Saturday, September 30, 2017

When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone? - 3

Fig. 1 September 28, 2017
Previous posts in this series were presented at a time when it looked as if this year, 2017, was going to be the year of no summer sea ice in the Arctic.

The software module I developed to project the year when the numbers and logic calculated the year that event would take place, indicated that it would take place circa 2024-2025 (When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone?, 2).

Fig. 2 No Summer Sea-ice (red line)

That is the year of "no summer sea ice" but "no winter or summer sea ice" was of course projected to take place about a decade later circa 2038 (Fig. 3).

The graph at Fig. 1 is the current NSIDC graph for summer sea ice extent.

The graph at Fig. 2 has a red line added to the Fig. 1 graph to show the distance yet to go before no summer sea ice takes place in the Arctic.
Fig. 3 Current Dredd Blog Projection
The year 2012 continues to hold the record low for the month of September, however, the years 2016 and 2017 hold the record in other months of the year, having taken those monthly record lows away from the year 2012.

It is important to remember that these trajectories for sea ice extent, sea ice volume, as well as for  other global warming phenomena, are non linear (that much is obvious).

It works both ways in the sense that we have years with acceleration and years of deceleration.

However, the trend has not changed and will continue its inevitable course.

That much is also obvious.

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques - 4

Fig. 1a
I. Satellite Data Added
Fig. 1b

I have injected the NASA Satellite Records into the Test Case modules described earlier in this series (On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques, 2, 3).

How this satellite usage works in general has explained previously (Syncronizing Satellite Data With Tide Gauge Data).
Fig. 1c

The graphs from the Test Case module (Fig. 1a thru Fig. 1c) are like the graphs in other modules.

II. Test Case Scenario

The three Test Case scenarios ('Golden 23', 'Church 491', and 'All Stations' were also discussed in previous posts of this series.

Basically, the three test cases are used to emphasize how important it is to select balanced world ocean areas when they are to be used as being representative of the whole of the oceans.

The satellite record (conformed to RLR concepts so as to match the PSMSL values) matches best with the Golden 23.

The graphs show that the Golden 23 evinces about twice the amount of sea level rise that the other two cases do.

How does "twice as much" set with the official record?

III. By The Numbers

Fig. 2a
Fig. 2b
Fig. 2c
Some numbers from the CSV files, from which the graphs @ Fig. 2a thru Fig. 2c were constructed, will also help us to discern that reality:
all stations:
103.339 mm * 361.841 = 37,392 (37392.287099) cu km
103.339 mm ÷ 304.8 mm = .34 (0.339038714) ft.
total: 4.07 (4.068464567) in.

Church 491:
93.7412 mm * 361.841 = 33,919 (33919.4095492) cu km
93.7412 mm ÷ 304.8 mm = 0.31 (0.307549869) ft.
total: 3.7 (3.690598425) in.

Golden 23:
197.136 mm * 361.841 = 71,332 (71331.887376) cu km
197.136 mm ÷ 304.8 mm = 0.65 (0.646771654) ft.
total: 7.8 (7.761259843) in.

The Golden 23 numbers indicate about 197 mm (about 7.8 inches) of sea level rise during the graphed time frame.

That comports well with the NASA estimation that "sea level has risen about eight inches since the beginning of the 20th century" (NASA, emphasis added).

The other two test case scenarios indicate about half of that Golden 23 amount, so we can discount them because the test case indicates that they are not produced from a balanced group of tide gauge, weather, or WOD stations and zones.

To produce those numbers, I use "361.841" as the cubic kilometers of ocean water required to raise the global mean average of sea level one millimeter; I use "304.8" as the number of millimeters per foot.

The Golden 23 sea level, then, indicates that an increase of 71,332 cu. km. of ocean water was added by Cryosphere melting during the graph time frame.

Again, the other two indicate about half of that amount.

IV. Back To Ocean Water Temperatures

Fig. 3a
Fig. 3b
Fig. 3c

This is the toughest case to solve.

For starters, it is not axiomatic that the zones where tide gauge stations have been installed and working for centuries in some cases, decades in other cases, will have the same warming of waters as sea level change.

There is no direct link at the latitude / longitude location between warming waters and sea level rise or fall.

That is because a lot of the water comes from far away when released by ice sheets as they lose their gravity (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4).

Likewise, the melt water also flows toward the equator (ibid).

Furthermore, the World Ocean Database is composed of uneven depth measurements as well as uneven latitude / longitude measurements.

The graphs at Fig. 3a thru Fig. 3c show that the in situ measurements (actual measurements at actual locations) vary based on measurement location, and are at odds with the expected Test Case temperatures.


