Black carbon in the Arctic blamed on Russia

Study traces black carbon sources in the Russian Arctic

Photo: Mark Dennett, NOAA

Photo: Mark Dennett, NOAA


According to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 35% of black carbon in the Russian Arctic originates from residential heating sources, 38% comes from transport, while open fires, power plants, and gas flaring are responsible for only 12%, 9%, and 6% respectively. These estimates confirm previous work for some areas of the European Arctic, but for Siberia, the findings differ from previous research, which had suggested that contribution from gas flaring were much higher.

Black carbon, or soot, increases snow and ice melt by dulling the reflective surface and increasing the absorption of sunlight. Researchers say this is one reason that Arctic regions have warmed faster than any other area on the planet, with average temperatures there today over 4°C higher than the 1968-1996 average, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Black carbon may also be contributing to the steep decline in summer Arctic sea ice coverage in recent decades.

“Reducing black carbon pollution holds some potential for climate change mitigation, especially in the Arctic, but in order to take effective action, we have to know where it is coming from. This study provides better data, but also shows that we need more information about source structure and spatial distribution of pollution in the Arctic,” explains IIASA researcher Zbigniew Klimont, who worked on the study.

The location of black carbon emissions matters, explains Klimont, because black carbon emitted from the sources closer to the Arctic leads to greater warming (per unit of emitted black carbon) compared to sources further from the region. “High-latitude sources are especially important. Even though China, for example, releases much more black carbon than Arctic regions, reductions there have less impact per kilogram than reductions in the Arctic.”

This research drew on IIASA research that was part of a European-Union funded project, Evaluating the Climate and Air Quality Impacts of Short-lived Pollutants (ECLIPSE). Researchers used the ECLIPSE emissions and an atmospheric transport model and compared the predictions with measurements and carbon isotope analysis of samples at Arctic research stations. While the study found good agreement between model estimates of black carbon concentrations and measurements for the European Arctic site, they found a mismatch between the modeled and measured results for the Russian Arctic site. The researchers developed a better method to attribute pollution to its sources by incorporating new data from Tiksi, a research station in the far eastern region of Siberia into the model. This improved attribution highlights the more important role of residential heating and transport sources while lesser relevance of gas flaring at this far-East Siberian site.

“There is widespread gas flaring in the Russian Arctic. Yet, the magnitude of gas flaring related black carbon and other combustion related emissions and the specific carbon-isotopic fingerprint are not very well understood. In order to better assess the role of black carbon pollution in the Arctic and to target its sources for mitigation, we need to measure the isotopic fingerprint of the gas flaring sources,” says Patrik Winiger, a researcher at Stockholm University in Sweden who led the study.



Winiger P, Andersson A, Stohl A, Semiletov IP, Dudarev OV, Charkin A, Shakhova N, Klimont Z, Heyes C, Gustafsson O (2017). Siberian Arctic black carbon sources constrained by model and observation PNAS.

166 thoughts on “Black carbon in the Arctic blamed on Russia

      • Nothing wrong with decreased Arctic sea ice.
        Its currently much higher than it was for most of the first 3/4 of the Holocene.
        But griff is a Climate Change Deníer, aren’t you griff.

      • Increase melt over Greenland….. roflmao !!
        Greenland is currently WAY above average for surface mass balance.

      • I suppose a natural event like a volcanic eruption would have little effect.Then again black ice from particulate soot is sooooo yesterday .

      • “Science says its bad for you.”
        Ah the unique and indivisible body of “the science”.
        I doubt those who live in and around the Arctic circle see a few degrees of warming as “bad for you”.
        But maybe the UN should make it illegal for them to burn anything to warm their homes in winter to survive the cruel climate. Hey, other developed countries could club together and offer to buy them some solar PV to “leap frog” to new sustainable lifestyles ( aka death-styles )>

      • Griff old mate.
        The climate is changing.
        The climate has always changed.
        The climate will always change.
        CO2 has nothing to do with these changes which is measurable.
        So suck it up.
        Build a bridge – and get over it.

