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Archive for March 2020

Christiana Figueres: Well, that is, ironically, of course, the other side of this right? It may be good for climate. But I think because there is less trade, there’s less travel, there’s less commerce. Expect more disease outbreaks if we continue to deny, delude and delay on climate change. If we continue to eat animals, we will be poisoning ourselves and being the genesis of new diseases we have not seen before. 

RELATED POSTS ON THE RISE OF THE UN AS GLOBAL EPA 

  1. THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT FROM CALLENDAR TO GRETA
  2. AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY
  3. SDG: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
  4. THE IPCC IS AN AGENCY OF THE UN
  5. THE WMO IS AN AGENCY OF THE UN
  6. THE FAUX OZONE CRISIS AND THE BIRTH OF UN AS GLOBAL EPA

AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY | Thongchai Thailand

Can Guterres Turn the U.N.'s Bureaucrats Into Heroes?

Time to make the bureaucrats accountable - The Source

Remember when the ILO did labor, the FAO did agriculture, the WHO did health, the World Bank did infrastructure loans for developing countries, the WMO did Meteorology, and the UNDP did economic development of poor countries? Now they all do Climate. This post is an examination of this anomaly in terms of the structure and function of the UN that are not constrained and that contain no provision for accountability, oversight, discipline, or budgetary constraint. These structural flaws have created a rogue public service organization that serves itself and not the public and they make it possible for the UN to use its self declared global environmental authority to invent global environmental crises that inflate its budget and serve its bureaucratic needs

That the World Health Organization (WHO) is busy with climate change these days with predictions that climate change is causing starvation and malnutrition, is best understood in this context. The WHO is no longer a World Health Organization but an agency of the UN that takes its orders from Antonio Guterres the climate guy.

(1) IN THE BEGINNING: A history of world wars among nation states and the yearning for a global peace keeper to prevent such wars is the context that gave birth the the idea of a global peace keeper. This peacekeeper is envisioned as an independent body, representing all nation states but beholden to none, such that it can intervene, resolve disputes, and prevent war among nations. Yet, it should obvious that if these independence criteria are met, the peace keeping body becomes a public service organization with no mechanism for accountability, oversight or discipline, a condition well known to cultivate corruption and a self-serving agenda. The unanswered question is ” If we need a UN run by mortals to discipline nations run by mortals, who will discipline the mortals at the UN?

(2) CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS: It is well known and well established that public service organizations without adequate accountability, oversight, and discipline mechanisms in place serve themselves and not the public. This flaw in the global peace keeper idea has been overlooked. If the global peacekeeper body will discipline the world’s nation states, who will discipline the global peacekeeper? This question was asked by Henry Cabot Lodge a hundred years ago but it has since been forgotten and it remains to this day an unanswered question. This is the fundamental flaw in the global peacekeeper idea. It gave us the monster that is the UN.

(3) CONSEQUENCES OF STRUCTURAL WEAKNESS: Here we examine the consequences of this structural weakness with specific applications to the ambition of the United Nations to extend its role from global peacekeeper to that of a global environmental protection agency with the argument that certain global environmental issues transcend national boundaries and can only be assessed and controlled on a global basis. Here we argue that this extension of the function of a world peacekeeper is inconsistent with the idea of a world of humans that consists of independent nation states.

(4) THE PARIS AGREEMENT OF 1919: The global peacekeeper idea was born after the first global war in World-War-1 when the League of Nations was formed after the 14-points speech by progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1918 in which he envisioned a global body that would resolve disputes and prevent warfare. Henry Cabot Lodge (HCL) argued against the plan saying that such a powerful global body overseeing nation states without oversight and discipline by the nation states will end up subverting national sovereignty. Although the global peacekeeper idea was thus stalled in the US by the HCL argument, it created a great sense of euphoria and strong support for the Wilson proposal on the other side of the Atlantic where they had a hippie moment envisioning global love and peace. And that that led to the Paris Agreement of 1919 and the Geneva Covenant of 1920 and The League of Nations was thus created with a membership of 48 countries. History Dot Com writes that the League had a mixed record of success and failure, sometimes putting self-interest before becoming involved with conflict resolution, while also contending with governments that did not recognize its authority. It died peacefully during World War II which it had failed to prevent. [LINK TO HISTORY DOT COM] .

(5) AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR: The 2nd World War ended in 1945 and the idea of a global body to prevent future wars re-surfaced. Meetings of the victors were held to draft a charter for the new improved League of Nations to be called the United Nations this time. The failure of the League of Nations was attributed, not to too much power of a public service organization with inadequate supervision and accountability but to not enough power. The final decisive meeting that created the Charter for the United Nations was held in San Francisco in 1945. The UN we know today was thus created with an initial membership of 51 countries. The Charter lists 4 functions and duties of the United Nations. They are (1)Maintain international peace and security.  (2)Develop friendly relations among nations.  (3)Achieve international cooperation in solving international problems. (4)Be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

(6) FLAWS IN THE 1945 CHARTER CREATED AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY: This charter reveals two significant problems with regard to the accountability and oversight issue. It appears that these organizational weaknesses had been built into the structure and function of the UN at the very outset by the Charter itself. The UN was conceived for the single purpose of preventing future wars. That function is found in Charter-Item#1: Maintain international peace and security. The other three functions, #2, #3, and #4 having to do with “friendly relations”, “international cooperation”, “problem solving”, and “harmonizing actions” etc have been arbitrarily thrown in by the Charter writers and they are at the root of the structural flaws that have created the rogue organization we see today.

(7): PROBLEMS CREATED BY CHARTER ITEMS 2, 3, & 4: The problems created by Charter items #2, #3, and #4 are first, that they have expanded the role of the UN well beyond its conceptual definition as the prevention of warfare particularly with reference to world wars among multiple nations; and this fundamental structural expansion of this new public service organization was done without inserting anything in the Charter in terms of constraints, limits, accountability, oversight, and discipline measures. There is nothing in the Charter that draws the line beyond which the UN may not go. It says what they can do but does not say what they can’t do. This error is confounded by yet another fatal error in the charter: There is no oversight and accountability measure in the Charter. This combination of the absence of limits and the absence of oversight is a dangerous formula for public service organizations because it is a formula for rogue organizations.

(8) PUBLIC SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS WITHOUT OVERSIGHT & ACCOUNTABILITY SERVE THEMSELVES AND NOT THE PUBLIC. As a rule, in public service organizations, particularly so for unelected bodies, the powers, budget, and reach of the organization must be balanced against the accountability, oversight, and discipline (AOD) measures such that the greater the powers, reach, and budget the greater and more effective must be the AOD measures. Instead, what the Charter has done is to throw in arbitrary UN functions #2, #3, and #4 in vague language and with no corresponding AOD measures such that UN bureaucrats can interpret and extend these vague functions as they wish; and with no accountability. There are no constraints in the Charter. For example, it does not say that the UN must not violate national sovereignty of the member states such that the UN was able to launch the “Smart Cities” program in which it went around the Trump Administration’s rejection of the Paris Agreement to work directly with local government in the USA to implement the Paris Agreement.

(9) A rogue public service organization is here defined as one that serves its bureaucrats and not the public that it was formed to serve. An added weakness is that UN bureaucrats are appointed for the relatively long period of 5-year terms and often re-appointed multiple times. These terms should be greatly reduced with no possibility of re-appointment. The organization is funded by a few member states but the UN is not accountable to those taxpayers and the budget of the UN is not constrained. The unconstrained budget makes it possible for the UN to invent new functions and programs and will and pass the new expanded budget in the general assembly.  The function and reach of the UN are also not constrained by the Charter. The UN must be reformed in ways that it serves its constituents and not itself.

(10) THE IPCC IS AN AGENCY OF THE UN:  THE UN’S MISSION IS TO IMPOSE CLIMATE ACTION AND THE IPCC’S JOB IS TO PROVIDE A “SCIENTIFIC” RATIONALE FOR CLIMATE ACTION. THE EXPLANATION FOR THE ODDITY THAT ALL CLIMATE IMPACTS ARE BAD, THAT ALL BAD THINGS ARE CLIMATE IMPACTS, AND THAT IN THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE IMPACTS THERE ARE NO GOOD IMPACTS AND NO ATTRIBUTION FAILURES DUE TO UNCERTAINTY IS THAT IPCC SCIENCE IS NOT UNBIASED OBJECTIVE SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY BUT AGENDA DRIVEN TO PROVIDE THE RATIONALE NEEDED  BY THE UN FOR ITS PRE-DETERMINED CLIMATE ACTION AGENDA SUCH THAT THE CLIMATE ACTION MEASURES DEMANDED ARE NOT DERIVED FROM THE CLIMATE SCIENCE BUT RATHER,  IT IS THE CLIMATE SCIENCE THAT IS DERIVED FROM PRE-DETERMINED CLIMATE ACTION DEMANDS OF THE UN.  [LINK] .

(11) THE WMO IS AN AGENCY OF THE UN:  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released its State of the Climate report for 2018. The report begins with a statement by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres which states that: “The data released in this report give cause for great concern. The past four years were the warmest on record, with the global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline. These data confirm the urgency of climate action. This was also emphasized by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C. The IPCC found that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C will require rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities, and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching “net zero” around 2050. To promote greater global ambition on addressing climate change, I am convening a Climate Action Summit on 23 September. The Summit aims to mobilize the necessary political will for raising ambition as we work to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Specifically, I am calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020 and reach net zero emissions around mid-century. The Summit will also demonstrate transformative action in all the areas where it is needed. There is no longer any time for delay. I commend this report as an indispensable contribution to global efforts to avert irreversible climate disruption. (A. Guterres United Nations Secretary-General) [LINK]

(12) THE UN IS AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY: THE UNITED NATIONS IS AN UNCONSTRAINED BUREAUCRACY. It is financed mostly by taxpayers from a few donor countries but the large and growing bureaucracy is too far removed from those taxpayers to be directly accountable to them. It is run by unelected, unaccountable, undisciplined, and incompetent bureaucrats. The organization’s size, budget, and scope are unconstrained. The budget funding process provides perverse incentives for these bureaucrats to increase the size and scope of their organization simply by creating multitudes of agencies and programs, and by inventing problems and environmental crises set on a global scale. [LINK] .

REFORM PROPOSALS BY THE US CONGRESS

  1. Blanchfield, Luisa. United Nations reform: US policy and international perspectives. DIANE Publishing, 2010. Since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations has been in a constant state of transition as various international stakeholders seek ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. system. Recent controversies, such as corruption of the Iraq Oil-For-Food Program, allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, and instances of waste, fraud and abuse by U.N. staff, have focused renewed attention on the need for change and improvement of the United Nations. Many in the international community, including the United States, have increased pressure on U.N. member states to implement substantive reforms. The 111th Congress will most likely continue to focus on U.N. reform as it considers appropriate levels of U.S. funding to the United Nations and monitors the progress and implementation of ongoing and previously-approved reform measures. In September 2005, heads of U.N. member states met for the World Summit at U.N. Headquarters in New York to discuss strengthening the United Nations through institutional reform. The resulting Summit Outcome Document laid the groundwork for a series of reforms that included establishing a Peace-building Commission, creating a new Human Rights Council, and enlarging the U.N. Security Council. Member states also agreed to Secretariat and management reforms including improving internal U.N. oversight capacity, establishing a U.N. ethics office, enhancing U.N. whistle-blower protection, and reviewing all U.N. mandates five years or older.
  2. Blanchfield, Luisa. United Nations reform: background and issues for congress. Congressional Research Service, 2015 LuisaPDF Summary:  Since its establishment in 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) has undergone numerous reforms to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Recent controversies include corruption in the Iraq Oil-For-Food Program, allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, and instances of waste, fraud, and abuse by U.N. staff. There is an urgent need for the reform of the United Nations. The 114th Congress may focus on U.N. reform as it considers levels of U.S. funding to the United Nations and monitors the progress and implementation of reform measures. Some Members are particularly interested in U.N. Secretariat and management reform, with a focus on improving transparency and strengthening accountability and oversight. In the past, Congress has enacted legislation that links U.S. funding of the United Nations to specific U.N. reform benchmarks. Supporters of this strategy contend that the United Nations has been slow to implement reforms and that linking payment of U.S. assessments to progress on U.N. reform is the most effective way to motivate member states to efficiently pursue comprehensive reform. The World Summit at U.N. Headquarters in New York to discuss strengthening the United Nations through institutional reform.

Jamal Munshi: The United Nations: An Unconstrained Bureaucracy |  Tallbloke's Talkshop
United Nations wants 10% of entire planet's annual income in fund for  coronavirus response | News | LifeSite

PDF) The United Nations: An Unconstrained Bureaucracy

 

 

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RELATED POSTS ON ANTARCTICA

[LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK][LINK] [LINK] 

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE YOUTUBE LECTURE BY TBGY [LINK] ON THE URGENT NEED FOR A DECISIVE & COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AT COP26 IN GLASGOW TO MOVE THE GLOBAL ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS AND THUS HALT FOSSIL FUEL DRIVEN AGW CLIMATE CHANGE THAT WOULD OTHERWISE CAUSE CATASTROPHIC SEA LEVEL RISE BY MELTING THE THWAITES GLACIER IN WEST ANTARCTICA.

IT IS PRESENTED IN THREE PARTS. PART-1 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE. PART-2 IS A CRITICAL COMMENTARY. PART-3 IS A RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

 

 

PART-1: TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE

  1. Antarctica is so remote and extreme that it remains one of the last remaining regions of our planet we humans haven’t yet colonized. Snow storms with wind speeds of up to 200 mph and year-round temperatures as low as -80C and rarely above 0C make it so inhospitable that no human could stay there on any kind of permanent basis. The only visitors are these scientists who pitch up in the summer months to carry out their research. Antarctica is big. It is 30% bigger than Europe. This continent sized ice sheet is the biggest ice sheet on earth. It is about a mile thick on average and it contains more than 70% of all the fresh water that’s available on the planet.
  2. But researchers have been discovering that the climate in Antarctica is changing fast, much faster than the rest of the planet and faster even than previous model predictions. The proof of that is that on the 9th of February 2020, an air temperature of almost 21C was logged at Seymour Island over on the West Antarctic Peninsula. That is 4C warmer than the previous record of 19.8C in 1982; and it is consistent with the broader average trend of the Antarctic Peninsula of about 3C of warming since pre-industrial. A couple of thousand miles from Seymour Island, over in East Antarctica, the ice sheet sits high up on solid bedrock and barely moves at all. This stuff has been around for millions of years. But back over on West Antarctic, close to where those record air temperatures were recorded, the ice perches much more precariously on top of a series of islands that dip well below sea level. And it is in the remotest part of this icy wilderness that we find some of the world’s largest glaciers including the Thwaites Glacier, now being referred to by some glaciologists as The Doomsday Glacier. Why “The Doomsday Glacier”? Well, scientific researchers have known for some time that the melt rate of Thwaites is responsible for 4% of global sea level rise. And they also know that the warming climate is increasing the rate at which surface melting is occurring on the Thwaites glacier.
  3. There is another factor at play here. Around the same that the record temperatures were recorded on Seymour Island, A group of researchers from the UK and the US, on a significant long term research program called the Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (TGC) launched a temperature probe called ice fin 600 meters down to the bottom of the glacier to the point where it meets the ocean water. What that probe has now confirmed, is that unlike the waters at the surface which are at -2C at the cusp of the freezing point of sea water, the temperature of the ocean water now washing against the base of the glacier is +2C, above freezing. And that’s a pretty good temperature for melting ice.
  4. So what’s been causing such dramatic increases in air and water temperatures? And how much faster is Thwaites Glacier melting as a result? And what happens if the whole thing lets go?
  5. Here are a few fun facts about Thwaites Glacier just to get it warmed up. #1: It’s one of the biggest glaciers on the planet. It’s absolutely enormous. It is about the same size as Britain or the State of Florida. #2: I is very difficult to get to. It’s right on the very westernmost side of the least navigable part of the continent. It is more than a thousand miles to the nearest research station. And the intrepid scientists in the ??? division have setup a dedicated camp halfway down the length of the ??? just so the old propeller planes that carried them to the front edge could refuel before embarking on the last section of the flight. #3: Before the Thwaites Glacier Collaboration expedition got there, only four human beings had ever stood at the leading edge of the glacier. And those four people were the advance party for the expedition itself. #4: Thwaites Glacier sits like a giant plug at the front of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet potentially holding back the movement of even more glacial and land ice towards the ocean. #5: Satellite monitoring over the last couple of decades has shown that the rate of ice loss from the Thwaites Glacier has doubled.
  6. First of all, what does, what do the scientific researchers tell us is causing the warming of the deep waters? Well, it may not surprise you to hear that there is a climate change influence at play here. The movements of currents around the planet is governed by a complex and interlinked system known as the Thermohaline Circulation, sometimes called the great ocean conveyor belt. A look at the detail of how that system works is in an earlier episode [LINK] . Essentially, the Gulf Stream takes warm water across the Atlantic and up toward the Arctic region where the warm salty dense tropical water meets the colder fresher Arctic water, it sinks and gets caught up in the deep water Atlantic current system that takes it all the way to the Antarctic where some of it forms the Antarctic Circumpolar Current system which is a relatively warm water circulating around the entire continent of Antarctica hundreds of meter deep beneath an extremely cold layer of water above. Eventually by other mechanisms that are ???? the flow of water makes its way back up north and joins up with the Gulf Stream again and this continuous circuit is completed. There’s nothing new here. That ocean circulation has been going on for eons.
  7. What’s changed, according to the scientific researchers studying the effects that are going on down there is that a warming of the Pacific has shifted the wind pattern in the air streams above which in turn is changing flows of water and allowing the deep waters to come into contact much more with the continental shelf. The difference in temperature is only 2C or 3C, but like so many other aspects of climate change, because the scale is so vast, the effect can be very dramatic.
  8. So what about that air temperature rise then? Well, according to this Guardian report, the scientists that collect the data say the rise in temperature appears to be driven by a rise in ocean currents as well as an increase in frequency and strength of El Nino events bringing warmer air further south towards regions where it previously wouldn’t have reached. The impacts vary across Antarctica but the Antarctic Peninsula, so far being the most dramatically affected, Carlos Schaefer, who monitors the impact of climate change on permafrost and biology of 23 sites on the Antarctic, pointed out that the monitoring data from these areas could indicate what’s in store for other parts of the region. He said, it’s important to have sentinel areas like the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula because they can anticipate the developments that will happen in the future, the near future.
  9. In the case of Thwaites Glacier, which is about a hundred miles wide at its front edge, top sections of ice as big as two miles long can break off into the sea each year. The leading edges of the Antarctic glaciers build up over time and project forwards away from the land mass to create quite a precarious ice shelf. At their base, the glaciers attach to the land mass to the point the scientists call a grounding line. Under normal circumstances, erosion of the top and bottom cause bits of the glacier to shear off into the sea. Those icebergs freshen the surrounding water which drives deeper warmer water down pushing it toward the base of the glacier. That’s all part of the cycle of glacial renewal. It all happens extremely slowly and the volume of ice lost into the water is generally balanced out by the fresh new snowfall on the land building the glacial mass back up again. And so the cycle goes round and round more or less perpetually.
  10. The data from this latest expedition, including the temperature readings taken by the Ice Fin probe, show a mast faster erosion rate at the base as a result of greater levels of warmer water reaching the all important grounding line.
  11. According to Professor David Holland, one of the leading oceanographers on the Thwaites Glacier Collaboration expedition, that warmer water can increase melt rates by as much as a hundred fold. And as larger and larger sections drop of the front of the glacier as a consequence and leave behind thicker and thicker sections of shelf, gravity acts on these sections with the effect that they get pushed forward more quickly. So the more the glacier melts, say the scientific researchers, the faster the ice within the glacier is likely to flow out. And lo and behold we got ourselves another one of those pesky feedback loops that seem to be such a commonplace and prominent feature of our warming climate.
  12. So is the Thwaites Glacier likely to collapse any time soon? Unlikely, according to glaciologists; but they do warn us that the melting is speeding up fast enough for much of it to disappear in the coming decades and perhaps be gone completely within a century. With enough fresh water locked up in the Thwaites Glacier alone to raise the global sea level by 50cm. Doesn’t sound like much does it? But over the entire surface of the planet’s seas and oceans, that’s a big increase.
  13. Add to that the sea level rises we are already experiencing as a result of our warming atmosphere, and the level doubles to more like a meter. As well as the obvious effects on low lying coastal regions around the planet, these higher water levels will also vastly increase the regularity and severity of storms and storm surges.
  14. The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt spent some time with the expedition down in Antarctica and he spoke with Professor David Vaughn, Director of the British Antarctic Survey about what the effects might look like. Vaughn suggested that an increase of 50cm in sea levels will mean that thousand-year-storms will be arriving every 100 years or so; but at a meter of sea level rise, those millennial storms are likely to arrive once a decade.bandicam 2020-02-09 18-29-59-895
  15. Rising sea levels are not thought to be on track to affect about three times more people by 2050 than originally thought. A paper from scientists at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, suggests that 300 million homes will be affected by coastal flooding in the next 30 years and 630 million by the year 2100 if we remain in our current business as usual trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. bandicam 2020-03-17 10-27-09-292
  16. Yet another reason, if we needed any more, why this year’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will require an absolutely unanimous commitment from every participating nation and as many States as possible from the United States of America to a collaborative program of radical emission reductions with a focus on the rapid move away from fossil fuels and into low or zero carbon forms of energy production coupled with vast new infrastructure projects building distributed smart grids and energy storage facilities across the planet. And alongside that, if we are to keep global temperature rise below 2C above pre-industrial, we will also need global scale re-forestation and land regeneration so we can start taking carbon back out of the atmosphere and locking it up in our natural ecosystem. If we achieve that, it will be the biggest coordinated global effort since the Second World War, and it will represent a generation’s worth of work with millions of new jobs being created as a result. bandicam 2020-03-17 10-40-44-997

 

 

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. About the high temperature events on the Antarctic Peninsula: AGW climate change is a theory about long term trends in global mean surface temperature. Localized and isolated temperature events have no interpretation in terms of AGW particularly so when they are more readily explained in terms of known natural phenomena such as Foehn winds and geothermal heat that are known to cause such events. Both of these phenomena of nature are found in West Antarctica and particularly so in the region of the Antarctic Peninsula where Seymour Island is located. Some details of these temperature phenomena and the remarkable absence of long term warming trends in the South Polar Region are described in these related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] . Without further evidence, these extreme temperature events do not show that “the climate in Antarctica is changing fast, much faster than the rest of the planet”. foehn-2
  2. It is not true that the only visitors to Antarctica are scientists. The greater and more frequent number of visitors by far are tourists, mostly from South America. The South Shetland Island located in the Antarctic Peninsula is home to the Deception Island Collapse Caldera where the volcano there had erupted so violently that the center of it collapsed and became filled with sea water that is kept at a hot spring temperature by geothermal heat because that volcano is still active. This Deception Island Collapse Caldera draws a large number of tourists during the austral summer. The tourists like to soak in the steaming hot water of the collapse caldera.  collapse-lake
  3. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier dips down into warm ocean water more than 600 meters below and that this contact with warm ocean water is the cause of the observed ice mass losses from the glacier. However, the real question here is the source of the energy that warms the deep ocean in an otherwise cold ocean on the surface and the surface layers. It may be argued that the source of this heat is the warm water of the tropics that is transferred to Antarctica by the Conveyor Belt ocean circulation system in a journey of more than 20,000 km that takes it from the Tropics to the North Atlantic where it sinks and then along the bottom of the ocean to the Antarctic where it discharges the heat from the tropics into the Circumpolar Deep Water Circulation (CDWC). However, in a highly geologically active area such as West Antarctica and the Antarctic Ocean, a role for geothermal heat cannot be ignored as recent research papers on the Circumpolar Deepwater Circulation have pointed to significant geothermal heat sources on the sea floor that offer a more ready explanation for the warmth of the CDWC as can be seen in the papers cited below.
  4. The geological activity In West Antarctica and the Antarctic Ocean are described in a related post [LINK] where we see the important role of the West Antarctic Rift system and the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume in the interpretation ocean temperature and ice melt in this region. In particular, the ice melt in the Thwaites Glacier should be understood in terms of the active volcanoes underneath the glacier [LINK] .

