A sign of cooling? New permafrost is forming around shrinking Arctic lakes

From McGill University

New permafrost is forming around Twelvemile Lake in Alaska, but researchers have concluded that this permafrost will have disappeared by the end of the century due to continued climate change.

Researchers from McGill and the U.S. Geological Survey, more used to measuring thawing permafrost than its expansion, have made a surprising discovery. There is new permafrost forming around Twelvemile Lake in the interior of Alaska. But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century.

Twelvemile Lake, and many others like it, is disappearing. Over the past thirty years, as a result of climate change and thawing permafrost, the lake water has been receding at an alarming rate. It is now 5 metres or 15 feet shallower than it would have been three decades ago. This is a big change in a very short time.

As the lake recedes, bands of willow shrubs have grown up on the newly exposed lake shores over the past twenty years. What Martin Briggs from the U.S. Geological Survey and Prof. Jeffrey McKenzie from McGill’s Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science have just discovered is that the extra shade provided by these willow shrubs has both cooled and dried the surrounding soil, allowing new permafrost to expand beneath them.

The researchers were initially very excited by this find. But after analyzing the thickness of the new permafrost and projecting how it will be affected by continued climate change and the expected rise in temperature in the Arctic of 3°C, they arrived at the conclusion that the new permafrost won’t last beyond the end of the century.

To read “New permafrost is forming around shrinking Arctic lakes, but will it last?” by Martin Briggs et al in Geophysical Research Letters: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/2014GL059251/

###


Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jimmy Haigh.

Let’s see you get rid of that with homogenization, warm-mongers.

Mark Luhman

Three degrees will never come, If without the positive feed back the most warming from CO2 will would around 1 C anyone thinking differently is a loon. The chances of that happen is even lees since nature variation may swamp out any positive warming from CO2. If there were positive feedback we would have an unstable climate system and we would oscillate between and ice ball and a hot house. That does not happen so positive feed exist only in the land of unicorns.

John F. Hultquist

But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century. [McGill researchers press release; 2014]
That will be in 86 years. Very likely the site will be covered by about 20 metres of ice then. I’ll put it on my places to visit at that time and send a report.

lemiere jacques

the fact is new permafrost …but..why should scientist only have to tell the facts? so but it won’t last.
You said bias?

jones

Just weather.
Local effect.
Deeper heat is hiding under the permafrost…
.
HEY!…..look over there!!!
P.S. Also it’s conveniently predicted to disappear long after anyone alive can disprove the 2100 prediction……Convenient that.

jones

Jimbo….Can we have another list please if you have one?!
Ta.

Vegetation helps to keep the ground warmer at night so why should the returning permafrost be anything to do with the vegetation cover ?
More likely the climate has become colder again since the vegetation became established.

cnxtim

Of course;
“IT won’t last”
since when was observing accurately measuring. hypothesizing and reporting honestly been a part of CAGW?

AndyL

Some strange wording here – was it in the original text?
“It is now 5 metres or 15 feet shallower than it would have been three decades ago. ”
Why not simply say “shallower than it was three decades ago?” Did they measure the depth three decades ago or just model it?

Jimmi_the_dalek

The water is receding. Permafrost is forming in the section that was kept warmer by the water. Why is that a surprise?

Robbo

Why is permafrost good ?
A little warming increases forest at the expense of barren taiga, and expands arable land at the expense of less-productive forest. Isn’t that good ?

tty

Colder weather is also drier, particularly in arctic areas. Lake levels are sinking, new permafrost is forming.
What does this suggest about climate in Alaska?

lee

Jimmi_the_dalek says:
June 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm
The water is receding. Permafrost is forming in the section that was kept warmer by the water. Why is that a surprise?
‘Permafrost is permanently frozen soil, sediment, or rock. Its classification is solely based on temperature, not moisture or ground cover. The ground must remain at or below 0°C for at least two years in order to be considered permafrost.’
http://www.wunderground.com/climate/permafrost.asp
From the Abstract: ‘Permafrost aggradation, however, has been observed within the margins of recently receded lakes, in seeming contradiction of climate warming.’
So it was a surprise to the scientists. Must have been dumb scientists. /sarc

lee

Jimmi_the_dalek says:
June 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm
Why is that a surprise?
From the Abstract: ‘Widespread lake shrinkage in cold regions has been linked to climate warming and permafrost thaw. Permafrost aggradation, however, has been observed within the margins of recently receded lakes, in seeming contradiction of climate warming.’
Dumb scientists? sarc\
‘Permafrost is permanently frozen soil, sediment, or rock. Its classification is solely based on temperature, not moisture or ground cover. The ground must remain at or below 0°C for at least two years in order to be considered permafrost.’
http://www.wunderground.com/climate/permafrost.asp?MR=1

lee

Jimmi_the_dalek says:
June 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm
Why is that a surprise?
Dumb Scientists? sarc\
from the Abstract: ‘Widespread lake shrinkage in cold regions has been linked to climate warming and permafrost thaw. Permafrost aggradation, however, has been observed within the margins of recently receded lakes, in seeming contradiction of climate warming.’

