NOAA Ecologist Re-arms Debunked Arctic Carbon Time Bomb

Guest slam dunk by David Middleton

From the “I couldn’t make this sort of schist up, if I was trying files”…

Scientists feared unstoppable emissions from melting permafrost. They may have already started.
The Arctic is a ticking time bomb that’s close to going off.

By Brian Dec 12, 2019


Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases an Arctic Report Card, detailing the state of the frozen world at the top of the globe.

And each year, its findings grow more dire. This year, the report revealed that the Arctic itself may now be contributing to climate change. That’s because Arctic soil contains a lot of carbon, which would stay there if it weren’t for the fact that the planet is warming. As the frozen ground across the Arctic starts to thaw, it releases that carbon, which turns into a greenhouse gas. Some of that carbon gets taken up by plants growing in the summertime, but more and more of it is now escaping into the atmosphere.

“Thawing permafrost throughout the Arctic could be releasing an estimated 300-600 million tons of net carbon per year to the atmosphere,” the NOAA writes in the report. That’s roughly the equivalent of Japan’s annual emissions.

And those emissions are going to increase. “We think that should be two to three times bigger by the end of the century based on the kind of forecasting we’ve done,” Ted Schuur, an ecologist and the author of the report’s section on permafrost, said.



And pigs may fly. The ecologist’s report was actually weaker than the Vox article.

A new comprehensive synthesis study of non-summer ecosystem CO2 fluxes across the circumpolar region showed that carbon release during the Arctic winter was 2 to 3 times higher than previously estimated from ground-based measurements (Fig. 3) (Natali et al. 2019). This circumpolar estimate suggests that carbon release in the cold season offsets net carbon uptake during the growing season (derived from models) such that the region as a whole could already be a source of 0.6 Pg C per year to the atmosphere. It was not possible to determine whether these higher flux estimates were a result of changing environmental conditions or the aggregation of more observations during this scarcely observed non-summer period. Regardless, similar to the regional extrapolation made by aircraft, this winter flux synthesis supports the idea that the accelerating feedback from changing permafrost ecosystems to climate change may already be underway.

NOAA Arctic Report Card

SOP in fake science, “We have no previous baseline with which to determine if the new observations are anomalous… But we have models out the wazoo.”

However, they do have a 20-yr empirical experiment

News in Brief: Warming may not release Arctic carbon

Element could stay locked in soil, 20-year study suggests

By Erin Wayman

Web edition: May 15, 2013

Print edition: June 15, 2013; Vol.183 #12 (p. 13)

Researchers used greenhouses to artificially warm tundra (shown, in autumn) for 20 years. They found no net change in the amount of carbon stored in the soil.

Sadie Iverson

The Arctic’s stockpile of carbon may be more secure than scientists thought. In a 20-year experiment that warmed patches of chilly ground, tundra soil kept its stored carbon, researchers report.


Science News

In the Alaska experiment, they warmed the permafrost by 2 °C over a 20-yr period (10 times the actual rate of warming since the 1800’s) and there wasn’t the slightest hint of an accelerated methane release.

And they have a schist load of paleoclimatology data

Vaks et al., 2013 found no evidence of widespread permafrost thawing above 60°N since MIS-11, not even during MIS-5…

The absence of any observed speleothem growth since MIS 11 in the northerly Lenskaya Ledyanaya cave (despite dating outer edges of 7 speleothems), suggests the permanent presence of permafrost at this latitude since the end of MIS-11. Speleothem growth in this cave occurred in early MIS-11, ruling out the possibility that the unusual length of MIS-11 caused the permafrost thawing.


The degradation of permafrost at 60°N during MIS-11 allows an assessment of the warming required globally to cause such extensive change in the permafrost boundary.


Vaks et al., 2012

There is no evidence of widespread thawing of Arctic permafrost since Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS-11), approximately 450,000 years ago. None of the subsequent interglacial stages indicate widespread permafrost thawing, above 60°N, not even MIS-5 (Eemian/Sangamonian), which was about 2 °C warmer than present day, possibly as much as 5 °C warmer in the Arctic.