 

SUMMARY

IN LIGHT OF SIGNIFICANT GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF WEST ANTARCTICA AND THE ANTARCTIC OCEAN , THE USE OF AGW HEAT TRANSFERRED FROM THE TROPICS TO THE CIRCUMPOLAR DEEP WATER CIRCULATION OF THE ANTARCTIC OCEAN TO EXPLAIN ICE MELT PHENOMENA THERE IN TERMS OF AGW LIKELY DERIVES FROM AN EXTREME FORM OF THE ATMOSPHERE BIAS OF CLIMATE SCIENCE SUCH THAT OCEAN TEMPERATURE AND ICE MELT PHENOMENA IN A GEOLOGICALLY ACTIVE AREA WITH EXTENSIVE SOURCES OF GEOTHERMAL HEAT ARE INTERPRETED IN TERMS OF AGW DRIVEN BY FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS TO PROPOSE THAT THESE MELT PHENOMENA CAN BE MODERATED WITH CLIMATE ACTION AT THE COP26 MEETING TO ELIMINATE THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS. 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

GEOTHERMAL WARMING OF CIRCUMPOLAR DEEP WATER CIRCULATION

  1. Mashayek, A., et al. “The role of the geothermal heat flux in driving the abyssal ocean circulation.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.12 (2013): 3144-3149[FULL TEXT]  The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the geothermal heat flux (GHF) from the solid Earth into the ocean plays a non‐negligible role in determining both abyssal stratification and circulation strength. Based upon an ocean data set, we show that the map of upward heat flux at the ocean floor is consistent (within a factor of 2) with the ocean floor age‐dependent map of GHF. The observed buoyancy flux above the ocean floor is consistent with previous suggestions that the GHF acts to erode the abyssal stratification and thereby enhances the strength of the abyssal circulation. Idealized numerical simulations are performed using a zonally averaged single‐basin model which enables us to address the GHF impact as a function of the depth dependence of diapycnal diffusivity. We show that ignoring this vertical variation leads to an under‐prediction of the influence of the GHF on the abyssal circulation. Independent of the diffusivity profile, introduction of the GHF in the model leads to steepening of the Southern Ocean isopycnals and to strengthening of the eddy‐induced circulation and the Antarctic bottom water cell. The enhanced circulation ventilates the GHF derived heating to shallow depths, primarily in the Southern Ocean.
  2. Downes, Stephanie M., et al.  [LINK] “The transient response of southern ocean circulation to geothermal heating in a global climate model.” Journal of Climate 29.16 (2016): 5689-5708.  Model and observational studies have concluded that geothermal heating significantly alters the global overturning circulation and the properties of the widely distributed Antarctic Bottom Water. Here two distinct geothermal heat flux datasets are tested under different experimental designs in a fully coupled model that mimics the control run of a typical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) climate model. The regional analysis herein reveals that bottom temperature and transport changes, due to the inclusion of geothermal heating, are propagated throughout the water column, most prominently in the Southern Ocean, with the background density structure and major circulation pathways acting as drivers of these changes. While geothermal heating enhances Southern Ocean abyssal overturning circulation by 20%–50%, upwelling of warmer deep waters and cooling of upper ocean waters within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region decrease its transport by 3–5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The transient responses in regional bottom temperature increases exceed 0.1°C. The large-scale features that are shown to transport anomalies far from their geothermal source all exist in the Southern Ocean. Such features include steeply sloping isopycnals, weak abyssal stratification, voluminous southward flowing deep waters and exported bottom waters, the ACC, and the polar gyres. Recently the Southern Ocean has been identified as a prime region for deep ocean warming; geothermal heating should be included in climate models to ensure accurate representation of these abyssal temperature changes.
  3. Barnes, Jowan M., et al. “Idealised modelling of ocean circulation driven by conductive and hydrothermal fluxes at the seabed.” Ocean Modelling 122 (2018): 26-35[FULL TEXT]   Geothermal heating is increasingly recognised as an important factor affecting ocean circulation, with modelling studies suggesting that this heat source could lead to first-order changes in the formation rate of Antarctic Bottom Water, as well as a significant warming effect in the abyssal ocean. Where it has been represented in numerical models, however, the geothermal heat flux into the ocean is generally treated as an entirely conductive flux, despite an estimated one third of the global geothermal flux being introduced to the ocean via hydrothermal sources.

    A modelling study is presented which investigates the sensitivity of the geothermally forced circulation to the way heat is supplied to the abyssal ocean. An analytical two-dimensional model of the circulation is described, which demonstrates the effects of a volume flux through the ocean bed. A simulation using the NEMO numerical general circulation model in an idealised domain is then used to partition a heat flux between conductive and hydrothermal sources and explicitly test the sensitivity of the circulation to the formulation of the abyssal heat flux. Our simulations suggest that representing the hydrothermal flux as a mass exchange indeed changes the heat distribution in the abyssal ocean, increasing the advective heat transport from the abyss by up to 35% compared to conductive heat sources. Consequently, we suggest that the inclusion of hydrothermal fluxes can be an important addition to course-resolution ocean models.

  4. Downes, Stephanie M., et al. “Hydrothermal heat enhances abyssal mixing in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.” Geophysical Research Letters 46.2 (2019): 812-821.  [LINK]  Upwelling in the world’s strongest current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is thought to be driven by wind stress, surface buoyancy flux, and mixing generated from the interaction between bottom currents and rough topography. However, the impact of localized injection of heat by hydrothermal vents where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current interacts with mid‐ocean ridges remains poorly understood. Here a circumpolar compilation of helium and physical measurements are used to show that while geothermal heat is transferred to the ocean over a broad area by conduction, heat transfer by convection dominates near hydrothermal vents. Buoyant hydrothermal plumes decrease stratification above the vent source and increase stratification to the south, altering the local vertical diffusivity and diapycnal upwelling within 500 m of the sea floor by an order of magnitude. Both the helium tracer and stratification signals induced by hydrothermal input are advected by the flow and influence properties downstream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The pre-flood and pre-coal world was marked by abundance, health, and prosperity. The average human lifespan lasted many hundreds of years, and the climate across the globe was temperate and pleasant. Unfortunately, mankind took advantage of this blissful lifestyle, and the use of dirty coal dug up from under the ground became rampant.
  2. The carbon in coal, though made innocently with plant photosynthesis, is made with carbon that was taken out of the atmosphere millions of years ago. And since the Coal Revolution of the Preflood World, man had been taking coal out of the ground and using it for fuel. The burning of coal has released very very old carbon back into the atmosphere a lot faster than the plants and the oceans can take it out of the atmosphere. Bit by bit it was moving atmospheric CO2 up from 280 ppm in the blissful pre-flood pre-coal days to above 400 ppm.
  3. But, with the exception of a few select Environmentally-Conscious and Planet-Loving individuals, the society that indulged in coal burning was led down the wrong path into climate denial, idolatry, and incest. This all came to a head in the year 1536 of Creation (2225 BCE), when God put together His Incest Action Plan and foretold of the horrible events that would come to pass in terms of floods, drought, killer storms, wildfires, and sea level rise if the Incest Budget of the Paris Incest Agreement Plan was not obeyed.
  4. NOAA is a righteous and upright climate science organization and God instructed NOAA on what to do about the sea level rise issue. He told NOAA that the only way to save the planet was to build an Ark large enough to hold two of each species on earth including humans and to put them all on the Ark which will float on the sea level rise. God gave exact instructions on how the ark was to be built. It was to comprise three stories: the top for NOAA climate scientists and their families; the middle for the human couple to be saved and for the animals; and the bottom for trash to ensure that no plastic shall be left behind in the ocean. It was to measure 300 cubits in length, 50 cubits in width, and 30 in height.  Electric power for the ark would be provided by wind turbines so the ark can have light and heat and power for air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, and microwave ovens.
  5. It took NOAA climate scientists 120 days to build the Ark, allowing plenty of time for onlookers to query their actions and for them to be told of the impending sea level rise and to cut emissions from coal burning but unfortunately, such climate action never came to pass. Finally, in the year 1656 (2105 BCE), The West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrated and collapsed just as NOAA had foretold and rapid and irreversible sea level rise began just as NOAA had foretold and which the climate deniers and sinners had denied.
  6. After the seventeenth day of the collapse of the WAIS the sea level  rose steadily and irreversibly for forty decades until the face of the earth was entirely submerged, covering the summits of the highest mountains. Finally, the sea level rise subsided, but the waters continued to churn under violent tropical cyclones of unprecedented intensity and destructiveness that had formed in all six cyclone basins. After this period of time, the oceans were calm and the sea slowly began to return to its pre-Flood and pre-coal level.
  7. NOAA sent out a raven and then a dove on a mission to survey the earth and to report on the sea level and climate condition of the planet and the birds returned with positive signs indicating that the planet and the climate had stabilized. It was thus that on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei of the year 1657 (2104 BCE), the sea level and the climate had fully returned to their pre-Flood pre-coal conditions so that NOAA and the breeding pairs of all the species on earth including humans disembarked to begin the long task of re-populating the earth.

noah1

noah2

 

IT TURNS OUT THERE IS A BOOK [LINK]   

SAME TITLE, DIFFERENT MESSAGE

NOAASARK

THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL MESSAGE AS SEEN ON AMAZON.COM

This book is a history of lies, deceptive practices, and administrative abuses that have been perpetrated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) throughout its existence. 

 

 

 

AND AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER, WE HAVE THIS 

NOAHSARK2

NOAA’s Ark: The five members of NOAA’s Ark Team are: Adam Ornstein, Troy Owens, Dmitriy Polyakov, Michael Tanksalava, John Trytko. Our Capstone project will entail creating an Open Cavity Phase Shift Cavity Ringdown instrument in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A Phase Shift Cavity Ringdown instrument uses a laser reflecting between two mirrors to determine properties of the medium through which it is propagating. By measuring the phase shift of the laser through the cavity relative to the initial phase, the instrument can discriminate between different mediums, such as air, nitrogen, smoke, aerosol particles, etc. The instrument should be able to measure and record a phase shift, be able to align its internal optics, and should be compact, portable, and easy to use. This instrument will be used to measure density of aerosol particles, such as pollution, or as a reference for the calibration of other instruments.

Apparently an NOAA funded research project at The University of Colorado Boulder.

 

PS: I went to school just down the road at The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado Where the West Remains

golden

 

THIS POST IS A PRESENTATION OF THE FINDINGS IN A 2017 PAPER [LINK] BY PROFESSOR YIM WYSS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG WHERE SURFACE TEMPERATURE PHENOMENA, NORMALLY UNDERSTOOD ONLY IN TERMS OF THE ATMOSPHERIC FORCINGS OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE, ARE EXAMINED IN TERMS OF GEOLOGICAL CLIMATE FORCINGS AS PROPOSED BY JAMES EDWARD KAMIS [LINK][LINK]

ring-of-firepapua

  1. WYSS 2017: The 2017 paper “Geothermal Heat: An Episodic Heat Source in Oceans by Professor Yim Wyss of the University of Hong Kong  provides more details for the thesis first proposed by James Edward Kamis [LINK] in 2014 and described in a related post on this site [LINK] that an understanding of the El Nino and other anomalous ocean warming events is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of known geothermal forcings. Dr Wyss acknowledges that “the sun is the first order driver of climate” but emphasizes the importance of second order drivers such as geothermal heat when they offer a better explanation for regional variations in climate not explained by AGW climate change theory.
  2. Specifically, in this study, Dr. Wyss tests the James Kamis theory  that the El Nino and The Blob ocean warming anomalies of the Pacific Ocean are driven by geothermal heat [LINK] . The unusually strong El Nino events of 1998 and 2016 created not only local warming in the South Pacific location of its origin but also sufficiently high global mean surface temperature for climate science to claim these years as  the “hottest on record” that are claimed to provide the needed evidence of AGW climate change and the need for climate action.
  3. Dr Wyss writes that the geologically active region known as the Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire (diagram above) contains 75% of the world’s active volcanoes. As such this region contains significant geothermal heat sources to create the two monster El Nino warming events noted above as well as the so called “Northern Pacific Blob”, a large mass of water that is warmer than the surrounding water (shown in red). blob
  4. Currently, geological forcing of climate by way of plate tectonics is not taken into account as there appears to be a strong atmosphere bias in the climate science of AGW climate change. Yet, the data show a significant association between sub-marine geological activity and El Nino ocean warming [LINK] . The Wyss paper identifies three significant volcanic eruptions under the Pacific Ocean from 2013 to 2015 leading up to the exceptionally strong 2015/2016 El Nino that was the longest running El Nino event of this century.
  5. The first two volcanic eruptions were initially submarine but burst into the atmosphere after creating new islands. The third eruption was a monster that broke through to the atmosphere with explosive basaltic lava flows at a temperature of 1000C. The significant impacts of these events were record high sea surface temperature in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, record high summer temperatures in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, acceleration of Arctic sea ice loss that fall, and catastrophic ecological events of the time including coastal algal blooms and coral bleachings. These geological events are listed below.
  6. 2013: March: Submarine eruption of the Nishino-Shima volcano with warming of sea surface temperature. November: sub-aerial eruption of Nishino-Shima and a new island is formed adjacent to Nishino-Shima. This island later grew to more than 200 times its initial size. Nov-Dec: A patch of warm surficial water spread into the Gulf of Alaska and formed the Northern Pacific Blob helping to create the high pressure condition called the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge2014: February: SST 2.5C above normal. June: The blob, reaching a size of 1600 km by 1600 km and 91 meters deep, spread to the coast of North America from Alaska to Mexico. July-September: the peak of this event with over 9 million cubic km at its peak with rapid Arctic sea ice melt. December: Submarine and sub-aerial eruption of Hunga-Tonga volcano. Throughout the year: Episodic eruption of Nishino-Shima with lava flows. 2015January:  Coral bleaching in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef.  March: Severe Tropical Storm PAM, Vanuatu’s worst natural disaster. May-June: Eruption of the Wolf Volcano in the Galapagos. wolf
  7. The conditions listed above contributed to the strong 2015-2016 El Nino event. Of the eruptions listed, the most powerful in terms of geothermal heat released was the Nishino-Shima volcano located 940 km south of Tokyo. The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) was near the top of the VEI scale. The continued growth of the new island next to Nishino-Shima with episodic lava flows implies much greater geothermal heat flows than inferred from the eruption events and explains the long sustained blob which had reached a maximum area of 9 million square km in a region stretching from Alaska to Mexico. The record Arctic sea ice melt in the summer and fall of 2014-2015 is best explained in terms of this very warm and very large blob that had extended all the way to the Gulf of Alaska that is connected to the Arctic Sea through the Bering Strait and the Chukchi sea .  svalbard-1
  8. The second eruption of the Hunga-Tonga volcano lasted from November 2014 to January 2015. The volcanic explosivity intensity was estimated as VEI=2 based on the volume of erupted materials and a plume height of 7 to 10 km. The large quantities of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water from the long eruption caused an algal bloom and a red tide that caused some alarm in its AGW climate change interpretation. The Wolf volcano in the Galapagos erupted from May 25 to June 2, 2015 with VEI=4 achieved mostly because of the large amount of sub-aerially erupted materials. The SST pattern for this period recorded by NOAA satellites matches the geographical pattern of these three volcanoes (Nishino-Shima, Hunga-Tonga, and Wolf).  bandicam 2020-03-15 09-58-56-709

 

SUMMARY:  THE WYSS 2017 PAPER PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF A SIGNIFICANT ROLE OF GEOLOGICAL FORCES IN THE UNDERSTANDING OF OCEANIC TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES CONSISTENT WITH CLAIMS BY JAMES EDWARD KAMIS THAT GEOLOGICAL FORCES CANNOT BE IGNORED IN THE STUDY OF THE EARTH’S SURFACE TEMPERATURE PHENOMENA. IN THIS LIGHT THE EXCLUSIVE RELIANCE OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE ON ATMOSPHERIC FORCING IN THE STUDY OF CLIMATE IN GENERAL AND OCEANIC TEMPERATURES IN PARTICULAR IMPLY AN ATMOSPHERE BIAS THAT LIKELY HINDERS THE ABILITY OF THIS SCIENCE TO PROVIDE A CONSISTENT AND CREDIBLE EXPLANATION OF SURFACE TEMPERATURE PHENOMENA. {LINKS TO RELATED POSTS [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]  [LINK]  [LINK] }

 

POSTSCRIPT#1: ANOTHER PAPER FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

Here is a 2007 research paper from the University of Hong Kong about the Coronavirus I found on the Rafe Champion site [LINK] .

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection: Vincent C. C. Cheng, Susanna K. P. Lau, Patrick C. Y. Woo, and Kwok Yung Yuen, State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

  1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a novel virus that caused the first major pandemic of the new millennium (89, 180, 259). The rapid economic growth in southern China has led to an increasing demand for animal proteins including those from exotic game food animals such as civets. Large numbers and varieties of these wild game mammals in overcrowded cages and the lack of biosecurity measures in wet markets allowed the jumping of this novel virus from animals to human (353, 376). Its capacity for human-to-human transmission, the lack of awareness in hospital infection control, and international air travel facilitated the rapid global dissemination of this agent. Over 8,000 people were affected, with a crude fatality rate of 10%. The acute and dramatic impact on health care systems, economies, and societies of affected countries within just a few months of early 2003 was unparalleled since the last plague. The small reemergence of SARS in late 2003 after the resumption of the wildlife market in southern China and the recent discovery of a very similar virus in horseshoe bats, bat SARS-CoV, suggested that SARS can return if conditions are fit for the introduction, mutation, amplification, and transmission of this dangerous virus (45, 190, 215, 347). Here, we review the biology of the virus in relation to the epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, animal models or hosts, and options for treatment, immunization, and infection control.
  2. SARS-CoV is one of 36 coronaviruses in the family Coronaviridae within the order Nidovirales. Members of the Coronaviridae are known to cause respiratory or intestinal infections in humans and other animals (Fig. 1). Despite a marked degree of phylogenetic divergence from other known coronaviruses, SARS-CoV together with bat SARS-CoV are now considered group 2b coronaviruses (190, 282). Primary isolation of SARS-CoV was achieved by inoculation of patients’ specimens into embryonal monkey kidney cell lines such as FRhK-4 or Vero E6 cell lines, which produced cytopathic changes at foci, where cells become round and refractile within 5 to 14 days (259). These initial cytopathic changes spread throughout the cell monolayers, leading to cell detachment within 24 to 48 h. Subcultures can be made on Vero (monkey kidney), Huh-7 (liver cancer) (301), CACO-2 (colonic carcinoma) (79) or other colorectal cancer, MvLu (mink lung epithelial) (104), and POEK and PS (pig) cell lines (122). Transmission electron microscopy of infected cell lines showed characteristic coronavirus particles within dilated cisternae of rough endoplasmic reticulum and double-membrane vesicles. Clusters of extracellular viral particles adhering to the surface of the plasma membrane were also seen. Negatively stained electron microscopy showed viral particles of 80 to 140 nm with characteristic surface projections of surface proteins from the lipid envelope (89, 180, 259). SARS-CoV has a higher degree of stability in the environment than other known human coronaviruses. It can survive for at least 2 to 3 days on dry surfaces at room temperature and 2 to 4 days in stool. The electron microscopic appearance and genome order of 5-replicase (Orf1ab)-structural proteins (spike [S]-envelope [E]-membrane [M]-nucleocapsid [N])-poly(T)-3 are similar to those of other members of the Coronaviridae (236). Similar to other coronaviruses, it is an enveloped positive-sense singlestranded RNA virus with a genome size of almost 30 kb. The genome is predicted to have 14 functional open reading frames (ORFs) (290). Their functions and putative roles are outlined in Table 1. Two large 5 terminal ORFs, ORFs 1a and 1b, encode 16 nonstructural proteins, 7 of which are likely to be involved in the transcription and replication of the largest genome among all RNA viruses (92, 95, 158, 166, 242, 284, 309,
    316, 343, 414). The two proteases are involved in post translational
    proteolytic processing of the viral polyprotein.  {LINK TO FULL TEXT PDF 2007-Coronavirus-warning }

 

 

POSTSCRIPT#2: DEEP OCEAN VIDEOS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A RECENT ASSESSMENT BY PAUL RONALDS OF SAVE-THE-CHILDREN-AUSTRALIA [LINK] OF HORRIFIC IMPACTS OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE IN BANGLADESH PRESENTED IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT. 

PAULRONALDS

 

 

PART-1: THE PAUL RONALDS ASSESSMENT

Bangladesh is a country of 165 million people with a land mass two-thirds the size of Victoria of which 80% is a floodplain. The country is at the existential pointy end of the climate emergency. As sea levels rise and more water flows down the country’s many rivers due to ice melts in the Himalayas; and as cyclones in the Bay of Bengal become more severe, flooding in this already very flood-prone part of the world will only increase. Stronger storms push higher seas further inland, rendering barren the regional food bowl. The damage wrought by climate change is different from their prior environmental hardships because the climate change impacts are permanent. The social and economic effects of climate change are already significant and highly visible and will be devastating if allowed to continue. Displacement is a major issue and becoming more so. Many Bangladeshis impacted by these environmental changes in other parts of the country are moving to the capital, Dhaka, already one of the most densely populated mega-cities in the world. This teeming city struggles to cope with the current influx and the slums are already home to 40 per cent of the population. According to the International Organization for Migration, up to 70 per cent of the slums’ residents are effectively environmental refugees. Basic public services like education and health care are stretched. Sewage runs freely and diseases spread quickly in impossibly cramped conditions.

