Century, three graphs: CO2 Parts Per Million, Land-sea Temperature Rise, and the Earth Watts per square meters imbalance.

The, laudable, general idea is to put to music the drama of our destruction of the biosphere, and thus to make it more real to skeptics Americans. The USA is the general quarters of those who deny that burning fossil fuels is adverse to the health of the biosphere. The average American is deeply conservative, and does not perceive “climate change” as an urgent anxiety. However, the average American knows he, or she is supposed to feign interest, while going to buy its next truck.

To Stay Below 2C, CO2 Emissions Have To Stop Now. We Are On The Red Trajectory: Total Disaster

To Stay Below 2C, CO2 Emissions Have To Stop Now. We Are On The Red Trajectory: Total Disaster

Tempo depended upon the CO2 concentration, pitch upon the Earth global temperature, distortion upon the energy balance on land in watts per square meter. The numbers used were past and anticipated. After 2015, the graphs became two: one was red, the bad case scenario, the other was blue, and represented the good scenario.

As I looked at the blue graphs, the optimistic graphs, I got displeased: the blue CO2 emissions, the blue temperature, and the blue power imbalance, had a very sharp angle, just in 2016. First a sharp angle is mathematically impossible: as it is now, the curves of CO2, and temperature are smooth curves going up (on the appropriate time scale). It would require infinite acceleration, infinite force. Even if one stopped magically any human generated greenhouse gases emissions next week, the CO2 concentration would still be above 400 ppm (it is 404 ppm now). And it would stay this way for centuries. So temperature would still rise.

The point is this: at 400ppm of CO2 (and nearly 500 ppm with the other man-made greenhouse gases) the atmosphere is being forced: more energy piles up in the lower atmosphere, and the temperature will rise, until the losses to outer space get progressively in balance with the forcing.  If we stopped the CO2 emissions, magically, which is completely impossible, the CO2 would stay at 400ppm, the forcing would go on, and the temperature would still grow.

The composer, who was on stage, had been advised by a senior climate scientist, a respectable gentleman with white hair, surrounded by a court, who got really shocked when I came boldly to him, and told him his blue graph was mathematically impossible.

I told the distinguished mandarin that one cannot fit a rising, smooth exponential with a sharp angle bending down and a line. Just fitting the curves in the most natural, smooth and optimistic way gives a minimum temperature rise of four degrees Celsius. (There is a standard mathematical way to do this, dating back to Newton.)

The silvered hair, tall and dignified senior climate scientist, told me, with consumed gravitas, that this was not the forum to address such concerns, and, anyway, he disagreed. I was expecting this sort of answer, and this is why I was fast and brutal, as composer and scientists, organizers, impresarios and plutocrats and the adoring public were thick about. As it turns out, it is the head of a new very important government laboratory.

 The Culprit: Distinguished Gentleman Says Climate Catastrophe Can Stop On A Dime. Perfect Say The Fossil Fuel Plutocrats

The Culprit: Distinguished Gentleman Bill Collins From Berkeley Was Seen Preaching to the Public That The Climate Catastrophe Can Stop On A Dime. Perfect Say The Fossil Fuel Plutocrats: We Will Stop On Dime Whenever We Want. And this is a mass murderous lie.

This is a bit as if a high level official in the anti-Nazi struggle claimed not to worry too much about Nazism, because we can stop it any time we want (the climate crisis will probably ending killing many times the 100 millions dead victims the Axis made…)

When all wisdom can give is shock, shock wisdom shall give. The alternative being respectful  silence… for infamy. Is there, indeed, a greater infamy than the disintegration of the biosphere  in the name of American coal and SUVs?

So what’s the game of these American scientists? Very simple: there were plutocrats in the audience, it was a fund-raiser. I was the only one to raise a ruckus, naturally. Everybody else was very admiring, in love. What did they admire so much?

