Mt. Redoubt Eruptions – What Effect If Any on the Summer? Winter?

By Joe D’Aleo CCM ICECAP
Monday, April 6, 2009

Starting on March 22, a series of major eruptions have taken place from Mt. Redoubt in Alaska. The biggest exceeded 65,000 feet in height. More than a dozen eruptions as high as 60,000 have followed the first week alone. Activity may continue for weeks or months based on the volcano’s history.

Mt. Redoubt March 26, 2009

Climatologists may disagree on how much the recent global warming is natural or manmade but there is general agreement that volcanism constitutes a wildcard in climate, producing significant global scale cooling for at least a few years following a major eruption. However, there are some interesting seasonal and regional variations of the effects.

Oman et al (2005) and others have shown that though major volcanic eruptions seem to have their greatest cooling effect in the summer months, the location of the volcano determines whether the winters are colder or warmer over large parts of North America and Eurasia.

According to their modeling, tropical region volcanoes like El Chichon and Pinatubo actually produce a warming in winter due to a tendency for a more positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO). In the positive phase of these large scale pressure oscillations, low pressure and cold air is trapped in high latitudes and the resulting more westerly jet stream winds drives milder maritime air into the continents.

Oman found high latitude volcanoes like Katmai (Alaska in 1912) instead favored the negative phase of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations and cold winters. In the negative phase, the jet stream winds buckled and forced cold air south from Canada into the eastern United States and west from Siberia into Europe. They also favored a cooling of middle and higher latitudes the year round of that atmosphere and a weakening of the summer monsoon in India and Africa.

Here is the abstract of that paper:

“Strong volcanic eruptions can inject large amounts of SO2 into the lower stratosphere, which over time, are converted into sulfate aerosols and have the potential to impact climate. Aerosols from tropical volcanic eruptions like the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption spread over the entire globe, whereas high-latitude eruptions typically have aerosols which remain in the hemisphere in which they where injected. This causes their largest radiative forcing to be extratropical, and the climate response should be different from that of tropical eruptions.

We conducted a 20-member ensemble simulation of the climate response to the Katmai eruption (58N) of 6 June 1912 using the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies ModelE climate model. We also produced an additional 20-member ensemble for a 3 times Katmai (3x Katmai) eruption to see the impact the strength of the eruption has on the radiative as well as the dynamical responses.

The results of these simulations do not show a positive Arctic Oscillation response like past simulations of tropical volcanic eruptions, but we did find significant cooling over southern Asia during the boreal winter.

The first winter following Katmai and the second winter following 3x Katmai showed strong similarities in lower stratospheric geopotential height anomalies and sea level pressure anomalies, which occurred when the two cases had similar optical depth perturbations. These simulations show that the radiative impact of a high-latitude volcanic eruption was much larger than the dynamical impact at high latitudes. In the

boreal summer, however, strong cooling over the Northern Hemisphere landmasses caused a decrease in the Asian monsoon circulation with significant decreases of up to 10% in cloud cover and warming over northern India. Thus the main dynamical impact of high latitude eruptions is in the summer over Asia.”

Lets look at volcanic activity in Alaska, Iceland and Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

ALASKA AND KAMCHATKA VOLCANO MAP

Intreractive map here. Red over Alaska is Redoubt, yellow on Aleutians is Mt Cleveland.

MT. REDOUBT

Mount Redoubt has erupted five times since 1900: in 1902, 1922, 1966, 1989 and 2009. The eruption in 1989 spewed volcanic ash to a height of 14,000 m (45,000 ft) and managed to catch KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight 867, a Boeing 747 aircraft, in its plume (the flight landed safely at Anchorage).

The 1989 eruption is also notable for being the first ever volcanic eruption to be successfully predictedby the method of long-period seismic events developed by Swiss/American volcanologist Bernard Chouet.

An aerial view of Redoubt Volcano looking north on December 18, 1989 showing a low-level eruption of steam and ash. Photograph by W. White, U.S. Geological Survey

Mt. Redoubt April 21, 1990. Photograph by R. Clucas.

MT. CLEVELAND

On Monday, February 19, 2001, Cleveland volcano in the east central Aleutians erupted explosively sending ash to 35,000 feet. The explosive event lasted less than one day.

Historical eruptions at Mt. Cleveland have been characterized by short-lived explosive bursts of ash, at times accompanied by lava fountaining, lava flows, and debris flows down the flanks. On May 25, 1994 sent a short-lived ash plume to about 10.5 km (35,000 ft) altitude (photo above and below).

MT. SPURR

Crater Peak, the active vent of Mount Spurr, Alaska, on 26 September 1992 erupted in June, August, and September 1992. Ash from the August eruption closed Anchorage International Airport. Photo is from June 27, 1992.

Mt. Spurr is a stratovolcanoin Alaska. It is composed mostly of andesite. The Spurr volcanic complexwas built on the remains of an older volcano. The present Mt. Spurr grew in the center of the old caldera. The original volcano was an andesitic stratovolcano. It is about 12 miles (19 km) around. Snow and ice cover the north side. The caldera is breached to the south. It contains an ice field which feeds glaciers in all directions.

A dome grew in the center of the old volcano’s caldera to form the present Spurr. This volcano is mostly covered with ice. The exposed ground around the volcano has fumaroleswhich are near the boiling point. A small summit crater sometimes melts some of the ice on the volcano. Fumarole activity from this crater was the only activity before 1953. A second cone called Crater Peak grew in the breach of the older volcano. This was the sight of a major ash eruption on July 9, 1953. The most recent eruption of Spurr was in 1992.

MT AUGUSTINE

Historic eruptions were recorded in 1812, 1883, 1935, 1963-64, 1976, and 1986. Augustine’s eruptions tend to be highly explosive and tend to spread ash across the Cook Inlet region.

KATMAI/NOVARUPTA

The largest eruption in the world last century (VEI=6) occurred in 1912 at Novarupta on the Alaska Peninsula. An estimated 15 to 30 cubic kilometers of magma was explosively erupted during 60 hours beginning on June 6 — about 30 to 60 times the volume erupted by Mount St. Helens in 1980! The expulsion of such a large volume of magma excavated a funnel-shaped vent 2 kilometers wide and triggered the collapse of Mount Katmai volcano. Katmai was once a cluster of 3 or 4 small volcanoes. Pyroclastic flows traveled as far as 15 miles (23 km) and filled a valley adjacent to the volcano to produce the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The withdrawal of magma from beneath the cluster of small volcanoes at Katmai caused the area to collapse and produce a caldera. A lake has filled part of the caldera.

“The magnitude of the eruption can perhaps be best realized if one could imagine a similar outburst centered in New York City. All of Greater New York would be buried under from ten to fifteen feet of ash; Philadelphia would be covered by a foot of gray ash and would be in total darkness for sixty hours; Washington and Buffalo would receive a quarter of an inch of ash, with a shorter period of darkness. The sound of the explosion would be heard in Atlanta and St. Louis, and the fumes noticed as far away as Denver, San Antonio, and Jamaica.” (Robert F. Griggs, National Geographic Magazine, 1917, v. 81 no. 1, p. 50)

Katmai from the summit of Griggs. Katmai is in the middle and to the right. Photo by Jay Robinson, National Park Service.