 

PART-2A: HISTORICAL CONTEXT: OLDER NEWS ITEMS

  1. 2004: An unprecedented 4-year study of the Arctic shows that Arctic summer sea ice may disappear entirely and combined with a rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet, it will raise the sea level 3 feet by 2100 inundating Bangladesh.
  2. 2007: Climate scientists say that at the current rate of increase in the use of fossil fuels, the sea level would rise by 7 meters in 100 years and devastate low-lying countries like Bangladesh.
  3. 2008: In May 2008 Cyclone Nargis, with unremarkable maximum wind speeds of 100 mph, struck Myanmar and caused a freak storm surge that went up the Irrawaddy River and killed 140,000 people. Climate science claimed this event as an impact climate change. This assessment created widespread panic in the region with Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, and India all forecasting and fearing Nargis-like storm surges.
  4. 2009: Man-made global warming is causing Greenland’s glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. By the year 2100 all the ice there will have melted causing a calamitous rise in the sea level that will inundate Bangladesh.
  5. 2009: Bangladeshis displaced by Cyclone Sidr in 2007 are “climate refugees” because they have been rendered homeless by a climate change event that was caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and it suggests that cyclones like Sidr will continue to ravage this poverty stricken nation unless we forge a plan in Copenhagen and do away with fossil fuels.
  6. 2010: Climate science says that fossil fueled global warming is causing ice to melt and sea levels to rise and that the destruction that this process can cause is already evident in that the ocean has taken back an island from Bangladesh. Moore Island or Talpatti in local language, has disappeared under the sea due to climate change.

 

PART-2B: HISTORICAL CONTEXT: CURRENT NEWS  ITEMS

  1. UNICEF 2019  [LINK]  : Devastating floods & cyclones linked to climate change are threatening 19 million children in Bangladesh. Climate change is deepening the environmental threat faced by families in Bangladesh’s poorest communities. Climate change has the potential to reverse many of the gains that the country has made in child survival and development. Bangladesh’s flat topography, dense population and weak infrastructure make it vulnerable to climate change. Extreme weather events, such as flooding, storm surges, cyclones , sea level rise and salt water intrusion are forcing families deeper into poverty and displacement. The flooding of the Brahmaputra River in 2017 inundated 480 community health clinics and damaged 50,000 tube wells. 4.5 million children live in coastal areas regularly struck by powerful cyclones. Farming suffers increasing periods of drought. Climate Change is pushing poorer Bangladeshis to abandon their homes and communities and and become climate refugees in Dhaka and other cities where children are exploited. There are now 6 million climate migrants in Bangladesh.
  2. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 2019 [LINK] : Bangladesh is densely populated and subjected to  tropical storms, flooding, and other natural disasters and climate change is accelerating thee old forces of destruction, creating new patterns of displacement and chaotic urbanization. US foreign aid has not done enough to combat climate change-induced migration. In terms of climate change driven migration. Climate change is disrupting traditional rain patterns with droughts in some areas and floods in others.Climate change driven heavy runoff from the Himalaya Mountains cause flooding and riverbank erosion. Sea-level rise is pushing saltwater into coastal agricultural areas and submerging large swaths of land. 700,000 Bangladeshis are displaced on average each year by Climate Change disasters with a higher number during cyclone years as in Cyclone Aila in 2009. Overall, the number of Bangladeshis displaced by climate change could reach 13.3 million by 2050. People flee vulnerable coastal areas for urban slums in densely populated megacities particularly Dhaka that are fraught with extreme poverty.
  3. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 2017 [LINK] :  There is an unfolding tragedy of Climate Change in Bangladesh where a 3-foot rise in sea level would submerge 20% of the country and displace 30 million people. Here, the impact of climate change is obvious with unprecedented human tragedy with  16 million climate change refugees in decrepit slums. Cyclone Roanu struck in May 2016, washing away homes and ruining croplands with salt deposits. Bare rock in the high Himalayas is a reminder that climate change caused a long-term decline in snowpack in the Himalayas, which exacerbates flooding Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries on earth. Sea surface temperatures in the shallow Bay of Bengal have significantly increased, which, scientists believe, has caused Bangladesh to suffer some of the fastest recorded sea level rises in the world. Storm surges from more frequent and stronger cyclones push walls of water 50 to 60 miles up the Delta’s rivers. At the same time, melting of glaciers and snow-pack in the Himalayas, which hold the third largest body of snow on Earth, has swollen the rivers that flow into Bangladesh from Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. So too have India’s water policies. India diverts large quantities of water for irrigation during the dry season and releases most water during the monsoon season. In an ‘average’ year, one quarter of the country is inundated. Every four to five years, “there is a severe flood that may cover over 60% of the country.” Rapid erosion of coastal areas has inundated dozens of islands in the Bay. Sandwip Island shrank 90% in the last two decades. Climate change in Bangladesh caused the largest mass migration in human history. The population of what the islands exceeds four million. The Bangladesh climate calamity demands a response from the international community to help with construction of roads, power plants, water supply systems, housing and other infrastructure to help these climate refugees to remain and thrive in their own country.
  4. UNITED NATIONS [LINK] : The fishing industry in southern Bangladesh was badly affected when cyclone Sidr hit in November 2007. Winds of up to 250 km/hr lashed the coastline and beyond. It was one of the worst disasters the country has ever witnessed because Climate Change is making the weather pattern here worse. It is having a devastating effect on communities in one of the poorest nations in the world. In the Southern Burguna District, at least 2,500 people suffered when the cyclone struck. Boats stand idle with many of them damaged or without their owners because many died in the disaster. Around 1,500 trawlers were affected. Shiraz and his family are struggling to cope. He lost his boat and was hit by a tree while trying to get to land in the stormy weather. He has a hip fracture and he remains injured. The family like many others here are now dependent on aid.
  5. YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF DOOM: A large number of Youtube videos have claimed that Bangladesh is going under water and its land area is shrinking due to climate change in spite of the reality that the delta is actually growing. Here is a link  [LINK] where we find that “The rivers that drain into Bangladesh deposit more than 500 million tonnes of sediment each year. Many islands do disappear but new ones emerge. In fact, more land is gained than lost. In this context, the formation of a single island in the 1970s and its disappearance 30 or so years later are not remarkable and do not have any implications with respect to the supposedly catastrophic effects of carbon dioxide emissions. Only a measurable trend in a reduction of the total land area of Bangladesh over a period of many years could be presented as evidence of such a global event. These data have not been presented possibly because the delta is actually growing – not shrinking. The rate of growth is estimated to be over 12 square miles per year. These data are not consistent with the idea that a rising sea level caused by carbon dioxide emissions is inundating Bangladesh. In any event, the claim that the sea level is set to rise by one meter by the year 2050 is at odds with more recent press releases by the IPCC in which even the modest forecast of a rise of 59cm by the year 2100 has been withdrawn along with a slew of retractions after flaws in their science became widely publicized.

 

THE REALITY IS THAT THE COUNTRY IS BOOMING IN SPITE OF ITS RISING DIRECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT RISK CREATED BY REPEATED FALSE ALARMS OF DEVASTATION BY CLIMATE CHANGE. [LINK]

The momentum behind Bangladesh's economic growth continues to build

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE CLAIM THAT HUMAN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS  HAVE ENDANGERED THE SURVIVAL OF THE COMMON WHELK (B undatum) IN THE MID ATLANTIC BIGHT BY WAY OF RISING OCEAN HEAT CONTENT IN THAT REGION CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING. SOURCE: “Borsetti, S., Munroe, D., Rudders, D. et al. Timing of the reproductive cycle of waved whelk, Buccinum undatum, on the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Bight. Helgol Mar Res 74, 5 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10152-020-00537-6” [LINK] 

 

THE POST IS PRESENTED IN THREE PARTS.

PART-1 IS A SUMMARY OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE CLAIMS MADE IN THE BORSETTI 2020 PAPER. PART-2 IS A SUMMARY OF THE BORSETTI 2017 SEASONAL CYCLE PAPER. PART-3 IS A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE BORSETTI 2020 PAPER

THE MID ATLANTIC BIGHT REGIONbight

 

NORTH ATLANTIC SHELF TEMPERATURE SEASONAL CYCLE

 

 

PART-1: THE BORSETTI 2020 AGW CLIMATE CHANGE PAPER

  1. Climate change could threaten the survival and development of common whelk—a type of sea snail—in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a study led by scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. The common, or waved, whelk (B undatum) is an important commercial species that has been harvested for decades in Europe and Canada for bait and human consumption. Its habitat within the mid-Atlantic region is one of the Earth’s fastest warming marine areas and annual fluctuations in the bottom temperature are among the most extreme on the planet due to unique oceanographic conditions.
  2. Climate change will result in higher temperatures and that’s a problem because temperatures are closely linked to the whelk’s spawning cycle and temperature increases could threaten its survival. This is the first time the species’ annual reproductive cycle in the mid-Atlantic has been documented.  Previous studies showed that the common whelk, a cold-water species, has some resilience to warmer temperatures but rising temperatures may have a negative impact on whelk survival, recruitment, development and growth.
  3. Commercial fishermen are interested in developing a fishery for this species in the mid-Atlantic. Whelk fisheries have expanded in many countries, resulting in a global increase in whelk landings over the last 20 years. But whelk have highly variable traits, such as reproductive timing, that need to be studied before intense fishing begins because the species is vulnerable to over-exploitation and that could happen if fishery managers assume populations are uniform throughout its habitat.
  4. The resilience of whelk comes with a trade-off: fewer offspring, which can negatively impact the whelk population and fisheries landings. Previous research examined traits such as the size whelk reach in maturity, sex ratio and abundance. For the study on whelk reproduction, the team caught 602 whelk off the coast from Cape May County to the Delmarva Peninsula from January 2017 to September 2017. The study examined fluctuations in whelk body metrics, gonad weights and sea-bottom temperatures.

 

 

PART-2: THE BORSETTI  2017 SEASONAL CYCLE PAPER

  1. (FROM THE ABSTRACT) Maturation and reproduction timing vary by location for this species and are likely linked to bottom water temperature. This study examined the seasonal fluctuations in relevant body metrics and gonadosomatic index (relating to reproduction) in relation to bottom temperature to assess the timing of the reproductive cycle of the B. undatum population in the southern-most extent of this species’ range in the Atlantic. To characterize variation over the maturation schedule, nine locations in the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) were sampled five times between January 2017 and September 2017. Maturity was assessed macroscopically, with morphological methods, and via gonadosomatic indices. Male behavioral maturity estimates, based on a penis length to shell length index (PL50), were compared to estimates made using other methods for assessing maturity to test the efficacy of this commonly used ratio. Mature whelk were found in all months and peak reproductive activity was observed in spring and early summer. This timing suggests that ideal sampling to visually identify maturity to estimate size of maturity would be late winter or early spring. Unique oceanographic dynamics in the MAB, such as strong seasonal stratification results in large changes in annual bottom temperature which appears to be closely linked to the reproductive cycle in this region. {Note: The MAB is a non-stationary boundary between cool Arctic and tropical waters with seasonal dynamics that are important variables for shellfish habitats} Our data suggest that B. undatum in the MAB experience spawning and development at ~ 7–8 °C; temperatures warmer than Canadian populations and cooler than some UK populations.
  2. (TEMPERATURE DATA): Ocean temperature 1980–2015 was provided by the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) Earth Systems Model. This modelling temperature time series was bias-corrected using observed bottom water temperatures measured in spring, summer, and fall during the annual minimum and maximum bottom temperatures. These simulated data formed the basis for the generation of a 10-year, monthly climatology from 2005 to 2015 for the southern MAB region that was then used to examine the relationship between temperature and the reproductive cycle of whelk in the MAB.  {Note: ROMS is a climate model that estimates ocean temperature with the Earth System Model}. More info at myroms.org [LINK]
  3. (FINDINGS)  There is an interest in developing a commercial fishery industry for B. undatum in the MAB and an understanding of its population dynamics is important for that development. Early spring is an appropriate time to assess sexual maturity (i.e. penis length) in the MAB. The relationship of the reproductive cycle with bottom water temperature is important in this regard.  Further study is needed for an understanding of interannual variability including for example in population growth, connectivity, and ecosystem interaction.

 

 

PART 3: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. The AGW climate change impact on the reproduction of B-undatum is based on the observed seasonal cycle in reproduction that peaks during low seasonal bottoms temperature in March and is lower in the seasonally warmer bottoms temperature of September. These data on seasonal temperature and breeding cycles are then arbitrarily interpreted as a causal relationship between the two cycles without any evidence or lab tests to establish an empirical basis for that causation. Without direct evidence of a causation relationship between temperature and breeding, this conclusion is a theory of convenience without an empirical basis. Although there is a seasonal temperature cycle and there is also a seasonal breeding cycle, it cannot be assumed on this basis alone that the two seasonal cycles are causally related such that one drives the other.
  2. Consider for example, that most oceanic bottom  dwellers have a breeding seasonal cycle in an environment that has no seasonal temperature cycle {R. Y. GEORGE & R. J. MENZIES, “Further Evidence for Seasonal Breeding Cycles in Deep Sea” Nature volume 220, pages80–81(1968)}. In general, the deep sea floor has no temperature seasonal cycle and yet creatures down there do have breeding seasonal cycles. There is no evidence that all breeding seasonal cycles are driven by temperature seasonal cycles.
  3. Yet another faux deduction from seasonal cycles in this research is that the steep seasonal temperature cycle implies that the region is particularly sensitive to AGW warming and that therefore we should expect a steeper than average temperature response in shelf bottom temperatures to AGW forcing of surface temperature. This interpretation of the seasonal temperature cycle has no basis.
  4. Conclusion: The 2020 paper appears to be a derived from the idea that the author’s 2017 seasonal cycle paper can somehow be extended into a climate change paper. However, as we have argued above, the seasonal cycles in temperature and breeding cannot be interpreted either as a causal relationship between the temperature and breeding or in terms of an exaggerated AGW impact on shelf bottom temperature simply because it has a steep temperature seasonal cycle. The AGW climate change findings of the 2020 paper of an impact of climate change on breeding are rejected on this basis. 

 

FOOTNOTE: THE WIDELY HELD BELIEF IN CLIMATE SCIENCE THAT CARBON DIOXIDE AND GLOBAL WARMING ARE BAD FOR CRUSTACEANS IS INCONSISTENT WITH A PREFERENCE FOR HYDROTHERMAL VENTS BY DEEP OCEAN CRUSTACEANS. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ONLINE PRESENTATION BY NASA [LINK] ON AGW CLIMATE CHANGE THAT NASA SAYS PRESENTS THE EVIDENCE IN TERMS OF “VITAL SIGNS OF THE PLANET” AND THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION “HOW DO WE KNOW?IT IS PRESENTED AS A SERIES OF CLAIMS MADE BY NASA WITH A CRITICAL RESPONSE TO EACH CLAIM.

CLAIM#1:  The abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era and of human civilization. RESPONSE#1: The general view in paleo climatology is that a chaotic deglaciation from the last glacial maximum began about 20,000 years ago but with a violent return to icy conditions in the Younger Dryas event about 12,000 years ago or so that eventually settled down to a the warm conditions of the Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) [LINK] at some time between 7,000 to 5,000 years ago. It was then that the wild cave dwelling hunter-gatherer animal-like humans came out of their forest caves, cut down forests, built homes, and began to farm and raise farm animals. These settlements also created communities and other advances that gave us human civilization. Since then, what we see in the paleo record are chaotic cycles of warming and cooling at millennial and centennial time scales described in a related post [LINK] . The last three such cycles are the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) [LINK] , the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the current warm period described as anthropogenic global warming (AGW). It is therefore not possible to combine the very different climatic conditions in the period 11,700 years ago to the present in terms of a single climatic condition that can be described as “the modern climate era”. The reference to “human civilization” as early as 11,700 years ago, is equally mysterious since the Neolithic Revolution came much later. Also, the use of the phrase “modern climate era” to refer to deglaciation and the climate cycles of the Holocene can create confusion because the same phrase is also used to refer to the current warm period that followed the LIA.

CLAIM#2:  The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.  RESPONSE#2A:  In climate science from Callendar (1938) [LINK] to IPCC (2018), the human activity that causes warming is specified as fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy and not human activity in general as suggested in the NASA text. The period over which human fossil fuel emissions have been causing warming is described as “since pre-industrial” such that the amount of warming caused by human fossil fuel emissions is computed as the difference between the current temperature and the reference pre-industrial temperature. However, there seems to be some confusion as to the reference “pre-industrial” year from which to compute the amount of warming. Callendar (1938), the world’s first AGW climate change paper, set the reference pre-industrial time to the year 1900. Since then this reference has varied. The IPCC 2001 & 2007 reports set the pre-industrial times to the year 1750 as the time when humans burning fossil fuels caused the LIA to end and to flip the LIA cooling trend to the AGW warming trend. However, in their 2015 and later reports, the IPCC changed the pre-industrial reference year to 1850. More recently, climate scientist James Hansen changed the reference pre-industrial year to 1950 saying “that “in the 30-year period 1950-1980 there is a strong measurable warming rate with 99% probability for human cause” and NASA followed suit saying that “AGW started in 1950 because from then the relationship between CO2 and temperature we see in the climate models closely matches the observational data. This exact argument has also been put forward by climate scientist Peter Cox but with the reference pre-industrial year set to “the 1970s”. The importance of the amount of warming since pre-industrial is claimed to be crucial by the IPCC and by climate science in the planning and execution of climate action to limit and eventually eliminate fossil fuel emissions to moderate the rate of AGW before it reaches a critical value of the amount of warming since pre-industrial”. However, the uncertainty in when to mark the “pre-industrial” reference interferes with this line of climate action reasoning and climate action planning. Climate action plans include the critical variable that specifies the amount of warming since pre-industrial that must not be crossed to avoid a complete collapse of the climate system and irreversible climate change. Currently that critical amount of warming since pre-industrial is thought to be 1.5C proposed in the 2018 IPCC special report. Prior to that it was specified as 2C in the 2015 IPCC report, 3C in 2013, 4C in 2007, and 5C in 2001. It appear that scientists in charge of saving us from climate breakdown and irreversible climate change by limiting warming are unsure when to begin the warming accounting and exactly how much warming to target.  RESPONSE#2B:  It is noted that the determination of the reference year for when AGW began, Hansen, Cox, and NASA deduced their hypotheses from the data as in “the 30-year period 1950-1980 there is a strong measurable warming rate with 99% probability for human cause”, and then tested the hypothesis with the same data. This kind of hypothesis test contains  the circular reasoning fallacy also known as the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy [LINK] . This kind of reasoning does not provide acceptable hypothesis tests that can be accepted as evidence. The NASA, Hansen, and Cox findings of when AGW began are rejected on this basis.

CLAIM#3:  The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response. Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.  RESPONSE#3:  There may be no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases cause the earth to warm in response but the real issue in terms of the call to climate action and of formulating climate action plans is not whether it causes warming but how much. That question is answered by the climate sensitivity parameter, an unsettled issue in climate science because the range of values reported in the literature is so large that the concept is rendered meaningless. It is possibly the frustration of climate science with with the climate sensitivity issue that drove them to the TCRE (Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions) that is now used to construct carbon budgets for climate action plans. There is no direct measure of the “heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide” in this simple model that relates warming to emissions as 1C to 2.5C of warming for each teratonne of cumulative fossil fuel emissions. The TCRE is now used to construct climate action plans in terms of carbon budgets for any given warming target. An unresolved issue in this regard is the so called “remaining budget” described in a related post [LINK] where we find that the mystery of the remaining budget problem is that the TCRE is based on a spurious correlation that has no interpretation in terms of the real world phenomena it appears to represent [LINK] .

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CLAIM#4:   For millennia, atmospheric carbon dioxide had never been above 300 ppm, but since 1950 it has shot up to well above 420 ppm.  RESPONSE#4A:  A common theme in NASA’s view of climate science is that extreme values prove human cause as in look how warm it is, or look how fast it is warming, or look how high the CO2 is and so on and so forth. Yet extreme values do not prove human cause and the fall back to this illogical and unscientific argument implies that all is not right in climate science or perhaps all is not right in the rocket science world of NASA. RESPONSE#4B:  The other issue with this repeated and high profile claim by NASA, that 420 ppm CO2 is unprecedented for millions of years, is that in the first millennium of the previous interglacial, the Eemian [LINK] , about 125,000 years ago or so, it was much warmer than today presumably at less than 300 ppm as implied by NASA’s “unprecedented” claim. Therefore, if NASA is right about the CO2 history it is wrong about the CO2 interpretation of warming.

CLAIM#5:  Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.   RESPONSE#5A:  Here again NASA is using large values compared with history to imply that “unprecedented” proves human cause. It does not. Unprecedented only proves unprecedented. It may lead to suspicions of and hypotheses for what may have caused such an anomalous value but these hypotheses must be put through rigorous hypothesis tests with the null hypothesis that it is false. “unprecedented” in and of itself does not prove human cause. RESPONSE#5B:  Why is a single interglacial event, claimed to be unprecedented, being compared with an average instead of the the set of all prior extreme events in the paleo record? Once again, if we compare the Holocene to the previous interglacial, the Eemian, we find in the Eemian a much more violent deglaciation, much faster warming, and higher temperature in the first millennium of the interglacial compared with the relatively mild Holocene [LINK]RESPONSE#5C:  It should also be noted that the issue is the current warming period that followed the Little Ice Age more than 10 millennia into the Holocene interglacial. This recovery from the Little Ice Age is not “ice age recovery warming”. Yes, the LIA is indeed called the Little “Ice Age” but it was not a glaciation as in the Pleistocene but just a hundred years or so of harsh cold weather that caused great hardship in Europe [LINK] .

CLAIM#6:  The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 0.9C since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year — from January through September, with the exception of June — were the warmest on record for those respective months.  RESPONSE#6A:  In claim#2 above, NASA says that the current period of human caused global warming and climate change began in 1950; but down here in claim#6 the current period of human caused global warming is computed from “the late 19th century”. Such inconsistencies and contradictions need to be clelaned up if a credible case for climate action against fossil fuel is to be presented to taxpayers and governments.  RESPONSE#6B:  The claim that the warming is “driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere” is inconsistent with the theory of AGW as initially proposed from Callendar 1938 to Hansen (1981, 1988), Lacis (2010), and by NASA itself [LINK] . The very essence of the theory of AGW climate change is that it is a creation of the industrial economy in the form of the carbon in fossil fuels that is millions of years old such that it does not belong in the current account of the carbon cycle; and that therefore the injection of this old external carbon of the industrial economy into the current account of the carbon cycle is a perturbation of nature’s delicately balanced carbon cycle and climate system that it is deemed to be human caused. It should be noted that this strict definition of human cause by way of the industrial economy is still used in the TCRE (Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions) and in the construction of the carbon budgets for climate action plans. The need to interject “and other human-made emissions” into AGW theory is mysterious and may imply that there are unresolved issues in the theory as originally proposed [LINK] . RESPONSE#6C:  The various claims of extreme temperature events {the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the year from January through September, with the exception of June were the warmest on record for those respective months}  have no interpretation as empirical evidence for a theory, not about temperature events, but about long term trends in temperature. The issue here is climate sensitivity. The WMO says that only warming trends serve as evidence in this regard and that the trends should be assessed for periods of 30 years or longer. In climate sensitivity research climate scientists have claimed that the slower ocean response may mean that the period over which AGW warming must be assessed is longer by factors of two or three. What is the role of extreme temperature events in this context? A somewhat related issue is that the use of extreme El Nino events like 2016 as evidence of AGW may indicate a deception strategy to sell climate alarm and push the climate action agenda of anti fossil fuel activism that has corrupted climate science [LINK] .