That graph, that blue graph. The message of the (impossible) blue graph was that the effect of greenhouse gases can be instantaneously stop, should America will it. You can imagine Uncle Sam’s poster: “Earth, you shall stop acting funny, if the US wills it!” So, in the end, this was all a celebration of American righteousness: we are right to do what we are doing, because we can stop it anytime. (That’s how drug addicts feel, said Rolling Stone Keith Richards, in a self-reflective mood : they go on and on, because they think they can stop, if they want, anytime. I never do.)

The truth is much more sinister. The supremacy of the USA does not just come from owning an entire temperate continent (after destroying the Natives). It also comes from oil, coal and gas. The USA has plenty of them, cheap and available. As Obama says all the time: “God willed it” (OK, he says: “God bless the USA”).

The ongoing supremacy of the USA rests on oil, coal, and gas. This is why the Supreme Coal of the US, I mean, the Supreme Court of the US, just decided that burning coal was just, and so was bad air (and thus Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency crackdown on coal pollution was unjust, and should cease).

American plutocrats are always one step ahead of the propaganda game. After spending decades claiming the Earth was not warming, now they are pretending, thanks to this impossible blue graph, that we stop the deleterious effects on the biosphere on a dime, should the USA want it.

And the scientists are playing along… because they want the money. And the influence. And the plutocrats in the audience. And the American population confusedly feel that the USA is better off with cheap gas.

As I explained, the Moral Imperative is to think correctly, and the first imperative of scientists should be to teach what is impossible. It’s impossible to stop the nefarious effects on the biosphere on a dime. There is huge inertia in the world climate and geophysics. Right now, climate change is happening at a rate 100,000 times the rate of the preceding great extinctions (they probably had to do with huge, sustained volcanism, direct from the core).

In the best scenario of business as usual, most of energy from fossil fuels, we are on 4 degree Centigrade global warming scenario. And that means the poles will melt entirely. That will make the present Middle East disarray feel as if it had been a walk in a pleasant park.

Patrice Ayme’

Record Heat 2015, Obama Cool

January 25, 2016

2014 was the warmest year ever recorded. 2015 was even warmer, and by far, by .16 degrees centigrade. The UK (Great Britain) meteorological office announced that the temperature rise is now a full degree C above the pre-industrial average. At this annual rate of increase, we will get to two degrees within six years (as I have predicted was a strong possibility).

What’s going on? Exponentiation. Just as wealth grows faster, the greater the wealth, mechanisms causing more heat are released, the greater the heat. Yes, it could go all the way to tsunamis caused by methane hydrates explosions. This happened in the North Atlantic during the Neolithic, leaving debris of enormous tsunamis all over Scotland.

2015: Not Only Record Heat, But Record Acceleration Of Heat

2015: Not Only Record Heat, But Record Acceleration Of Heat

The Neolithic settlements over what is now the bottom of the North Sea and the Franco-English Channel (then a kind of garden of Eden), probably perished the hard way, under giant waves.

Explosions of methane hydrates have started on the land, in Siberia. No tsunami, so far. But it can, and will happen, any time. The recent North Easter on the East Coast of the USA was an example of the sort of events we will see ever more of: a huge warm, moist Atlantic born air mass, lifted up by a cold front.

Notice that, at the COP 21 in Paris all parties, 195 nations, agreed to try their best to limit warming to 1.5 degree Centigrade. At the present instantaneous rate, that’s less than 4 years away. Even with maximum switching out of fossil fuels, we are, at the minimum, on a three degrees centigrade target, pretty soon.

By the way, if all nations agree, how come the “climate deniers” are still heard of so loudly? Well, plutocrats control Main Stream Media. It’s not just that they want to burn more fossil fuels (as it brings them profit, they are the most established wealth). It’s also that they want to create debates about nothing significant, thus avoiding debates about significant things, such as how much the world is controlled by Dark Pools of money.

Meanwhile, dear Paul Krugman insists in “Bernie, Hillary, Barack, and Change“, that it would be pure evil to see him as a “corrupt crook“, because he believes everything Obama says about change and all that. Says Krugman: “President Obama, in his interview with Glenn Thrush of Politico, essentially supports the Hillary Clinton theory of change over the Bernie Sanders theory:

[Says Obama]: ‘I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives.'”