      • So saidith Griff ……
        Science says its bad for you.
        Shur nuf, Griff, …… the freezing temperatures in the Arctic are super duper great for providing a really comfortable life style for all the plants, animals and humans that live there, whereas the seasonal “warming” is dastardly dangerous to their survival.
        And, for that very reason, is surely why Griff dearly loves watching the National Geographic TV Documentaries that are titled, to wit:
        Life Below Zero

      • AS Greg mentioned photovoltaics for these people. I wonder what the power out put is during the cold, DARK winter up there. Cold would lower production, no light would eliminate production, snow would halt production. What could possibly ago wrong?

      • Griff says “Loss of albedo and other effects speed up warming, increase melt over Greenland, change ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns.”
        Oh come on Griff. Loss of albedo? You say you stay calm and follow the science? Like polar bears? Get a grip. Virtually all of the warming is in the arctic winter time when there is no sunlight. When the sun is up in the summer ( when albedo counts) the temps have been running on the low side. So much for your albedo. Have you ever been on the water with a low sun angle to the horizon? Better have strong sun glasses because water has high reflectivity of sunlight at low sun angles.
        All your warming of the arctic is actually a big earth cooling cycle getting rid of ocean heat from the tropics or infilling of climate data. Take your pick.

      • If the soot had such a warming effect you would think summer surface temperatures would be higher, because that is when the sun is highest and shining 24 hours a day, but oddly the surface temperatures have been a little below normal during recent summers, north of 80 degrees latitude.
        I would like to see how they determine the black stuff over such a vast area is soot from heating and factories, and not from volcanoes. The east coast of Russia is dotted with active volcanoes, and one big blast when the jet stream is heading north can get a lot of ash to the Pole. The current jet stream is meridional so I expect there would be more chances for ash to get north.
        Another cause for “dirty” ice is algae that slimes the bottom. A stormy pattern flips the bergs and the crud is on the top. The current pattern has seen more storms than normal, so I’d expect more flipped bergs.
        I wonder if they take a sample from one area, and then extrapolate and do that “homogenizing” of maps, as if the ice farther from the coast is the same as ice right on the coast.

    • Per the articles below, ice coverage starts by Milankovitch and precession cycles and is only ended when CO2 levels drop enough to cause plant die off/desertification with blowing dust covering the ice and causing warming/melting. This implies that extreme cold with mile thick glaciers in the northern hemisphere is the norm that is only broken by a lucky accident of nature. This also implies that ice soot coverage along with some minor CO2 warming may be needed to keep the earth from entering the next long term ice age.

    • Source of Ukrainian / Russian conflict is over unpaid bills for LNG delivered more than a decade by Russia for winter heating in Ukraine.
      You won’t pay their heating bills, Griff, will you?

  1. “While the study found good agreement between model estimates of black carbon concentrations and measurements for the European Arctic site, they found a mismatch between the modeled and measured results for the Russian Arctic site.”
    Models again! *sigh*

    • You may think that at this point, and with the number of computer models related to climate run so far, at least one of them has to be right. But no, none of them are right. When you compare them to reality, none of them are right.
      What are the odds?

      • Unfortunately, the odds are similar to chimpanzees and typewriters writing Shakespeare quality text.
        Odds that allow it to be stated as a concept, but don’t expect it to ever happen.

        • There are no odds with 100% failure. Guessing would have given them odds. The only way you can have 100% failure is the math is wrong. Every time you calculate a result, it’s wrong, and that is exactly the state of climate science.

    • Its currently much higher than it was for most of the first 3/4 of the Holocene.
      But griff is a Climate Change Deníer, aren’t you griff.

      • Andy,
        don’t be so hard on poor Griff, we all know he’s out of his depth (even he must know) but he’s trying (very trying) to save the planet for the children,… therefore maths, physics, chemistry & scientific fact are all trumped by blind belief.
        Maybe hes financed by BIG Al Gore.
        On the other hand, he is an annoying little troll, so have at him, (I know you shouldn’t feel trolls)……but it can be fun.

      • Dear save, thank you for your concern – but perhaps it ought to go to Andy?
        I feel I don’t invest the same level of anger and concern in my posts, which for me are academic scientific discussion, as he does.
        I am not sure it is healthy to get worked up by other people on the internet. Perhaps you could persuade him to lighten up a bit?

