Posted by: graemebird | January 8, 2007

Despite CO2 Being A Weak Medium-Term Greenhouse Gas It Might Still Prevent A Glaciation.

From Tigerdroppings:

“If glaciers are still melting at the rate they are 10 years from now, we have a large problem do we not?”

1. They won’t continue at that rate for much more then ten years and thereafter the arctic ice should accumulate again.

When the North Atlantic decadal oscillation changes its phase ice will begin accumulating at the arctic and perhaps even at Greenland. This will definitely happen if the phase-change is combined with a DOWN (weaker then normal) solar cycle.

2. No we want as much ice melted as possible. This buys us more time if we hit another double solar minimum.

We are at the tail end of solar cycle 23. The consensus forecast for cycles 24 and 25 had been that they would both be small. Which would have sent us into serious cooling. If such a double-down-cycle ever appears we would better hope that we already have as much ice melted off as possible. Or else a mini-ice-age could turn into an actual serious glaciation which we may not escape from.

Fortunately a new solar forecast emerged this year. With 24 being a very strong one but 25 being set to be the weakest on record. Who knows how that combination will pan out? And I do not think this is yet a consensus forecast. When you look at the historical graphs it isn’t cut and dried that one solar cycle can throw things entirely out of kilter on its own whereas it appears that two would likely be decisive.

While CO2 appears to be very weak in its effects on average global temperatures in the medium-term it does appear to have some quite noticeable effect on land temperatures where the air is arid. Cold air makes up the majority of the arid air on this planet since it cannot hold water vapour. And so the extra CO2 about the place may well be able to help us melt some of that ice praise be to capitalism.



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