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NOAA: Arctic Likely Free Of Summer Ice By 2050 — Possibly Much Sooner

Soulskill posted 1 year,5 days | from the take-a-chill-pill dept.

Earth 335

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have published research into the shrinking levels of sea ice in the Arctic. They wanted to figure out how long it would take before summer sea ice disappeared entirely. Since there's no perfect model for predicting ice levels, they used three different methods. All three predicted the Arctic would be nearly free of summer sea ice by the middle of the century, and one indicated it could happen as early as 2020. Two of the methods were based on observed sea ice trends. If ice loss proceeds as it has in the past decade, we get the 2020 timeframe. If ice loss events are large, like the 2007 and 2012 events, but happen at random some years, the estimate is pushed back to 2030. The third method uses global climate models to 'predict atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice conditions over time.' This model pushes the timeframe back to 2040 at the earliest, and around 2060 as the median (abstract). One of the study's authors, James Overland, said, "Rapid Arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere. Increased physical understanding of rapid Arctic climate shifts and improved models are needed that give a more detailed picture and timing of what to expect so we can better prepare and adapt to such changes. Early loss of Arctic sea ice gives immediacy to the issue of climate change."

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335 comments

I thought this was over and done already? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441295)

Climate can change and it will change but predicting these kinds of trends to 2050 with any kind of accuracy is ludicrous at best, since they cannot even predict whats the weather next weekend.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (5, Insightful)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441369)

Predicting sensible weather in the short term is quite different from predicting broad climate trends. And as it happens, short-term weather prediction is actually pretty good these days. Hurricane tracks, for example, have fairly low error rates these days, outside of some exceptional scenarios. In what other field besides astronomy do we have that level of predictive ability and accuracy? Can we predict the economy? Social trends? What Egypt will do in a year? No. But we can predict the weather, regularly, and do a pretty damn good job. So stop shitting on the one field that is actually able to predict the future with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441967)

In what other field besides astronomy do we have that level of predictive ability and accuracy?

Ballistics.

Seriously, any part of physics that isn't significantly affected by quantum effects yields much more accurate predictions, as does chemistry.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441971)

Because they've done such a good job so far.

sheesh.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (5, Insightful)

ssam (2723487) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441413)

how can you predict the average of 100 dice rolls, when you can't even predict what the next dice roll will give?

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441445)

That is the worst analogy I have seen today.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (2)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441461)

That's just because you don't understand it. I guess that makes it a subpar analogy, but by no means the worst.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441667)

Oh yeah?

Lick my muthafucking tip, till my perineum flicks,

involuntarily, merrily, you be suckin' my dick scarily,

shuckin' 'n' jivin,' bobbin' 'n' weavin,'

suckin' like a Hoover, pumpin' like Ingersoll-Rand even

You don't know what you talkin' about, put down the pen

get the fuck out and don't come back again,

Wannabe nerd tryin' to show off his brain,

compensatin' like hell for his micro-pain-no-micropeen

Sorry, guys....this is what happens when I troll after a triple blonde roast while listening to Snoop Dogg.
-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441483)

It would require some sort of magic, and magic is even less Christian than science! (You know, unless it's magic told by the Bible or the Pope or something.)

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (4, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442039)

Dice rolls can be predicted because unlike weather and climate they are not non-linear chaotic systems.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442285)

Bimbo Newton Crosby, its pulled out their posterior and when we are talking about basically killing the already half dead economies of most of the western world (Because China and India have already said we can take cap & trade and shove it up our asses and the "ZOMFG invisible hand free trade!" drones will NEVER let you just block trade with them) on numbers supposedly showing you what will happen decades in advance? Yeah I call shenanigans.

Look we ALL want less pollution but to actually achieve that some VERY nasty choices are gonna HAVE to happen. You will HAVE to cut off trade with the third world until they pass environmental laws equal or better than your own, you will HAVE to add trillions to the debt to build the infrastructure to support hybrids, not to mention billions on a "people's car/truck" that would be something like a hybrid diesel/electric so you can wean the country off of fossil fuels onto something like carbon capture diesel, and you will HAVE to get the NIMBYs to STFU and build new nuclear plants because none of our renewable choices will even cover what we use now, much less power even 25% of the cars on the road.

