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Extreme Feedbacks

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 4:26 AM GMT on October 01, 2009

Arctic Extreme Feedbacks

My previous blog was on a paper that argues from a variety of points of view that the Arctic is showing definitive warming, despite a substantive reduction in solar radiation due to the wobbling of the orbit of the Earth. This blog is also on the Arctic, and specifically a scientific assessment sponsored by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). (Yes, I know that the WWF takes an advocacy position.) The report has excellent summaries of scientific studies as well as basic references.

This WWF report is an assessment of the state of the Arctic comprised of information since the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Part of the motivation for this report is that at the time of the IPCC report there was controversy within the scientific community that the melting of ice in Greenland and, perhaps, West Antarctica was occurring much faster than reported in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. One consequence of more rapid melting of the ice sheets would be more rapid and larger than predicted sea level rise.

There have been a number of “official” responses to evaluate the observations and predictions and to improve the predictions. The European Union has funded a program called Ice2sea, and in the U.S. SeaRISE is a community organization, which is now sponsored by NASA. Both of these efforts strive to take an integrated approach to put together observations and models to improve predictions to provide input for the next IPCC report in 2013. You might recall that the IPCC is based entirely on assessment of papers that have appeared in the peer-reviewed literature; therefore, these projects need to deliver results in about 2 years.

Back to the WWF Report: Arctic Climate Feedbacks: Global Implications. This report has six chapters written by experts in the field. The unique focus of the report is on feedbacks. That is, if the Arctic climate is warmed by greenhouse gas warming, does the Arctic climate respond to this warming in a way that increases the warming more, or does it respond in a way to reduce the warming, bring it back to “normal.”

The feedback that is easiest to understand is the feedback related to ice and snow. For example, if the ocean is covered with ice, which is “white,” then much of the summertime sunlight will be reflected back to space. If there is warming, and the ice melts, and the “white” ice is replaced by the “dark” ocean, then the ocean will absorb more heat from the Sun and there will be more warming. Warming begets more warming; this is a “positive feedback.” If you march through all of the feedbacks that might exist, the strongest and most assured feedbacks are positive. In general, the present day Earth will respond to warming with more warming.

The WWF report studies a whole variety of feedbacks. There is discussion on how and why large changes in the Arctic impact both the circulation of the atmosphere and the ocean. A large and definitive feedback is the fact that a warming Arctic will release greenhouse gases that are stored in frozen land, cold water, and at the bottom of the ocean. The store of greenhouse gases in these reservoirs is enormous. For example, “There is more carbon in methane hydrates that in all the fossil fuel deposits in the world.”

The feedback, here, is the fact that warming by greenhouse gases, releases greenhouse gases, which cause more warming. Methane is a far more effective greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Much of the methane is stored in ocean sediments that are in relatively shallow water. There is already observed release coming from these sediments, but we don’t yet know whether or not these releases are contributing to warming. There is a possibility, however, of huge sudden releases of methane.

The gist of the WWF report is that when we consider the full role of feedbacks from changes in the Arctic, then the possibility of rapid global consequences is quite high. While large decreases in greenhouse gas emissions will help mitigate this change, it is my opinion that we have already reached a point where we must anticipate such warming, assess risk, and plan for adaptation.

The existence of feedbacks as described in WWF report is not surprising, and there is ample evidence of these feedbacks naturally impacting the climate. For example absorption and capture of methane and carbon dioxide in the ice age cycles is well documented. This is, surely, related to the roles that the oceans, permafrost, and biological activities play in the controlling the composition of the atmosphere.

r




WWF Report: Arctic Climate Feedbacks: Global Implications.


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91. sullivanweather
1:20 AM GMT on October 11, 2009
GISS September analysis shows an amazingly warm month with no latitude bands showing a below normal anomaly.




Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
89. SWFLgazer
8:17 AM GMT on October 08, 2009
CB? What are your thoughts about this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/08/antarcticas-ice-story-has-been-put-on-ice/#more-11570
...other than to say "Don't confuse me with facts."
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 448
82. sullivanweather
6:08 AM GMT on October 07, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
By the way a later image of this storm has a very clear eye in it and I think it was clearly a hurricane at the time.


