Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:16 PM
octoberlib (6,707 posts)
Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell: CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed
The sharp drop in Arctic sea ice area has been matched by a harder-to-see, but equally sharp, drop in sea ice thickness. The combined result has been a collapse in total sea ice volume — to one fifth of its level in 1980.
Back in September, Climate Progress reported that the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe appeared to support the key conclusion of the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center: Arctic sea ice volume has been collapsing much faster than sea ice area (or extent) because the ice has been getting thinner and thinner.
Now the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK’s primary agency for funding and managing environmental sciences research, has made it official. In a Wednesday press release, they report:
Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36 per cent in the autumn and 9 per cent in the winter between 2003 and 2012, a UK-led team of scientists has discovered….
The findings confirm the continuing decline in Arctic sea-ice volume simulated by the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modelling & Assimilation System (PIOMAS), which estimates the volume of Arctic sea ice and had been checked using earlier submarine, mooring, and satellite observations until 2008.
This should be the story of the day, week, month, year, and decade. As NERC notes, sea ice volume is “a much more accurate indicator of the changes taking place in the Arctic.”
Many experts now say that if recent volume trends continue we will see a “near ice-free Arctic in summer” within a decade. And that may well usher in a permanent change toward extreme, prolonged weather events “Such As Drought, Flooding, Cold Spells And Heat Waves.”
It will also accelerate global warming in the region, which in turn will likely accelerate both the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet and the release of the vast amounts of carbon currently locked in the permafrost.
The findings were published online in Geophysical Research Letters (subs. req’d). In a U. of Washington news release, polar scientist and coauthor Axel Schweiger said:
“Other people had argued that 75 to 80 percent ice volume loss was too aggressive. What this new paper shows is that our ice loss estimates may have been too conservative, and that the recent decline is possibly more rapid.”
22 replies, 2996 views
Arctic Death Spiral Bombshell: CryoSat-2 Confirms Sea Ice Volume Has Collapsed (Original post)
|Ghost Dog||Feb 2013||#18|
Response to octoberlib (Original post)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:22 PM
DollarBillHines (1,922 posts)
1. As the mass thins, breakup will accelerate at an exponential rate.
Thus exposing far more surface.
More surface exposure, faster acceleration.
Mother Nature bats last.
Response to RobertEarl (Reply #2)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:33 PM
Warpy (91,724 posts)
4. Plenty of it, not to mention that ships have made the
long dreamed about Northwest Passage a fact in late summer.
Warming has been happening disproportionately at the higher latitudes.
Response to Downwinder (Reply #10)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:20 PM
RobertEarl (13,685 posts)
11. Thanks, Downwinder
Old klunky computer here does not open pdf.s. Something else I need to look into to.
Basically, if anyone has an html site that has the numbers on the Arctic I think everyone here could make use of that science.
Response to RobertEarl (Reply #11)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:47 PM
Downwinder (12,869 posts)
13. Try this.
Response to octoberlib (Reply #6)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:09 PM
RobertEarl (13,685 posts)
I've read an awful lot and have never run across the science detailing the Arctic water temperature changes. Air, from what I recall, has been cooler in the region. I guess I could go g00gle for another four or five hours.
Like the other day perusing NASA for geo-engineering studies. Evidently, NASA is not doing any studies of geo-engineering, not that I could find.
But I have found that when talking to yahhos global warming deniers, bringing up the fact that oceans have warmed gets a warm reception, so it would be nice to have the science about how the water temperatures are making the ice melt.
Response to RobertEarl (Reply #8)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:46 AM
Ghost Dog (15,377 posts)
18. Serious research via g00gle does take time...
You mean access to a series of historical data focused on the Arctic of the type you see at the link: http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/
Would be nice. Otherwise see various data collections here: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/data.html - although I see we're usually just measuring sea ice concentration and not the water temperatures under that ice at different levels, except the occasional survey.
Change is moving fast, but we should get some permanent sensors in there.
PS. There is (remote-sensed) data, as you see below. Interesting what this blogger has to say - http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/02/13/423709/arctic-sea-ice-update-spectacular-and-ominous/?mobile=nc
Response to n2doc (Reply #9)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:04 AM
FirstLight (8,950 posts)
17. ain't that the truth...
I am taking any projections and cutting them in half from now on. The feedback loop is in full swing and it will be exponential from here on...just hold on, it is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...
Response to ErikJ (Reply #16)
Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:21 AM
OnlinePoker (2,793 posts)
22. Recent Duke University study counters this claim somewhat
If you go down to the Select Crosstabulations section, they break down opinion based on political affiliation. For instance, 32% of Republicans don't believe earth's climate is changing or with more evidence they might change their mind (to the Democrats 5%), whereas to the same question, 25% of Democrats still say probably but they'd like more evidence (to the Republicans 42%). On primarily manmade or natural causation, Republicans are split 50/50, but 35% of Democrats still believe it is natural. Even on the question of how serious a threat, 69% of Republicans say it is a very serious or a somewhat serious threat (compared the the Democrats 92%).
So a majority of Republicans do agree the climate is changing (just not how it is changing) and that it is a threat.
Response to octoberlib (Original post)
Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:37 AM
CRH (1,553 posts)
19. Meanwhile the republicans in congress, ...
block the democratic choice for the secretary of war, while fighting for the right to bear arms, and not fighting for the right to bear a livable environment for their grand children. The arctic sea ice is not the only death spiral we are witnessing, the thought of political or economic action burrows deeper into hopelessness.
Collapse of environment and social redress, humanity's lot in life. The human experiment, subsides.