Cold Irony: Arctic Sea Ice Traps Climate Tour Icebreaker


Stuck in the arctic ice that doesn’t exist. (file photo: EcoPhotoExplorers)

Last year as arctic sea ice melted to record levels, panic set in for many. But then, as the sea ice rebounded and froze again quickly in the 2007/2008 winter, making up for that record loss and reaching heights not seen for several years, many exclaimed that even though the ice areal extent had recovered, this new ice was “thin” and would likely melt again quickly. There were also many news stories about how the Northwest Passage was ice free for the first time “ever”. For example, Backpacker Magazine ran a story saying “The ice is so low that the photos clearly show a viable northwest passage sea route along the coasts of  Greenland, Canada, and Alaska.”

Cashing in on the panic that has set in with the help of some climate alarmists, tour operators like Quark Expeditions of Norwalk Connecticut are offering polar expeditions catering to that “see it before it’s gone” travel worry. One of them is in fact a trip though the Northwest Passage on a former Soviet Icebreaker called the Kapitan Khlebnikov which is a massive 24,000 horsepower Polar Class icebreaker capable of carrying 108 passengers in relative luxury through the arctic wilderness. Here is some background on this icebreaker:

Kapitan Khlebnikov – The Kapitan Khlebnikov was built in Finland in 1981 and is one of three vessels of this class. Not simply an ice-reinforced ship, the Kapitan Khlebnikov is a powerful polar class icebreaker, which has sailed to extremely remote corners of the globe with adventurous travelers since 1992. It was the first ship ever to circumnavigate Antarctica with passengers in 1996-97. See more on this vessel at Wikipedia

According to Quark Expeditions, they’ve even fitted this icebreaker with a heated indoor swimming pool, exercise room and sauna, and a theater-style auditorium for “Expedition Team presentations” ( presumably so you can watch Gore’s AIT polar bear tears while in situ ). It is quite a difference from the travel conditions that Robert Peary experienced just 99 years ago when he reached the North Pole.

One of my alert readers, Walt from Canada,  pointed out this story in the Globe and Mail on may 24th in the travel section. It seems the irony of a polar expedition to see such things as record sea ice loss being stopped cold by the very ice that doesn’t exist was not lost on the editors.

From the Globe and Mail article:

I am on the bridge of the massive Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov, and the tension is palpable. We have hit ice – thick ice.

The ice master studies the mountains of white packed around the ship while the 24,000-horsepower diesel engines work at full throttle to open a path. The ship rises slowly onto the barrier of ice, crushes it and tosses aside blocks the size of small cars as if they were ice cubes in a glass. It creeps ahead a few metres, then comes to a halt, its bow firmly wedged in the ice. After doing this for two days, the ship can go no farther.

The ice master confers with the captain, who makes a call to the engine room. The engines are shut down. He turns to those of us watching the drama unfold, and we are shocked by his words: “Now, only nature can help this ship.” We are doomed to drift.

What irony. I am a passenger on one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world, travelling through the Northwest Passage – which is supposed to become almost ice-free in a time of global warming, the next shipping route across the top of the world – and here we are, stuck in the ice, engines shut down, bridge deserted. Only time and tide can free us.

What irony indeed.

They eventually had nature on their side, and on the seventh day of being trapped in the ice, winds and tide moved the ice pack enough that they could continue. But, I have to wonder, will the pampered eco-tourists on this trip see the irony that we do?

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133 Responses to Cold Irony: Arctic Sea Ice Traps Climate Tour Icebreaker

  1. Hasse@Norway says:

    AHH! They should have used the non CO2 spewing nuclear icebreakers….

  2. bucko36 says:

    The “Greenie’s and “Enviromentalists” are a greater threat to this country and our way of life than the “Islamic” terrorists. We now have “two loony enemies” bent on destroying us. “God Help Us”. May sanity “PREVAIL”.

  3. Crankpuss says:

    buwahhhhaaaahahahahah!!! It’s like I keep saying (to my friends)… the problem with this global warming is that it’s just so darn cold all the time! And it really has been cold down here in Southern California. Noticeably. I just hope all that ice stays up there… in the Northwest “Passage” where it belongs!

  4. bucko36 says:

    May we beat both the demons!

  5. rex says:

    from this data it appears that at 400mb EVERY DAY of 2008 has been record cold since measurement began 1998 (LOL)
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps if this did not work
    you may have to go to main page first
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
    go to 400mb troposphere
    and fill in every year to compare with 2008

    It IS getting colder

  6. John A says:

    Is there any chance of this story on the BBC? Nope.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    The Alarmist’s view of Arctic Temperatures:
    http://i27.tinypic.com/33c125y.jpg

    The Skeptic’s view:
    http://i32.tinypic.com/91ezjp.jpg

    The Realist’s view:
    http://i31.tinypic.com/2nh145z.jpg

  8. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Ironic story but gee, some important details are missing:
    1. When did the ship begin its voyage?
    2. Exactly when and where did it get stranded?

    If it was in the middle of winter, then it just means the crew and passengers were completely stupid and should have known better.
    But if this occurred in the summertime, then I’d say this story is an interesting anecdote indicating that GW may be a little hyped up.

    Could some one give us dates and locations?

  9. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Shouldn’t such cruises be banned if CO2 causes the warming that is melting the arctic cap? I mean this boat has got to consume massive amounts of diesel fuel, or food that could be used to feed the hungry.

  10. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Unrelated:
    Another catastrophic tipping point to worry about:
    http://www.ifm-geomar.de/index.php?id=4217&L=1

    I guess this is the back-up catastrophe you need to have in case the AGW catastrophe fails to pan out.

  11. old construction worker says:

    I Had To Laugh Out Loud. Now, that’s funny.

  12. John A says:

    By the way Anthony, if you or your readers want to see on what level the AGW hysteria is being taught to children in Australia, see my blog post http://things.auditblogs.com/2008/05/27/abc-questioned-on-planet-slayer-green-propaganda/ and click on the first picture.

