Can scientists overcome huge uncertainties to pin down how close, or far, we might be to a tipping point?

A 2007 Royal Society paper by NASA scientist Drew Shindell: “… the rarity of palaeoclimate evidence for hydrate-induced climate changes argues that this is a fairly unlikely candidate for near-term sudden climate change. Unlike the others, however, anthropogenic climate change may alter the probability of hydrate release when compared with the past, making the overall…

Methane hydrate destabilization a potential scenario

Excerpts from an episode of History Channel’s “Mega Disasters” series. This explores the paper published by Northwestern University’s Gregory Ryskin. His thesis: the oceans can produce massive eruptions of explosive methane gas. Methane distribution in the water column: Once released into the water column, methane is distributed by currents and aerobic methane oxidation by bacteria…

Estimating northern polar CH4 flux

A compilation of related science with some commentary. Microbes in thawing permafrost: the unknown variable in the climate change equation David E Graham, Matthew D Wallenstein, Tatiana A Vishnivetskaya, Mark P Waldrop,Tommy J Phelps, Susan M Pfiffner, Tullis C Onstott, Lyle G Whyte, Elizaveta M Rivkina,David A Gilichinsky, Dwayne A Elias, Rachel Mackelprang, Nathan C…

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0 – 2000 m), 1955 – 2010

S. Levitus, J. I. Antonov, T. P. Boyer,O. K. Baranova,H. E. Garcia,R. A. Locarnini,A. V. Mishonov,J. R. Reagan,D. Seidov,E. S. Yarosh, and M. M. Zweng | published 17 May 2012 Abstract We provide updated estimates of the change of ocean heat content(OHC) and the thermosteric component of sea level change of the 0–700 and 0–2000…

How unrealistic optimism is maintained in the face of reality

Tali Sharot, Christoph W Korn & Raymond J Dolan Nature Neuroscience 14, 1475–1479 (2011) doi:10.1038/nn.2949 Published online 09 October 2011 Unrealistic optimism is a pervasive human trait that influences domains ranging from personal relationships to politics and finance. How people maintain unrealistic optimism, despite frequently encountering information that challenges those biased beliefs, is unknown. We…

Arctic methane outgassing on the East Siberian Shelf

SkepticalScience.com by John Mason on January 19 2012: In December 2011, following a fresh flurry of sometimes conflicting media reports about methane outgassing on the East Siberia Arctic Shelf (ESAS), we decided to go and talk to the people doing the work on the ground. We are pleased to report that Dr Natalia Shakhova (NS…

The Ocean Is Going To Start Confusing Fish And Dissolving Seashells

Climate Progress August 27, 2013: Ocean acidification driven by increasing atmospheric carbon levels is a substantial threat to marine life, a new study has confirmed. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analyzed 167 studies on the effects of ocean acidification on corals, crustaceans, mollusks, fishes and echinoderms, a group which includes starfish…

Wild Weather of the Future (1776 Edition)

By Chris Mooney| Tue Aug. 27, 2013: In this talk, meteorologist and America’s “Science Idol” contest winner Tom DiLiberto gives a forecast of the weather of the future—the weather that will be produced by climate change. While some of the details remain scientifically cloudy—according to DiLiberto, we don’t yet understand what will happen to tornadoes…

Methane release from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf and the Potential for Abrupt Climate Change

Natalia Shakhova, Igor Semiletov | Source University of Alaska, Fairbanks, International Arctic Research Centre, USA Russian Academy of Sciences, Far Eastern Branch, Pacific Oceanological Institute, Vladivostok, Russia “Opening the Arctic”, Washington, Nov.30th-Dec.2nd, 2010. Outline What do we know about methane potential of the ESAS? Is there a mechanism responsible for transformation of methane potential to…

Is the climate sensitivity less than 2°C?

Published on YouTube Aug 4, 2013: ClimateCrocks.com: Atmospheric Scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M has been doing a lot of important writing and speaking on the topic of climate sensitivity over the last several years.  His debate with Richard Lindzen, posted here a while ago, is  a good example of how he has managed to…