Novarupta is a pumice-filled depression that was the vent for the 1912 eruption. A rhyolitedome extruded into the vent after the eruption. The dome is 1,300 feet ( 400 m) in diameter and about 210 feet (65 m) high. Photo by Jay Robinson, National Park Service.

MT. VENIAMINOF

Veniaminof is a large stratovolcanothat suffered a huge caldera-forming eruption about 3,700 years ago. The caldera is almost 6 miles (10 km) across and filled with ice and snow. All the recent eruptions have taken place from a cinder conethat pokes up through the ice in the caldera. Both the 1983-84 and June 1993 eruption have consisted of fountaining at this cinder cone. Additionally, lava flowsflow down the sides of the cone and onto the ice surface where they then melt their way down through to the bottom of the caldera and then a lake forms. This photo shows active lava flows on January 23, 1984. Flows from November 1983 are covered with snow. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.

There are very few people who live nearby so the danger to humans is pretty small. One of the things they worry about is called a jokulhlaup. This is an unpronounceable Icelandic word. A jokulhlaup happens when an eruption occurs under a thick ice sheet. The eruption will often melt the bottom of the glacier. If the eruption keeps on long enough pretty soon the glacier will float up on its own melted water (ice floats). As soon as this happens all that melted water can escape out from under the glacier and you get a big flood. This happens pretty often in Iceland, and it is a possibility at Veniaminof.

Eruption of Veniaminof on January 23, 1984. From front cover of USGS in Alaska:

ICELAND VOLCANOS

LAKI

Laki, volcano, 2,684 ft (818 m) high, S Iceland, at SW edge of the Vatnajökull glacier. Its eruption in 1783 was one of the more devastating on record, leading to the deaths of a quarter of Iceland’s inhabitants (mainly due to a famine that resulted from the eruption’s effects). Haze from the eruption spread over parts of Europe, where some experts believe it affected the inhabitants’ health. Surrounding the crater are the Lakagígar series of 100 volcanic rifts.

Map of the Laki fissures and lava flows. The Eldgja fissures and flows are also shown. Map simplified from Thordarson and others.

Lakagigar (also called Skaftar) was the vent for the 1783-1784 eruption of Grimsvotn caldera. It was the second largest basaltic fissure eruption in historic time (after the ~935 eruption of nearby Eldgja) and caused notable atmospheric cooling and effects.Additional vents of Grimsvotn were active from May 1783 to May 1785.

The eruption began on June 8, 1783 and lasted eight months. Ten fissures make up the vent complex. The fissures are arranged in an en echelon pattern that extends for a length of 27 km. Each fissure is covered by a continuous row of scoria cones, spatter cones, and tuff cones. The cones range in heights from 40m to 70 m.

Only 2.6% of the material erupted was tephra but ash fall extended all the way to mainland Europe. Map from Thordarson and Self (1993).

Laki is also known for its atmospheric effects. The convective eruption column of Laki carried gases to altitudes of 15 km (10 miles). These gases formed aerosols that caused cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, possibly by as much as 1 degree C. This cooling is the largest such volcanic-induced event in historic time. In Iceland, the haze lead to the loss of most of the islands livestock (by eating fluorine contaminated grass), crop failure (by acid rain) and the death of 9,000 people, one-quarter of the human residents (by famine).

This event is rated as VEI6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, but the eight month emission of sulfuric aerosols resulted in one of the most important climatic and socially repercussive events of the last millennium.

In Great Britain, the summer of 1783 was known as the “sand-summer” due to ash fallout. The eruption continued until 7 February 1784. Grímsvötn volcano, from which the Laki fissure extends, was also erupting at the time from 1783 until 1785. The outpouring of gases, including an estimated 8 million tons of fluorineand estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide gave rise to what has since become known as the “Laki haze” across Europe. This was the equivalent of three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, and also equivalent to a Mount Pinatubo-1991 eruption every three days. This outpouring of sulfur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout 1783 and the winter of 1784.

The poisonous cloud drifted to Bergenin Norway, then spread to Praguein the Province of Bohemiaby 17 June, Berlinby 18 June, Parisby 20 June, Le Havreby 22 June, and to Great Britainby 23 June. The fog was so thick that boats stayed in port, unable to navigate, and the sun was described as “blood coloured”

This disruption then led to a most severe winter in 1784, where an estimated to have caused 8,000 additional deaths in the UK. In the spring thaw, Germany and Central Europe then reported severe flood damage.

In North America, the winter of 1784 was the longest and one of the coldest on record. It was the longest period of below-zero temperatures in New England, the largest accumulation of snow in New Jersey, and the longest freezing over of Chesapeake Bay. There was ice skating in Charleston Harbor, a huge snowstorm hit the south, the Mississippi Riverfroze at New Orleans, and there was ice in the Gulf of Mexico.

GRÍMSVÖTN

Grímsvötn is a central volcanoin the Grímsvötn volcanic system of Iceland. This system is about 62 miles (100 km) long and ~9 miles (15 km) wide. It is mostly covered with ice named Vatnajokull. The total volume of lava erupted from the Grimsvotn system is about 50-55 cubic km. Only about 19 cubic km of this lava is not covered by the ice. The system rises to the northeast from about 1000 ft (300 m) above sea level in the southwest. It reaches its tallest point at Grímsvötn volcano. This volcano has a 35 sq km caldera. A high temperature hydrothermal area is located in this caldera. Grímsvötn has erupted 45 times. The last major eruption of the volcano was in 1996 (shown in photo below).

HEKLA

Hekla is the most active volcano in Iceland with eruption events numbering from as low as 15 major eruptions to the huge number of 167 since 1104, the most recent being in 1991.

On 26 February, 2000 Iceland’s most famous volcano, Mt. Hekla, began erupting at 1819 GMT. A 6-7 km long fissure appeared and a steam column rose nearly 15 km (45,000 feet) into the sky. A discontinuous curtain of fire emanated from the entire fissure. The lava flowed down the slopes of Hekla and covered a large part of the Hekla ridge. Most of the ash fell in uninhabited areas in the interior of Iceland. The eruption reached its peak intensity in the first hour of the activity. Icelanders in the Middle Ages called the volcano the “Gateway to Hell.”

KAMCHATKA VOLCANOS

BEZYMIANNY

A steaming lava dome fills much of the large horseshoe-shaped crater cutting the ESE side of Bezymianny volcano in this late-1980’s view from the SE. The crater was formed during a dramatic eruption in 1955-56, which was similar to that of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Prior to this eruption, Bezymianny volcano had been considered extinct. Subsequent episodic but ongoing lava-dome growth, accompanied by intermittent explosive activity and pyroclastic flows, has largely filled the 1956 crater.

SUMMER AND WINTER

Taking all the years of high latitude eruptions listed and composting them leads to a slightly cooler than normal summer in much of the lower 48 and a winter with cold in Canada and western United States with more variability and net warmth in the east. The winter pattern has the look of another La Nina.