This is all hogwash. We are not just in a civilization crisis. We are in a biosphere crisis, unequalled in 65 million years. “Real-life differences“, under Obama, have been going down in roughly all ways. His much vaunted “Obamacare” is a big nothing. All people in the know appraise that next year, it will turn to a much worse disaster than it already is (in spite of a few improvements, “co-pays” and other enormous “deductibles” make the ironically named, Affordable Care Act, ACA, unaffordable).

The climate crisis show that there is no more day-to-day routine. At Paris, the only administration which caused problem, at the last-minute, was Obama’s. How is that, for “change”? The USA is not just “leading from behind”, but pulling in the wrong direction. Really, sit down, and think about it: under France’s admirable guidance (!), 194 countries had agreed on a legally enforceable document. Saudi Arabia agreed. The Emirates agreed. Venezuela agreed. Nigeria agreed. Russia agreed. Byelorussia agreed. China, having just made a treaty with France about climate change, actually helped France pass the treaty. Brazil agreed. Zimbabwe agreed. Mongolia agreed. And so on. But, lo and behold, on the last day, Obama did not.

I know Obama’s excuses well; they are just that, excuses. Bill Clinton used exactly the exact same excuses, 20 years ago. Obama is all for Clinton, because, thanks to Clinton, he can just repeat like a parrot what Clinton said, twenty years ago. Who need thinkers, when we have parrots, and they screech?

I sent this (and, admirably, Krugman published it!):

“No doubt Obama wants to follow the Clintons in making a great fortune, 12 months from now. What is there, not to like?

Obama’s rather insignificant activities will just be viewed, in the future, as G. W. Bush third and fourth terms. A janitor cleaning the master’s mess. Complete with colored (“bronze”) apartheid health plan.

What Sanders’ supporters are asking is to break that spiral into ever greater plutocracy (as plutocrat Bloomberg just recognized).”

Several readers approved my sobering message, yet some troll made a comment, accusing me of “racist “slander”. Racist? Yes the “bronze” plan phraseology is racist. I did not make it up. And it is also racist to make a healthcare system which is explicitly dependent upon how much one can afford. Krugman is all for it, but he is not on a “bronze” plan. Introducing apartheid in healthcare? Obama’s signature achievement. So why should we consider Obama as the greatest authority on “progressive change”? Because we are gullible? Because we cannot learn, and we cannot see? Is not that similar to accepting that Hitler was a socialist, simply because he claimed to be one, it had got to be true, and that was proven because a few million deluded characters voted for him?

We are in extreme circumstances, unheard of in 65 million years, they require extreme solutions. They do not require, nor could they stand, Bill Clinton’s Third Term (or would that be G. W. Bush’s fifth term? The mind reels through the possibilities).

“Change we can believe in”: the new boss, same as the old boss, the same exponentiation towards inequality, global warming and catastrophe, the same warm rhetoric of feel-good lies.

As it is, there is a vicious circle of disinformation between the Main Stream Media, and no change in the trajectory towards Armageddon. Yes, Obama was no change. Yes, Obama was the mountain of rhetoric, who gave birth to a mouse. Yes, we need real change, and it requires to start somewhere. And that means, not by revisiting the past.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Geoengineering: Unsafe & Ineffective Folly

January 6, 2016

The climate crisis is accelerating (as anticipated): weird fluctuations of temperatures all over. It was colder than at the North Pole in many areas, 6,000 kilometers to the south. Some scientists contribute to the crisis by claiming that the Earth could be fixed by “geoengineering”. The idea is to make the atmosphere reflective above its lowest, and warmest layers. The prospect of salvational geoengineering  gives a dangerous sense of hope, and enable cowards to change the conversation. The one and only conversation ought to be: how to reduce Greenhouse gases emissions before self-feeding natural processes take over, and the warming becomes not just non-linear, but self-amplifying.

