... see, again the Big Deal here is not that warming is happening, it's that it continues to accelerate, thereby reaching predicted levels much faster than our predictions.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A Coast Guard reconnaissance team is heading to
the far north this week to scope out a new frontier that the warming Arctic
climate is opening to ship traffic.
The Coast Guard could set up an
operations base in Barrow as early as next spring to monitor waters that are now
free of ice for longer periods of the year. Weather permitting, a scouting crew
will fly 1,183 miles Thursday from Barrow, the northernmost U.S. town, to the
"This is a new area for us to do surveillance," said Rear Adm.
Arthur E. Brooks, commander of the Coast Guard's Alaska district. "We're going
primarily to see what's there, what ships, if any, are up there."
ice has made travel along the northern coast increasingly attractive, said
Brooks, who plans to accompany the crew in the C-130 flight. Tankers and even
cruise ships are beginning to venture into the domain once traveled only by
indigenous hunters and research vessels, such as the Coast Guard ice-cutter
The ice cap is believed to be warming faster than the rest of the
world, and recent studies suggest shipping routes could open in the Arctic in as
little as a decade. Just a few years ago, scientists predicted it would
take a century for the ice to melt.
Gore's epitaph will be "He was an optimist."
Wait, here's another...
Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Increasing
Oct 22, 9:39 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Just days after the Nobel prize was awarded
for global warming work, an alarming new study finds that carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere is increasing faster than expected.
Carbon dioxide emissions were
35 percent higher in 2006 than in 1990, a much faster growth rate than
anticipated, researchers led by Josep G. Canadell, of Australia's Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, report in Tuesday's edition of
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Increased industrial use of
fossil fuels coupled with a decline in the gas absorbed by the oceans and land
were listed as causes of the increase.
"In addition to the growth of global
population and wealth, we now know that significant contributions to the growth
of atmospheric CO2 arise from the slowdown" of nature's ability to take the
chemical out of the air, said Canadell, director of the Global Carbon Project at
the research organization.
The changes "characterize a carbon cycle that is generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate forcing," the researchers report.
... The headline says "increasing" but it's the ACCELERATION, stupid!
And the acceleration was not only unexpected, accelerating phenomena are by nature virtually impossible to forecast accurately.
.... and another:
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Worldwide economic growth has accelerated the level of
greenhouse gas emissions to a dangerous threshold scientists had not expected
for another decade, according to a leading Australian climate change
Tim Flannery told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that an upcoming
report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will contain new
data showing that the level of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere has
already reached critical levels.
"What the report establishes is that
the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold
that can potentially cause dangerous climate change," Flannery told the
broadcaster late Monday. "We are already at great risk of dangerous climate
change, that's what these figures say. It's not next year or next decade, it's
(AP) - Arctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level on record, new satellite
images show, raising the possibility that the Northwest Passage that eluded
famous explorers will become an open shipping lane.
The European Space Agency
said nearly 200 satellite photos this month taken together showed an ice-free
passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland, and ice retreating to its
lowest level since such images were first taken in 1978.
The waters are
exposing unexplored resources, and vessels could trim thousands of miles from
Europe to Asia by bypassing the Panama Canal. The seasonal ebb and flow of ice
levels has already opened up a slim summer window for ships.
Pedersen, of the Danish National Space Center, said that Arctic ice has shrunk
to some 1 million square miles. The previous low was 1.5 million square miles,
"The strong reduction in just one year certainly raises flags that
the ice (in summer) may disappear much sooner than expected," Pedersen said in
an ESA statement posted on its Web site Friday.
Pedersen said the extreme
retreat this year suggested the passage could fully open sooner than expected -
but ESA did not say when that might be. "
... ESA didn't say because they
COULDN'T say -- it's not just the continuing decline, it's the accelerating rate
of decline that should have you worried.
WASHINGTON (AP) - There was less sea ice in the
Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the
National Snow and Ice Data Center reported.
"Today is a historic day," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the center. "This is the least sea ice we've ever seen in the satellite record and we have another month left to go in the melt season this year."
Analysis of NOAA CO2 concentration measurements since '59: From 1960 to 1997, the net acceleration was a total of .25 ppm/yr^2. Since '97 it has more than doubled:
I infer that not only is the warming rate accelerating, the ACCELERATION rate is itself ACCELERATING. I won't bother adding exclamation points -- either you get the implication or you don't.
If we're past recovery, then it's time to put some focus on amelioration of the consequences of the train wreck, even if you still try to slow the train.
... Nature says "don't start something I'm going to have to finish":
"Up to now it has been generally assumed that global warming will be a linear
process. However evidence from the geological past linked with climate modelling
that takes into account the global warming that is already locked into the
system indicates that there may not be a linear response to rising CO2 levels.
There is a danger that at some point we will cross a threshhold when global
warming accelerates. By continuing to increase the amount of CO2 in the
atmosphere we are getting closer to that point.
From the analysis of the
bubbles of air trapped in ice cores taken from the Greenland icecap that are up
to 500,000 years old it has been shown that the temperature of the Earth's
atmosphere and the CO2 content has followed a regular 100,000 year cycle of
change with the CO2 content and temperature closely linked and following the
same graph line. Within this regular cycle there are some recently discovered
very short periods of approximately only a few hundred years duration when
temperatures rise dramatically by 8 degrees centigrade above the slower rises of
up to 7 degrees centigrade. This gives a total range of 15 degrees centigrade
...only now are models being constructed that incorporate a feed-back
into the model of the effects of changes in world climate due to the changes in
temperature that are predicted by the model as the model programme runs. One of
the most important effects of climate change is the release of carbon dioxide
from natural processes as atmospheric temperature rises... The climate change
models show that rising sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean result in less
rainfall and a longer dry season in the Amazon Basin...If the Amazon rainforest
burns and releases billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in a short period
then this will be a further boost to global warming that will result in
significantly higher end of century temperatures.
The climate change model with climate change induced feedbacks indicates that on present trends the date for the change from CO2 sink to source for the Amazon rainforest is about 2050.
Here's another "based on projected climate change" study...
ROME (AP) - Climate change could drive many wild
relatives of plants such as the potato and the peanut into extinction,
threatening a valuable source of genes necessary to help these food crops fight
pests and drought, an international research group reported.
During the next
50 years, more than 60 percent of 51 wild peanut species analyzed and 12 percent
of 108 wild potato species analyzed could become extinct because of climate
change, according to a study released Tuesday by the Consultative Group on
International Agricultural Research.
Surviving species would be confined to
much smaller areas, further eroding their capacity to survive, the report
The study looked at the distribution of various species and predicted
their ability to survive based on current and projected climate data for 2055."
... Estimating is easy. ACCURATE estimating is the challenge. And when all the models are based on straight line extrapolation and the real world is showing rapid ACCELERATION, the only thing for sure is WE DON'T KNOW HOW BAD it's gonna get or HOW FAST.