References:

Oman, L., A. Robock, G. Stenchikov, G. A. Schmidt, and R. Ruedy (2005), Climatic response to high-latitude volcanic eruptions, J. Geophys. Res., 110, D13103, doi:10.1029/2004JD005487

Smithsonian Institution USGS Global Volcanism Program: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/

Volcano World Oregon State University http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/

NASA GISS AOT: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

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108 thoughts on “Mt. Redoubt Eruptions – What Effect If Any on the Summer? Winter?

  1. A riveting review – thank you!

    I am particularly intrigued with the ‘anecdotes’:

    “In North America, the winter of 1784 was the longest and one of the coldest on record. It was the longest period of below-zero temperatures in New England, the largest accumulation of snow in New Jersey, and the longest freezing over of Chesapeake Bay. There was ice skating in Charleston Harbor, a huge snowstorm hit the south, the Mississippi Riverfroze at New Orleans, and there was ice in the Gulf of Mexico.”

    I would sure like to use these items, and be able to cite sources. Can anyone please give me a pointer to where I might find references to these powerful indicators?

    Thanks – Ted

  2. Is anyone aware of studies/known effects of ashfall in the ocean ecosystem (resulting plankton blooms, effect on currents, etc)?

  3. Shouldn’t that be ‘causing more variability and net warmth in the west and cooler than normal temps. in the east’ according to the map?

    Doesn’t look like my area of Kansas sees any change from these eruption, may be just a typical summer here this year or it can be like last summer and we get a lot of cooler than normal temps. I wonder if it will also be like the last few summers and we fall short of the average number of days we hit 100 degrees?

  4. I do definitely not know, and would normally have though “not much effect” due to its northernly localization.
    However, the reference to a possible impact on NAO was interesting.
    If the AMO continues its negative trend (expected) and the NAO simultaneously goes negative for a prolonged time, the effects should definitely be measurable.

    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  5. The argument that tropical volcanoes have a greater effect on climate makes sense (more solar radiation to reflect, higher starting surface temperature, lower surface albedo). However, it has occurred to me that nowhere are surface airtemperatures further below their equilibrium temperature (based on radiation balance) than at high latitudes in spring. Blocking radiation at these latitudes may, therefore, cause some cooling even though there is less radiation overall, and even though the surface has a lower albedo. So, whether or not Redoubt has a significant negative effect on climate will be determined by the size of the eruption (about 1/100 to 1/50 that of Pinatubo once all eruptions are accounted for) and whether the stratosphere of high latitudes can sustain and spread the ash well enough for the effect to be significant (stratospheric ash is apparently spread more effectively in the tropics). If an series of eruptions were to occur in the north and have a negative effect on global temperature, I can’t imagine a better time of year for it to occur than March and April. The surface air temperature is well below its radiative equilibrium and solar heating is crucial in raising the temperature over the next few months. The main problem is that this is not a large volcano.

  6. According to my reading so far, the eruptive activity at Redoubt hasn”t been large enough to cause any concern of measurable change in climate. Not to say that can’t change tomorrow (or 10 minutes from now) but to date, it just hasn’t been a large enough eruption to make a significant difference.

    The volcano that concerns me the most is Nyiragongo and general vicinity. Apparently there is a young mantle plume. The magma from Nyiragongo looks to have come directly from the deep mantle. The plume appears rather large and there is roughly a circle of volcanoes in the region. Nearby Nyamuragira shows magma that is a mixture of the plume material and melted crust and so is likely to be at the edge of the plume. BOTH of these volcanoes are currently showing unrest.

  7. I’ve been looking for the VEI of Mt. Redoubt, and am unable to find much of anything, but speculation that it might have been a VEI 6 which I seriously doubt, and other sources which claim that it has historically been about a VEI 3, which I believe to be more likely.

    Question being, was this thing big enough to do anything?

  8. Chris you re correct it is hard to find Kasatochi on the interactive map. It is labelled but not marked here http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/index.cfm?content=maps
    I added Kasatochi to the analysis after I sent the email to Anthony. See http://icecap.us/images/uploads/High_latitude_eruptions.pdf
    Composites don’t change much.

    Ted, the North America references were http://acatte.club.fr/Iceland_Laki_in_english.htm
    and Wood, C.A., 1992. “The climatic effects of the 1783 Laki eruption” in C. R. Harrington (Ed.), The Year Without a Summer? Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, pp. 58– 77

    Joe D’Aleo

  9. Yes David, I understand that Mt. Redoubt is not the only one blowing up, but as I understand it, it is not the number of volcanoes that blow up but the size of the ones that do. Please correct me if I am wrong here, but VEI is measured as powers of 10, so a VEI 3 would be 10^3, while a VEI 6 would be 10^6, making it not twice as large but 1,000 times as large as a VEI 3.

    Mt. St, Helens was a VEI 5, and it was barely a blimp as far as the global climate goes. As I understand it, we would really need a VEI 6 or larger to cause a noteworthy change. I could be wrong here, and beg correction if that is so.

  10. The jet stream pattern over this past/continuing winter has been persistently very much like the Negative cold phase illustration at the top without there having been any volcanic events of any consequence. (At least to my knowledge)

  11. Thanks for discussing the Wilkins ice shelf collapse. I had previously believed that you cherry-picked only those stories which buttress your claims that

    a) the climate is not warming
    b) the warming is not caused by the CO2
    c) the artificially-warmed climate brings benefits
    d) its too late (or expensive) to do anything about the problems it causes anyway.

    But I guess you’ve proved me wrong, by including a major climate story that doesn’t support one of these claims.

  12. Hmmm… a major volcano erupts near the northern pole, at precisely the time a major one erupts in Antarctica. Is this a coincidence????

    The Antarctic one hasn’t been reported yet in the MSM, but that’s probably just a conspiracy. WE KNOW ITS THERE.

    We know its there because another major ice shelf just collapsed, the latest in a string of remarkable collapses.

    These collapses can not be caused by warming seas or climate. We know this because.. OH, LOOK, A SHINY THING!

    Therefore, they must be caused by sub-antarctic volcanoes which haven’t been discovered yet. At least, we can’t prove that they’re not.

    How amazing and fascinating the world is, when two volcanoes go off nearly simultaneously at opposite ends of the world. Too bad this information is viciously suppressed by the MSM.

  13. I think that the point here is that the cooling cycle has preceded these eruptions but may well enhance the solar induced cooling spell.

  14. I’m not sure that the idea of a lower surface albedo is too realistic. A short term effect of the eruption should be increased cloud formation and precipitation so they might get a lot more snow in the area for a while which would raise the albedo a bit.

    What an interesting essay though; almost makes me feel homesick; since I grew up in a city that has about 60 volcanoes in the greater city limits.

    Rumor has it that all are extinct; some truly are; having been totally levelelled for road building materials.

    George

    Well there’s some new variables in the climate AlGorythm for the worrywarts to think about.