4TimesAYear

Need a “Like” button for the comments 🙂

lee

Damn, looks like the same 3 in moderation

john

4TimesAYear says:
June 11, 2014 at 12:22 am
Need a “Like” button for the comments 🙂
I like that !!
We could also do with numbering each comment, to make re-finding info easy

jones

Second the “like” button notion…

Steve (Paris)

If its anything like Finland then the land is still rebounding after the compreshion caused by the last ice age, so a shallower lake has nothing to do with ‘man made’ global warming but just that boring old natural variety.

Mr Green Genes

john says:
June 11, 2014 at 12:59 am
We could also do with numbering each comment, to make re-finding info easy
==============================================
They are.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/10/a-sign-of-cooling-new-permafrost-is-forming-around-shrinking-arctic-lakes/#comment-1659735

Oldseadog

” …….. 5 metres or 15 feet ….”
Are the metres shrinking as well or are the feet getting bigger?
According to my Norries Tables 5M = 16′ 5″ approx.
Sloppy work.

“… they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century.”
*Sigh*, let’s leave out the best proxy we have for near Arctic temperature, the Greenland ice core, where regular plunges are now being ignored, playfully illustrated here:
http://oi61.tinypic.com/2cxbxw4.jpg

oops, posted before I intended.
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=964
length of melting season at each pole, derived from sea ice extent.
Recent years, NH and SH seem to mirror each other nicely, suggesting this may be a global tendency rather than a local feedback.

urederra

And by the end of the century all Siberia will be covered by weeping willows.
Seriously, if the shadow provided by the willow shrubs help expanding the permafrost, then the permafrost will prevent the shrubs form growing and expanding and maybe it will kill the few shrubs that managed to grow. Why these types of folks cannot see any negative feedback?

“Why these types of folks cannot see any negative feedback?”
Because they think that means really bad effects that will cause ‘tipping points’.
Try to explain that climate is full of evidence of negative feedbacks they go : “OMG, it worse that we thought!”

Magill U press release: “But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century.”
Could someone remind them what the ” current rate of climate change” is ?
No “global warming for 17 years”.
Notable shortening of Arctic melting season:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=964
Slow of decal tend in Arctic ice extent:
http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/on-identifying-inter-decadal-variation-in-nh-sea-ice/
Massive 50% gain in Arctic ice _volume_ last year, detected by Cryosat2.
Perhaps they should not have “quickly concluded that …”

Abstract : “Furthermore, model results indicate that permafrost aggradation is transitory with further climate warming, as new permafrost thaws within seven decades.”
Better hurry up then , don’t want to miss the chance for another death spiral.

. But they have also quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century.
TRANSLATION – Please send some more grant money!

Louis Hooffstetter

“But they… quickly concluded that, given the current rate of climate change, it won’t last beyond the end of this century.”
This is a measurable effect of climate change that they don’t even recognize.

johndo

“these willow shrubs has both cooled and dried the surrounding soil,”
A previous post :
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/10/why-automatic-temperature-adjustments-dont-work/
Claimed scientific support for vegetation warming the local environment, “So what effect does the sheltering have on temperature? According to McAneney et al. (1990), each 1m of shelter growth increases the maximum air temperature by 0.1°C. So for trees 10m high, we can expect a full 1°C increase in maximum air temperature. ”
Do people just pick whatever effect they want to support their presupposition?

Where do they get the 3 degrees from? Models.
What does observation tell us?

tadchem

A poster child for truly irrational denialism is born. Even as the new permafrost grows, the alarmists are calculating the rate at which is is shrinking(?!) and extrapolating the endpoint of the shrinkage.
“I know what I know. Don’t try to confuse me with the facts.”

Chip

They measure evidence of cooling but quickly affirm their belief in warming.
This must have been what it was like for early astronomers or evolutionists. Find evidence that contradicts the established faith, but affirm your belief in god anyway.

Bill Illis

Alaska has had two extremely cold winters with record snowfall in the last three years (the past one was warmer than normal). Given how cold it was and how long the snow lasted, one would have expected an expansion of the permafrost.
Most global warming studies are like this. OMG, global warming, but here is some data that contradicts it. The paper has to get published and the abstract needs to be in the pro-warming camp so the researchers can keep their job. But they still want the adverse data to get into the public record.

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Here is evidence. It doesn’t fit their expectations, so they explain it away.

