In the Arctic, nearby soot may be a larger forcing than CO2

From the AGU Weekly Highlights, something I’ve pointed out more than a few times. See this photo of a moulin in upper Greenland, where carbon soot has collected at the bottom:

Image from National Geographic online slide show – Photo: James Balog – click for more

The authors find that BC (black carbon) emitted within the Arctic has an almost five times larger Arctic surface temperature response (per unit of emitted mass) compared to emissions at midlatitudes.

The Arctic is especially sensitive to black carbon emissions from within the region

Black carbon, also known as soot, emitted from combustion of fuels and biomass burning, absorbs solar radiation in the atmosphere and is one of the major causes of global warming, after carbon dioxide emissions. When black carbon is deposited on snow and ice, the soot-covered snow or ice absorbs more sunlight, leading to surface warming. Due to the large amount of snow and ice in the Arctic—which has warmed twice as fast as the global average over the past century—the region is likely to be especially sensitive to black carbon. 

To investigate how sensitive the Arctic is to black carbon emissions from within the Arctic compared to those transported from mid-latitudes, Sand et al. conducted experiments using a climate model that includes simulation of the effects of black carbon deposited on snow.

They find that most of the Arctic warming effect from black carbon is due to black carbon deposited on snow and ice, rather than in the atmosphere. Black carbon emitted within the Arctic is more likely to stay at low altitudes and thus to be deposited on the snow and ice there, whereas black carbon transported into the Arctic from mid-latitudes is more likely to remain at higher altitudes. Because of this, the Arctic surface temperature is almost 5 times more sensitive to black carbon emitted from within the Arctic than to emissions from mid-latitudes, the authors find.

They note that although there are currently few sources of black carbon emissions within the Arctic (the most dominant ones are oil and gas fields in northwestern Russia), that is likely to change as human activity in the region increases. Therefore, the authors believe there is a need to improve technologies for controlling black carbon emissions in the Arctic.

Source:

Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50613, 2013

Title:

Arctic surface temperature change to emissions of black carbon within Arctic or mid-latitudes

Abstract

[1] In this study, we address the question of how sensitive the Arctic climate is to black carbon (BC) emitted within the Arctic compared to BC emitted at midlatitudes. We consider the emission-climate response spectrum and present a set of experiments using a global climate model. A new emission data set including BC emissions from flaring and a seasonal variation in the domestic sector has been used. The climate model includes a snow model to simulate the climate effect of BC deposited on snow. We find that BC emitted within the Arctic has an almost five times larger Arctic surface temperature response (per unit of emitted mass) compared to emissions at midlatitudes. Especially during winter, BC emitted in North-Eurasia is transported into the high Arctic at low altitudes. A large fraction of the surface temperature response from BC is due to increased absorption when BC is deposited on snow and sea ice with associated feedbacks. Today there are few within-Arctic sources of BC, but the emissions are expected to grow due to increased human activity in the Arctic. There is a great need to improve cleaner technologies if further development is to take place in the Arctic, especially since the Arctic has a significantly higher sensitivity to BC emitted within the Arctic compared to BC emitted at midlatitudes.

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63 Responses to In the Arctic, nearby soot may be a larger forcing than CO2

  1. OldWeirdHarold says:

    Russia, eh? This must be revenge for Snowden.

  2. Manfred says:

    Even Wikipedia confirms

    According to Dr. Charles Zender of the University of California, Irvine, black carbon is a significant contributor to Arctic ice-melt, and reducing such emissions may be “the most efficient way to mitigate Arctic warming that we know of”.[71] The “climate forcing due to snow/ice albedo change is of the order of 1.0 W/m2 at middle- and high-latitude land areas in the Northern Hemisphere and over the Arctic Ocean.”[72] The “soot effect on snow albedo may be responsible for a quarter of observed global warming.”[73] “Soot deposition increases surface melt on ice masses, and the meltwater spurs multiple radiative and dynamical feedback processes that accelerate ice disintegration,” according to NASA scientists Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Larissa Nazarenko.[74] As a result of this feedback process, “BC on snow warms the planet about three times more than an equal forcing of CO2.”[75] When black carbon concentrations in the Arctic increase during the winter and spring due to Arctic Haze, surface temperatures increase by 0.5 °C.[76] Black carbon emissions also significantly contribute to Arctic ice-melt, which is critical because “nothing in climate is more aptly described as a ‘tipping point’ than the 0 °C boundary that separates frozen from liquid water—the bright, reflective snow and ice from the dark, heat-absorbing ocean.”[77]

    Black carbon emissions from northern Eurasia, North America, and Asia have the greatest absolute impact on Arctic warming.[78] However, black carbon emissions actually occurring within the Arctic have a disproportionately larger impact per particle on Arctic warming than emissions originating elsewhere.[79] As Arctic ice melts and shipping activity increases, emissions originating within the Arctic are expected to rise.[80]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_carbon

  3. DocMartyn says:

    We I was young and the ice age was pending it was proposed we could stave off the glaciation by spraying black carbon on the advancing ice. I recall that people did experiments using this technology to see if they could calve icebergs, to be towed to fresh water poor regions.
    Then it was all SOx driven aid rain destroying European forests so everyone began building taller chimneys.