  13. Philip_B says:

    In the last year, 2 separate cruise ships viewing ‘the melting Antarctic ice’ have struck icebergs. The recent record SH sea ice extent means there is now ice in areas where in previous years there was no ice.

  14. Robert Ray says:

    It appears that green tented glasses provide a strong negative irony feedback, and a strong positive sanctimonious feedback.

  15. Bruce Cobb says:

    I am guessing many, if not most of those eco-tourists believe in AGW, and that the arctic ice is disappearing because of it, endangering Polar Bears, etc. So, how exactly they manage to justify sending tons of C02 into the very region supposedly under threat by the act of traveling there is beyond me. Perhaps they purchase “carbon indulgences”.

  16. Ric Werme says:

    Anthony, what a heart-warming story to start my day.

    Well, actually, it didn’t, I came across The US Climate Change Science Program’s Final Report of Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 which may be worth a review. They do seem wedded to future warming, in the “Synthesis” section where they put everything together and read the tea leaves, the say

    Climate change will continue to have significant
    effects on these resources over the next few decades and beyond (very likely).

    Warming
    is very likely to continue in the United States during the next 25-50 years, regardless of the efficacy of greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, due to greenhouse gas emissions that have already occurred.

    This all sounded too IPCCish to continue reading for now. They do seem to be consistent in equating change == warming. The document appears to be a mapping of the IPCC TAR4 report onto the United States and covering the recent past and the next several decades.

    It’s a 200 page report featuring a slow download so you won’t have to read it right away. You can download it piecemeal.

  17. Fred says:

    Wow.

    I can’t even imagine the “carbon footprint” that a diesel icecbreaker of that size can generate pounding through metres of ice at slow speed and full power.

    This is an eco-vacation?

  18. kim says:

    bucko36, you note the fundamental interests of those two forces seeking to destroy us are in opposition? Carbon encumbering opposes the interests even of moderate Islam. We do live in interesting times.
    ===================================

  19. Ric Werme says:

    More on USCCSP report –

    A much faster download is at http://www.sap43.ucar.edu/ It may not be precisely the same, as it may not have USCCSP cover letters and whatnot.

  20. McGrats says:

    I sent this on to the Fox news Channel. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with it.

    By the way, does anyone have any recent stats on the current ice status?

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  21. Bill in Vigo says:

    Ahhhhh I am still being beat up with “Bill it is still warming!” on another blog. I wonder if it will have to snow up to their chins to convince them that their toes are cold. Weather Chanel tells us that this is one of the warmer May’s in some time but here in Alabama you couldn’t prove that by me, our highest temp thus far this year is 84.0 at my home min/mas device not sanctioned of course. We have had only 10 days of 80f or a bove this May thus far. I am thinking that regionally this might be one of the cooler May in some time. I agree with Crankpuss keep the ice up there where it belongs. The garden is doing well just a little slow due to the cool nights.

    Bill Derryberry

  22. sonicfrog says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  23. trex says:

    You people are not very intelligent, or don’t read.

  24. AEGeneral says:

    Heh. Reminds me of when Greenpeace was fined for not filing oil spill prevention documents with the state of Alaska for one of their logging protest voyages.

  25. Bill Illis says:

    The NorthWest Passage, when it does open up, is only passable for a few weeks at the height of the melt season from mid-August to mid-September.

    Maybe the world’s best icebreaker can get through at this time of year, but normal icebreakers and normal ships have to park off Baffin Island in mid-August and wait to see if the Passage opens up enough to get through. In addition, there are several routes through and you have to be lucky to pick the right one.

    Then, the pack ice has to be open enough so that you can get through to the Pacific and not get stuck in the Beaufort Sea which does not happen every year as well.

    The global warmers can fantasize all they want about going through the NorthWest Passage but who is going to park a ship off Baffin Island and wait for a potential three week opening with all the risks and costs that are inherent.

    On a side note, the polar ice is unusually open on the entry and exit sides of the Passage this year so it is likely it will be passable this year for the few week period.

    The Modis satellites give real-time visible sat images zoomable down to 250M resolution so one can track the actual ice conditions without having to rely on the NSIDC or the Cryosphere Today.

    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/

  26. Stan says:

    The ice didn’t happen. Hansen and Schmidt made some computer adjustments and it melted from the record.

  27. katelynjane says:

    HA! Great information here! I’ve been wondering if this Global Warming scare is like the apparent computer crash of 2000. Thanks for this info!

  28. Jeff Alberts says:

    And I’m sure those huge probably diesel engines are spewing soot and particulates out onto the ice, and of course adding CO2 which these same eco-morons claim to be a problem. So we must cut back on CO2, except for eco-tourism??

  29. SteveSadlov says:

    Last summer, at the areal extent minimum, a fact lost on many was that the remaining ice, was piled up (by winds), and greatly compressed (and hence, the “all time” – well, at least since 1979, extent minimum) against the northern shores of Greenland, part of Canada, and, oddly, a sort of “peninsula” of thick ice down to the Siberian shore (recall the guy who was trying to circumnavigate the Arctic in a special sloop but had to stop). Well, that thick ice is even thicker now. There you have it.

  30. SteveSadlov says:

    RE: rex (00:26:40) :

    Similar to the initial stages of the Strieber-Bell scenario but for an entirely different reason. The “Global Superstorm” scenario was meant to be due to a thermohaline disturbance. In our case, it’s due to a sleepy sun.

  31. crosspatch says:

    “By the way, does anyone have any recent stats on the current ice status?”

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    I like the comment someone made over at Climate Audit yesterday (in reference to adjustments to raw data) about the “scientists” torturing the data until it tells the truth. I am still getting a chuckle over that one.

  32. SteveSadlov says:

    RE: Bill in Vigo (06:07:04) :

    It’s been warm in short stretches only along a portion of the immediate Atlantic coast, and for short stretches, along the immediate Gulf. Elsewhere, in Europe and in Peninsular SE Asia. Everywhere else has been unbelievably cold.

  33. SteveSadlov says:

    RE: Bill Illis (07:38:05) :

    A classic wind and current driven pull away, with subsequent major polayanas. Not due to melting, no way, too cold there right now.

