ESA Cryosat Animation of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness 2010-2013 with commentary

Via ESA, 11 September 2013: Offering new insights into our fragile polar regions, ESA’s CryoSat mission has provided three consecutive years of Arctic sea-ice thickness measurements, which show that the ice continues to thin. Although satellites have witnessed a downward trend in the extent of sea ice over the last two decades, it is essential to…

Global warming could change strength of El Nino

Via Phys.org September 11, 2013: Global warming could impact the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), altering the cycles of El Niño and La Niña events that bring extreme drought and flooding to Australia and many other Pacific-rim countries. New research published in Nature Geoscience using coral samples from Kiribati has revealed how the ENSO cycle has changed…

Life found in the sediments of an Antarctic subglacial lake for the first time

Video: What Lies Beneath: NASA Antarctic Sub Goes Subglacial NASA / JPL February 28, 2013: When researcher Alberto Behar from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., joined an international Antarctic expedition last month on a trek to investigate a subglacial lake, he brought with him a unique instrument designed and funded by NASA to help…

Meet the NASA computer used for most climate simulations

The actual computer we do all of our climate simulations on (well, a little bit of it). pic.twitter.com/Z1qSFlgJwm — Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) July 16, 2013 System Architecture The system architecture is made up of multiple scalable units. The list below describes the total aggregate components of the system and its individual scalable units. Aggregate 67…

A shift in priorities for the biggest single climate action blocker?

Billionaire Koch brothers latest bet: Spending US$7.2 billion to buy an Apple iPhone supplier  Molex shares jumped 31 percent, to $38.55, in midday trading on the Nasdaq. Molex makes electronic connectors for companies including Apple. Buy buying the company, Koch can diversify beyond its traditional holdings in energy, chemicals and paper. Link Does the recent…

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage

Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a greenhouse gas mitigation technology which produces negative carbon dioxide emissions by combining biomass use with geologic carbon capture and storage. The concept of BECCS is drawn from the integration of trees and crops, which extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as they grow, the use…

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…