5 March 2010
Two very notable publications in the clmate science world as we head into the first weekend of meteorological spring here in the Northern Hemisphere. One is a surprise to just about every climate researcher and not in a good way. The other may surprise some in the public but is not at all surprising to those who follow the real science closely.
The big surprise first.
A major finding is being announced in Science regarding methane and permafrost. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has more than doubled since pre-industrial times. It is approximately 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Researchers have long worried that as the Earth heats up, permafrost holding methane will melt and methane will be released in great quantities. Until now, the main source of worry was wetlands in the High Arctic. Some recent research has even indicated that the possibilities of deep ocean “methane hydrates” becoming a major source of sudden methane were not that likely.
Unfortunately the real world has a different surprise. A University of Alaska research team has found that the methane beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is being released in huge quantities. Indications are that the amount of methane being released is comparable to what is being released over the entire rest of the World’s oceans.
The second publication confirms something that I have mentioned several times over the past year or so here. Which is simply this: The real science published in peer reviewed journals continues to indicate that the change in Earth’s climate system is worse than the IPCC report of 2007.
In almost every area, the changes are happening faster than predicted. From sea level rise to greenhouse gas levels to the melting of arctic sea ice. A few years ago there was still questions about how Antarctica was reacting compared to the rest of the planet.
No more. The melt is on.
Dr. Peter Stott and colleagues at the UK Met. office have published a review of 110 papers in research journals published since the last IPCC report.
The evidence that humans are affecting earth’s climate is no longer unequivocal. It is OVERWHELMING.
The BBC has a good summary with more info. Click the image to read it.
Compare this with the ridiculous claims of fraud by extremist political blogs. The main claim being over a mistake in the non peer reviewed part of the IPCC report that anyone who knew much about climate science thought was a typo! I can’t write a blog post here without typos let alone 3,000 pages.
It is very telling that the two blogs feeding most of the skeptics are written by people who have NO background in science. One is a political spinner for Senator Laughing Stock (who wants to arrest Dr. Michael Mann). The other is TV weatherman who never bothered to study atmospheric physics.
As the title of this post says: Scientific facts live independent of public opinion. I’m a firm believer that the truth wins out in the end.
It always has.