QuikSCAT doesn't support this assertion.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
80. martinitony
2:18 PM GMT on October 06, 2009
Cyclone, you're right, there is a cause for each effect. Maybe those guys wanting to add iron to stimulate plankton growth should be careful or they might create plankton that eat whales.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
78. martinitony
10:47 AM GMT on October 06, 2009
Another denier heard from:

http://www.economist.com/member/Margaret%20Thatcher/comments
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
77. martinitony
8:39 AM GMT on October 06, 2009
"It is just part of the proof and just some of the evidence"

You are 100% wrong. It is not proof or evidence of AGW. You cannot draw a conclusion from this without proving a causal relationship. You were given several other possible causes for the bleaching. Yet you chose the one that suited your cause. This is absurd.
Do you know the difference between correlation and regression? Perhaps you should learn.
There are millions of phenomenon on Earth and in the universe. I believe that a careful selection of some and using your methods of reasoning could prove that you are my son, brother, grandfather and wife all at the same time.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
74. Stanb999
10:36 PM GMT on October 05, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Coral bleaching
From Wikipedia,

Link



Wiki facts, The online source that can be edited by.....Any jerk.

Find a reliable source.


Really WIKI. You make it too easy and even wiki knows about your postings here.


Here is what the page says!!!

Coral bleaching is a vivid sign of corals responding to stress which can be induced by any of:

* increased (most commonly) or reduced water temperatures[4][5]
* increased solar irradiance (photosynthetically active radiation and ultraviolet band light)[6]
* changes in water chemistry (in particular acidification)[7][8]
* starvation caused by a decline in zooplankton.[9]
* increased sedimentation (can be contributed to silt runoff)
* pathogen infections
* changes in salinity
* wind[5]
* low tide air exposure[5]

This should not be used as proof by cyclonebuster.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
73. martinitony
9:49 PM GMT on October 05, 2009
In my last message that should have stated that 23 persons in a room have a better than 50% chance of two persons having the same birthday.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
72. martinitony
9:47 PM GMT on October 05, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
By the way a later image of this storm has a very clear eye in it and I think it was clearly a hurricane at the time.


You're getting a little pathetic. We get a tropical storm during hurricane season, the seventh named storm, and all of a sudden this has to do with global warming?
Have you ever taken a probability course? If so, you probably remember the surprise that it only takes 23 persons in a room for the probability that at least 2 of those in the room share the same birthday.
My point is, that in any particular cycle of events, it would be unusual if nothing unusual happened. Even though we have had an unusually mild tropical storm season, you now find a storm forming in a particular area so unusual that you wish to somehow bring it into a discussion about global warming. You're just being silly.
Where are all those cat 5s? WTF happened man?
How come the ice is lower than last year or the year before? WTF happened man?
How come Manhattan still functions without aqualungs? WTF happened man?
Your theory doesn't fit what's happening. That's what's got you grasping for straws.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
68. Stanb999
1:42 PM GMT on October 05, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Coral Bleaching Increases Chances Of Coral Disease
ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2009) — Mass coral bleaching has devastated coral colonies around the world for almost three decades. Now scientists have found that bleaching can make corals more susceptible to disease and, in turn, coral disease can exacerbate the negative effects of bleaching. A paper in the October issue of the journal Ecology shows that when they occur together, this combination of afflictions causes greater harm to corals than either does on its own."Traditionally, scientists have attributed coral declines after mass bleaching events to the bleaching only," says Marilyn Brandt, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Miami and the lead author on the paper. "This study shows that the interplay between diseases and bleaching can play a much larger role than we realized."

Corals rely on algae that live inside each coral polyp to provide nutrients and supplemental oxygen. Bleaching occurs when these colorful algae die out or leave the polyps, often in response to overly warm conditions. Without their brightly colored algae, the coral's skeleton becomes visible through its transparent tissue, making it appear white. Although the tissue remains intact and can recover over time, this stressful condition can cause corals to stop growing and reproducing.

Warmer water temperatures can also lead to increased incidence of coral diseases, which, unlike most bleaching, can cause irreparable loss of coral tissues. In many cases, bleaching and disease occur concurrently on coral reefs. Brandt and her colleagues wondered if the occurrences of bleaching and disease were linked beyond simply occurring under the same conditions.

"Coral bleaching and coral diseases are both related to prolonged thermal stress," says Brandt. "But we wanted to look closer to find out whether they were interacting and what was actually causing the decline we see."

In the summer and fall of 2005, the same oceanic temperature shifts that contributed to the creation of Hurricane Katrina caused a warm mass of water to settle over the northeast Caribbean and parts of Florida. This sustained warming triggered a mass coral bleaching event that affected up to 90 percent of coral reef cover in the area. Brandt and her colleagues surveyed colonies in the Florida Keys before, during and after this event to determine the relationship between bleaching and coral disease.




