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People of the Rainforest

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF Amazon Deforestation and Climate Change” J.Shukla, C. Nobre, P. Sellers, Science 16 Mar 1990: Vol. 247, Issue 4948, pp. 1322-1325
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4948.1322[LINK]  



  1. ABSTRACT:  A coupled numerical model of the global atmosphere and biosphere has been used to assess the effects of Amazon deforestation on the regional and global climate. When the tropical forests in the model were replaced by degraded grass (pasture), there was a significant increase in surface temperature and a decrease in evapo-transpiration and precipitation over Amazonia. In the simulation, the length of the dry season also increased; such an increase could make re-establishment of the tropical forests after massive deforestation particularly difficult.
  2. FULL TEXT:  The full text of this paper is available in pdf format at this site. Here is the download link for the full text: SHUKLA1990PDF  …. WARNING: clicking on this link will cause a large pdf file to be downloaded to your device.

The Amazon Rainforest


  1. Since 1980, Amazonia has warmed at a steady rate of 0.0135C per year. No acceleration of the warming rate is evident in the data. Over the same period, land areas in the Southern Hemisphere warmed at a rate of 0.0171C per year with the highest decadal warming seen in decade ending in 1998 with a warming rate of 0.045C per year. 
  2. For land in the Tropics, the overall warming rate is 0.0165C per year with the highest decadal warming rate of 0.08C per year seen for the same decade ending in 1998. The warming rate in Amazonia of 0.0135C per year does not seem high in this context. 
  3. As for precipitation in Amazonia over this period, rainfall increased by 5% over this period but with three annual droughts in 2005, 2010, and 2015.
  4. In a comparison of the temperature data for Amazonia with the Tropics and the Southern Hemisphere, the warming in Amazonia does not appear to be anomalous. The USAID precipitation data do not indicate a drying trend that risks drought conditions. Therefore there does not appear to be a climate impact of deforestation as claimed in the research paper presented above. 
  5. The climate data for Brazil and Amazonia are provided by the USAID [LINK] . The source USAID document is also available at this site. Here is the link usaid . Warning….. clicking on this link will cause a large PDF file to be downloaded to your device. 
  6. An additional consideration in the interpretation of Amazonia climate anomalies in terms of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is that AGW is a theory about long term trends in global mean temperature and its interpretation in terms of data for short term weather events or for regional climate is not possible because in these cases, internal climate variability overrides AGW impacts and makes it impossible to interpret the data in terms of AGW. Details of the internal climate variability issue may be found in a related post on this site [LINK]  .
  7. Yet another issue in the continued insistence of rich industrialized Western nations that Amazonia must remain a forest and Amazonians must remain a stone age people and that therefore they must not be allowed the same kind of economic and human welfare development enjoyed by the West, is cruel and racist. Details of this issue may be found in a related post [LINK]  where we note:   “That the Global North’s needs are often served at great cost to the Global South is seen in the effects of Rachel Carson’s {Silent Spring} that may or may not have saved some birds in the North but that need of the Global North came at great cost and suffering from the ban on DDT in the Global South. Similarly, the planet saving interpretation of AGW constructs the attitude of the Global North towards the primitive stone age forest dwellers of Amazonia in the Global South. It is claimed that the AGW anti-industrialization priority of the Global North must guide the future of the people of the Amazon forest such that they must remain primitive so that their lands can remain a forest and serve the needs of the Global North by continuing to be The Lungs of the Planet. That Europe was once a forest and the Lungs of the Planet that was cleared by the Europeans on the way to their wealth, power, and Industrial Economy must be considered to be a purely historical detail and irrelevant in terms of the urgency of climate action to Save the Planet from climate change by ensuring that the Amazon remains a stone age museum of forest dwellers so that The Lungs of the Planet are preserved. 






bandicam 2020-08-07 11-01-05-810

Cow farts and climate change

Cow Farts and Global Warming - kciglobalwarming









  1. Article #1 says that “a hefty slice of global greenhouse gas emissions come from enteric fermentation of livestock but a vaccine can kill the gut microbes that provide the enteric fermentation function for the cattle and thereby reduce or eliminate their methane emissions.  [LINK]   
  2. Article #2 says that a fifth of each person’s carbon footprint comes from food that are sources of greenhouse gas emissions. These foods are identified in the two charts above where the items “red meat” and “dairy” refer to enteric fermentation but the list adds new sources not usually seen in the climate change literature that pretty much encompass all food types including grains and vegetables. It says that to fight climate change we must adjust our diet. A vegan diet will have the largest emissions reduction but where a full vegan diet is not possible, the chart above may be used to make food choices wisely to fight climate change.  [LINK]  




  1. In a related post it is argued that AGW climate science derives from and is a continuation of the anti fossil fuel and pro renewable energy movement of the 1960s [LINK] . The reasoning is that climate change serves only as the rationale for climate action and so the real movement is for climate action with climate action restricted to a single option, that of getting rid of fossil fuels and moving the global energy infrastructure to renewables. There is no alternative form of climate action.
  2. This connection establishes the relationship between AGW and the anti fossil fuel environmentalism of the 1960s that had subsided but was never really over. Climate action continues to link AGW to environmentalism.  It is thus that we find an environmentalism interpretation of AGW by environmentalists of all colors with each movement interpreting AGW climate action in terms of their cause.
  3. In a prior post on this subject [LINK] , we presented a similar argument for the interpretation of climate action by vegans in terms of veganism. In that post it is shown that the interpretation of climate action by vegans differs from climate action prescribed in AGW and that therefore the assumed connection between veganism and AGW does not exist. The difference is that in climate science, climate action requires reduction in fossil fuel emissions but in veganism climate action the proposal is to reduce carbon cycle flows.
  4. In the current analysis we find that both articles, the livestock vaccine article and the climate friendly diet article, have made exactly the same error in their interpretation of AGW as the veganism article in the prior post. The fatal error in all three articles in their interpretation of climate action is that in climate science, climate action means to reduce fossil fuel emissions. It does not mean to reduce carbon cycle carbon flows that flow from the surface to the atmosphere.  The difference between fossil fuel emissions and carbon cycle flows in the context of AGW is explained by NASA climate scientist Dr. Peter Griffith in the video below.
  5. The importance and key role of fossil fuel emissions in AGW is explained thus by Dr. Griffith:  “This is a chunk of coal. It was also made by plants. It also contains carbon dioxide that was in the atmosphere. BUT THE CARBON IN THIS CHUNK OF COAL WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE ATMOSPHERE 350 MILLION YEARS AGO AND SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION WE’VE BEEN TAKING IT OUT OF THE GROUND AND USING IT FOR FUEL. THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS WHETHER IT IS COAL, OIL, OR NATURAL GAS, HAS RELEASED THIS VERY VERY OLD CARBON BACK INTO THE ATMOSPHERE.
  6. This statement by Dr Peter Griffith is the essence of the theory of AGW climate change and it is important and necessary that climate action proposals be true to this theory and consistent with what Dr Griffith is saying here. What he is saying is that it is the external carbon, the 350 million year old carbon from under the ground that does not belong in the current account of the carbon cycle, that drives AGW, not carbon cycle flows. Carbon cycle flows are natural that always was and always will be and not a creation of the industrial economy and not anthropogenic. The point is that the injection of this very old carbon that is not part of the current account of the carbon cycle causes an artificial perturbation of the carbon cycle that reaches across time for millions of years to raise atmospheric CO2, and causes warming.
  7. Climate action must therefore be understood in terms of this AGW causation mechanism of the industrial economy and not in terms of pre-industrial carbon cycle flows like respiration or enteric fermentation. In that context, the attempt by environmental activists with an ex ante environmental activism bias against certain natural carbon cycle flows to the atmosphere, to interpret anthropogenic global warming of the industrial economy in terms of their activism needs is inconsistent with AGW theory and cannot be understood as climate action. Such insertion of unrelated environmentalism into AGW climate change cannot be understood as climate action.
  8. CONCLUSION: The extreme focus on land based carbon cycle intervention as climate action overlooks two significant issues. They are that most of the world’s photosynthesis occurs in the ocean, and secondly that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is very specifically the impact of fossil fuels.
  9. We also show that the climate action propositions of the two articles – the vaccine to control enteric fermentation and the dietary advice for low carbon cycle carbon flows from nature, are invalidated by the analysis presented above because the proposed climate action does not address anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy that drives AGW.
  10. Natural and pre-industrial carbon cycle flows are irrelevant in the AGW climate change context. 