  4. Caleb says:

    Back in the late 1970’s, when the concern was Global Cooling and a second “Little Ice Age,” one plan that was proposed was to dust the entire arctic with black soot. Looks like we have done it, though not on purpose.

    And guess what? It isn’t working. Temperatures at the North Pole Camera have been below the freezing point of salt water for over a day now. http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/PAWS819920_atmos_recent.html

    Once Alarmism goes out of style, I hope the Big Chill looming in our future melts away. An arctic without ice in the summer would be a very nice thing.

  5. milodonharlani says:

    May I suggest “soot” for “black soot”?

  6. JA says:

    Does not the carbon black on the ice surface get covered by subsequent snow fall?
    How long does the soot stay on the ice surface before it gets buried by more snowfall?
    Doesn’t the duration of the soot on the surface determine to a large degree how much surface melting occurs?
    If there is surface melting, doesn’t the melt water wash the soot into localized areas of lower elevation, which, presumably causes localized melting as opposed to large scale melting?
    How do models consider any of these factors?
    Or do the models just assume that the soot just sits in one spot all year long?

    One must assume that in prior geologic eras, massive volcanic eruptions deposited massive amounts of soot, basically all at once, on the surface of the arctic ice. Did this cause the ice sheets to disappear? If not, why not?

  7. Owen in GA says:

    I don’t see why they didn’t expect to see this. Ice has an almost perfect reflection surface, put something that is almost a perfect black body on top of it and absorbed energy changes as far as is possible. I would have to run a series of experiments to put actual numbers on it, but the common sense factor of this seems evident. Occasionally the universe throws a curve ball at ya, but usually only on really large or really small scales.

  8. Owen in GA says:

    The problem here though is they do all their “experiments” in a computer rather than in the universe. Would have to see the methodology to see if they used any actual observations such as solar intensity, shine angle, carbon absorption rate/conversion of effective solar to temperature and length of day. Such a simple model could tell you alot about what effect black carbon “might” have, but until you instrument the heck out of a patch with alot of black carbon and a control patch with little to no black carbon and measure the actual on the ground effect you have not done a real experiment.

  9. They note that although there are currently few sources of black carbon emissions within the Arctic (the most dominant ones are oil and gas fields in northwestern Russia), that is likely to change as human activity in the region increases.

    However, prior to 2000 there were large BC emissions from Soviet era industries located in northern Russia. Almost all of which got shut down in the aftermath of the 1998 Russian Financial Crisis.

    Large amounts of the BC was embedded in multi-year sea ice. When the BC emissions went, so did aerosols from the same sources. Less aerosols = less aerosol seeded clouds = more solar insolation which increased sea ice melt and the embedded BC accumulated on the sea ice surface. And surprise, surprise, we got accelerating Arctic sea ice melt after 2000. By this year, almost all the sea ice with high levels of BC has melted out. And again, surprise, surprise we see Arctic sea ice start to increase again.

  10. Garacka says:

    “Black carbon ….. is one of the major causes of global warming, after carbon dioxide emissions.”

    Is it clear that soot comes after CO2 or is this another “repeat after me” assumption?

  11. Bob says:

    CO2 doesn’t seem to be working all that well as the cause, so we need to switch to carbon, I suppose. So, is the soot deposition increasing from the growth of India and China, or decreasing because the polluting west pollutes less?

  12. KRM says:

    JA says: ” One must assume that in prior geologic eras, massive volcanic eruptions deposited massive amounts of soot, basically all at once, on the surface of the arctic ice. Did this cause the ice sheets to disappear? If not, why not?”

    The really explosive eruptions deposit rhyolitic or andesitic ash, which is light coloured (think pumice). So not such a big effect as soot.

  13. Owen in GA says:

    OK, do the satellites support that “arctic warming twice as fast” statement? or is it all based on the surface stations which do not for the most part exist there?

  14. Owen in GA says:

    I don’t know why this article bugs me so much. I read them all, but only comment occasionally when something either grabs my funny bone or sticks in the craw.

