Mature Arctic Ivory Gull Seen in Massachusetts – first time in over a century

One of the claims about “global climate change” is that it will affect the normal ranges of flora and fauna of our planet. Well, with a very cold northern hemisphere this winter, that seems to happening. A bird not seen (as a mature adult) in Massachusetts since the 1800′s , an Ivory Gull, normally an inhabitant of arctic areas, has been spotted. Here are the details from the Plymouth, MA Patriot-Ledger. – Anthony

GULL-LOVER’S TRAVELS: Birdwatchers flock to Plymouth to spot rare specimen

gull gd 012709-03.JPG

PLYMOUTH — Jan 28th, 2009

The temperatures were in the single digits, but not low enough to keep the gawkers away. A celebrity was in town, behind the East Bay Grille, a visitor not seen in these parts in decades, if not longer.

But these weren’t paparazzi, and this wasn’t a Hollywood star. Rather, they were avid birdwatchers – about 20 in all – braving the frigid air as they scanned the bay and the edges of the breakwater with binoculars and spotting scopes.

And they would be rewarded, catching a glimpse of a glimpse of a rare, fully mature ivory gull. A birdwatcher reported seeing one in Plymouth last week, and another was spotted at Eastern Point Lighthouse in Gloucester. From Sunday through Tuesday, the avian visitor was a regular in Plymouth, much to the delight of birdwatchers, who came from near and far in hopes of adding the extremely rare bird to their life list.

Ivory gulls normally stay well above Newfoundland, living on Arctic ice where they follow whales and polar bears to feed on the scraps and carcasses they leave behind after making a kill.
http://media.townonline.com/patriotledger/photos/ivory_gull_map.jpg
Until this year, the last report of a fully mature ivory gull in Massachusetts was in the 1800s. Three immature birds were seen in the 1940s. In 1976, another immature bird had been spotted in Rockport.

Russell Graham of Dallas is flying in Friday for a three-day visit. He’s hoping the gull will still be in town when he arrives.

“The ivory gull is one of a handful of birds that every birder dreams of seeing but almost no one has.,” he said. “This isn’t a dream that’s confined to North America. There is also an immature bird in France that is causing the same reaction there. There are a couple of places where you can go in the summer and expect to see one but they are distant and expensive – Svalbard on Spitsbergen, Norway and Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, Canada.

“I never thought I would have the chance to see one and I can’t pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

If the gull is gone, Graham will consider a side trip to Nova Scotia, where two adult ivory gulls have been seen recently. “I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed,” he said.

John Fox of Arlington, Va., and his friend Adam D’Onofrio of Petersburg drove more than eight hours on Sunday to see the gull.

“No bird this morning,” Fox said a day later, shaking his head. “We left Virginia at three in the morning yesterday and arrived here 20 minutes too late.”

On Sunday morning, hundreds of people got to observe and photograph the gull as it fed on a chicken carcass someone put out on one of the docks in the parking lot. The bird stayed until 11 a.m., then flew across the harbor. It was not seen again for the rest of the day.

“We arrived at 11:20 and spent the rest of the afternoon in the parking lot, hoping it would return,” Fox said.

They stayed at Pilgrim Sands Motel and arrived at the parking lot early Monday morning for one more chance to see the ivory gull before returning to Virginia. Fox said it was his first time in Massachusetts. If he didn’t see the bird, he said, at least he could see Plymouth Rock before they left for home.

“That’s how it goes sometimes,” he said. “We don’t always see what we come for, but it’s nice to see some of the sights when you travel to a new area in hopes of seeing a rare bird.”

As Fox was planning his exit, a commotion caught his attention. One of the birders pointed toward the sky and said with a shout, “There it is.”

The pure white gull was flying toward the parking lot, silhouetted against a bright blue sky. Someone in the crowd announced for the record the gull had arrived at 7:45 a.m.

The bird flew in circles overhead, then landed on a snow bank in the middle of the parking lot. Cameras clicked and the birders “oohed and ahhhed” each time the ivory gull switched positions.

“Look how white it is,” someone said. “It’s got black feet, black eyes and a grayish-black beak,” said another.

