What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

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What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby Marshall on December 15th, 2015, 5:34 pm 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/ene ... he-planet/

The SPEED of change is all-important in understanding and evaluating its impact.

This applies to other species (as in this Washington Post article) as well as obviously applying to human populations, agriculture, social structure, economies, infrastructure.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 15th, 2015, 6:06 pm 

"We present a sea-ice record from northern Greenland covering the past 10,000 years. Multiyear sea ice reached a minimum between ~8500 and 6000 years ago, when the limit of year-round sea ice at the coast of Greenland was located ~1000 kilometers to the north of its present position. The subsequent increase in multiyear sea ice culminated during the past 2500 years and is linked to an increase in ice export from the western Arctic and higher variability of ice-drift routes. When the ice was at its minimum in northern Greenland, it greatly increased at Ellesmere Island to the west. The lack of uniformity in past sea-ice changes, which is probably related to large-scale atmospheric anomalies such as the Arctic Oscillation, is not well reproduced in models. This needs to be further explored, as it is likely to have an impact on predictions of future sea-ice distribution."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21817051
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby Marshall on December 15th, 2015, 7:02 pm 

Marshall » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:34 pm wrote:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/15/this-is-what-happens-when-the-arctic-warms-twice-as-fast-as-the-rest-of-the-planet/

The SPEED of change is all-important in understanding and evaluating its impact.

This applies to other species (as in this Washington Post article) as well as obviously applying to human populations, agriculture, social structure, economies, infrastructure.


The speed of change is all-important in understanding and predicting impact on our species and other species, if it exceeds the rates of natural adaptation.

If a region changes so that it can support only half the population, but SLOWLY enough that healthy/traditional mechanisms such as gradual emigration and lowered birthrate adapt, that is one thing. If it changes too fast you can get, famine, civil war, mass refuge migration, religious violence, that is something else.

Or, applied to another species, you can see what happens to the walrus in this article "what happens when the arctic warms twice as fast as the rest of the planet."

RATE OF CHANGE is of the essence in determining what collective action must be taken and what decisions made.

That is what this thread is about.

Any post that simply lists examples of temperature change over some range without indicating the rate is ignoring the elephant in the room which is the rate of change.
Such posts are off topic and I will probably split them off to make a separate thread if they accumulate enough to get in the way. We could have a nice thread devoted to listing ranges of temperature variation over geological time periods.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 3:40 am 

"We generally consider climate changes as taking place on the scale of hundreds or even thousands of years. However, since the early 1990s, a radical shift in the scientific understanding of Earth's climate history has occurred. We now know that that major regional and global climate shifts have occurred in just a few decades or even a single year. The most recent of these shifts occurred just 8200 years ago. If an abrupt climate change of similar magnitude happened today, it would have severe consequences for humans and natural ecosystems. Although scientists consider an abrupt climate change unlikely in the next 100 years, their understanding of the phenomena is still a work-in-progress, and such a change could be triggered instantly by natural processes or by human-caused global warming with little warning."

http://www.wunderground.com/resources/c ... limate.asp
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 4:19 am 

The most dangerous rapid climate change that we have experienced in recent history were cooling events.

1816 - The Year Without Summer

"The consequences of this season were harsh. Only a third to a fourth of the hay was cut with only 10 percent of the crop harvested in some areas. Orchard yields ranged from barren to moderate but enough grains, wheat, and potatoes were harvested to prevent a famine but hardships did occur. There were reports of people eating raccoons, pigeons, and mackerel. Corn prices rose from $1.00 a bushel to nearly $3.00 a bushel. With crop failure and the shortage of hay, farmers turned to selling their cows and pigs which drove the price of meat down. With so much meat on the market beef prices dropped from $15.50 to $7.50 a barrel with pork falling from $16 to $4 a barrel."

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/car/Newsletter/ ... mer_lf.htm

Since 2008 the U.S. has had no strategic grain reserve a system put in place by FDR. While the purpose of the strategic grain reserve was primarily to stablize prices it also severed as a buffer against climatic events. World wide food reserves vary from year to year between 50 to 150 days. Any international policy on climate change should consider both short term cooling events and warming.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 9:42 am 

There is are a number of historical sources that indicate previous rapid changes in Arctic ice extent. Perhaps the best know is the Northwest passage of Roald Amundsen in 1903.