CLAIM#7:  The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of more than 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.  RESPONSE#7A:  The need to insert the Fahrenheit scale as needed is an oddity that is best understood as climate activism and not as science. Perhaps 0.22C does not sound as alarming as 0.4F. That rocket scientists at NASA would stoop to such tactics to sell fear of AGW does not speak well for the substance of the case against fossil fuels.  RESPONSE#7B:  Ocean heat content (OHC) dynamics cannot be understood purely in terms of atmospheric phenomena because of known geothermal heat sources in the ocean that far exceed AGW driven warmth created in the atmosphere. An added consideration is that atmosphere driven ocean warming would be more uniform than what the data shows. What we see in the data down to 700 meters is a distribution of ocean heat content dynamics that is localized and not uniform [LINK] .  At 700M the OHC is in decline in the North Pacific at a rate of 0.29E22 JPY (Joules per year) and in the South Pacific and at a rate of 0.25E22 JPY; and OHC increase is seen in the North Pacific at 0.32E22 JPY and the South Indian Ocean at 0.30E22 JPY. A state of incongruity in OHC trends according to location implies that significant geological sources of heat known to exist in the ocean must also be considered. These conclusions are supported by similar works carried out by James Edward Kamis and Robert Stevenson. See also the Wyss paper  [ wyss episodic geothermal ] and the recently published Zanna et al 2018 [LINK] .

CLAIM#8:  The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016, while Antarctica lost about 127 billion tons of ice per year during the same time period. The rate of Antarctica ice mass loss has tripled in the last decade. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa. Satellite observations reveal that the amount of spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased over the past five decades and that the snow is melting earlier. RESPONSE#8:  Glacial retreat and reductions in polar ice sheet mass are the norm in interglacials and not an oddity of the post LIA warming that requires an explanation in terms of human cause. In the prior interglacial, the Eemian, the Greenland Ice Sheet had shrunk to a size much smaller than it is today and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet had disintegrated only a millennium into the interglacial. In this context, it does not appear that polar ice sheet mass losses found more than ten millennia into the Holocene is an unusual event that requires an explanation in terms of the industrial economy and human cause.

CLAIM#9: Global sea level rose about 8 inches in the last century. The rate in the last two decades, however, is nearly double that of the last century and is accelerating slightly every year.  RESPONSE#9: Sea level rise is the norm in interglacials and acceleration in the rate of sea level rise is normal during warming periods of interglacials. For example, in the first millennia of the Eemian, the previous interglacial, sea levels rose much higher and with much greater acceleration that what is seen in the post LIA warming of the Holocene [LINK] . It should also be mentioned that we are now more than ten millennia into the Holocene interglacial and the paleo data show that these ten millennia did not progress as smoothly as what climate science must assume about how interglacial climate behaves without human cause. What they show instead is a sequence of violent and chaotic cycles of warming and cooling at millennial and centennial time scales with glacial retreat, ice melt, and sea level rise in the warming cycles and glacial advance in the cooling cycles [LINK] . That the sea level is also rising in this warming episode is not an unnatural thing in light of the history of the Holocene and it does not require an explanation in terms of human cause and the industrial economy.

CLAIM#9: Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades. RESPONSE#9: The data for sea ice volume contains both measures mentioned, namely extent and thickness. The PIOMAS ice volume data for Arctic sea ice does indeed  show a decline over a period of four decades 1979-2019. However, the assumption that this decline is human caused by way of the industrial economy and that it can be halted by taking climate action is not supported by the data. The absence of evidence that Arctic sea ice volume is responsive to AGW surface temperature shown in a related post [LINK] does not support the human cause assumption. As a footnote, assumptions of this nature are characteristic of climate science and they imply that in climate science the hypothesis testing logic has been inverted. The scientific method requires that in empirical tests of theory, the null hypothesis should be the absence of the proposed effect such that only its statistically significant rejection can lead to a verification of the effect. However, in climate science, the effect is subsumed in emprical tests such that it serves as the null hypothesis. 

CLAIM#10: Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year. RESPONSE#10: It is shown in a related post [LINK] that the data do not support the assumed atmospheric cause of ocean acidification by way of fossil fuel emissions. Correlation analysis does not show that the rate of ocean acidification is responsive to fossil fuel emissions and a mass balance analysis does not show that there is enough carbon in fossil fuel emissions to explain the observed changes in the ocean [LINK] .  Therefore, the real cause of these changes must lie in the ocean itself. Unbiased and objective scientific inquiry should include the role of submarine geological activity in the investigation of ocean acidification and it is implied by the data. A salient example of ocean acidification in the paleo record is the PETM (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum) event that involved catastrophic ocean acidification by the ocean itself. This event is described in a related post [LINK]

CLAIM#11: Vital Signs of the Planet.RESPONSE#11:  The crust of the planet where we have land, ocean, atmosphere, ice sheets, glaciers, glaciation cycles, interglacials, climate, living creatures, and humans is 0.3% of the planet containing 0.2% of the planet’s carbon. The other 99.7% of the planet and 99.8% of its carbon are in the core and mantle of the planet where there is no atmosphere, no climate, no ice sheets, no glaciation cycles, no interglacials, no living creatures, and no humans. The passion and obsession of climate science to describe the post LIA current warming period of the Holocene interglacial in planetary terms exposes activist and alarmist underpinnings of climate science and that in turn does not support the claim of climate science to scientific legitimacy. 

CLAIM#12: The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events. RESPONSE#12:  As noted above, temperature events have no interpretation in terms of a theory about long term warming trends caused by the heat trapping effect of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. The irrelevance of such events is even more so when the temperatures are regional temperatures and not global mean temperatures.

POSTSCRIPT:  At the very foundation of AGW climate change theory is the assumption that atmospheric composition is responsive to fossil fuel emissions such that the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration is explained by fossil fuel emissions and that therefore it can be moderated with climate action consisting of reducing and eventually eliminating the rate of fossil fuel emissions. In related posts it is shown that neither correlation analysis nor mass balance analysis supports this assumption. [LINK] [LINK] . Thus the very foundation of climate science has no empirical support. 

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THIS POST IS A REVIEW OF A 2014 NASA VIDEO [LINK] ABOUT GLACIERS IN WEST ANTARCTICA. IT IS PRESENTED IN THREE PARTS. PART-1 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO. PART-2 IS ITS CRITICAL EVALUATION, AND PART-3 IS A RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY.   

RELATED POSTS: [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK][LINK] 

 

 

 

PART-1: TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO LECTURE 

(1)  Over the years, temperatures around the world have ratcheted upward and climate change researchers have kept a weary eye perhaps on one place more than any other – the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) – and particularly, the fastest melting part of it – the glaciers that flow into the Amundsen Sea. In that region, six glaciers hang in precarious balance, partially supported by land and partially floating in waters just off-shore.

 

(2)  There is enough water frozen in the ice sheets that feed these icy giants to raise global sea levels by 4 feet if they were to melt. That’s troubling because the glaciers ARE MELTING. Moreover, a new study finds that their decline appears to be IRREVERSIBLE. We have passed the point of no return according to glaciologist Eric Rignot who is working jointly with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the University of California Irvine. He and his research team used 19 years of NASA satellite radar data to map the fast melting glaciers. Their paper, published in Geophysical Research Letters, finds that this section of West Antarctica is undergoing a “Marine Ice Sheet Instability that will significantly contribute to sea level rise in the centuries ahead.

 

(3)  A key concept in this study is the grounding line. It is the dividing line between land and water underneath the glacier. Because, virtually all the melt occurs where the glacier’s underside touches the ocean, pinpointing the grounding line is crucial for estimating melt rates. The problem is that grounding lines are buried under thousands of feet of glacial ice. It is challenging for a human observer to figure out where they are. There is nothing obvious that sticks out on the surface to indicate that “this is where the glacier goes afloat”.

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(4)  To find the hidden grounding line, they use radar images of the glaciers made by the European Space Agency’s first remote sensing satellite from 1992-2011. Glaciers flex in response to tides. By analyzing these flexing motions, they were able to trace the grounding line. This led to a key discovery. In all the glaciers they studied, grounding lines were rapidly retreating away from the sea. In this sector, we are seeing retreat rates that we don’t see anywhere else on earth.

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(5)   The Smith Glacier’s line moves the fastest, retreating 22 miles upstream. The other glaciers retreated from 6 to 19 miles. When glaciers melt and lose weight, they float off the land where they used to sit. Water gets under the grounding line and pushes the grounding line inland. This in turn reduces friction between the glacier and its bed. The glacier speeds up, stretches out, and thins which drives the grounding line to retreat even farther inland. This is a positive feedback loop that leads to out of control melting.

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(6)  The only natural factor that can slow or stop this process is a pinning point in the bedrock –  a bump or projection that snares the glacier from underneath and keeps it from sliding towards the sea. A map of these features derived from an aerial survey of the region revealed that the glaciers had already floated off many of their small pinning points. In short, there is no turning back – and at current melt rates, these glaciers will be history within a few hundred years.

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PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

 The chart below displays the tropospheric temperature trends for each calendar month measured above the Antarctic Ocean. None of these trends  is statistically significant and most months show cooling. These data do not indicate that AGW climate change is warming the waters of the Antarctic Ocean and causing it to melt ice shelves and glaciers. In this regard, the warmer temperature of the Circumpolar Deep water Circulation does not have an AGW climate change interpretation. This warmth is more likely to be geothermal heat particularly since the warmth is found only in deep water in an area  known to be geologically active. The relevant geological features of this region are described in a related post [LINK] . Geothermal heat, particularly from hydrothermal vents, is recognized in this context in several of the papers cited in the bibliography below. The AGW climate change interpretation of glacial ice shelf melt phenomena in the West Antarctic ice sheet is rejected on this basis. 

 

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CIRCUMPOLAR DEEP WATER CIRCULATION BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Thoma, Malte, et al. “Modelling circumpolar deep water intrusions on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, Antarctica.” Geophysical Research Letters 35.18 (2008). [FULL TEXT]   Results are presented from an isopycnic coordinate model of ocean circulation in the Amundsen Sea, focusing on the delivery of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) to the inner continental shelf around Pine Island Bay. The warmest waters to reach this region are channeled through a submarine trough, accessed via bathymetric irregularities along the shelf break. Temporal variability in the influx of CDW is related to regional wind forcing. Easterly winds over the shelf edge change to westerlies when the Amundsen Sea Low migrates west and south in winter/spring. This drives seasonal on‐shelf flow, while inter‐annual changes in the wind forcing lead to inflow variability on a decadal timescale. A modelled period of warming following low CDW influx in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s coincides with a period of observed thinning and acceleration of Pine Island Glacier.
  2. Moffat, C., B. Owens, and R. C. Beardsley. “On the characteristics of Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions to the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 114.C5 (2009).  [FULL TEXT]  Hydrographic and current velocity observations collected from March 2001 to February 2003 on the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf as part of the Southern Ocean Global Ecosystems Dynamics program are used to characterize intrusions of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) and Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (LCDW) onto the shelf and Marguerite Bay. UCDW is found on the middle and outer shelf along Marguerite Trough, which connects the shelf break to Marguerite Bay, and at another location farther south. UCDW intrudes in the form of frequent (four per month) and small horizontal scales (≈4 km) warm eddy‐like structures with maximum vertical scales of a few hundred meters. However, no evidence of UCDW intrusions was found in Marguerite Bay. LCDW was found in several deep depressions connected to the shelf break, including Marguerite Trough, forming a tongue of relatively dense water 95 m thick (on average) that reaches into Marguerite Bay through Marguerite Trough. A steady advective‐diffusive balance for the LCDW intrusion is used to make an estimation of the average upwelling rate and diffusivity in the deep layer within Marguerite Trough, which suggest the LCDW layer is renewed approximately every six weeks.
  3. Wåhlin, A. K., et al. “Inflow of warm Circumpolar Deep Water in the central Amundsen shelf.” Journal of Physical Oceanography 40.6 (2010): 1427-1434. [FULL TEXT]   The thinning and acceleration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been attributed to basal melting induced by intrusions of relatively warm salty water across the continental shelf. A hydrographic section including lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements showing such an inflow in the channel leading to the Getz and Dotson Ice Shelves is presented here. The flow rate was 0.3–0.4 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), and the subsurface heat loss was estimated to be 1.2–1.6 TW. Assuming that the inflow persists throughout the year, it corresponds to an ice melt of 110–130 km3 yr−1, which exceeds recent estimates of the net ice glacier ice volume loss in the Amundsen Sea. The results also show a 100–150-m-thick intermediate water mass consisting of Circumpolar Deep Water that has been modified (cooled and freshened) by subsurface melting of ice shelves and/or icebergs. This water mass has not previously been reported in the region, possibly because of the paucity of historical data.
  4. Dinniman, Michael S., John M. Klinck, and Walker O. Smith Jr. “A model study of Circumpolar Deep Water on the West Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Sea continental shelves.” Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 58.13-16 (2011): 1508-1523.  [FULL TEXT]   Transport of relatively warm, nutrient-rich Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) onto continental shelves around Antarctica has important effects on physical and biological processes. However, the characteristics of the CDW along the shelf break, as well as what happens to it once it has been advected onto the continental shelf, differ spatially. In the present study high resolution (4–5 km) regional models of the Ross Sea and the West Antarctic Peninsula coastal ocean are used to compare differences in CDW transport. The models compared very well with observations from both regions. Examining the fluxes not only of heat, but also of a simulated “dye” representing CDW, shows that in both cases CDW crosses the shelf break in specific locations primarily determined by the bathymetry, but eventually floods much of the shelf. The frequency of intrusions in Marguerite Trough was ca. 2–3 per month, similar to recent mooring observations. A significant correlation between the along shelf break wind stress and the cross shelf break dye flux through Marguerite Trough was observed, suggesting that intrusions are at least partially related to short duration wind events. The primary difference between the CDW intrusions on the Ross and west Antarctic Peninsula shelves is that there is more vigorous mixing of the CDW with the surface waters in the Ross Sea, especially in the west where High Salinity Shelf Water is created. The models show that the CDW moving across the Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf towards the base of the ice shelves not only is warmer initially and travels a shorter distance than that advected towards the base of the Ross Ice Shelf, but it is also subjected to less vertical mixing with surface waters, which conserves the heat available to be advected under the ice shelves. This difference in vertical mixing also likely leads to differences in the supply of nutrients from the CDW into the upper water column, and thus modulates the impacts on surface biogeochemical processes.
  5. Steig, Eric J., et al. “Tropical forcing of Circumpolar Deep Water inflow and outlet glacier thinning in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica.” Annals of Glaciology 53.60 (2012): 19-28. [FULL TEXT]   Outlet glaciers draining the Antarctic ice sheet into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have accelerated in recent decades, most likely as a result of increased melting of their ice-shelf termini by warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). An ocean model forced with climate reanalysis data shows that, beginning in the early 1990s, an increase in westerly wind stress near the continental shelf edge drove an increase in CDW inflow onto the shelf. The change in local wind stress occurred predominantly in fall and early winter, associated with anomalous high sea-level pressure (SLP) to the north of the ASE and an increase in sea surface temperature (SST) in the central tropical Pacific. The SLP change is associated with geopotential height anomalies in the middle and upper troposphere, characteristic of a stationary Rossby wave response to tropical SST forcing, rather than with changes in the zonally symmetric circulation. Tropical Pacific warming similar to that of the 1990s occurred in the 1940s, and thus is a candidate for initiating the current period of ASE glacier retreat.
  6. Mashayek, A., et al. “The role of the geothermal heat flux in driving the abyssal ocean circulation.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.12 (2013): 3144-3149[FULL TEXT]  The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the geothermal heat flux (GHF) from the solid Earth into the ocean plays a non‐negligible role in determining both abyssal stratification and circulation strength. Based upon an ocean data set, we show that the map of upward heat flux at the ocean floor is consistent (within a factor of 2) with the ocean floor age‐dependent map of GHF. The observed buoyancy flux above the ocean floor is consistent with previous suggestions that the GHF acts to erode the abyssal stratification and thereby enhances the strength of the abyssal circulation. Idealized numerical simulations are performed using a zonally averaged single‐basin model which enables us to address the GHF impact as a function of the depth dependence of diapycnal diffusivity. We show that ignoring this vertical variation leads to an under‐prediction of the influence of the GHF on the abyssal circulation. Independent of the diffusivity profile, introduction of the GHF in the model leads to steepening of the Southern Ocean isopycnals and to strengthening of the eddy‐induced circulation and the Antarctic bottom water cell. The enhanced circulation ventilates the GHF derived heating to shallow depths, primarily in the Southern Ocean.
  7. Stewart, Andrew L., and Andrew F. Thompson. “Eddy‐mediated transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water across the Antarctic shelf break.” Geophysical Research Letters 42.2 (2015): 432-440. [FULL TEXT]  The Antarctic Slope Front (ASF) modulates ventilation of the abyssal ocean via the export of dense Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and constrains shoreward transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) toward marine‐terminating glaciers. Along certain stretches of the continental shelf, particularly where AABW is exported, density surfaces connect the shelf waters to the mid-depth Circumpolar Deep Water offshore, offering a pathway for mesoscale eddies to transport CDW directly onto the continental shelf. Using an eddy‐resolving process model of the ASF, the authors show that mesoscale eddies can supply a dynamically significant transport of heat and mass across the continental shelf break. The shoreward transport of surface waters is purely wind driven, while the shoreward CDW transport is entirely due to mesoscale eddy transfer. The CDW flux is sensitive to all aspects of the model’s surface forcing and geometry, suggesting that shoreward eddy heat transport may be localized to favorable sections of the continental slope.
  8. Downes, Stephanie M., et al.  [LINK] “The transient response of southern ocean circulation to geothermal heating in a global climate model.” Journal of Climate 29.16 (2016): 5689-5708.  Model and observational studies have concluded that geothermal heating significantly alters the global overturning circulation and the properties of the widely distributed Antarctic Bottom Water. Here two distinct geothermal heat flux datasets are tested under different experimental designs in a fully coupled model that mimics the control run of a typical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) climate model. The regional analysis herein reveals that bottom temperature and transport changes, due to the inclusion of geothermal heating, are propagated throughout the water column, most prominently in the Southern Ocean, with the background density structure and major circulation pathways acting as drivers of these changes. While geothermal heating enhances Southern Ocean abyssal overturning circulation by 20%–50%, upwelling of warmer deep waters and cooling of upper ocean waters within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region decrease its transport by 3–5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The transient responses in regional bottom temperature increases exceed 0.1°C. The large-scale features that are shown to transport anomalies far from their geothermal source all exist in the Southern Ocean. Such features include steeply sloping isopycnals, weak abyssal stratification, voluminous southward flowing deep waters and exported bottom waters, the ACC, and the polar gyres. Recently the Southern Ocean has been identified as a prime region for deep ocean warming; geothermal heating should be included in climate models to ensure accurate representation of these abyssal temperature changes.
  9. Barnes, Jowan M., et al. “Idealised modelling of ocean circulation driven by conductive and hydrothermal fluxes at the seabed.” Ocean Modelling 122 (2018): 26-35[FULL TEXT]   Geothermal heating is increasingly recognised as an important factor affecting ocean circulation, with modelling studies suggesting that this heat source could lead to first-order changes in the formation rate of Antarctic Bottom Water, as well as a significant warming effect in the abyssal ocean. Where it has been represented in numerical models, however, the geothermal heat flux into the ocean is generally treated as an entirely conductive flux, despite an estimated one third of the global geothermal flux being introduced to the ocean via hydrothermal sources.

    A modelling study is presented which investigates the sensitivity of the geothermally forced circulation to the way heat is supplied to the abyssal ocean. An analytical two-dimensional model of the circulation is described, which demonstrates the effects of a volume flux through the ocean bed. A simulation using the NEMO numerical general circulation model in an idealised domain is then used to partition a heat flux between conductive and hydrothermal sources and explicitly test the sensitivity of the circulation to the formulation of the abyssal heat flux. Our simulations suggest that representing the hydrothermal flux as a mass exchange indeed changes the heat distribution in the abyssal ocean, increasing the advective heat transport from the abyss by up to 35% compared to conductive heat sources. Consequently, we suggest that the inclusion of hydrothermal fluxes can be an important addition to course-resolution ocean models.

