9 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2017
    1. Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate

      I think this headline is a bit clickbaity.

    2. Because oxygen in the global ocean is not evenly distributed, the 2 percent overall decline means there is a much larger decline in some areas of the ocean than others.

      I think this is a subtle and important point to make, 2% globally might not seem that much but there will be areas where the decline is more significant such as the boundaries of Oxygen Minimum Zones, where waters could go from habitable to uninhabitable.

  2. Jul 2015
    1. they have all wanted the ice at the poles to melt, not least on the land in Antarctica and Greenland, is that this would bring about their ultimate scare scenario: those sea levels rising by as much as 20 feet, which, as Al Gore showed in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth, would flood New York, Shanghai and many of the world’s most populous cities. But, alas, it just isn’t happening. In recent years there has been more polar ice in the world than at any time since satellite records began in 1979. In the very year they had forecast that the Arctic would be “ice free”, its thickness increased by a third.

      Having just mentioned melting land ice in the context of sea level rise (Antarctica appears to currently be losing glacial ice at a rate of around 150 billion tonnes a year, Greenland is shrinking at a similar rate), it seems like a bait-and-switch tactic to then return to discussion of net expansion of global sea ice cover from the satellite record. Obviously, the former affects sea level while the latter does not. glacier mass loss Time series of Greenland and Antarctic ice mass changes from GRACE satellite data

    2. Temperatures in Greenland have shown no increase for decades.

      Temperature records suggest Greenland has appeared to warm considerably over the last 20 years, although the long term trend is pretty complicated (http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/regions/greenland). See here for more information..

    3. In 2012, his colleague Roger Harrabin was reporting that the sea ice was now melting so fast that more had vanished that summer than “at any time since satellite records began”.

      This is true, the PIOMAS analysis suggests that 2012 was an especially low ice year. The use in this context of "dire predictions" is misleading.

    4. The other was that Canadian scientists studying the effect of climate change on Arctic ice from an icebreaker had to suspend their research, when their vessel was called to the aid of other ships trapped in the thickest summer ice seen in Hudson Bay for 20 years.

      Several things about this paragraph: 1.) the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) says that "Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 was the third lowest in the satellite record." 2.) The summary for June then elaborates on the spatial pattern: "while extent is below average in western Hudson Bay, it is above average in the eastern part of the bay and near average east of Greenland," so this thick ice in part of Hudson bay is hardly indicative of the whole Arctic (in fact June was "below average in the Barents Sea as well as in the Chukchi Sea") 3.) Temperature is not the only thing that affects sea ice. An article in the Canadian press interviews the Canadian Coast Guard's assistant commissioner who mentions that southeasterly winds helped to trap the sea ice in the bay, allowing "a large compacted pan of thick, first-year and multiyear ice" to form. 4.) Summer sea ice usually refers to the minimum level of Arctic ice extent/volume at the end of the melt season, which occurs around mid-September.

  3. Jun 2015
    1. to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity.

      I think this statement is unnecessarily unclear and could be cherry-picked: "The Pope says volcanic activity, Earth's orbit and the solar cycle cause global warming".

      While volcanic activity, changes in Earth's orbit and the solar cycle can (and do) produce changes in climate, the recent trend of these forcings over the last couple of decades is probably towards net cooling. (see Foster & Rahmstorf 2011, ERL, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022

    2. Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.

      This is a good point about many geoengineering schemes...often they have side effects that can be predicted (hence we can reasonably judge if they are acceptable), but they can also have unintended consequences through the "mysterious network". A recent example is a modelling study assessing the use of kilometre long vertical pipes in the ocean to bring cooler waters to the surface. They found that the positive effects (ie net cooling) were only short term. Global temperature actually increased in the long term (see: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150319143337.htm).

      An accessible report on "Geoengineering the Climate" by the Royal Society can be found here: https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/publications/2009/8693.pdf

  4. Dec 2014