  34. Alex Cull says:

    According to the Zen of Global Warming, the ice could simultaneously be there (i.e. we can see it and the ship was stuck in it) and not there, as it could still be melting but in some strange alternative way that cannot be witnessed or measured. Just like polar bears can be simultaneously be increasing in numbers and dwindling away to extinction. Can you hear the sound of one hand clapping?

    I’m sure many will also fall back on the long-term warming-trend explanation. One cold day does not a winter make (although a hot day is yet another ominous sign that GW is on us.) As long as the models still predict long-term climate meltdown, anything can happen in the short term – flourishing Arctic ice, polar bears frolicking in the streets, glaciers doing the hokey-cokey – and it won’t mean a thing. Global Warming will be postponed for a little while longer, they will say, but wait and see. We might not have an ice-free Arctic in 2020, but we assuredly will in 2025. Or in 2030. Or 2050. Or maybe 3050. Depends on how we tweak the models.

    Or maybe all that ice is a GW-denial-induced hallucination, and the reality is a steaming expanse of open ocean, littered with floating polar bear corpses and oil-drilling platforms…

    Me, facetious? :-P

  35. leebert says:

    Hi Rex:

    The only trend that’s warmer is the surface (900 mb). 400 mb is the coolest trend. Warmists will point to the cooling stratosphere (90 mb) as reaffirmation of AGW. Wouldn’t that lead to drier air at that altitude?

    But don’t let your lying eyes deceive you, the trend is very curious indeed:

    http://www.globalwarming.org/node/835
    http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif
    http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Strato2.gif

    - The post-Pinatubo period lowered stratosphere temps. substantially. At first Pinatubo, like el Chicon, caused a great deal of stratospheric warming, but Pinatubo probably caused ozone damage cooling the stratosphere. So the 20-year trend can’t be put on CO2-caused stratospheric cooling.

    - The stratosphere temperature trend since Pinatubo is slightly up (’91 – ’92), again, not down as predicted by AGW. This makes sense that as gradual ozone recovery would gradually lead to a re-warming of the stratosphere. But the post-Pinatubo tropospheric trend is also slightly up.

    - ’84 – ’91 are textbook tropo- vs. stratosphere inverse trends. ’93 – ’97 have inverse correl. as well, but there’s a problem:

    - Post-Pinatubo, the amplitude & frequency of stratospheric temperature cycles appear to have increased. More heat exits through the troposphere more frequently.

    - Along with the ’98 el Nino, the stratosphere cooled but then warmed, showing that past a certain threshold the extra heat went out into space.

    What I gather from the data charts is that the stratospheric thermostat has unique functions that continue to work in ways that are counterintuitive to what the warmists would tell us.

    They have told us that the troposphere is really warming except the cooling stratosphere is masking it & the stratosphere would be cooling except that the troposphere is masking the stratospheric cooling and making it look to be warming.

    All this “masking” conjecture is talking right past the obvious but puts the lie to overly-simplistic AGW explanations. Are we to believe that the CO2 effect has been heavily masked by ozone recovery? UV flux from solar cycles warms the trosposphere by +/-0.1 degrC between normal solar max & min. The lower solar activity of the past 15 years has also had an average -0.1 degrC cooling effect on the troposphere. UV flux affects ozone levels, solar max +ozone, solar min -ozone. Cosmic ray flux (correlated to solar cycles) also increases NO2 which destroys ozone (cooling the stratosphere). It can also create additional cloud cover cooling the lower troposphere. So lower solar activity should have a cooling effect on the stratosphere compounded against CO2′s purported stratosphere-cooling effect. The problem is that the stratosphere has been warming in the face of lower ozone production due to lower solar luminance of the past 15 years.

    A consistent aspect of vulcanism are vast amounts of aerosols heating the stratosphere, far out of proportion to tropospheric cooling. Human-caused aerosols also heat the mid-troposphere throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans in the Spring and Summer – by a margin of 37%, but also seed huge winter storms in the N. Pacific (causing more mixing into the stratosphere while lofting aerosols higher into the stratosphere & into the Arctic). But at 400 mb the troposphere – in the upper part of the cloud deck – has cooled overall while the stratosphere has warmed slightly, showing a discontinuity between surface and stratospheric temps. The drier, cooler air would result in the drier “rain shadows” that Lindzen(?) noted.

    Why not just simply conclude the intervening factor is increasing cloud cover? Studies have recently shown increased cloud cover & rainfall corresponding to a faster hydrological cycle either via increased surface temperatures or some other cloud-seeding factor like cosmic rays (as the sun has dimmed consistently since the mid-1990′s). Likewise the ’98 el Nino is illustrative: A great amount of heat from it went into space, and in the case of the missing ocean heat, ocean surface warmth is likewise suspected of being radiated out into space (Kevin Trenberth, NCAR, March NPR story), with Trenberth speculating the answer lies in increased cloud formation, etc. His statement would follow studies by Spencer, Singer, Christy & Pielke.

    Likewise the ’98 el Nino seems to demonstrate how high-threshold surface heat eventually climbs outward into space, eventually heating the stratosphere along the way. So the distinction of surface vs. stratospheric temperatures is far too simplistic to be useful. Warmer surface temperatures aren’t related to cooler stratospheric temperatures unless we’re to claim clouds are masking both effects. In their manifold shading, transpirative & albedo effects clouds lend toward the maintenance of a thermal constant, and as CO2 levels rise there’ll be less and less additive effect.

    This makes the paleontological interglacial record look far more anecdotal and less predictive. Whatever ancient influences lent toward temperature increases being contemporaneous with CO2 increases appears more loosely correlated. Ice ages would have been drier, with less total water vapor in the air. At the onset of warmer interglacials, more water vapor would have returned to the climate system, leading to climbing humidity being the biggest greenhouse effect. Biogenic CO2 reuptake of the seas may have fallen as temperatures increased along with the desorption of CO2 by warmer waters, exaggerating the CO2 . Glaciers may have outgassed volumes of CO2 sequestered during the ice ages. The closer trending of temperatures to CO2 levels after interglacial onset only shows that there were contemporaneous trends, and the onset temperature-CO2 lag remains quite illustrative of this possibility. See: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc130k.html . Recent studies show that the air over the Antarctic & in the middle troposphere is far less humid than modeled – again showing both the inadequacy of climate models employing overly saturated cooler air.