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  1. The COVID virus has been a case of biology confronting and really shaking the complacency of day-to-day politics with a physical reality of sickness and death on a scale we haven’t seen for a very long time.  And so the question really is: why do so many people in government and so many people in politics, particularly in the Anglo sphere, not take the scientific evidence on climate change just as seriously? When is physics going to mug political complacency and denialism?
  2. Turnbull was speaking alongside Mark Carney, the UN special envoy for climate action and finance. He revived his attacks on the right wing of the Liberal Party, vested interests and the Murdoch-owned media in Australia for what he said was their destruction of his attempts to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and of his premiership.
  3. Mark Carney praised Turnbull’s book and said the former Liberal leader had true political courage. He also said the restructuring of economies after the pandemic meant there was an opportunity for investment in greener energy. “We have a situation with climate change which will involve every country in the world and from which we can’t self-isolate,”
  4. Both men were asked about their views on carbon border taxes, where a country that is reducing its emissions faster than a country it is trading with applies tariffs to address the imbalance. Turnbull said they were “inevitable” with Australia a target. The Europeans have made it very clear to Australia, publicly, that we should expect in the free trade agreement that the government has been negotiating for some time with the EU that there will be climate change elements in it. “It’s an old saw but a tonne of CO2 has the same impact on the world’s climate, regardless of where its emitted, so we all have an interest in everyone else’s emissions. So I think it is inevitable and I do support them as a matter of principle.”
  5. Two sources who have taken part in Australia’s ongoing negotiations with the EU told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that no terms have been presented to Australia and that they would be rejected anyway. Carney said such taxes should be avoided but that he is not absolutely against them; he wouldn’t put them in place now and it would be an unfortunate set of circumstances if we end up with big enough differences in ambition that they become necessary. “I don’t think we’re in that position.”


  1. It is true that “a tonne of CO2 has the same impact on the world’s climate, regardless of where its emitted”. This is why only global emissions are relevant in climate sensitivity mathematics and why only a binding global emission reduction agreement is relevant in the climate change context.
  2. The success of the UN in the Montreal Protocol for the ozone established its credentials as a global environmental agency. This dramatic and remarkable apparent success had made it axiomatic that it will therefore give us a corresponding Kyoto Protocol for the climate in terms of a global agreement to cut global fossil fuel emissions.
  3. However, as explained in related posts on the Montreal Protocol [LINK][LINK] the  evidence does not show that the ozone depletion problem, that the Montreal Protocol is credited with solving, actually existed. In other words, the UN and its Montreal Protocol are credited with solving a non-existent problem. The data show that large short term changes in ozone concentration at the South Pole, like the one used to identify the ozone depletion problem as an ozone hole, recur and are the norm and that no evidence is found for a long term decline in global mean total column ozone [LINK] .
  4. The failure of the UN to repeat its Montreal Protocol “success” can be interpreted in that light. The other factor is the enormous difference between changing refrigerants and overhauling the world’s energy infrastructure. What we find in the climate era is that although the UN is keen to use global environmentalism issues such as climate change to extend its size, budget, and reach [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] , it does not have the knowledge, skill, and legal authority to put together a binding global agreement for emission reduction.
  5. The UN had seized on the climate crisis proposal put forth in the James Hansen Congressional Testimony of 1988 [LINK] as part of its ambition to establish itself as a global environmental authority based on its imagined Montreal Protocol “success” and, so superficial was their understanding of the climate change issue, they felt they could just do a repeat of the Montreal Protocol in what came to  be known as the Kyoto Protocol 30 years ago.  The Kyoto Protocol failed because it was a complex and poorly thought out document.
  6. Following Kyoto, 20 more meetings called “conference of parties” or COP, were held to replicate the Montreal success but to no avail. A global emission reduction target had become further complicated and perhaps impossible when the UN classified developing countries as “Non-Annex” meaning that they had no emission reduction obligation under a global emission reduction agreement. .
  7. Finally in the 21st COP meeting in Paris, desperate for something they could call an agreement, the UN bureaucrats, who had learned from the prior 20 meetings that if they write a global emission reduction contract for every nation to sign, not every country will sign it and the global emission reduction plan will fail as it had done so dramatically in Copenhagen. To avoid another Copenhagen disaster, the UN bureaucrats came up with the INDC idea for the 21st meeting. It was a desperation plan to not go back empty handed again but to have something in hand that they could call an agreement.
  8. The INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) idea is that since all the participating nations will not sign the same document, the UN would let each of them write the agreement that they could sign (the INDC) and then gather up these INDCs into  pile, and call that the Paris Agreement. This was of course not a global agreement for global emission reduction determined according to a target warming amount since pre-industrial – but it was something they could call an agreement and declare that they had repeated their Montreal Protocol Success in the Climate issue and close the book on climate change.
  9. Thus, though we have something called the Paris Agreement, it does not have a warming target, there is no binding global emission reduction in the Agreement, and the intended contributions are all very different and non-binding. The UN bureaucrats then decided that they could boost the total “contributions” from the INDCs by urging the INDC nations to have “ambition” and to maintain the “momentum” emission reduction in a cheer leading exercise. This is the sad state of affairs in what was supposed to be a global agreement to cut global emissions according to a globally agreed warming target.
  10. Thus, although it is true that “a tonne of CO2 has the same impact on the world’s climate, regardless of where its emitted”, there is no global agreement for a global emission reduction target to implement a climate action plan according to that principle. All we have is the “Paris Agreement” of INDCs with the UN now acting as a cheerleader to urge nations have emission reduction ambition. This plan is not working and in terms of economics it is impossible for it to work as explained in a related post on this site [LINK] .
  11. Also here we find that the climate scientists and activists who preach that “a tonne of CO2 has the same impact on the world’s climate, regardless of where its emitted” are at the same time fully aware that there is not global agreement for a specified global emission reduction. Accordingly, they have joined the UN bureaucrats as emission reduction cheerleaders, not with buzzwords like “ambition” but with an odd logic that involves a comparison of the Covid-19 pandemic with climate change. This argument is in two parts.
  12. The Covid Argument:Part-1:  In the first part, the Covid argument says that the Covid pandemic was heeded by all nations and by all peoples with a relative absence of Covid deniers. The Covid has taught us the correct way to respond to a global emergency and that logic must be applied to climate such that the climate emergency is treated in the same way. The critical evaluation of this Covid Argument is provided by user Cardimona in a comment at the Catallaxyfiles site [LINK] . The comment says that the Covid shows that people can tell the difference between real crises and faux crises and that they have responded to Covid and not to Climate does not mean that they must also respond to Climate in the same way. It means that they have identified Covid as a real crisis and Climate as a fake crisis.
  13. The Covid Argument: Part-2:  In the second part, the Covid argument holds that the Covid lockdowns have significantly lowered the use of fossil fuels and therefore significantly decreased fossil fuel emissions. This proves that we humans can indeed lower our fossil fuel emissions when we want to and so we should just keep on doing it to fight the climate crisis. The critical evaluation of this Covid argument is found in the content of a related post on this site [LINK]  where we find that the reduction in fossil fuel emissions achieved by Covid had no measurable impact on changes in the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration that is the assumed foundational mechanism for the AGW climate change crisis. This event does not serve as motivation to continue emission reduction but rather as evidence of the irrelevance of fossil fuel emissions in the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
  14. Further evidence of the absence of a relationship between emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 are provided in these related posts at this site:  (1) Monte Carlo simulation of the carbon cycle with and without  fossil fuel emissions [LINK]  (2) The absence of correlation between annual changes in atmospheric CO2 and annual emissions is described in three related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .






