Refreeze the Arctic, says former chief scientific advisor

Sea ice optional? [image credit: BBC]

Sir David King’s plan from last year, now revived: Send in the clouds. The general idea: ‘creating white cloud cover that will come over the Arctic Sea during the three months of the polar summer. They hope this would reflect sunlight away so that the growth of ice over the Arctic sea during the previous winter is retained through the summer.’ Sir David: “And if we could just repeat that every year for the coming 20 or 30 years, then we might manage to create the ice cover that is needed to protect the Arctic Sea.” And then he woke up?
– – –
The heatwaves will kick in even if countries stick to their current climate targets, but refreezing the Arctic could curb dangerous changes, former chief scientific advisor Sir David King says.
. . .
The record-breaking heatwave that scorched swathes of Europe in recent months will become an “average” summer as soon as 2035, even if countries stick to their current climate targets, new research suggests.

The Met Office’s Hadley Centre has forecast an average summer in central Europe will be more than 4°C hotter by 2100 than it was before humans started burning fossil fuels at scale, reports Sky News.

Researchers said they are confident in their analysis because they found a “very satisfactory” alignment between recorded average temperatures since 1850 and the figures that were predicted by computer models.

The Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), which commissioned the research, called the data an “urgent reminder” of the need for countries to go “well beyond” their climate plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which together aim to limit global warming to ideally 1.5°C.

The analysis shows that “even if countries meet their commitments to reduce emissions they have made so far, the situation is still set to get worse, with weather in Europe predicted to become even more extreme than seen this summer,” said former government chief scientific advisor and CCAG chair Sir David King.

Almost two-thirds of Europe and much of England is currently enduring a drought that is hitting food and power production, driven in part by hot weather. The extreme heat in July broke records in England, Scotland and France.

“This data doesn’t fully account for the instability of the Arctic, which we now know is a global tipping point that could have major cascading consequences for the entire planet,” Sir David warned.

He said it was “abundantly clear” that countries need to not only meet their NDCs, but consider increasing them.
. . .
The CCAG argues mitigative action must include three things: reducing emissions, removing existing emissions in vast quantities and repairing “broken parts of the climate system, starting with the Arctic”.

It reiterated its calls from last year to refreeze the Arctic, which is warming much faster than the rest of the world, exacerbating other extreme weather events around the globe.

“It is only through the mitigative measures of Reduce, Remove and Repair, pursued with equal vigour and urgency, that we can hope to move away from the path to disaster we’re currently set on and achieve a manageable future for humanity,” Sir David added.

Full report here.

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August 25, 2022 at 01:57PM

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