    Other examples abound of how the hydrological cycle simply may be simploy speeding up, achieving higher heat exchange throughput by working as a heat exchange system, something like an A/C system that’s able to use more refrigerant to keep up with increased heat load. Likewise ice-free areas of the Arctic could be offloading large amounts of heat during a majority of the year during the darker months, since open water – not insulated by ice in the long nights – would lose more heat than it takes in from the sun (a 2:1 emissivity:insolation ratio). Again analogous to something like a de-iced heat exchange system being able to work more efficiently.

    It appears to me that somehow in the pursuit of the warmist’s chemistry-driven thermodynamics some basics of water vapor and polar thermodynamics have been overlooked.

    What if it was all just a big mistake?

  36. leebert says:

    Alex Cull:

    Re: Things seen & not seen, there & not there. In programming those are called “Heisenbugs.” You can observe them, but can’t touch them. There, not there.

    The biggest Heisen-thingee of all would be Heisen-heat. The case of Zen claps would be “Heisen-claps,” polar bears are Heisen-bears, and, well of course, ice bergs are (ahem….) Heisen-bergs.

  37. crosspatch says:

    Alex Cull: “Just like polar bears can be simultaneously be increasing in numbers and dwindling away to extinction.”

    I don’t think anyone has argued that the polar bears are currently threatened. The argument was that *some* models show the *possibility* of a substantial loss of ice *50 years* from now and that *might* threaten the bears. But I have to wonder because the bears obviously survived the last interglacial which was warmer than this one.

    So it is all about “maybe it will get warmer and maybe the bears might decline in half a century”. What the people pushing this stuff need to understand is that US policy is having a diminishing impact on the globe relative to Chinese policy. We can legislate until the cows come home but in the end it is going to be Chinese policy that has the greatest impact on our energy, food, and environmental reality going forward.

    Last I heard you could take the entire UK, scrape it down to bare rock and eliminate every single person, car, factory … everything … reduce the “carbon footprint” to zero … and China will make up the difference in increased emissions in about 3 to 6 months.

    People pushing this stuff have no concept of the scale and there is something quite narcissistic about it. They seem to sincerely believe that the changes they make or their country makes will actually reverse things or they can make the world the way they want it if everyone would simply do as they tell them to do. I have news; if our CO2 emissions never rose again it won’t make any difference and banning incandescent light bulbs isn’t going to make any measurable difference whatsoever. It might make them FEEL better though, and that is all that really matters to them. Narcissists are emotion driven, their feelings are what matters. Our logic can not harm them, their emotions are like a shield of steel (to twist a phrase from Bat Fink).

  38. Gene Mate says:

    Pierre, you should read the Globe article. It appears they started their excursion less than 2 weeks ago. They’re supposed to head up from the Russian side of the Arctic, skirt alongside the Bering Strait, and then into Canadian waters. They’ve yet to get to the Canadian side.

    As the ice up there is pretty bad until August, doing it now is rather silly especially as April and May have been extremely cold. Unseasonably cold. Where I am it’s 10c colder than normal!

  39. David_Jay says:

    trex:

    Yep, we are all a bunch of ignorant, illiterate fools.

    YOU, on the other hand, are clearly smarter and better read than all of “us people”.

    Perhaps you could see your way clear, in your superiority, to help straighten out “us people”.

  40. Bill P says:

    The ice master confers with the captain, who makes a call to the engine room. The engines are shut down. He turns to those of us watching the drama unfold, and we are shocked by his words: “Now, only nature can help this ship.” We are doomed to drift.

    Just great! First they killed the albatross, and now this!

  41. Bruce Cobb says:

    You people are not very intelligent, or don’t read. You are so right, Trex. We’ve been waiting for such an obvious font of knowledge and wisdom on climate such as you to come along and teach us. So, teach away.

  42. Pierre Gosselin says:

    I guess this guy was reporting live from this boat, as one reader here indicates. This means this happened mid-May, which means it’s basically still winter time up there.

    That makes these people pretty stupid, and they should have known better.

  43. Wondering Aloud says:

    This was extremely funny, the irony had the whole crew smiling.

    In response to above comments, who is claiming this May is warm? It is absolutely frigid here in the upper midwest, First 70 degree high was only about 2 weeks ago, we haven’t topped 74 yet, and some areas had freeze warnings out Monday after a hard freeze on May 18. It is time to get very suspicious of any data set that claims it’s a warm year. We have the latest growing season start since at least the early 70′s.

    A little more of this “warming” and I’ll be looking at a spreading ice sheet close up from my front window.

  44. Pierre Gosselin says:

    This reminds me of the Ernest Shackelton Antarctica survival story back in the early 20th century. One of the greatest survival stories ever.

  45. SteveSadlov says:

    But question is, did anyone eat any albatross yet? Are they that desperate?

    (See CA forum to understand the albatross reference …)

  46. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Jack Koenig,
    Here are the two sites I like best for ice trends:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg
    and
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.south.jpg

    Interestingly there is less ice in the arctic compared to a year ago, but far more in the Antarctic. Hope you find these helpful.

  47. leebert says:

    trex:
    > You people are not very intelligent, or don’t read.

    One of the most consistent aspects of arguing climatology with many warmists is their inevitable conclusion that they’re right b/c they are smarter, and they are smarter b/c they can cite the authority of people smarter than they.

    The religious overtones in global warming fit an old pattern found in religion. The more the ideologically pious are loathe to be found too proximate to the heresy of the back-pew agnostics, the more the pious will crowd themselves ever tighter in the front pews suborning and distinguishing themselves to their clerics. In their vainglory the agnostics, rude and indifferent knaves, have the gall and temerity to dare ask “Why is that?”