  15. @njsnowfan says:

    Did anyone know they apply BC to golf coarse greens to heat thing up some for earlier growing season in colder climates. I even apply Ground up Charcoal or biochar it to my garden in the late winter over the snow to get things going faster.
    I have been in the snow plowing business for many years and if you can scrape the snow and ice so the pavement shows a little bit the snow and ice melts much faster when the sun is up.

    Any bit of black or even something that has a color other then white will absorbs the suns rays and heats up. Ever see tree bases in late winter, they absorb the sun’s rays and the snow melts around their base.
    BC is easy to capture.
    I do feel the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice is at record highshttp://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/antarctic.sea.ice.interactive.html and has been increasing while the sun has ben decreasing in energy output because BC is a lot less there.. There is only a little bit of BC that falls from the sky in the S hem not like the N hem.
    Remember, BC is only an issue when the sun is shining during the spring, summer and early fall months. Not an issue at all during the winter months.

  16. Wyguy says:

    “Black carbon ….. is one of the major causes of global warming, after carbon dioxide emissions.”

    When I read that, I quit reading. The author(s) lost all credibility in my eyes.

  17. Jarrett Jones says:

    On a (far) side note there is negligible black soot in the Antarctic and no reduction in ice extent.

  18. geek49203 says:

    I’ve seen ducks kick dirt onto the ice to give them some drinking water, and eventually open up some swim space. Same deal — black earth absorbs heat, melting ice. ERGO…. ducks cause global warming (or something)?

  19. noaaprogrammer says:

    It’s all that soot that Santa disturbs going up and down chimneys.

  20. GlynnMhor says:

    So, geek49203, are those ducks heavier or lighter than a witch?

  21. lurker, passing through laughing says:

    We ‘Flat Earthers’ have been pointing out that carbon black was likely to be a huge factor for years. The sad reality is that for a fraction of the money squandered on AGW hype over CO2, a real treaty and shared technology for reduction of carbon black could have been achieved and implemented.

  22. Retired Engineer John says:

    “Especially during winter… response from BC is due to increased absorption when BC is deposited on snow and sea ice…”
    During winter there is no sunlight to be absorbed, the BC can only aid the radiation of heat to space.

  23. george e. smith says:

    “””””…….Owen in GA says:

    August 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I don’t see why they didn’t expect to see this. Ice has an almost perfect reflection surface, put something that is almost a perfect black body on top of it and absorbed energy changes as far as is possible. I would have to run a series of experiments to put actual numbers on it, but the common sense factor of this seems evident. Occasionally the universe throws a curve ball at ya, but usually only on really large or really small scales……..”””””””

    Well melt ice has an almost perfect reflectance of 2-3% of the incident solar radiation; whatever almost perfect is. Typical photographs of glaciers, show significant surface deposits of black materials, and if those deposits were almost perfect blackbodies, they would continue to melt their way down. As particles get smaller the surface area to mass ratio gets larger, so that presumably means the equilibrium Temperature goes up; but if the insolation is low enough they might still not reach water melting Temperature.

    But ice is not the great reflector its cracked up to be; it’s like glass.

  24. William McClenney says:

    But…..but……but……..today we also had this on E&E’s Climatewire:

    Climate benefit of cutting soot and methane may be lower than initially thought — study
    Stephanie Paige Ogburn, E&E reporter
    Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
    Correction appended.

    In recent years, scientists and policymakers have focused on controlling climate pollutants other than carbon dioxide as a potential way to curb global warming in the short term. Curbing emissions of methane and soot, also called black carbon, could limit short-term global warming, the idea goes, because these substances have a strong effect on global temperatures in the short term.

    Plus, at least politically, such short-lived climate pollutants are often seen as easier to control than carbon dioxide. Last year, a coalition of countries including the United States formed the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, dedicated to reducing these types of emissions (ClimateWire Feb. 16, 2012).

    A study published online yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, though, says the climate benefit of curbing methane and black carbon may not be quite as large as some previous studies have estimated.

    The authors of the new paper, Steven Smith and Andrew Mizrahi, say that even if the maximum reductions on these two pollutants were put into place, there would be only a “modest” reduction in average global warming of 0.16 degree Celsius (0.28 degree Fahrenheit) by 2050.

    Previous estimates have put the reduction closer to 0.5 C, or 0.9 F.

    Reducing methane and black carbon emissions “is likely to have a climate benefit. It’s just that this climate benefit is smaller than we previously thought,” said Smith, a senior scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a joint venture of the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

    Questioning assumptions of models

    As a result, the paper authors write, a comprehensive strategy that includes reducing emissions from carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases as well as short-lived pollutants should be the main focus of policy efforts to stabilize the climate.

