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July Arctic Sea Ice Outlook

The Arctic Sea Ice Outlook has just been updated for July. It”s based on a synthesis of 16 estimates which utilise a range of different projection methods. They note that there is “no indication that a return to historical levels will occur”.

Big surprise!

The full range of estimates range from 4.0-5.2 million square kilometers, the record low in 2007 was around 4.3 million square kilometres (2008 was 4.7). Most estimates therefore fall between the record lows in 2007 and 2008, although they do note that:

There appears to be about a 20% chance of reaching a new minimum in 2009.

Arctic Sea Ice Outlook (July)

On the flip-side, based on their estimates there is a 40% chance of sea-ice coverage being greater than 2008 levels. Even more interestingly, depending on which method you select, the chance of 2009 levels setting a new record is between 5-36%...

Picture 4

To quote from the summary:

The two lowest estimates, 4.0 and 4.2 million square kilometers, would represent a new record minimum. All estimates are well online casino below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean value of 6.7 million square kilometers. The uncertainty / error values, from those groups that provided them, are about 0.4 million square kilometers, thus many of the values essentially overlap.

Although the majority of the responses indicate either persistent conditions or a slight increase over the 2008 sea ice extent, there appears to be about a 20% chance of reaching a new minimum in 2009. The September 2009 extent, as we track it for the rest of the summer, will depend on several factors, including the dynamics of the relatively high levels of thin, first year ice; temperature and wind conditions; and sea level pressure.

The report confirms the importance of first-year ice (FYI):

Multi-year sea ice has been reduced to such low levels that the overall September sea ice extent is largely tied to the fate of the first-year sea ice, which appears thin or with low concentrations away from the central Arctic. Depending on August conditions, much of this first-year sea ice could either melt out by September or survive the summer as a vast expanse of thin sea ice.

Accounting for their low 4 million square kilometre estimate, Rignor et al commented that:

In comparison to 2007 and 2008, there is much more first year (FY) ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas in 2009, which we expect to precondition thisarea for a more extensive retreat than in 2007 and 2008.

Place your bets in the comments below, the winner gets a free trip to the PIRC office in sunny Machynlleth, mid-Wales!

20090706_Figure2

Join our team…

Team Member

  • Location: Machynlleth, mid-Wales
  • Position Type: Paid / Full time / 1 year
  • Closing Date: Applications Closed
  • Contact: Richard Hawkins / 01654 70 22 77 / rich@pirc.info

We are seeking an enthusiastic and confident generalist with experience of project management, communications and research to join our small and dynamic team, based in Machynlleth, mid-Wales on a one-year contract.

PIRC is an independent charity integrating key research on climate change, energy & economics – widening its audience and increasing its impact.

Our recent work has included “Climate Safety“, a synthesis of the latest climate science and its implications on policymaking and campaigning; “Coal in the UK“, an interactive map exposing and monitoring the proposed expansion of the UK coal industry and “Zero Carbon Britain“, an ambitious 20 year decarbonisation plan for the UK in collaboration with the Centre for Alternative Technology.

We act as a bridge between the academic/scientific community and policymakers and campaigning groups, translating technical research into engaging materials including reports, briefing papers, presentations, websites, videos and animations.

Our future work will explore social and technical solutions to the challenges of climate change and energy security in the face of economic uncertainty. This will include: promoting the ability of renewable energy to provide the majority of our energy needs; critiquing the media’s role in climate change communications and exploring mechanisms which can finance the transition to zero-carbon infrastructure.

PIRC has three permanent staff members supported by a rolling internship programme. Our working model minimises hierarchy, with all staff sharing administrative tasks, alongside core/project work.

The successful applicant will become a core part our team, working on a number PIRC projects, both existing and upcoming as well as contributing to the overall running of the organisation, including administration and fundraising when necessary.

Become our Climate Intern…

Applications Closed

It’s that time of year again, when we’re looking for a budding, confident and enthusiastic intern to join our small and dynamic team, in mid-Wales – applications to rich@pirc.info – details below:

The successful candidate will work over a six-month period on one or two of the following projects:

  • Climate safety – a project synthesising the latest climate science and its implications on policymaking and campaigning;
  • Coal in the UK – documenting the proposed expansion of the UK coal industry;
  • Renewables can do it – a project promoting the potential for renewable energy to provide the majority of our energy needs;
  • Core work – exploring mechanisms which can finance the transition to zero-carbon infrastructure.

This will involve:

  • Independent research to support PIRC projects;
  • Participation in project development sessions;
  • Opportunities to present material in meetings and seminars;
  • Collective duties and some administrative work.

Full training will be provided where necessary.