  48. Mark Nodine says:

    In response to above comments, who is claiming this May is warm?

    FWIW, we’ve been running about 10F warmer than usual in central Texas for the last 1.5-2 weeks, with no end in sight. We’ve already hit 100F, something we did not do all last year at the official Austin weather station (Austin-Bergstrom Airport).

    Maybe GISS can increase the central Texas weightings when the put out their May figures, and of course, extrapolate them to the entire Arctic region.

  49. SwampWoman says:

    According to the National Agriculture Summary 5/12 – 5/18, planting and emergence of many crops had been delayed by cool weather.

  50. leebert says:

    Mark Nodine:

    Ah, a fellow Austinite! Yeh, we’ve been having a warm and dry May. As I tell people about the variable weather here, Texas must be a woman because it’s always changing its mind.

    I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the winds having been blowing from the South … we’ve been beset by southerlies giving us a Mexican Springtime. At least it’s been a relative dry heat. Texas does this in the springtime, and will cool right back down in a few weeks. The pattern will break eventually and we’ll start getting springtime westerlies with those notorious line storms crossing the state.

    It’s late July and August that chases us indoors! How about the August from Hell in ’99 when we had 40 days of straight-running 100+ degrF? I had to hike a mile up a hill to my car downtown. UHE = Urban Heat Exhaustion! I’d wait ’til 6:00 PM before I ventured out from my office building.

    The sunflowers are doing OK, but the Bermuda grass is a light pale green.

  51. sod says:

    Interestingly there is less ice in the arctic compared to a year ago, but far more in the Antarctic. Hope you find these helpful.

    yes. even after the “cool january” arctic sea ice is lower than it was 1 year ago. (compare left and right ending points of the 356 days period…)
    as thee is a lot of fluctuation over the year, it is still unclear if we will get a new minimum again.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

    the problem with the comparison to the antarctic is, that the arctic sea ice shows a pretty clear trend over a long term, while the antarctic tends to fluctuate wildly:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

  52. Philip_B says:

    The article isn’t specific about where they got stuck in the ice, but it sounds like it was in the Bering Strait, i.e. they didn’t even make it into the Arctic Ocean.

    The Bering Strait/Sea has had a lot more ice than normal this year, which is only now melting.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html

    And even though the ice is melting, sea surface temperatures in the area remain well below average.

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

  53. John Bunt says:

    I remember my first visit to Texas to see my now wife. First week of April of 1963, and it was 103 to 105 for 3 or 4 days. Set the record for warmth that still stands. And I remember sometime around 1978 in Dallas when there was 40-50 straight days over 100, which set a record. It would get to 100 by 10 am. And my last month in the Army, May 1965 in Minneapolis. Still has the record May 27 and May 28 with measurable snow. And the winter of (I think) 1978/79 in Dallas when the ice storm hit around New Years eve, and the Cotton Bowl was played in about 10 degree weather – Joe Montana had hypothermia and did not start the 2nd half, but came back to bring the Irish from 21 points down in the 4th quarter to a victory over Houston. A couple of days earlier – December 30th, I think – my wife and I went to Texas Stadium to see the Cowboys play Green Bay, my wife’s favorite team, and we froze our butts off and did not warm up for several hours after athe game and GB lost to boot. Weather has always gone in cycles, always will, and I firmly believe that we are headed into a cooler period.

  54. Peter melia says:

    In 1969 the steam turbine tanker “Manhatten” made two exploratory voyages across the top of Canada to test the feasibility of opening up such a route for commercial oil transport.
    At the same time the (same) oil companies pipeline divisions completed some sections of Alaska pipelines and it appeared that pipelines were a more viable system than ice-breaking tankers (which would have required about 5 times the power of normal tankers).
    Peter Melia

  55. hilal says:

    In the last year, 2 separate cruise ships viewing ‘the melting Antarctic ice’ have struck icebergs. The recent record SH sea ice extent means there is now ice in areas where in previous years there was no ice.

  56. Steve Moore says:

    Pierre Gosselin,

    I re-read Alfred Lansing’s “Endurance” about once/year, and have given copies as gifts.

    There’s an interesting comment in it from one of the diaries regarding how no one had studied the Antarctic ice as “intimately” as they were doing.

  57. C. Paul Barreira says:

    I followed a link from another commenter to Modis Rapid Response System, finding it most fascinating–and more. Then, I followed a link to Earth Observatory, from a link under Observatory. OK. This then tells of collapsing sea ice in the Antarctic , here. Instead of the frankly alarmist header–’Disintegration. Antarctic Warming Claims another Ice Shelf’–I frankly could see only more ice, with a line showing the previous edge.

    True, I’m probably looking at it from the wrong angle but surely it’s more ice, not less. The top right of the pictures suggest another activity of disintegration but that’s not the subject of the comparative pictures. Help, please!

  58. John A says:

    Here’s the most recent picture of Baffin Island from the Terra satellite. Looks pretty well iced up to me.

    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?T081491715

  59. davidcobb says:

    C. Paul Barreira
    Iceberg B-15 brokeup due to measured wave action (from a storm in the Gulf of Alaska). If an iceberg breaks off but is pushed back into the shelf by waves, it will be pummeled into an expanding icechunk field.

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  61. MattN says:

    I’m pretty sure this happened last year too. I think I read about it on ICECAP.

  62. Tom in Texas says:

    Mark & Leebert of Austin:

    I’d be surprised if this summer is cooler than last year in South Texas (San Antonio). We had a crap load of rain last year which kept the temps down,
    and revived my St. Augustine lawn.

    I thought we had a mild spring this year though, whereas usually we go straight from winter to summer without much spring.

  63. sunsettommy says:

    They should da have used a submarine.

    LOL

  64. McGrats says:

    C. Paul Barreira wrote: “True, I’m probably looking at it from the wrong angle but surely it’s more ice, not less. The top right of the pictures suggest another activity of disintegration but that’s not the subject of the comparative pictures. Help, please!”