The last interglacial stage (MIS-5, Sangamonian/Eemian) was considerably warmer than the current interglacial and sea level was 3-6 meters higher than modern times. It was particularly warmer in the Arctic. Oxygen isotope ratios from the NGRIP ice core indicate that the Arctic was approximately 5 °C warmer at the peak of MIS-5 (~135,000 years ago).

It also appears that it was significantly warmer in the Arctic during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (~7,000 years ago) than modern times. The Arctic was routinely ice-free during summer for most of the Holocene up until about 1,000 years ago. 

The best geological evidence for the Arctic methane time bomb being a dud can be found in the stratigraphy beneath Lake El’gygytgyn in northeastern Russia. The lake and its mini-basin occupy a 3.58 million year old meteor crater. Its sediments are ideally suited for a continuous high-resolution climate reconstruction from the Holocene all the way back to the mid-Pliocene. Unlike most other Arctic lakes, Lake El’gygytgyn, has never been buried by glacial stage continental ice sheets. Melles et al., 2012 utilized sediment cores from Lake El’gygytgyn to build a 2.8 million year climate reconstruction of northeastern Russia.

The data from Melles et al., 2012 are available from NOAA’s paleoclimatology library. And it is clearly obvious that Arctic summers were much warmer during MIS-11c (430-400 ka) than either the Eemian/Sangamonian (MIS-5e) or the Holocene (MIS-1)…

Figure 1. Comparison of warmest temperatures and sea level for MIS-11c, MIS-5e and MIS-1.
Figure 2. Figure 4 with vertical exaggeration to highlight differences.

Even though there may have been widespread melting of Arctic permafrost during the early part of MIS-11c, there’s no evidence that it caused any sort of catastrophic rise in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Figure 3. Atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from Dome C in Antarctic (CDIAC).

Of course, there’s always the possibility that MIS-11c did experience a sub-resolution spike in greenhouse gases. Dome C can’t “see” short-duration spikes in atmospheric gases. We’re left with three possibilities:

  1. Much warmer temperatures and partial melting of permafrost during MIS-11c didn’t cause a spike in greenhouse gases.
  2. Much warmer temperatures and partial melting of permafrost during MIS-11c did cause a spike in greenhouse gases; but the Antarctic ice cores can’t resolve it.
  3. The unresolved spike in MIS-11c spike in atmospheric greenhouse gases caused the MIS-11c warming… but didn’t prevent the subsequent glacial stage cooling.

In other words…

Most of this post was previously published in these two posts of mine:

Defusing the Arctic Methane Time Bomb

What Would Happen if Science Went Stupid? Melting Ice Edition.

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steve case
December 13, 2019 7:02 pm

“Scientists feared unstoppable emissions from melting permafrost. They may have already started.
The Arctic is a ticking time bomb that’s close to going off.”

They are talking about methane, melting permafrost releases methane.

Methane and the Global Warming Potential numbers are a text book example of misdirection. What we hear from the media is how many more times powerful methane is at trapping heat than CO2. Currently it’s 86 times more powerful. When the IPCC’s AR6 comes out it will be even more. What we are NEVER told is how much methane will actually run-up global temperatures. The reason for that is because it’s only a few hundredths of a degree.

If anyone can demonstrate that it’s more than that, I’d like to see their proof.

Joe Campbell
Reply to  David Middleton
December 14, 2019 8:42 am

David: If there were a significant issue, would not there be a increase seen in the Maura Loa CO2 data? I don’t see it there…

Reply to  David Middleton
December 14, 2019 8:46 pm

Sure looks like CO₂ levels lag well behind the temperature anomaly.

Reply to  steve case
December 13, 2019 8:01 pm

What we hear from the media is how many more times powerful methane is at trapping heat than CO2. Currently it’s 86 times more powerful.

Also what we never hear is how much less methane comprises Earth’s atmosphere, compared to CO2. Currently it’s 235 times less abundant [I think I got that right].

Charles Higley
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 13, 2019 9:03 pm

Actual biologists have examined melting permafrost and found that, when it melts, the vegetation and other lifeforms wake up and start to metabolize and become a carbon sink and not a methane source. People think they know so much and do not stop to actually check their assumptions.