    “We hope that this scientific information will help inform the discussion,” Smith said.

    The researcher pointed out that there are still strong reasons to reduce emissions of such short-lived pollutants, because they can have serious negative health consequences.

    “We are talking about people that are dying prematurely and having less quality of life because of air pollution worldwide from particulates and also ground-level ozone,” Smith said.
    There are a few reasons Smith’s calculation of the benefits of curbing such pollutants differs from some earlier ones.

    The researchers used a model that assumed existing trends in pollution control would happen regardless of any additional policies. So as incomes rise and cookstoves get cleaner and put out less black carbon, for example, the base-line model assumed this trend would continue until the end of the century.

    They also took into account the fact that generally, as incomes go up, air pollution decreases. This has happened in the United States and Europe, and their model assumed it will happen elsewhere as well.

    The model also assumed that methane emissions will be reduced in the future, because capturing leaking methane, which can be used as a fuel, is an economically sensible thing to do.

    “You have this declining base line, so we did everything relative to that,” Smith said.

    Behavior may not follow economics

    That approach makes sense in some ways, said Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, but the assumptions that underlie it may not play out that way in the future.

    Shindell was the lead author of a 2012 paper in Science that estimated around a 0.5 C reduction by 2050 if short-lived climate pollutants were curbed. Shindell’s paper had a different outcome because his model did not automatically assume that future emissions will continue to go down, he said. So in a way, the two studies ask different questions.

    “Their question is really, assuming a world where everything economically attractive has already happened, then what extra benefit can you get by targeting these [short-lived] pollutants?” Shindell said. “That’s a really important difference.”

    To Shindell, it is important that policymakers understand that policies need to be put into place to see such emissions reductions — that they are not automatically going to happen.

    Another difference between the model used in Smith’s study and the ones Shindell has used is that it doesn’t include the additional warming effects of black carbon based on where it falls.
    “If soot gets carried over the Himalayas, it has a much bigger physical impact,” Shindell said.
    Smith said he hopes to look at the regional impacts of black carbon in the future.

    “We know that black carbon has a disproportionate effect in the Arctic in part because if you deposit black soot on snow or ice, that’s extra warming that doesn’t occur here,” he said.

    Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly described the researchers’ base-line model regarding cookstoves.
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    Corrigendum: Models, what can you do?

  25. crosspatch says:

    Wonder how much of that soot came from the Kuwait oil field fires. That might be a multi-year accumulation.

  26. John says:

    To William McClenney re today’s study on ClimateWire:

    William, I wouldn’t say that the study wasn’t well done, but it has two significant flaws with regard to understanding effects of black carbon and warming.

    First, it did not include reduction of emissions of black carbon from uncontrolled industrial coal burning, which is mostly in China, a bit in Russia. These are among the emissions closer to the Arctic. Had these been included, it is logical that reducing black carbon emissions would have produced more cooling.

    Secondly, it mixed three sources of black carbon, one of which is co-emitted with large amounts of organic carbon which burned and thus cools the earth when burned (biomass burning). Two other sources of black carbon — residential coal burning, again mostly in China, and diesel emissions — are major sources of black carbon but don’t emit much of the other kind of carbon — organic carbon — when burned. Because these two sources, when reduced, cause reductions of mostly black carbon, their reduction also produces cooling.

    Organic carbon (“white” carbon) reflects light back, and cools the earth. Biomass (wood, agricultural wastes) when burned emits 4 times as much organic carbon than black carbon. Thus reducing biomass burning doesn’t result in a cooler earth, but a warmer one, because you are reducing so much organic carbon.

    This study suggests that reducing black carbon doesn’t reduce warming very much. But that is because the reductions of black carbon in this study are posited to come from reducing biomass burning in addition to reducing residential coal burning and diesel combustion. If you reduced only uncontrolled coal burning, and diesel emissions, you would reduce warming considerably. When you mix in biomass burning reductions, now you SAY you are reducing black carbon emissions, but you are mostly reducing organic carbon, with regard to biomass.

    Apples and oranges, in other words.

  27. Katherine says:

    We consider the emission-climate response spectrum and present a set of experiments using a global climate model.

    That’s not an experiment. That’s a computer game. There’s isn’t even a reference to validation of their model.

  28. GlynnMhor says:

    It’s models all the way down…

  29. William McClenney says:

    John says:
    August 13, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    “If you reduced only uncontrolled coal burning, and diesel emissions, you would reduce warming considerably.”

    Which, if we are in it for the species, or the genus, would be a good thing, right? Here at the presently half-precession cycle old Holocene.

    One might presume.