After doing some more thinking about this, I am providing graphs Fig. 4a thru Fig. 4c as
Fig. 4a
Fig. 4b
Fig. 4c
well as Fig. 5.

The problem was essentially comparing apples to oranges.

The long span-of-time "expected temperature" as well as the long span-of-time sea level graph lines should not be combined with shorter time frames because it squishes both into a less revealing contortion.

The graphs at Fig. 4a thru Fig. 4c show expected sea level change and in situ (measured) sea level change in the modern satellite measurements era.

The graph at Fig. 5 shows expected ocean temperatures compared with in situ (measured) ocean temperatures in the modern satellite measurements era.

The graph at Fig. 5 is also constructed using ALL temperature measurements in the WOD database in all WOD zones. 

The previous graphs (Fig. 3a thru Fig. 3c) only included WOD zones that had relevant tide gauge stations in them (Golden 23, all tide gauge stations, and the Church 491 tide gauge stations).

They were also compared to ocean temperatures from only those limited numbers of WOD zones.

Fig. 5
The solution, then, was to compare the expected ocean temperatures to all WOD zones whether they had tide gauge stations in them or not.

The solution also included using all WOD measurements in those zones.

The bottom line is that all of the examples (Golden 23 stations, All stations, and Church's 491 stations) are reasonably close and accurate in terms of the modern satellite measurements which only span the years 1993-2016.

That is fine, because as we go back in time the measurements of ocean temperatures are much more likely to be non-existent, unlike PSMSL tide gauge station records.

VI. Conclusion

[I originally said] "I am going to do some examination of my portion of the WOD database (~1 billion measurements) to see if there is a collection of WOD zones that are closer to the Test Case scenario (even if they are outside of the Golden 23)."

[As the updated graphs and discussion show, I did what I said I would, and we now have a better, working understanding of how to do this.]

[I also originally said] "Additionally, I intend to explore whether I should add some other datasets to the mix (I currently use only the CTD and PFL datasets)."

[Again, that will not be necessary.]

[Finally, I originally said] "I will inform readers of that progress in future posts."

[That will not be necessary now, since I did it in this post in the form of an update.]

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction - 24

Fig. 1 Stockholm "way back then"
I. Way Back When

There is some changing understanding within the scientific community which concerns the roles played by thermal expansion and contraction.

As more data enters the picture, from closer analysis of PSMSL tide gauge records to utilization of modern satellite data, thermal expansion concepts are being put to task.

The past understanding went something like:
"This thermal expansion was the main driver of global sea level rise for 75 to 100 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution. However, the share of thermal expansion in global sea level rise has declined in recent decades ..."
(Union of Concerned Scientists, p. 2 PDF, emphasis added). If that is so, then thermal expansion was not doing such a good job of making sea level rise in some places (Fig. 1).

For example, take a look at Sweden and areas near Sweden (Proof of Concept - 5).

And even areas far away from Sweden were not phased by thermal expansion or contraction  (Proof of Concept - 3).

It was the humble melting of the Cryosphere by the Ignorati "what done it" (Humble Oil-Qaeda).

II. Current Thinking

A more recent scientific comment puts it this way:
"Observations from the Jason series have revolutionized scientists' understanding of contemporary sea level rise and its causes. We know that today's sea level rise is about one-third the result of the warming of existing ocean water, with the remainder [two-thirds] coming from melting land ice."
(NASA, emphasis added). The revolution from "as surface (atmosphere, land) warming increases thermal expansion decreases" (even though 93% of that global warming ends up in the oceans) is morphing into one that passes the smell test.

It seems strange for scientists to have believed that as warming was consistently increasing following the Industrial Revolution of 1750 (as shown by GISS records: On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques - 3) that thermal expansion would have been diminishing rather than increasing along the way.

III. Sir Isaac Newton and The Cryosphere

The cause of the beginning of sea level fall, circa 1785 (of the type shown in Fig. 1 in our era, the Anthropocene) is of course unrelated to thermal expansion or even thermal contraction.

It's a Newtonian phenomenon:
"There’s much that can still be done with GRACE’s archival data, says Isabella Velicogna, a geophysicist at the University of California, Irvine. For example, Velicogna and her colleagues recently used GRACE data to observe for the first time a strange, counterintuitive effect: Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are pouring water into the oceans and adding to sea level rise. But the lost ice also means lost gravity—and so sea levels in the immediate vicinity of the ice sheets actually drop, while ocean levels half a world away are goosed. The dynamic, called sea level fingerprints, had wide acceptance in the field, but GRACE provided the first direct confirmation that it was happening."
(Science, emphasis added). Sea level was falling in areas near many of the ice sheet concentrations of the Cryosphere, and still are (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4).

