What’s Up Or Down: Extent, Thickness, Volume, Thermodynamics of Arctic Sea-Ice

What’s up (down) with Arctic Sea-Ice: Extent, Thickness, Volume Dynamics and Thermodynamics // Sep 12, 2019

In September, 2012 Arctic sea ice extent (regions with at least 15% sea ice concentration) set a record low extent, far below any previous year and subsequent year, until now.

This year, up until about mid-August, sea ice extent closely tracked 2012, in fact was even lower than 2012 for long periods of time. Then, quite unexpectedly, 2019 melt significantly flattened out, stalling to be far behind 2012.

In this first of a series of videos, I discuss possible reasons for this stalling, in light of the fact that sea-ice volume continued to track closely to that in 2012, with no sign of stalling.
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New Ice Behavior Regime for Arctic Sea Ice Melt // Sep 132, 2019

I continue discussing details of Arctic sea ice melt, including the puzzling stalling of the extent drop in mid-August; yet continuation of volume loss to match 2012 (year that set records for both lowest volume and lowest extent).

Physical properties of the sea ice remaining are different since most of the stronger, purer (less salt content), thicker, older multi-year ice has melted out, or been exported and melted, leaving behind only weaker, saltier, thinner, younger first year and second year ice. We are in a new ice behavior regime, with different melt and freeze dynamics.
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Is Climate System Internal Variability Significantly Messing with Arctic Sea Ice Demise Predictions? // Sep 13, 2019

Continuing my Arctic sea ice loss videos, I discuss a paper on sea ice thickness variability arguing that internal variability of the climate system is very large, and thinner ice is even more sensitive to internal variability.

It suggests that we cannot predict complete loss of Arctic sea ice within a time window of less than 20 years; and that the difference in emissions pathways between RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 adds 5 more years to uncertainty. I am extremely skeptical of this result. To me, large variability means when a large negative swing occurs the sea ice will unexpectedly and rapidly vanish.

    

Ref:  ‘How predictable is the first ice-free Arctic summer?’ 25 August 2016 17:44, Guest post by Dr. Alexandria Jahn.
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Variability of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness in Six Different Arctic Basins // Sep 14, 2019

Continuing my Arctic sea ice loss videos, I examine a paper on sea ice thickness variability that uses the PIOMAS model and a Community Earth System Model. Dividing the Arctic Ocean up into 6 different basins:

  • Barents-Kara Seas,
  • Laptev Sea,
  • East Siberian Sea,
  • Beaufort-Chukchi Seas,
  • Greenland Sea, and the
  • Central Arctic Basin (CAB).

It examines each basins sea ice thickness history and projections, and timing as to when basin thickness average falls below 0.5 meters. Greenland Sea lasts longest (cushioned by cold glacier meltwater); the CAB lasts next longest.
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Bahama Death Toll of 40,000 from Hurricane Dorian: My Estimate

Bahama Death Toll of 40,000 from Hurricane Dorian: My Estimate // Sep 9, 2019

Just after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Grand Bahamas and Abaco Islands for 1.5 days, with

  • 185 mph sustained winds (225 mph gusts) and a
  • storm surge covering 2/3 of the islands,
  • with up to 25 foot deep seawater,
  • the world media reported an absurd death toll of exactly 5 people.

Over the next 10 days their insane number climbed to 7, 10, 20, …, 45. What really happened?

I estimate a death toll of up to 40,000 people; over 10% of the countries population. Most of these people were likely washed out to sea by the massive storm surge, never to be seen again.
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How Bahamas (and ALL Caribbean) can Increase Resiliency to Face Onslaught of MASSIVE Hurricanes // Sep 9, 2019

Clearly, the northernmost Bahama islands have been essentially destroyed with tremendous loss of life; last video I estimated 40,000 dead; most people washed out to sea to never be seen again. The world faces many extremely difficult decisions on what to do moving forward, including should we even rebuild, to be destroyed again?

Given that we do rebuild, I chat about how it should be done in the most resilient way possible, and suggest that the Caribbean Island’s own their own cruise ships to greatly increase resiliency in the face of massive hot-water charged superstorms.
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A BIG thread….