So these are all very hard choices that will have to be made, scams like cap & trade are just reverse robin hood by another name and won't lower greenhouses gases by a single pint, hell if anything they'll RAISE them because it will encourage more factories to be built within countries with lax pollution laws since there is zero penalty for just throwing it on a boat and shipping it to the west. Anyway you slice it people to make a REAL difference...its gonna fucking hurt. If done right it should hurt the rich just as much if not more than the poor (because if you take 100 million from a billionaire he isn't going hungry, take the same percentage from someone on minimum wage and they may end up homeless), it should hurt young and old, its gonna hurt all the way around.

But until you can get rid of the scammers, Al Gore on the left and the oil lobby on the right, and get someone willing to make those hard choices? Well its all fricking moot anyway isn't it?

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441425)

Weather and climate are not the same thing. Just as you can't predict whether a given coin toss will end up heads or tails, but you can pretty accurately predict the results of 50 or 100 or 1000 coin tosses in ensemble.

Second, there isn't a whole of precision in those climate estimates, as they range from 2020 (7 years away) out to 2050 (30 years later).

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441433)

Climate can change and it will change but predicting these kinds of trends to 2050 with any kind of accuracy is ludicrous at best, since they cannot even predict whats the weather next weekend.

Idiot who can't tell weather from climate gets modded up.

I have a bad feeling about this thread.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (3, Insightful)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441471)

It's Slashdot. Despite being a tech and science nerd gathering spot, there's a strange strain of climate change denialism here. Maybe it's because the non-denialists don't bother commenting on these stories any more, leaving the denialists to defecate all over the comment section.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441605)

I've thought one reason to be that computers (both using and manufacturing them) actually contribute to the climate change and we don't want our shiniez taken away from us.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (4, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441613)

It's single axis of ranking that make it hard to sort out things, and find the signal amid the noise. If there were ways to flag a point of view, for example, you could find things you agree with (or don't) and want to read, and filter out all the rage post crap.

As it's strictly a popularity contest at present... stuff that appeals to the usual crowd self reinforces over time, and you end up with the crowd that stays here.

The current work around is to scatter our attention at a bunch of broken sites, looking for one that better matches our view... and always being disappointed.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (5, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441771)

Slashdot is also remarkably conservative. You see this regularly in terms of computer technology (anti-Wayland, anti-Gnome, anti-Windows 8....) but it is also true in terms of American politics. Climate change is going to require coordinated large scale governmental actions through incentives and regulation. Libertarians don't like it so they pretend there is no underlying problem

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441809)

The remarkably strong anti-gun sentiment that dominates nearly every thread that involves anything firearm related doesn't support that slashdot is remarkably conservative.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441887)

Anti-firearm tends to correlate with urban more than conservative.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (2)

drsmithy (35869) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442105)

Thinking you shouldn't be able to wander into a 7-11 and pick up an AK47 along with your coke and chips isn't being "anti-gun".

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442193)

Considering that at no time in history could you walk into a 7-11 and purchase an AK47, I'd say that's exactly what you are. The more guns a society has, the lower the crime rate. For liberals who love to argue SCIENCE! FACTS!, you liberals sure do hate the truth about "gun control".

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441953)

Climate change is going to require coordinated large scale governmental actions through incentives and regulation.

That won't do much cause the problem is more complicated than that. Why do people deny or ignore climate change? Because their lives depend on polluting and impacting the environment. Why can't people live without polluting? Because they need to eat, but most people aren't in a position to grow food, so they need to make money, and for most, the only way they know how to make money is to build something or provide a service that is mostly unnecessary yet impacts the environment. Worst the current economic models in most countries force people to work at least 40 hours a week to make enough money to eat, even though there's no need for everybody to work that much in order to make enough to eat for everybody. For the pedantic, substitute "eat" by "eat, get clothed, have a shelter and a bit of fun."