      • But Andy there were unique circumstances then, which are not operating now.
        It is what is happening NOW, the trend and current causation we are concerned with.

      • I wish people would be more polite to Griff. He isn’t rude in return.
        So we disagree with him. And we think we are right to disagree with him (we haven’t even mentioned that the Arctic ice is a local event not global ice).
        But that is no reason to sneer.
        Let’s debate.
        REPLY — Make that an official +1 ~ Evan.

      • Hey, All I said was that griff denies climate changes for before the Little ice age.
        That makes him a climate change den*er.
        Do you DENY that the current level is far more than the first 3/4 of the Holocene, griff ?

      • M Courtney
        February 4, 2017 at 9:48 am
        Disagreement is great. But Griffypoo says such ridiculous things, such as that Arctic sea ice has never been lower than now since the Eemian, when in fact is has been lower for most of the Holocene. And that the climate is changing too rapidly for humanity to adapt and that we are to blame.
        For all of this, there is not only no evidence, but all the evidence in the world is against these baseless, false on their face assertions.

      • “M Courtney February 4, 2017 at 9:48 am”
        And is why I made an apology to Griff in a past thread. But stupid really gets my goat, Griff and tony, fall in to that festering bucket..

      • I love it when he proclaims that a handful of captain’s logs from 100 years ago are as extensive and accurate as satellite imaging.

      • Griff’s other problem is that he repeats the same lies over and over again.
        No matter how many times he’s shown the actual data, it never changes what he writes.

    • “And it isn’t soot which brought this about.”
      You seem to disagree with the Author, can you point me to your refutation ?

    • Griff is still in denial of the AMO. But he’s partially right, soot only enhances the melting driven primarily by the AMO.

    • Griff February 4, 2017 at 1:11 am
      “Here’s an animation which shows the sea ice decline very clearly:”
      The Russian icebreakers are still froze in. That is observational “science”. Your animation is anime, poor off brand anime.
      Oh and they may be sending their newest one out to free up the other two. If I am correct lets hope they succeed, there is a lot natural fuel resources in that area which the world needs.

    • Ice decreases during the warm phase of AMO/PDO, just like it has done for the last few hundred thousand years.
      Ice decreases after a big El Nino, just like it has done for the last few hundred thousand years.
      But according to Griffie, this time it’s different because there is marginally more CO2 than 100 years ago, but much less than there was a few million years ago.

  2. The soot story is hokum.
    Who’s volunteering to ask Vladimir Putin nicely to switch off hearing in Russian homes for the sake of the latest lefty dystopian fairy tale?

  3. The soot would certainly cause more radiative absorption and hence heating and thus melting.
    But since this is a problem distinct from CO2 then the fractional effect is
    (soot fraction) x (overall warming)
    (soot fraction) x( practically nothing at all)
    approximately…….. nothing to worry about
    However the soot is aesthetically unpleasant and for a whole number of other reasons should be eliminated if possible.

    • Soot comes from burning stuff in open or closed fire places
      Modern power stations produce basically zero soot.
      So if decent, cheap, reliable electricity were provided for all, then soot and particulate matter could be greatly reduced….
      …. and the cheapest , most reliable form of electricity is modern coal or gas.

  4. Anything that delays the formation of the next ice sheet as we enter the last few hundred years of our present interglacial is a good thing.

    • Tell you what.
      If the soot hypothesis works, we should put climate hooligans to work, after conviction, painting Arctic ice and all icebergs with soot based paint.
      It’s a dirty job and they deserve the dirt.

  5. We have only just read the theory that dust from the Gobi desert blowing on to the ice cap could end a glaciation. If CAGW is nonsense then anything that might stave off the next glaciation sounds good to me. OTOH I am not expecting any great global catastrophe in my life time and a bit of soot does not worry me.

  6. Which is confirmed by this paper on Alpine glaciers. It suggests that Alpine glacier retreat is mostly due to soot, not CO2:
    Painter et al.
    End of the Little Ice Age in the Alps forced by industrial black carbon.
    As I demonstrated in my Ice Age Modulation paper, the Achillies heel of an ice-world is soot or dust. Lower the albedo a little, and the effects of albedo are orders of magnitude greater than anything CO2 can manage. A doubling of CO2 can force 4 wm2 on a global basis, while the full effects of CO2 can be 200 wm2 on a regional basis. So what is going to melt an ice age world, CO2 or albedo??