The gull eyeballed the chicken carcass, still there from the day before, but it didn’t eat. Instead, it flew to the railing along the edge of the boat ramp and perched with a group of sea gulls. The photographers followed, changing positions to get the best lighting.

Fox stood with the group, talking with other birdwatchers, as the gull sat peacefully on the railing, observing all the people gathered around it. Was it worth the long drive up from Virginia?

“It sure was,” Fox said with a smile.

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159 thoughts on “Mature Arctic Ivory Gull Seen in Massachusetts – first time in over a century

  1. Well, it’s bleeding obvious, isn’t it?

    “Ivory gulls normally stay well above Newfoundland, living on Arctic ice where they follow whales and polar bears to feed on the scraps and carcasses they leave behind after making a kill.”

    Whales have been hunted to extinction, polar bears have have drowned and starved, and the Arctic Ice has all melted, so of course these poor animals are seeking sustenance well outside their habitat.

    Shameful.

  2. I am overseas so I recieve my copy of the Gloucester Daily Times usually a week or more late. I just read this story and was thinking of sending an e-mail to Anthony when I look at the site and voila. One other bird that has been seen in record numbers is the northern snowy owl. They also mentioned a slaty-backed gull being seen for the first time, but I have no clue as to where that bird normally hangs out.

  3. I’d believe the wisdom this arctic gull brings to us for free before I’d believe what $140 million dollars more spent on computer models would give us. That gull is “priceless”.

  4. OK, I’ll take the hit. I’m going to call this bird an “OraGull” of future events. 8^)

  5. Fox stood with the group, talking with other birdwatchers, as the gull sat peacefully on the railing, observing all the people gathered around it. Was it worth the long drive up from Virginia?

    “It sure was,” Fox said with a smile.

    I’ll never understand birdwatchers as long as I live.

  6. I wonder if there is an official record of extreme bird observations? It could make an interesting cross check on temperature records. Birds with known temperature preferences plotted by geographical range and density by year…

    Now all we need is a polar bear in Maine ;-)

  7. E.M.Smith (01:39:56) :
    I wonder if there is an official record of extreme bird observations? It could make an interesting cross check on temperature records. Birds with known temperature preferences plotted by geographical range and density by year…

    With Raw and GISS Homogenized data sets.

  8. These two birdwatchers have driven from Virginia to Massachusetts, belching CO2 all the way, wrecking the planet and causing us to boil to death, to look at a gull.

    (sarc. off)

  9. Poor little blighters, driven out of their normally cold Arctic home by global warming, flying endlessly in a fruitless search for some cooler weather untill they can fly no more, their little heart beats then faulters, they close their eyes and perish in a foreign land and another chapter of global warming is written.

  10. Matti

    Maximum temperature of 31Degree Fahrenheit at 3300 feet? What sort of graph is this and what global temperature are they measuring-Mars?

    TonyB

  11. I visited this beautiful Gull on Monday, January 26th. I was fortunate to capture some beautiful images. What a beautiful, pure, snow white Gull! A once in a lifetime opportunity and certainly worth the trip from Rhode Island.

    Michelle St.Sauveur

  12. just beautiful, went to Plymouth on the 25th & 26th from R.I. to see this bird, a lifer for me, some 250 photos later, and i’d still go up again just to watch this bird. If you have the chance to see it, its more than worth the trip, so get in your vechicle, pack your binocs, camera, field guide, and get on the road. from R.I., its a one hour drive, and you’ll probably run into some birders you know there.

  13. Anecdotal datapoints like this (and the bitterly cold weather in Alaska, and the cold weather in North America, and the growing glaciers in Alaska, and the record ice extent in Antartica, and the cold outbreaks in China and the snow in UAE and the record low solar activity and the lack of heating in the Tropical Troposphere are just “noise”), whereas my trusty atmospheric model (which does not really model the atmosphere correctly at all – lets keep that bit quiet) says the climate is definitely getting warmer…

    My blindfold and earmuffs are on. I’m not listening….I’m not listening. La…La…La

    Time to feed the computer-god another $140K to make it look warmer somewhere else.