    There is a 12.5% chance that the Holocene will go-long, like MIS-11 did, based on 7 of the last 8 interglacials, each lasting about half a precession cycle. But MIS-11 occurred at a 400kyr eccentricity minimum like MIS-19 did, and as we are now. MIS-11 did go long. MIS-19 did not.

    So 50:50.

    In considering the Precautionary Principle, one might very well contemplate what the “right thing to do” actually is, at the half-precession cycle old Holocene. Would you disagree?

    The companion question might consist of why would anyone even consider “reduce[ing] warming considerably” at such a potentially (50:50) climate time?

    There are only three possible answers to such a question (only one of which is also a question):

    1) You are willing to “bet the farm” on the 12.5% (1 out of 8) chance that the Holocene will mimic MIS-11, the Holsteinian interglacial. The only post-MPT interglacial to ignore the half-precession cycle age. (This presumes, of course, that you are possessed of information which assures us that the Holocene will indeed “go long”, like MIS-11 did and MIS-19 did not.)

    2) You are aware of an as yet undisclosed reason why we have somehow broken free from the 100kyr eccentricity-paced climate oscillations we have been stuck in since the Mid Pleistocene Transition. By definition, such a thing would augur against leaving soot/CO2 et al in the late Holocene atmosphere, because leaving it/them up there would not only prevent onset of the next glacial, but might overheat us, since the next glacial is somehow quite obviously obviated.

    3) Put your bad/good ju-ju cap on, then look around you. What hominid gene-pool do you envision making it through to the next interglacial?

    At the possible end-Holocene, we extend it with GHGs, it runs along like MIS-11 did for a few more tens of thousands of years regardless of GHGs (which MIS-11 did do, MIS-19 did not), or the next chapter in hominid evolution will record our desire to speciate, once again, but at an eccentricity minima, not traditionally at an eccentricity maxima:

    “An examination of the fossil record indicates
    that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at
    2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which
    suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction
    events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on
    high moisture levels.”

    as Trauth et al (2009) sum-up in http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Trends-rhythms-and-events-in-Plio-Pleistocene-African-climate.pdf

    As difficult as that might be to cogitate, the possibility exists that this is where/when we are, climate-wise, as a sentient species. Perhaps the first moment in evolutionary time where we may have the opportunity to do the first thing ever as regards:

    “…. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the {glacial) inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

    http://www.particle-analysis.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

    It just might be that much of an extended interglacial margin call…..

    What would you do?

  30. NikFromNYC says:

    Jarrett Jones wrote: “On a (far) side note there is negligible black soot in the Antarctic and no reduction in ice extent.”

    The clearest diagram of Antarctic isolation by wind currents I’ve seen is here:

    http://www.goes-r.gov/users/comet/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/navmenu.php_tab_4_page_2.3.0.htm

  31. I don’t think black carbon has much effect on the climate overall. And as previously mentioned, organic carbon and aerosols decline along with BC. Declining OC and aerosols (through declining aerosol seeded clouds) likely have a substantially larger warming effect.

  32. William McClenney says:

    The operative statement from Sirocko et al might be the final sentence in their (2005) submission:

    “However, the Earth will be in a fragile state for the whole
    of the next 4000 years, and one can only hope that the expected
    climate extremes of the Anthropocene will not lead to conditions that
    cross the threshold to glaciation.”

  33. Note, on the right hand side of the moulin in Anthony’s picture, the dark indented bands above the water line. These are bands of surface concentrated black carbon from periods of greater than normal summer melt. Melting of one of the bands, I estimate roughly 100 years old, has bled black carbon down the side of the ice.

    You’ll have to magnify the image.

  34. Carsten Arnholm says:

    five times zero

  35. Swiss Bob says:

    I believe that most of the Arctic melt has been due to soot. I’ve been to China, the rate they have been burning coal for the past twenty plus years is unbelievable.

  36. dp says:

    Anybody know why black soot carbon never shows up in California swimming pools? Don’t say filters because those disgusting mosquito ponds don’t always have pumps running, and soot is small enough to pass on through anyway. Regardless, for those who can’t afford clean swimming pools they look like necrotic skin at the end of the pool season. It’s a legit question. What I see in the images is identical to dead fungus/mildew. It starts out pink when alive and turns black when dead. I’d like a second opinion.

  37. Jon says:

    What about resent Islandic volcanoes? And I wonder if black sot could be sprayed on Nordic glaciers and make them go away again, like they did 8.000-5.300 years ago?