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Fractal Structure of Capital Markets

Stock market data have thwarted decades of effort by mathematicians and statisticians to discover their hidden pattern. Simple time series analyses including AR, MA, ARMA, and ARIMA were eventually replaced with more sophisticated instruments of torture such as spectral analysis. But the data refused to confess.

The failure to discover the structure in price movements convinced many researchers that the movements were random. The so called random walk hypothesis (RWH) of Osborne and others was developed into the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) by Eugene Fama. The `weak form of the EMH says that movements in stock returns are independent random events independent of historical values. The rationale is that if patterns did exist, arbitrageurs would take advantage and thereby quickly eliminate them.

Both the RWH and the EMH came under immediate attack from market analysts and this attack continues to this day partly because the statistics used in tests of the EMH are controversial. The null hypothesis states that the market is efficient. The test then consists of presenting convincing evidence that it is not. The tests usually fail. Many argue that the failure of these tests represent a Type II error, that is, a failure to detect a real effect because of low power of the statistical test employed.

Besides, the methods of analysis assume a normal and linear world that is difficult to defend. All residuals are assumed to be independent and normally distributed, all relationships are assumed to be linear, and all effects are assumed to be linearly additive with no interactions. At each point in time the data are assumed to be taken from identically distributed independent populations of numbers the other members of which are un-observable (IID). Econometric models such as ARIMA assume that all dependencies in time are linear.

It is therefore logical to conjecture that the reason for the failure of statistics to reject the EMH is due not to the strength of the theory but to the weakness of the statistics. Many hold that a different and more powerful mathematical device that allowed for non-linearities to exist might be more successful in discovering the hidden structure of stock prices.

In the early seventies, it appeared that Catastrophe Theory was just such a device. It had a seductive ability to model long bull market periods followed by catastrophic crashes. But it proved to be a mathematical artifact whose properties could not be generalized. It yielded no secret structure or patterns in stock prices. The results of other non-EMH models such as the Rational Bubble theory and the Fads theory are equally unimpressive.

Many economists feel that the mathematics of time series implied by Chaos Theory is a promising alternative. If time series data are allowed to be non-linearly dependent, rather than independent as the EMH requires, or linearly dependent as the AR models require, then much of what appears to be erratic random behavior or “white noise” may to be part of the deterministic response of the system. Certain non-linear dynamical system of equations can generate time series data that appear remarkably similar to the observed stock market data.

By using new mathematical techniques hidden structures can be discovered in what appears to be a random time series. One technique, attributed to Lorenz, uses a plot of the data in phase space to detect patterns called `strange attractors. Another method proposed by Takens uses an algorithm to determine the correlation dimension’ of the data. A low correlation dimension indicates a deterministic system. A high correlation dimension is indicative of randomness.

The correlation dimension technique has yielded mixed results with stock data. Halbert, Brock, and others working with daily returns of IBM concluded that the correlation dimension was sufficiently high to regard the time series as white noise. However, Schenkmann et al claim that weekly data of IBM returns have a significant deterministic component. These structures may not be inconsistent with the EMH if the discovery of the structure, though providing insight to economic theorists, do not provide arbitrage opportunities.

A third technique for discovering structure in time series data has been described by Mandelbrot, Hurst, Feder, and most recently by Peters . Called `rescaled range analysis’, or R/S, it is a test for randomness of a series not unlike the runs test. The test rests on the relationship that in a truly random series, a serial selection of sub-samples without replacement should produce a random sampling distribution with a standard deviation given by

sigmaXbar = [ sigma/n^0.5 ] * [ (N-n)/(N-1) ]

Here sigmaXbar is the standard deviation of the distribution of sample means obtained by drawing samples without replacement of size n from a population of size N, and sigma is the standard deviation of the population, i.e., when n=1.

However, when the time series has runs, it can be shown that the exponent of n in the term `n^0.5′, will differ from 0.5. The paper by Peters describes the following relationships.

R/S = NH (Peters equation 4)

where R is the range of subsample sums, S is the standard deviation of the large sample, and N is the size of the sub-samples . The `H’ term is called the Hurst constant and is equal to 0.5 if no runs exist and the data are sequenced randomly. If there is a tendency for positive runs, that is increases are more likely to be followed by increases and decreases are more likely to be followed by decreases, then H will be greater than 0.5 but less than 1.0. Values of H between 0 and 0.5 are indicative of negative runs, that is increases are more likely to be followed by decreases and vice versa. Hurst and Mandelbrot have found that many natural phenomena previously thought to be random have H-values around 0.7. These values are indicative of serious departures from independence.

Once `H’ is determined for a time series, the autocorrelation in the time series is computed as follows:

CN = 2(2H-1) -1

CN is the correlation coefficient and its magnitude is indicative of the degree to which the elements of the time series are dependent on historical values. The interpretation of this coefficient used by Peters to challenge the EMH is that it represents the percentage of the variation in the time series that can be explained by historical data. The weak form of the EMH would require that this correlation be zero; i.e., the observations are independent of each other. Therefore, any evidence of such a correlation can be interpreted as to mean that the weak form does not hold.

Peters studied 463 monthly returns of the S&P500; index returns, 30-year government T-bond returns, and the excess of stocks returns over the bond returns. He found, using R/S analysis, that these time series were not random but that they contained runs or persistence as evidenced by values of CN ranging from 16.8% to 24.5%. The correlation estimates indicate that a significant portion of the returns are determined by past returns. This finding appears to present a serious challenge to the efficient market hypothesis.

Peters took sequential subsamples for eleven different values of N and computed R/S for each N. To estimate H he converted his equation 4 to linear form by taking logarithms to yield:  log(R/S) = H * log(N). He then used OLS linear regression between log(R/S) and log(N) and presented the regression coefficient as an unbiased estimate of H. The results are summarized in Table 1.

TABLE 1 Summary of Results Using Logarithmic Transformations Returns Regression Serial Correlation Constant H CN Stocks -0.103 0.611 0.168 Bonds -0.151 0.641 0.215 Premium -0.185 0.658 0.245.


Here we present a critical Re-examination of the Peters Analysis.