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Climate Charged Hurricane Dorian Tragically Destroys Grand Bahamas

Art at Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario (L)
Google Google Earth and explore Grand Bahama Island (R)

Abrupt Climate Change Realities: Hurricanes Stronger, Intensify Faster, Move Slower, Dump More Rain // Sep 3, 2019

I continue to delve deeply into recent, cutting edge science on how climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous.

  • Warming oceans have more evaporation;
  • warmer air holds more water vapour,
  • so storms are stronger and intensify more rapidly and
  • cause much greater rainfall.
  • Also, the forward speed of tropical storms has reduced globally by 10% since 1949;
  • slowing over land is even greater (by 21% in western North Pacific, and 16% in North Atlantic).

Hurricane Dorian was essentially STATIONARY for 1.5 days; Hurricane Harvey in 2017 meandered at 1-2 mph over Texas in 2017 dropping 5 feet of rain.

Ref:  Intense Hurricanes like Dorian Produce 1,000 Times More Damage & They’re Becoming More Common, By Jeff Berardelli.
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Hurricane Danger Increasing from Climate Change: chat on the SCIENCE // Sep 3, 2019

I delve deeply into recent, cutting edge science on how climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) above 26.5 C fuel cyclones, making them more intense.

  • Global satellite coverage available since 1985 shows a consistent average of 80 tropical cyclones per year,
  • varying from 65 to 90, with no discernible trend.
  • However, since 1975 there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of Cat. 4 -5 hurricanes of 25-30% per degree C of global warming (and a similar decrease in Cat. 1 -2 hurricanes.
  • Rapid intensification of hurricanes has increased 4.4 mph per decade.

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Unprecedented Behaviour: Category 5 Dorian Gets Stuck on Grand Bahama Island // Sep 3, 2019

What causes a Category 5 Hurricane (Cat. 6 if it existed) to park itself over Grand Bahama Island, and stay stationary over 1.5 days while churning away, grinding the island to a pulp, and submerging lots of the island under 24 feet of seawater?

I show you on Earth NullSchool how Dorian behaved, and then I delve into the science on how climate change is making hurricanes much more dangerous. Imagine what would happen if Dorian had parked itself off Miami instead; the damage to Florida’s east coast could have run into trillions of dollars. We must think about the unthinkable, with abrupt climate change.
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Hurricane Dorian Essentially Wipes Grand Bahama Island from the Map // Sep 3, 2019

It is heart-wrenching witnessing utter devastation that Hurricane Dorian unleashed on the Bahamas. This powerful Category 5

  • (sustained winds over 180 mph (300 km/hr),
  • peak winds 225 mph (360 km/hr),
  • storm surge 24 feet)
  • razed and submerged lots of Bahama’s northern islands,
  • unprecedentedly parking over Grand Bahama for 36 hours.

Imagine being hit by winds equal to a tornadoes EF3-EF4 not for a minute or so, but continuously for 1.5 days, while inundated with 24 foot ocean surge, and torrential rainfall. If this had occurred 50 miles to the west, it could have caused trillions of dollars of damage to Florida’s east coast.

Ref:  How climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous, Jeff Berardelli.  Monday, July 8, 2019:

Major hurricanes are by far the world’s costliest natural weather disasters, in some cases causing well over $100 billion in damage. There’s now evidence that the unnatural effects of human-caused global warming are already making hurricanes stronger and more destructive. The latest research shows the trend is likely to continue as long as the climate continues to warm.’
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First person account of Dorian who was
lucky to escape with his life. HurricaneMan:

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Global Warming: Vulnerability, Carbon Sinks, Numbers, Replenishment, & Getting Burned

Amazon Rainforest as a Significant but Highly Vulnerable Global Climate Tipping Element // Aug 27, 2019