Charles higgle
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 13, 2019 9:05 pm

Not to mention its ~5 year half-life in the atmosphere.

Reply to  Charles higgle
December 13, 2019 10:54 pm

If temperatures were to actually increase, the rate at which methane breaks down into CO2 increases.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Charles higgle
December 14, 2019 8:12 am

I am very skeptical about that claimed half-life. I do not see how methane escapes oxidation triggered by lightning or strong sunlight for more than a few days.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
December 13, 2019 10:11 pm

The time-wasting eco-loons have also been whining about nitrous oxide being 298 times the ghg effect of CO2, except NO2 is only ~0.00003% of the atmosphere so a couple of 100th of a degree C ghg contribution, at most. They freak-out about it because they claim the ~0.00003% has increased by 15% since 1750, i.e. bottom of the little ice age … scheesh! They had awesome instrumentation back in 1750, to resolve NO2 concentration with that level of precision.
I reject the alleged expertise of environmental climate-science™ high-priests, and regard them as little more than prolific bullschist factories who do not hesitate to sell-out principles and engage in global consensual group-think for anyone who will put money in their pockets. This statement is the result of decades of reading of their slanted anti-science and misanthropic doom-mongering ideologically-driven dirge of creative lying. Their miserable vacuous Fake-Religion™ is built on fear and is as laughable, pitiful and ridiculous as it is unceasingly and contemptibly dishonest. If you were triggered by reading that and feel it may apply to you it most probably does.

Alan Webb
Reply to  steve case
December 13, 2019 10:36 pm

That’s what I thought too. Methane, as I understand, has always been the big bugaboo when it comes to melting permafrost. I recently read Wil Happers paper that it’s not as potent a greenhouse gas as we’ve been led to believe.

Reply to  steve case
December 14, 2019 5:43 am

I suspect a whole article could be written about how they calculate GWP (if detailed info is even available). A methane molecule does not absorb 20-85 times more IR than CO2 does, as we are led to believe. GWP is a contrived potential over a hundred year, or so, span based on things like methane being a precursor of ozone (a GHG) and CO2 being a decomposition product of CH4. It’s a funny number they can twist and morph any way they like.

Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 7:04 pm

Sadly we’ve yet to reach peak climate stupidity. I fear 2020 will be an off-the-charts year for climate-stupid claims.

When the Orange Man wins again, what are they gonna do? Start Civil War 2.0?
They’re already trying impeachment, won’t work.
They tried framing in Russia Collusion hoax. Didn’t work.
They tried claiming the 2016 election should be undone because the Electroal College isn’t a democratic majority. Didn’t work.
Their entire clown bus, including new entrants Bloomberg and Deval Patrick haven’t a snowballs chance in Hell of even getting their nomination. Their front runner is somewhere between Elmer Fudd and Mr Magoo at his campaign speeches. The rest of the field is a pack of outright unelectable socialists.

It is actually nice to have a President fight back against those clowns and their climate religion.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2019 7:51 am

So far, Trump’s strategy for combatting the Alarmist crowd is to ignore it…NOT add to its publicity.

Since most US citizens are not really worried about the Climate in their lives, that works politically. Get out of the Paris Accords then go silent.

In his Second Term, I hope to see some DEFUNDING of certain University activities like all the nonsense Climate-is-Related-to-Everything-Science Studies…and the Identity Politics “Woke” Indoctrination (so called) Studies that aren’t educational at all…only pure indoctrination into Post Modernist Theory madness.

Way more than half the country viscerally hates these things but their tax money is paying for their existence…the tax money is its lifeblood. The Climate Fraud catalyzed by the “WOKE” Culture…are major parts of the Globalist’s plan to “Socialize” the world which will end human liberty on earth. Trump stands in the way of these plans and is why most of the Democrats, most of the Media, all of Entertainment, and the Deep State is currently WORKING TOGETHER to run Trump out office. Who else could survive this (lawless) onslaught?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2019 10:35 am

“Their entire clown bus”

Got to use a Clown Bus because there are too many of them to get them all in the Clown Car. 🙂

December 13, 2019 7:06 pm

And if arctic permafrost is believed a problem, measure it. An OCO satellite in polar orbit should do the job. And as to surface temperature measurement, how about expanding the US Climate Reference System to the rest of the world to get climate data that does not need “homogenization?”

