I say, Forget Climate Change
3 posts • joined 4 Oct 2012
The satellite shows any area with over 15% ice as complete ice cover. Unfortunately the satellite that measures ice thickness went off line and the new one that was put up has only been working for a couple of years now. If winds disperse ice, it can look like more ice (larger extent). Until we have a few years of data from the new satellite, it won't be apparent whether the volume of ice in the Antarctic is or is not increasing. Regardless of all this, it is certain that there is ever more open water in the Arctic absorbing more and more energy. If this causes a reversal of the Polar Hadley cell, not only will climate zones lurch northward as opposed to their present 4km per year creep but a great deal more heat may well be applied to the big ice cube that covers Greenland. It seems likely that in coming summers we will see a repeat(s) of the Aug6 hurricane which was right on the border between a force 2 and a force3. Many denialists have suggested that this was a once off. We will see
If we only look at thermodynamics, it is easy to see what the maximum melt of, say, Greenland is. Only so much energy falls on the ice and much of it is reflected back to space. The first glitch in this first approximation view came when it was observed that water from surface ice melt, plunging down moulons, increased the flow of ice to the sea. The second glitch came when it was observed that our huge generation of dust and soot was coating the ice (cryoconite) and increasing the amount of radiation absorbed from the sun. We may have observed the beginning of the third glitch this year with the short but severe melt of ice over most of Greenland. If the Arctic ocean becomes more and more open earlier and earlier, it sends huge amounts of energy into the atmosphere. If this warm air links in a Walker Cell with the Katabatic winds over Greenland, melt will jump at least an order of magnitude. Read Jean Auel's book, Plains of Passage, Chapter 42 to get a gut feel of what this is like. Yes it is a novel, but Jean was dramatizing what generations of glacier explorers have observed.
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