  10. Downes, Stephanie M., et al. “Hydrothermal heat enhances abyssal mixing in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.” Geophysical Research Letters 46.2 (2019): 812-821[LINK]  Upwelling in the world’s strongest current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is thought to be driven by wind stress, surface buoyancy flux, and mixing generated from the interaction between bottom currents and rough topography. However, the impact of localized injection of heat by hydrothermal vents where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current interacts with mid‐ocean ridges remains poorly understood. Here a circumpolar compilation of helium and physical measurements are used to show that while geothermal heat is transferred to the ocean over a broad area by conduction, heat transfer by convection dominates near hydrothermal vents. Buoyant hydrothermal plumes decrease stratification above the vent source and increase stratification to the south, altering the local vertical diffusivity and diapycnal upwelling within 500 m of the sea floor by an order of magnitude. Both the helium tracer and stratification signals induced by hydrothermal input are advected by the flow and influence properties downstream.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wais-2

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

RELATED POSTS ON ANTARCTICA: LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] 

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF ASSESSMENTS BY NASA/CARBONBRIEF (2014), AND BY TURNEY/BECKWITH (2020) OF AN IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF THE WAIS TO BE CAUSED BY AGW CLIMATE CHANGE. IT IS PRESENTED IN FOUR PARTS. PART-1 IS THE ASSESSMENT BY NASA/CARBONBRIEF. PART-2 IS THE ASSESSMENT BY TURNEY/BECKWITH. PART-3 IS A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE TURNEY/BECKWITH ASSESSMENT.  PART-4 IS A RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY

THIS ITEM IS ALSO FOUND IN THE POPULAR PRESS AS FOR EXAMPLE THIS ARTICLE IN THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC:  West Antarctica is melting and it’s our fault
The fingerprints of human-caused climate change have made it to Antarctica  [LINK] 

 

 

PART-1: ASSESSMENT BY NASA/CARBONBRIEF (2014) [LINK] 

  1. Scientists say {The reference is to a NASA document [LINK] that is no longer available on the NASA site} West Antarctic ice sheet collapse is under way as temperatures rise. Scientists have long suspected the West Antarctic ice sheet is vulnerable to collapsing under rising temperatures – potentially raising global sea levels by several meters. Now new research suggests the process may already be underway. It won’t happen quickly – probably taking several centuries, say the researchers. But beyond a certain point, the process will be unstoppable, they warn. Scientists know from satellite data that Antarctica is losing ice – more than 70 billion tonnes of it between 1992 to 2011. But ice loss isn’t happening at the same speed everywhere on the continent. Together with glaciers in the Antarctic peninsula, thinning glaciers along the Amundsen Coast on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) are responsible for most of Antarctica’s contribution to sea level rise, which currently totals about 0.27 mm per year.
  2. Vulnerable to collapse:  About a decade ago, scientists identified the WAIS as potentially the most sensitive to “collapse” under the pressure of rising temperature. Collapse means that the ice sheet will eventually lose all of its ice. Lots of research has gone into finding out whether we’re close to that point or if there are other processes keeping it stable, at least for now. Ice sheets are kept stable, in part, by shelves of ice which extend from glaciers around the edge of the ice sheet. They act as buffers, helping to keep the icy interior in place.
  3. The Thwaites glacier and ice shelf is one of a few that help prop up the WAIS. But Thwaites is already retreating and losing the thin ice at its edge, according to the new paper. The problem is not so much this initial melt, it’s what happens once the thicker part of the ice shelf begins to melt. At some point, a critical threshold is reached, triggering more rapid thinning and ice loss. Scientists liken the mechanism to pressure building up behind a plug, which eventually gives way. This may already happening at a neighboring glacier, the Pine Island Glacier, the paper says.
  4. This paper uses a model of the WAIS to simulate how quickly the Thwaites glacier and the rest of the region will change under both fast and slow warming scenarios. The slowest warming has very little impact over the 21st century, but observations suggest this is a far too optimistic scenario. Measurements of current melt rates on the Thwaites glacier are more in line with the highest warming scenario tested, say the researchers.
  5. The scientists found that this high melt rate scenario – which at the moment looks the most plausible – delivers 0.25 millimetres of sea level rise per year. After another couple of centuries, melting speeds up to more like 1mm per year, and melting reaches the critical threshold. How quickly ice is lost after this point is hard to model, say the researchers, especially because interactions with other basins become important. Just the Thwaites glacier on its own would raise sea level by about 60 cm if it melted completely, say the scientists. But they estimate that if the whole WAIS disappears, it could add another three to four metres of sea level.
  6. Accounting for the fact that the accumulation of ice through snowfall is projected to increase over the 21st century delays the transition to more rapid melt – but only by just under a decade, the scientists estimate.  A warningFor all but the very lowest melt rates, the new research suggests the early stages of collapse are already underway. But the authors stress that while they expect the ice sheet to behave the way they outline, they’re less certain about the timing. The process of total collapse will take centuries to millennia, though new study suggests it’s likely to be the former.

 

 

PART-2: ASSESSMENT BY CHRIS TURNEY/PAUL BECKWITH (2020) [LINK]  

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt to Greatly Accelerate as Southern Ocean Warms

  1. What’s happening down in Antarctica? We recently had some record high temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula reaching 20.75C, which is a ridiculously warm temperature there. A paper recently came out a week ago with the title “Early Last Interglacial Ocean Warming” that drove substantial ice mass loss from Antarctica. So clearly, when the ocean temperatures warm, it undercuts the ice shelves in Antarctica and causes a lot of ice melt. It’s not so much the warm atmospheric temperatures that melt ice in Antarctica because Antarctica is generally well below freezing, except for these anomalies that have been occurring recently on the Antarctic Peninsula. But it is the warming of the ocean that is the key.
  2. THE CHRIS TURNEY ETAL 2020 PAPER: Early Last Interglacial ocean warming drove substantial ice mass loss from Antarctica, Chris S. M. Turney, etal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 
  3.  quotes from the Chris Turney paper about the ice loss in the last interglacial the Eemian and comments in by drawing a parallel to what is happening in Antarctica now: (1) Most of the ice loss and sea level rise occurred in the first millennium of the Eemian. (2) The melting was likely caused by a 2C rise in ocean temperature. (3) This has direct implications for what is happening in Antarctica today in terms of the future of the WAIS. (4) Polar ocean temperatures in the Eemian were warmer than today but not by much – 2C warmer than today or less. (5) The conclusion is that if AGW is allowed to continue and ocean warming takes temperatures up to those levels, we will lose most of the WAIS. (6) The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is grounded on bedrock above sea level and is therefore not affected by warming seas but the WAIS rests on the seabed, about 5 to 7 thousand feet below sea level, and is fringed by ice shelves that are immersed in ocean water as floating but anchored ice and therefore particularly vulnerable to melting by a warming ocean.
  4. The Blue Ice Area (BIA) of Antarctica is the creation of strong high density winds called katabatic winds that flow down hill carrying high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity. They blow the snow off the ice and scour the ice. Some ice is lost by sublimation. As the ice is removed, old ice comes up to the surface. These ice layers provide  historical information without the need to drill into the ice. Simply by walking across a blue ice field you are walking through time and you can collect historical information from the ice. bandicam 2020-03-06 21-51-30-763
  5. The authors of the Turney (2020) study collected data from a blue ice area adjacent to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and reconstructed the paleo history of this region over a period of many thousands of years from the isotope data of blue ice samples on the surface. And there they found a gap in the blue ice record that coincides with extreme sea level rise that is recorded in the paleo data during the first millennium of the previous interglacial, the Eemian. The gap and sea level rise taken together imply a complete disintegration of the WAIS caused by Eemian climate change. This finding is supported by multiple paleo data proxies. “While human contribution to global warming makes the Holocene unique, the Eemian remains a useful research point to understand how the planet responds too extreme change. The future is heading far beyond the range of anything we have seen in the instrumental record in the last 150 years“.
  6. In the Eemian interglacial, sea levels were 6 to 9 meters and perhaps even 11 meters higher than they are today in the Holocene interglacial. This sea level rise can’t be explained by the paleo data on glacial melt, Greenland Ice Sheet melt, and thermal expansion of the ocean due to warming. These factors explain only 2 to 3 meters of sea level rise. So therefore, it had to have been the collapse of the WAIS that had caused the extreme sea level rise found in the paleo record.
  7. Chris Turney claims that he now has the evidence to prove that this is in fact what had happened. This finding establishes that “We now have an urgent need to minimize future warming” because the severity of the Eemian ice melt event suggests that the WAIS is highly sensitive to future ocean warming because the WAIS sits on water and today in the age AGW climate change that water is getting warmer and warmer.
  8. The weak point of the WAIS in terms of ocean warming are the ice shelves that sit on water and hold back glacial flow. Computer model simulations show that a 2C warming of the ocean waters in the Antarctic will cause a collapse of the ice shelves in the first 200 years or so followed by significant ice loss from the WAIS that will cause a sea level rise of 3.8 meters in 1,000 years. (Note: The annualized rate is 3.8mm per year, an increase of 0.4mm/year from the current rate of 3.4mm/year.)
  9. Also, high sea surface temperatures in the Antarctic caused by AGW climate change will cause the ice in East Antarctica to melt driving global sea level even higher. These changes and ice loss will lower albedo and increase the rate of warming thus setting up a positive feedback system described by Zoe Thomas as; “Persistent high sea surface temperatures would prompt the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to melt, driving global sea levels even higher. The positive feedbacks between a warming ocean, ice shelf collapse, and ice sheet melt suggests that the West Antarctic may be vulnerable to passing a tipping point. The tipping point implies that only a small increase in temperature could trigger abrupt ice sheet melt and a multi-metre rise in global sea level“.
  10. CONCLUSION: The Turney/Thomas etal study

 

 

 

PART-3: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

The Eemian interglacial is described in a related post [LINK]. Some inconsistencies in the parallels drawn between the Holocene and the Eemian to explain Holocene ice melt phenomena in terms of Eemian dynamics, are listed below in items (1) through (13). Briefly, the two interglacials are not comparable. Also interglacials have distinct phases that are different such that a comparison of the two interglacials must relate to the same phase of the two interglacials. The known hemispheric differences in the evolution of the two interglacials must also be taken into account.

Below is a chart that shows tropospheric temperature trends above the Antarctic Ocean  1979-2018. None of these trends is statistically significant at alpha=0.05 and most of them show cooling. These data are not consistent with the proposition that AGW climate change is heating up the Antarctic Ocean such that these ocean waters are melting ice in Antarctica. In this regard, the warmer temperature of the Circumpolar Deep water Circulation does not have an AGW climate change interpretation and this warmth is more likely to be geothermal heat particularly since the warmth is found only in deep water in a region known to be geologically active with geothermal heat sources on the sea floor. The relevant geological features of West Antarctica and the Amundsen Sea are described in a related post [LINK]

It should also be noted that the West Antarctic Ice sheet sits on top of a sub-glacial region of extreme geological activity in the form of the West Antarctic Rift system and the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume as described in related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK].

Ice melt in this area is best understood in terms of geothermal heat from within the earth rather than in terms of solar insolation and the trapping of long wave terrestrial radiation by greenhouse gases particularly since the response of this region to solar insolation is mostly of albedo rather than terrestrial radiation. 

These anomalies notwithstanding, it remains a deep seated but failed aspiration of AGW climate science to relate a destruction of the WAIS during the violent instability of the first millennium of the Eemian to a stable mid Holocene climate more than ten millennia into the interglacial [LINK] .

  1. Eemian climate instability: The Eemian interglacial was unstable and volatile in terms of abrupt climate change at decadal and multi-decadal time scales. The extreme instability and volatility of the Eemian is in stark contrast with the comparative stability of the Holocene. The two interglacials are very different in these terms  and are therefore not comparable (Willi Dansgaard 1993).
  2. Eemian climate instability: An initial warm period of the Eemian of 2,900 years was followed by periods as long as 750 years of extreme cold comparable to glaciation alternating with warm periods warmer than what is seen in the Holocene. The instability of the Eemian is in contrast with the relative stability of the Holocene. These are two very different interglacials. (Michael Field 1994).
  3. Eemian climate instability: Eemian climate was much less stable than Holocene climate with rapid transitions from extreme cold and extreme hot periods at a time scale of just a few decades. There are corresponding periods in the two interglacials where the Eemian is much colder or much warmer than the Holocene. (Andrew Weaver 1994)
  4. Eemian climate instability: The claimed instability in Eemian climate is found only the beginning right after deglaciation and at the end during return to glaciation but not so much in the middle. (Thomas Litt 1996)
  5. Phases of interglacials: The Eemian interglacial lasted for 10,000 years from deglaciation to re-glaciation. The warmest winter temperatures are seen in the first three millennia that then cooled by 7C to 10C halfway into the interglacial that were only 2C to 4C warmer in a gradual transition to more stable mid-interglacial climate.  (Rachid Cheddadi 1998)
  6. Catastrophic ice melt and sea level rise during deglaciation: During deglaciation into thee Eemian interglacial, there were catastrophic sea level rise events that were synchronous with the collapse of the Laurentide and the West Antarctic ice sheets and release of meltwater. The rapid drop in the elevation of the Laurentide ice sheet changed atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns sending warm equatorial waters to the higher latitudes. Such catastrophic climate and sea level change during deglaciation has potentially disastrous implications (Paul Blanchon 1995).
  7. Phases of interglacials: At the onset of the Eemian, summer temperatures were at their highest with summers in southern England several degC warmer than today. The middle of the Eemian was uniform and oceanic without obvious gradients. Towards the end of the Eemian, at the point of incipient glaciation, summer temperatures dropped and there was a shift towards a boreal and sub-oceanic climate. (Gerard Aalbersberg 1998)
  8. Anomalous Eemian sea level rise data: The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) was smaller in the Eemian and therefore the GIS may have contributed 4 to 5 meters to the highest observed sea levels. This finding is inconsistent with the claim of a significant contribution to sea level rise from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). (Kurt Cuffey 2000)
  9. Phases of interglacials: There was a pronounced mid Eemian cooling event after an extreme initial warming period of the Eemian indicative of climate instability. Subsequent to the mid-Eemian cooling, the climate warmed again prior to re-glaciation. (Eugene Karabanov 2000).
  10. Phases of interglacials and climate instability: There were two similar warming periods in the Eemian with oceanic conditions warmer than what is seen in the Holocene. Along with that there were dramatic shifts in climate conditions with warming of 15C from the Rissian (glaciated Alps) to the first thermal optimum of the Eemian with summer temperatures rising faster than winter temperatures – the opposite of what is seen in the Holocene where winter is warming faster than summer in both hemispheres [LINK] [LINK] . Average temperatures were -2.6C to 1.4C in winter and 17.8C to 19.6C iin summer compared with -1.9C to 0.4C and 14C to 18.9C respectively in the mid to late Holocene. (Stefan Klotz 2003)
  11.  Hemispheric Differences:  The Eemian had three phases in the Northern Hemisphere where there was an initial violent warming during and after deglaciation followed by a slight cooling, and eventually a sharp drop in temperature at the inception of the next glaciation. In the Southern Hemisphere, there were only two phases where the second “slight cooling” phase persisted into the next glaciation. The other and more dramatic difference between the hemispheres is that the great climate instability of the North is not found in the South.   (Simon Brewer 2008)
  12. Differences between polar climates & SLR:  In the initial warm period after deglaciation, Eemian polar temperatures were 3C to 5C warmer than today and local sea levels were higher than today with estimated GMSL (global mean sea level) 6 to 9 meters higher than they are today with a  millennial average SLR of 5.6 meters equivalent to 5.6mm/year in the first millennium of the Eemian compared with approx 3mm/year at the current stage in the Holocene. However, these interglacial dynamics of the first violent millennium did not survive into the mid interglacial. (Robert Kopp 2009)
  13. Greenland Ice Sheet Melt: At the end of the initial millennium of warming after deglaciation into the Eemian, the Greenland Ice Sheet was 30% to 60% smaller than it is today with Arctic summer temperatures 2C to 4C warmer than today. therefore, the Eemian is not comparable to the current warming seen in the mid Holocene. However it is comparable to usual forecasts of possible future of Holocene climate in the year 2100 with sustained AGW climate change.  (Willem Van de Berg 2011)

 

ANTARCTIC OCEAN WARMING RATE 1979-2018ANTARCTC-OCEAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAST FORECASTS OF WAIS MELT & SEA LEVEL RISE

  1. 1999: An article in the Journal Science says that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a natural event not related to global warming contrary to claims by climate scientists. The WAIS is indeed melting quite rapidly receding at the rate of 400 feet per year but it has been doing so for thousands of years long before human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, having receded 800 miles since the last ice age. If the process continues unchecked it will melt completely in another 7000 years.Therefore it seems unlikely that the event is linked to human activity or that the time frame of a collapse of the ice shelf could fall within 100 years.
  2. 2001 ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE: A report by the National Research Council (USA) says that global warming may trigger climate changes so abrupt that ecosystems will not be able to adapt. Look for local or short term cooling, floods, droughts, and other unexpected changes. A growing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere due to the use of fossil fuels is to blame. Some regional climates have changed by as much as 10C in 10 years. Antarctica’s largest glaciers are rapidly thinning, and in the last 10 years have lost up to 150 feet of thickness in some places, enough to raise global sea levels by 0.4 mm. Global warming is a real problem and it is getting worse.
  3. 2002, ICE SHELF COLLAPSE: A piece of ice the size of Rhode island broke off the Larsen ice shelf in Antarctica and within a month it dissipated sending a huge flotsam of ice into the sea. At about the same time an iceberg the size of Delaware broke off the Thwaites Glacier. A few months ago parts of the Ross ice shelf had broken off in a similar way. These events serve as a dramatic reminders that global warming is real and its effects are potentially catastrophic and underscores the urgent need for a binding international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. 2004: An unprecedented 4-year study of the Arctic shows that polar bears, walruses, and some seals are becoming extinct. Arctic summer sea ice may disappear entirely. Combined with a rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet, it will raise the sea level 3 feet by 2100 inundating lowlands from Florida to Bangladesh. Average winter temperatures in Alaska and the rest of the Arctic are projected to rise an additional 7 to 13 degrees over the next 100 years because of increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities. The area is warming twice as fast as anywhere else because of global air circulation patterns and natural feedback loops, such as less ice reflecting sunlight, leading to increased warming at ground level and more ice melt. Native peoples’ ways of life are threatened. Animal migration patterns have changed, and the thin sea ice and thawing tundra make it too dangerous for humans to hunt and travel.
  5. 2004A meltdown of the massive Greenland ice sheet, which is more than 3km-thick would raise sea levels by an average seven meters, threatening countries such as Bangladesh, certain islands in the Pacific and some parts of Florida. Greenland’s huge ice sheet could melt within the next thousand years if emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming are not reduced.
  6. 2004: The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report says: increasing greenhouse gases from human activities is causing the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet; in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia winter temperatures have risen by 2C to 4C in the last 50 years; the Arctic will warm by 4C to 7C by 2100. A portion of Greenland’s ice sheet will melt; global sea levels will rise; global warming will intensify. Greenland contains enough melting ice to raise sea levels by 7 meters; Bangkok, Manila, Dhaka, Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey are at risk of inundation; thawing permafrost and rising seas threaten Arctic coastal regions; climate change will accelerate and bring about profound ecological and social changes; the Arctic is experiencing the most rapid and severe climate change on earth and it’s going to get a lot worse; Arctic summer sea ice will decline by 50% to 100%; polar bears will be driven towards extinction; this report is an urgent SOS for the Arctic; forest fires and insect infestations will increase in frequency and intensity; changing vegetation and rising sea levels will shrink the tundra to its lowest level in 21000 years; vanishing breeding areas for birds and grazing areas for animals will cause extinctions of many species; “if we limit emission of heat trapping carbon dioxide we can still help protect the Arctic and slow global warming”.
  7. 2007: A comparison of Landsat photos taken on 8/11/1985 and 9/5/2002 shows that global warming caused by our use of fossil fuels is melting the massive Greenland ice sheet and exposing the rocky peninsula beneath the ice previously covered by ice.
  8. 2007: Climate scientists say that the current rate of increase in the use of fossil fuels will melt the Greenland ice sheet and cause sea levels to rise by 7 meters in 100 years and devastate low-lying countries like Bangladesh. When these estimates were challenged and their internal inconsistencies exposed, the forecast was quietly revised downward 100-fold from 7 meters to 7 centimeters on their website but the news media alarm about 7 meters continued unabated with “thousands of years” inserted in place of “100 years. 
  9. 2008: IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF PETERMANN GLACIER IN GREENLAND 
    Climate scientists looking through satellite pictures found a crack in the Petermann glacier in Greenland and concluded that it could speed up sea level rise because huge chunks of ice the size of Manhattan were hemorrhaging off. Yet, scientists who has been travelling to Greenland for years to study glaciers say that the crack in the glacier is normal and not different from other cracks seen in the 1990s.
  10. 2008: When there was a greater focus on Antarctica climate scientists said that global warming was melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; but the melting was found to be localized and with an active volcano underneath the melting and the attention of “melt forecast” climate science shifted to Arctic sea ice after the an extensive summer melt was observed in September 2007.
  11. 2008: Climate scientists have determined that Adelie penguins in Antarctica are threatened because climate change is melting Antarctic glaciers although it is not clear whether the melting is caused greenhouse gas emissions or by volcanic activity underneath the ice.
  12. 2008Mt. Erebus along with most of the mountains in Antarctica are volcanic mountains and it is now known with certainty that volcanic activity under the ice there is causing great amounts of ice to melt and to cause glaciers to flow faster. The attempt by climate scientists to represent these events as climate change phenomena is inconsistent with this reality.
  13. 2008: THE FIRE BELOW: A volcano under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, that last erupted 2000 years ago, is now active and responsible for melting ice and for retreating glaciers in that part of the continent (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008). Yet, climate scientists claim that these changes are man-made and that they are caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels as predicted by their computer model of the earth’s climate.
  14. 2008: In March 2008, the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula lost more than 400 square kilometers to a sudden collapse. Following that event, the it continued to break up even as the Southern winter brought frigid temperatures.
  15. 2009: Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have caused the Wilkins Ice Shelf to break up. If all of the land based ice in Antarctica melted it would raise the sea level by 80 meters
  16. 2009: Human caused global warming is causing havoc in Antarctica with potentially incalculable results. Over one hundred icebergs broke off and a huge flotilla of them are floating up to New Zealand. 
  17. 2009: Our carbon dioxide emissions are causing the East Antarctic ice shelf to lose 57 billion tonnes of ice per year and that if CO2 emissions are not reduced this process could raise sea levels by 5 meters.
  18. 2009: Temperature data 1957-2008 show that the whole of Antarctica including Western Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Eastern Antarctica, is warming due to CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
  19. 2009: Man-made global warming is causing Greenland’s glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. By the year 2100 all the ice there will have melted causing a calamitous rise in the sea level that will inundate Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bangkok, New Orleans, and atolls in the Pacific. 
  20. 2009: Climate scientists say that the melting of Antarctica is more severe than “previously thought” because the melt is not limited to the Antarctic Peninsula but extends to West Antarctica as well. The melt could cause devastating sea level rise. (although new data show that the West Antarctic ice shelf collapses every 40,000 years or so and that this cyclical process has been regular feature of this ice shelf for millions of years (Antarctica ice collapses were regular, Bangkok Post, March 19, 2009). These melting episodes can raise the sea level by as much as 5 meters but the process takes a thousand years or more.
  21. 2009: Climate scientists say that the Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse is caused by warming of the Antarctic Peninsula due to man-made “global climate change”.
  22. 2009: In 2005 two glaciers in Greenland were found to be moving faster than they were in 2001. Scientists concluded from these data that the difference observed was a a long term trend of glacial melt in Greenland and that carbon dioxide was the cause of this trend. The assumed trend was then extrapolated forward and we were told that carbon dioxide would cause the land based ice mass of Greenland to be discharged to the sea and raise the sea level by six meters. They said that the only way out of the devastation was to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. However, in 2009, just before a meeting in Copenhagen where these deep cuts in emissions were to be negotiated, it was found that the glaciers had returned to their normal rate of discharge.
  23. 2009: Some glaciers on north and northeast Greenland terminate in fiords with long glacier tongues that extend into the sea. It is found that the warming of the oceans caused by our use of fossil fuels is melting these tongues and raising the specter of devastation by sea level rise.