The logarithmic transformation used by Peters and the interpretation of the linear regression parameters raise some questions that require a re-examination of his results. First, consider the logarithmic conversion. The OLS regression procedure minimizes the error sum of squares between the predicted log(R/S) and the observed log(R/S). However, it does not necessarily follow that the value of H at which the error sum of squares of the log(R/S) is at a minimum is coincident with the value of H at which the error sum of squares of R/S is also at a minimum. This is because of the nature of exponential functions which assures that R/S changes more rapidly at the high end than at the low end for the same change in log(R/S).

For instance, an error of 0.1 when the ln(R/S) = 4, implies an error in R/S of about 6 but the same error in logarithms at ln(R/S)=8 carries an error in R/S of 313. To the OLS regression routine working on logarithms, these errors are equivalent. This means that it would give up an error of 300 on the high end to gain an error reduction of 6 on the low end. <p> Secondly, the equation to be fitted, R/S = NH may also be written as R/S = 1 * NH and taking logarithms would yield log(R/S) = log(1) + H * log(N) or, specifically, since log(1) = 0, we can write log(R/S) = 0 + H * log(N). <p> This means that to fit the model as stated, the intercept term must be tested against zero. If the interecept term is significantly different from zero, then the model must be rejected. In all three regression equations above, the intercept is negative and significantly different from zero. Therefore, we would expect that the computed slope is an over-stated estimate of `H. <p>


An Alternative Interpretation of the Peters Results.

Both problems with the logarithmic transformation mentioned above may be avoided by applying a non-linear least squares fit directly to the model. The results of such a procedure are so different from those obtained by logarithmic transformations that the interpretation and conclusion must be re-evaluated.

Table 2 shows the data used by Peters to infer his regression parameters. Figure 1 shows the error sum of squares plotted against values of H. An unbiased estimator of H is that at which the error sum of squares is at a minimum. These values of H, shown in Table 3, are significantly different from those shown in Table 1 and they are closer to 0.5 than previously thought. In particular, the correlations are much lower; that is, a much lower proportion of the variance in security returns are determined by runs or persistence. Rather than 16% to 25% , past prices only explain 5% to 13% of returns variance.

The Data Used in the Regression Models

Stocks Bonds Premium
463 31.877 45.050 27.977
230 22.081 21.587 18.806
150 16.795 15.720 15.161
116 12.247 12.805 11.275
75 12.182 10.248 11.626
52 10.121 9.290 8.790
36 7.689 7.711 7.014
25 6.296 5.449 4.958
18 4.454 4.193 4.444
13 3.580 4.471 3.549
6 2.168 2.110 2.209

Summary of Results Using Non-Linear Regression

Returns Regression Serial Correlation
Constant H CN

Stocks 0 0.56 .0867
Bonds 0 0.59 .1329
Premium 0 0.54 .0570
A comparison of the logarithmic fit to the direct non-linear fit shows that the non-linear fit follows the data more closely while the logarithmic fit contains a wide dispersion at the high end as expected. This analysis shows that the amount of variance in returns explained by the fractal model is very low. It has not been established that the correlation is significantly different from zero. Even if it were, the low correlation precludes any conclusions of practical significance either in terms of arbitrage profits or financial theory. Therefore, the derived model parameters may not be subjected to interpretations with regard to behavior of the market and the results may not be considered to be inconsistent with the efficient market hypothesis.

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REFERENCE ARTICLEManaging Melting Permafrost: Protecting communities and ecosystems: April 23, 2019 Christopher Camitta, Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment. [LINK]





  1. For years, the town of Iñupiat town of Shishmaref, located on a small barrier island off the coast of the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska, faced severe erosion, sometimes losing large areas of land to the Bering Strait during storms[1]. The melting of permafrost, the underground layer of soil that perpetually sits at sub-freezing temperatures in some polar and high-altitude climates, sped the rate at which the island’s shores collapsed [1]. In August of 2016, Shishmaref’s residents decided that the risks of remaining on a disappearing island were too great to ignore and voted 94-78 to move the entire community inland, away from where it had persisted for hundreds of years [2].
  2. Alaska is no stranger to permafrost melting, one of the most visible negative effects of climate change that can be found in the United States. By some estimates, permafrost underlies up to two-thirds of Alaska’s land area[3]. As permafrost melts, it loses its firmness, often collapsing homes and roads, as has been seen in permafrost-covered areas across the state.[4],[5]. These collapses have had particularly severe effects on Native Alaskan communities like Shishmaref [4,5].
  3. Globally, vast reservoirs of carbon are locked within permafrost, which releases methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide, when it melts[6]. The warming contribution of this methane has the potential to cause a feedback with devastating climatic consequences, in which permafrost that melts due to warmer temperatures also contributes to those temperatures by way of its methane releases[7].
  4. The scope of problems created by melting permafrost calls for an increase in federal funding for research efforts that can result in recommendations for maintenance of solid, stable, and frozen permafrost by way of management practices and support for residents that both protect communities and maintain the ecological productivity of land in Alaska.
  5. One example of current knowledge relates to the effects of off-road vehicles (ORVs, a category that includes both ATVs and large industrial equipment such as Caterpillar tractors) on permafrost[8]. A review conducted in 1990 discussed existing research that found increased melting associated with ORV usage in permafrost-covered areas and recommended mapping of particularly sensitive areas, training of ORV drivers, and regulations on where and how often ORVs can operate.
  6. Funding should be directed to evaluation of other human activities—potentially including logging and building construction—that affect permafrost integrity. On the community side, Shishmaref residents have expressed concerns that the state and federal governments will not assist them in their relocation. The federal government should work with communities affected by permafrost melting and the state of Alaska to ensure that these communities receive the help they need to either relocate or slow the destabilization of permafrost.
  7. Ultimately, due to the global ramifications of permafrost melting, the United States and Alaska have a responsibility to employ strategies to protect permafrost and provide research that can both benefit permafrost-underlain communities in other persistently cold climates as well as their own (such as in Siberia and northern Canada) and protect the carbon reservoirs held within the world’s frozen soil.




  1. The article appears to be a plea for research funding, a significant financial considerations for large universities in the USA that rely on research funding as a significant portion of their funding portfolio. The plea is based entirely on the the study of practical methods that can be employed to mitigate human activity that interacts directly with the permafrost to cause physical instability and thereby facilitate its erosion.
  2. In that respect, the research proposal identifies significant physical damage that can be caused by the use of large and heavy transport machinery used in sensitive areas where such machinery can physically destabilize the permafrost layer during the warm summer months. Specifically, the authors identify off-road vehicles (ORV), all terrain vehicles (ATV), and construction equipment such as large Caterpillar tractors.
  3. What appears to be a rational research proposal is then described as a study of the effect of the movement of these vehicles in sensitive areas in summer on the stability of the permafrost layer; and based on that data to propose restrictions on the movement of such vehicles in the identified sensitive permafrost areas of Alaska such as Shishmaref.
  4. This part of the research proposal appears to be entirely rational and something that should surely be funded. However, at this point, the authors, perhaps to gain access to climate change research funds, propose that the permafrost instability issue is a climate change issue because this instability is the creation of the fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy in terms of global warming.
  5. There are two significant issues in this climate change attribution. First, anthropogenic global warming and climate change (AGW) is a theory about long term warming trends in global mean temperature. The interpretation of highly localized phenomena at brief time scales such as permafrost instability in Shishmaref, Alaska in the summer of 2020, in terms of AGW is not possible because of the internal variability issue in climate science described in a related post on this site [LINK] . Briefly, the internal variability issue is that only climate data that are global have an AGW interpretation and only at time scales of longer than 30 years. Therefore permafrost instability events such as the one in Shishmaref, that are both localized and time constrained to event rather than long term  trend, do not have an AGW interpretation.
  6. Yet another consideration is that the proposal contains the assumption but not the evidence that the observed permafrost instability is a creation of the human caused warming trend of the industrial economy. The literature review presented below does not support the view that the kind of permafrost instability seen in Shishmaref in the summer of 2020 is unique to the climate condition created by the post industrial economy human caused global warming. Such instability is a feature of the whole of the Holocene that is seen in the database as cycles of warming and cooling with the warming cycles going all the way back to the Holocene Optimum, exhibit significant permafrost instability and decay.
  7. In conclusion, we support the proposal for a research project that can formulate the needed rational restrictions on the movement of heavy vehicles and construction equipment known to cause permafrost instability and we hope that this research is funded, but we do not find evidence to support the idea that such instability is a creation of AGW.