  38. Peter Miller says:

    The whole subject of Arctic ice extent is far from simple, due to its complex layers of salinity, the result of several huge rivers emptying into this largely landlocked ocean, namely the Yenisey, Ob, Lena, Mackenzie and Yukon. So the near surface (for alarmists, that’s where the ice forms) salinity of the Arctic ocean is constantly changing seasonally, annually and locally.

    The complex layers of salinity in the Arctic Ocean can be dramatically affected by currents, winds and large storms – when more saline water is brought closer to surface it is obviously more difficult to freeze.

    Also, it should be remembered were it not for the fact the near surface salinity of the Arctic Ocean is significantly less than other oceans (fresh water is less dense than sea water), the Arctic Ocean would have much less ice

    In comparison, the mechanics of the Antarctic ice extent are very simple and represent a much better proxy for supposed global warming.

    What we have to realise is the Antarctic ice sheet (for alarmists, there are no big rivers in the Antarctic) is a far better better proxy for supposed global warming than the Arctic, as it is an open sea, pretty much impacted by the same factors year after year.

    In polar latitudes, northern hemisphere soot levels are obviously much higher than than in the south and could well have an effect on Arctic ice extent, especially in late summer.

    Yet there is another factor, which no one seems to have ever considered about the Arctic’s late summer ice extent and this may be the most important factor of all: The Arctic Ocean is underlain by two major, very long, seismically active, and therefore hydrothermally active, ‘spreading’ ridges: Gakkel and Lomonosov.

    Hydrothermal activity along these spreading tectonic ridges not only bring massive amounts of superheated water into the frigid Arctic at irregular intervals, but it also causes major conduction currents bringing highly saline water up close to surface and disturbing the complex salinity layering of the upper Arctic Ocean.

    I have no idea how big this factor is on the late summer Arctic sea extent, but I am sure of one thing and that is this would be a totally taboo/heretical subject in alarmist circles.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Grrrrrr.

    Sand et al. conducted experiments using a climate model that includes simulation of the effects of black carbon deposited on snow.

    In addition to the “experiments using a climate model” I want to see the results of an actual visit with in situ experiments and measurements.

    It’s interesting to note that mean air temperature “north of the 80th northern parallel” has been at record lows (since 1958) this summer and still dropping.

    Warmists have been aware for some time about the issue of soot on snow and ice. Nowadays they generally turn a blind eye to the issue and choose to focus on co2 gas [none] warming in the Arctic. Funny that.

    Dr. James Hansen – NASA – 2003

    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    …..Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ~2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.short

  40. Garfy says:

    what about HAARP project ?

  41. Gary Pearse says:

    “They find that most of the Arctic warming effect from black carbon is due to black carbon deposited on snow and ice, rather than in the atmosphere. Black carbon emitted within the Arctic is more likely to stay at low altitudes and thus to be deposited on the snow and ice there, whereas black carbon transported into the Arctic from mid-latitudes is more likely to remain at higher altitudes.”

    What a bunch of trivial, self-evident nonsense. And they used a model for heaven’s sake. Why did they use a model? Here is the obvious reason. Had they had simply gone outside at lunch, sprinkled a bit of soot on a patch of snow, watched it melt, photographed it and took notes, what would people say? What kind of science it is that? – but a sophisticated model…now it’s PhD we’re talkin’.

    I would have turned this down for a high school science project. Steve McIntyre was right that in an earlier time, the stars of climate science would have been high school teachers at best.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/04/quote-of-the-week-high-school-climate-science/

    More soon-to-be-asterisked PhDs. Comon you guys, up your game, you’re foreclosing on things for high school students to do.

  42. Rhoda R says:

    BLACK carbon? ORGANIC carbon? Is there any other kind? Isn’t the definition of ‘organic’ that it has a carbon atom in the molecule? Talk about redundant.

  43. LT says:

    The Age of Oil will be documented in the glaciers for 100’s of thousands of years..

  44. ferd berple says:

    DocMartyn says:
    August 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    Then it was all SOx driven aid rain destroying European forests so everyone began building taller chimneys.
    =========
    only much later was it discovered that the evergreen forests themselves were the source of the acid rain. however, this discovery went largely unreported as human’s continued to take credit for the works of nature. thinking that they, not nature, created the acid rain.

    what the average person worries about is air pollution. smog. they want it ended. they know most of it comes from burning fossil fuels, so they are on-board with anything that will help clean it up. this is where the support for AGW comes from. not from a belief in global warming, but from a desire for clean air.

    the AGW movement has taken advantage of this, to try and make money by creating taxes and carbon trading programs. they have enlisted the aid of scientists interested in obtaining grant money, necessary to continue scientific research. those scientists that were not on-board have found themselves de-funded. they have enlisted the aid of politicians seeking political contributions. those politicians not on-board have found their campaigns de-funded.

    so, for example, many people see coal powered electrical generation as bad, because it is more polluting than for example using natural gas. so they want to shut down the coal plants. AGW is the excuse given, but it is not the true motivation. Lots of cities still have relatively poor air quality.