  7. Current volcanic activity:
    Note the Aleutians and other northern volcanoes as well as the prevailing wind patterns. Also note the huge forest fires that occurred in Canada and other northern regions last year. While the very confused AGW crowd is busy protesting and chasing their own tail, the soot issue would seem to be from natural sources.

    • In other news….
      Safety probe launched after collapse of 480-foot wind turbine in Ayrshire
      The astonishing structural failure of the £2 million machine has prompted demands for information by the community in Barrhill.
      The Kilgallioch wind farm is operated by Scottish Power Renewables which had failed to alert the public to the incident for SEVEN DAYS.
      Luckily nobody was near the 160-ton turbine at the time it fell.
      The Ayrshire Post’s source says the 328-foot tower “creased” at the access door at ground level.
      The three blades and switchgear were all smashed on impact.
      And he added: “Debris was spread over half a kilometre and a crane was been brought in to try and clear the damage.
      “The company was trying to keep things hush-hush and were not keen to say anything.
      “The site is so large and unseen from public roads that the only way to see the collapse is from the air.
      “Local people want the alarm raised as they feel things are going on unreported.”
      Other collapses have been revealed in Northern Ireland, California and Denmark.
      The Ayrshire Post was alerted to the Barrhill collapse on Friday by an anonymous caller.
      But there was no visible damage either from the main Newton Stewart Road or the B7027 Drumlamford Estate back route.
      Scottish Power refused to answer specific questions on the incident or provide a photograph of the debris.
      The company claimed “all proper reporting procedures have been followed.”

      • Substandard materials and rushed construction techniques. They’re trying to dredge as much profit from the windfarm subsidies as possible before they all dry up.

      • The article is peppered with remarks like ‘one of only 2 to fail in Scotland’ ‘extremely rare event’ ‘storm’ etc.
        I think the annual number of turbine fails in the UK averages less than 2. and there are 30,000 in the UK.

      • Griff: That argument is routinely dismissed for nuclear plants. How many failures are allowed depends on whether or not the activity is a crony capitalism project of various governments. One dead eagle is a huge fine for oil, zilch for wind. It’s about the politics, pure and simple. Not a bit of science involved.

      • Griff February 4, 2017 at 8:21 am
        Griff it is not just the number of structural failure. It is first the percent over time. Second the fact that they are structural fail. In aircraft this would ground the entire fleet.
        So Griff if it is 2 per year out of 30,000 what will the fail rate be 2-5 down the road. Remember it is a structural issue those get worst over time due to material fatigue. It is a very big problem.
        BTW if there is another anywhere and anyone is hurt or lord forbid killed the lawsuits will be yuge. And justly so.

      • Griff, wind power is already uneconomical. The cost of replacing any will just make it more so.
        Beyond that, the cost of making all future towers stronger is also going to make the industry that much less economical.

  8. Putting to one side the benefits to the Russians of having warm houses to come home to, it would be hard to convince Putin that black carbon is something to be concerned about. Russia sees the melting of Arctic sea ice as totally beneficial for it’s economy and I very much doubt that we will see any moves on their part to cut emissions in the future.

  9. One of the explanations for why the planet wasn’t heating as it should due to increased CO2 is that aerosols are offsetting the effect of the CO2. It follows that, when we clean the aerosols out of the atmosphere, the global warming will resume.
    The problem for the above argument is that soot on the snow is directly related to aerosols. link In other words, soot on the show offsets the effect of atmospheric aerosols.
    If the warming of the arctic is mainly due to soot, that pretty much kills the theory that CO2 is causing global warming. The arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet and, if we take that warming out, the planet isn’t warming very much at all.

    • I suspect if you remove the Arctic we’d find the rest of the planet is cooling. Satellites show the north polar region is warming at 3 times the rate of the planet and we know some of that warming must affect the north mid latitudes as well which is running about 40% higher.

  10. Heating residences and open fires are very, very new.
    The Ruskies just sat there during winters for centuries and froze.