    (sarc off)

  14. I am giving a talkon “A cool view of global warming” to our local natural history society
    I might be Daniel walking into the lions den, but if anyone has links to other global cooling animal or flora story’s I would be pleased to note them for use in my talk

  15. Miscellaneous birdy observations 1960′s to present, Northeast USA:

    i. Turkey Vultures range has moved further and further North.
    ii. Canada Geese population has exploded (Perhaps the US could go after the Canadians for unfair export practices)
    iii. American Turkey population has surged.
    iv. Coyote population has also surged. (I recall observations in Rhode Island, USA 1st occurring in about 1979 or so)
    v. Early 1970′s, Fall Season, Central Connecticut USA: 1 Snowy owl observed. (there really hard to miss when the leaves are gone.

    I would guess that most of the above are not Climate Change related, but who knows?

    Oops. Coyote is not a bird.

  16. Mods, my previous posts in the pre-mod view looks broken tag wise so here is a clean version without tags.

    Here are a few recent reports of a similar nature from the London Daily Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/3501029/Invasion-of-waxwings-suggests-a-cold-winter.html Invasion of waxwings suggests a cold winter
    They are traditionally said to herald the onset of icy weather, so the arrival of unusually high numbers of waxwings suggests a cold spell ahead for Britain.

    Obviously fleeing those Siberian hotspots. :)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4060327/Birdwatcher-makes-fruitless-journey-to-Norway-only-to-find-snow-bunting-in-her-garden.html

    Birdwatcher makes fruitless journey to Norway only to find snow bunting in her garden
    A birdwatcher who made a fruitless journey to Norway to see a rare snow bunting, returned home to Britain only to discover one of the species had landed on her garden fence.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4240110/Three-snowy-owls-spotted-in-UK.html

    Three snowy owls spotted in UK
    Snowy owls have been spotted in three areas of southern England – Cornwall, Alderney and Guernsey – thousands of miles from their usual feeding grounds.

  17. Anthony, what is the significance of the results of Roy Spencer’s AMSU temperature increase at 3,300 Ft. and decrease at high altitude? I am a skeptic. I don’t buy into AGW. I believe that because of the 178 year Jose cycle we are in for some cool times ahead. But, can we still say that we are in cooling trend for the last five years?

    • robert brucker, I’m a little unclear on what you are referring to specifically. Are you talking about a region like the tropics, the globe, something else? There;s just not enough info in the question and the question is also without context since this is an article on birds – Anthony

  18. I can’t wait to hear how the appearance of the gull is proof of global warming.

    Sadly, some people actually now believe that falling temperatures, not to mention record snow is an indication of a warming planet.

  19. We sometimes get Monarch Butterflies in the UK. They have “Wrong Way Corrigan” printed on their wings.[Joke] Nature does odd things and generally mankind has nothing to do with the oddities.
    I had a horse chestnut tree outside my office that for no reason had a full second flowering in early October. Country Life printed the pictures. Flowered twice for 3 years running and then stopped. 1974 wasn’t a global warming year as I recall.

  20. anthony, Matti vertanen asked a similar question. The global temperature as measured twice daily by AMSU from satellite shows the questioned results. The link is on Vertanen’s comment. Sorry if the comment was given during a discussion about birds, but nobody really commented on the earlier question by Matti Vertanen.
    I enjoy your site, and I read it daily. Almost daily there questioned asked or comments made that are not related to the post of the day.
    I apologize. I just wanted to know what you think about the global temp.

  21. I noticed Al Gore referred to our need for energy independence in addition to the “grave” threat of global warming. Is he building himself a back door?

    Maybe Obama’s plan will be to screw things up in the Middle East and to create a crisis to send oil prices shooting upwards…thus making Gore’s argument more compelling.

    One trend I’ve noticed: MORE SCEPTICS
    Reader comments at newspaper websites with stories on AGW are overwelmingly sceptical, with many scoffing at the notion of AGW.
    And once the fuel bills come due, look for the AGW fantasy to be ridiculed even more.

  22. Some people spotted some drowned polar bears after bad storms and the myth of climate change threatening polar bears was thus created. Let’s not rush in and do the same thing with this sighting.