Overview | Flooding and Erosion in Alaska | Encountering ...



  1. A large database of paleo climate data for the Arctic over the entire time span of the Holocene has been constructed by climate scientists with significant roles played by Hanna Sundqvist, Darrell Kaufman, Nicholas McKay and 18 other authors. The database is available for download at this site. Here is the link: ARCTIC-DATABASE .  Warning, clicking on this link will cause a very large PDF file to be downloaded. This database contains only the data and not their interpretation. For that we refer to the published papers about these data in the literature provided below in the bibliography.
  2. If you have a low opinion of climate scientists and their scientific integrity from your experience with things like the hockey stick, prepare to be surprised. The significant and chaotic cycles of warming and cooling in the Arctic for the whole of the Holocene in this database is consistent with the interpretation of these changes presented in a related post [LINK] such that periods with the Arctic warmer than AGW, colder than AGW, less ice than AGW, and more ice than AGW are all found in the database. In the context of the database, all we can say about the Arctic in the current warm period is that we are in the Holocene.



  1. Humlum, Ole. “Holocene permafrost aggradation in Svalbard.” Geological Society, London, Special Publications 242.1 (2005): 119-129.  The distribution and dynamics of permafrost represent a complex problem, confounded by a short research history and a limited number of deep vertical temperature profiles. This lack of knowledge is pronounced for the High Arctic, where most permafrost is found and where amplified responses to various climatic forcing mechanisms are expected. Within the High Arctic, the Svalbard region displays a unique climatic sensitivity and knowledge of Holocene, and modern permafrost dynamics in this region therefore have special interest. This paper reviews knowledge on Holocene permafrost development in Svalbard and the climatic background for this. In Svalbard, modern permafrost thickness ranges from less than 100 m near the coasts to more than 500 m in the highlands. Ground ice is present as rock glaciers, as ice-cored moraines, buried glacial ice, and in pingos and ice wedges in major valleys. Svalbard is characterized by ongoing local-scale twentieth-century permafrost aggradation, even though a distinct temperature increase around 1920 introduced relatively unfavourable climatic conditions for permafrost in Svalbard. Modern permafrost aggradation is to a large extent controlled by wind, solid precipitation and avalanche activity, and exemplifies the complexity of relating climate and permafrost dynamics.
  2. Kaufman, Darrell S., et al. “A multi-proxy record of the Last Glacial Maximum and last 14,500 years of paleoenvironmental change at Lone Spruce Pond, southwestern Alaska.” Journal of paleolimnology 48.1 (2012): 9-26.  Sediment cores from Lone Spruce Pond (60.007°N, 159.143°W), southwestern Alaska, record paleoenvironmental changes during the global Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and during the last 14,500 calendar years BP (14.5 cal ka). We analyzed the abundance of organic matter, biogenic silica, carbon, and nitrogen, and the isotope ratios of C and N, magnetic susceptibility, and grain-size distribution of bulk sediment, abundance of alder shrub (Alnus) pollen, and midge (Chironomidae and Chaoboridae) assemblages in a 4.7-m-long sediment sequence from the depocenter at 22 m water depth. The basal unit contains macrofossils dating to 25–21 cal ka (the global LGM), and is interpreted as glacial-lacustrine sediment. The open water requires that the outlet of the Ahklun Mountain ice cap had retreated to within 6 km of the range crest. In addition to cladocerans and diatoms, the glacial-lacustrine mud contains chironomids consistent with deep, oligotrophic conditions; several taxa associated with relatively warm conditions are present, suggestive of relative warmth during the global LGM. The glacial-lacustrine unit is separated from the overlying non-glacial lake sediment by a possible disconformity, which might record a readvance of glacier ice. Non-glacial sediment began accumulating around 14.5 cal ka, with high flux of mineral matter and fluctuating physical and biological properties through the global deglacial period, including a reversal in biogenic-silica (BSi) content during the Younger Dryas (YD). During the global deglacial interval, the δ13C values of lake sediment were higher relative to other periods, consistent with low C:N ratios (8), and suggesting a dominant atmospheric CO2 source of C for phytoplankton. Concentrations of aquatic faunal remains (chironomids and Cladocera) were low throughout the deglacial interval, diversity was low and warm-indicator taxa were absent. Higher production and air temperatures are inferred following the YD, when bulk organic-matter (OM) content (LOI 550 °C) increased substantially and permanently, from 10 to 30 %, a trend paralleled by an increase in C and N abundance, an increase in C:N ratio (to about 12), and a decrease in δ13C of sediment. Post-YD warming is marked by a rapid shift in the midge assemblage. Between 8.9 and 8.5 cal ka, Alnus pollen tripled (25–75 %), followed by the near-tripling of BSi (7–19 %) by 8.2 cal ka, and δ15N began a steady rise, reflecting the buildup of N and an increase in denitrification in soils. Several chironomid taxa indicative of relatively warm conditions were present throughout the Holocene. Quantitative chironomid-based temperature inferences are complicated by the expansion of Alnus and resulting changes in lake nutrient status and production; these changes were associated with an abrupt increase in cladoceran abundance and persistent shift in the chironomid assemblage. During the last 2,000 years, chironomid-assemblage changes suggest cooler temperatures, and BSi and OM values were generally lower than their maximum Holocene values, with minima during the seventh and eighth centuries, and again during the eighteenth century.
  3. Sundqvist, Hanna S., et al. “Arctic Holocene proxy climate database–new approaches to assessing geochronological accuracy and encoding climate variables.” (2014).  We present a systematic compilation of previously published Holocene proxy climate records from the Arctic. We identified 170 sites from north of 58° N latitude where proxy time series extend back at least to 6 cal ka (all ages in this article are in calendar years before present – BP), are resolved at submillennial scale (at least one value every 400 ± 200 years) and have age models constrained by at least one age every 3000 years. In addition to conventional metadata for each proxy record (location, proxy type, reference), we include two novel parameters that add functionality to the database. First, “climate interpretation” is a series of fields that logically describe the specific climate variable(s) represented by the proxy record. It encodes the proxy–climate relation reported by authors of the original studies into a structured format to facilitate comparison with climate model outputs. Second, “geochronology accuracy score” (chron score) is a numerical rating that reflects the overall accuracy of 14C-based age models from lake and marine sediments. Chron scores were calculated using the original author-reported 14C ages, which are included in this database. The database contains 320 records (some sites include multiple records) from six regions covering the circumpolar Arctic: Fennoscandia is the most densely sampled region (31% of the records), whereas only five records from the Russian Arctic met the criteria for inclusion. The database contains proxy records from lake sediment (60%), marine sediment (32%), glacier ice (5%), and other sources. Most (61%) reflect temperature (mainly summer warmth) and are primarily based on pollen, chironomid, or diatom assemblages. Many (15%) reflect some aspect of hydroclimate as inferred from changes in stable isotopes, pollen and diatom assemblages, humification index in peat, and changes in equilibrium-line altitude of glaciers. This comprehensive database can be used in future studies to investigate the spatio-temporal pattern of Arctic Holocene climate changes and their causes. The Arctic Holocene data set is available from NOAA Paleoclimatology.