  15. Much of the climate debate has been a singular focus on steady -but relatively small – incremental century rise in temperature. Temperature change over a long period- especially those associated with warming -allow for adaptive behavior. The question that seems to have been unasked is what if any “insurance” does increasing CO2 (assuming for the moment that CO2 does what is claimed) give us against the devastating short term cooling associated with volcanic activity. What would be the impact today of “the year without a summer/1800 and froze to death” (1816?) that caused substantial famine in New England associated with Iceland’s Laki? Using any IPCC model is there a CO2 level that offsets the short term volcanic risk. (I’m simply positing this from a risk perspective- not debating the CO2 issue)

    Volcanic eruptions are the trump cards to the vision of a safe climate. Does any one know of any work that looks at the dampening of short term cooling as a result of increasing CO2. Media has focused solely on the dangers of increasing temperatures when history tells us tremendous devastation has resulted from short term catastrophic temperature reductions resulting from volcanic activity. What type of volcano- what type of ejections/ emissions, duration etc have the potential to create major agriculture failures. It would seem this would be essential in any informed discussion of risk and climate strategy.

    Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of climate warming alarmism is the message being sold to the public that if we stabilize CO2 we no longer need to worry about weather/geologic disruptions. California has a large section of its State trying to visit Alaska and moving at a speed (although much is undifferentiated slip) far greater than the ocean is forecast to rise- yet it is climate that gains the State’s atention. NYC is one of the top huricane risk cities and the major unaswered question is can the older windows in the sky scrapers hold in the face of the increasing wind strength as one goes up in height. The storm of 1898 blew a 13 foot wall of water into Brooklyn and Queens at low tide. Yet we are to understand that global warming is the most pressing of problems. Bangladesh lost a half a million people in a monsoon just before the anthropogenic CO2 warming trend. Infrastructure and where we build are key components in any sane discussion of climate related risk.

    This message however that all we need to do is control CO2 borders in my perspective on being criminal. It prevents the discussion of the very necessary evaluation our infrastructure’s ability to survive a variety of risks having nothing to do with CO2. Risks associated with flooding, drought, hurricanes, and short term weather related agriculture disasters that are seen in the paleo-climatological record.

    The avoided risk “not seen” is central to the entire global warming issue. Wm Blake understood that man gives much more credence to what strikes than what does not strike. The Public is only shown one possible risk within a larger matrix of risks and the Public is given no metric by which to weigh these risks- especially the avoided risks.

  16. !783 or 84 would have been around the start of the Dalton minimum(Not to get J. Finn started).

    The anticorrelation of heliomagnetic and volcanic activity just keeps reappearing!

  17. So far no comments/correlations from the solar system’s center of mass theorists with respect to volcanism/ eruptions!

  18. I wonder if the dark ash being deposited on Alaska’s glaciers (and potentially the polar ice cap) will result in accelerated melting. I’ve read speculation that increasing particulate pollution from China may be partly responsible for the Arctic ice cap’s summer retreat. Just looking at my front lawn, covered in snow sprinkled with Redoubt ash, you can see the increased melting that dark particulate matter can produce on the surrounding snow and ice.

  19. !783 or 84 would have been around the start of the Dalton minimum(Not to get J. Finn started).

    Too late, Gary – you’ve got me started. Solar Cycle 5, the first weak cycle of the Dalton Minimum, didn’t start until until 1798. I think we need to know what the rules are here. It seems it doesn’t matter when cooling begins. As long as it’s within 20 years (either way) of a weak solar cycle then the solar/climate link is confirmed apparently. There are clearly times when global temperatures anticipate that a weak cycle is due and begin to fall up to 2 decades before the weak cycle starts. Apart from the Dalton Minimum case, it also happened in the 1940s when there was a decline in temperatures 20 years before the start of SC 20 in 1964.

  20. INGSOC (08:44:29) :

    The jet stream pattern over this past/continuing winter has been persistently very much like the Negative cold phase illustration at the top without there having been any volcanic events of any consequence. (At least to my knowledge)I believe that is because that jet stream pattern is also typical of the cool phase of the PDO, which we’re currently in.

    Which raises the interesting question. Even if the Mt. Redoubt eruptions might not normally be enough, by themselves, to cause this kind of climate change, with the climate already in this pattern because of the PDO, might the Mt. Redoubt eruptions be enough to marginally enhance or continue the jet stream pattern that is bringing more cold polar air, and less warm maritime air, over the lower latitudes of North America? I.e., it cannot make things any better (warm equals better), and has the potential to make things worse (cold equals worse).

  21. OK, but what about changing the albedo on the Arctic sea ice and faster melt due to an upwind volcano and falsely attributing that to my using the computer to type this.

    No, I am NOT talking about the aerosols reflecting sunlight that would otherwise reach the ground. I am talking about the ash absorbing sunlight, while resting on/in the Arcitc sea ice and/or snowpack, that would otherwise mostly be reflected back out to space.

    Oh, and one more thing. I wonder if we have a higher tendency to have volcanic eruptions when low pressure is present…much like a near-term pregnant woman in the eye of a hurricane. The final straw must be related to a pressure differential…

  22. I wonder if the dark ash being deposited on Alaska’s glaciers (and potentially the polar ice cap) will result in accelerated melting. I’ve read speculation that increasing particulate pollution from China may be partly responsible for the Arctic ice cap’s summer retreat. Just looking at my front lawn, covered in snow sprinkled with Redoubt ash, you can see the increased melting that dark particulate matter can produce on the surrounding snow and ice.

    EXACTLY! Simple radiation physics dictates a faster melt.

  23. Edcon:
    “Relations between the solar inertial motion, solar activity and geomagnetic index aa since the year 1844
    Ivanka Charvátová, a, and Jaroslav Střeštíka
    Abstract
    The series of geomagnetic index aa and the series of the sunspot numbers W have been processed in the three intervals related to the three different intervals of the solar inertial motion (SIM) due to the giant planets: 1844–1905, 1906–1956 and 1957–2005. In the second interval, the Sun moves along the stable trefoil orbit, where its motion along one motion loop (arc) lasts 10 years. The orbits of the Sun in the first and the third intervals are of disordered type and differ one to other. Power spectra of both the solar and the geomagnetic activity in the central interval show the dominant period of 10.1 year and their patterns are very similar. Dominant period of sunspot numbers (index aa) in the first interval is the period of 11.4 (11.3) years. In the third interval, the period of 10.7 (10.8) years was detected. The spectra for W and aa computed for the first and third interval significantly mutually differ. The best fitted line for the second (trefoil) interval of solar and also of geomagnetic index aa is the straight line, for the first (third) intervals it is polynomial of the second (third) order.

  24. i’ve been anticipating the update to this graph…wow, look at all the red!

    Spotless Days vs Cycle 23 minimum

    there were 29 spotless days in March?

  25. Interesting information. I always assumed atmosphere + particulate ash = less energy reaching the surface. I never really considered where the ash would go, or concentrate.

    Guess it is time to buy stock in sand bags for the coming floods in the upper plains.

  26. I’ve noticed this tendency among commentators and scientists to consider things in isolation. They posit that climate changes are caused by this or that (CO2, solar cycles, or volcanism etc.) and everything else is ignored or excluded. However much the observers ignore inputs, the real world climate is caused by ALL of these and more that we haven’t even yet discovered acting interactively
    ; that’s why the models are crap. What can we expect with the combined effects of low sunspots, developing La Nina, volcanism, industrial aerosols etc. No one knows do they?