Personal & skills:

  • Great organisational skills;
  • Self-motivated & hard-working;
  • Environmentally conscious;
  • Ability to work individually & in a small team;
  • Some experience of copywriting an advantage;
  • IT skills essential (Word, Excel, Email etc.. )

In return we can offer a chance to make a significant contribution
to our work, to get experience of working for a small charity on
environmental issues, and the supervision and support of our staff.

You would need to be based in mid-Wales for the duration of the
placement. Within certain limits, PIRC will cover accommodation, travel
and lunch expenses for volunteers.

About PIRC

PIRC is an independent charity integrating key research on climate
change, energy & economics – widening its audience and increasing
its impact. Our most recent work has included “Climate Safety”, a
report synthesising the latest climate science and its implications on
policymaking and campaigning (publicinterest.org.uk); “Coal in the UK”, an
interactive map and website exposing and monitoring the proposed
expansion of the UK coal industry (coalintheuk.org) and last year “Zero
Carbon Britain” a collaboration with the Centre for Alternative
Technology on an ambitious 20 year decarbonisation plan for the UK
(zerocarbonbritain.org).

PIRC has three permanent staff members, and a working model which
minimises hierarchy, with all staff members sharing administrative
tasks, as well as more interesting work!

Availability

6 month placement
Interviews will take place between the 19-21st February.

Included

PIRC can cover accommodation, travel and lunch expenses, within certain limits

To Apply

Send a CV supported by a covering letter that shows how your experience and skillset suits the position, to arrive by 9am, Monday 2nd February, to:

Richard Hawkins
PIRC
Y Plas
Machynlleth
Powys
SY20 8ER

01654 702277
rich@pirc.info

Zero Carbon Britain 2007

For thirty years CAT has been at the forefront of understanding environmental issues. Decades before there was an appreciation of the environmental challenges we now face, CAT was educating and informing about their inevitability, carrying our pioneering work into sustainability issues, and formulating practical solutions which are now finding enthusiastic adopters throughout government and business around the world.

Zero Carbon Britain found its inspiration in the 1977 CAT Alternative Energy Strategy – it is a testament to the prescience and integrity of CAT that it was undertaking work in a similar vein to Zero Carbon Britain thirty years ago, and has continued to do so since.

Zero Carbon Britain clearly demonstrates how Britain can escape its current reliance on fossil fuels by adopting key policy frameworks and utilising a carefully balanced spread of renewable technologies. PIRC Development Manager Tim Helweg-Larsen and CAT Development Director Paul Allen coordinated the Zero Carbon Britain research project, leading a team of researchers from CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment, and working closely with key thinkers like Aubrey Meyer and the late David Fleming to include their groundbreaking work in the report.

With enormous input from many different people, and funding from a variety of sources, PIRC’s policy-oriented expertise complemented CAT’s strong research skills. We worked on bridging the divide between climate science, policy and technology, and on integrating, producing and publishing the final
report.

Zero Carbon Britain clearly demonstrates that in an emergency scenario, the reduction of Britain’s current fossil fuel consumption to zero within two decades is an achievable goal. Guided by Contraction and Convergence, the global framework for managing climate change, and using a electronic carbon allowance system, TEQs, to evenly distribute Britain’s carbon budget, the report describes powering down fossil fuel energy and waste, and powering up renewable energy generation. Sector by sector it explores the practical implications of this move towards a climate-safe future: outlining the transport systems we’ll be using, the homes we’ll live in and how industry, food and other sectors will operate.

Zero Carbon Britain has been published at a time when there is a need for clearly mapped out solutions.

Zero Carbon Britain has been published at a time when there is a need for clearly mapped out solutions. By presenting these in a realistic and achievable scenario, CAT and PIRC are at the cutting-edge of focused climate change policy generation, creating groundbreaking research and developing it into effective tools for change.

Claverton Energy Group

Bath

April 12th, 2007

We are giving a Zero Carbon Britain presentation to the Annual Conference of the Claverton Energy Group, an independent think-tank of renewable energy professionals considering policy and technology solutions for Britain and Europe.

Sheila McKechnie Awards 2008

Click for The Sheila McKechnie Foundation Awards

Helping People Change Their World

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation has opened applications for its 2008 awards, inspired by the legacy of Dame Sheila McKechnie.

The awards will begin a search among communities across the UK for
people of all ages who are campaigning to change their world locally
and globally. These will be the people with the potential to set the
agenda for politicians on issues ranging from climate change to support
for children with dyslexia.

Tim Helweg-Larsen, a mechanical engineer won the 2007 Environment Award
for his campaigning on global climate change.  Tim launched
zerocarbonbritain, a radical vision of Britain

GLA – C-Change

Rich will be coordinating an Energy Workshop and sitting on an expert panel at the Greater London Authority on January 25th.

The workshop and panel forms part of a day of youth action & education on climate related issues organised by C-Change.