Tom in Florida

4TimesAYear says:
June 11, 2014 at 12:22 am
“Need a “Like” button for the comments :)”
If you really like/dislike something, quote the comment and intelligently express your opinion.

Well, apparently the folks at McGill know the exact warming in the future, which is strange since they can’t predict future energy technologies.

Permafrost is a very useful word, and it is simultaneously responsible for widespread misunderstanding when it comes to climate and putative climate change.
It really should be written “perma”frost, or sometimesfrost.
By the way I’m going to give a talk about climate at the Libertarian National Convention in Columbus later this month. They are kind enough not to care that I’m a member of no political party, including theirs.
If anyone has any smart Libertarian friends whom I should meet at the convention, feel free to let me know through talkingabouttheweather.com (leave comment and I’ll respond by e-mail).

Dan W.

I project that the projection will be wrong. I also project that by the time it is proven to be wrong those making the projection will have already cashed in their chips, never to be held to account for this S.W.A.G.

dccowboy

” given the current rate of climate change”
I’m unfamiliar with this concept, ‘rate of climate change’. Has someone measured it? to what degree of accuracy? What are the units of measure? Is it a global measurement or localized? If localized, how big an area does it cover?
A nice sounding but ultimately meaningless concept, similar to ‘average global temperature’.

Latitude

it’s a damn shame mosquitoes aren’t cute enough…
..they would milk this into some great mosquito extinction

Alan Robertson

4TimesAYear says:
June 11, 2014 at 12:22 am
Need a “Like” button for the comments 🙂
______________________
All apologies for continuing OT, but that has proven to be a very bad idea, on other sites. It’s probably just human nature, but “group think” soon dominates the commentary and dissent becomes stifled without thought or discussion.
(I know that you were just being pleasant and posted without malice of intent.)

Henry Galt

johndo says:
June 11, 2014 at 4:14 am
“”Do people just pick whatever effect they want to support their presupposition? “”
I was recently told by an eminent academic that, as a result of many decades of peer review in all fields “… you may decide your position and then find any number of ‘peer reviewed papers’ whose findings agree with it …”
Not sayin’ anyone has done this, just pointing out the possibilities ….

PRD

So, I just clicked through the DMI temperature graphs of the mean temp north of 80*.
Has anyone put together a blinky GIF of all of those graphs? It would be damning evidence of the significant and robust LACK of change in the northern temperature. The only thing I eye is that the last few summers have been cooler, with the present summer temperature mean lagging behind the norm.

tty

Steve (Paris) says:
“If its anything like Finland then the land is still rebounding after the compreshion caused by the last ice age, so a shallower lake has nothing to do with ‘man made’ global warming but just that boring old natural variety.”
No. The bottom of the lake and the land around it comes up at the same rate, so the rebound has no effect on lake depth, unless the lake is very large in which case it might be “tipped over” bwcause the rebound is larger at one end. But then part of the lake gets deeper as another part gets shallower.
Incidentally most of Alaska is not anything like Finland, since it wasn’t covered by ice during the ice age. It was too dry for glaciation:

Resourceguy

The researchers said what they had to say in order to publish in this blacklisting science society.

“Jimmi_the_dalek says: June 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm
The water is receding. Permafrost is forming in the section that was kept warmer by the water. Why is that a surprise?”.

Definitely not a surprise, to us. Certainly not a surprise that you restate the abstract with a false straw man along with your usual childish condescension.
a) Why does water keep the section warmer? The scientists didn’t mention it as it is very unlikely. Water freezes almost as well as soil. It is not unusual for arctic lakes and ponds to freeze solid and this is often a problem for aquatic critters when the water is not deep enough or moving fast enough.
b) The scientists are either desperate to keep their jobs or are quite dense, perhaps permafrost has affected their brains… Citing CAGW alarmist claims is likely mandatory or they get to clean up after the CAGW Arctic tourists.
—1) The so called scientists in the abstract above used predictions from non-performing unverified models for their future temperature estimates.
—2) Most lakes left in the wake of glacial retreats are drying up when their source of glacier melt water ceases.
—3) Attributing the shrinking lakes to climate change is a definite Duh! Climate change since the last ice age ended is perpetual and everyone should thank their lucky stars that the ice age is still retreating rather than advancing. Warm, good! Cold, bad!
—4) New permafrost forming and advancing is area is not a good thing. Hopefully these permafrost dullard’s predictions for the permafrost not lasting turn out to be accidentally true.

Shade from willow shrubs is cooling summer ground preventing it from melting. One wonders what the definition of “permafrost” is here–has it become seasonal? Did the ground go a single summer without melting? Not to worry, negative feedback is certain: as the ground freezes the willows will die, and the ground will melt. Then the willows might grow back. Permafrost should be made of deeper stuff. You certainly don’t find it under big liquid lakes. –AGF