If I didn’t know better, I’d say something protruded thru the icecap of global warming hubris I’ve so often talked about. It seems the ice in the Arctic is humbling the researchers because among other things (gasp) there are factors on this planet they didn’t put into their computer models.
Is the hubris melting as fast as the Icecaps? We’ll see.
The Arctic ice cap shrank so much this summer that waves briefly lapped along two long-imagined Arctic shipping routes, the Northwest Passage over Canada and the Northern Sea Route over Russia.
Over all, the floating ice dwindled to an extent unparalleled in a century or more, by several estimates.
Now the six-month dark season has returned to the North Pole. In the deepening chill, new ice is already spreading over vast stretches of the Arctic Ocean. Astonished by the summer’s changes, scientists are studying the forces that exposed one million square miles of open water — six Californias — beyond the average since satellites started measurements in 1979.
At a recent gathering of sea-ice experts at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, Hajo Eicken, a geophysicist, summarized it this way: “Our stock in trade seems to be going away.”
Scientists are also unnerved by the summer’s implications for the future, and their ability to predict it.
Complicating the picture, the striking Arctic change was as much a result of ice moving as melting, many say. A new study, led by Son Nghiem at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and appearing this week in Geophysical Research Letters, used satellites and buoys to show that winds since 2000 had pushed huge amounts of thick old ice out of the Arctic basin past Greenland. The thin floes that formed on the resulting open water melted quicker or could be shuffled together by winds and similarly expelled, the authors said.
I called this months ago when I said the models where worthless. Now it seems the “experts” caught up to the obvious.
The pace of change has far exceeded what had been estimated by almost all the simulations used to envision how the Arctic will respond to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. But that disconnect can cut two ways. Are the models overly conservative? Or are they missing natural influences that can cause wide swings in ice and temperature, thereby dwarfing the slow background warming?
It’s the same question I posed months ago (above) and the answer to it is, still, obvious. The models have not, can not and will never in my (or your) lifetime be able to take every natural phenomena into account. It just won’t happen. They (think they) learned this summer that wind was a big player. What will they learn next year? Or in 20 years? Or 50? — The earth is not so simple a system that we can model it.
The humility isn’t that long lasting however, in the rest of the story, the NY Times could find plenty of morons who claim this is “proof” of something. Still, maybe, just maybe it has a few people taking this a bit more seriously. If “the experts” are so stunned at the changes in 1 year, how can these same experts be counted on for a 300 year forecast?
And BTW if the new of Arctic ice melting has you worried, fear not. (read the whole thing, I’m not going to hold your hand)