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442009)

This is mainly about energy. We could be switching energy production towards renewables. That's going to take years and short term will boost consumption. But everyone knows it is the right long term approach. We don't need to cut standards of living just incentivize the switch.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442261)

No it's not. Climate change is not just CO2 emissions. All those computer chips, all those plastic bottles need more than energy to make. And no matter how much we recycle, some of the material will pollute the environment, kill the fish, kill the plants... Do we really need a new smartphone every 2 years, do we really need to buy bottled water? Of course not, but someone needed to make money to buy food and they figured the best way is to make smartphones or bottled water and they convinced people that these things are absolutely necessary. And the rest need more money now to buy the unnecessary smartphones and bottled water so they convince others to buy some other unnecessary product or service... that uses a lot more than just energy to produce and impacts the environment.

If you think all it takes is renewable energy and government regulation, you're being extremely naive and severely underestimating the complexity of the problem.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442181)

No, it's not. You only think that because you're not conservative.

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442029)

And maybe because there are plenty of educated people here who don't drink the Kool Aid like you. If you'd bother to pay attention, there are plenty of scientists, who are uniformly smarter that your sorry ass, who also don't drink the Kool Aid.

 

Re:I thought this was over and done already? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441521)

I'm impressed, you assert this almost as if you knew what you were talking about. But all evidence to the contrary, it's apparent you haven't actually read much of anything on the subject.

It's ok, Slashdotterers will still be around to comfort your in your senility.

Or not... (1, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441307)

Long-range climate predictions are nearly always wrong, despite their insistence to the contrary, I suspect they may be wrong again.

Or not...

Re:Or not... (2)

Mashiki (184564) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441315)

I'll be betting that it'll be wrong again. Then again if it's "ice free" by the summer of said year, we'll actually be at a point where we were previous to the last ice age. Which of course could mean really good stuff, or really bad stuff depending on your PoV.

Re:Or not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441603)

I'll be betting that it'll be wrong again. Then again if it's "ice free" by the summer of said year, we'll actually be at a point where we were previous to the last ice age. Which of course could mean really good stuff, or really bad stuff depending on your PoV.

And how much time did it take to get from Point A to Point B the previous time we were at Point B.

Also, your post and the GP are completely useless. They were the best of times, they were the worst of times ... how much does that tell us? Nothing, absolutely fucking nothing. Here we get a falsifiable prediction and it's met with people shitting on it with apathy.

Re:Or not... (1)

JubilantShank (2833811) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442187)

Yeah. The great thing about humans is that we're pretty damn adaptable, as a whole.

Things like the mini-ice-age in Europe a few hundred years ago, and the dust bowl in the 1930's, didn't mean the end of the human race, and even some of the worst predictions - more storms, higher seas, more rain where there was already too much, less rain where there wasn't enough, etc - won't mean the end. We'll adapt, because that's what we do.

There's a reason humans are on top right now - we can adapt more easily and consciously than any other creature. So, it won't be good, or it could be, or whatever. It won't be the end, just inconvenient.

Re:Or not... (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441489)

hey, give them some credit - at least it's a testable prediction that can falsify their model. That's progress.

Re:Or not... (4, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441623)

I don't know about "long range", but the medium-range projections have almost always proven to be too optimistic.

I suspect IPCC feels political pressure to tone down the bad news.

Re:Or not... (0, Troll)

huckamania (533052) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441917)

Or maybe it's just the pressures of reality. Ice loss this year will be about average and way above last year. Last year the artic lost ice cover due to, gasp, the weather. This year it is tracking about normal and overall thickness has actually increased.

If the warmistas can just find the missing heat, the debate would be over. But there's the rub.

Re:Or not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442135)

Citation needed.

Hurry up damnit (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441311)

The only chance (and it's a damned small one) of getting the various political entities motivated to actually do something is for major shifts to happen in a time frame so obvious that even Rush Limbaugh can figure out there is an issue. If the Arctic weather system collapses, pushes the jet stream away and lets Europe freeze ...
Damn it again.
That'll just confuse them even more.
We're doomed.

Re:Hurry up damnit (2)

emilper (826945) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441347)

what, will the political entities regulate the sun to run smoother ?