  23. Russell Graham of Dallas is flying in Friday for a three-day visit. He’s hoping the gull will still be in town when he arrives.

    John Fox of Arlington, Va., and his friend Adam D’Onofrio of Petersburg drove more than eight hours on Sunday to see the gull.

    I don’t get it either. How many of these people also scream that the world is boiling?

  24. Pierre Gosselin (06:52:07) : One trend I’ve noticed: MORE SCEPTICS
    Reader comments at newspaper websites with stories on AGW are overwelmingly sceptical, with many scoffing at the notion of AGW.
    And once the fuel bills come due, look for the AGW fantasy to be ridiculed even more.

    I dunno. I don’t think it will stop the political juggernaut. Back in the 70′s, when this all started, it was Global Cooling — Anthropogenic Global Cooling, that is. The wheel is just making another cycle. AGW will be conveniently replaced with a hurried rush back to AGC but don’t expect it to have any real effect on politics.

  25. Anthony, my laptop’s battery was running low. I did not have the time to present my question succintly. I do not know how to include a link. The link on Mattie Vertanen’s comment directs you to the AMSU Temps site authored by Roy Spencer. The graph shows the Daily Global Average Temp at 3,300 Ft. as being 1.06 degrees F warmer than this day last year. The temp at 118,000 Ft. is 0.74 degrees F cooler. Can you or anyone please explain to me the significance of these changes? If you don’t want to answer on the post, please email an answer.
    Thanks

  26. ATTN: Kaboom

    The real reason is that the 6,000,000+ seals in the area are eating 12,000,000,000 lbs of seaford a year. At this rate it won’t be too long before the entire fishery collapses.

    Then the silk-stocking enviromentalists and limosine liberals, who fund the holier-than-thou protestors of spring seal hunt, will start whining because there are no fish, lobsters and crabs to eat at the fancy joints in NYC!

  27. Matti Virtanen (01:41:43) : wrote

    “Although it might appear cold to North Americans, global temperature has actually surged in January:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+001

    Anybody have a clue about what’s going on?”

    There has been an “SSW” (Sudden Stratospheric Warming) event–they happen occasionally. Take a look at this one:

    Then, go read this one:

    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/physik_astronomie/cosmic_rays_detected_deep_underground_reveal_secrets_125785.html

  28. John A (01:12:22) : wrote:

    I’ll never understand birdwatchers as long as I live.
    ————–
    The time is right perhaps for Jim Hansen to take up birdwatching ??

    Pierre Gosselin (06:52:07) :wrote:

    I noticed Al Gore referred to our need for energy independence in addition to the “grave” threat of global warming. Is he building himself a back door?
    ————-
    No Pierre, I think he will probably follow the leader, and exit through the same back door that Obama left open. He will probably linger in the doorway through summer ….

    ….. and then leave John Kerry talking to an empty room.

  29. I hear that large sections of Australia are the warmest they have been for 70 years. That’s pretty good evidence for global warming… er… uh? It was even warmer 70 years ago???

  30. Sanity Check,
    Thank you. I had not heard of Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events. My question has been answered.

  31. Apparently NOAA has been spending taxpayer money studying the safety of Arctic shipping lanes that do not yet exist:

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090129_arctic.html

    UNH/NOAA Report: Arctic Region Underprepared for Maritime Accidents

    January 29, 2009

    High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

    The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released today by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    The report details findings from a panel of experts and decision-makers from Arctic nation governments, industry and indigenous communities convened by the Coastal Response Research Center, a UNH-NOAA partnership housed at the university. The panel, which included representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Arctic Research Commission, assessed the potential threat of maritime accidents in the Arctic and the ability of nations in the region to respond effectively to vessels in distress, oil spills and other situations.

    “The reduction of polar sea ice and the increasing worldwide demand for energy will likely result in a dramatic increase in the number of vessels that travel Arctic waters,” said Nancy Kinner, UNH co-director of the CRRC and a professor of civil and environmental engineering. “As vessel traffic increases, disaster scenarios are going to become more of a reality.”