I suspect there are many other climate phenomena that could be actually measured with instruments instead of inaccurately guessed using models.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  DHR
December 13, 2019 7:33 pm

OCO-2 is science package is 3 spectrophotometers aligned at wavelengths for CO2 (2) and one for a reference O2 absorption peak. The OCO-2 team can use the CO2 line to measure chlorophyll fluorescence in sunlit which is a nice benny.

The OCO-2 team though has “gone dark” for the past 2 1/2 years.
Lat updated July 2017, they stopped updating their gallery of of CO2 products.

I suspect they have hard data now that utterly refutes the Bern Model of CO2 sources and sinks for the CO2 rise, as recorded by the MLO record.
Imagine how “inconvenient” that would be to the climate scam, that the CO2 rise is mostly due to natural sources, even as sinks are accelerating uptake.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 8:53 pm

OCO-2 appears to be counter-productive for the Klimatariat.
Who’d have thunk it?

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 9:19 pm

NOAA’s CarbonTracker project is behind as well.

“The current release of CarbonTracker, CT2017, provides global estimates of surface-atmosphere fluxes of CO2 from January 2000 through December 2016.”


They should have had the 2017 CO2 fluxes out by now.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2019 9:30 pm

I believe that another spectrometer made out of spare parts for OCO-2 was placed on the International Space Station. However, I have seen nothing about what has come of that either.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2019 3:03 am

Does it matter? After all, the politics…damn…the political climate…damn…the political science is, what? You mean the models are wrong, again? What is Greta’s number?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 14, 2019 5:58 am

Sources of CO2 can be determined through isotope analysis of C13.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Patrick
December 14, 2019 1:10 pm

You said, “Sources of CO2 can be determined through isotope analysis of C13.” Not really. Isotopic analysis can eliminate recent, biologic sources because of the absence of C14. However, almost all CO2 exchanges involve fractionation of C12 and C13. When you have several different sources of CO2, all with different C12/C13 ratios, and a Carbon Cycle that is not well characterized, it is problematic as to what proportion of the different sources contribute to the current atmospheric composition.

Jim Ross
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 15, 2019 7:32 am


Yes, there are various possible sources and sinks with different levels of isotopic fractionation, and the actual combination that leads to the net result in terms of observed 13C/12C of the incremental CO2 might be difficult to determine. Indeed, Ralph Keeling et al (2017) still cannot tweak their model sufficiently to match the 13C/12C observations.

On the other hand, we can say for certain that the observations are nowhere near being consistent with fossil fuels being the only driver of changes in the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio. What is perhaps more important to recognise is that the observations tell us the net effect since the end of the LIA has been remarkably consistent and not time variant beyond short-term fluctuations due to ENSO and in response to major volcanic eruptions. So we have a situation where sophisticated models cannot replicate the observed behaviour and yet that behaviour is characterised by a constant 13C/12C ratio for the incremental CO2!

December 13, 2019 7:12 pm

Replace emissions with emotions. Plausible.

Pop Piasa
December 13, 2019 7:23 pm

Seems to me if Methane were some kind of “time bomb” it should have detonated really early on for the 3rd rock from the sun… Why wait until now?

Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 14, 2019 6:02 am

Why didn’t it happen after each interglacial…ever? Uncomfortable questions…

Mark Broderick
December 13, 2019 7:26 pm

David Middleton

“There is no evidence of widespread thawing of Arctic permafrost since Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS-11), approximately 450,000 years ago. None of the subsequent interglacial stages indicate widespread permafrost thawing, above 60°N, not even MIS-5 (Eemian/Sangamonian), which was about 2 °C warmer than present day, possibly as much as 5 °C warmer in the Arctic.”

This paragraph is shown above twice…Great post …

Pop Piasa
December 13, 2019 7:38 pm

The new approach to science appears to be that those with media-endowed academic influence simply say “could be ” and “we think”, and it becomes empirical fact to be used for political purposes.