    I agree Paul. I don’t follow their logic (if they’ve ever had any) at all.

    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  65. Mike Kelley says:

    Here in Southern Montana, our beautiful Beartooth Mountains just got another nice dump of snow. I don’t think the high parts have even started to melt out yet from the winter. Our trees down here in the foothills are not completely leafed out yet. It feels like some of our springtimes back in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Cool!

  66. Philip_B says:

    C. Paul Barreira, there are 2 kinds of ice here, from different origins and subject to different processes.

    The ice shelves like Wilkins are the extension over water of glaciers originating on land (mostly). The ice is thousands to millions of years old. They react slowly to climate change over hundreds to thousands of years. And irrespective of whether the climate is warming or cooling they will disintegrate at their edge.

    The claim is that warming temperatures and decreasing sea ice is causing these icesheets to disintegrate much faster than in the past. Firstly, we don’t have enough data to support this claim, and secondly even if it’s true it only tells us that the climate has been warming over a long timescale, probably thousands of years.

    In contrast, sea ice is mostly seasonal and an increase or decrease tells us whether the last 12 months has been warmer or colder than normal.

    So in summary,

    If the rate of icesheet disintegration is increasing (and it’s by no means clear it is) then it indicates the climate has warmed over the last few hundred to few thousand years.

    The increase in SH sea ice shows the last 12 months has been significantly cooler than the last 30 years or so.

    Otherwise, the Warmers are desperate for A Day After Tommorow type catastrophy they can hype and this can be tortured into looking like one, for the uninitiated that is.

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  68. rex says:

    leebert

    Thanks for comprehensive reply. As a skeptic of AGW, i still believe both skeptics and AGW’s are completely off the mark when we/they make statements about climate change in our parents and our lifetimes’ 30-100 year period. If we look at the original IPCC 1 report the figure there suggested maybe once every 1000′s years one could even contemplate saying there was a significant change in climate. However now were all saying its warmin’ or its coolin’! LOL My bet is for short term cooling then back to normal then after maybe a bit up then down etc….

  69. leebert says:

    Hi Rex,

    Just like the cartoon, why worry about “out of control climate change” since it’s never been in our control to begin with?

    But seriously, the LIttle Ice Age was caused by the sun, and we’re facing the possibility of a new solar grand minimum. Whether it’ll be a big one or a mild, short one is anybody’s guess. The sun’s multi-decade dimming cycles can last anywhere from 45 to 90 years.

    If it’s the Full Monty – a full solar grand minimum – then we can expect harsher winters, etc. If it shows long spells of no sun spots we might expect a big reversal of global warming in at least some cooling, if not an absolute cooling trend.

    Then there’s soot deposition on ice. Soot has had a big impact on the Arctic, 80% – 90% of the Arctic thaw of the past two centuries appears to have been due to snow-darkening soot. After having seen black icebergs I became a big believer in soot. Why the enviros refuse to mention black icebergs … it’s anybody’s guess.

  70. Alan Chappèell says:

    The’ Kapitan Khlebnikov’ uses diesel fuel to start the engine only, after it has ‘warmed -up’ it is changed onto “heavy fuel” ;
    Density at 15°C 920.0
    Viscosity at 40°C 380.0
    Sulfur 4.5%
    Al./Silicon (mg/kg) 80

  71. sapteka says:

    Do not bother the Mother Nature with that ship, please.

  72. Vodka says:

    since the comments were more or less started with an idiot overusing quotation marks, I’m going to assume the ridiculously long comments are arguing about something… probably (cant be bothered to read them)
    seriously, scientists don’t know everything, they’re making educated guesses.. they might be completely wrong in their assumptions. Skepticism is fine, but seriously… the whole POINT of predictions such as global warming and climate change is to publicise the poor condition of the earth’s environment… and its a very well proven fact that the earth’s environment has been steadily worsening for a long time.

    this might be irrelevant because i didn’t actually read the comments, figured it would be too painful

  73. John Ryan says:

    You seem to have forgotten to mention that most transits of the Northwest Passage begin 5 weeks late than this one.
    This blog is part of the Cult of Deniers whose brothers in the denial of the Holocaust and 9/11 are also frequently mocked.

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  76. MattN says:

    This entry has me wondering if anyone is reviewing and auditing the global ice measurements from Cryosphere Today? Given their stand on teh issue (just read the front page), I worry that they will, ahhh…..”adjust” the ice levels to fix “errors,” with the “adjustments” always in their favor.

    BTW, look for another record year in Antarctica. It’s 1 million km^2 above last year. Also, look for it to be completely ignored….

  77. C. Paul Barreira says:

    Many thanks for the responses from people with knowledge and understanding of processes and hard data.

  78. Beano says:

    Black Iceberg?

    Here you go.

    Antarctic though. This has nothing to do with soot.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/122/371503417_f5b92668c9_o.jpg

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  80. Chance Metz says:

    Good question and most likely becuase they don’t want to belive they exsist. You would figure it would prove what they are saying but nope.

  81. sandgrain says:

    The three graphs presented by Bob Tisdale in his comment (25 May 2008, 02:11:21) essentially present the same thing.
    The value of the blue graph is about 1.1 degrees in the first and the second graphs and the mean of the third graph (which represents data collected at a higher rate) is also around 1.1 . Same is the case with the red one.
    The first graph starts from the year 1982 and not 1975. If you look closely, you’ll observe that graph1 is nothing but a magnified (zoomed in) version of graph two in the period 1982 to 2008.
    The second graph is basically an averaged version of the third one so that observation of long term trends is not affected by high frequency short term changes.

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  83. kim says:

    If you’re right about soot, leebert, and also if we are entering the Eddy Minimum, then we may have global cooling and an open Arctic Sea in the summer. Soot is an addressable problem, and a pushback against the egregious polluters.
    ===================================

  84. Mo says:

    “The “Greenie’s and “Enviromentalists” are a greater threat to this country and our way of life than the “Islamic” terrorists. We now have “two loony enemies” bent on destroying us. “God Help Us”. May sanity “PREVAIL”.”