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the very significant yet vulnerable tipping elements in the overall climate system. Willful human destruction of the rainforest by slash-and-burn techniques (trees are toppled by chainsaw or tractors with chains, allowed to dry out, and are then torched) is behind 99% of the present fires, according to some accounts. In this first of a series of 5 videos, I wade through the science and attempt to determine the most accurate numbers on the Amazon Rainforest impact as a carbon sink and oxygen producer, in the overall global context.
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Vital Significance of Amazon Rainforest as Carbon Sink // Aug 27, 2019

How significant, on a global scale, is the Amazon Rainforest? Best I can tell, correct annual numbers are: Tropical rainforests account for 34% of land-based global photosynthesis; Amazon Rainforest is almost half that, namely 16%. Total oxygen produced by land-based photosynthesis is 330 Pg, thus Amazon is 54 Pg. Ocean phytoplankton oxygen production is 240 Pg. Total global photosynthesis is 330 + 240 = 570 Pg of oxygen (58% land, 42% ocean). Amazon produces 54/570=9.5% of total global oxygen; with carbon sink being 9.5% of global plant total sink.
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Amazon Rainforest: Crunching the Numbers // Aug 27, 2019

As far as I can tell in my analysis, the most accurate numbers on carbon sink and oxygen production sizes for the Amazon Rainforest in a global photosynthesis context are in a blog by ecologist Yadvinder Malhi, which I discuss in detail within this series of 5 videos (this one is 3/5). If the entire Amazon Rainforest was to collapse (burn) then about 90 Pg of carbon would be released to the atmosphere (adding about 40 ppm, an increase of almost 10% of our present 415 ppm), using up 240 Pg of oxygen (a very small 0.02% of the oxygen level in the atmosphere).
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We Need to Plant Many New Amazon Equivalents, Not Destroy Our Existing One // Aug 27, 2019

If the entire Amazon burned down, a release of 90 Pg of carbon to the atmosphere, equivalent to a 40 ppm rise in atmospheric CO2, was mentioned in the previous video description based on Yadvinder Malhi blog. By the same token, if people on Earth got their act together and planted a new Amazon (about 390 billion trees, estimated from Amazon Wikipedia) this would drawdown about 40 ppm (90 Pg) or 10% of atmospheric concentration. At present, atmospheric CO2 rises 2-3 ppm/year, so 40 ppm is only between13-20 years worth of global emissions.
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Playing with Amazon Fire will get us all Burned // Aug 27, 2019

According to the Wiki on Amazon Rainforest: “In 2018 about 17% of the Amazon Rainforest was already destroyed. Research suggests that upon reaching about 20-25% (hence 3-8% more), the tipping point to flip it into non-forest ecosystems – degraded savannah – (in eastern, southern and central Amazonia) will be reached.” Given 3 recent century scale droughts in the Amazon Rainforest in 2005, 2010, and 2015-2016, and slash-and-burn human practices accelerating again, we are quite literally playing with fire in a game we cannot win.
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Browning Earth Since 1998: Terrestrial Vegetation Decline & Atmospheric Drying

Browning of the Earth: Land Plant Growth Decline Since 1998: Part 1 of 2 // Aug 23, 2019

Earth stopped getting greener 20 years ago. A new research study used satellite images to determine that plant growth on land increased in the 1980s and 1990s, but reached a turning point in 1998, and has since been decreasing.

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The decrease is mostly attributed to decreasing moisture in the air, as measured by a Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD) parameter; which is the difference between the actual amount of moisture in the air versus the maximum amount of moisture possible in the air (saturation) at the given temperature.

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Ref 1:  ‘Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago’, Scientific American, By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News on August 15, 2019. Declining plant growth is linked to decreasing air moisture tied to global warming:

The world is gradually becoming less green, scientists have found. Plant growth is declining all over the planet, and new research links the phenomenon to decreasing moisture in the air—a consequence of climate change. * The study published yesterday in Science Advances points to satellite observations that revealed expanding vegetation worldwide during much of the 1980s and 1990s. But then, about 20 years ago, the trend stopped. * 

‘Since then, more than half of the world’s vegetated landscapes have been experiencing a “browning” trend, or decrease in plant growth, according to the authors. * Climate records suggest the declines are associated with a metric known as vapor pressure deficit—that’s the difference between the amount of moisture the air actually holds versus the maximum amount of moisture it could be holding. A high deficit is sometimes referred to as an atmospheric drought‘.

