Australian news, and some related international items

Abrupt climate change is happening, and fast

Abrupt Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Before, April 15, 2017 By Bruce Melton, Truthout | Report In about the last 100,000 years, there have been 23 abrupt temperature changes in Greenland ice cores. In those moments, the temperature abruptly jumped or fell 9 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit across the planet and 25 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit in Greenland. The changes typically took decades to generations, but at their most extreme, they only took two to three years.

Counterintuitively, published consensus statements on climate change do not factor in abrupt change — an omission that seriously affects how climate policy is made. The reason is that we do not yet have the skill to model abrupt changes, even though ample robust evidence exists of the common occurrence of abrupt change in prehistory. It may seem unimaginable that these most important of all climate changes have been disregarded in climate policy, but this is the way the culture of the climate science consensus works. Policy is based upon impacts that we project to happen in the future through modeling.

Weather Models Are Not Climate Models

It’s not that modeling cannot project the future. Climate modeling is actually quite accurate. It’s weather modeling that goes awry after about five days.

However, there are major differences in techniques for predicting weather (in the near term) and predicting climate (over the long term). Weather models use the most recent weather data to project what the weather will be this weekend. Climate models can use weather data from any time frame, and then climate modelers create hundreds of model runs and average them all together to get climate projections.

Abrupt Change: How Do We Know When It Starts?

Modeling can’t tell us when abrupt climate change is beginning, at least not to the satisfaction of the consensus community that creates our climate policy. So, how do we know if we are in the early stages of an abrupt shift? It sure seems that we are warming a lot faster than before. Is this an abrupt change? Are there things other than temperature that we can use to imply that we are changing our climate abruptly?

Because it takes time for science to gather data, and it takes 30 years of data for temperature records to become statistically meaningful because of all the natural variability in the weather, we must move to a different field of decision making to determine if we are in an abrupt change. We have to use circumstantial evidence.

Circumstantial Evidence Is Factually Meaningful……

Forests Flip From Carbon Sink to Carbon Source…..

Gulf Stream Shutdown: Abrupt Changes in Prehistory……

Feedback Loops Rule Abrupt Climate Change May snow cover across the Northern Hemisphere has fallen about 25 percent since 1980. This might seem like a small thing, but snow reflects 90 percent of the sun’s rays back into space, whereas earth, rocks, water, plants, etc. absorb 90 percent of the sun’s rays and change it into heat that gets trapped on Earth by the greenhouse effect.

This is called the “albedo feedback,” and it is responsible for high latitudes and high altitudes warming at a rate that is double to quintuple the rate found at lower latitudes. A little bit of warming melts more snow, which absorbs more heat, which melts more snow — in a chain reaction.

There are many warming feedback loops. Temperature itself creates one. The warmer it gets, the drier it gets. Drier air can warm more than moist air.

Dying forests create a feedback loop, too: As large numbers of trees die, less CO2 is absorbed, creating more warming, which in itself allows more trees to become more stressed, which gives insects a greater advantage in killing trees.

The Gulf Stream shutdown also creates a feedback loop. The North Atlantic is where the Gulf Stream sinks into the abyss. As it sinks, it carries carbon dioxide with it and much of it gets removed permanently by different biological and geochemical means. When the Gulf Stream shuts down, this primary source of ocean carbon sequestration goes away. More CO2 stays in our atmosphere, creating more warmth, which then increases the pool of fresh buoyant Greenland ice loss water in the north Atlantic that blocks the Gulf Stream more, keeping more and more CO2 from being buried in the abyss by deep water formation.

Other new science that is extraordinarily meaningful to abrupt climate change could be far more pertinent than the small amount of space here allows description. In particular, Antarctica has begun initiation of collapse, which could result in 10 feet of sea level rise in 35 to 45 years if upper-ocean warming around Antarctica is not returned to zero by that time.

Until we implement a rule or law that regulates climate pollution like we regulate all other forms of pollution on this great planet, uncertainty, doubt and apathy will rule. Until we finally implement this policy we have been attempting to implement for over 20 years, nothing will change. Except warming.

Note: Detailed references for the claims in this article can be found here


April 17, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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