Archive for October, 2009

2008/2009 Arctic Report Card now live: Arctic Climate System Responds to Warming

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

We just released the 2008/2009 Arctic Report Card today. We had a press conference telecon. It gives me pause to consider it’s findings, that, there is a consistent pattern of dramatic change driven by warming.

One thing that really stands out is the fact that Arctic sea ice volume continues to diminish. You can read more about that at NSDIC. See below…

The other thing that stands out for me is how Greenland’s glaciers are losing ice at marine-terminating outlets, essentially loosing corks from ice bottling up the inland ice sheet.

Marine-terminating glacier area changes

Daily surveys of Greenland ice sheet marine terminating outlet glaciers from cloud-free MODIS imagery ( indicate that the 34 widest glaciers collectively lost 106.4 km2 of marine-terminating ice between the end of summer 2008 and the end of summer 2009 (Figure G4). This is equivalent to an area 20% larger than Manhattan Island (87.5 km2), New York. The largest individual glacier losses are observed at: Humboldt (-37 km2); Zachariae Isstrom (-31 km2); and Midgard (-16 km2). The 2000-2009 rate (106 km2) has been linear (R = −0.98) despite the fact that a few individual glaciers exhibit erratic annual net ice area changes. The cumulative area change from end-of-summer 2000 to 2009 is −990 km2, an area 11.3 times that of Manhattan Island.

Cumulative annual area changes for 34 of the widest Greenland ice sheet marine-terminating outlets
Figure G4. Cumulative annual area changes for 34 of the widest Greenland ice sheet marine-terminating outlets.

Here’s the full Greenland section I led.

Global Warming Petition Project supported by an underwhelming 0.12% climatologists

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Of the 31,478 scientist signatories to the Global Warming Petition Project under Qualifications of Signatories, only 0.12% or 39 designate having their primary education in “Climatology”. That’s 12 people in 1000. Un-credible.

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Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Global Warming and Cool Sangria

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Columbus, Ohio – October 16, 2009 – Green Drinks for October will feature a panel of speakers on the frontlines of the climate change debate. This month’s edition of the popular networking event will be held on Thursday, October 22 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Barrio, on the corner of Spring and High Street in downtown Columbus. The panelist include Dr. Jason Box from Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University, Deb Steele with Greenpeace, and Bryan McGannon of Repower America.

Tad Dritz, Director of Green Columbus, the organization behind Green Drinks, is particularly excited about this month’s event, stating “This is, to excuse the pun, a very hot topic. Congress is debating multiple bills, international climate talks are coming up in Copenhagen, the Saturday after Green Drinks is’s national day of climate action, and the airwaves are filled with conflicting messages. The timing is great and so are our speakers.”

At the event, each member of the panel will give a short talk about their work followed by a question and answer session with the audience. Dr. Box is a professor at OSU’s Byrd Polar Research Center, and an expert on glaciers, especially those in Greenland, where he has performed field research for the past 16 years. Deb Steele is a Field Organizer with Greenpeace, which is calling upon governments and industry to step up and make big improvements in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the root cause behind global climate change. The final speaker is Bryan McGannon, who is the State Director for Repower America, a group founded by former Vice President Al Gore to advocate the importance of transitioning to a clean energy economy and jobs, reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and ensuring a healthy planet for future generations.

About Green Columbus

Green Columbus exists to promote sustainable living in Central Ohio and globally by 1) providing forums for environmental groups, citizens and others to interact. 2) raising awareness about environmental issues and what can be done to address them, and 3) encouraging participation in action oriented green events.  More information is available at

October 16, 2009

Contact: Tad Dritz

(614) 846-88802

Arctic Climate Dynamism and Change – presentations 19 and 21 Oct.

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

I’ll be giving two 45 minute talks entitled Arctic Climate Dynamism and Change

abstract: The Arctic is unique globally, being dominated by: a 10,000 foot thick ice sheet in Greenland that normally undergoes intense summer melting; a thin veneer of reflective sea ice capping the Arctic Ocean; and an on-land seasonal snow cover variation that constitutes the greatest change in our planet’s complection each year between winter and summer. Earth’s south polar region, by contrast, is dominated by the enormous Antarctic ice sheet which undergoes little melting and represents a sleeping giant that can raise global sea level more than tens of feet if awaken. The Greenland ice sheet giant has awakened in recent warm years and currently constitutes the largest regional contributor to global sea level rise. The recent rapidity of Arctic sea ice decline has exceeded model predictions. The north pole’s reflective shield is thinning and retreating, exposing a dark ocean surface that absorbs most of the 24 h summer solar heat. Arctic seasonal snow cover decline amplified warming. Those who study the Arctic bear witness to abrupt climate change occurring now, not in the distant future. While we do not live in the Arctic, what happens there affects the globe. This presentation will review the current state of the Arctic cryosphere and some of its linkages with global climate.


  • Mon., 19 Oct. 7-8 PM, Columbus Council on World Affairs, 1001 Parkview Boulevard Columbus, Ohio, 43215
  • Wed., 21 Oct. 12-1:15 PM, Columbus Metropolitan Club, 136 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Details here. Must purchase tickets.