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Sep 20 2012

Looks like Christmas will have to be cancelled …

Ho ho ho, Santa’s gonna need a new workshop! Unless his entire Arctic operation can float in the new liquid ocean formerly known as the Arctic:

Guardian UK – Julienne Stroece, an Nsidc ice research scientist who has been monitoring ice conditions aboard the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, said the data suggested the Arctic sea ice cover was fundamentally changing and predicted more extreme weather.

“We can expect more summers like 2012 as the ice cover continues to thin. The loss of summer sea ice has led to unusual warming of the Arctic atmosphere, that in turn impacts weather patterns in the northern hemisphere, that can result in persistent extreme weather such as droughts, heatwaves and flooding” …

Other leading ice scientists this week predicted the complete collapse of sea ice in the Arctic within four years. “The final collapse … is now happening and will probably be complete by 2015/16,” said Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

I asked Dr. Michael Mann, co-progenitor of the Hockey Stick and author of  Climate Wars, about this and he responded in part, “Sea ice decline is a good example of one of those areas where the climate projections if anything have been too conservative, i.e. the observed decline is decades ahead of schedule relative to the model projections.” Mann added, “based on what we are seeing, we could have an ice-free Arctic in as little as a decade. If so, we will have to prepare for impacts (national security challenges associated with an open Arctic for example) much sooner than we are prepared to.”

As best we know, the Arctic has been frozen for the entirety of hominid evolution. Over the next few years we may see an ice-free Arctic for the first time in millions of years. We are on the verge of losing the most important air conditioner in the northern hemisphere right at the onset of the worst global heat wave in millennia. It’s a tipping point so great that many computer models simply throw up their virtual hands and make an educated guesses about the immediate and future consequences. And to think we pulled the whole thing off in less than a century.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    eric

    Heh, you should take a look at how this post is represented in the blogroll. Kinda funny – makes it sound like YOU are cancelling Christmas.

  2. 2
    Cuttlefish

    As an attempt to generate interest, some are framing this as “the year that Santa drowned”.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2012/09/03/the-year-that-santa-drowned/

  3. 3
    Brad

    Greenpeace?

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    What worries me is when the permafrost that far north starts melting: there is potentially a huge amount of methane locked under the frozen earth from plant material that has been rotting for tens of thousands of years. Once that potent greenhouse gas start escaping, we’re screwed.

    The Great Dying (aka the Permian-Triassic extinction event) was the worst extinction event in the planet’s history: 83% of all genera alive at the time died off, including 96% of all marine life, 70% of all terrestrial species, and perhaps as many as 50% of all insects, the only extinction event to seriously affect them. The most likely cause seems to have been the catastrophic thawing of methane clathrates in the ocean, which led to anoxia in the oceans and led to runaway global warming. It took about 10 million years before the planet recovered. It scares me to think that it is happening again.

  5. 5
    embraceyourinnercrone

    And then there’s the very troubling fact that some far northern monitoring sites registered Co2 levels at 400ppm starting this past spring:

    http://researchmatters.noaa.gov/news/Pages/arcticCO2.aspx

    http://e360.yale.edu/digest/c02_milestone_reached__as_levels_hit_400_ppm_across_arctic_/3488/

    Well on a making lemons out of lemonade note, maybe Santa can rent one of the deep ocean drilling platforms that the oil companies will no doubt build in the area for his new workshop!

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    This post proves the whole “global warming” hoax is just another ploy in the never-ending liberal gay commie War On Christmas™!

    *forwards URL to Bill O’Reilly*

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Johnny Vector

    Ooh, I didn’t notice my final verse had been incorporated into Cuttlefish’s poem! Awesome! Thanks, DC!

    Well then. I have carried Carter Gravatt’s guitar, chatted with Stephen Sondheim, and had my verse accepted by the Digital Cuttlefish. I can die now.

  9. 9
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    No worries, Stephen!

    Santa outsourced the majority of the work to China long ago. He maybe has four or five elves, tops, working for him now. And they’ve set up shop in Bermuda now.

  10. 10
    DonDueed

    I guess the Fortress of Solitude belongs to Aquaman now.

  11. 11
    navigator

    Sant will just trade in his fur-trimmed suit for a Speedo. I am sooo not ready for that!

  12. 12
    comfychair

    Don’t worry, folks. Just up the road from here, in the backwoods of Mississippi, they’re building a brand new giant shiny four billion dollar lignite ‘coal’ power plant, and a brand new giant shiny strip mine to feed it. Oh, and don’t worry about the money for all this either, as they have arranged it so that the local residents will pay for it through rate increases on our electricity.

    I’m sure the very smart people in charge of all this wouldn’t be doing it if there were any chance of there being any negative consequences, like all the ice melting everywhere. Don’t be silly!

    Besides, I’m sure that if it ever does turn out to be a problem, Monsanto or some other benevolent humanitarian organization will whip up a supercharged-CO2-eating version of Kudzu or something.

    I mean, what could possibly go wrong, right?

  13. 13
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    For those who don’t already know the Arctic sea ice situation – kept very up to date can be followed via :

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    the National Snow & Ice Data Centre.

    As :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRc_9nNTZg0&feature=plcp ,

    (Especially the graphic at the 2 minute 30 seconds mark) notes the melting is happening much faster than predicted by the climaet models.

    Implying that far from being “alarmist” the climatologists are being too conservative and under-estimateing the rapidity and severity of Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it.

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Oh &, FWIW, & whilst giving on with handy “tracking” websites Carbon dioxide levels can be followed here :

    http://co2now.org/

    If anyone’s interested.

    Not like there’s a corelation – much!

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