  27. Regarding the title question:
    Mt. Redoubt Eruptions – What Effect If Any on the Summer? Winter?

    Every year at least one (on average) volcano will generate a VEI 3 eruption. Hence in that sense Mt. Redoubt is not an unusual event. The type of eruption has a bearing on the total effect. I think that Mt. Redoubt would be a Plinian Eruption as opposed to say a Vulcanian eruption like that of Ruiz in 1985.

    One factor, which Joe D’Aleo mentions is geographic location. Location dictating not so much the level of effect, but the location and timing of greatest manifestation.

    Redoubts strong repeated eruptions are, to some extent from what information I have found, less common. Should it continue to produce periodic strong eruptions the total effect on climate will be greatly increased.

    I don’t believe that one can speculate on the total impact of Redoubt since we don’t know how long activity will continue or at what strength. All that, to me, can be said is ‘some’ cooling will occur. The bad thing is…. James Hansen will release a statement saying that Mt. Redoubt is masking the current catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. For all of his years…. he has yet to learn that nature has a way of making thermometers indicate temperature variation.

  28. Solar Minimum, enhanced seismic volcanic activity combined with a Negative PDO + La Ninja and a Negative AMO, cooling oceans in general, snow and cold record breaking events?
    ….and we are discussing Global Warming here.

    We must be nuts.
    wattsupwiththat

  29. Natural mechanism for medieval warming discovered
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16892-natural-mechanism-for-medieval-warming-discovered.html

    First they said it did not exist. Their results are again based on “models-programmed-to-output-what-they-want-to-see”. They put this natural climate occurance on a LaNina and positive NAO. But the same ocean currents today would certainly not be natural anymore, but rather anthropogenic? Whjat are those guys smoking?

    The increase of CO2 has nothing to do with climate but certainly affects a good bunch of scientific judgment.

  30. From Alaska to Chili volcano’s are erupting at this moment in time:
    Chaitén never stopped erupting since May 2008.
    It has been active all the time.
    http://inglaner.com/volcan_chaiten.htm
    Llaima in Chili, http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/llaima-eruption-pictures-and-report-from-povi/
    Nevado del Huila, Colombia, http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/alert-status-raised-at-nevado-del-huila/
    Arenal in Costa Rica http://volcanism.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/arenal-increased-activity-causes-concern/
    The Tonga volcano eruption is still going strong building a new Island.
    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/04/too_many_tourists_in_tonga.php

  31. Well

    Based on the non-statistical sample of 1 year, 1989, I can tell you that in the UK, winter the following year was very mild. But the winter after that was very snowy and quite cold.

    I can also tell you that winters post Mt St Helens were for a few years very cold.

    I have no idea if that means anything.

  32. CNN just told me that more than 90% of Arctic sea ice is less than 2 years old.

    This doesn’t sound right to me, can anyone explain?

  33. What planet is NASA living on?? For the past recent history NASA has been trumpeting the demise of the sea ice. This winter the sea ice made a recovery above the 2006-2007 amount but still NASA is scaremongering. Hansen must be behind this ploy. the PDO and AMO are going negative and the sun is spotless I believe we will see a continual climb of sea ice next winter especially with Mt. Redoubt continuing to erupt sending particulates into the upper atmosphere.


  34. Robinson (13:03:49) :

    In other news, NASA scientists are alarmed:

    Arctic sea ice 5th lowest on record!

    Hmmm, that doesn’t seem right to me either…

  35. crosspatch (07:50:13) :

    “According to my reading so far, the eruptive activity at Redoubt hasn”t been large enough to cause any concern of measurable change in climate. Not to say that can’t change tomorrow (or 10 minutes from now) but to date, it just hasn’t been a large enough eruption to make a significant difference.

    The volcano that concerns me the most is Nyiragongo and general vicinity. Apparently there is a young mantle plume. The magma from Nyiragongo looks to have come directly from the deep mantle. The plume appears rather large and there is roughly a circle of volcanoes in the region. Nearby Nyamuragira shows magma that is a mixture of the plume material and melted crust and so is likely to be at the edge of the plume. BOTH of these volcanoes are currently showing unrest”.

    crosspatch,

    I am not too worried about those volcano’s.
    Further research has to be undertaken to confirm the suspected presence of a mantle plume and the most important question if this volcano system has the potential to influence climate has to be answered with “NO”.

    The lava is extremely thin which robs this volcano of potential stratosphere penetrating capacities.

    For the local people however this volcano system is extremely dangerous.

  36. Robinson (13:03:49) :

    In other news, NASA scientists are alarmed:

    Of course they are! it’s in the job description ;-)

    Anyone notice? Sea Ice in the Arctic reduces, the oceans cool due to increased energy loss from the exposed ocean, sea ice increases.

    DaveE.

  37. The dark ash issue raised above is patently obvious, but don’t forget that (i) it can snow on top of it, (ii) the ash deposition issue is more regional than stratospheric dust, and, more importantly, (iii) that when ejected into the stratosphere, it reduces the amount of radiation that gets into the troposphere in the first place. Incidentally, near the volcano itself, if the layer is deep enough, it can actually insulate the snow and make it last even longer, but this is not of global significance (only locally could it be deep enough for this), and the black at the top is more relevant to surface temperature in the short term in the affected area.

    The bottom line is that this is a relatively small volcano at high latitude. I do not have the answer, but on the basis of past studies of volcanic impacts, any effect is probably very, very small, with the net effect most likely a negligible negative impact (ie., impacts are usually negative for volcanoes and this is a small one; negative because the radiation balance is strongly positive in the north at this time of year with respect to equilibrium temperature).

    Another point/question: All in all, is the atmospheric transmissivity not still relatively low at the moment due to a long period of relative inactivity? Can someone point me to the answer to this question (ie., what is the atmospheric transmissivity in 2009, how does it compare with a ‘normal’ year and how much impact does a small volcano have on it)?

  38. lulo (07:46:47) :

    “The argument that tropical volcanoes have a greater effect on climate makes sense (more solar radiation to reflect, higher starting surface temperature, lower surface albedo). However, it has occurred to me that nowhere are surface airtemperatures further below their equilibrium temperature (based on radiation balance) than at high latitudes in spring. Blocking radiation at these latitudes may, therefore, cause some cooling even though there is less radiation overall, and even though the surface has a lower albedo. So, whether or not Redoubt has a significant negative effect on climate will be determined by the size of the eruption (about 1/100 to 1/50 that of Pinatubo once all eruptions are accounted for) and whether the stratosphere of high latitudes can sustain and spread the ash well enough for the effect to be significant (stratospheric ash is apparently spread more effectively in the tropics). If an series of eruptions were to occur in the north and have a negative effect on global temperature, I can’t imagine a better time of year for it to occur than March and April. The surface air temperature is well below its radiative equilibrium and solar heating is crucial in raising the temperature over the next few months. The main problem is that this is not a large volcano”.

    Lulo,

    I don’t not agree with your conclusion.
    Redoubt is a huge volcano and it’s explosive eruption characteristics, comparable with Mount Pinatubo and Mount Vesuvius make me conclude that this volcano represents a huge threat.