 

 

 

 

PART 4: EEMIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. 1993: Dansgaard, Willi, et al. “Evidence for general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record.” Nature 364.6434 (1993): 218.  RECENT results1,2 from two ice cores drilled in central Greenland have revealed large, abrupt climate changes of at least regional extent during the late stages of the last glaciation, suggesting that climate in the North Atlantic region is able to reorganize itself rapidly, perhaps even within a few decades. Here we present a detailed stable-isotope record for the full length of the Greenland Ice-core Project Summit ice core, extending over the past 250 kyr according to a calculated timescale. We find that climate instability was not confined to the last glaciation, but appears also to have been marked during the last interglacial (as explored more fully in a companion paper3) and during the previous Saale–Holstein glacial cycle. This is in contrast with the extreme stability of the Holocene, suggesting that recent climate stability may be the exception rather than the rule. The last interglacial seems to have lasted longer than is implied by the deep-sea SPECMAP record4, in agreement with other land-based observations5,6. We suggest that climate instability in the early part of the last interglacial may have delayed the melting of the Saalean ice sheets in America and Eurasia, perhaps accounting for this discrepancy.
  2. 1994: Field, Michael H., Brian Huntley, and Helmut Müller. “Eemian climate fluctuations observed in a European pollen record.” Nature 371.6500 (1994): 779. Recent ice-core data from Greenland1,2 suggest that the climate during the last interglacial period the Eemian was more unstable than that of the Holocene (about 10,000 years ago to the present), being characterized in particular by a series of cold episodes each lasting about 70 to 750 years. Subsequent analysis of a second Greenland ice core3,4, however, failed to corroborate the details of these Eemian climate fluctuations, a result that may be attributable to the effects of ice flow4. To resolve this discrepancy, it is imperative to seek alternative sources of information about the Eemian climate. Here we present climate reconstructions from pollen data from the annually laminated Eemian lake-sediment record at Bispingen5 and from the Eemian and Holocene peat records at La Grande Pile6. The former record indicates that an initially warm period of 2,900 yr was followed by cooling and a series of colder episodes, one of which had winter temperatures comparable to those at the end of the preceding cold stage. The latter records show greater climate instability during the Eemian than the Holocene. These results are in broad agreement with those from the GRIP ice core, but contrast both with the GISP2 core3,4 and with recent high-resolution marine records from the North Atlantic7,8.
  3. 1994: Weaver, Andrew J., and Tertia MC Hughes. “Rapid interglacial climate fluctuations driven by North Atlantic ocean circulation.” Nature 367.6462 (1994): 447. RECENT data from the GRIP ice core1–3 in Greenland suggest that the climate of the last Eemian interglacial period was much less stable than that of the present interglacial. Rapid transitions between warm and cold periods were found to occur on timescales of just a few decades. The North Atlantic climate during the Eemian period was also shown to be characterized by three states, respectively warmer than, similar to and colder than today1,2. Recent data from the nearby GISP2 ice core have revealed some discrepancies with these findings, which remain to be resolved4,5. Here we present simulations using an idealized global ocean model, which suggest that the North Atlantic ocean has three distinct circulation modes, each of which corresponds to a distinct climate state. We find that adding a simple random component to the mean freshwater flux (which forces circulation) can induce rapid transitions between these three modes. We suggest that increased variability in the hydrological cycle associated with the warmer Eemian climate could have caused transition between these distinct modes in the North Atlantic circulation, which may in turn account for the apparent rapid variability of the Eemian climate.
  4. 1994: Keigwin, Lloyd D., et al. “The role of the deep ocean in North Atlantic climate change between 70 and 130 kyr ago.” Nature371.6495 (1994): 323.  THE suggestion1 that changes in North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) production are linked through surface heat flux to the atmospheric temperature over Greenland is supported by earlier indications2,3 that NADW production decreased during glacial times, and by the subsequent finding4–6 that it declined during the Younger Dryas cool period at the end of the last glaciation. Changes in North Atlantic surface temperatures have been found7 to mirror high-frequency temperature changes recorded in Greenland ice cores over the past 80 kyr, but the connection to abyssal circulation has yet to be established, except for one or two isolated oscillations8,9. Here we present carbon and oxygen isotope analyses of benthic foraminifera in a high-resolution North Atlantic deep-sea sediment core for the period 70–130kyr ago. These data allow us to reconstruct the history of NADW production, which shows a close correlation with Greenland climate variability for much of this time interval, suggesting that the climate influence of NADW variability was widespread. We see no evidence, however, for changes in NADW production during substage 5e (the Eemian interglacial period), in contrast with recent ice-core data10which suggest severe climate instability in Greenland during this time period. Our results may support suggestions, based on data from a second ice core, that this apparent instability is an artefact caused by ice flow11. Alternatively, the Eemian climate instability may have had a different origin from the subsequent climate events.
  5. 1995: Blanchon, Paul, and John Shaw. “Reef drowning during the last deglaciation: evidence for catastrophic sea-level rise and ice-sheet collapse.” Geology 23.1 (1995): 4-8.  Elevations and ages of drowned Acropora palmata reefs from the Caribbean-Atlantic region document three catastrophic, metre-scale sea-level–rise events during the last deglaciation. These catastrophic rises were synchronous with (1) collapse of the Laurentide and Antarctic ice sheets, (2) dramatic reorganization of ocean-atmosphere circulation, and (3) releases of huge volumes of subglacial and proglacial meltwater. This correlation suggests that release of stored meltwater periodically destabilized ice sheets, causing them to collapse and send huge fleets of icebergs into the Atlantic. Massive inputs of ice not only produced catastrophic sea-level rise, drowning reefs and destabilizing other ice sheets, but also rapidly reduced the elevation of the Laurentide ice sheet, flipping atmospheric circulation patterns and forcing warm equatorial waters into the frigid North Atlantic. Such dramatic evidence of catastrophic climate and sea-level change during deglaciation has potentially disastrous implications for the future, especially as the stability of remaining ice sheets—such as in West Antarctica—is in question
  6. 1996: Zagwijn, W. H. “An analysis of Eemian climate in western and central Europe.” Quaternary Science Reviews 15.5-6 (1996): 451-469. On the basis of 31 pollen diagrams and additional data for botanical macrofossils an analysis is made of the Last Interglacial Eemian climatic history in Western and Central Europe. The main tool for this analysis is the climatic indicator species method. Only selected woody species are used for the quantification of data. Partial climatic range diagrams are presented for: Abies alba, Acer monspessulanum, Acer tataricum, Buxus sempervirens, Tilia tomentosa. The problem of time correlation and pollen zonation of the Eemian is discussed. The climatic analysis itself is based on an improved version of the indicator species method. In this version not every site is analysed for its climatic values. Instead maps and tables on the migrational history of Hedera, Ilex, Buxus, Abies and species of Acer, Tilia and Abies are the basis for climatic maps showing respectively January and July isotherms for the periods of the Corylus zone (E4a) and the Carpinus zone (E5). It is concluded that mean January temperatures were as much as 3°C higher at Amsterdam (The Netherlands), than at present, and mean temperatures in July were 2°C higher. However, the thermal maximum in winter was later (zone E5) than the summer thermal maximum (zone E4a). Winter temperatures changed parallel to rise and fall of global sea-level. Precipitation changes are more difficult to estimate. In the first part of the Eemian precipitation must have been relatively low, but from zone E4b onward it increased to higher values, reaching 800 mm and probably substantially more in zones E5 and E6. Hence the Eemian climate was in its beginning relatively more contintental, and later (from E4b onward) more oceanic. However, as compared with the Holocene, the Eemian climate was, generally speaking, more oceanic.
  7. 1996: Litt, Thomas, Frank W. Junge, and Tanja Böttger. “Climate during the Eemian in north-central Europe—a critical review of the palaeobotanical and stable isotope data from central Germany.” Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 5.3 (1996): 247-256.  This paper reviews the evidence from terrestrial palaeoenvironmental records in north-central Europe and, in particular, central Germany, which relates to the controversial proposition that there were strong climate oscillations during the last interglacial (oxygen isotope substage 5e). In contrast to the evidence from the GRIP ice core at Summit, Greenland, and a recent palaeoclimate reconstruction based on the pollen profile from Bispingen, Germany, the evaluation of the palaeobotanical and the stable isotope data presented here strongly suggests relatively stable temperature for most of the Eemian and with instability confined to the beginning and end of the interglacial. High amplitude temperature variations can be seen in both the Early Weichselian pollen and isotope records. It is argued that this pattern of climate development is applicable to most of continental north-central Europe.
  8. 1997: Johnsen, Sigfús J., et al. “The δ18O record along the Greenland Ice Core Project deep ice core and the problem of possible Eemian climatic instability.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 102.C12 (1997): 26397-26410.  Over 70,000 samples from the 3029‐m‐long Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) ice core drilled on the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet (Summit) have been analyzed for δ8O. A highly detailed and continuous δ8O profile has thus been obtained and is discussed in terms of past temperatures in Greenland. We also discuss a three‐core stacked annual δ8O profile for the past 917 years. The short‐term (<50 years) variability of the annual δ8O signal is found to be 1‰ in the Holocene, and estimates for the coldest parts of the last glacial are 3‰ or higher. These data also provide insights into possible disturbances of the stratigraphic layering in the core which seems to be sound down to the onset of the Eemian. Spectral analysis of highly detailed sequences of the profile helps determine the smoothing of the δ8O signal, which for the Holocene ice is found to be considerably stronger than expected. We suggest this is due to a process involving diffusion of water molecules along crystal boundaries in the recrystallizing ice matrix. Deconvolution techniques were employed for restoring with great confidence the highly attenuated annual δ8O signal in the Holocene. We confirm earlier findings of dramatic temperature changes in Greenland during the last glacial cycle. Abrupt and strong climatic shifts are also found within the Eem/Sangamon Interglaciation, which is normally recorded as a period of warm and stable climate in lower latitudes. The stratigraphic continuity of the Eemian layers is consequently discussed in section 3 of this paper in terms of all pertinent data which we are not able to reconcile
  9. 1998: Cheddadi, R., et al. “Was the climate of the Eemian stable? A quantitative climate reconstruction from seven European pollen records.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 143.1-3 (1998): 73-85. The aim of the present study is to estimate the range of the climatic variability during the Eemian interglacial, which lasted about 10,000 years (marine isotopic stage 5e). The modern pollen analogue technique is applied to seven high resolution pollen records from France and Poland to infer the annual precipitation and the mean temperature of the coldest month. The succession of pollen taxa and the reconstructed climate can be interpreted coherently. The warmest winter temperatures are centred in the first three millennia of the Eemian interglacial, during the mixed oak forest phase with Quercus and Corylus as dominant trees. A rapid shift to cooler winter temperatures of about 6° to 10°C occurred between 4000 and 5000 years after the beginning of the Eemian, related to the spread of the Carpinus forest. This shift is more obvious for the reconstructed temperatures than for precipitation and is unique and irreversible for the whole Eemian period. Following this climatic shift of the Eemian, variations of temperature and precipitation during the last 5000 years were only slight with an amplitude of about 2° to 4°C and 200 to 400 mm/yr. The estimated temperature changes were certainly not as strong as those reconstructed for the stage 6/5e termination or the transition 5e/5d. This is consistent with the constantly high ratio of tree pollen throughout the Eemian, indicative of a succession of temperate forest types. This gradual transition between different forest landscapes can be related to intrinsic competition between the species rather than to a drastic climatic change.
  10. 1998: Aalbersberg, Gerard, and Thomas Litt. “Multiproxy climate reconstructions for the Eemian and Early Weichselian.” Journal of Quaternary Science: Published for the Quaternary Research Association 13.5 (1998): 367-390. Palaeobotanical, coleopteran and periglacial data from 106 sites across northwestern Europe have been analysed in order to reconstruct palaeoclimatic conditions during the Eemian and Early Weichselian. Three time slices in the Eemian and four in the Early Weichselian have been considered. In the Pinus–Quercetum mixtum–Corylus phase of the Eemian, summer temperatures were probably at their highest and the botanic evidence suggests a southeast to northwest gradient for both the warmest and coldest month. Coleoptera indicate that the summers in southern England were several degrees warmer than those of present day. The climate during theCarpinus–Picea phase was uniform and oceanic without obvious gradients. In the final time slice of the Eemian, the Pinus–Picea–Abies phase, temperatures of the warmest month seem to drop slightly with some indication of a shift towards a more boreal and suboceanic climate. The reconstruction of the palaeoclimate in the Herning Stadial and Rederstall Stadial is hampered by the limited number of sites, but botanical evidence suggests a gradient in temperature of the coldest month from east to west. Coleoptera from the Herning Stadial in central England and eastern Germany suggest similarly cold and continental climates. During the Brørup Interstadial and the Odderade Interstadial the botanical evidence suggests that the minimum mean July temperatures rose to 15–16°C but during the coldest month these temperatures show a gradient between −13°C in the east and −5°C in the west. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  11. 2000: Cuffey, Kurt M., and Shawn J. Marshall. “Substantial contribution to sea-level rise during the last interglacial from the Greenland ice sheet.” Nature 404.6778 (2000): 591.  During the last interglacial period (the Eemian), global sea level was at least three metres, and probably more than five metres, higher than at present1,2. Complete melting of either the West Antarctic ice sheet or the Greenland ice sheet would today raise sea levels by 6–7 metres. But the high sea levels during the last interglacial period have been proposed to result mainly from disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet3, with model studies attributing only 1–2 m of sea-level rise to meltwater from Greenland4,5. This result was considered consistent with ice core evidence4, although earlier work had suggested a much reduced Greenland ice sheet during the last interglacial period6. Here we reconsider the Eemian evolution of the Greenland ice sheet by combining numerical modelling with insights obtained from recent central Greenland ice-core analyses. Our results suggest that the Greenland ice sheet was considerably smaller and steeper during the Eemian, and plausibly contributed 4–5.5 m to the sea-level highstand during that period. We conclude that the high sea level during the last interglacial period most probably included a large contribution from Greenland meltwater and therefore should not be interpreted as evidence for a significant reduction of the West Antarctic ice sheet. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  12. 2000: Karabanov, Eugene B., et al. “Evidence for mid-Eemian cooling in continental climatic record from Lake Baikal.” Journal of Paleolimnology 23.4 (2000): 365-371. The discussion on climatic instability observed in Greenland ice cores during the Eemian period (substage 5e) resulted in discovery of a pronounced mid-Eemian cooling event. We report that the mid-Eemian cooling is found for the first time in the biogenic silica climatic record and microfossil abundance record of Lake Baikal. Timing of this event in Lake Baikal correlates well with timing of the European pollen records and marine sedimentary records. The presence of the mid-Eemian cooling signal in the Lake Baikal record suggests a much closer link between Asian climate influenced by strong pressure fields over the vast land masses and the climate-controlling processes in the North Atlantic during interglacial periods, than what was generally believed. Furthermore, the Lake Baikal record suggests that after the mid-Eemian cooling, the climatic conditions returned close to the warmth of the 5e optimum and thus argues that the warm conditions of the last interglacial persisted in Siberia throughout 5e, and did not end with the mid-Eemian cooling as suggested by several published marine records.
  13. 2000: Kukla, George J. “The last interglacial.” Science 287.5455 (2000): 987-988.  Climate during the last 10,000 years, the Holocene, has been relatively mild and stable. In contrast, the climate during the last interglacial is often portrayed as more variable. But, as Kukla discusses in this Perspective, evidence for a more stable last interglacial is emerging. Furthermore, the transition to the next glacial proceeded in stages and was not uniform across Europe.
  14. 2002: Rahmstorf, Stefan. “Ocean circulation and climate during the past 120,000 years.” Nature 419.6903 (2002): 207. Oceans cover more than two-thirds of our blue planet. The waters move in a global circulation system, driven by subtle density differences and transporting huge amounts of heat. Ocean circulation is thus an active and highly nonlinear player in the global climate game. Increasingly clear evidence implicates ocean circulation in abrupt and dramatic climate shifts, such as sudden temperature changes in Greenland on the order of 5–10 °C and massive surges of icebergs into the North Atlantic Ocean — events that have occurred repeatedly during the last glacial cycle.
  15. 2002: Cane, Tim, et al. “High-resolution stratigraphic framework for Mediterranean sapropel S5: defining temporal relationships between records of Eemian climate variability.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 183.1 (2002): 87-101. A high-resolution stratigraphic framework is presented for sapropel S5, which represents the low-mid latitude climate optimum of the previous interglacialperiod (Eemian). The framework is based on three sites along a transect from west to east through the eastern Mediterranean, and is further validated using a fourth site. This method allows expression of S5-based proxy records of Eemianclimate variability along a standardised depth scale that offers unprecedented possibilities for assessment of spatial gradients and signal leads and lags in an interval where high-resolution (radiocarbon-style) dating cannot be performed. Our lateral comparison of S5 sapropels suggests that the onset of S5 in ODPsite 967C (Eratosthenes seamount) was 1–6 centuries delayed relative to the onsets in more westerly sites.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
  16. 2003: Klotz, Stefan, Joel Guiot, and Volker Mosbrugger. “Continental European Eemian and early Würmian climate evolution: comparing signals using different quantitative reconstruction approaches based on pollen.” Global and Planetary Change36.4 (2003): 277-294. Analyses of Eemian climate dynamics based on different reconstruction methods were conducted for several pollen sequences in the northern alpine foreland. The modern analogue and mutual climate sphere techniques used, which are briefly presented, complement one another with respect to comparable results. The reconstructions reveal the occurrence of at least two similar thermal periods, representing temperate oceanic conditions warmer and with a higher humidity than today. Intense changes of climate processes become obvious with a shift of winter temperatures of about 15 °C from the late Rissian to the first thermal optimum of the Eemian. The transition shows a pattern of summer temperatures and precipitation increasing more rapidly than winter temperatures. With the first optimum during the PinusQuercetum mixtumCorylus phase (PQC) at an early stage of the Eemian and a second optimum period at a later stage, which is characterised by widespread Carpinus, climate gradients across the study area were less intense than today. Average winter temperatures vary between −1.9 and 0.4 °C (present-day −3.6 to 1.4 °C), summer temperatures between 17.8 and 19.6 °C (present-day 14 to 18.9 °C). The timberline expanded about 350 m when compared to the present-day limit represented by Pinus mugo. Whereas the maximum of temperature parameters is related to the first optimum, precipitation above 1100 mm is higher during the second warm period concomitant to somewhat reduced temperatures. Intermediate, smaller climate oscillations and a cooling becomes obvious, which admittedly represent moderate deterioration but not extreme chills. During the boreal semicontinental Eemian PinusPiceaAbies phase, another less distinct fluctuation occurs, initiating the oscillating shift from temperate to cold conditions.
  17. 2004: Andersen, Katrine K., et al. “High-resolution record of Northern Hemisphere climate extending into the last interglacial period.” Nature 431.7005 (2004): 147. Two deep ice cores from central Greenland, drilled in the 1990s, have played a key role in climate reconstructions of the Northern Hemisphere, but the oldest sections of the cores were disturbed in chronology owing to ice folding near the bedrock. Here we present an undisturbed climate record from a North Greenland ice core, which extends back to 123,000 years before the present, within the last interglacial period. The oxygen isotopes in the ice imply that climate was stable during the last interglacial period, with temperatures 5 °C warmer than today. We find unexpectedly large temperature differences between our new record from northern Greenland and the undisturbed sections of the cores from central Greenland, suggesting that the extent of ice in the Northern Hemisphere modulated the latitudinal temperature gradients in Greenland. This record shows a slow decline in temperatures that marked the initiation of the last glacial period. Our record reveals a hitherto unrecognized warm period initiated by an abrupt climate warming about 115,000 years ago, before glacial conditions were fully developed. This event does not appear to have an immediate Antarctic counterpart, suggesting that the climate see-saw between the hemispheres (which dominated the last glacial period) was not operating at this time.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
  18. 2006: Peltier, W. R., and Richard G. Fairbanks. “Global glacial ice volume and Last Glacial Maximum duration from an extended Barbados sea level record.” Quaternary Science Reviews25.23-24 (2006): 3322-3337.  Fundamental characteristics of the climate system during the most recent precessional cycle of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun consist of the final expansion of land ice to its maximum extent, the subsequent episode of deglaciation, and the variations of global sea level that accompanied these events. In order to address the important issue of the variation of continental ice volume and related changes in global sea level through the late glacial period, we employ an extended set of observations of the pre-glacial and postglacial history of sea-level rise at the island of Barbados, together with a refined model of continental deglaciation and an accurate methodology for the prediction of postglacial sea-level change. Although our results provide unambiguous evidence that the post LGM rise of eustatic sea-level was very close to the widely supported estimate of 120 m, the data also provide evidence that LGM must have occurred 26,000 years ago, approximately 5000 yr earlier than the usually assumed age.
  19. 2007: Tarasov, Pavel, et al. “Vegetation and climate dynamics during the Holocene and Eemian interglacials derived from Lake Baikal pollen records.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 252.3-4 (2007): 440-457. The last interglacial (LI) and Holocene changes in annual precipitation (Pann), the mean temperature of the warmest (Tw) and coldest (Tc) month and the moisture index (α) were reconstructed from continuous pollen records from Lake Baikal. The Holocene core (52°31′N, 106°09′E) presented in this study was recovered from a depth of 355 m in the 25-km wide underwater Buguldeika saddle separating the southern sub-basin of Lake Baikal from its central sub-basin. The biome reconstruction shows that tundra and steppe biomes have highest scores during ca. 15,000–13,300 cal. years B.P. and that taiga becomes a dominant vegetation type after ca. 13,300 cal. years B.P. Our quantitative reconstruction indicates an onset of relatively warm and wet conditions soon after ca. 10,000 cal. years B.P. The warmest and wettest climate with Tw ∼ 16 °C, Pann ∼ 480 mm and α ∼ 0.9–1 has been reconstructed for ca. 9000–7000 cal. years B.P. In the Lake Baikal region this interval is characterized by the appearance and spread of hunter communities (Kitoi culture). Consistently a hiatus in the regional archaeological record (4900–4200 years B.C. or 6850–6150 cal. years B.P.) coincides with the interval of a major climate deterioration which followed the ‘climatic optimum’. An attempt to find a relationship between the archaeological record and a spread of steppe and meadow communities in the Lake Baikal region demonstrates that despite a long habitation of the area the human impact on vegetation was local rather than regional and likely did not affect the pollen record from Lake Baikal. The reconstructed peaks in the steppe biome scores during the last 9000 years are consistent with short (one to five hundred year) episodes of weak Pacific (summer) monsoon supporting our interpretation that the Holocene vegetation changes around Lake Baikal are associated with large-scale circulation processes controlling regional water balance rather than with human activities. Thus, our study proves the suitability of Lake Baikal pollen data for the reconstruction of natural vegetation and climate dynamics through the whole period from the onset of the LI to the present. Comparison of the recent and the last interglacial suggests that the Holocene ‘climatic optimum’ was less pronounced (e.g. lower summer and winter temperatures and annual precipitation sums) than that of the LI. On the other hand, pollen records demonstrate that the Holocene ‘forest phase’ already lasts some thousand years longer than that of the LI. The interglacial vegetation dynamics derived from the Lake Baikal pollen records can be satisfactorily explained by reconstructed changes in summer and winter temperatures and in available moisture. The interglacial vegetation around Lake Baikal is dominated by the boreal forests, which are associated with a generally warm and wet climate. The high sea level associated with decreased ice volume appears to have had a greater impact on the Siberian environments during the last and the recent interglacial than the direct effect of lower-than-present winter insolation. Reconstructed changes in the winter temperature correlate well with changes in the sea level and global ice volume, while the summer temperatures derived from the Lake Baikal pollen records track changes in the summer insolation.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2007: Schurgers, Guy, et al. “The effect of land surface changes on Eemian climate.” Climate dynamics 29.4 (2007): 357-373. Transient experiments for the Eemian (128–113 ky BP) were performed with a complex, coupled earth system model, including atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial biosphere and marine biogeochemistry. In order to investigate the effect of land surface parameters (background albedo, vegetation and tree fraction and roughness length) on the simulated changes during the Eemian, simulations with interactive coupling between climate and vegetation were compared with additional experiments in which these feedbacks were suppressed. The experiments show that the influence of land surface on climate is mainly caused by changes in the albedo. For the northern hemisphere high latitudes, land surface albedo is changed partially due to the direct albedo effect of the conversion of grasses into forest, but the indirect effect of forests on snow albedo appears to be the major factor influencing the total absorption of solar radiation. The Western Sahara region experiences large changes in land surface albedo due to the appearance of vegetation between 128 and 120 ky BP. These local land surface albedo changes can be as much as 20%, thereby affecting the local as well as the global energy balance. On a global scale, latent heat loss over land increases more than 10% for 126 ky BP compared to present-day.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2008: Brewer, S., et al. “The climate in Europe during the Eemian: a multi-method approach using pollen data.” Quaternary Science Reviews 27.25-26 (2008): 2303-2315. The Last Interglacial period, the Eemian, offers a testbed for comparing climate evolution throughout an interglacial with the current warm period. We present here results from climatic reconstructions from 17 sites distributed across the European continent, allowing an assessment of trends and regional averages of climate changes during this period. We use a multi-method approach to allow for an improved assessment of the uncertainties involved in the reconstruction. In addition, the method takes into account the errors associated with the age model. The resulting uncertainties are large, but allow a more robust assessment of the reconstructed climatic variations than in previous studies. The results show a traditional three-part Eemian, with an early optimum, followed by slight cooling and eventually a sharp drop in both temperatures and precipitation. This sequence is however, restricted to the north, as this latter change is not observed in the south where temperatures remain stable for longer. These variations led to marked variation in the latitudinal temperature gradient during the Eemian. The difference between the two regions is also noticeable in the magnitude of changes, with greater variations in the north than the south. Some evidence is found for changes in lapse rates, however, a greater number of sites is needed to confirm this.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2009: Kopp, Robert E., et al. “Probabilistic assessment of sea level during the last interglacial stage.” Nature 462.7275 (2009): 863.  With polar temperatures 3–5 °C warmer than today, the last interglacial stage (125 kyr ago) serves as a partial analogue for 1–2 °C global warming scenarios. Geological records from several sites indicate that local sea levels during the last interglacial were higher than today, but because local sea levels differ from global sea level, accurately reconstructing past global sea level requires an integrated analysis of globally distributed data sets. Here we present an extensive compilation of local sea level indicators and a statistical approach for estimating global sea level, local sea levels, ice sheet volumes and their associated uncertainties. We find a 95% probability that global sea level peaked at least 6.6 m higher than today during the last interglacial; it is likely (67% probability) to have exceeded 8.0 m but is unlikely (33% probability) to have exceeded 9.4 m. When global sea level was close to its current level (≥-10 m), the millennial average rate of global sea level rise is very likely to have exceeded 5.6 m kyr-1 but is unlikely to have exceeded 9.2 m kyr-1. Our analysis extends previous last interglacial sea level studies by integrating literature observations within a probabilistic framework that accounts for the physics of sea level change. The results highlight the long-term vulnerability of ice sheets to even relatively low levels of sustained global warming.
    • 2010: Fischer, N., and J. H. Jungclaus. “Effects of orbital forcing on atmosphere and ocean heat transports in Holocene and Eemian climate simulations with a comprehensive Earth system model.” Climate of the Past 6 (2010): 155-168. Orbital forcing not only exerts direct insolation effects, but also alters climate indirectly through feedback mechanisms that modify atmosphere and ocean dynamics and meridional heat and moisture transfers. We investigate the regional effects of these changes by detailed analysis of atmosphere and ocean circulation and heat transports in a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice-biosphere general circulation model (ECHAM5/JSBACH/MPI-OM). We perform long term quasi equilibrium simulations under pre-industrial, mid-Holocene (6000 years before present – yBP), and Eemian (125 000 yBP) orbital boundary conditions. Compared to pre-industrial climate, Eemian and Holocene temperatures show generally warmer conditions at higher and cooler conditions at lower latitudes. Changes in sea-ice cover, ocean heat transports, and atmospheric circulation patterns lead to pronounced regional heterogeneity. Over Europe, the warming is most pronounced over the north-eastern part in accordance with recent reconstructions for the Holocene. We attribute this warming to enhanced ocean circulation in the Nordic Seas and enhanced ocean-atmosphere heat flux over the Barents Shelf in conduction with retreat of sea ice and intensified winter storm tracks over northern Europe. [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2011: Nicholls, Robert J., et al. “Sea-level rise and its possible impacts given a ‘beyond 4 C world’in the twenty-first century.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 369.1934 (2011): 161-181.  The range of future climate-induced sea-level rise remains highly uncertain with continued concern that large increases in the twenty-first century cannot be ruled out. The biggest source of uncertainty is the response of the large ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica. Based on our analysis, a pragmatic estimate of sea-level rise by 2100, for a temperature rise of 4°C or more over the same time frame, is between 0.5 m and 2 m—the probability of rises at the high end is judged to be very low, but of unquantifiable probability. However, if realized, an indicative analysis shows that the impact potential is severe, with the real risk of the forced displacement of up to 187 million people over the century (up to 2.4% of global population). This is potentially avoidable by widespread upgrade of protection, albeit rather costly with up to 0.02 per cent of global domestic product needed, and much higher in certain nations. The likelihood of protection being successfully implemented varies between regions, and is lowest in small islands, Africa and parts of Asia, and hence these regions are the most likely to see coastal abandonment. To respond to these challenges, a multi-track approach is required, which would also be appropriate if a temperature rise of less than 4°C was expected. Firstly, we should monitor sea level to detect any significant accelerations in the rate of rise in a timely manner. Secondly, we need to improve our understanding of the climate-induced processes that could contribute to rapid sea-level rise, especially the role of the two major ice sheets, to produce better models that quantify the likely future rise more precisely. Finally, responses need to be carefully considered via a combination of climate mitigation to reduce the rise and adaptation for the residual rise in sea level. In particular, long-term strategic adaptation plans for the full range of possible sea-level rise (and other change) need to be widely developed.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2011: Krzysztof, Bińka, and Nitychoruk Jerzy. “Cyclicity in the Eemian climate? A case study of the Eemian site at Czaple, Eastern Poland.” Review of palaeobotany and palynology164.1-2 (2011): 39-44. The newly discovered lacustrine deposits from Czaple, Eastern Poland, examined by means of pollen analysis, revealed an undisturbed, continuous sequence of vegetational development of the Eemian/Early Vistulian age. We tried to trace the secondary climatic trends, cyclic in part on the basis of plant taxa — representing the second league in the spectra, as to frequency, but forming an important group of the index plants. Their appearance becomes more pronounced and reliable when extraordinarily high numbers of pollen are analyzed. The oscillations of curves of these taxa are more clearly expressed than by traditional counts, revealing the hidden picture in the palynological background. It is interesting that some taxa – e.g. Hedera – form a distinctive intermittent pattern reflecting cyclicity of climatic condition or additional factors which are responsible for it. Pollen curves of other index plants do not show such regular variation. This cyclicity can be traced in many European Eemian diagrams. Especially interesting is the sudden decline of ivy as well as of other indicator plants in the subzone E4b such as the Corylus which marks some increase in a continentality of climate. We can also trace this trend in other sequences. In addition, extra counts allow us to estimate the exact timing of the migration of rarely noted exotic taxa and their range of distribution in the sequence. BuxusOsmunda cinnamomea and Lycopodium lucidulum types are the best examples illustrating this.
    • 2011: Van de Berg, Willem Jan, et al. “Significant contribution of insolation to Eemian melting of the Greenland ice sheet.” Nature Geoscience 4.10 (2011): 679.  During the Eemian interglacial period, 130,000 to 114,000 years ago, the volume of the Greenland ice sheet was about 30–60% smaller than the present-day volume1,2. Summer temperatures in the Arctic region were about 2–4 K higher than today3,4,5, leading to the suggestion that Eemian conditions could be considered an analogue for future warming6, particularly for the future stability of the Greenland ice sheet. However, Northern Hemisphere insolation was much higher during the Eemian than today, which could affect the reliability of this analogy. Here we use a high-resolution regional climate model with a realistic ice-sheet surface representation to assess the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet during the Eemian. Our simulations show that Eemian climate led to an 83% lower surface mass balance, compared with the preindustrial simulation. Our sensitivity experiments show that only about 55% of this change in surface mass balance can be attributed to higher ambient temperatures, with the remaining 45% caused by higher insolation and associated nonlinear feedbacks. We show that temperature–melt relations are dependent on changes in insolation. Hence, we suggest that projections of future Greenland ice loss on the basis of Eemian temperature–melt relations may overestimate the future vulnerability of the ice sheet.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2013: Nikolova, Irina, et al. “The last interglacial (Eemian) climate simulated by LOVECLIM and CCSM3.” Climate of the Past 9.4 (2013): 1789-1806. This paper presents a detailed analysis of the climate of the last interglacial simulated by two climate models of different complexities, CCSM3 (Community Climate System Model 3) and LOVECLIM (LOch-Vecode-Ecbilt-CLio-agIsm Model). The simulated surface temperature, hydrological cycle, vegetation and ENSO variability during the last interglacial are analyzed through the comparison with the simulated pre-industrial (PI) climate. In both models, the last interglacial period is characterized by a significant warming (cooling) over almost all the continents during boreal summer (winter) leading to a largely increased (reduced) seasonal contrast in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. This is mainly due to the much higher (lower) insolation received by the whole Earth in boreal summer (winter) during this interglacial. The Arctic is warmer than PI through the whole year, resulting from its much higher summer insolation, its remnant effect in the following fall-winter through the interactions between atmosphere, ocean and sea ice and feedbacks from sea ice and snow cover. Discrepancies exist in the sea-ice formation zones between the two models. Cooling is simulated by CCSM3 in the Greenland and Norwegian seas and near the shelves of Antarctica during DJF but not in LOVECLIM as a result of excessive sea-ice formation. Intensified African monsoon is responsible for the cooling during summer in northern Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. Over India, the precipitation maximum is found further west, while in Africa the precipitation maximum migrates further north. Trees and grassland expand north in Sahel/Sahara, more clearly seen in LOVECLIM than in CCSM3 results. A mix of forest and grassland occupies continents and expands deep into the high northern latitudes. Desert areas reduce significantly in the Northern Hemisphere, but increase in northern Australia. The interannual SST variability of the tropical Pacific (El-Niño Southern Oscillation) of the last interglacial simulated by CCSM3 shows slightly larger variability and magnitude compared to the PI. However, the SST variability in our LOVECLIM simulations is particularly small due to the overestimated thermocline’s depth.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2015: Dutton, A., et al. “Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods.” science 349.6244 (2015): aaa4019.  We know that the sea level will rise as climate warms. Nevertheless, accurate projections of how much sea-level rise will occur are difficult to make based solely on modern observations. Determining how ice sheets and sea level have varied in past warm periods can help us better understand how sensitive ice sheets are to higher temperatures. Dutton et al. review recent interdisciplinary progress in understanding this issue, based on data from four different warm intervals over the past 3 million years. Their synthesis provides a clear picture of the progress we have made and the hurdles that still exist.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2015: Hansen, James, et al. “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2° C global warming is highly dangerous.” Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics Discussions 15.14 (2015).  There is evidence of ice melt, sea level rise to +5–9 m, and extreme storms in the prior interglacial period that was less than 1C warmer than today. Human-made climate forcing is stronger and more rapid than paleo forcings, but much can be learned by 5 combining insights from paleoclimate, climate modeling, and on-going observations. We argue that ice sheets in contact with the ocean are vulnerable to non-linear disintegration in response to ocean warming, and we posit that ice sheet mass loss can be approximated by a doubling time up to sea level rise of at least several meters. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield sea level rise of several meters in 50, 100 or 200 years. Paleoclimate data reveal that subsurface ocean warming causes ice shelf melt and ice sheet discharge. Our climate model exposes amplifying feedbacks in the Southern Ocean that slow Antarctic bottom water formation and increase ocean temperature near ice shelf grounding lines, while cooling the surface ocean and increasing sea ice cover and water column stability. Ocean surface cooling, in the North Atlantic 15 as well as the Southern Ocean, increases tropospheric horizontal temperature gradients, eddy kinetic energy and baroclinicity, which drive more powerful storms. We focus attention on the Southern Ocean’s role in affecting atmospheric CO2 amount, which in turn is a tight control knob on global climate. The millennial (500–2000 year) time scale of deep ocean ventilation affects the time scale for natural CO2 change, thus the time 20 scale for paleo global climate, ice sheet and sea level changes. This millennial carbon cycle time scale should not be misinterpreted as the ice sheet time scale for response to a rapid human-made climate forcing. Recent ice sheet melt rates have a doubling time near the lower end of the 10–40 year range. We conclude that 2C global warming above the preindustrial level, which would spur more ice shelf melt, is highly dangerous. Earth’s energy imbalance, which must be eliminated to stabilize climate, provides a crucial metric.  [FULL TEXT PDF]
    • 2016: DeConto, Robert M., and David Pollard. “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise.” Nature 531.7596 (2016): 591.  Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs—that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.  [FULL TEXT PDF]