Let’s hope that Popper and Feynman are blissfully ignorant of the current orthodoxy, lest they till the ground above them posthumously.

John F. Hultquist
December 13, 2019 8:48 pm

Thanks David.

It is part of the alarmist’s tool kit to pick something and claim it is alarming. Any something will do.
When that something is shown to be a non-problem, they move on.
There is such a long list that no one can keep it up to date.
A realist soon gets tired of this.
They wonder why we don’t believe them.

Gary Pearse
December 13, 2019 8:53 pm

Much of the Canadian tundra is thinly mantled granitic bedrock. The soils are fairly coarse, being bouldery gravel, sand and silt products of continental glaciation with little organic matter. Mining exploration drilling and trenching, road building and townsite construction indicates an average depth of bedrock cover of 1 to 2m with smaller areas of up to 8m cover. Most of the frozen ground volume is mainly solid granite with no methane.

Russia has deeper cover in much of their tundra and may have a lot more methane, but much of the voids in the cover are filled with water ice (see pingoes).

What the heck are a gangue of NOAA meteorologist/ weather forecaster/ stevenson screen temperature benders doing modelling methane in Arctic gravel?

Charles Higley
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 13, 2019 9:08 pm

I like to mention that you can do what ever you want in Canada because, when the next glacial period hits, the resulting ice sheet will wipe Canada off the map. It will have to start all over in the next interglacial, a clean slate or rock, as the case may be.

Lee L
Reply to  Charles Higley
December 14, 2019 12:03 am

Wipe Canada off the map?

Oh pish! We have Trudeau and Singh and the Green Party and the Bloc to do that don’t you know?

December 13, 2019 9:11 pm

The permafrost nonsense is never considered to its logical effect, since its extent was once in the middle of the Great Plains of America and in middle Europe during a lot of the last Glaciation phase.

Clyde Spencer
December 13, 2019 9:44 pm

It strikes me that most of the alarmist climatologists have little background in the geologic history of Earth and implicitly assume a static Earth that was in its ‘normal’ or optimal state when they were born. Working with that subjective, subconscious mindset, it is understandable that they would be alarmed at any apparent change in the world as they know it. That myopic view of Earth surely contributes to their discomfort with their foundational view of reality being destroyed.

I have the impression that there are an unusual number of geologists who comment here on WUWT, and it might just be that, in contrast to the alarmists, they expect and accept changes in Earth as the normal order of events.

December 13, 2019 9:44 pm

Ah, yes, the population bomb is politically congruent, again, thus the reuse and recycling of planned (i.e. reductive) population doctrine.

December 13, 2019 9:52 pm

If there is a correlation, a perceptible pattern, then it is plausible, and the missing links, matter, or heat, can be inferred.

Calvin Rubisco
December 13, 2019 9:58 pm

Lake El’gygytgyn was apparently named by a squirrel.

Robert of Texas
December 13, 2019 10:01 pm

Won’t tundra essentially become peat if it warms? Unless something introduces oxygen into the former tundra, I do not understand how it suddenly starts producing CO2 or methane on any significant scale.

Methane is essentially unimportant unless it’s concentration is dramatically elevated. It just turns into CO2 (and water) in a few years. At trace levels it can be ignored.

You warm the southern edge of the tundra, the northern edge of the forests will grow right over it. More trees = good. You will be producing more wood, pine needles, and other carbon sinks.

How the heck is the warming of northern Canada, Alaska, and Russia bad for anyone? (By the way, ancient tree stumps show that forests once covered many of the existing tundra areas, this isn’t something new or scary, its natural climate variation)

Steven Mosher
December 13, 2019 10:02 pm

one experiment with methane
another set of data about c02

dave thinks these are comparable.

dave thinks data from one cave tells the whole story

dave thinks data from one lake tells the whole story

thats some spatial extrapolation !! kinda like Yamal trees

bad skeptic

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 13, 2019 10:59 pm

Apples and oranges steve, the only kind of comparison you seem to be capable of any more.

Yamal was a temperature proxy that according to you alarmists represents the entire planet for what was it, 400 years?