Above freezing, at the North Pole, in the last few days of 2015: enormous warm masses of air or water moving powerfully is how ice gets destroyed.

Above freezing, at the North Pole, in the last few days of 2015: enormous warm masses of air or water moving powerfully is how ice gets destroyed.

Gregory Benford, astrophysicist and sci fi author is one of the advocates of the man-made volcano idea. See Climate controls, Reason Magazine, November 1997. In brief, one would spray a lot of micron-sized dust into the atmosphere above the Arctic Sea during the summer. Benford suggested diatomaceous earth as an option, because it’s chemically inert: just silica.

Then, thinking again, Benford suggested poisonous gases: SO2 and H2S. What could go wrong? Apprentice sorcerers would sprinkle those poisons to diminish sunlight in summer (they say). Simulations by the naive, for the naive, show it may mitigate sea ice retreat.

In reality, Polar hurricanes can shatter huge amounts of ice, while stuffing the Arctic for weeks with warm air, resulting in record sea ice loss. The spectacular shrinkage of the sea ice in August 2012 was caused by an extremely violent warm, hurricane like storm which physically broke thick ice with enormous waves.

There is evidence that ice melting is not just due to a warm sunshine, but to the secondary paroxysms of massive dynamic and potential (pressure) events. Sprinkling a hurricane with SO2 won’t do a thing, one may as well throw sugar at a tempest to pacify it.

When the Larsen B iceshelf in the Antarctica peninsula collapsed, something similar happened: four days of force one hurricane winds and a record high temperature of nearly 15 degrees centigrade (60 F).

Benford was quoted approvingly even recently on his general train of ideas: “Many fear if we lose the sea ice in summer ocean currents may alter; nobody really knows”. May alter? Well, that’s obsolete: currents are changing and they are warmer.

The naive idea that we have possible, feasible, potential geoengineering means to fight the melting of the polar ice. Delusion, illusion, obfuscation, prevarication, not to say fornication (with big oil).

Trying to put up a veil over polar areas (through various debris or SO2 suspended) will not work. But don’t volcanoes work? The enormous eruptions of Pinatubo, and the one, much worse of Indonesia’s Tambora in 1815, cooled the atmosphere dramatically (Tambora’s atmospheric veil caused freezing the following summer in Europe, and partial failure of crops).

The main problem is that the melting of the Arctic and even worse, the melting of the Antarctic, is going to happen from BELOW. Sneaky. It is oceanic water, densest at four degrees centigrades (nearly 40 degrees F) which is seeping below, and causing the melting.

An article just published in Science (December 2015) explains that one particular, giant glacier has retreated by tens of kilometers, after being exposed to oceanic currents which are just ONE degree centigrade higher than the old normal, along the north-east tip of Greenland. Those currents are the return currents from the Gulf Stream extension which hit Spitzberg.

To quote from the abstract: “After 8 years of decay of its ice shelf, Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major glacier of northeast Greenland that holds a 0.5-meter sea-level rise equivalent, entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is now occurring at its grounding line. Warmer air and ocean temperatures have caused the glacier to detach from a stabilizing sill and retreat rapidly along a downward-sloping, marine-based bed. Its equal-ice-volume neighbor, Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, is also melting rapidly but retreating slowly along an upward-sloping bed. The destabilization of this marine-based sector will increase sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet for decades to come.”

So the real problem is not to throw a veil above the Arctic, when the sun shines. The real problem is how to cool the Gulf Stream, (a portion of) the world’s master current. (Note to would-be geoengineers: putting a big refrigerator between Florida and the Bahamas, will not work, for a number of reasons.)

Measurements and a back of the envelope computation shows that the anomalous heat content so far stored in the upper 750 meters of the world ocean is about twenty times that stored in the atmosphere… And the ocean is playing catch up (the temperature of this layer is up only half that of the atmosphere; deeper parts are also warming up).