Re:Hurry up damnit (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441421)

Left up to some US state legislators, they'd probably try.

Look you loons, the climate IS changing, humans ARE pushing the carrying capacity of the planet, things ARE going to come to a head. Most likely in the lifetimes of some of the younger Slashdotters or at longest, their progeny (assuming a few will, like the original land dwelling animals, crawl out of the swamp and reproduce).

Details left as an exercise for the student or their favorite dystopian author.

Re:Hurry up damnit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441531)

humans ARE pushing the carrying capacity of the planet

Hold on! I'm not a climate change denier, but this claim screams for a citation.

Re:Hurry up damnit (1)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441553)

That's slashdot for you. Climate change isn't real, but humans are a cancer that should be destroyed.

Re:Hurry up damnit (1)

Flozzin (626330) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441635)

That's slashdot for you. Climate change isn't real, but humans are a cancer that should be destroyed.

I would think that if you are inclined to believe that humans are a cancer you'd be more willing to believe in climate change.

Re:Hurry up damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441861)

"Look you loons, the climate IS changing,..."

It's a good thing for cold, wet dogs.

Re:Hurry up damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441459)

The Russians and Canadians are counting on it.

Do what? It's already done. (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441527)

The only chance (and it's a damned small one) of getting the various political entities motivated to actually do something

The United States at least, is done. We have hit Kyoto targets. If that was going to help, then it should help; otherwise obviously no further reductions will help much.

If you truly believed what you say, you would be heavily pushing for fracking and nuclear energy. But we both know that's not going to happen, so take your hypocritical and obviously mindlessly liberal (trigger word: Rush) stance and try and scare someone else. The rest of us can think for ourselves.

In the meantime, if there were really a crisis all sorts of leaders would be eschewing personal jets and other things that emit far more carbon than I will in a lifetime. When people in power start acting like there's a crisis, instead of just claiming there's a crisis - at that point I'll put some credence to there being a real problem that needs addressing.

Re:Do what? It's already done. (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441637)

Hardly liberal. If you think that most conservatives like Mr. Limbaugh you live in an especially special place.

No, frakking isn't going to help much of anything except give us a few years before fossil fuel costs really go through the roof. It's not going to help unload the excess carbon from the environment. Natural gas is only marginally 'greener' than coal. Not enough to matter.

Nuclear power is another subject. IF we could do it correctly (better siting, upgrading, monitoring and decomissioning of plants as well as some sort of half reasonable way to deal with waste) it would be fine. Since we seem to be doing none of those things and since even solar and wind are cost comparable to nucs, it's not much of an answer, IMHO.

Kyoto was a bad political joke and had little to do with slowing global warming. It was simply a test of political will and as such, failed.

And yes, if humans, especially those in a 'leadership' position did something other than try to outrace the next guy in terms of carbon consumption it might help. However, the real problem is the several billion people trying to work their way up from dismal poverty to something better and scooping up all sorts of resources in the process. Can't say I blame them, but it is causing enormous, intractable problems.

All in all, Homo Industrialis won't deal with this problem very well. But it will get dealt with. It's just going to be ugly, protracted and scary.

Re:Do what? It's already done. (2)

Flozzin (626330) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441645)

They need those jets to tell us plebs about the crisis. I also enjoy that a solution to stopping climate change is higher taxes.

Re:Hurry up damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441827)

The only chance (and it's a damned small one) of getting the various political entities motivated to actually do something is for major shifts to happen in a time frame so obvious that even Rush Limbaugh can figure out there is an issue. If the Arctic weather system collapses, pushes the jet stream away and lets Europe freeze ...
Damn it again.
That'll just confuse them even more.
We're doomed.

Only if it is real.

Finally (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441323)

Do you know how long we've waiting for the Northwest Passage to open up? Finally we will be able to move goods between Europe and Asia in weeks rather than months!

maundering along to the future... (1, Interesting)

harvey the nerd (582806) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441333)

There are other models that are based on solar modulation having to do with orbits and magnetic field strength. According to them, we're going back into the deep freeze 2020-2040, so don't worry about it.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441337)

I will be able to water ski from North America to Russia, always wanted to do this.

