Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak

Lots to talk about here:

Published on Aug 1, 2014
Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak On Melting Ice and Global Impacts (1080p HD)

This film brings you the voices of climate scientists - in their own words.

Rising temperatures in the Arctic are contributing the melting sea ice, thawing permafrost, and destabilization of a system that has been called "Earth's Air Conditioner".

Global warming is here and is impacting weather patterns, natural systems, and human life around the world - and the Arctic is central to these impacts.
Scientists featured in the film include:

- Jennifer Francis, PhD. Atmospheric Sciences
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.

- Ron Prinn, PhD. Chemistry
TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

- Natalia Shakhova, PhD. Marine Geology
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

- Kevin Schaefer, PhD.
Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center.

- Stephen J. Vavrus, PhD. Atmospheric Sciences
Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

- Nikita Zimov, Northeast Science Station, Russian Academy of Sciences.

- Jorien Vonk, PhD. Applied Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

- Jeff Masters, PhD. Meteorology
Director, Weather Underground


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Alan, no. Arctic sea ice is something like its fourth lowest extent ever. That is nothing like a dramatic recovery.

Antarctic sea ice estimates are in question because of some problems with the data, but there is a suggestion that changes in currents and fresh water load owing to climate change have causes a tiny increase in Antarctic sea ice.

Sea ice is not glaciers. I'm thinking you didn't know that.

Why does the IPCC WG1 disagree about tipping points and ice sheet collapse and sea ice expansion in the Antarctic?…
“There is little evidence in global climate models of a tipping point (or critical threshold) in the transition from a perennially ice-covered to a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean beyond which further sea ice loss is unstoppable and irreversible.” IPCC AR5 Chapter 12, page 7

“Ice sheet collapse: Exceptionally unlikely (0-1%) that either Greenland or West Antarctic Ice sheets will suffer near-complete disintegration (high confidence).” IPCC AR5 Chapter 12, page 80

"It is very likely that the annual Antarctic sea ice extent increased at a rate of between 1.2 and 1.8% per decade between 1979 and 2012."

By Kenneth Richard (not verified) on 07 Aug 2014 #permalink

Very good questions.

I think there are several reasons and I've written about this on this blog before (but I don't have time right now to dig out references).

Despite what it says in this movie, we are surprised at the Arctic. At one point they say "just like we said it would do" ... that is true for some of what is happening, probably qualitatively true for almost all of it, but not necessarily true for the timing. The collapse of the Arctic system is happening sooner than previously thought and faster than previously thought.

So, the IPCC report comes out in 2013 (in draft form). It took a year and a half to put the thing together. It is based on the previous three years of research, roughly, So, the mean date of the research it is based on is 2011. It is 2014. The collapse of the Arctic was only starting when the average research project being represented in the IPCC was being undertaken.

Second, I suspect there is a certain amount of conservatism in the climate science community about the rates of change. This is adjusting now. There was no adjusting going on for the IPCC report

I assume, Kenneth, you are asking this question in all sincerity and are truly interested in the science, but this is an issue science denialists, bless their pointy little heads, pick up on. It is temporal cherry picking, picking something someone said five years ago and comparing it with something someone said yesterday, noting a difference, claiming that this is a contraction, screeching about how climate scientists are not really scientists while at the same time failing to acknowledge that science generally advances over time so of course comparing things even a few years separate in time in a dynamic subfield needs to be done properly. So you'll see that now and then.

I for one see the evidence of the changes, and in a sense will be glad that my death will come before humanities. But lets grant that the climate change is 100% wrong. The exact same things that the climate scientist say is causing the change is the exact same schite that is killing the oceans, our rivers and our air and our kids. So if these actions we need to do to clean the environment and stop poisoning us is the same actions we need to negate climate change; why, other than MONEY and political power, is any of this being argued????

Greg says:
Something recent on Antarctic ice:…

Unfortunately, here's something even more recent:
(From the linked article):
"In our previous post, we noted that on July 1, Antarctic sea ice extent was growing rapidly, and could surpass the September 2013 record high extent (over the period of satellite observations)."
(Skipping to the end...):
"Regardless, the expansion in Antarctic sea ice is confirmed by other groups using different techniques."

pinroot, you do know that there is a difference between Antarctic sea ice and the Antarctic ice sheet, don't you?

By weirdnoise (not verified) on 08 Aug 2014 #permalink

Kenneth, note that the IPCC report refers to 21st century, so the changes to be expected in the next 86 years.

Some people like to look a little bit further into the future, since live doesn't just stop (we hope!) in the year 2100.

Pinroot, what is the point you are making? Is this about global warming? Are you suggesting that you have found evidence contrary to the whole global warming thing? If so please explain hoe that works.

Thank you for sharing my video, Greg!

By Max Wilbert (not verified) on 06 Sep 2014 #permalink