    If this volcano, which is still in a dome building phase, explodes big time, it has the potential to cause a global impact like a volcanic winter or another “Year without a summer”.

  39. Richard deSousa (13:35:35) :

    What planet is NASA living on?? For the past recent history NASA has been trumpeting the demise of the sea ice.

    I just don’t get it. Can NASA and others just say anything they wish? Where I come from, these are called LIES!

  40. Hay Alaska – down here in New Mexico we have a few extinct volcanos that are not erupting, so we are willing to sell you a lot of carbon offsets to make up for all the CO2 your volcano is putting in the air.

    I’m just starting in this AlGorecon business, so I’m not to sure how much these offsets are worth.

  41. “Too late, Gary – you’ve got me started. Solar Cycle 5, the first weak cycle of the Dalton Minimum, didn’t start until until 1798.”

    Ah, but John, the cooling this time around began no later than 2003(with vulcanism absent) yet the heliomagnetic effect crashed Oct. 2005. Meantime, cycle 24 has yet to awaken.

    Looking at cycle 4, the bottom fell out earlier in its period of 14 years than cycle 23, if sunspots can be relied on to translate. The interaction I’m wondering about, heliomagnetic field collapse awakening vulcanism, fits, if just.

    The solar sunspot counts are not the cause but an effect as are solar flux, UV, cosmic rays, clouds, etc.

    Getting the timings right will not be as easy as you clearly suppose.

  42. Most informative and well written piece. There’s more to this climate thingy than the laughably minor role that CO2 plays.

    Now, to go a bit O/T:

    1 – It seems that SOHO isn’t doing so well in the NASA ‘Mission Madness’ game. It’s getting beat by a hot air balloon, of all things! http://mission-madness.nasa.gov/mm/bracket.html

    2 – This AP story ( http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D97D27280&show_article=1&catnum=0 ) is based on a discussion on the NSIDC website ( http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ ). It seems to illustrative of confirmation bias. In the past the stories were all about first year ice and how fragile it is. Now, after a year in which it the sea ice recovered a bit, it seems we are being told that it’s even two-year-old ice that’s fragile. What’s next? Ice that’s less than 5 years old is in danger? Anything to keep on message about melting ice and the doomsday that awaits.

  43. It seems to me the associated paper of Oman acknowledges the importance of rapid cooling of NH with large H2S/SO2 ejection into stratosphere and above. Metaphorically, NH is earth’s radiator fins and SO the heat sink. Long term climate effect is not under consideration.

    Enhanced melt of glaciers is small potatoes–the emissivity of snow is 84 already. Dark ash emissivity might be 98 or so and accelerate summer melt but after the following winter who cares?

  44. Just The Facts (08:59:23) wrote:
    “I’ve noticed that the Arctic Sea Ice Extent as measured by NSIDC seems to maintaining its coverage as we move into Spring.”

    This agrees with my eyeballing. It’s possible therefore that the March and/or April ice extent will make some sort of historic high (relative to recent years, anyway). If it does, I doubt that the NSIDC will give that fact a press release, the way it did with the ice maximum occurring on the earliest date yet recorded, Feb. 28.

  45. All that first year ice the Catlin expedition is walking across right now must be very dangerous (even though some blocks of that first year ice are the size of a house).

    Why didn’t the NSIDC talk about the thickness of the ice – they only talked about the age as in one-year, two-year or older ice.

    Credit someone over at CA, it is all Baby Ice and only a little is Toddler Ice. But they are 3 and 4 metre high babies and toddlers

    • Well. She was a bit frigid, but I just thought that’s because she was …. (self snip for ethnic/nationalist joke).

  46. Adolfo Giurfa (09:15:23) :

    From the link you provided this is interesting:

    “This outpouring of sulphur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick sulphurous haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout 1783 and the winter of 1784.

    The summer of 1783 was the hottest on record and a rare high pressure
    zone over Iceland caused the winds to blow to the south west.”

    Remember this if the summer is a bit hot in Iceland and western Europe this summer.

  47. skeptic (08:49:40) :The Antarctic one hasn’t been reported yet in the MSM, but that’s probably just a conspiracy. WE KNOW ITS THERE.
    […]
    These collapses can not be caused by warming seas or climate. We know this because.. OH, LOOK, A SHINY THING!

    Look, if you’re going to Troll, could you at least make it interesting and not patent fantasy and stupid? Sheesh. This reminds me of folks in the dorms who didn’t do their homework and had to much ‘green stuff’ making haze in their rooms and brain…

    Ice sheets collapse because ice sheets collapse. They are not stable persistent structures on geologic time scales. Ice extrudes out to sea until it is too extended then fractures and breaks off. They are dynamic flowing fracturing things. Nothing more.

  48. Adolfo Giurfa,

    “Is there any other data source about artic ice apart of the Global warming involved Nasa?”

    Yes, there is the Army ice-buoy system recently mentioned here on WUWT, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/arctic-ice-thickness-measured-from-buoys/

    The military is a far better & more ‘professional’ source to look to in all questions Arctic (and elsewhere).

    We know that submarines are under the ice, basically ‘all the time’. They (and all other ships) and (military) airplanes bristle with sensors gathering oceanic, ice cover, atmospheric and land-surface environmental data/intelligence continuously as they travel. ‘It’s what they do’, eh? The military also has the best satellites, and more of them.

    With a bit of reflection, you will all realize that you already know that submarines have the capacity to determine whether they can safely force their way up through an ice layer of any given thickness … or not.

    The data-gathering capacity, analysis resources and mission-committment of the military with respect to climate & weather dwarfs that of NASA.

    Furthermore, Pentagon representatives sit down in direct counsel with the President daily … whereas NASA plays an incidental role.

    Our military is in charge of monitoring & assessing climate issues for us, in particular the Arctic Ocean, and NASA is pretty much a side-show.

    The possibility (however remote or acute we judge it) of reliable open water in the Arctic Ocean would create a major strategic challenge. NASA isn’t the lead organization tasked with informing & advising us on this topic.

    The downside, of course, is that a lot of what the military does is kept secret. The public gets NASA-stuff as a consolation prize. Still, it’s a huge oversight not to realize & bear in mind, that it is the military that really carries this ball.

  49. Ice sheets collapse because ice sheets collapse. They are not stable persistent structures on geologic time scales. Ice extrudes out to sea until it is too extended then fractures and breaks off. They are dynamic flowing fracturing things. Nothing more.

    Yep !

    Saying OH NO the leading edge of the ice shelf broke off is about as news worthy as saying OH NO there is water flowing over Niagara Falls, or sand is blowing off the sand dunes or — well you get the picture.

    Calving of the ice sheets is how they accommodate new ice flowing down off the ice cap as it builds up over time. Sometimes they even “surge” briefly.

    If the MSM was an honest broker they would mention how this calving event compares to other large events in the past, and the public would see it is not unusual at all.

    Larry

  50. Hi there… I cannot speak on volcanism out because I’m not a volcanologist; however, many people who know I’m a scientist (W-Mart clerk, my neighbors, etc.) are asking about two main things:

    1. The reason by which we are experiencing two cold days in a row in April.

    2. The coincidence of volcanic eruptions in NH and SH and an earthquake in Italy.

    I’ve explained the first question with relative refinement; however, I couldn’t explain the last one.