  11. >>soot on the show offsets the effect of atmospheric aerosols.
    More than offsets – albedo is much more powerful.

  12. “with average temperatures there today over 4°C higher than the 1968-1996 average, ”
    I see they are using yet another different base period.

    • Those dates correspond pretty closely to the last negative phase of the AMO. It’s almost a perfect example of cherry picking.

  13. I recall a UBC study from the 1960s that found pollution in pristine lake bottom muds in Yukon, Canada (Aishihik Lake) that were determined to be from base metal shelters and (probably iron/steel and other coal fired industries) in China. Aerial atmospheric sampling and meteorological patterns supported the determination. I have little doubt that China’s orders of magnitude larger particulate emissions today are at least a significant contributor to Arctic soot carbon and other particulates ignored in the study because of the “carbon mindset”. Science indeed!

    • What if they really did this in secret and now, seeing the error of that, are claiming the induced warming is caused by something else to cover their asses. Similar to the cover story of an alien spacecraft in Roswell to hide the evidence of secret military aircraft (how’d that work out?).
      Oh what a tangled web we weave …………..

    • What is that chart on the right? That can’t be right, it hasn’t been adjusted.
      There is no middle ground for climatologists, they were pessimistic when carbon black wasn’t being spread in the Arctic, and now it is, they don’t like that either.

  14. The interglacial is overdue to end. We’re going to have to find a way to slow the ice sheets. How about developing a microbe that can live on the ice an emit squid ink?

    • Not overdue. Has at least 2000 more years to run. Or 5000 to equal the prior interglacial, the Eemian.
      If eccentricity cycle predominates rather than tilt or precession, then tens of thousands of years more.

  15. there is no problem with the climate [it might be getting a few tenths of a degree warmer]
    but if there were
    i.e. if it is getting too cold
    I would spray the oncoming ice with black carbon
    and I would be safe?
    so that what now think is the problem could one day become the solution….
    did somebody think of storing carbon dust for the future? That might become a good business.

    • No problem,a nuclear armed Canada will solve that carbon shortage.
      There being multiple coal veins in High Arctic locations,some already burning, we will only need to atomize one or two per winter season.
      problem solved,right after that giant solar reflector warming the waters of Hudson Bay.
      A la “Fallen Angels” Jerry Purnelle?

  16. What a bunch of hooky papers we are now getting. It seems that the entire knowledge base of what makes for gold standard research has been thrown out as nothing but slop for hogs. Shut down the tax payer funded climate research gravy train till we can get back to at least minimum standards of acceptable research design and methods before another tax-sourced dollar is spent. Starting now. President Trump?

  17. I know I’m quibbling about terminology, but isn’t all carbon black except for diamonds and graphite? Why be redundant and call it black carbon? Do you really think anyone would think you were talking about diamonds or graphite? And another thing while I’m at it. Please quit calling CO2 carbon. Its stupid. Should we call water hydrogen? Science today is broken

  18. No mention of massive Russian forest fires, as well as controlled burns of forestry in Finland Sweden ect.
    Said Nordic nations also burn waste for energy, everywhere has energy waste bins. So mass incineration of rubbish certainly adds to it.
    though one might imagine that concentration of black carbon is more or less relative to the amount of ice. A natural declining of ice over decades would have some effect on concentrating black carbon in remaining ice.
    In my opinion it’s another junk scare

    • Yes, we should mention the Russian forest fires of 2010, 2013, 14, 15… and 16
      Which have followed record heatwaves and severe droughts…
      These are clear evidence of climate change.

      • Griff
        the climate has always been changing
        there are also specific reasons as to why the climate changes
        to do with the variation of energy coming in [from outside] and localized more warming in the NH to do with the re-alignment of earth’s inner liquid iron core – which moves around like a magnetic stirrer – if you know what that is.
        Check out how the magnetic north pole has changed in the last 100 years and give me report back on what you think about that? Then go down with me 1km into a gold mine here and realize how big the elephant in the room really is…
        If the climate did not change regularly you and I would not be alive today.
        The climate changes declare the greatness of God.