We are coming close to a tipping point on three giant basins in Antarctica (the WAIS, Aurora, and Wilke basins): oceanic water is boring through the sills there. After the sill, the basin slope down (under the weight of the ice), deeper than the Grand Canyon. The melting of each of these basins will rise sea level by seven meters.

Conclusion: only the outlawing, ASAP, of the burning of fossil fuels will mitigate the catastrophe. Anything else, like Elementary School engineering suggestions, is a distraction from the task at hand: decarbonification.

Engineering can work: modern nuclear energy, ever improving solar photovoltaic energy, and various storages, from dams, to molten salt tanks, to, of course hydrogen.

A hydrogen electric car equipped with existing fuel cells, an 40 kilograms of compressed hydrogen, safely stored in tanks resisting to 700 Bars, thus, to any collision), could cross the entire USA, without refueling.

This is exactly why the Obama administration yanked the research and deployment of those cars: otherwise pure electric vehicles and their abysmal small little range, would not have had a chance… Politics is a much twisted thing, but its Arianne thread is money… Such as the big money subtle corruption brings.

Solar PhotoVoltaics could split water, and make hydrogen to store energy, of course.

Patrice Ayme’

Antarctica Disintegrating Soon

December 9, 2015

[One more essay to contribute to the Paris’ CO2 negotiations!] One has to be careful with science. Science is certain knowledge. And certain knowledge is not just hard to gather, it is subtle, and even harder to organize in a coherent logic. It is pretty much certain that Antarctica will melt (in my opinion). However a NASA study, just out, claims that Antarctica is gathering a huge amount of ice:

“A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”

If One Looks Carefully, One Can See The Three Places Where Warm Water Is Sneaking In Below (In Green & Blue in WAIS and In East Antarctica).

If One Looks Carefully, One Can See The Three Places Where Warm Water Is Sneaking In Below (In Green & Blue in WAIS and In East Antarctica).

This, paradoxically, does not contradict any of my apocalyptic predictions about Antarctica. Quite the opposite: a greater snowfall is a mark of a warming climate. Warmer air carries more moisture. The gathering of snow and ice in the interior and at high altitude, over wide expanses has not effect to the melt extending below.

In truth, the situation is dire and will evolve quickly. One is reminded of the Space Shuttle Columbia, when hot gases penetrated in its left wing. After they got in, they melted vital equipment all over inside, including hydraulics, and the shuttle struggled for control, finally losing its wing.

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4347

Antarctica’s ice shelves — the thick, floating slabs of ice which encircle the continent — are melting. The shelves slow and stabilize the glaciers, hundreds of kilometers behind them. They are succumbing to a hidden force: deep, warming ocean currents are melting the ice from beneath ice shelves, and up giant valleys penetrating the continent.

The collapse of small ice shelves caused glaciers to accelerate two-fold to ten-fold and spill more ice into the ocean, raising sea level. A study published in April shows that more ice shelves are threatened: From 1994 to 2012, the rate of ice shelf shrinkage increased twelvefold. Parts of the ice sheet considered at risk hold enough ice to raise the global sea level by 22 feet (seven meters). Here’s the latest on Antarctica’s vulnerability in 2015:

More Snow, Less Ice:

Climatologists speculated in the 1990s that Antarctica might slow sea level rise. They fancied that rising temperatures would produce more water vapor, leading to more snowfall and more ice. This is indeed what the latest NASA study shows. Researchers reported in March, and November 20215, that over the past 20,000 years, warmer temperatures have indeed correlated with higher snowfall: For each Fahrenheit degree of warming, snowfall increased by about 2.7 percent. But that does not mean the threat of fast melting receded..

Larsen B’s Last Gasp:

Glaciologists reported in June that the last remnant of the Larsen B Ice Shelf is splintering, and glaciers flowing into it are accelerating. Its approaching demise continues a disturbing trend: the progressive collapse of five ice shelves since 1989.