  51. I forgot to say that 10 °C are unusual temperatures in Monterrey Mexico in the heat of spring. Worth to mention it is that one day on the latter week of March the temperature increased up to 38 °C.

  52. pft:

    Though it is more probable that SO2 reacts with H2O to form sulphurous acid,(also in the lungs-by the way I had such an accident-) and if SO3 is present or SO2 is oxidized to SO3 then it turns into sulphuric acid, which is present in nature even in rivers, as the Magdalena river in Colombia; as its molecular weight is more than that of the air mix then inmediately falls down to surface as a heavy white cloud (if the source is near, as in the accident I was involved), but in the case of volcanoes chances would be mixed, some of the SO2 reacts with humidity, forming seeds of rain drops, which if too concentrated becomes what is called “acid rain”, and so on.
    As you see nature dwarfs any human contamination; do you know why? just because we are too little and too few, believe me. Newly concocted prophets or green messiahs are wrong.

  53. Seems like all over the earth is getting restless. Some other Volcanoes to watch;

    Mt Ruapehu New Zealand
    http://www.url.co.nz/resources/ruapehu.php
    Quote “It is now 9 months since Ruapehu’s last eruption,but Crater Lake temperatures and gas on Mt Ruapehu continue to be higher than normal, and are now rferred to be GNS scietists as “signs of unrest”.

    Australias highest mountain
    http://www-new.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=2099

    Indian – Australia plate on the move at 7cm a year
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/quakes-eruption-sign-of-land-on-move-20090320-94hu.html

    Previous Antarctic eruptions;
    http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/hpg/envis/doc98html/globalcl1114.html
    http://www.zmescience.com/first-evidence-of-under-ice-volcanic-eruption-in-antarctica

  54. pmoffitt (09:47:53) : The question that seems to have been unasked is what if any “insurance” does increasing CO2 (assuming for the moment that CO2 does what is claimed) give us against the devastating short term cooling associated with volcanic activity. What would be the impact today of “the year without a summer/1800 and froze to death” (1816?)

    It is highly unlikely that CO2 does anything of significance. The particulates and aerosols would swamp it totally. Pinatubo is your existence proof of this. The impact of an 1800 and Froze to Death would be much worse than it was then, and it was pretty bad then.

    The reason has little to do with weather. It has a lot to do with our modern lack of any real food storage. I was typing a long response then decided to just put it into the posting that is the link at the bottom of the page.

    Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of climate warming alarmism is the message being sold to the public that if we stabilize CO2 we no longer need to worry about weather/geologic disruptions.

    Or just a large rock fall from space. This WILL happen. We even know the size / rate distribution. There is no doubt whatsoever. The only question is when.

    This message however that all we need to do is control CO2 borders in my perspective on being criminal. It prevents the discussion of the very necessary evaluation our infrastructure’s ability to survive a variety of risks having nothing to do with CO2. Risks associated with flooding, drought, hurricanes, and short term weather related agriculture disasters that are seen in the paleo-climatological record.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    Has my take on what folks ought to be doing and some simple and almost free ways to do it. Being “prepared” can be as simple as buying a large size lemonade drink mix canister and some canned goods along with some mac & cheese packages… well, almost…

    Basically we’ve all delegated responsibility for taking care of ourselves in an emergency to a set of politicians and ‘business leaders’ who have not done a good job of making wise decisions about the world food system. It is incredibly brittle to catastrophic failure and you ought to do something for yourself. Even if it’s just putting some jars of peanut butter, jelly, and crackers in the closet.

  55. edcon (10:07:00) : So far no comments/correlations from the solar system’s center of mass theorists with respect to volcanism/ eruptions!

    The correlation exists between quakes, volcanos, and solar cycle / planet positions. There is no demonstrable way to move from correlation to causality (or even prove the correlation isn’t just a very unlikely coincidence) so I don’t know what else you are fishing for.

    The best suspect is tidal forces since these have been used to predict earthquakes before with some success. That’s about it. If you really want more, you can see:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/are-we-quaking/

    where some of us are kicking it around, but it’s all very speculative and not quite what I’d call “science” yet… More like climate modeling than real science 8-0

  56. bushy (08:55:26) :

    I think that the point here is that the cooling cycle has preceded these eruptions but may well enhance the solar induced cooling spell.

    I’m beginning to think that a spate of volcanoes IS one of the ways that you get from a Solar Minimum to climate cooling.
    The question would be “Why would it follow the onset of a Deep Solar Minimum?”

  57. Nasif Nahle (18:25:59) : 2. The coincidence of volcanic eruptions in NH and SH and an earthquake in Italy.

    I’ve explained the first question with relative refinement; however, I couldn’t explain the last one.

    The second one is not explainable at present. We can admire it. We can admire that it has happened in the past. We can admire that most grand minima seem to be accompanied by lots of quakes and some large volcanos. And at the end of the day all we have is two confounding events and in implied result that can not be explained.

    The sun goes quiet. We get more volcanos. We get cold. Historical accident? Correlation with something else? Causal? Mechanism? It’s all questions and not many answers. One thing that can be said with certainty, it isn’t people or CO2 that causes it.

    In my opinion, quakes and volcanos are increased because of some kind of spin-orbit coupling causing the earth crust to flex just a tiny bit more than otherwise. But that is just an opinion, and not “science”. Ian Wilson has found a correlation between the length of a day and the weather that also points to some kind of spin change. Again, no clear mechanism. (But we do have the interesting fact that the length of the day does change so the spin does change…)

    This is what it’s like when you are about to learn something. Frustrating, but stimulating, and the science is most definitely not settled when it’s all questions, few answers, and a whole lot of correlations without mechanism…

    So my suggestion would be to simply tell your questioners the truth: No one knows, the science is not settled, and we have lots to learn. Then I’d add that their observations are as valid as anyone else’s since we’re all learning together on this one. Oh, and they really ought to have a food storage system and an emergency preparedness kit for whatever the local Bad Thing tends to be. For me it’s Quakes. For my Texas relatives, it’s tornados. For my Canadian relatives is intense cold. And for my British relatives it’s their government … almost as much of a risk as my own… ;-)

  58. Just found out why Channel 4 UK gave An Inconvenient Truth such an appraisal the other night and why it did not carry a disclaimer the way Durkin’s documentary did. The channel wants to be partially funded by the taxpayer now so it will do what it can to tow the government line.

  59. Those dumb models

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/apr/07/amazon-rainforest-global-warming

    “You reported a study which “used computer models to investigate how the Amazon would respond to future temperature rises”. But it was based on just one computer model (admittedly, one of the better ones), from the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, which makes a more pessimistic prediction than almost all other climate models. Most climate models substantially underestimate the current rainfall in Amazonia, so it does not take much extra drying to simulate the disappearance of the forest. The representation of vegetation in these models is also rather simple compared with modern ecological understanding, and may be oversensitive to temperature increase.”