It helps to engender understanding when scientists acquire all of the published data on a subject (such as Woodward (1888)) prior to taking up and defending smelly positions (The Warming Science Commentariat - 3).

IV. Say "Stable" So You Don't Scare The Hoi Polloi

Orders from on Humble Oil-Qaeda high have always been to tell the hoi polloi to "move along folks, nothing to see here":
"The prevailing view among specialists has been that East Antarctica is stable, but I don’t think we really know,” said Rignot. “Some of the signs we see in the satellite data right now are kind of red flags that these glaciers might not be as stable as we once thought. There’s always a lot of attention paid by the media to the changes we see now, but as scientists our priority remains what the changes could be tomorrow.”
(Science, emphasis added). That was the Ignorati hard at work to make us "stable" (Antarctica 2.0, 2).

Savvy scientists were aware of it, however, such as Dr. James Hansen:
"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.

It was not obvious who was right on the science, but it seemed to me, and I believe to most scientists, that the scientists preaching caution and downplaying the dangers of climate change fared better in receipt of research funding. Drawing attention to the dangers of global warming may or may not have helped increase funding for relevant scientific areas, but it surely did not help individuals like Mercer who stuck their heads out. I could vouch for that from my own experience. After I published a paper (Hansen et al 1981) that described likely climate effects of fossil fuel use, the Department of Energy reversed a decision to fund our research, specifically highlighting and criticizing aspects of that paper at a workshop in Coolfont, West Virginia and in publication (MacCracken 1983).

I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned."
(On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction - 8). That Hansen dood is a good grandpa too (We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident).

V. Conclusion

On the western front of Antarctica, one of the more important things that ocean warming can do, and is doing, is to weaken the ice shelves.

Which is a major problem.

Thwaites & Pine Island ice shelf loss threaten to eventually unleash about 21 feet of sea level change, a quantity that equals all of Greenland's threat:
"The origin of the rift in the Pine Island Glacier would have gone unseen, too, except that the Landsat 8 images Howat and his team were analyzing happened to be taken when the sun was low in the sky. Long shadows cast across the ice drew the team’s attention to the valley that had formed there.

“The really troubling thing is that there are many of these valleys further up-glacier,” Howat added. “If they are actually sites of weakness that are prone to rifting, we could potentially see more accelerated ice loss in Antarctica.”

More than half of the world’s fresh water is frozen in Antarctica. The Pine Island Glacier and its nearby twin, the Thwaites Glacier, sit at the outer edge of one of the most active ice streams on the continent. Like corks in a bottle, they block the ice flow and keep nearly 10 percent of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from draining into the sea
This kind of rifting behavior provides another mechanism for rapid retreat of these glaciers, adding to the probability that we may see significant collapse of West Antarctica in our lifetimes
(West Antarctic Ice Shelf breaking up from the inside out, AGU, emphasis added). Those ice doods be knowin' (AGU Scientific Integrity) !

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Monday, September 25, 2017

On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques - 3

Fig. 1 GISS temp anomaly pattern (1880-2016)
I. A Test Case

I have added a test-case to the thermal expansion calculation modules.

It is a multi-purpose test case with a fixed ocean temperature system based on the boundary values of the various ocean basins.

The test-case software module is used to show the difference between thermosteric volume change in the constant-mass scenario compared to the changing volume scenario (Eustatic vs. Steric).

That is, the proper way to test for and/or calculate thermal expansion / contraction is to do so in a fixed (unchanging) mass-quantity of water (On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques - 2).

When the mass changes and the calculation of thermal expansion / contraction continues unabated with the new mass, the increase in sea level, etc. is likely to confuse analysts into conflating eustatic changes with thermosteric changes.

Thus invalid results are likely to ensue (ibid).

To establish a fixed environment as a context for the test-case, I used my SQL database of valid ranges built from the WOD manual @ Appendix 11.1 and 11.2 (WOD Manual, p. 132; PDF page 142).

That sets the stage for testing, but first ...

II. WOD Update

The World Ocean Database (WOD) has posted its latest update (August).

It used to be a daunting task to integrate the updates into my system, but I have modified
Fig. 2 Home of The World Ocean Database
some of the conversion software so that it is a breeze now, compared to past updates, which take place about every quarter.

I thought I would show the graph changes that resulted from the additional ~50 million ocean temperature, depth, and salinity in situ measurements, which the update added to the SQL database.

 III. Hang Onto Your Hat

The import of the test-case module results can be grasped at once by looking at Fig. 3a thru Fig. 3d.

