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Global warming may not be the culprit after all when it comes to Artic changes

Climate data can be difficult to analyze. Take for instance global temperature changes. Whereas the Northern Hemisphere has been warming, the Southern half of the planet is cooling. While Antarctic Ice is at near-record levels, the Northern Pole is warming at an unprecedented pace-- much faster than global warming models predict.

A new study published in the journal Nature identified a possible cause for this discrepancy. It identifies a natural, cyclical flow of atmospheric energy around the Arctic Circle. A team of researchers, led by Rune Graversen of Stockholm University, conclude this energy flow may be responsible for the majority of recent Arctic warming.

The study specifically rules out global warming or albedo changes from snow and ice loss as the cause, due to the "vertical structure" of the warming ... the observed warming has been much too weak near the ground, and too high in the stratosphere and upper troposphere.

This study follows hot on the heels of research by NASA, which identified "unusual winds" for rapid Arctic ice retreat. The wind patterns, set up by atmospheric conditions from the Arctic Oscillation, began rapidly pushing ice into the Transpolar Drift Stream, a current which quickly sped the ice into warmer waters.

A second NASA team, using data from the the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, recently concluded that changes in the Arctic Oscillation were "mostly decadal in nature", rather than driven by global warming.

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RE: Wrong again Masher
By masher2 on 1/5/2008 1:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but you're grasping at straws here. Let's summarize what the author says here:

- the direct cause of the rapid melting is definitely not due to global warming alone.
- the indirect cause (the underlying change causing the energy flow) is unknown. It might be global warming, or something else entirely.

If this is your idea of a resounding endosement of AGW, then there's no arguing with you. The author doesn't even refer to anthropogenic GW at all.

Finally, the second NASA study referenced above identifies those changes as a natural cycle, not linked to GW.

RE: Wrong again Masher
By Rovemelt on 1/7/2008 12:03:33 AM , Rating: 1
What part of this sentence from Graversen don't you understand?

"Many models suggest an increase in energy transport when more greenhouse gases are introduced into them," he said.

RE: Wrong again Masher
By modelmania on 1/7/2008 11:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
by Rovemelt on January 7, 2008 at 12:03 AM

What part of this sentence from Graversen don't you understand?

"Many models suggest an increase in energy transport when more greenhouse gases are introduced into them," he said.

I think Masher understands it fine.

1. There is no mention of "anthropogenic" in that sentence, and the VAST majority of the greenhouse gases on earth do not come from man. So your assumption that the sentence is referring to man-made greenhouse gases, seems a bit far fetched.

2. Models are NEVER evidence of ANYTHING. A model is just a representation of a belief system. When a belief system becomes evidence of something, you have crossed out of science into something else.

3. The models referred to are known to be highly inaccurate.

4. How does a model "suggest"?? What about the other models (not included in the "many") that don't "suggest an increase in energy transport"?

AGW zealots continually fail to recognize that models and theories are NOT evidence. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is not evidence. It is a theory. And, I might point out, a very good theory, because (a) nobody has ever found a counterexample and (b) it predicted several phenomena before they were seen that were subsequently measured and verified to extreme precision. These are the general scientific criteria for good theories.

The GCM models that AGW zealots revere as the gospel have NEVER accurately predicted anything and there are numerous examples where observations run counter to the models.

RE: Wrong again Masher
By Rovemelt on 1/7/2008 6:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
First paragraph of the paper Masher cites (after the abstract):

The recent warming of the Earth’s surface is most probably due to an increase of atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations. (8) Although most greenhouse gases are fairly uniformly distributed around the globe, the temperature response to greenhouse-gas forcing is thought to be larger in polar than equatorial regions.

Hey, look up reference 8 and what do we find? This:


last paragraph from the Nature paper:

Our results do not imply that studies based on models forced by anticipated future CO2 levels are misleading when they point to the importance of the snow and ice feedbacks. It is likely that a further substantial reduction of the summer ice-cover would strengthen these feedbacks and they could become the dominant mechanism underlying a future Arctic temperature amplification. Much of the present warming, however, appears to be linked to other processes, such as atmospheric energy transports.

Ok, fine. They suggest that energy transport is responsible for the amplification of the arctic warming. AMPLIFICATION over existing forcing from rising CO2 levels as described in the 2007 IPCC report.

Follow closely now. This is from the interview with the lead author:

Nobody knows how much of this change is the result of human emissions of planet-warming gases such as carbon dioxide, but it's likely that they play a role. (the change they are referring to is change in energy transport)

" Many models suggest an increase in energy transport when more greenhouse gases are introduced into them, " he said.

" Changes in the circulation in the atmosphere might have had a much larger effect than previously thought, but these changes may also have been induced by greenhouse gases. "

Ok...not that the author actually ran that model and tested it (which he should have IMHO), but he acknowledges that greenhouse gases may have induced the energy transport change. That means it's actually not natural, as greenhouse gases are increasing due to human activity (note, this is where Masher's spin--the title of this blog post--comes in again). He even gives us an idea of the amplification on the warming of the arctic from this process:

" We are not saying this is the only explanation," says Graversen, "this could explain maybe 25% of the amplification of warming in the Arctic. "

The idea is that some of the rapid melt is from a change in heat transport, but the AGW forcings are still there and heating up the arctic. The author is not debating AGW at all. The whole point of the paper is to help explain why the melt is happening faster than the AGW models predict. It looks like a combination of AGW along with changes in heat transport (which also, according to the author, can happen when greenhouse gas concentrations increase.)

And finally, where is the CO2 increase coming from?

Human activity. Since the industrial revolution, the concentration globally has increased by over 30%. Volcanoes contribute far, far less compared to humans.

I fully understand what the goal of models are. Models are simply ways to quantify understanding of climate. They will never be perfect and they will never be able to forecast the future exactly. But the models we have right now are our best tools to explain what is happening and what will happen in the future. Global temperatures have followed CO2 levels closely for the last century and nobody challenges the fact that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation. The entirety of the climate models are far too complex to simply form a direct correlation between CO2 and temperature as there are other forcings. But the forcings (water vapor, methane, cloud cover, etc.) are acting together in a way to warm the planet further.

But it doesn't matter, I'm sure, to many of the readers here. Even if the author said AGW was real right to your face, it wouldn't matter. Even if Steven Hawking said this:

As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth,” said BAS member Stephen Hawking, the renowned cosmologist and mathematician.

“As citizens of the world, we have a duty to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change.

(which he has, it doesn't matter to people in denial. That's the nature of denial. You ignore facts and just accept what Masher has to say without question.

RE: Wrong again Masher
By modelmania on 1/8/2008 12:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
But the models we have right now are our best tools to explain what is happening and what will happen in the future.

This is circular nonsense to put it kindly. How can models be our "best tools to explain what is happening and what will happen"???????????????

Especially, when we:

a. Know for sure (100% certainty) that the models are wrong.
b. Know that the models have never predicted anything accurately.
c. Know that the models do not even match the past accurately.

Models and theories are only useful for predicting the future when they are proven to be extremely accurate over large domains of testing (as for example the General Theory of Relativity has proven to be a good theory).

The models to which you refer have repeatedly been shown to fail in major ways.

Most recently, for example, Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer point out in their paper "A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions" published in Oct 2007 International Journal of Climatology:

The last 25 years constitute a period of more complete and accurate observations and more realistic modeling efforts. Yet the models are seen to disagree with the observations. We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution.

To read the whole paper and see the massive failure of the models (all of them):

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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