Climate Change, Climate Lag Time, Climate Tipping Points, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Eco-Apocalypse, Extinction of Man, John Cook at the University of Queensland, Lake El'gygytgyn, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Professor Julie Brigham-Grette, Professor Peter Sammonds of the University College London, Professor Scott Elias of the Royal Holloway University in London, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Contrary to what some may have you believe, future climate projections gleaned from current models have not accurately predicted how truly dire the future is for all living things on Earth. In order to get a true reading of what is in store for us, Prof Julie Brigham-Grette lead her team to a remote meteor crater in Russia where Lake El’gygytgyn rests. What makes this spot special is that this area has never been disturbed by glacier erosion, leaving behind a perfect sediment record of the Earth’s climate dating back millions of years.
Lake El’gygytgyn may be the only place in the world that has this incredible unbroken record of sediments going back millions of years,” said Prof Scott Elias, at Royal Holloway University of London. “When you have a very long record it is very difficult to argue with.
A 2011 study in the journal Paleoceanography showed that during the Pliocene Epoch [~ 4.6 to 2 million years ago] the Earth’s CO2 levels were at the level it is today (400ppm). At that time, temperatures were 8 degrees Celsius warmer in the Arctic summer than they are today. Humans have ramped up the CO2 level so high and in such a short period that the Earth’s climate system has not yet fully reacted to this drastic atmospheric change. This is what we call the climate lag time. In 2005, Hansen estimated the “climate lag time” to be between 25 to 50 years.
An article on this subject given to me by Gail from Wit’s End mentions the “climate lag time” as well:
There is a time lag of up to 30 years for the temperature to be forced up by the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, so the scientists’ findings give a clue to what to expect by the middle of the century…
When looking at these recent Lake El’gygytgyn findings, the NTE estimates of Guy McPherson don’t seem all that strange after all:
My feeling is we have underestimated the sensitivity, unless there are some feedbacks we don’t yet understand or we don’t get right in the models.”
Prof Robert Spicer, at the Open University and not part of the new study, agreed: “This is another piece of evidence showing that climate models have a systematic problem with polar amplification,” ie the fact that global warming has its greatest effects at the poles. “This has enormous implications and suggests model are likely to underestimate the degree of future change.“…
“I think we will feel the effects of climate change quickly – in years or decades – because changes in the Arctic sea ice bring changes in the circulation of the atmosphere and the oceans,” says Elias. ” Arctic sea ice keeps that entire region cool and when it melts, the dark ocean revealed absorbs even more heat.”
Recent wet and cold summer weather in Europe, for example, has been linked to changes in the high level jet stream winds, which in turn have been linked to melting Arctic ice, which shrank to its lowest recorded level in September. Climate change has also already increased the likelihood of extreme heatwaves and flooding .
“Clearly the Arctic is warming very, very rapidly at the moment,” said Prof Peter Sammonds, at University College London. “And if all the sea ice goes, there is no good reason why it might come back again.
In other eco-apocalyptic news, the public (including JMG) are still asleep at the wheel:
Posted: Thu, 16 May 2013 14:10:00
I think we are a little too late for instituting policy change. The Earth will do that for us.
We Have Failed Miserably On Climate Change
From The Guardian:
It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.
Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said a continuing rise could be catastrophic. “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds,” he said.