      • Clear evidence that Griff does not what clear evidence is.
        One of the best job I ever had in the nuclear industry was doing root cause analysis (RCA). The idea is that if you fix the root cause of a problem it will not occur again.
        One of the rules is you can not blame weather or nature. If you have a car accident when it is raining. It could be that you have not been properly trained to slow down when it is raining.
        Records are only evidence of record keeping. Heat waves, droughts, and fires are part of nature.
        It would be interesting pictures from 100,000 years to see what things were like before man’s influence.

      • Like the MASSIVE FREEZING they are currently experiencing, hey griff.
        Juts keep making up sci-fantasy, little troll.
        Everybody is laughing at your idiocy 🙂

  19. I stand to be corrected but I remember back in the 50s and 60s most of the homes (at least where I live) were heated by either coal or sawdust. Wouldn’t they put a lot of “soot” into the atmosphere and if the article is correct the 50s and 60s should have seen a lot of arctic ice loss, even more than today.

  20. There are few if any thermometers in the Arctic. NOAA extrapolates temperatures from thermometers 1200 km apart. If the average temperature of the Arctic did or did not rise 4 degrees, no one would know one way or the other. Drilling for oil is good, resultant natural gas too far away from markets to build a pipeline is a necessary evil, so be it…

  21. Climate issues aside, I just think black carbon on ice is ugly. It messes up the scenery.
    … similar argument about tobacco smoking. It’s ugly, it stinks, and it makes a person look so needy.
    … speaking as an artist here, … aesthetics and all that crap.

  22. I’ve been in small villages in central Siberia where the major source of heating is from coal fired stoves. Going to central Siberia isn’t like going to the midwest in the United States. We have a solid infrastructure in the midwest, and although I’ve seen coal fired stoves in older homes, I’ve never seen one actively used in my lifetime, although it’s possible some still heat their homes with coal. In some of the areas I’ve visited in central Siberia, there is very little infrastructure and nearly everyone heats their homes with coal. The fix for this would be for Russia to build out a better, wider ranging infrastructure. At the same time, I don’t think people have a true sense of scale when it comes to how large of an area Siberia actually is. Even with vast oil wealth, I imagine it would bankrupt Russia to complete this kind of project. It just doesn’t seem feasible in the near future. That means people either freeze to death or we find some other way to mitigate or adapt to black carbon.

    • Joz
      I actually doubt that it is the soot from burning coal that causes the arctic melt. so, most probably there is nothing to fix….
      just google how much the magnetic north pole has shifted north east over the past 100 years alone.
      then take a lift 1 km into a gold mine here [in South Africa]
      and you will realize how big the elephant in the room really is…

    • “I imagine it would bankrupt Russia to complete this kind of project.”
      I have read reports that one of the biggest drains on the Soviet economy was the effort to provide some infrastructure for Siberia. Even for the entire economy of the world it would be about as feasible as turning all central Australia into watercress farms.
      (Pssst: “How large an area”. “Of” not needed.)

    • More efficient stoves might help. Probably cost a lot less than thousands of miles of nat. gas pipelines.
      More efficient stoves would also mean less coal is needed for the same amount of heat.

  23. Soot. Now that’s real carbon pollution.
    I could really get behind a campaign to reduce it. Perhaps we could campaign to introduce efficient coal fired power stations to these regions to generate electricity and reduce their reliance on wood and open fires.

    • Interesting how some humans are immune to sarcasm and have no sense of humour.
      6 impossible things before breakfast can help improve your way.

    • Back in the 70’s, spreading carbon black on the ice to slow the growth of glaciers was discussed.
      Pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere wasn’t. They knew something many have now forgotten.

  24. ” … was part of a European-Union funded project”
    Can stop reading at that point. PNAS is one of the “Old Girls” clubs in D.C. and as anti-American as the E.U. i.e. the New German Empire.

  25. As Patrick MJD pointed out above; this ‘new method’ is a model.

    ” Evaluating the Climate and Air Quality Impacts of Short-lived Pollutants (ECLIPSE). Researchers used the ECLIPSE emissions and an atmospheric transport model and compared the predictions with measurements and carbon isotope analysis of samples at Arctic research stations. While the study found good agreement between model estimates of black carbon concentrations and measurements for the European Arctic site, they found a mismatch between the modeled and measured results for the Russian Arctic site. The researchers developed a better method to attribute pollution to its sources by incorporating new data from Tiksi, a research station in the far eastern region of Siberia into the model.”