Fig. 3a
These four graphs compare in situ temperature and salinity measurements with what should be expected in ocean basins that absorb 93% of the global increase in atmospheric (surface) heating.
Fig. 3b
Fig. 3c
Fig. 3d
The black line on each graph is the calculated norm that is to be expected by a uniform warming of ocean basins.

The red colored graph line on each graph is the pattern which actual measurements have recorded (actual measurements in the CTD and PFL datasets of the WOD).

As you can see, there is a radical contrast.

It doesn't mean that the measurements are wrong, or that the abstract is wrong, instead, it tells us that we need to take measurements in the same way and for the same reasons we have chosen to use the Golden 23 Zones.

That is, we seek measurements that produce a balanced representation of the oceans as a whole.

For example, if we take all of our in situ water temperature and salinity measurements only in the Arctic ocean area, we will have produced an unbalanced set of data from which to analyze the ocean temperature thermodynamics of the entire world oceans.

The same will result if we take all of our measurements in the tropics.

Also, that same result can be expected for unbalanced combinations where our mix of locations to take measurements is focused too much on one area or the other.

IV. The Abstract Graphs

Fig. 4a
The abstract graphs are Fig. 4a through Fig. 4i.
Fig. 4b

Fig. 4c
These graphs show not only test patterns of both the measurement values and changes in those values (both should have the same pattern when the software is working properly), they also show what are a collection of patterns to be expected in a uniformly warming environment.

They show what the software module calculations would expect global warming of the surface to produce in the oceans.

Fig. 4a is ocean mass, Fig. 4b is thermosteric volume expected when a constant water mass is analyzed, Fig. 4c is Conservative Temperature, Fig. 4d is Absolute Salinity, Fig. 4e is sea level, Fig. 4f is GISS global temperature average anomaly since 1880 compared to sea level change during that same span of time, Fig. 4g is thermal expansion and contraction when a variable mass is used in the equation, Fig. 4h is expected ocean salinity, and Fig. 4i is expected ocean temperature.
Fig. 4d

Fig. 4e
V. The Clincher Test
Fig. 4f

Fig. 4g
When we look at Fig. 3a thru Fig. 3d (actual measurement patterns compared to the expected patterns) we have to "go figure."
Fig. 4h

Fig. 4i
It is no secret at all that the oceans are not quiet back yard pools or stable bathtubs offering an easy place to take all the measurements we want to take.

The oceans are hard places to work in, and can be life threatening at about any time.

I have been across some of the feisty ones on a small wooden boat in winter time with only one other person to share the "adventure."

They are all the more dangerous if you are not constantly aware of what is around, under, and over you.

Plus what is coming at you, or might be coming at you, so one can't just do measurements our there without being prepared for danger and/or trouble.

Measurements out there do not come cheap or easily (WOD-Arctic).

So, we need a way to analyze the data we have in a manner that can also tell us where and with what we need to update and to balance out our datasets.

VI. Making The Test Graphs

You will notice a similarity in the GISS surface temperature anomaly graph patterns (Fig. 1, Fig. 4f) when compared with other patterns.

That is because I use the GISS pattern to inform the others.

That is, the GISS represents warming increases caused by captured green house gases.

Some 93% of that finds its way into the oceans, so it is a sound hypothesis to consider that the oceans will warm accordingly.

Of course there are variations, exceptions, and differences, but it makes for a worthwhile pattern to look for in the abstract.

For example, Fig. 4f is composed of measurements taken from safe locations at weather stations and tide gauge stations around the world.

They have a similar pattern because one (GISS) causes the other (PSMSL), because warming melts the Cryosphere and the melt water is relocated into the oceans.

The values of sea level change match the pattern that values of atmospheric changes make.

The same is validly expected in the mass of the oceans.

The pattern of warming causes a pattern of sea level change which causes a similar pattern of ocean mass change.

There is a reasonably equal expectation with ocean water temperature (when considered as a whole) and salinity, in terms of an abstract test case.

VII. Conclusion

There are a lot of things to look at, ponder, and analyze with this test case scenario.

For example, do the in situ temperature and salinity graph lines in Fig. 3a thru Fig. 3d tell us anything about our WOD dataset?

Like maybe in the 1960's (what with the red measurement line being above or below the expected location shown by the black graph line, and then dropping down below or going above that black line), that deeper (colder) measurements became more technically possible ... or did northern measurements exceed southern measurements?

Or perhaps was there a lot of cold melt-water injected into the oceans to cause cooling (see Humble Oil-Qaeda)?

There are a lot of possibilities.

It can't all be discussed in one post, so stay tuned if you like.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.