Re:Excellent! (4, Informative)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441409)

I will be able to water ski from North America to Russia, always wanted to do this.

You already can. And Sarah Palin might even wave as you go by!

Seriously, check the map. You don't actually need to cross the Pole to reach Russia from Alaska.

Too late (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441341)

Professor Wadhams at Cambridge already predicted the collapse by 2015. Here is a reference [guardian.co.uk]. This site predicts 2030 at the latest [arcticice.org].

Climatology isn't a dart board, you don't make a ton of predictions and then claim you are right when one of them hits. You go back and do further research to understand the climate better.

Re:Too late (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442169)

Climatology isn't a dart board, you don't make a ton of predictions and then claim you are right when one of them hits.

When there's a lot of scientists, there is likely to be a lot of predictions. Some may be well founded, some may just be lucky but the one scientist who made the right prediction is probably going to say he was right because he was. It's the model's performance over time that'll matter.

Re:Too late (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442195)

Yeah, so in a hundred years, we will probably have a better understanding of climate science, and more knowledge with which to make predictions. Right now this is a sorry showing for 'scientific consensus.'

Empirical curve fitting suggests sooner. (5, Informative)

dr2chase (653338) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441353)

One approach looks only at ice volume measurements, and explicitly ignores theory because the existing theoretical models failed to predict anything like the ice loss that we observed. Using the simplest accelerating-curve-fit, we get first ice free in September 2017, and six months per year ice free by 2025.

http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2012/08/more-on-arctic-sea-ice-volume.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Empirical curve fitting suggests sooner. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441509)

Isn't that the method that was used to calculate the height of Adam and Eve to about 100 feet?

Re:Empirical curve fitting suggests sooner. (3, Informative)

lorinc (2470890) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441581)

Here are more curves that were posted in the comments of the blog you're linking:

https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas [google.com]

Clearly, the exponential model has the best fit (which is not very surprising), and says 2015, take or give 1 year for 95% confidence. Of course, there is no theoretical model behind, but most of the time, the theoretical explanation comes after the empirical fit.

There is no global warming, enough of this $HIT, S (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441377)

There is no global warming, enough of this $HIT, Slashdot.

Let's ignore the fact that arctic ice is normal (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441403)

Arctic ice extent is normal. Look at the DATA not the propaganda doomsday soothsayers claims.

"From 1988 until a few years ago, a lot of multi-year ice was getting transported into the North Atlantic during the winter. This caused a large drop in the thickness of the ice. What they don’t want to talk about is that this pattern has reversed. The amount of multi-year ice is increasing since 2008, and during this past winter almost all of it moved west towards the Beaufort Sea, where it will slow summer melt."
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictn_nowcast_anim30d.gif

"Climate experts tell us that the poles are melting down, which is why global sea ice area is eighth highest on record for the date."
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008

Re:Let's ignore the fact that arctic ice is normal (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441419)

Arctic Ice is normal
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

Re:Let's ignore the fact that arctic ice is normal (3, Informative)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441499)

Let's do only pick this one particular time when the ice is still below normal, but not by the much, and pretend like there's absolutely nothing going on. That's a winning strategy!

Take a look at the two year trend. At no point has it ever been at normal, much less above it, and many times it's been significantly below normal for significant periods of time. The trend is unmistakable.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png [uiuc.edu]
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png [uiuc.edu]

I'm not surprised that ice recovers in the winter when it's still quite cold. The Earth's tilt hasn't changed. The summer trends are unmistakable, though, and not be ignored.

Satellite data on ice mass [Re:Let's ignore th...] (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441529)

The most unambiguious measurement of arctic ice at the moment is from the GRACE satellite (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), a satellite that is measuring the mass of ice on the poles.

These results do not support your statement "the amount of multi-year ice is increasing." In fact, it is significantly decreasing

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html [nasa.gov]
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/multimedia/chart20121129.html [nasa.gov] shows the graph.

Here's an animation showing specifically the data from Greenland: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/archive/PIA13955_Greenland_Ice_Loss_20111205-640.mov [nasa.gov]

Re:Let's ignore the fact that arctic ice is normal (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441739)

Arctic ice extent is normal.