Next, Larsen C:

The neighboring, and much larger Larsen C Ice Shelf, a significant part of the Antarctica Peninsula, could soon collapse (hey, it’s summer!). A major crack is advancing rapidly, reaching an unprecedented 60 miles long in early 2015. (A British base in the Ross Ice Shelf is threatened by another advancing crack, and is scheduled to be moved ASAP! A German base disappeared altogether.)

Southern Peninsula “Starting to Sweat “:

(“Sweating” was the term used in a scientific report…) While the glaciers in this region seemed stable, warming ocean currents have been melting the belly of the ice. Results published in May show this region crossed a threshold in 2009, with a dozen major glaciers simultaneously starting to thin, “sweating off” 60 billion tons of ice per year.

Weak Underbelly:

The Amundsen Sea coast is the vulnerable underbelly of West Antarctica. Its glaciers slide on beds that lie nearly a mile below sea level, exposing them to ocean currents. New data show ice shelves are collectively losing 100 billion tons of ice per year, and glaciers have accelerated by up to 70 percent.

Hidden Hazards in the East:

East Antarctica, situated on high ground that protects it from warming ocean currents, was considered stable, impervious, a Reich to last 10,000 years, strong and dominating. But not exactly, according to surveys with ice-penetrating radar. A March study shows that one large swath of the ice sheet sits on beds as deep as 8,000 feet below sea level and is connected, by very long, deep valleys to warming ocean currents. Totten Glacier, one of East Antarctica’s largest ocean outlets, is already thinning — an ominous sign, since this single glacier drains enough ice from the AURORA Basin to raise the sea level more than all of West Antarctica’s ice loss would. The mouth of the Totten glacier is well north of the southern polar circle. This means that the potential for warming from decreased albedo is considerable.

The same story is unfolding with the Wilkes Basin, as I have explained.

Thus, right now, sea level is rising slowly, and climate change deniers are chuckling, because Antarctica is gathering warm snow. But, once the warm currents penetrate in force, and they will, Antarctica will go the way of the Space Shuttle: sudden, irresistible disintegration.

A last riddle is that, should the latest story (above) from part of NASA, be correct (and not another piece of disinformation to serve the fossil fuel plutocracy, as happened more than once in the past), how come sea level is increasing as fast as is presently observed? The math just don’t add up: the greatest contribution to sea level rise comes in with the wrong sign! So either the latest NASA accumulation studies are wrong, or there is a massive contribution to sea level rise undetected so far (the worst is imaginable…) Just when we saw that the Green House Gas disaster was boring in its irresistible unfolding, a new mystery surfaces…

Patrice Ayme’

 

Polar Melt Computation For Idiots

December 6, 2015

Let me explain why POLAR MELTING IS INELUCTABLE & UNDER WAY, using a reasoning I have seen nowhere else, and which is so simple, even a complete idiot should be able to understand it. As there are many of these, and always keen to serve the Demos, it is my pleasure to present a primary school reasoning for the masses about why it is that permafrost (and the glaciers sitting on top of it) is already condemned. (So they can take their two degree Centigrades of warming, and shove it; actually according to the UK meteorological service we are already one degree up, globally.)

For reasons having probably to do with sun activity (?), the Earth’s surface was pretty warm at the end of the Roman Republic, and then again around the year 1000. Shortly before that, the Viking discovered Greenland “Green-Land”). Having cut all forests of Iceland, they brought trees from North America, but had bad relations with the “skraelings” (“weaklings”).

However, by 1300 CE, climate change struck. It was most probably the Sun responding to cycles of its own making. By 1500 CE the Vikings of Greenland died of cold (the proof was found by studying the adaptation to cold of the insects which had feasted on Viking corpses; and similar studies on crops, etc.).

PPP Glacier d’ Argentiere Already In Full Retreat, But Still Close to Valley Floor, 1850

PPP Glacier d’ Argentiere Already In Full Retreat, But Still Close to Valley Floor, 1850

By 1300 CE, Europe peaked in population, and had surpassed the Ancient Greco-Roman empire in many ways (in particular energy use per person). However, the climate soon took a turn for the worse, and the conflict with the still increasing population brought ecological devastation, famines, wars and the plague, within less than 30 years. European population collapsed by half, or more (no plutocrat got killed in the making of this movies, stand reassured, good people: only losers died, and plutocrats came out richer and more powerful and crazy as ever).