  60. edcon (10:07:00) :

    So far no comments/correlations from the solar system’s center of mass theorists with respect to volcanism/ eruptions!

    We’ve been muzzled. ;-)

  61. Nasif – It’s a big world, we’ve got earthquakes occuring everyday, somewhere, some level.
    The newsworthy bit about the Italian one, is it occured in Italy (One of the few really seimically active areas in Europe) and was large enough and in a situation to cause casualties.
    As for vulcanism, the Hawaian volcanoes are in a state of virtual continual erruption, Kilauea’s been errupting for an entire year!
    This website http://visz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index.php?lang=eng gives over 30 earthquakes recorded in the last 12 hours alone and some 30 odd volcanoes that are classified as “Active” too! (Note “Active” doesn’t necessarily mean “errupting”!)

  62. Anyone notice? Sea Ice in the Arctic reduces, the oceans cool due to increased energy loss from the exposed ocean, sea ice increases.

    DaveE.

    You are correct. Sea ice insulates the ocean from heat loss.

    Less sea ice = more heat loss to space = climate/ocean cooling = more sea ice

    It’s fairly easy to deduce there will be a cycle of increasing and decreasing sea ice as ocean waters warm and cool (relatively speaking).

  63. Question for Joe (also emailed):

    Hi Joe,

    How does the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines fit into this treatise, or does it?

    Best regards, Allan

  64. Adam Gallon (23:36:14) :
    As for vulcanism, the Hawaiian volcanoes are in a state of virtual continual eruption, Kilauea’s been erupting for an entire year!

    Actually

    John Seach – Volcanolive.com
    Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The volcano has been in constant eruption since 1983.

    Earthquakes around Tonga and the Solomon islands have been in the area of mag 7+ a couple of times this year already. It’s just the quakes in populated Zones and with instant news access and consequential news drama that we hear about.

    On average there is a Volcanic eruption somewhere on the planet everyday.
    There is a list of closely watched Volcanos – the so called Decade Volcanos. These are nominated Volcanos with the potential to cause life threatening events at any time. These are given special attention.

    You only need to look at Vesuvius. The famous Italian Volcano. We all know the story and the buried towns etc. It is known that this will erupt again with similar force as it did in ancient written history. You only need to look at the surrounding areas and the amount of human habitation that live in the same ares as the ancient eruptions to know that there is a disaster waiting to happen.

  65. “Nasif – It’s a big world, we’ve got earthquakes occuring everyday, somewhere, some level.
    As for vulcanism…”

    We suffer 2 or 3 VEI 6 eruptions per century, 1 or 2 VEI 7 eruptions per millenium.

    Although there has been some discussion at WUWT(led by anna v.) about whether yearly figures include seamounts, a VEI 6 eruption ejects 10 times the average yearly total due to all eruptions.

    The Dalton minimum, which current solar activity is beginning to resemble, began with Laki and had Mayon and another VEI 6 eruption about 1812 and Tambora in 1815, a VEI 7.

    Coincidence? You may believe as you will. We, at present have a VEI 6 eruption ongoing in Chaiten.

  66. “Saying OH NO the leading edge of the ice shelf broke off is about as news worthy as saying OH NO there is water flowing over Niagara Falls”

    Well put.

  67. On Laki and sunspots.

    Laki/Grimsvotn eruptions starting in 1783 went on over two years, releasing large quantities of hydrogen fluoride gas, amongst the ash and sulphurous emissions. Hydrogen fluoride etches glass, and in Europe the major centres of solar observation – Britain , Denmark, France etc., were in the downstream path of Laki’s emissions and fallout.

    With at first “dry fogs” – presumably photochemical smogs, ash clouds in the northern stratosphere, and possibly deteriorating optics, continuing poor weather due to aerosol forcing meaning fewer observing days, i.e. no sunshine, it is no wonder that many of the smaller sunspot groups were possibly missed, and only the larger groups occasionally noticed.

    Central England summer temperatures were depressed for the nine years from 1784-1793, indicating increased cloud cover. Central England summer temperatures were depressed for the nine years from 1784-1793 (compared to 1765-1795), indicating increased cloud cover, whereas the other seasons experienced both cool and warm periods over the same comparative time periods.

    Recording of sunspots was a difficult process with early very long focal length telescopes at the best of times, requiring several operatives, to track the sun, focus the image on the drawing board, to draw the spots, and record any other details. Flamsteed’s observatory needed at least four people.

  68. Workin’ hard on a Greenhouse-every time I go to WUWT- I’m thinking-another no
    tomato summer….

  69. What’s more important around Redoubt is what Chevron is not doing with their oil storage facility along the Drift River floodplain. Why have they waited this long to take the oil out of that facility?

    Oh, and massive ice shelf melt in Antarctic.

  70. The climatic changes on the Earth affect the entire Earth. Our individual location is only relevant to us in relationship to immediate measures for safety. What happens in one spot is carried by Water, Land, and Air to ALL parts of the Earth and, consequently, affects everyone, everywhere.

    If we can draw a map of the world with all of the current conditions for the last 12 months it tells us quite a story. Heck, even the last 3 months tells us more about it than any single story I’ve seen posted anywhere.

    I am working on a map of this type, but it is a huge undertaking that will probably not be completed for months. However, the input from this article is extremely relative to not only the residents of Alaska, the N. American continent, the areas linked by fault lines, ice, water, and land, but to other countries that are affected by the changes in the climate.

    I guess the easiest analogy is this: If the entire world is a ball, each continent forming a stitch, when any portion gets hit with anything, it changes the immediate surface that was struck, and the way the stitches are linked.

    May sound funny, but the big picture always makes the small picture come into perspective.

    Thank you for such an in depth article. Keep up the good work.

  71. Chris Knight on Laki and Sunspots

    Nice historical articulation.

    The length of the solar cycle, per Lassen, is a sufficient inverse indicator of the strength of solar activity for my layman’s purpose. The position of Rmax within cycle 4 in relation to the whole I take to indicate the solar switch toggled to ‘Off’ early or prior to the cycle in comparison with 23 where it came mid-cycle.

    The step down in the planetary indicies noted by Anthony I take to have followed the toggle by some few years.

    Another period of interest might be Krakatoa, 1883 thru Novarupta, 1912, also associated with longer than average solar cycles.

  72. Adolfo:

    Still more smoke! And there was a paper, a couple of months back, about the correlation, linked to in one of the threads here, that I failed to bookmark.

  73. Causality is found by looking at the data in a different manner. Corelated patterns lead us to ask questions about causality, which leads to seeking and organizing data according to different questions in new and creative ways. Unfortunately, paradigms at the end of their usefulness, which orthodxy is a harbinger thereof, hide more than they reveal. So goodbye, I will muzzle myself because since there is no evident causality with solar cycle correlations, this frees you to speculate causlity within your own orthodoxy.

  74. I am curious whether we have Mt. Redoubt’s eruptions to thank for the continuing clear sunny weather in Alaska this summer? The last 3 summers were cold and often overcast…All my garden died from the temps…However in late winter/early spring of this year Mt. Redoubt started erupting and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous since. Is this a regional variation of some kind? Is it completely unrelated?

    Thanks.

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