If by "normal" you mean "what you would expect if global warming was proceeding faster than the predictions".

We're now pissing money down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441443)

trying to stop this, we should be spending it on working out how to deal with the issues.

Re:We're now pissing money down the drain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442057)

Hmmm... yell ourselves hoarse trying to tell the train to stop, or getting off the tracks. Decsions, decisions...

Negative ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441467)

If current trends continue, negative sea ice in 2040, and an entire negative ice cap by around 2080. Next up, negative ice age!

I'd trust climate models a lot more than extrapolation, though both are likely pretty inaccurate; at least the level of inaccuracy is estimated and stated.

Evolution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441475)

it's no longer a discussion,
Climate change will happen - the only question is how much more extreme will future changes be?
I'm mostly interested in how evolution will be effected? Especially homo-sapiens? So little environmental changes brought humans here and even - much more recently has lead to racial difference.
I'm eager for the future...

Re:Evolution (1)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441899)

Change evolution for adaptation and natural selection, is not that evolution means improvement (as in faster, smarter, more complex, etc), just that what results is more adapted for the new environment, or the rough stages going toward it. If the change is fast enough, wont be a lot of margin for adaptation, and could result in few enough survivors that could end in full extintion. it almost happened to us 70k years ago with the Toba supereruption [wikipedia.org] when we wen't down to around 15000 humans.

I predict... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441485)

some good climate change content will help justify the NOAA and get the research scientist's team continued funding.

Re:I predict... (5, Funny)

siride (974284) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441533)

Only climate scientists care about funding and it's clear it's all they care about, to the point that they don't even bother doing real science anymore. Everybody else in the world does things for the right reasons and never worries about funding or PR. And the "skeptics" are only in it to save humanity from the evil climate scientists. They have nothing to gain monetarily or in political capital. Straight from the goodness of their hearts. It's only those zany climate scientists we have to worry about, with their scheme to, uhh, take over the world by, uhh, convincing us to use clean energy sources and, uhh, their zeal to understand an interesting part of the planet. Yeah, those guys are pure evil moneygrubbers, I tell ya.

Re:I predict... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441669)

Only climate scientists care about funding and it's clear it's all they care about, to the point that they don't even bother doing real science anymore. Everybody else in the world does things for the right reasons and never worries about funding or PR. And the "skeptics" are only in it to save humanity from the evil climate scientists. They have nothing to gain monetarily or in political capital. Straight from the goodness of their hearts. It's only those zany climate scientists we have to worry about, with their scheme to, uhh, take over the world by, uhh, convincing us to use clean energy sources and, uhh, their zeal to understand an interesting part of the planet. Yeah, those guys are pure evil moneygrubbers, I tell ya.

I know you are being ironic, but these kinds of arguments are coming from extremely well-funded big-oil and rightwing (aka corporation friendly) lobbying and opinion-building. Despite their best attempts they struggle to dispute the science using credible scientists (much like creationism) so they discredit it instead. If you watch Fox News you often see this strategy.

Re:I predict... (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441845)

Arguments I've actually heard:

Evolution denier: You can't trust biologists because they've all been brainwashed by their education.

Global warming denier: You can't trust climatologists because they've all been brainwashed by their education.

Evolution denier: You can't trust biologists because they're all part of a conspiracy to deny the existence of God.

Global warming denier: You can't trust climatologists because they're all part of a conspiracy to bilk the government for research money.

Re:I predict... (3, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441851)

You do understand climate change is being used by politicians as argument for even greater government command-and-control of the economy, don't you? Even though there are plenty of solutions which do not require such; those are ignored because they don't fit with the agenda of politicians.

In this, the scientists are fulfilling their role as "useful idiots".

Secondly, moving inward from the seas over 100-300 years, when few modern buildings last that long anyway, is not the major trouble people think it is. Compare it to slowing the economy such that we lose 10 or 20 years' worth of tech every 100 years.

So after 300 years, we'd be at 2250-ish tech, compared to 2313 tech. Have we saved lives?