An experiment showed that the belief that a warming arctic would release large amounts of methane wasn’t true.

If you think this one lake is the only proxy that refutes the catastrophic claims of the alarmists, you are either lying (again) or haven’t been paying attention (as usual).

Gary Pearse
Reply to  MarkW
December 15, 2019 3:54 pm

Steven, you could have cut everyone here off at the knees by simply stating that doing an actual experiment automatically disqualifies the experimenters as climate scientists!

BTW Steve, how do you think the methane worriers calculated the amount of methane in the first place? By holus bolus taking the area of the entire Arctic and multiplying by a wag of a depth and a wag of unit methane amount. The methane emissions experiment in a few places in Alaska that produced none is an important few data points that puts the ball in your alarmist court. Select 5 more scattered test sites and if you get no emissions from them, take two diazepams and call me in the morning.

In Canada, most of the permafrost is in solid granitic rock with an average of only a couple of metres cover depth. Vast areas are exposed bedrock and the cover is largely silt to gravel and boulders with little organics in this product of glacial grinding. Most of the “frozen ground” is bedrock.

Russia has deeper soils, but it is likely that the amount of methane, given the Canadian limitations (and a similar Greenland), is a small fraction of what has been hyped. Remember that during the much warmer Eemian, much of whatever methane there is had already been emitted

Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 13, 2019 11:19 pm

Kind of like the results from 1 tree you admit…Sort of like Mann’s Bristlecone Pines. If he had picked trees from a north aspect 20 feet away, it would have showed a whole different climate regime. Not that those trees showed anything of substance anyway.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 14, 2019 12:47 am

Let me share a quote with you.

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
– Albert Einstein

Ponder on those words from Albert and then consider your ‘one cave’, ‘one lake’ comment.
Understand why what you wrote is a display of stupid.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Steven Mosher
December 14, 2019 3:05 am

Here goes the scientifically illiterate English Major…bets are 10 to 1 he makes an ass of himself…oh wait!

December 13, 2019 10:38 pm

As others have noted, methane release is a one time affair and then when that ground is thawed out, every year now until it freezes again is going to be soaking up ‘carbon’ for a long time growing new vegetation and someday new trees. Shirley, there must be a net gain on absorption of CO2 over many years from new growth, than a one off outgassing of methane from old rotting vegetation matter from earlier times when it was obviously warmer which us why there is organic matter there to rot. It’s all a moot point anyway, since it is part of the natural carbon cycle.

Reply to  Earthling2
December 13, 2019 11:33 pm

This time the world will end, ’cause humans.

December 13, 2019 11:34 pm

When is the report card going to start giving ‘F’ grades to failed predictions about the Arctic that were supposed to happen by now? Like an ice-free Arctic by 2016? Or 2013?

December 14, 2019 12:11 am

Why would a scientific report talk about ‘carbon release’? Can we expect to see lumps of coal flying around? Or diamonds!

Reply to  Susan
December 14, 2019 1:50 am

Why would a scientific report talk about ‘carbon release’? Can we expect to see lumps of coal flying around? Or diamonds!

I had a similar reaction, but I suppose their assumption is that sooner or later it will turn into CO2.

Reply to  RobH
December 14, 2019 2:51 am

Or maybe Chicken Little is right and the sky WILL start to fall, in big black lumps.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  David Middleton
December 14, 2019 6:21 am

Yes, but I think Susan’s point was that their language is very imprecise, and their thinking might be equally so. It’s a good point, I think.

Reply to  Susan
December 14, 2019 7:26 pm

I saw some “diamond dust” falling several nights ago in bright moonlight. Very pretty.

Coeur de Lion
December 14, 2019 12:37 am

Anyone who says carbon when they mean carbon dioxide is lying. Rough rule of thumb.
Other than the 2012 outlier, third week in September Arctic ice has bottomed out at over four million square km for twelve years. When will this be reflected in stories about Arctic melting?

Reply to  David Middleton
December 14, 2019 7:31 pm

I figure it’s coupled to fertilizers, which usually refer to the elements and ions they’re adding to the soil. E.g. we do not add nitrogen to the soil, that would be pretty silly. Instead, we add ammonia or nitrates and describe the concoction in terms of the plant nutrient nitrogen that is available in those ions.