    The report’s key recommendations include:

    * Strengthening multinational plans and agreements for all types of responses
    * Improving logistical support capabilities for disaster responders
    * Updating weather data and navigational charts for the Arctic
    * Studying the behavior of oil in cold water and improving technologies for spill response in Arctic conditions
    * Designating potential ports in the Arctic where damaged vessels can be taken to safeguard them against the Arctic’s harsh environmental conditions and reduce the risk of harm to the environment

    The report’s findings and recommendations are based on the panel’s examination of five potential emergency response scenarios: a grounded cruise ship whose 2,000 passengers and crew must abandon the vessel; an ice-trapped and damaged ore carrier; an explosion on a fixed drilling rig north of Alaska; a collision between a tanker and fishing vessel that results in a large oil spill; and the grounding of a tug towing a supplies barge in an environmentally sensitive area near the Bering Strait.

    “Now is the time to prepare for maritime accidents and potential spills in the Arctic,” said Amy Merten, NOAA co-director of the CRRC. “This report clearly indicates that international cooperation and adequate resources are key to saving lives and protecting this special region.”

    The report is available online.

    The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling 11,800 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students.
    NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

  32. Arctic Owls are frequently seen in the lower 48 during very bad winters. They were very common in 1884 and 1889.

  33. RE: Matti Virtanen (01:41:43) :

    Although it might appear cold to North Americans, global temperature has actually surged in January:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+001

    Anybody have a clue about what’s going on?

    REPLY: I think that mostly is SH, but we have to wait for the January data from UAH to know for certain. – Anthony

    I’v noticed that too. Here in Michigan, I’ve been keeping track of January temps, highs are 5.5 degrees below average, but the lows are over 14 degrees below average.

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/monthly/USMI0028?from=sixten_topnav

    Average high for January is 30, average low is 17. Calculated the data through yesterday, we have had an average high of 24.5 and an average low of just under 3.

    What is rather interesting is the extremely steep increase after the middle of January, and the fact that it is a VERY SMOOTH SHARP STEADY INCREASE. Looking over the past graphs, usually there is more “noise” in the day to day temps. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but that seems really strange, especially given the major cooling trend we have seen all across the more northern lattitudes since that time.

  34. Planet Earth is in “grave” danger, from Algore, Hansen, Pachauri, the IPCC et sl. Complete with the obligatory mention of the Nobel Prize and the Oscar.
    ————————————————————-
    Gore: Planet is in ‘grave danger’

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/gore-planet-is-in-grave-danger-2009-01-28.html

    “This is the one challenge that could completely end human civilization, and it is rushing at us with such speed and force,”…

  35. SanityCheck (07:24:36) :

    There has been an “SSW” (Sudden Stratospheric Warming) event–they happen occasionally. Take a look at this one:

    Then, go read this one:

    http://www.innovations-report.de/html/berichte/physik_astronomie/cosmic_rays_detected_deep_underground_reveal_secrets_125785.html

    Interesting, let me get this straight.

    We went from almost record low temps in the stratosphere, to surpassing the all time record highs in a week? 65 degree C shift?

    WOW!

    Whats interesting is in looking at past years, available at:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/

    Scroll to 10 hPa
    90N – 65N

    Some years do have a mid winter spike, for the same area but I didn’t see anything as big as this year.

  36. Imagine that: Arctic Seagulls fly south for the winter to visit sunny New England. Must be a real bear up there in the Arctic this year.
    Now, what was that article yesterday about the Arctic Ice totally gone by 2013?
    Oh, yes, Canada, Russia and Denmark are frantically surveying the undersea land extentions to claim all the oil & gas under the Ice Cap.

  37. So the implication of the article as it’s included here is…….

    It was too cold in the Artic for the bird?

    It was cold enough in MA for the bird to take a southern trip and not overheat?

    The bird word was out-free chicken on the docks?

    The wind blew in a convenient direction?

    Whales are moving south?

    Polar beaars are moving south?

    Lost bird?

    Global Cooling?

    Global warming?

    Whaaa?

  38. After many millions of years which witnessed some wild climate variations, none of which could be blamed on SUV’s, here we are getting all excited over the spotting of a little white flying dinosaur in Massachusetts.