Imagine people in the 1713 thinking, thanks to an oracle, that they should do something about climate change. So they did, and the increased command-and-control caused lag. Now you're sitting here in 2013 with 1950-level tech.

Have you saved lives? Something on the order of several hundred million needless dead would suggest a foolish path was followed.

Similarly people in 2300 will think us idiots, us ape-like ignorant slobs with year 2013 level tech, who thought it wise to retard growth.

Re:I predict... (1)

taz346 (2715665) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441977)

Except that moving inward from the sea, for many people, will mean that their country will no longer exist. And resolving the causes of climate change requires improving technology, not limiting growth.

Re:I predict... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441889)

The funny thing is that you refuse to realize this is a business.

The researcher who did the research, has a decent job after likely studying in a pretty specialized field. The researcher has a mortgage, a car loan, maybe a couple of kids in college. The US is in shambles and most average people with a decent education are afraid of the future. Publishing research that reinforces the accepted view and generates headlines results in accolades, continued funding and a job. This is a good thing in this economic environment.

The issue of funding goes up the chain of command, eventually helping to justify the existence of the organization itself and the pensioned jobs of the folks working there.

I don't really care about joe research scientist and sensationalist science in general - but I do find it entertaining so many people refuse to take a critical look at.

Real problems are things like irreversible pollution, fracking, the dangers of using surplus warhead material in nuclear plants, etc. But its not as sexy.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441517)

I would be very worried about this prediction. Luckily all the Global Cooling they predicted earlier will cancel the Global Warming out.

A test problem from my applied probability class (3, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441625)

We took a look at past average temperatures and plotted the standard deviation and where the last 10 years of temperatures lie. The odds of this being a natural trend basically exceeded the age of the universe.

Re:A test problem from my applied probability clas (2)

geoffrobinson (109879) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441907)

And how far back did your past data go?

Re:A test problem from my applied probability clas (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43442155)

The past three universes. Then their records got a little fuzzy.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43441723)

Once the ice age is finally completely over, Greenland can once again become a booming botanical powerhouse, as it was 25,000 years ago.

Imagine the possibilities once Greenland becomes arable again.

Re:Awesome (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441945)

Before Greenland becomes arable, you should be able to figure what yo do with the hundreds of millons of people that will be displaced as the countries/cities they live today, and where they get their food, becomes underwater. You know, big cities and fertile lands usually are close to rivers and coasts. And if that is not enough, think in the lost crops all around the world because the weather will not be as stable, and much more extreme, as it used to be.

Re:Awesome (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442033)

Before Greenland becomes arable, you should be able to figure what yo do with the hundreds of millons of people that will be displaced as the countries/cities they live today

Even in the worst case, it would take centuries for the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps to melt. People migrate so much faster than that that nobody would even notice even the most rapid sea level rise.

You know, big cities and fertile lands usually are close to rivers and coasts.

Yes, and there will continue to be rivers, coasts, and fertile deltas, just like there have been for the past 10000 years during the enormous sea level rise we have experienced so far. Those aren't static features in the landscape, they are dynamic and just adapt to whatever the sea level is. (Ditto for coral islands.)

And if that is not enough, think in the lost crops all around the world because the weather will not be as stable, and much more extreme, as it used to be.

The climate hasn't been stable in many millions of years. We're on a roller coaster ride between glaciations and interglacial periods, with frequent spikes and dips. The idea that climate has been stable and is being upset by human activity is the left wing version of young earth creationism; apparently neither creationists nor progressives can cope with the idea that the earth and humanity are constantly changing.

Re:Awesome (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,5 days | (#43442129)

If the Greenland ice melted completely, it would be bad. There's not really a way around that. Sure, humans would survive, but that's not really a description of 'good.'

When wasn't it? (4, Interesting)

Troed (102527) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441857)

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

- Washington Post, 1922

( based on this original: http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf [noaa.gov] )

every years a winner (0)

rjejr (921275) | 1 year,5 days | (#43441895)

You pick the year, they pick the theory. This year next year every years a winner. So basically they dont know and need more funding to narrow it down. Maybe next go round it will be odd numbered years, 2025, 2035, 2045.
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