Arctic heats up more than other places

Jan 16, 2009

Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future.

As a result, glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea-ice retreat, coastal erosion and sea level rise can be expected to continue.

A new comprehensive scientific synthesis of past Arctic climates demonstrates for the first time the pervasive nature of Arctic climate amplification.

The U.S. Geological Survey led this new assessment, which is a synthesis of published science literature and authored by a team of climate scientists from academia and government. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program commissioned the report, which has contributions from 37 scientists from the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

The new report also makes several conclusions about the Arctic:

Taken together, the size and speed of the summer sea-ice loss over the last few decades is highly unusual compared to events from previous thousands of years, especially considering that changes in Earth's orbit over this time have made sea-ice melting less, not more, likely.

Sustained warming of at least a few degrees (more than approximately 4° to 13°F above average 20th century values) is likely to be sufficient to cause the nearly complete, eventual disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet, which would raise sea level by several meters.

The current rate of human-influenced Arctic warming is comparable to peak natural rates documented by reconstructions of past climates. However, some projections of future human-induced change exceed documented natural variability.

The past tells us that when thresholds in the climate system are crossed, climate change can be very large and very fast. We cannot rule out that human induced climate change will trigger such events in the future.

"By integrating research on the past 65 million years of climate change in the entire circum-Arctic, we have a better understanding on how climate change affects the Arctic and how those effects may impact the whole globe," said USGS Director Mark Myers. "This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of the real data we have on past climate conditions in the Arctic, with measurements from ice cores, sediments and other Earth materials that record temperature and other conditions."

To view the full report, titled Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.2: Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes, and a summary brochure on this report, visit www.climatescience.gov/default.php .

Source: United States Geological Survey

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User comments : 11

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Velanarris
3.8 / 5 (10) Jan 16, 2009
The only difference between the sea ice melt for the past few decades, and the sea ice melt over the past thousand years is that we are now able to measure it in real time.
MikeB
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 16, 2009
I wonder where all the cold weather is coming from then?
Modernmystic
3.9 / 5 (8) Jan 16, 2009
The only difference between the sea ice melt for the past few decades, and the sea ice melt over the past thousand years is that we are now able to measure it in real time.


The Ancient Egyptians didn't have satellites?
GrayMouser
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 16, 2009
"The current rate of human-influenced Arctic warming is comparable to peak natural rates documented by reconstructions of past climates."

If the rate of warming is comparable to previous natural rates what is there to say that the current melting isn't natural? Oh right, billions of dollars of federal funds that haven't been handed out yet...
Ninderthana
2.8 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2009
Translated into English: Given that the U.S. Climate Change Science Program commissioned the report, you have a bunch of self-appointed "experts" whose minds are already made up on global warming, searching the scientific literature to find "evidence" to support their pre-ordained conclusions.

Isn't it great to see science at work!
SteveS
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2009
Translated into English:

The report was prepared in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) and the information quality act guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce and NOAA pursuant to Section 515

http://www.cio.no...606.html

Requests to correct information. Any affected person may request, where appropriate, timely correction of disseminated information that does not comply with applicable information quality guidelines. An affected person would submit a request for such action directly to:

NOAA Section 515 Officer
NOAA Executive Secretariat
Herbert C. Hoover Building B Room 5230
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

List of self appointed "experts" whose minds are already made up on global warming.

Alan Robock, Rutgers University, Rutgers, NJ
Alexander P. Wolfe, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CA
Anne Jennings, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Arthur Dyke, Geological Survey of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario, CA
Bette Otto-Bliesner, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Bruce Finney, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK
Daniel Muhs, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO
Darrell Kaufman, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Dennis Darby, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Eric Wolff, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
Garry K.C. Clarke, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CA
Gifford H. Miller, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Glen MacDonald, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Henning Bauch, GEOMAR, University of Kiel, DE
James Savelle, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, CA
James W.C. White, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Jerry X. Mitrovica, University of Toronto, Ontario, CA
Joan J. Fitzpatrick, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO
John Andrews, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
John Smol, Queen%u2019s University, Kingston, Ontario, CA
John T. Andrews, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Julie Brigham-Grette, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Kurt M. Cuffey, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Larry Hinzman, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK
Leonid Polyak, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Lesleigh Anderson, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO
Marika Holland, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
Mark Serreze, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Mary Anne Douglas, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, CA
Mary E. Edwards, University of Southampton, UK
Richard B. Alley, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Robert Spielhagen, GEOMAR, University of Kiel, DE
Scott Elias, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Shawn J. Marshall, University of Calgary, Alberta, CA
Sigfus Johnsen, University of Copenhagen, DK
Steven Nerem, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Svend Funder, University of Copenhagen, DK
Timothy Herbert, Brown University, Providence, RI

The report was endorsed by

Carlos M. Gutierrez Secretary of Commerce (Republican)
Samuel W. Bodman Secretary of Energy (Republican)
John H. Marburger III Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy in the administration of George W. Bush.

"We commend the report's authors for both the thorough nature of their work and their adherence to an inclusive review process."

