Thursday, 12 April 2012

Mr. Freeze, give yourself up. We can get help for you... medical help! - Batman

This ice volume chart is enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

Interested in Le Temps?
As usual the mass media are not reporting anything approaching real 'news'.

To get a handle on what is really happening you must watch this Arctic amplification lecture from Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University.
A good exposition she is a bit shaky on a few points but the central theme is right on in my opinion i.e. the Jet Stream (Rosby waves / bands) is weakening due to missing Arctic ice cover esp. since 2007:
the Jet Stream used to keep Arctic cold bottled up by forming fast circular weather systems over winter;
warm weather moving North and warmer in the South;
less temperature difference between Arctic and lower latitudes as the overall temperatures rise especially quickly in the Arctic;
slow moving weather systems care of the weakened Jet Stream allow extreme weather of all sorts to form.

There are other processes at work positive feedbacks are hypothesised to be kicking in about now, a key one is reduced mixing of cold and warm ocean currents.
So the surface gets heated more but transfers a smaller proportion of the heat to the deep water where it would be unable to impact surface temperatures for a time period.
This could be a contributing factor (the Gulf Stream) to the 5-10 years doubling time for Greenland melt water volumes.
Combined with Greenland and the Eastern US coast being in an area that typically forms an inflection point for the Jet Stream as it swings North marking a top of the evolving boundaries.

More on the same lines all worth watching the main interview starts at ~23m featuring an interview with a scientist that quotes the doubling time of 5 -10 years who has been to Greenland recently and returns shortly.

"wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then"

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