Link




Ha,ha,ha!!!
Coral bleaching isn't caused by temperature. If it was those corals wouldn't be here at all. It was much warmer 60 million years ago. ;-)


Causes of coral bleaching in order.
#1 Ocean storms.
#2 cause. Land use changes in coastal areas.
#3 damage by ships and fishing.
#4 damage by recreational uses. IE: scuba.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
66. martinitony
12:50 AM GMT on October 05, 2009
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/05/04/lawrence-solomon-deep-arctic-ic e-surprises-scientific-expedition.aspx

Ice is recovering in both area and thickness.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
65. Stanb999
11:30 PM GMT on October 04, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Arctic ice depletion along with with rising GHGS is what is defeating us.


Isn't Mauna Loa Showing a trailing off?

Isn't the arctic ice recovering?
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
63. Stanb999
9:21 PM GMT on October 04, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
The Stefan–Boltzmann law, also known as Stefan's law, states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body in unit time (known variously as the black-body irradiance, energy flux density, radiant flux, or the emissive power), j*, is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body's thermodynamic temperature T (also called absolute temperature)



Here is your issue. Defeat this than we can talk. :-)
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
61. Stanb999
1:16 PM GMT on October 04, 2009
OK, there is the absorptions. Now lets think about IR.

Does IR go from warm to cold or cold to warm?
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
59. Stanb999
11:13 PM GMT on October 03, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
I think people use local and regional temperatures to support their argument that global temperatures are falling. NOAA clearly states otherwise.


We are waiting for you to answer the question....
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
58. Stanb999
11:12 PM GMT on October 03, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
There's Still Time To Cut The Risk Of Climate Catastrophe, Study Shows
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2009) — A new analysis of climate risk, published by researchers at MIT and elsewhere, shows that even moderate carbon-reduction policies now can substantially lower the risk of future climate change. It also shows that quick, global emissions reductions would be required in order to provide a good chance of avoiding a temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level — a widely discussed target. But without prompt action, they found, extreme changes could soon become much more difficult, if not impossible, to control.Ron Prinn, co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and a co-author of the new study, says that "our results show we still have around a 50-50 chance of stabilizing the climate" at a level of no more than a few tenths above the 2 degree target. However, that will require global emissions, which are now growing, to start downward almost immediately. That result could be achieved if the aggressive emissions targets in current U.S. climate bills were met, and matched by other wealthy countries, and if China and other large developing countries followed suit with only a decade or two delay. That 2 degree C increase is a level that is considered likely to prevent some of the most catastrophic potential effects of climate change, such as major increases in global sea level and disruption of agriculture and natural ecosystems.

"The nature of the problem is one of minimizing risk," explains Mort Webster, assistant professor of engineering systems, who was the lead author of the new report. That's why looking at the probabilities of various outcomes, rather than focusing on the average outcome in a given climate model, "is both more scientifically correct, and a more useful way to think about it."

Too often, he says, the public discussion over climate change policies gets framed as a debate between the most extreme views on each side, as "the world is ending tomorrow, versus it's all a myth," he says. "Neither of those is scientifically correct or socially useful."

"It's a tradeoff between risks," he says. "There's the risk of extreme climate change but there's also a risk of higher costs. As scientists, we don't choose what's the right level of risk for society, but we show what the risks are either way."

The new study, published online by the Joint Program in September, builds on one released earlier this year that looked at the probabilities of various climate outcomes in the event that no emissions-control policies at all were implemented — and found high odds of extreme temperature increases that could devastate human societies. This one examined the difference that would be made to those odds, under four different versions of possible emissions-reduction policies.

Both studies used the MIT Integrated Global Systems Model, a detailed computer simulation of global economic activity and climate processes that has been developed and refined by the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change since the early 1990s. The new research involved hundreds of runs of the model with each run using slight variations in input parameters, selected so that each run has about an equal probability of being correct based on present observations and knowledge. Other research groups have estimated the probabilities of various outcomes, based on variations in the physical response of the climate system itself. But the MIT model is the only one that interactively includes detailed treatment of possible changes in human activities as well — such as the degree of economic growth, with its associated energy use, in different countries.

Quantifying the odds

By taking a probabilistic approach, using many different runs of


Link



So you can find articles... But no facts.

I'm still waiting for you to answer how short wave IR can heat the ocean. If it can AGW is true. If not it is false.

You confusing the issue again. Just answer the question... We are all waiting.





Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
57. martinitony
2:00 PM GMT on October 03, 2009
Quoting cyclonebuster:
I think people use local and regional temperatures to support their argument that global temperatures are falling. NOAA clearly states otherwise.