Ref 2:  ‘Climate Change and Land‘, Click here, download IPCC Report;  ‘Summary for Policymakers‘.

Ref 3: ‘Increased atmospheric vapor pressure deficit reduces global vegetation growth‘, Science Advances 14 Aug 2019:

Atmospheric vapor pressure deficit is a critical variable in determining plant photosynthesis. Synthesis of four global climate datasets reveals a sharp increase of VPD after the late 1990s. In response, the vegetation greening trend indicated by a satellite-derived vegetation index, which was evident before the late 1990s, was subsequently stalled or reversed… Six Earth system models have consistently projected continuous increases of VPD throughout the current century‘.
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Atmospheric Drying Reducing Terrestrial Vegetation Growth Since 1998: Part 2 of 2 // Aug 23, 2019

It is well known that global vegetation decline is worsening from:

  • land-use forest clearing,
  • wildfires,
  • desertification,
  • drought,
  • soil degradation

But some regions like the Arctic are greening. We also know that the maximum amount of moisture air can hold at saturation goes up by 7% per degree C temperature rise.

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This temperature rise increases atmospheric water vapour content via ocean, lakes, rivers, and soil water evaporation and evapotranspiration from plants.

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If this increase is under 7%, a Vapour Pressure Deficit occurs, plant stomata shrink, and vegetation growth slows reducing global primary productivity.

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Ref:  ‘Global water cycle amplifying at less than the Clausius-Clapeyron rate‘, Nature-Published: 09 December 2016, ‘Understanding and quantifying observed global water cycle change is key to predicting future climate. The Clausius-Clapeyron relationship predicts an increase in the water holding capacity of air (the saturation water vapor pressure) of approximately 7% per degree Celsius rise in temperature2. It has been suggested that this would lead to a strengthening of the global evaporation (E) minus precipitation (P) pattern with global surface warming…
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Accelerating Sea-Level Rise. Vacation From Increased Extreme Weather Frequency, Severity, Duration

Accelerating Sea-Level Rise with Increase in Extreme Weather Frequency, Severity, and Duration // Aug 15, 2019

I continue to expand upon my argument that global sea level will rise 7 meters by 2070, as I originally discussed over 5 years ago–in April 2014: ‘Can global sea-level rise 7 meters by 2070?’

An Arctic Blue-Ocean Event (BOE) that is very likely by 2022 will cause very large Arctic warming. With no sea-ice left to melt, we lose our Arctic “refrigerator” and all that previous “latent heat” will now be “sensible heat” jacking up temperatures. This will further expose Greenland to accelerated, catastrophic ice loss with rapid sea-level rise and abrupt increases in frequency, severity, duration of extreme weather events globally.

Ref: ‘Persistent acceleration in global sea-level rise since the 1960s‘, Dangendorf, Hay, Calafat, Marcos, Piecuch, Berk & Jensen:

Previous studies reconstructed twentieth-century global mean sea level (GMSL) from sparse tide-gauge records to understand whether the recent high rates obtained from satellite altimetry are part of a longer-term acceleration. However, these analyses used techniques that can only accurately capture either the trend or the variability in GMSL, but not both. Here we present an improved hybrid sea-level reconstruction during 1900–2015 that combines previous techniques at time scales where they perform best.

‘We find a persistent acceleration in GMSL since the 1960s and demonstrate that this is largely (~76%) associated with sea-level changes in the Indo-Pacific and South Atlantic. We show that the initiation of the acceleration in the 1960s is tightly linked to an intensification and a basin-scale equatorward shift of Southern Hemispheric westerlies, leading to increased ocean heat uptake, and hence greater rates of GMSL rise, through changes in the circulation of the Southern Ocean.’
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Greenland’s ice wasn’t supposed to melt like last week until 2070‘, by Thomas Mote, Opinion Contributor:

During the past week, temperatures at the highest reaches of the Greenland ice sheet rose above freezing, melting snow at the Summit Station (10,550 feet above sea level) for the first time since July 2012 and perhaps only the third time in the last seven centuries.