    Totally agree. Rush had a great diatribe about how dangerous this new liberal movement is, and it is the most dangerous threat to our way of life than ANYTHING we face in the world presently.

  85. jemartynowski says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know that we just had freaking frost here in Cleveland overnight. It’s almost June and I saw a guy scraping his windshield off this morning! It made me want to cry, then move someplace warmer. Maybe global warming is actually happening somewhere else.

  86. Bruce Cobb says:

    Why the enviros refuse to mention black icebergs … it’s anybody’s guess.
    No need to guess. It’s because they don’t actually care about the environment. That is all a big ruse on their part. Their agenda is political. That is why they have no qualms about lying, bullying, and using whatever means necessary to keep the AGW psuedoscientific, quasi-religious machine rolling along. To them, the ends justify the means.

  87. rifkind1969 says:

    Two comments:

    1. How can I get a ticket on this boat?

    2. Whatever we do, whether you believe in global warming or not…Mother Earth will renew herself and continue on long after we are gone.

  88. Gibsho says:

    What is wonderfully ironic about all the hysteria-(AGW warming panic and Skeptics horror at a liberal being awarded the Nobel) is that, in the end, gas prices (as mandated by the holy grail of capitalism) will require that all of the AGW countermeasures be put into place just so the middle class can survive (and I don’t mean the survival iof the middle class-it;s gone, I mean the survival of the individuals in the middle class). Now wouldn’t we be in a better state if THE GREAT CIOMMUNICATOR had forwarded alternative fuels all those years ago instead of staying STUCK with oil? Good Lord-we inventerd the internal combustion engine 100 years ago and we have not moved beyond!!!

    Also-all the skeptics ridicule about biofuels impacting the avaialbility and price of food is missing a vital point-it didn’t take much to cause a global food shortage / pricing unavailabilty now did it?. you might want to ask WATTs up with that (nothing to do with overpopulation I bet)

    By the by-ice breakers getting stuck is a garbage measure of anything.

  89. retired engineer says:

    If we do have a big solar minimum (now there’s an oxymoron), it may not cool off as much, as the world will just burn more coal, oil, gas, to stay warm. More soot. The previous Little Ice Age took out about 1/3 of Europe’s population. Not this time.

    $1000/bbl oil? (should put an end to eco-tourism…)

  90. pohlse says:

    That is classic! Nothing does my soul better then to see enviros with egg on their faces.

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  92. Bill P says:

    Kim, WRT: “…if we are entering the Eddy Minimum, then we may have global cooling and an open Arctic Sea in the summer.”

    I agree with your nomenclature. Eddy deserves the recognition for the next grand solar minimum.

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  94. Bruce Cobb says:

    …Skeptics horror at a liberal being awarded the Nobel)
    You’re confusing skepticism, or more correctly scientific realism with politics. Our disgust with Gore isn’t that he’s a Liberal. I myself voted for Gore in 2000 (though I certainly never would now). I have been voting a straight Democratic ticket for a long time. About a year and a half ago, though, I wanted to arm myself with the facts about AGW in order to refute anti-AGW letters to the editor I would see occasionally. I “knew” that AGW was true, I was just looking for the proof to use against the anti-AGW crowd, whom I considered to be either idiots or simply politically motivated (which was probably the case many times). I not only didn’t find it, but I saw huge problems with the whole AGW argument. The more I looked, the more skeptical I became. I know that there are many others who have followed the same path, and indeed, more and more scientists as well are discovering they’ve been duped.
    The Democrats, or Liberals, have shot themselves in the foot on this one. When you lie to people, and the lie is discovered, the backlash can be something fierce.

  95. wattupthat says:

    Arctic sea ice extent anomaly is lower than it was at this time last year.

    REPLY: Assuming you trust the data, yes

  96. SteveSadlov says:

    RE: Gibsho (06:48:26) :

    Oh yeah, mister “wearing a sweater during a speech to address the people” did really well with synfuels. (/sarc)

    Just about as well as he did with Iran.

    Synfuels failed of their own accord, just like ethanol will.

  97. crthead says:

    The more I read, the more I’m convinced that GW is an unsubstantiated theory. In fact it could be quite the opposite, according to reports the inland glaciers are growing in many parts of the world. However it doesn’t stop scientists from trying to “save” us. I posted a very interesting article this morning about “ecohackers” that is really astounding as to the lengths they will go to.

    This World Is Crazy Read This

  98. Pierre Gosselin says:

    @John Ryan,
    Like I wrote earlier: “They were stupid and should have known better”.
    Obviously global warming is no where as advanced as the idiots on this boat believe it is.

  99. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Sod,
    I thought about the discrepancy between the north and south pole sea ice.
    I’d have to say it’s probably due to the adjacent oceans. The north Atlantic is warmer than normal, and the North Pacific is shifting now to a cool PDO mode. The AMO is projected to turn cool, and so maybe we’ll get a growing sea ice trend in the Arctic soon. I’m speculating.

    The South pole seems to be surrounded by water at a normal temperature, or even a little below. Unless that changes, look for the south to get icier.

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/climo&hot.html

    Maybe other readers can throw what they think?

  100. Jeff Alberts says:

    By the by-ice breakers getting stuck is a garbage measure of anything.

    Wasn’t meant to be a measure of anything but delicious irony.

  101. Chance Metz says:

    Jsut saw someone yeterday here in Youngstown,Ohio wion a bike with a sign on their back about save the Earth ride a bike,and reduce your CO2, funny. people are getting desperate.

  102. chris says:

    Someone should fly Al Gore up to the ship and have him explain in only the ways he can about trading carbon. That should free the ship in just a couple of minutes.

  103. Steve says:

    Bruce Cobb, I’m in the same camp as you. I was worried about global warming and wanted to educate myself on the issue. I did, and I no longer believe in catastophic AGW.

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  105. Gary Gulrud says:

    Well, its over:

    http://minx.cc/?post=265284

    Now that Ace ‘o Spades has discovered Anthony’s blog, the pleasant tour with engineers and science-dabblers is about to end. Get ready for the barbarians!