  4. Kaufman, Darrell S., et al. “Holocene climate changes in eastern Beringia (NW North America)–A systematic review of multi-proxy evidence.” Quaternary Science Reviews 147 (2016): 312-339.  Reconstructing climates of the past relies on a variety of evidence from a large number of sites to capture the varied features of climate and the spatial heterogeneity of climate change. This review summarizes available information from diverse Holocene paleoenvironmental records across eastern Beringia (Alaska, westernmost Canada and adjacent seas), and it quantifies the primary trends of temperature- and moisture-sensitive records based in part on midges, pollen, and biogeochemical indicators (compiled in the recently published Arctic Holocene database, and updated here to v2.1). The composite time series from these proxy records are compared with new summaries of mountain-glacier and lake-level fluctuations, terrestrial water-isotope records, sea-ice and sea-surface-temperature analyses, and peatland and thaw-lake initiation frequencies to clarify multi-centennial- to millennial-scale trends in Holocene climate change. To focus the synthesis, the paleo data are used to frame specific questions that can be addressed with simulations by Earth system models to investigate the causes and dynamics of past and future climate change. This systematic review shows that, during the early Holocene (11.7–8.2 ka; 1 ka = 1000 cal yr BP), rather than a prominent thermal maximum as suggested previously, temperatures were highly variable, at times both higher and lower than present (approximate mid-20th-century average), with no clear spatial pattern. Composited pollen, midge and other proxy records average out the variability and show the overall lowest summer and mean-annual temperatures across the study region during the earliest Holocene, followed by warming over the early Holocene. The sparse data available on early Holocene glaciation show that glaciers in southern Alaska were as extensive then as they were during the late Holocene. Early Holocene lake levels were low in interior Alaska, but moisture indicators show pronounced differences across the region. The highest frequency of both peatland and thaw-lake initiation ages also occurred during the early Holocene. During the middle Holocene (8.2–4.2 ka), glaciers retreated as the regional average temperature increased to a maximum between 7 and 5 ka, as reflected in most proxy types. Following the middle Holocene thermal maximum, temperatures decreased starting between 4 and 3 ka, signaling the onset of Neoglacial cooling. Glaciers in the Brooks and Alaska Ranges advanced to their maximum Holocene extent as lakes generally rose to modern levels. Temperature differences for averaged 500-year time steps typically ranged by 1–2 °C for individual records in the Arctic Holocene database, with a transition to a cooler late Holocene that was neither abrupt nor spatially coherent. The longest and highest-resolution terrestrial water isotope records previously interpreted to represent changes in the Aleutian low-pressure system around this time are here shown to be largely contradictory. Furthermore, there are too few records with sufficient resolution to identify sub-centennial-scale climate anomalies, such as the 8.2 ka event. The review concludes by suggesting some priorities for future paleoclimate research in the region.
  5. Briner, Jason P., et al. “Holocene climate change in Arctic Canada and Greenland.” Quaternary Science Reviews 147 (2016): 340-364.  This synthesis paper summarizes published proxy climate evidence showing the spatial and temporal pattern of climate change through the Holocene in Arctic Canada and Greenland. Our synthesis includes 47 records from a recently published database of highly resolved Holocene paleoclimate time series from the Arctic (Sundqvist et al., 2014). We analyze the temperature histories represented by the database and compare them with paleoclimate and environmental information from 54 additional published records, mostly from datasets that did not fit the selection criteria for the Arctic Holocene database. Combined, we review evidence from a variety of proxy archives including glaciers (ice cores and glacial geomorphology), lake sedimentspeat sequences, and coastal and deep-marine sediments. The temperature-sensitive records indicate more consistent and earlier Holocene warmth in the north and east, and a more diffuse and later Holocene thermal maximum in the south and west. Principal components analysis reveals two dominant Holocene trends, one with early Holocene warmth followed by cooling in the middle Holocene, the other with a broader period of warmth in the middle Holocene followed by cooling in the late Holocene. The temperature decrease from the warmest to the coolest portions of the Holocene is 3.0 ± 1.0 °C on average (n = 11 sites). The Greenland Ice Sheet retracted to its minimum extent between 5 and 3 ka, consistent with many sites from around Greenland depicting a switch from warm to cool conditions around that time. The spatial pattern of temperature change through the Holocene was likely driven by the decrease in northern latitude summer insolation through the Holocene, the varied influence of waning ice sheets in the early Holocene, and the variable influx of Atlantic Water into the study region.
  6. Badding, Michael E., Jason P. Briner, and Darrell S. Kaufman. “10Be ages of late Pleistocene deglaciation and Neoglaciation in the north‐central Brooks Range, Arctic Alaska.” Journal of Quaternary Science 28.1 (2013): 95-102.  We present a chronology of late Pleistocene deglaciation and Neoglaciation for two valleys in the north‐central Brooks Range, Alaska, using cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating. The two valleys show evidence of ice retreat from the northern range front before ∼16–15 ka, and into individual cirques by ∼14 ka. There is no evidence for a standstill or re‐advance during the Lateglacial period, indicating that a glacier advance during the Younger Dryas, if any, was less extensive than during the Neoglaciation. The maximum glacier expansion during the Neoglacial is delimited by moraines in two cirques separated by about 200 km and dated to 4.6 ± 0.5 and 2.7 ± 0.2 cal ka BP. Both moraine ages agree with previously published lichen‐inferred ages, and confirm that glaciers in the Brooks Range experienced multiple advances of similar magnitude throughout the late Holocene. The similar extent of glaciers during the middle Holocene and the Little Ice Age may imply that the effect of decreasing summer insolation was surpassed by increasing aridity to limit glacier growth as Neoglaciation progressed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Climate change prompts Shishmaref, Alaska, to vote for mainland ...






Greenland's Ice Melt a Climate Change 'Warning Sign', Scientists ...






