Just a few weeks ago I posted on a story about CryoSat measuring new low in Arctic sea ice. Well, today in a new story, with more data, 2012 is definitely on track for the lowest amount of sea ice on record. The ice has been melting at around 100,000 sq km per day so a few weeks more data can make a difference in graph (I’d love to show here but it’s copyrighted so please go look at the article). Apparently also a storm has accelerated the process. Storms were not taken into account on the earliest projections of disappearance of Arctic sea ice, originally expected right around 2100. But when the thicker ice melts (or thins) and is replaced by a new winter’s new ice, that ice is very easy to break up with wave action and thus storms do more breaking up of the ice than previously thought. Once the ice is broken up it melts quite rapidly so keeping the mass intact is the key to slower melting. So already, the previous minimum in 2007, combined with new knowledge has pushed the ice-free Arctic down in the 2030-2050 range and a new minimum in 2012 might push that projection even sooner.
Note, also that the maximum/minimum fluctuation is quite large but for the 1979-2000 average it was about 2 (half the ice melts) and in 2007 it was about 3 (two-thirds of the ice melts). And note that the maximum is dropping as well so even winter does not replenish the ice compared to past history.
Now of course the very people who are causing this, the oil and other carbons industry, are actually quite excited by polar melting because for them it means new places to look for oil. Oh joy, heat us up with CO2 so we can find more. Profits soar for the Kochs, good for faster melting which is merely a natural fluctuation since AGW is a commie egghead atheist lie.
But one reason the denialists do their spin, other than being paid to by the Kochs, is a belief that technology will rush to save us. We’ll build new dikes around Florida, dig deeper to get more non-sustainable aquifer water (in strange places too), and so forth. In short, let’s go ahead and heat up the planet (since that’s good for our profits) and then look to technology to mitigate the consequences (yet more profits since taxpayers will pay for that, like they always get stuck for the bill on bailouts).
Now one approach that has often been mentioned is replacing the albedo from ice with more clouds (what could go wrong with that?). [Note: ice reflects more sunlight back into space than open water so ice reduces the heat being trapped in the atmosphere; remove the ice, because it melted from heat, and you get even more heat, a positive feedback loop.] So here’s that story. Note that there is no new information in this story, not some results from an actual experiment, but just some folks trying to drum up interest to try a pilot program. And note this is released the same day the sea ice story is out – coincidence, probably, but who knows what the Kochs might be up to. And notice that this story indicates there is absolutely no data whether creating clouds would even happen, or then that it would mitigate warming, even in a small area, or that this would have any global consequences (how many of these ships do we have to build to compensate for CO2 injection, how much cloud can one ship create and how much albedo effect does it have, will we need many more cloud ships than the supertankers carrying oil, seems likely, and so who will pay for all this).
And what about side-effects? Creating enough cloud to actually reflect enough sunlight to actually compensate for greenhouse gas effect is a huge bunch of clouds, aka, storms. Monster new hurricanes anyone? Monster snow storms in northeast? Hey, let’s have some more flooding in Pakistan and Bangladesh since they’re getting so much practice with it.
So a technology that hasn’t even been tested, isn’t funded for even a pilot study (the Kochs won’t pay for experiments and expect “science” to come from taxpayers), doesn’t even have any computer models for projected effects, and has no idea what the unexpected consequences will be – yep, that’s just the ticket to rescue us from sea ice melting that is happening, literally as we speak.
Hurrah for imaginary technology to mitigate the very real effects of current technology. Will the wonders of fantasy and illogic of the rich ever stop!