    Shows us what’s possible.

    Let’s ditch this silliness known as AGW. Living in a monochromatic world may be very boring indeed; there are other hues in the rainbow besides green.

  39. SanityCheck,
    How can a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) explain an increase in temperatures in the lower part of the troposphere? The stratosphere is a very stable region of the atmosphere and stratospheric air rarely penetrates to the lower troposphere. Actually, the recent SSW you noted contradicts the lower temps at 118,000 ft noted by robert brucker. Although the SSW does coincide with the amsu indicated January warming, I highly doubt it is the cause. Other explanations anyone??

  40. SSW does sound better than SUV, but does it really explain all that January warming in the troposphere? And what if the surface records also show a sudden month-to-month warming. Shouldn’t it be called Sudden Atmospheric Warming then, or SAW. See?

  41. Well, its supposed to get incredibly cold next week here in North America. There are currently +/- 1.5 million without power due to a winter storm. That number will probably grow. Sadly, the likelihood is that there are going to be people that will lose their lives from this. Someone please explain to me how Cooling is a good thing?

  42. lulo (07:45:45) :

    “I hear that large sections of Australia are the warmest they have been for 70 years. That’s pretty good evidence for global warming… er… uh? It was even warmer 70 years ago???”

    look at this link, while there is a heat wave in southeast australia, other parts of the continent were below normal in recent days. (click on “earlier”)

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/temp_maps.cgi?variable=maxanom&area=nat&period=daily&time=latest

  43. Austin (08:23:16) :

    Arctic Owls are frequently seen in the lower 48 during very bad winters. They were very common in 1884 and 1889

    Twice in 125 years qualifies as “frequently” ??

  44. “Actually, the recent SSW you noted contradicts the lower temps at 118,000 ft noted by robert brucker. Although the SSW does coincide with the amsu indicated January warming, I highly doubt it is the cause. Other explanations anyone??”

    Strange. Well, it cannot be from N.America or the NAtlantic/NW Europe. My guess is SH and South Pacific SSts, as well as East Asia. Maybe the Central Atlantic has warmed as well. La Nina developed in Dec, so that rules out the East-Central pacific

  45. Here’s an interesting thought. Forgive me if others have already stated it here.

    It may not just be the cold weather that brings our snow white visitor down from the frozen wastes of the North. It may also be a booming population putting pressure on it. Consider that if the numbers for polar bears have gone up, then that must mean there is food enough to sustain the polar bear population (as well as, of course, ice). Where there is a polar bear kill, there is left overs for our arctic gull friend and his buddies. The line of reasoning should be obvious. Also, however, where the cold does play in, obviously, is in expanding the habitat of the arctic gull as the cold air flows southwards. While of course it can’t know there are no polar bears in Massachusetts (we hope!), it certainly can sense the air is fine enough to go scavenging for food. So if it thinks that its range has expanded, then that certainly says something…for now about the weather…but perhaps in the coming years about the climate.

  46. For those of you who are wondering about the large increase in UAH temps this January on Roy Spencers site he has this statement:

    ‘The fairly large fluctuations seen within individual months are usually due to increases (warming) or decreases (cooling) in tropical rainfall activity, called “intraseasonal oscillations”.’

    So maybe this is one of those (he says “usually”).

  47. A bit OT but here’s some early congrats on a blow-out month. Looks like WUWT got well over a million hits this month already.

    The numbers from Quantcast look equally quite impressive. It’s like a step function from December to January.

    On the other hand, the numbers from Alexa aren’t quite as impressive. This may be because Alexa seemed to have been having problems during the height of the Weblog voting as they stopped daily updates on 7 January and didn’t resume until 14 January. It looks like the period 8-13 January may be a SWAG; this can most obviously be seen when checking out WUWT’s rank and how it dropped off the graph for those six days.

    And congrats on some of the excellent postings I’ve seen this month — and some equally interesting comments. I never heard of SSW or Rossby waves until now; this climate thingie gets more and more complicated with each article you post.