  1. The heat wave that smashed high temperature records in five European countries a week ago is now over Greenland, accelerating the melting of the island’s ice sheet and causing massive ice loss in the Arctic. Greenland, the world’s largest island, lies between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans and has 82 per cent of its surface covered in ice. The area of the Greenland ice sheet that is showing indications of melt has been growing daily, and hit a record 56.5 per cent for this year on Wednesday, said Ruth Mottram, a climate scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute. She says that’s expected to expand and peak on Thursday before cooler temperatures slow the pace of the melt.
  2. More than 10 billion tonnes of ice was lost to the oceans by surface melt on Wednesday alone, creating a net mass ice loss of some 197 billion tonnes from Greenland in July, she said.
  3. It looks like the peak will be today. But the long-term forecast is for continuing warm and sunny weather in Greenland, so that means the amount of the ice loss will continue,” she said Thursday in a telephone interview from Copenhagen.
  4. The scope of Wednesday’s ice melt is a number difficult to grasp. To understand just how much ice is being lost, a mere one billion tonnes — or one gigatonne — of ice loss is equivalent to about 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the Danish Meteorological Institute said. And 100 billion tonnes corresponds to a 0.28 mm rise in global sea levels.
  5. July was world’s hottest month on record, WMO says
  6. Mottram said since June 1 — roughly the start of the ice-loss season — the Greenland ice sheet has lost 240 gigatonnes this year. That compares with 290 gigatonnes lost overall in the 2012 melt season, which usually goes through the end of August.
  7. A June 2019 study by scientists in the U.S. and Denmark said melting ice in Greenland alone will add between five and 33 centimetres to rising global sea levels by the year 2100. If all the ice in Greenland melted — which would take centuries — the world’s oceans would rise by 7.2 metres, the study found.
  8. Travelling heat wave: The current melting has been brought on by the arrival of the same warm air from North Africa and Spain that scorched European cities and towns last week, setting national temperature records in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Britain.
  9. In Russia, meanwhile, forest fires caused by hot, dry weather and spread by high winds are raging over nearly 30,000 square kilometres of territory in Siberia and the Russian Far East, an area the size of Belgium. Smoke from these fires, some of them in Arctic territory, is so heavy it can easily be seen in satellite photos and is causing air quality problems in Russia’s third-largest city, Novosibirsk.
  10. Protesters in Moscow on Thursday were demanding that the government do more to fight the blazes. Greenland has also been battling a slew of Arctic wildfires, something that Mottram said was uncommon in the past.
  11. In Greenland, the melt area this year is the second-biggest in terms of ice area affected, behind more than 90 per cent in 2012, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., which monitors ice sheets globally. Records go back to 1981. A lot of what melts can later refreeze onto the ice sheet, but because of the conditions ahead of this summer’s heat wave, the amount of ice lost for good this year might be the same as in 2012  or more, according to scientists. They noted a long buildup to this summer’s ice melt — including higher overall temperatures for months — and a very dry winter with little snow in many places, which would normally offer some protection to glacier ice. “This is certainly a weather event superimposed on this overall trend of warmer conditions” that have increasingly melted Greenland ice over the long term, Serreze said.
  12. Compounding the melt, the Greenland ice sheet started out behind this year because of the low ice and snow accumulation, said Snow and Ice Data Center scientist Twila Moon.
  13. Increased frequency:  With human-caused climate change, “there’s a potential for these kind of rates to become more common 50 years from now,” Moon said. Heat waves have always occurred, but Mike Sparrow, a spokesperson for the UN World Meteorological Organization, noted that as global temperatures have risen, extreme heat waves are now occurring at least 10 times more frequently than a century ago. This year, the world saw its hottest month of June ever.
  14. These kinds of heat waves are weather events and can occur naturally but studies have shown that both the frequency and intensity of these heat waves have increased due to global warming,” Sparrow said in a telephone interview from Geneva. He noted that sea ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic are both currently at record lows. 10 warmest years in U.K. all happened after 2002, climate report says. Europe’s record heat wave moves toward Greenland, threatening world’s 2nd largest ice sheet.
  15. “When people talk about the average global temperature increasing by a little more than one degree (Celsius), that’s not a huge amount to notice if you’re sitting in Hamburg or London, but that’s a global average and it’s much greater in the polar regions,” he said. Even though temperatures will be going down in Greenland by the end of this week, the ice melt is not likely to stop any time soon, Mottram said.
  16. “Over the last couple of days, you could see the warm wave passing over Greenland,” she said. “That peak of warm air has passed over the summit of the ice sheet, but the clear skies are almost as important, or maybe even more important, for the total melt of the ice sheet.” She added that clear skies are likely to continue in Greenland “so we can still get a lot of ice melt even if the temperature is not spectacularly high.”




  1. THE INTERNAL VARIABILITY ISSUE: Anthropogenic global warming and climate change (AGW) is a theory about the impact of fossil fuel emissions on long term trends (longer than 30 years) in globalmean temperature. In a related post [LINK] we describe the climate science position on the issue of interpreting localized short term weather events in the context of AGW and specifically as “impacts” of AGW.  What we find there is that short term localized events such as the Greenland Ice Sheet melt ponds of July 2020 cannot be attributed to AGW because ” Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional geographical spans and decadal time scales.
  2. The observed melt ponds on the Greenland Ice Sheet that has alarmed climate change analysts at the CBC should be understood in this context. Although the whole of the Arctic region is a sufficient global span, even in that case, the climate oddities being studied in the context of AGW would require time spans of 30 years or more. The climate events in question, however, are highly localized to the surface of melt pond formation on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet and with the time scale constrained to a weather event over a few days in the extreme melt month of July. In light of the internal variability issue, this event cannot be interpreted in terms of AGW.
  3. Additional arguments against the attribution of these events to to fossil fuel emissions of the Industrial Economy (and the assumed implication of the ability of climate action to moderate these melt events) is found in the paleo data of ice melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet presented in the bibliography below. The literature shows that melt events of the nature described by the CBC and melt events more extreme than that found by the CBC in July 2020, are also found in earlier Holocene melt epochs long before the Industrial Revolution.
  4. It is also noted in the bibliography that episodic internal geothermal heat must also be considered in the analysis of Greenland Ice sheet melt events. The relevant geological features of the Arctic are described in a related post [LINK] .
  5. The CBC article makes a references to the Siberian heat wave. This issue is discussed in a related post [LINK]  .