     

     

     

     

     

    AGW COLLAPSE OF ICE SHEETS:  BIBLIOGRAPHY

    1. 1983: Zwally, H. Jay, et al. “Surface elevation contours of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 88.C3 (1983): 1589-1596. Surface elevations of the ice sheets are contoured at 50‐m intervals for the region of Greenland covered by SEASAT radar altimetry south of 72°N and at 100‐m intervals for a region of East Antarctica north of 72°S. The surface elevations were obtained from computer retracking of the radar altimeter waveforms, which were recorded at 0.1‐s intervals corresponding to 662‐m spacings on the surface. The precision of the elevation measurements before adjustment for radial orbit errors is 1.9 m as shown by analysis of elevation differences at orbital crossover points. This precision is partly determined by radial errors of approximately 1.0 m in orbit determination and partly by noise due to ice surface irregularities. Adjustment of the radial components of the orbits to minimize the differences in elevations at crossovers over a small, relatively flat region reduces the rms difference to 0.25 m, which is indicative of the optimum precision obtainable over the ice sheets. However, the precision degrades as the slope of the surface or amplitude of the undulations increases, yielding an overall precision of ±1.6 m. The preliminary contour maps are not corrected for slope‐induced displacements. A 2‐m contour map in a region of highest data density illustrates the three‐dimensional characteristics of some surface undulations.
    2. 1999: Huybrechts, Philippe, and Jan de Wolde. “The dynamic response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to multiple-century climatic warming.” Journal of Climate 12.8 (1999): 2169-2188.  New calculations were performed to investigate the combined response of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to a range of climatic warming scenarios over the next millennium. Use was made of fully dynamic 3D thermomechanic ice sheet models, which were coupled to a two-dimensional climate model. The experiments were initialized with simulations over the last two glacial cycles to estimate the present evolution and were subsequently forced with temperature scenarios resulting from greenhouse emission scenarios which assume equivalent CO2 increases of two, four, and eight times the present (1990 a.d.) value by the year 2130 a.d. and a stabilization after that. The calculations brought to light that during the next century (short-term effect), the background evolution trend would dominate the response of the Antarctic ice sheet but would be negligible for the Greenland ice sheet. On that timescale, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would roughly balance one another for the middle scenario (similar to the IPCC96 IS92a scenario), with respective contributions to the worldwide sea level stand on the order of about ±10 cm. On the longer term, however, both ice sheets would contribute positively to the worldwide sea level stand and the most important effect would come from melting on the Greenland ice sheet. Sensitivity experiments highlighted the role of ice dynamics and the height–mass-balance feedback on the results. It was found that ice dynamics cannot be neglected for the Greenland ice sheet, not even on a century timescale, but becomes only important for Antarctica on the longer term. The latter is related to an increased outflow of ice into the ice shelves and to the grounding-line retreat of the west Antarctic ice sheet, which are both found to be sensitive to basal melting below ice shelves and the effective viscosity of the ice shelves. Stretching parameters to their limits yielded a combined maximum rate of sea level rise of 85 cm century−1, of which 60 cm would originate from the Greenland ice sheet alone.
    3. 2005: Zwally, H. Jay, et al. “Mass changes of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and shelves and contributions to sea-level rise: 1992–2002.” Journal of Glaciology 51.175 (2005): 509-527.  Changes in ice mass are estimated from elevation changes derived from 10.5 years (Greenland) and 9 years (Antarctica) of satellite radar altimetry data from the European Remote-sensing Satellites ERS-1 and -2. For the first time, the dH/dt values are adjusted for changes in surface elevation resulting from temperature-driven variations in the rate of firn compaction. The Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins (–42 ± 2Gta¯1 below the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA)) and growing inland (+53 ± 2Gta-1 above the ELA) with a small overall mass gain (+11 ± 3Gta–1; –0.03 mma–1 SLE (sea-level equivalent)). The ice sheet in West Antarctica (WA) is losing mass (–47 ± 4Gta–1) and the ice sheet in East Antarctica (EA) shows a small mass gain (+16 ± 11 Gta–1) for a combined net change of –31 ± 12 Gta–1(+0.08mma–1 SLE). The contribution of the three ice sheets to sea level is +0.05±0.03mma–1. The Antarctic ice shelves show corresponding mass changes of –95 ± 11 Gta–1 in WA and +142 ± 10Gta–1 in EA. Thinning at the margins of the Greenland ice sheet and growth at higher elevations is an expected response to increasing temperatures and precipitation in a warming climate. The marked thinnings in the Pine Island and Thwaites Glacier basins of WA and the Totten Glacier basin in EA are probably ice- dynamic responses to long-term climate change and perhaps past removal of their adjacent ice shelves. The ice growth in the southern Antarctic Peninsula and parts of EA may be due to increasing precipitation during the last century.
    4. 2009: Pollard, David, and Robert M. DeConto. “Modelling West Antarctic ice sheet growth and collapse through the past five million years.” Nature 458.7236 (2009): 329.  The West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS), with ice volume equivalent to 5 m of sea level1, has long been considered capable of past and future catastrophic collapse2,3,4. Today, the ice sheet is fringed by vulnerable floating ice shelves that buttress the fast flow of inland ice streams. Grounding lines are several hundred metres below sea level and the bed deepens upstream, raising the prospect of runaway retreat3,5. Projections of future WAIS behaviour have been hampered by limited understanding of past variations and their underlying forcing mechanisms6,7. Its variation since the Last Glacial Maximum is best known, with grounding lines advancing to the continental-shelf edges around 15 kyr ago before retreating to near-modern locations by 3 kyr ago8. Prior collapses during the warmth of the early Pliocene epoch9and some Pleistocene interglacials have been suggested indirectly from records of sea level and deep-sea-core isotopes, and by the discovery of open-ocean diatoms in subglacial sediments10. Until now11, however, little direct evidence of such behaviour has been available. Here we use a combined ice sheet/ice shelf model12 capable of high-resolution nesting with a new treatment of grounding-line dynamics and ice-shelf buttressing5 to simulate Antarctic ice sheet variations over the past five million years. Modelled WAIS variations range from full glacial extents with grounding lines near the continental shelf break, intermediate states similar to modern, and brief but dramatic retreats, leaving only small, isolated ice caps on West Antarctic islands. Transitions between glacial, intermediate and collapsed states are relatively rapid, taking one to several thousand years. Our simulation is in good agreement with a new sediment record (ANDRILL AND-1B) recovered from the western Ross Sea11, indicating a long-term trend from more frequently collapsed to more glaciated states, dominant 40-kyr cyclicity in the Pliocene, and major retreats at marine isotope stage 31 (1.07 Myr ago) and other super-interglacials.
    5. 2009: Pritchard, Hamish D., et al. “Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.” Nature 461.7266 (2009): 971.  Many glaciers along the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are accelerating and, for this reason, contribute increasingly to global sea-level rise1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Globally, ice losses contribute 1.8 mm yr-1(ref. 8), but this could increase if the retreat of ice shelves and tidewater glaciers further enhances the loss of grounded ice9 or initiates the large-scale collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheets10. Ice loss as a result of accelerated flow, known as dynamic thinning, is so poorly understood that its potential contribution to sea level over the twenty-first century remains unpredictable11. Thinning on the ice-sheet scale has been monitored by using repeat satellite altimetry observations to track small changes in surface elevation, but previous sensors could not resolve most fast-flowing coastal glaciers12. Here we report the use of high-resolution ICESat (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) laser altimetry to map change along the entire grounded margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. To isolate the dynamic signal, we compare rates of elevation change from both fast-flowing and slow-flowing ice with those expected from surface mass-balance fluctuations. We find that dynamic thinning of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic grounding lines, has endured for decades after ice-shelf collapse, penetrates far into the interior of each ice sheet and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. In Greenland, glaciers flowing faster than 100 m yr-1thinned at an average rate of 0.84 m yr-1, and in the Amundsen Sea embayment of Antarctica, thinning exceeded 9.0 m yr-1 for some glaciers. Our results show that the most profound changes in the ice sheets currently result from glacier dynamics at ocean margins.
    6. 2009: Velicogna, Isabella. “Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE.” Geophysical Research Letters 36.19 (2009).  We use monthly measurements of time‐variable gravity from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite gravity mission to determine the ice mass‐loss for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets during the period between April 2002 and February 2009. We find that during this time period the mass loss of the ice sheets is not a constant, but accelerating with time, i.e., that the GRACE observations are better represented by a quadratic trend than by a linear one, implying that the ice sheets contribution to sea level becomes larger with time. In Greenland, the mass loss increased from 137 Gt/yr in 2002–2003 to 286 Gt/yr in 2007–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009. In Antarctica the mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009. The observed acceleration in ice sheet mass loss helps reconcile GRACE ice mass estimates obtained for different time periods.
    7. 2011: Rignot, Eric, et al. “Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise.” Geophysical Research Letters 38.5 (2011). Ice sheet mass balance estimates have improved substantially in recent years using a variety of techniques, over different time periods, and at various levels of spatial detail. Considerable disparity remains between these estimates due to the inherent uncertainties of each method, the lack of detailed comparison between independent estimates, and the effect of temporal modulations in ice sheet surface mass balance. Here, we present a consistent record of mass balance for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the past two decades, validated by the comparison of two independent techniques over the last 8 years: one differencing perimeter loss from net accumulation, and one using a dense time series of time‐variable gravity. We find excellent agreement between the two techniques for absolute mass loss and acceleration of mass loss. In 2006, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets experienced a combined mass loss of 475 ± 158 Gt/yr, equivalent to 1.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr sea level rise. Notably, the acceleration in ice sheet loss over the last 18 years was 21.9 ± 1 Gt/yr2 for Greenland and 14.5 ± 2 Gt/yr2 for Antarctica, for a combined total of 36.3 ± 2 Gt/yr2. This acceleration is 3 times larger than for mountain glaciers and ice caps (12 ± 6 Gt/yr2). If this trend continues, ice sheets will be the dominant contributor to sea level rise in the 21st century.
    8. 2012: Pritchard, HDx, et al. “Antarctic ice-sheet loss driven by basal melting of ice shelves.” Nature 484.7395 (2012): 502.  Accurate prediction of global sea-level rise requires that we understand the cause of recent, widespread and intensifying1,2 glacier acceleration along Antarctic ice-sheet coastal margins3. Atmospheric and oceanic forcing have the potential to reduce the thickness and extent of floating ice shelves, potentially limiting their ability to buttress the flow of grounded tributary glaciers4. Indeed, recent ice-shelf collapse led to retreat and acceleration of several glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula5. But the extent and magnitude of ice-shelf thickness change, the underlying causes of such change, and its link to glacier flow rate are so poorly understood that its future impact on the ice sheets cannot yet be predicted3. Here we use satellite laser altimetry and modelling of the surface firn layer to reveal the circum-Antarctic pattern of ice-shelf thinning through increased basal melt. We deduce that this increased melt is the primary control of Antarctic ice-sheet loss, through a reduction in buttressing of the adjacent ice sheet leading to accelerated glacier flow2. The highest thinning rates occur where warm water at depth can access thick ice shelves via submarine troughs crossing the continental shelf. Wind forcing could explain the dominant patterns of both basal melting and the surface melting and collapse of Antarctic ice shelves, through ocean upwelling in the Amundsen6 and Bellingshausen7 seas, and atmospheric warming on the Antarctic Peninsula8. This implies that climate forcing through changing winds influences Antarctic ice-sheet mass balance, and hence global sea level, on annual to decadal timescales.
    9. 2014: Joughin, Ian, Benjamin E. Smith, and Brooke Medley. “Marine ice sheet collapse potentially under way for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica.” Science 344.6185 (2014): 735-738.  Resting atop a deep marine basin, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has long been considered prone to instability. Using a numerical model, we investigated the sensitivity of Thwaites Glacier to ocean melt and whether its unstable retreat is already under way. Our model reproduces observed losses when forced with ocean melt comparable to estimates. Simulated losses are moderate (<0.25 mm per year at sea level) over the 21st century but generally increase thereafter. Except possibly for the lowest-melt scenario, the simulations indicate that early-stage collapse has begun. Less certain is the time scale, with the onset of rapid (>1 mm per year of sea-level rise) collapse in the different simulations within the range of 200 to 900 years.