  45. ferd berple says:

    The climate community continues to invent epicycles to explain the failure of their forecasts to match reality. Before we knew to look for bacteria and viruses as the cause of disease, disease was universally blamed on human action, or the retribution of god for human failings.

    Climate science continues to blame human action for everything they don’t understand. the aerosols from fossil fuels were used to explain the 30 years of cooling from 1940-1970. fossil fuels without aerosols were used to explain the 30 years of warming from 1970-2000.

    the 30 years of warming from 1910-1940 has never been explained, nor the 30 years of cooling from 1880-1910. this is an embarrassing subject for climate scientists, so they don’t talk about it in polite company. it is the climate science equivalent of a fart in an elevator. everyone knows about it, but noone says anything, otherwise they might get the blame.

    so now that we are apparently headed for 30 years of cooling from 2000-2030, climate science needs a new explanation for why their forecasts have once again gone off the rails. black carbon to the rescue. this must be why the arctic is melting while temperatures everywhere else are generally unchanged or falling. no matter what, it must be due to fossil fuel burning.

    here we are in a period of the most rapid change in the northern magnetic field in recorded history, and scientists are stubbornly insisting that fossil fuel burning is the cause of everything they see in nature. Could it be that the reason fossil fuels are blamed for everything is that scientists are only looking at fossil fuels?

  46. ferd berple says:

    medicine suffers from many of the same problems as climate science. doctors tend to blame their patients when the patients don’t respond to treatment. the treatment worked for 10 other patients, so why is it not working on this patient. the reason must be something this patient is doing or not doing.

    ulcers – caused by patient response to stress
    heart disease – caused by patient diet and exercise
    diabetes – caused by patient diet
    obesity – caused by patient diet

    etc.

    ulcers – caused by bacteria
    heart disease – cause by a diet high in artificial fat (look at France)
    diabetes – caused by low fat, high carbohydrate diet (recommended to solve heart disease)
    obesity – caused by high carbohydrate diet coupled with lack of micro-nutrients from industrialized farming.

    Medicine shows us that when we misdiagnose the underlying cause of the problem, the treatment we give may end up making the problem worse. In an effort to solve heart disease medicine created an epidemic of diabetes and obesity. yet a look at France tells us that high fat diets coupled with lack of exercise cannot be the cause of heart disease.

    So if there is a connection between fats and heart disease, the French example tells us it must not be due to the quantity of fats but rather the quality, the type of fats being eaten. yet, in throwing out all fats to avoid heart disease, medicine has overlooked the role of fats in maintaining health, leading to an epidemic of diabetes and obesity.

    Similar parallels can be seen in climate science. In a rush to throw out fossil fuels to protect us from CO2, climate science ignores the role of fossil fuels in maintaining a healthy economy, leading to an epidemic of high energy bills, unemployment and national debt. (look at Spain).

  47. lowercasefred says:

    As several have commented, the effect of soot has been known for quite a while. The emphasis of this article is on the “5X” effect of soot emitted at high latitudes even though many more than 5X as much soot is emitted at lower latitudes.

    I suspect the PURPOSE of this study is to give ammunition for defeating the contemplated drilling in the Arctic, especially ANWR. If one does not understand that these things are done with PURPOSE, then one does not understand much.

  48. milodonharlani says:

    milodonharlani says:
    August 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Meant “soot” for “carbon soot”.

  49. dbstealey says:

    Regarding the effect of carbon, Caleb says:

    “It isn’t working.”

    Looking at the picture of the moulon, we can see that the black carbon lake bottom is far below ground level, so not much sunlight is going to hit it. Even in the Arctic summer, the sun is never overhead, it is down closer to the horizon. In Arctic winter, spring and autumn, the sunlight would never even see the black lake bottom.

    Therefore, any significant effect of sunlight hitting the black carbon lake bottom would seem to be nil. These black carbon lakes are not especially common. All of that seems to indicate that the effect from this particular source would be very small.

  50. Garfy says:

    fossil fuel
    is fuel origin : abiotique or biologique ?
    is it possible to obtain fuel by a chemical process ??

  51. db stealey

    A couple of months ago I commented here about the BBC programme on the arctic that not only showed numerous carbon pools but also how dirty the ice/snow was as far as the eye could see in virtually every camera shot.

    When I researched the Arctic ice melt of 1820 Scoresby’s first expedition also commented on the soot lying everywhere and blamed the industrialisation by America,.