    REPLY: over 1.2 million so far, confirmed by WordPress stat system. Will probably top out about 1.3 million – Anthony

  48. The hot weather in Australia at the moment is in South Australia and Victoria, where a high pressure cell sitting over the Tasman Sea is bringing warm air down from the north. Adelaide where I live had its second hottest day on record last Wednesday at 45.7degC, the hottest being just over 46C back in 1939. Our Minister for Climate Change (Makes it sound like that is her job – to make the climate change) Penny Wong has leapt upon the record like a seagull onto a chip and declared it evidence of global warming – of course she did not try and explain what caused the hot weather in 1939! We usually get one or two heat waves like this each summer, where the weather is very hot for an extended period of time like a week or 10 days, and often at the end of January when school returns. Seems pretty normal to me, except the temp on Wed got up pretty high. I don’t think the rest of Australia is all that hot though.

  49. The Amazing Story Behind Tho Global Warming Scam

    By John Coleman
    January 28, 2009

    http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/38574742.html

    The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have lead to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming.

  50. I heard that Al Gore was in Washington to address Congress yesterday. I had to grin, the “Gore Effect” is still working.

  51. In Australia yesterday we witnessed 45.8C in southern Victoria and 41.5C in Tasmania. The 41.5C smashes the previous record for Tasmania (records go back 150+ years) and is the first time 41C has been exceed south of the mainland. It is fortunate that the little Gull didn’t didn’t keep flying south.

    I note in passing that last year was one of the warmest on record across the Northern Hemisphere with the second lowest Arctic sea ice extent on record and the lowest Arctic ice volume on record. A single lost gull hardly seems significiant by comparison.

    REPLY: you mean like Al Gore’s single lost polar bear report used in AIT? ;-) – I just thought it was interesting, but note there have been plenty of such examples in the opposite sense used to make headlines for AGW. Like the birds that brought down the “miracle on the Hudson” jetliner last week. They were said to be there thanks to “climate change”. – Anthony

  52. Regarding current heat wave in SE Australia

    Marble Bar heatwave, 1923-24
    The world record for the longest sequence of days above 100°Fahrenheit (or 37.8° on the Celsius scale) is held by Marble Bar in the inland Pilbara district of Western Australia. The temperature, measured under standard exposure conditions, reached or exceeded the century mark every day from 31 October 1923 to 7 April 1924, a total of 160 days.

    The highest temperature recorded during the record spell was 47.5°C on 18 January 1924. There have been higher temperatures at Marble Bar, with the highest recorded being 49.2°C, on 11 January 1905 and again on 3 January 1922.

    Summer has finally arrived in Tasmania with a week so far of warm weather. I’m not complaining.

  53. Hi John.

    That is well that you have an open mind regarding glacial melt and its terrifying significance — good for you! What follows is an excerpt from Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark’s “The Chilling Stars”:


    The archaeologists of Bern Canton were grateful when Ursula Leuenberger presented them with an archer’s quiver made of birch bark. They were amazed when radiocarbon dating showed the quiver to be 4,700 years old. Frau Leuenberger had picked it up while walking with her husband in the mountains above Thun. There, the perennial ice in the Schnidejoch had retreated in the unusually hot summer of 2003, revealing the relic hidden beneath it.

    The hiking couple had unwittingly rediscovered a long forgotten short-cut for travellers and traders across the barrier of the Swiss Alps. To keep treasure-hunters away, the find remained a secret for two years while archaeologists scoured the area of the melt-back and analysed the finds. By the end of 2005 they had some 300 items – from the Neolithic Era, the Bronze Age, the Roman period and medieval times.

    The various ages of the items clustered in intervals when the pass of Schnidejoch was open, offering a quick route to and from the Rhone valley south of the mountains. There were no substantial human remains to compare with the murdered Ötztal ‘ice man’, found with a similar quiver high in the Italian Tyrol in 1991 and dated to 3300 BC. But the emergent history of repeated openings and closures of Schnidejoch gave a far more interesting picture of climate change.

    The Ötztal man is a prize exhibit for those who assert that the climate at the start of the 21st century is alarmingly warm. The ice that preserved his mummified corpse lay unmelted, 3,250 metres above sea level, for more than 5,000 years – since the world was in its warmest phase following the most recent ice age. Then, so the story goes, the manmade global warming of the industrial era outstripped all natural variations and released the body as a warning to us all.