By 1650 CE, during the Little Ice Age, the city of Chamonix was threatened by disappearance, crushed by “horrible glaciers”. No less than three huge glaciers reached the Chamonix valley floor, at 1,000 meters of altitude: the glaciers of Argentiere, Bossons, and the Mer de Glace.

The communes, with moult details, told the authorities that they should be exempt from taxation, because of the “horrible glaciers“. The glaciers stayed on the valley floor until 1840 CE. All over the Alps, glaciers were advancing, villages had to be abandoned.

By 1850, the Little Ice Age was finishing, while the Green House Gas crisis had started (CO2 ppm: 287, from a baseline of 275 ppm during the Little Ice Age).

Melting has to do with how warm it gets in the warmest months. The permafrost line at 45 degree north is roughly at an average of 3000 meters right now, and 3,000 kilometers north of that, it is at sea level (that’s (45 + 27) degrees north = 72 degree north; the Arctic Circle is at 66 degrees). This means that one meter up brings a cooling equivalent to the cooling that going one kilometer north brings. (Call this Patrice’s rule of thumb.)

Looking at Alpine glaciers at 45 degrees, the most detailed historical example known is Chamonix, in the French Alps, at an altitude of 1,000 meters. (French glaciologists went to Greenland, and studied glaciers there which have retreated by 50 kilometers, on flat to rolling terrain, unbeknownst to humanity… But the Chamonix glaciers are known from Roman times.)

Glacier d’Argentiere, July 2015, Terminal Tongue, 1000 Meters Higher

Glacier d’Argentiere, July 2015, Terminal Tongue, 1000 Meters Higher

1000 meters higher means a northern retreat of the glaciation line by 1000 kilometers north, as I have explained.

Now the large glaciers around Chamonix end around 2000 meters. French glaciologists are the world’s most dedicated and most expert, from a long institutional memory: in the present condition, from refined studies, on and inside (!) glaciers, they expect an unstoppable retreat all the way to 3500 meters.

Let’s think about this. It means that, by 45 degree of northern latitude, the terminal tongues of glaciers will have gone from 1000 meters, up to 3500 meters. Now, as we saw, going up one kilometer north is equivalent to going up one meter. Thus, the permafrost line will go 2,500 meters up in the Alps and 2,500 kilometers north at sea level, since 1850 CE. However, the permafrost line is basically 2000 kilometers south of the pole. (There are important local variations, depending upon sea currents, east-west air circulation, etc.)

Conclusion: in its migration north, the permafrost is going to run out of planet. And this has already happened. Simply, there is colossal inertia in the system. Just as small Alpine glaciers disappear readily, and large ones look better longer, giant ice caps and ice shelves do take longer to look as bad. But the latter will disappear just as well, from the temperatures we already have now.

Desperate French and German mountaineers, in their anxiety to save whatever they can, have resorted to covering some glaciers with special white canvass. Actually the method is used on the Argentiere glacier itself, up high, to allow summer skiing (otherwise there would not be summer skiing anymore; by the way, I skied there, in summer, so I have more than a passing acquaintance to the situation). The canvass method works very well. But this kind of geoengineering will not work on a planetary scale (just too expensive, energy-wise)..

All right, ladies and gentlemen, time for serious de-carbonization! Because you have not seen anything yet of the incredible melting which we already cannot stop. As the permafrost melts, it will release colossal amounts of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), and the effect will feed on itself, non-linearily, including with methane hydrates in the shallow, and immense, Siberian seas…

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, Paris’ ancient motto: it’s agitated, but we navigate, has to apply to all of humanity. So navigate away from carbon. And that means nuclear energy, yes, and much more solar, and going industrial with hydrogen (which can store both nuclear, and solar).

Patrice Ayme’