Here is a historical graph

http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic38-2-121.pdf

Photo of slushy North Pole
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby Braininvat on December 16th, 2015, 10:47 am 

This article, which was linked below the OP article....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/nation ... 29/carbon/

...gets into some of the science community debate regarding the feasibility of the 2 degree ceiling. It may go up more than that in a few decades even if many Green techs are implemented. And given the volatility of polar ice, as in Wolf's citations, it seems difficult to make confident predictions on how fast things happen. And, yes, a Krakatoa sized event, filling the sky with stratosphere opaquing particulates, could always toss a year of winter into the mix. I was surprised to hear how small our grain reserve is now. I know some Mormons keep two years of food stockpiled, maybe not a bad idea. Though people in tiny apartments might have a challenge.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 11:45 am 

Marshal can move this post as he has warned but I think some perspective is needed. World wide we have spent over 200 billion dollars on climate studies in the last 20 year compared to 14 billion dollars for the large Hadron Collider. For that money we have gotten no useful forecasts from the models. Almost all of that money was spent confirming the human impact on the climate. Little focus has been placed on natural variability when it is obvious that the background temperature is an essential element of reliable forecasts. It shouldn't take 20 years to demonstrate the self evident fact that anthropogenic co2 would have a warming effect. Any honest assessment of the science should make it clear that the models have consistently over estimated the warming. The after the fact assessment that the heat must have gone into the oceans should give no one additional confidence. Since this thread is about the rate of change it is becoming clear that we have no idea what that rate of change actually is.

There is increasing evidence that natural variability will continue to drown out the warming influence of anthropogenic factors which is likely to lead to a public opinion disaster for science and the environmental movement. Global warming is real but the politics need a lot of work.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby Marshall on December 16th, 2015, 2:09 pm 

wolfhnd » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:40 am wrote:"We generally consider climate changes as taking place on the scale of hundreds or even thousands of years. However, since the early 1990s, a radical shift in the scientific understanding of Earth's climate history has occurred. We now know that that major regional and global climate shifts have occurred in just a few decades or even a single year. The most recent of these shifts occurred just 8200 years ago. If an abrupt climate change of similar magnitude happened today, it would have severe consequences for humans and natural ecosystems. Although scientists consider an abrupt climate change unlikely in the next 100 years, their understanding of the phenomena is still a work-in-progress, and such a change could be triggered instantly by natural processes or by human-caused global warming with little warning."

http://www.wunderground.com/resources/c ... limate.asp


I liked this post because it deals with rapid climate change. Not just a temporary (if severe) spike or dip.

Please tell us more about the climate shift that occurred 8200 years ago, it might be instructive! Was it global or regional (the source mentions both)? How long did it take? the source mentions time scales on order of a year or of a few decades. What happened?

Needless to say stuff like the 1816 year without a summer doesn't count as a climate change.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby Braininvat on December 16th, 2015, 2:36 pm 

Wolf, I would like you to lend some support (citations, expert opinion) to this statement of yours,

"Any honest assessment of the science should make it clear that the models have consistently over estimated the warming."

This seems inconsistent with information you posted on extremely rapid melts of glaciers and polar ice, as well as the especially large temperature increase in the Arctic, of 5 degrees F. That increase would seem to be one of the more significant figures, given that it addresses the most critical region: a polar ice cap, where such a rapid rise in temps in the past 30 years can radically change sea level and planetary albedo.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 3:25 pm 

Here you go Marshal


http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... ion_detail


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... JR66K4xH3w

I will address the other issues at some other time as reading climate research can become a full time job that I don't get paid for.
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Re: What happens when the arctic warms twice as fast

Postby wolfhnd on December 16th, 2015, 3:32 pm 

I will throw this in as an interesting article on rapid adaptation because I remembered reading it a while back.

https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~ashworth/a ... ctives.pdf
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