  1. Jennings, Anne E., et al. “Paleoenvironments during Younger Dryas‐E arly Holocene retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet from outer Disko Trough, central west Greenland.” Journal of Quaternary Science 29.1 (2014): 27-40.  Paleoenvironments during the late Younger Dryas through early Holocene retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet from the outer shelf in the Disko Trough system of central West Greenland were investigated via lithofacies, foraminifera, dinocysts and sediment provenance analyses in radiocarbon‐dated sediment cores from the upper slope (JR175‐VC35) and outer shelf (JR175‐VC20 and HU2008029‐070CC). Core data show that the ice margin retreated rapidly from the outer shelf by calving, beginning by 12.2k cal a BP under cold paleoceanographic conditions with up to 11 months of sea‐ice. Ice retreat into Disko Bugt was well underway by 10.9k cal a BP. Enhanced ice‐sheet ablation in Disko Bugt and elsewhere along the West Greenland coast is inferred from cold glacial marine conditions associated with high sedimentation rates between 10.9 and 9.5k cal a BP on the outer shelf. Glacial marine conditions are recorded on the outer shelf until 7.8k cal a BP. Detrital carbonate‐bearing sediments rich in >2‐mm clasts deposited between 11.6 and 10.6 k cal a BP indicate that icebergs calved from northern Baffin Bay ice margins were melting and releasing sediments along West Greenland while the Greenland Ice Sheet margin was retreating into Disko Bugt.
  2. Neff, William, et al. “Continental heat anomalies and the extreme melting of the Greenland ice surface in 2012 and 1889.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119.11 (2014): 6520-6536Recent decades have seen increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet. On 11 July 2012, nearly the entire surface of the ice sheet melted; such rare events last occurred in 1889 and, prior to that, during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Studies of the 2012 event associated the presence of a thin, warm elevated liquid cloud layer with surface temperatures rising above the melting point at Summit Station, some 3212 m above sea level. Here we explore other potential factors in July 2012 associated with this unusual melting. These include (1) warm air originating from a record North American heat wave, (2) transitions in the Arctic Oscillation, (3) transport of water vapor via an Atmospheric River over the Atlantic to Greenland, and (4) the presence of warm ocean waters south of Greenland. For the 1889 episode, the Twentieth Century Reanalysis and historical records showed similar factors at work. However, markers of biomass burning were evident in ice cores from 1889 which may reflect another possible factor in these rare events. We suggest that extreme Greenland summer melt episodes, such as those recorded recently and in the late Holocene, could have involved a similar combination of slow climate processes, including prolonged North American droughts/heat waves and North Atlantic warm oceanic temperature anomalies, together with fast processes, such as excursions of the Arctic Oscillation, and transport of warm, humid air in Atmospheric Rivers to Greenland. It is the fast processes that underlie the rarity of such events and influence their predictability. [FULL TEXT]
  3. Lüthi, Martin P., et al. “Heat sources within the Greenland Ice Sheet: dissipation, temperate paleo-firn and cryo-hydrologic warming.” The Cryosphere 9.1 (2015): 245-253.  Ice temperature profiles from the Greenland Ice Sheet contain information on the deformation history, past climates and recent warming. We present full-depth temperature profiles from two drill sites on a flow line passing through Swiss Camp, West Greenland. Numerical modeling reveals that ice temperatures are considerably higher than would be expected from heat diffusion and dissipation alone. The possible causes for this extra heat are evaluated using a Lagrangian heat flow model. The model results reveal that the observations can be explained with a combination of different processes: enhanced dissipation (strain heating) in ice-age ice, temperate paleo-firn, and cryo-hydrologic warming in deep crevasses[FULL TEXT]
  4. Smith‐Johnsen, Silje, et al. “Sensitivity of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream to geothermal heat.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 125.1 (2020): e2019JF005252.  Recent observations of ice flow surface velocities have helped improve our understanding of basal processes on Greenland and Antarctica, though these processes still constitute some of the largest uncertainties driving ice flow change today. The Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is driven largely by basal sliding, believed to be related to subglacial hydrology and the availability of heat. Characterization of the uncertainties associated with Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is crucial for constraining Greenland’s potential contribution to sea level rise in the upcoming centuries. Here, we expand upon past work using the Ice Sheet System Model to quantify the uncertainties in models of the ice flow in the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream by perturbing the geothermal heat flux. Utilizing a subglacial hydrology model simulating sliding beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, we investigate the sensitivity of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream ice flow to various estimates of geothermal heat flux, and implications of basal heat flux uncertainties on modeling the hydrological processes beneath Greenland’s major ice stream. We find that the uncertainty due to sliding at the bed is 10 times greater than the uncertainty associated with internal ice viscosity. Geothermal heat flux dictates the size of the area of the subglacial drainage system and its efficiency. The uncertainty of ice discharge from the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream to the ocean due to uncertainties in the geothermal heat flux is estimated at 2.10 Gt/yr. This highlights the urgency in obtaining better constraints on the highly uncertain subglacial hydrology parameters.
  5. Greve, Ralf. “Relation of measured basal temperatures and the spatial distribution of the geothermal heat flux for the Greenland ice sheet.” Annals of Glaciology 42 (2005): 424-432.  The thermomechanical, three-dimensional ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS is applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Simulations over two glacial–interglacial cycles are carried out, driven by a climatic forcing interpolated between present conditions and Last Glacial Maximum anomalies. Based on the global heat-flow representation by Pollack and others (1993), we attempt to constrain the spatial pattern of the geothermal heat flux by comparing simulation results to direct measurements of basal temperatures at the GRIP, NorthGRIP, Camp Century and Dye 3 ice-core locations. The obtained heat-flux map shows an increasing trend from west to east, a high-heat-flux anomaly around NorthGRIP with values up to 135 mWm–2 and a low-heat-flux anomaly around Dye 3 with values down to 20 mW m–2. Validation is provided by the generally good fit between observed and measured ice thicknesses. Residual discrepancies are most likely due to deficiencies of the input precipitation rate and further variability of the geothermal heat flux not captured here
  6. Greve, Ralf, and Kolumban Hutter. “Polythermal three-dimensional modelling of the Greenland ice sheet with varied geothermal heat flux.” Annals of Glaciology 21 (1995): 8-12.  Computations over 50 000 years into steady state with Greve’s polythermal ice-sheet model and its numerical code are performed for the Greenland ice sheet with today’s climatological input (surface temperature and accumulation function) and three values of the geothermal heat flux: (42, 54.6, 29.4) mW m−2. It is shown that through the thermomechanical coupling the geometry as well as the thermal regime, in particular that close to the bed, respond surprisingly strongly to the basal thermal heat input. The most sensitive variable is the basal temperature field, but the maximum height of the summit also varies by more than ±100m. Furthermore, some intercomparison of the model outputs with the real ice sheet is carried out, showing that the model provides reasonable results for the ice-sheet geometry as well as for the englacial temperatures.
  7. Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe, et al. “Past temperatures directly from the Greenland ice sheet.” Science 282.5387 (1998): 268-271.  A Monte Carlo inverse method has been used on the temperature profiles measured down through the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) borehole, at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Dye 3 borehole 865 kilometers farther south. The result is a 50,000-year-long temperature history at GRIP and a 7000-year history at Dye 3. The Last Glacial Maximum, the Climatic Optimum, the Medieval Warmth, the Little Ice Age, and a warm period at 1930 A.D. are resolved from the GRIP reconstruction with the amplitudes –23 kelvin, +2.5 kelvin, +1 kelvin, –1 kelvin, and +0.5 kelvin, respectively. The Dye 3 temperature is similar to the GRIP history but has an amplitude 1.5 times larger, indicating higher climatic variability there. The calculated terrestrial heat flow density from the GRIP inversion is 51.3 milliwatts per square meter.
  8. van der Veen, Cornelis J., et al. “Subglacial topography and geothermal heat flux: Potential interactions with drainage of the Greenland ice sheet.” Geophysical research letters 34.12 (2007)Many of the outlet glaciers in Greenland overlie deep and narrow trenches cut into the bedrock. It is well known that pronounced topography intensifies the geothermal heat flux in deep valleys and attenuates this flux on mountains. Here we investigate the magnitude of this effect for two subglacial trenches in Greenland. Heat flux variations are estimated for idealized geometries using solutions for plane slopes derived by Lachenbruch (1968). It is found that for channels such as the one under Jakobshavn Isbræ, topographic effects may increase the local geothermal heat flux by as much as 100%.  [FULL TEXT] 
  9. Greve, Ralf. “Geothermal heat flux distribution for the Greenland ice sheet, derived by combining a global representation and information from deep ice cores.” Polar Data Journal 3 (2019): 22-36.  We present a distribution of the geothermal heat flux (GHF) for Greenland, which is an update of two earlier versions by Greve (2005, Ann. Glaciol. 42) and Greve and Herzfeld (2013, Ann.
    Glaciol. 54). The GHF distribution is constructed in two steps. First, the global representation by Pollack et al. (1993, Rev. Geophys. 31) is scaled for the area of Greenland. Second, by means of a paleoclimatic simulation carried out with the ice sheet model SICOPOLIS, the GHF values for five deep ice core locations are modified such that observed and simulated basal temperatures match closely. The resulting GHF distribution generally features low values in the south and the north-west, whereas elevated values prevail in central North Greenland and towards the north-east. The data are provided as NetCDF files on two different grids (EPSG:3413 grid, Bamber grid) that have frequently been used in modelling studies of the Greenland ice sheet, and for the three different resolutions of 5 km, 10 km &20km