Saturday, September 22, 2007

See? The climate models ARE wrong!

The North Pole Is Melting: Scientific American:
Such precipitous loss of ice cover far outpaces anything climate models or scientists have predicted.
"The observed rates of change have far outstripped what we projected."

So, what's next, the thermohaline circulation weakening much faster than projected because of all that freshwater from melted ice? Oh, well... At least there'd be the likely upside that the French wouldn't have to shut down any more nukes due to the water they use for cooling the condensers being too warm.

1 comment:

jj mollo said...

It's scary, but I don't think the polar melting is irreversible at this point because it is not entirely driven by greenhouse gases. The latest theories I've been reading suggest that the increased soot production from China, generated by bituminous coal burning, may be more to blame for that specific aspect of AGW. Part of that soot output comes from underground mines that have been carelessly allowed to catch fire. Some are in the US. This is something we can treat by conversion to nuclear and meteo energy forms, as well as fire control, stack cleaning and efficiency enhancements.

Also, according to Quirin Schiermeier in Nature, the 2005 assessments of thermohaline slowdown were overly pessimistic for the simple reason that thermohaline flow is apparently chaotic. There is seasonal variance and Schiermeier suggests that the noise component is very large.

The seasonal component of variance is probably becoming larger because the dense briny water is created by ice formation, which may not be changing just yet. In fact, brine may sink faster through ice formed at slightly higher temperatures.

Another reason to suspend alarm is that, while the North Atlantic temperature may drop dramatically, the European temperatures may not. I have read, somewhere that I can't find at the moment, that climate models predict as much as 8 degree C drop over the North Atlantic were the Gulf Stream to cease flowing, but only a degree or two in Europe.