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Monday, April 01, 2013

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John Cartmill

The MODIS satellites Terra and Aqua show that western Greenland has very little snow cover for this time of year. It looks more the like the middle of May.

March 2013:
http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r02c02.2013088.terra.2km

May 2012 (record melt year):
http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r02c02.2012134.terra.2km

Fairfax Climate Watch

wow, that is dramatic! thanks for the links John - I may put that into a graphic.

Fairfax Climate Watch

if you've watched that video of the meltwater flood - what do you think? I'm imagining that a water volume 10 times... or maybe even 100 times as much as that will be coming through in the future...

John Cartmill

I think it would be hard to melt 100 times more ice. That is a marine climate, so I doubt you would see temperatures in the 80's or 90's. Maybe you could get a big melt water lake that could burst through a glacial dam.

What I do think will happen is there will be a lot longer duration of high volume melt periods. I also think storm tracks may move further north and then you could get high rainfall totals on top of slushy ice with dire consequences.

Here are some more overhead shots:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78685

Fairfax Climate Watch

right, the runoff volume isn't linearly tied to melt, so 10 or 100 times more runoff could come from a much more modest increase in surface melt.

Fairfax Climate Watch

...I wouldn't want to be working in that airport when the next big torrent comes barreling down that river...!

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Convert carbon dioxide (CO2) weight to carbon (C) weight

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CO2/3.67 = C 

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ex: 40 GtCO2 ≈ 10.9 GtC

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1 Gt (Gigatonne) = 1 billion tonnes

1 tonne = 1,000 kg

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Also: 1 Pg = 1 Gt

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1 Pg (Petagram) = 1 quadrillion grams

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Soil specialists tend to use Pg, as they are used to working with gram units per square meter of soil area. Atmospheric specialists tend to use Gt. 


Convert carbon emissions to ppm atmospheric CO2

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GtC/2.12 = ppm

To convert emissions of carbon to atmospheric ppm CO2, carbon sinks must be taken into account. 

So far, terrestrial and oceanic sinks have taken up about 50% of CO2.

source

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ex: 40 GtCO2 emissions ≈ 10.9 GtC

10.9 GtC/2.12 ≈ 5.14 ppm CO2 before accounting for sinks

5.14 ppm CO2 x 0.5 ≈ 2.57 ppm CO2 after accounting for sinks

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