    More finagling masquerading as science.

    • “Is THERE anything …”
      (Damned predictive software destroying my reputation for grammatical precision mutter mutter grumble grumble must remember to edit before posting grouse gripe …)

      • Russian Hackers! That’s what it is. I now have a 47 page dossier saying that it might have been Russian hackers who inserted a superfluous “of” in Joz Jonlin’s comment just to draw me out, and then changed my comment. (Not actual proof, but I’m pretty sure it’s the sort of thing those evil Ruskies would do.)
        No need to fall back on the predictive software excuse when I can blame it on the Russians.

  26. “Griff
    the climate has always been changing”
    Henry is wrong! Have you ever seen the climate change? The only constant in nature is change. However, Henry is talking about a human concept. In the nuclear industry we have a concept called change management. It is hard to get people to change. Change has to be managed. I will get back to this.
    I have lived places where they joke, if you do not like the weather, wait 15 minutes.
    I am an old guy. I have not even observed a natural variation in our current climate.
    There is no ‘Climate Change’. Maybe I am being too precise, or too general, or too simplistic. Climate change is simply a human theory about the future.
    We are in an ice age. That is our climate. For the last 35 million years. About 65 million years ago we were clearly not in an ice age.
    Statistically an ice age is not ‘normal’. That is to say, most the time our planet does not have ice at the polar caps or glaciers. There are some weak theories about the causes for this most ‘recent’ change.
    I have a hard time taking anyone serious when predicting the future if they can not explain the past.
    For the last million or so years, there has been a pattern of relative short periods of 20,000 years when glaciers are receding. Rapidly for 8,000 years and a semi-steady state of of glaciers receding and growing producing a constant slow rate of sea level rise. There are some interesting theories about this pattern too.
    With geology recording climate change, there is no climate change.
    While determining a good long term storage location for spent nuclear fuel, we ask geologist to rule out places that may not be good places in the future. For example, Handford might be ruled out by glaciers while glaciers do not extend to Yucca Mountain.
    One thing is clear from the unwritten history. Unless there was some unidentified evolutionary change, mankind went from merely surviving to flourishing during this slightly warmer period in our ice age climate. One of the reasons is that we have been very good at adapting to seasonal variation in weather either by migration or building shelters.
    The real problem facing mankind is what to do if we can not induce the climate to become warmer, when the glaciers start expanding again many of the places we live will not be very nice.
    However, this is not climate change. No one human will observe it.

    • retired kid p
      e.g. last graph reported there
      seems to me like ice aces were more prominent when looked at it over the past 500000 years and the interglacial periods were sporadic and relative smallish time periods?
      The ice age trap is that more ice being formed from year to year, reflects more energy, accelerating global cooling.
      I figure that God has currently given man the power to stop the ice age trap if it were to come although the carbon soot idea might not be that effective. I would blow up the advancing ice with big bombs exploded below the ice?

      • “I would blow up the advancing ice with big bombs exploded below the ice?”
        I think Henry is still think about time on a human scale. The human race has experimented with big bombs with no apparent affect on climate or anything else for that matter.
        Let’s say we vaporize advancing ice sheets with hydrogen bombs. What’s the plan do it every winter for 100,000 years?
        Bases on my lifespan experience, there is enough real and immediate problems to keep busy.

  27. Good for Russia. As solar quiesence starts bringing in the liklihood of global cooling (always a danger to runaway with growing snow and ice albedo feedback effects), the whole world is going to have to start getting dirty with the poles. … Ahem. Make that sooty. Sooty with the poles.

  28. Not reported in the article is that two of the main sources of fuel for power generation and domestic heating in Russia are peat and wood which despite being horribly dirty fuels are of course considered ‘renewables’ and thus its OK to ignore the black carbon particulates they emit.
    So while fully decomposed wood (coal) is bad partly decomposed coal is apparently bad. Only in the weird world of CAGW does this make sense.

  29. And there is no incentive for them to do anything about it. An ice free Arctic (at least seasonally ice free) would be just splendid for the Ruskis.

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