Details of the peer review process can be found at
http://www.usgs.g...ults.pdf

Documents related to the public comment process can be found at http://www.climat...ult.php.

Isn't it great to see science at work
SteveS
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 17, 2009
Translated into English: Given that the U.S. Climate Change Science Program commissioned the report, you have a bunch of self-appointed "experts"


The U.S. Climate Change Science Program is a joint program of over twenty U.S. federal agencies including

Agency for International Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Institute of Standards and Technology
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Energy
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Geological Survey
Environmental Protection Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Science Foundation
Smithsonian Institution

rubberman
1 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2009
I think morpheus is actually Dennis Hopper....
LariAnn
3 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2009
I am not an advocate of increased governmental interference in people's lives or business activity. However, IMHO, in order to avoid these kinds of invasive actions by government, people and businesses have to take personal and corporate responsibility for their actions. Whether or not global warming is resulting from human activity, humans should take personal responsibility for their activity, if only to pass on to their offspring a planet in the same or better shape than the one they began with when they reached the age of accountability. Using science either to deny or to promote a belief system is counter-productive in any event. Use science to understand more and dispel ignorance instead.
joefarah
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 19, 2009
The idea is to make sure that we continue the perception that its warming until the research revenues decrease. Then we will be in a good position to launch the Global Cooling research as we add back rural weather stations and start publicizing record lows and censoring record highs.

Because we're starting at a perceived record warm planet, the Global Cooling thrust should be even greater than the Global Warming thrust. The temperature will cool off rapidly and we can then shift from CO2 to Ozone discussions to help support the flow of research dollars.

Now we want to actually make sure that we start the shift from Global Warming to Global Cooling during a really cold year. The Global Warming business was a background business until we had that unusually warm start to winter a few years back. Then it really took off and the funds rolled in. So the same goes for Global Cooling - if we time it right, the funds will roll in, and in even greater numbers because we're starting from a perception of warmth, rather than neutral.

One of the challenges when we do Global Cooling will be getting the media alarmed quickly, while at the same time discrediting the nay-sayers. Gore was a key figure and we're likely not going to get that high a level figure for Global Cooling.

However, if we really push Global Warming during the cool years prior to our Global Cooling push, we'll get a lot of credible voices saying: "It's more of a Global Cooling than GW". When the cry is just right, we can shift gears, and have the support of all of the credible scientists.

In the mean time, it is important to plant a few neutral-sounding, conservative-looking players in some key places and to help make them look neutral. Play them up with the press so that they're in the media files for reference. The Obama administration is a good time to do this, but the players must not have any public or recorded record of support for GW. Otherwise, the naysayers will claim flip-flop.

I think we should target the spring of 2010 for our GC launch, but if the spring is warm, let's just wait a year and enforce the GW side even more.

And we really need some support getting China and Russia signed up this time, as well as India. The best play in China and India is impending flooding - it works this way - the mountains will accumulate snow in the GC cycle, but if there happens to be a "normal" year, then we have massive flooding during the melt. Anyone got any ideas for Russia?

A key ploy will have to be the extension of the Arctic ice up to South America - we actually want to be able to claim that we'll lose that shipping route for most of the year, if not because of frozen passage, then at least because of the excess ice that makes navigation too dangerous.

>From a food perspective, the US will have to lead the way here - so if we claim that the GC will result in less than half of the harvested food crops, we'll increase the panic level.

Note that once the GC plan is in full swing, we can then start to claim that it is being accelerated by the anti-GW measures that were taken. This will really put a sense of urgency in place.

The GCS (Global Cooling Society) will be the head financial organization and will do marketing. Recommend that 0.5% of research funds go into "hiring" a GCS consultant. That may not seem like much, but given that GC will be perceived bigger than GW, we're likely talking about Billions of $ for marketing and getting those propaganda movies going. Don't worry if 1/2 the GCS funds make it to Hollywood - the exposure will multiply the funds 10-fold.

It's an ideal time to kick-start the fund by going to the next OPEC meeting and laying out our plan. This is worth 10s of Billions to them as the price of oil will finally soar through the $200 mark! They're currently worried about $20 dollar mark - so if we can have one or two volunteers who are expected to be at those meetings, please contact us at the GCS. But OPEC MUST NOT try to rush this... the time has to be right. We want a simple $2B to help kick start the GC campaign.
GrayMouser
4 / 5 (4) Jan 20, 2009

List of self appointed "experts" whose minds are already made up on global warming....

Documents related to the public comment process can be found at http://www.climat...ult.php.

Isn't it great to see science at work


1) I find it interesting that they have 2 IPCC contributors in their peer review pannel without having correspondingly rabid anti-AGW people.

2) They list 11 reviewers but state that they have responses by 12 people.

3) The responses never exceeded 1/2 of the 12 stated reviewers and went as low as 1 reviewer for one of the later chapters.

4) The reviews do not appear to approve or disapprove the paper. They are reviewing it for style and how they support their arguments. Normally, in an experimental subject, this would be a review of how meticulous the experimenters were and how well their conclusions track their experimental results. Since this isn't in that class of science, they critique their composition, spelling, and grammar.

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