Across lower elevations around the margins of the ice sheet, bare glacial ice melted at an unprecedented rate, losing 12.5 billion tons of water on Thursday alone, with daily losses likely exceeding any point in at least the past 70 years.’
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Charleston Bridge Chat on Chinese Hoaxes, Summit of Minds, and Santiago, Chile Climate Conference // Aug 15, 2019

Hello, how are y’all doing? We all need a vacation from climate change from time to time, and this week it has been my turn. I’ve been in Charleston, South Carolina with my family for about a week, visiting the sights and learning the history. People here are extremely nice and friendly, but when asked what I do for a living I replied that people give me money for studying and teaching them all about Chinese Hoaxes. Some folk look surprised, or puzzled, or give me blank stares, while others start to laugh. I immediately know that the latter are the ones who get it and are on my side:)
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Paul’s Vacation Boat Trip 7 Miles Off Charleston, South Carolina: Quirky Video // Aug 15, 2019

Vacation. Glorious Vacation. Pop a Gravol or Ginger Pill and come onboard a boat journey with me on my Charleston road-trip vacation. A quarky video, for sure, I must warn you, with somewhat dubious quality due to wave jumping instability bouncing my iPhone camera. But if you like the ocean, and motion, this is a must see.

  • You see an ongoing dredging operation 7 miles out from Charleston to deepen channels to allow huge new supertankers and cargo ships access to the port,
  • a tugboat heading straight for us to get us to clear off,
  • an enormous container ship passing us generating a bone jarring mini-tsunami wake for us, and much more.

Grab some popcorn and settle in for a whale of a ride:) By the way, when is Tesla going to come out with an electric speedboat??
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Vulnerability and Mayhem: Greenland, Blue Ocean Events, & Accelerating Sea Rise

Greenland Vulnerability to BOE and Accelerating Global Sea-Level Rise // Aug 7, 2019

Five years ago I posted the video: “Can global sea level rise 7 meters by 2070?”; based on the ongoing 7 to 10 year doubling rates of ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica this magnitude of sea level rise is indeed very possible.  Now, 5 years later,

  • Greenland lost a record 12.5 billion tons of ice in one day (last Thursday),
  • and a record 217 billion tons in July alone. With a dreaded Arctic Blue-Ocean Event (BOE) likely by 2022 or sooner,
  • there will be complete September sea-ice loss and very large warming spikes,

further exposing Greenland to accelerated, crippling ice loss.

   

Ref:  ‘Global sea level rise began accelerating ‘30 years earlier’ than previously thought‘, 5 August 2019 16:00, Ayesha Tandon:

  
The study, published in Nature Climate Change, introduces a new technique to more accurately determine historical global sea levels by combining two different statistical approaches.  It was found that the southern hemisphere, home to many developing small island nations, experienced the majority of the observed sea level rise, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.  The implication of this work is that ocean heat uptake will “likely increase again in the near future, further increasing the rate of current sea level rise”, another scientist tells Carbon Brief….
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Arctic-Sea Ice Collapse: Greenland Vulnerability; Global Sea-Level Rise; Extreme Weather Mayhem // Aug 10, 2019

In this video I expand upon my argument that global sea level will indeed rise 7 meters by 2070, as I originally discussed over 5 years ago in a video.

  • An Arctic Blue-Ocean Event (BOE) is likely by 2022 and will cause very large warming spikes that will further expose Greenland to:
  • accelerated, catastrophic ice loss with an abrupt increase in the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme weather events globally, as well as very rapid sea level rise.

As I said 5 years ago, I expect global sea level to: rise 7 m by around 2070, about 3.5 m by 2063, and about 1.75 m by 2055 or so.
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Please consider donating to support my work.  I put a lot of time and effort into researching, studying and producing my videos so that you can learn how quickly our world is changing.  Donating does not need a PayPal account, but simply a credit card. Please click here.
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