I'm thinking that since you're the one with the theory, I don't need to prove anything, you do. make it all fit.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
55. martinitony
12:12 PM GMT on October 03, 2009
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

How come you don't post this graph of the AMSRE sattelite data?
The trend over the last couple of years doesn't seem to support the view that we are losing the Arctic ice.
I know, it is only 8 years worth of data, not the 30 years NSIDC depicts.

But, here is how trends work. Sometimes they change.
THe NSIDC doesn't seem to want that considered, that the trend in the Arctic might be changing.

For those of us living in the midwest, you can't help but believe something is going on. It's been much cooler the last two years.
So, when I look at the AMSRE ice extent and combine that with how my impatients did this year and the first frost coming 17 days earlier than the norm, I begin to question the motivation of those who tout global warming and seem to try hard not to post or deal with what goes against their THEORY.

Yes, it is a theory, that is an unproved, maybe plausible explanation of something. It is not fact

The thing is, in science, when you have a theory, if it is provable, you should be able to predict all outcomes without the theory fitting.
But, alas, I am not a scientist, not even a philosopher. I only know
it's getting colder where I am, Arctic ice extent is growing and yes, even getting thicker and I'm thinking you can't plug that into global warming theory and make your outcomes logical.



Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
53. Stanb999
10:37 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting crucilandia:
why CO2 cannot heat the ocean?



:-) LOL. Maybe if research some you can find out.
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52. crucilandia
10:26 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
why CO2 cannot heat the ocean?
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
51. Stanb999
10:22 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting crucilandia:
do you know what short wave infrared is?

All your logic so far show that you do not.



Like I said till that question is answered... CO2 can't heat the ocean. The rest of what your posting has no relevance.


Insults... Nice. Typical behavior of the religious.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
50. crucilandia
10:14 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
do you know what short wave infrared is?

All your logic so far shows that you do not.
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
49. Stanb999
9:35 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Fire what we see? It most certainly does have mass. It is rising gasses and burning gasses/ both have mass.
Otherwise the whole co2 thing would be mute.

The Thermosphere.
Quoting crucilandia:
the other answers please

why do thing the thermosphere temperature has nothing to do with the sun??



I'll answer them when you answer the one question I've been asking you to answer all day.

Does short wave IR heat water? Till you answer this your just trying to confuse others reading this.

So answer the question. :-)
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48. crucilandia
9:27 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
the other answers please

why do thing the thermosphere temperature has nothing to do with the sun??
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47. Stanb999
9:22 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Fire what we see? It most certainly does have mass. It is rising gasses and burning gasses/ both have mass.
Otherwise the whole co2 thing would be mute.

The Thermosphere.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
46. crucilandia
9:09 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
can you answer the other questions?

- if fire has no mass how come it has heat?

- the atmosphere density changes with altitude?

>>>Tell us this... Why is it "hotter" higher in the atmosphere than lower... It has nothing to do with sun light.>>>

specify which hight
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45. Stanb999
9:03 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
Quoting crucilandia:
my jaw hit the floor.

Please read up a little on the laws of thermodynamics and physical oceanography, before embarrassing yourself online. Today it is easy, you dont need to go to the library, find the book, and read it.

if the mass of fire is negligible, how does it heat a massive pot of 10 gal of water?

does radiation has mass? What is a photon?

how does radiation heat the massive ocean waters?

What is pycnocline and thermocline?

Why is the ocean water column stratified with respect of temperature?

Does CO2 concentration chage with height?

At what altitude is heat exchanged with space?



Oh jeez,

The reason a fire heats water is because the heat coming off the fire it is in excess of the heat released to the air.

Using your logic a sub surface volcano should boil off the whole ocean. Once again another example that has no bearing on the ocean.


Tell us this... Why is it "hotter" higher in the atmosphere than lower... It has nothing to do with sun light. ;-)

It has to do with mass. Something you fail to recognize.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
44. crucilandia
7:50 PM GMT on October 02, 2009
my jaw hit the floor.

Please read up a little on the laws of thermodynamics and physical oceanography, before embarrassing yourself online. Today it is easy, you dont need to go to the library, find the book, and read it.

if the mass of fire is negligible, how does it heat a massive pot of 10 gal of water?

does radiation has mass? What is a photon?

how does radiation heat the massive ocean waters?

What is pycnocline and thermocline?

Why is the ocean water column stratified with respect of temperature?

Does CO2 concentration chage with height?

At what altitude is heat exchanged with space?
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212

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