Adding ammonia is plenty dangerous. Adding pure phosphorus would be a bigger challenge.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
December 15, 2019 6:56 am

Coeur de Lion

“Other than the 2012 outlier, third week in September Arctic ice has bottomed out at over four million square km for twelve years.”

Correct! Two remarks, nonetheless.

1. You speak about Arctice sea ice extent. Better would be to consider the sum of extent and area (also called ‘100 % pack ice).

2. We shouldn’t look only at September’s Arctic melting. Keeping an open eye at March’s Arctic refreezing is not less relevant.

And while melting indeed (and luckily) is (apart from 2012) stable since 2007, the refreezing trend is not stable at all, and decreases by a lot since then: -1.1 ± 0. 5 Mkm² / decade.

No wonder in my opinion: the Arctic winters become less and less cold, especially the ocean surfaces.

Even the lower troposphere shows for the Arctic oceans a higher trend than for its land parts (UAH6.0 LT: 0.28 °C / decade vs. 0.23).

This might be (one of) the reason(s) why the yearly refreezing in March decreases.

Look at Colorado’s monthly data for Arctic sea ice:

Here is a chart showing the differences between March and September (departures from the 1981-2010 mean):

Louis Hunt
December 14, 2019 2:38 am

“…carbon release during the Arctic winter was 2 to 3 times higher than previously estimated from ground-based measurements”

Why would the Arctic be releasing more carbon now than previously during the WINTER? Are they trying to make us believe that climate change has warmed the Arctic so much that the permafrost is now thawing during the winter? If not, then how does the permafrost release carbon when it is frozen solid?

Reply to  Louis Hunt
December 14, 2019 1:09 pm

I ‘d safely assume what happens at the tundra in -30°C, will not be biological activity worth being scared of unless you bump into a polar bear. Don’t run for your life.

3 times the emissions near 0 are still near zero. What is marginally interesting is the net emissions over the year, of which they could not model the sign.

Ben Vorlich
December 14, 2019 3:09 am

I’m no atmospheric chemist or expert on atmospheric contentOH, so don’t have a clue about what is happening. So methane and OH radicals react6to produce H2O and CO2. Oh is reactive so unless there’s an increase in OH production in the atmosphere then an increase in methanein the atmosphere will reduce the OH content. This surely means that an increase in atmospheric methane doesn’t necessarily mean that methane is being added at an increasing rate, but that it is not being removed at the same rate due to other factors. All of this may be a natural cycle, we just don’t know for sure.

December 14, 2019 3:57 am

Too much hyperbole—it ends up with followers who simply give up and stop living. They can’t deal with the constant hell foisted on them. The louder the climate people scream, the more followers go crazy or destroy themselves. There’s a fine line between enough fear to control and enough fear to destroy. CAGW has crossed into the destroy side. That may be their goal, since they hate humanity.

(My TV is in great danger of a brick through it as the moron Tom Steyer buys ads. What a vile, contempible jerk. The TV may not survive the election. If my TV dies, I have no distractions….Not a good thing.)

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sheri
December 14, 2019 10:52 am

Use that Channel Changer, Sheri! I do it all the time. In this age of computers, changing the channel at specific times might be noticed and have an impact..

December 14, 2019 4:35 am

Has anyone told the idiots who file those 0.001%-baked articles that they themselves are carbon-based life forms and that they have a CO2 volume themselves, which they contribute to the carbon load in the atmosphere?


Isn’t it time someone said something about that to them?

December 14, 2019 4:38 am

The whole question will be moot anyway once the effects of the current solar minimum kick in.

December 14, 2019 7:50 am

The tundra and the materials contained within the permafrost are plant materials amongst other detritus. They came from vegetation when the region was warmer. If it thaws, it is just returning to its original state. All part of the larger carbon cycle and nothing to be worried about. I do hate all this hype.

December 15, 2019 2:15 am

I am deeply interested in ecology. I suspect, however, that many who today hold the title, ‘ecologist’, are simply apologists for bad science.

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