  106. Brent says:

    Don’t you know that global warming is in a 15 year hiatus, and that the 15 year hiatus of global cooling is now overwith? Will we be talking about this same thing again 30 years from now? Of course we will! Talk about irony!

    :razz:

  107. kim says:

    Queen of the Swashbucklers, GG, is Sue. Waves.

    ::grin::
    ====

  108. Pamela Gray says:

    Gees. Can’t we just be “thinkers” without the political labels Rush loves to throw out? There are global warmers who are ultra conservative and there are natural climaters who are ultra liberal. Labels change as time goes by. During the Civil War, Democrats used to be conservative religious Southern slave holders and Republicans used to be liberal forward thinking free lovers. The labels have come to mean nothing. The GW panic isn’t the fault of liberals. The Iraq war isn’t the fault of Republicans. We don’t get closer to gold standard science when we politicize it, no matter proud you are of how small your carbon “footprint” is, or how much you laugh over the ice that has crammed itself up the backside of a ship.

  109. Philip_B says:

    One point about Cryosphere Today is the graphs at the top of the page are all NH but are not titled as such leading the casual reader to think they are global values. SH graphs are tucked away at the bottom of the page.

    This has been pointed out to them and they refuse to label the graphs accurately.

    Pierre Gosselin, the NH/SH sea ice divergence is probably due to local/regional factors in the NH, mainly particulate pollution (black carbon). At lattitudes in the NH populated by tens to hundreds of millions of people, there are just a few thousand people at the same lattitudes in the SH.

    Which is why I maintain that you should look for any global effect in the SH especially south of 50 degree lattitude. What records we have from this area show cooling over the 20th century, for example Punta Arenas and Macquarie Island.

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  112. jeez says:

    Hey Anthony!

    This is the company that is now operating the ship I traveled to Antarctica in ’93!.

    http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/antarctic/crossing-circle/expedition-dates-and-rates

    A similar, if longer tour than I took.

    Thanks for the memories.

  113. Bernd Felsche says:

    Hmmmm… there goes another unsinkable theory.

  114. wattupthat says:

    Phillip_B says:

    “One point about Cryosphere Today is the graphs at the top of the page are all NH but are not titled as such leading the casual reader to think they are global values. SH graphs are tucked away at the bottom of the page.

    This has been pointed out to them and they refuse to label the graphs accurately.”

    This is not true.
    “Current Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area,” “Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area,” “Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly,” and “Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent.”

    Those are the legends on the graphs at the top of the page. They all begin with the phrase “Northern Hemisphere.”

    NOTE: Please pick a new name (or preferably, use your real name to comment) so that your comments are not confused with mine, the blog moderator “wattsupwiththat”.

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  116. Philip_B says:

    wattupthat, I was refering to the titles on the front page. None of the NH graphs are labelled as such. Whereas all of the SH graphs (all tucked away at the bottom of the page and out of sight when the page loads) are labelled ‘SH’.

    I can think of no other reason for this rather glaring discrepancy than to confuse the casual reader into thinking NH data is in fact global data.

    And I know for a fact this happens, because I have come across instances in other blogs of people posting this data under the impression it is global data.

    Just another example of the deception culture that permeates the Warmer side of the debate.

  117. Ric Werme says:

    Re: wattupthat (20:51:50) :

    Cool – I love the irony that you’re trying to clarify some graphs while obfuscating things with your screen name. A great thread for you to post in, to be sure. :-)

  118. another_name says:

    Phillip_B

    “I was refering to the titles on the front page. None of the NH graphs are labelled as such.”

    Still not true. “hemispheric ice area” and hemispheric anomaly” are clearly not global data – those are labels for the data at the top of the page, taken directly from the site.

    And if people are “people posting this data under the impression it is global data” then they are posting graphs they haven’t opened and read, because the legend for each of those graphs, in large text across the top of the graph, clearly identifies them as northern hemisphere.

    “Just another example of the [obfuscation] culture that permeates the [Denialist] side of the debate.”

  119. Henry says:

    Looks like great fun. You can’t have any fun in life without leaving a carbon footprint. If I took this trip I don’t think I would call myself an eco-tourist.
    If you believe what geologists tell us, a warming globe is a lot better prospect than one that is recooling.

  120. Philip_B says:

    another_name, now ICECAP has linked to this thread it will get more readers so I’ll respond to your continued denial of the facts.

    People should go to the Cryosphere homepage to see the deceptive labelling for themselves.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    This in microcosm is the heart of climate debate. Warming Believers deny inconvenient facts and obfuscate in the hope of confusing others, while Sceptics encourage others to verify the facts for themselves.

  121. Mike Bryant says:

    I looked at the Cryosphere homepage.
    There were five graphs at the top of the page in the title area. All were for the Northern Hemisphere, however to find that out you have to click on the graph. Their titles are “Recent Ice Area”, “Hemispheric Ice Area”, “Hemispheric Anomaly”, “Seasonal Sea Ice” and “Tale of the Tape”.
    There were only three graphs at the bottom left of the page. All were for the Southern Hemisphere. To find out they are SH you do NOT have to click on the graph. Their titles are “Recent S. H. Ice Area”, “S. Hemispheric Ice Area” and “S. Hemispheric Ice Anomaly”.
    There is ONE graph on the bottom right of the page titled “Global Sea Ice Area”.

    In summary, all graphs that show a lessening of sea ice are located in the title section of the page. All graphs that show that sea ice has increased are relegated to the bottom of the page.

    The question is: Is this just incredibly sloppy or is it deceptive??

    Since people are definitely being deceived, I have to say it is deceptive.

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  123. Mike Bryant says:

    Why not put the global sea ice area at the top of the page, and the NH and SH beside each other? Also don’t put extra graphs that emphasize the NH unless you also use the same style graph for the SH.

    Is that too much to ask?

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  130. Jim-Chicago says:

    Remember the ozone hole????? What happened to that? Now Global Warming? Can anyone say Cap & Trade

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