    We used to put soot from our fire on icy paths-it worked a treat!
    It is an important effect which I am not sure has been fully quantified

    tonyb

  52. Ed Caryl says:

    On this subject:

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/08/27/arctic-ice-loss-temperature-or-soot/

    It isn’t proof, but it is surely a strong indication.

  53. george e. smith says:

    “””””……Rhoda R says:

    August 14, 2013 at 5:27 am

    BLACK carbon? ORGANIC carbon? Is there any other kind? Isn’t the definition of ‘organic’ that it has a carbon atom in the molecule? Talk about redundant…….””””””

    That’s why I don’t eat organic foods. I love telling those pious vendors, that their organic foods have carbon in them; which the US Supremes said is poisonous.

  54. george e. smith says:

    “””””……dp says:

    August 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Anybody know why black soot carbon never shows up in California swimming pools? Don’t say filters because those disgusting mosquito ponds don’t always have pumps running, and soot is small enough to pass on through anyway………………..”””””

    Well I live in Sunnyvale CA, and my car is parked outside. Every morning, when I look at the dew on the car, it is always infested with soot, which is all over the car, when the sun evaporates the dew.

    At home burning isn’t allowed any more, and we have no nearby forest fires. I’m guessing, it is diesel engine exhaust mostly from trucks. Well it could be ordinary auto exhaust also. But if the car isn’t black from soot, it gets yellow from pollen in the dew.

  55. george e. smith says:

    “””””……dbstealey says:

    August 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Regarding the effect of carbon, Caleb says:

    “It isn’t working.”

    Looking at the picture of the moulon, we can see that the black carbon lake bottom is far below ground level, so not much sunlight is going to hit it. Even in the Arctic summer, the sun is never overhead, it is down closer to the horizon. In Arctic winter, spring and autumn, the sunlight would never even see the black lake bottom.

    Therefore, any significant effect of sunlight hitting the black carbon lake bottom would seem to be nil. These black carbon lakes are not especially common. All of that seems to indicate that the effect from this particular source would be very small…….””””””

    db Can’t tell exackly where the sun is, but I would guess stage left. Also can’t see a cast shadow of the fairly sharp left edge of the hole, so sun could be in a cloud zone. But curved right edge of hole seems to demonstrate direct sun melting; or why else would that corner, be rounded off like that.
    In any case, that right snow bank, is quite diffusely scattering, so some sunlight (attenuated) would be reaching the water surface, and ergo, the soot blob. As for downward LWIR from the CO2 laden atmosphere above the hole; “What soot ? I can’t see no crummy soot; there’s a water surface blocking my view !”

  56. DCA says:

    If soot is responsible for half the recent warming wouldn’t it indicate a lower sensitivity for CO2 ?

  57. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Owen in GA
    OK, do the satellites support that “arctic warming twice as fast” statement? or is it all based on the surface stations which do not for the most part exist there?

    +++++++++++

    How can you warm twice as fast as something that is not warming?

  58. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @DCA
    If soot is responsible for half the recent warming wouldn’t it indicate a lower sensitivity for CO2 ?

    ++++++++++

    That is the scary part for alarmists. Admitting it to be so is stabbing themselves in the back. So they tend to phrase things like this: “We have this massive CO2 problem and it is being made worse by this extra forcing.” It seems the ordinary person does not recognize this is a zero-sum game. There is only so much temperature change to dole out to its various contributing parties. So the tune has to be sung, “We now have a better understanding and it shows we still have to reduce and eventually eliminate all CO2 sources.” But that is the sophisticated response. The usual conclusion proffered is still, “It’s worse than we thought.”

  59. Louis says:

    “The authors find that BC (black carbon) emitted within the Arctic has an almost five times larger Arctic surface temperature response…”

    How long will it be before the authors are accused of being racist for putting too much blame on carbon of color?

  60. Bruce Cobb says:

    There are plenty of good reasons for reducing soot emmissions. Their effect on arctic ice, whatever it may be, isn’t among them. The worry about arctic ice is odd. I guess it has to do with the whole “death spiral” fantasy.

  61. dp says:

    Well I live in Sunnyvale CA, and my car is parked outside. Every morning, when I look at the dew on the car, it is always infested with soot, which is all over the car, when the sun evaporates the dew.

    I would bet a lunch you are seeing rubber from tires, not soot. At least not only soot. There is certainly soot in the air, but there is also a lot of tire rubber in the air.

  62. Olaf Koenders says:

    Do they have any recommendation on how they’d stop volcanoes spewing out “caaahhhhbn” other than rifling through our pockets?

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