    THE GREAT BHOLA CYCLONE OF 1970

    [LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

    RELATED POSTS ON TROPICAL CYCLONES AND CLIMATE CHANGE

    [TRENDS] [SST] [PRE-INDUSTRIAL] [HURRICANE-OBSESSION] [EMMANUEL 2005]

    THIS POST IS A SUMMARY OF RELATED POSTS ON THIS SITE ON THE IMPACT OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE ON TROPICAL CYCLONES

    GIF ANIMATION#1: TROPICAL CYCLONES 1997-2019 IN THE WEST PACIFIC BASIN: WHERE TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE CALLED TYPHOONS NWP-GIF

    GIF ANIMATION#2: TROPICAL CYCLONES 1997-2019 IN THE EAST PACIFIC BASIN: WHERE TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE CALLED HURRICANESNEP-GIF

    GIF ANIMATION#3: TROPICAL CYCLONES 1997-2019 IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC BASIN: WHERE TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE CALLED HURRICANESNA-GIF

    GIF ANIMATION#4: TROPICAL CYCLONES 1997-2019 IN THE NORTH INDIAN BASIN: WHERE TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE CALLED CYCLONESNIO-GIF

    CHART#1: ANNUAL TOTAL CYCLONE ENERGY FOR ALL BASINS 1953-2013

    CHART#2: GLOBAL MEAN SST & CORRELATION OF ACE WITH SST

    (1)  GIF animations #1 through #4 above are graphical presentations of satellite data on tropical cyclone tracks (provided by JAXA the Japanese Space Agency) in the four most active cyclone basins on earth. They are, from most active to least active, the West Pacific, the East Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the North Indian basins. The relative cyclone activity of these basins is made visual in terms of the cyclone tracks for each year. These animations show a great deal of year to year variation in tropical cyclone activity in all four basins, and significant difference among the basins, but no rising trend is apparent in any of them.

    (2)  The Central Pacific basis is also active but is not included in the GIF animations. Most of the world’s cyclone energy occurs in the Pacific possibly driven by the same submarine geological heat sources that drive the ENSO cycle [[LINK] as cyclone formation is thought to be triggered by a sudden rise in sea surface temperature. It should be noted that intense hurricane activity of the North Indian basin along the African coast is normal, though not a frequent occurrence. It does occur from time to time and this variation of the North Indian Basin is normal.

    (3)  Noteworthy in this regard is the the recent occurrence of North Indian Basin tropical cyclones along the African coast. These cyclones were claimed as climate change impacts that justified climate action because of the death, destruction, and hardship suffered by the poverty stricken and helpless inhabitants of the region with inadequate preparedness for tropical cyclones as compared with people in other parts of the region subject to tropical cyclone activity in the North Indian Basin.

    (4)  The claim that climate change is a driver of tropical cyclone energy by way of rising sea surface temperature (SST) implies that there ought to be a rising trend in aggregate global tropical cyclone energy in a period of rising SST. This hypothesis is tested in Chart#1 where no sustained upward trend is seen. The details of this test can be found in the related post on trends in tropical cyclones. [TRENDS]

    (5)  A further test of the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones is implied by the SST argument. It implies a responsiveness of total global tropical cyclone energy to changes in global mean SST. This hypothesis is tested with detrended correlation analysis at annual and 5-year time scales in Chart#2 above. No evidence is found that AGW climate change increases total global cyclone energy by way of rising SST. Details of this test are provided in a related post [SST] .

    (6a)  The AGW climate change impact on the strength, frequency, wetness, and destructiveness of tropical cyclones is claimed by climate scientists. However, these same scientists have determined that this effect if any is detectable only in long term trends in the aggregate accumulated cyclone energy of all six cyclone basins worldwide. Single storms, single storm seasons, and a single cyclone basin does not contain information about the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones.

    (6b)  Dr. Thomas Knutson explains: Knutson (2010). CITATION: Knutson, Thomas R., et al. “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Nature geoscience 3.3 (2010): 157-163.  In the paper, Tom Knutson spells out exactly what climate science claims in terms of the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones with climate model predictions of the effect of rising SST on tropical cyclones. His main points are as follows: (1) Globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones will rise as AGW increases SST.  Models predict globally averaged intensity increase of 2% to 11% by 2100. (2). Models predict falling globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones with frequency decreasing 6%-34% by 2100. (3). The globally averaged frequency of “most intense tropical cyclones” should increase as a result of AGW. The intensity of tropical cyclones is measured as the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy). (4). Models predict increase in precipitation within a 100 km radius of the storm center. A precipitation rise of 20% is projected for the year 2100. (5) Extremely high variance in tropical cyclone data at an annual time scale suggests longer, perhaps a decadal time scale which in turn greatly reduces statistical power. (6) Model projections for individual cyclone basins show large differences and conflicting results. Thus, no testable implication can be derived for studies of individual basins.

    Thomas Knutson

    (6c)  AGW climate change is described as a creation of the industrial economy by way of its combustion of fossil fuels and release into the atmosphere of CO2 that is millions of years old and not part of the current account of nature’s carbon cycle. This essential property in conjunction with the proposition that AGW climate change intensifies tropical cyclones implies that tropical cyclones of the pre-industrial era were not as strong and destructive as those we see now in the age of fossil fuel driven climate change of the industrial economy. Historical data recorded by our ancestors show otherwise as seen in a list of ancient tropical cyclones described in a related post [PRE-INDUSTRIAL]  

    This list also appears below

    1. The Treasure Coast Hurricanes of 1715 & 1733:  Spanish Treasure Ship captain’s report: “The sun disappeared and the wind increased in velocity coming from the east and east northeast. The seas became very giant in size, the wind continued blowing us toward shore, pushing us into shallow water. It soon happened that we were unable to use any sail at all…and we were at the mercy of the wind and water, always driven closer to shore. Having then lost all of our masts, all of the ships were wrecked on the shore, and with the exception of mine, broke to pieces.” This violent storm off the coast of Florida in July 1715 ravaged 11 Spanish ships as they attempted to return to Spain. From the mid 16th to the mid 18th century, heavily-armed fleets such as this plied the waters between Spain and the Americas transporting massive amounts of New World treasure. Through this treasure fleet system, Spain created a mighty New World empire and became the most powerful nation in Europe. The fleets’ return voyage—when the ships were laden with silver, gold, gemstones, tobacco, exotic spices, and indigo—was the most dangerous. Pirates and privateers from rival European countries threatened to seize the precious cargoes and jeopardize Spain’s dominance of the Americas. The greatest danger, however, came not from enemy countries, but from unexpected and deadly hurricanes. In 1715 and again in 1733, Spain’s treasure fleets were devastated by hurricanes off the coast of Florida. Although the Spanish managed to recover some treasure, much more remained on the ocean floor. The sunken ships lay forgotten for more than 200 years until modern treasure hunters discovered several of them. Today, the remains of two of the ships—the Urca de Lima from the 1715 fleet and the San Pedro from the 1733 fleet—are protected as Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserves. These ships are time capsules from a bygone era and can reveal much about the history of the mighty maritime system that helped shape the Americas.
    2. The Dreadful Hurricane of 1667: In September 1667, a powerful hurricane struck colonial Virginia. The storm was first recorded off the Lesser Antilles on 1 September. On 6 September, the storm moved through the Outer Banks of North Carolina and proceeded to make landfall just to the northeast of Jamestown, Virginia where the hurricane lingered for 24 hours, bringing with it, violent winds, heavy rains, and a 12 ft storm surge. Approximately 10,000 houses were destroyed. The colonists’ tobacco and corn crops were lost, their cattle drowned, and their ships were greatly damaged. In a letter from the colonial secretary Thomas Ludwell to Virginia Governor Lord William Berkeley, the Secretary described the night of the hurricane as “the most dismal time I ever knew or heard of, for the wind and rain raised so confused a noise, mixed with the continued cracks of failing houses…” He then stated that the colony, in the aftermath of the hurricane, was “reduced to a very miserable condition”. This event is considered to be one of the most severe hurricanes to ever strike Virginia. Rain fell for 12 straight days in the wake of the hurricane.The widening of the Lynnhaven River, located near Virginia Beach, was a result of this hurricane.
      Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org , Seventeenth Century Virginia Hurricanes. NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. 2001
    3. The Calcutta Cyclone of 1737, also referred to as the Hooghly River Cyclone is recorded as one of deadliest natural disasters of all time. The cyclone did widespread damage to the low lying areas in the region. Early in the morning on October 11, 1737, a large cyclone made landfall inside the Ganges River Delta, located just south of Calcutta, West Bengal, India. The cyclone caused a storm surge 10-13 m (30-40 ft) in the Ganges with a reported 381 mm (15 in) of rain falling in a 6-hour period. The storm tracked 330 km (200 mi) inland before dissipating. In the city of Calcutta, the majority of structures, which were mostly made of mud with straw roofs, were destroyed, with many brick structures also damaged beyond repair. A spire on the St. Anne’s church reportedly sunk and listed to side, and was not approved for repair until 1751. The East India Company’s records report 3,000 deaths occurring in Calcutta alone. In the Ganges, 8 out of 9 boats were lost along with most of their crews, and 3 out of 4 Dutch ships also went down. Overall the cyclone reportedly destroyed 20,000 water going vessels, ranging from ocean worthy ships to canoes, and killed 300,000 to 350,000 individuals, likely including ships’ crews as well as the local populations in low-lying Bengal. India’s Ganges River Delta is prone to tropical cyclones. Additional cyclones with death tolls reported over 10,000 people struck again in 1787, 1789, 1822, 1833, 1839, 1864, 1876, and later. SOURCE:  http://www.hurricanescience.org See also, Emanuel, Kerry. “Divine Wind: The history of Science of Hurricanes”
    4. The Great Hurricane of 1780: Although specifics on this hurricane’s track and strength are unknown, forecasters and historians believe that the Great Hurricane of 1780 initially formed near the Cape Verde Islands on October 9, 1780. The hurricane strengthened and grew in size as it tracked slowly westward, first affecting Barbados, the western most Caribbean island, late on 9 October. The worst of the hurricane, with winds possibly exceeding 200 mph, passed over Barbardos late on 10 October 10 before moving past Martinique and St. Lucia early on 11 October. The hurricane passed near Puerto Rico and over the eastern portion of the Dominican Republic (at the time known known as Santo Domingo) on 14 October, causing heavy damage near the coastlines. Ultimately, the system turned to the northeast, passing 160 miles southeast of Bermuda on 18 October. The hurricane was last observed on October 20, 1780, southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada. Thousands of deaths were reported on each Caribbean island over which the cataclysmic hurricane crossed: 4,500 deaths occurred on Barbados (nearly every building on the island was leveled), 6,000 lost their lives on St. Lucia (where the island was essentially flattened), and approximately 9,000 died on Martinique. Over 27,500 total fatalities were estimated across the Lesser Antilles Islands as a result of this storm, making the Great Hurricane of 1780 the deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. In addition this devastating event, the Caribbean was shattered by two other violent hurricanes in October 1780: The Savanna-la-Mar Hurricane (one of the worst disasters in Jamaican history) and Solano’s Hurricane. Unfortunately, the year of 1780 marked a turning point in Caribbean history. In the wake of these storms, a historical period of prosperity ended, and an episode of economic and cultural decline began. Coming in the midst of the American Revolutionary War, the 1780 hurricanes caused heavy losses to European fleets fighting for control of the New World’s Atlantic coast. A fleet of 40 French ships capsized off Martinique during the Great Hurricane, drowning approximately 4,000 soldiers. On St. Lucia, rough waves and a strong storm surge destroyed the British fleet of Admiral Rodney at Port Castries. Much of the British fleet was decimated by the three storms, and the English presence in the western North Atlantic was greatly reduced thereafter.
      Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org , “The Great Hurricane of 1780”. In: Library of Natural Disasters- Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Other Tropical Cyclones. 2008. Editor in Chief, Paul A. Kobasa. World Book. Chicago. Pp 14-15, Wikipedia.
    5. The Great September Gale of 1815: The Great September Gale of 1815 was the first major hurricane to impact New England in 180 years. Believed to have originated in the West Indies on September 18, 1815, the hurricane slowly spun northeastward. It struck the Turks Islands in the Bahamas on 20 September as what is believed to have been a Category 4 hurricane. The storm then continued northward, making landfall across Long Island, NY, around 7 AM on the morning of 23 September. The hurricane traveled along the Southern New England coast, making a second landfall near Saybrook, CT at 9 AM. The eye of the hurricane moved through central Massachusetts, passing between Amherst and Worcester, MA, at 11 AM. The storm then passed through New Hampshire, where it quickly dissipated by 2 PM that same day. The Great September Gale produced significant wind damage in Connecticut, Rhode Island, east-central Massachusetts, and southeastern New Hampshire. Parts of Providence, RI, experienced tides 14 ft greater than usual and in Buzzards Bay, MA, the tide is calculated to have risen 15.9 ft above normal. At least 38 fatalities were a result of the Great September Gale. The hurricane also caused the destruction of some 500 homes and 35 ships in Narragansett, RI, as an 11ft storm surge funneled up Narragansett Bay. The eye of this hurricane made its first landfall in Long Island, NY approximately 5-10 miles east of where the eye of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 (“The Long Island Express”) would strike the coast over a century later. John Farrar, a Hollis professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Harvard University, maintained weather records between 1807-1817. In the aftermath of the Great Gale, he presented the concept of a hurricane as a “moving vortex”. He also observed the veering of hurricane winds, and the variable timing of their impacts on the cities of Boston and New York. Salt spray and salt deposition were noted in many areas after the hurricane. Historical reports recount the rain “tasting like salt”, the grapes in the vineyards “tasting like salt”, the houses had all turned white, and the leaves on the trees appeared “lightly frosted”.  Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org
    6. The Coringa Cyclone of 1839: Coringa, India is a small village situated near the mouth of the Godavari River on the southeastern coast of India. It was once a bustling port city. In 1789, it was hit by a brutal cyclone that left some 20,000 dead. Though devastated, the port city was still able to function. On November 25, 1839, Coringa was slammed by a disastrous cyclone that delivered terrible winds and a giant 40 ft storm surge. The port was destroyed (some 20,000 vessels were lost) and 300,000 people were killed. The town was abandoned and never fully rebuilt. Today, Coringa remains a simple village. This storm caused the third largest loss of life from any tropical cyclone worldwide, tied with Vietnam’s 1881 Haiphong typhoon which also caused 300,000 fatalities. Storms in the Bay of Bengal actually account for seven of the 10 deadliest tropical cyclones in recorded history. Henry Piddington, an official of the British East India Company, coined the term cyclone sometime around 1840 after looking at the destruction caused in 1789 and 1839 by a “swirling circle.”
      Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org , Wikipedia, “Deadliest Tropical Cyclones in History.” Wunderground. 2009, Rahman, Serina. “Worst Natural Disasters in Asia.” Asian Geographic. 2009
    7. 1856- Last Island Hurricane: The Last Island Hurricane was the first tropical cyclone and first major hurricane of the 1856 Atlantic hurricane season. It was initially observed on 8 August 200 km west-northwest of Key West, Florida. As the storm was recorded as a hurricane at first observation, it most likely developed further west. Moving northwestward, the hurricane rapidly intensified to a Category 3 hurricane. The storm’s forward motion slowed on 10 August just before making landfall, allowing it to reach a peak intensity of 934 mbar with 240 km/h (150 mph) winds (maximum sustained winds may have reached Category 5 status, but were unrecorded). During the evening of 10 August, the hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Last Island, Louisiana (southwest of New Orleans). After landfall, the storm quickly diminished, weakening to a tropical storm by the next day and then dissipating over southwestern Mississippi on 12 August. The hurricane had a great impact on coastal Louisiana. The city of New Orleans was inundated with more than13 inches of rain. Last Island, a popular resort destination at the time, was completely decimated by the hurricane. The barrier island was originally one contiguous island, approximately 40 km (25 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide. As a result of the hurricane, Last Island was fragmented into a small island chain, known today as L’Îsles Dernières (Last Islands). At the time, storm prediction and identification was not advanced enough to give the island’s residents much warning. Although people noted signs of an advancing storm, by the time they realized its magnitude, it was too late. The hurricane’s 3.4-3.6 meter (11-12 ft) storm surge destroyed all 100 homes on the island. There were about 400 people on the island during the hurricane- fewer than half survived. Now the island(s) are only home to pelicans and other seabirds. The highest points of Last Island were under 5 ft of water due to the storm surge. The island reportedly stayed submerged after the storm, resurfacing several days later as large sandbars. Following the storm, the remains of the Star, the steamship that serviced the island, were the only sign that a populated island had ever existed.
      A story, potentially a legend, exists regarding the circumstances of the deaths of those on the island when the hurricane struck. It is said that people on Last Island were mesmerized by the “fantastic waves” created by the hurricane. Ignoring the indications that disaster would occur, they “danced to their deaths” at a ball in the only lavish hotel on the island. The steamship that was to save them (the Star) was late and actually ran aground during the storm. It is said some survivors saved themselves by climbing aboard the wreck.
      Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org , Wikipedia, Sallenger, Abby. Island in a Storm: A Rising Sea, a Vanishing Coast, and a Nineteenth-Century Disaster that Warns of a Warmer World. New York: Perseus, 2009 (climate change did it), The Most Intense Hurricanes in the United States 1851-2004.” National Hurricane Center. 2004, Roth, David. “Louisiana Hurricane History.” National Weather Service. 2010. Pp17., Corley, Linda G. Buried Treasures. Houma, Blue House Publications. 2004. Pp 293.
    8. The San Diego Hurricane of 1858: Tropical cyclones are rare in this part of the world. They do form in the eastern North Pacific but usually weaken over Mexico or the cold waters of the California current. Only four known tropical cyclones have brought tropical storm-force winds to the southwestern coast of the United States in the current era but a fifth tropical cyclone impacted San Diego, CA, on October 2, 1858. The cyclone formed in late September 1858, in the East Pacific Ocean but instead of tracking west as they usually do in this ocean basin, however, it moved north-northeast. On 2 October, it neared Southern California while weakening due to the presence of cooler waters and wind shear. Upon approaching San Diego, CA, by mid-day on 2 October, the cyclone took a turn for the west-northwest, just missing a direct landfall in the state. Researchers believe that the hurricane then remained offshore from San Diego through 3 October, before tracking toward the northwest. Category 1 conditions were experienced from San Diego to Long Beach, CA, and the storm was regarded as “one of the most terrific and violent hurricanes” to strike San Diego. Heavy rain was present along with 120 km/h (75 mph) winds. City residents claimed to have never experienced such weather in that area stating “a terrific gale” had sprung up from the south-southeast and continued “with perfect fury” for about six hours. It was said to have been the “severest gale ever witnessed in San Diego”. Other locations, such as Los Angeles, also felt the effects of the hurricane, where heavy rain fell for an estimated 24 hours. The stork caused extensive property damage in San Diego. Many homes lost their roofs and some were completely destroyed. After the storm, it was discovered that three schooners, the Plutus, the Lovely Flora, and the X.L., had blown ashore and a recently constructed windmill had been demolished. However, farmers benefited from the heavy rain as it allowed them to produce a substantial grain crop, something they had been unsuccessful with for several years previous. This hurricane is the only tropical cyclone known to produce hurricane-force winds on the California coast. Coral evidence suggests an El Nino event may have occurred that year, which would have kept ocean waters warmer than normal along the southwest U.S. coast, and thus, sustain a hurricane as far north as southern California. Historical records and modeling results suggest a similar Category 1 storm could return to the San Diego area in a couple hundred years, most likely during another El Nino event. If this hurricane were to strike San Diego in modern times, $500 million (USD) in damage would result. At the time of the hurricane, San Diego was only a small settlement with a population of 4,325. Today the population of San Diego County is over 3 million.Source: http://www.hurricanescience.org , Wikipedia, Chenoweth, Michael and Christopher Landsea. The San Diego Hurricane of 2 October 1858. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 85(11): 1689–1697. November 2004
    9. The Bhola Cyclone of 1970:  It is also noted that the strongest and most destructive tropical cyclone of the post industrial era was the monster Bhola Cyclone [LINK][LINK]that killed half a million people in Bangladesh and it was in fact the storm that created the nation we now know as Bangladesh. It occurred in 1970 right in the middle of the 1970s cooling period[LINK]that had sparked fears of a return to Little Ice Age conditions[LINK] .