    Quite different is the impression given by the relics found in the pass of Schnidejoch, at an altitude 500 metres lower than the Ötztal man’s ice-tomb. They tell of repeated alternations between warm periods when the pass was useable and cold periods when it was shut by the ice. The discoveries also cleared up a long-standing mystery about a Roman lodging house found on the slopes above the present-day town of Thun, where there was a Roman temple and settlement. The head of the cantonal archaeological service, Peter Suter, explained his satisfaction at the outcome: ‘We always asked ourselves why the lodging house was there. Now we know that it was on the route leading across the Schnidejoch.’

    Here’s the deal, John: Ice melts and grows cyclically.

    Should we expect the Bloomberg reporter to know anything about this? Yes, and no.

    It would be nice, let us say, if the mainstream media had any perspective on “climate change” other than that of short-sighted alarmism.

  54. “Pierre Gosselin (06:52:07) :

    I noticed Al Gore referred to our need for energy independence in addition to the “grave” threat of global warming. Is he building himself a back door?

    Maybe Obama’s plan will be to screw things up in the Middle East and to create a crisis to send oil prices shooting upwards…thus making Gore’s argument more compelling. ”

    Pierre, no need to screw anything up over there. The plans are to introduce a significant gas tax. This has been justified by folks saying “Well…gas was already up at $4/gal!…so now that it’s at $2?…we can add $1.50 in gas tax, and it’s STILL cheaper!”

    “And once the fuel bills come due, look for the AGW fantasy to be ridiculed even more.”

    Actually, fuel here in New Englad has been surprisingly cheap this winter. I filled up my tank of heating oil last week, and paid $2.15/gal. Lots of folks in this area “locked in” to a contract last spring, when oil was at $4/gal, and are now stuck with that price.

    JimB

  55. I’m not sure what affect La Ninas have on Australia, but here in New Zealand they tend to have a warming impact in summer. From the NIWA site:

    “NIWA research shows that during La Niña periods, New Zealand usually experiences a higher frequency of northeasterly winds. This increases the likelihood of warmer temperatures nationwide in spring and summer. In summer, there tend to be more frequent and heavier rain events in the north and east of the country and drier conditions in the west and south of the South Island.”

    As a result we’re having a pleasant summer in NZ at the moment, but not record-setting so far.

  56. H.A. Reynolds (13:13:22) :

    The Coleman article has some interesting comments on Maurice Strong. In that regard, I strongly recommend reading “Cloak of Green” by Elaine Dewar (James Lorimer & Company, Toronto, 1995). Summary: in preparation for the Rio summit in 1992, Strong ensured he could influence the summit and achieve the desired outcomes (two examples: he created a Brazilian ENGO staffed by Canadians and funded by the Canadian international development agency to influence the PrepComs leading up to Rio and at Rio; he worked with his friend Stephan Schmidheiny to establish the Business Council on Sustainable Development as the main conduit for business participation at Rio). None of this is illegal or unethical, and certainly not a surprise. It is politics as usual, done particularly well by a very competent politician.

    The points are: the climate issue is political, and is seen as some as an entry point for world governance. Again, this is not new or surprising, but the book mentioned above is an entertaining read.

    Cheers from a long time, and appreciative, lurker.

  57. From 1974 to 1978 we had a snowy owl that lived in our barn during the winter. It would arrive in early December and leave in early March. The amazing thing is this was in North Carolina….

  58. Michelle St.Sauveur;

    beautiful photos! I am glad you where able to capture good images of the bird. Not a bird watcher myself but I can understand the excitement.

  59. This is another observation that puts more reservations on the actual ice coverage in the artic. Why birds would fly so far south to find food if the artic ice is melting away?

    On the more serious side of this story… to any climate modelers reading this blog, please add this very important parameter, the Gull Parameter into your models. This could be the missing link in your model that might improve your output.

  60. Like the birds that brought down the “miracle on the Hudson” jetliner last week. They were said to be there thanks to “climate change”. – Anthony

    Hmm – more than one of them though – we have you outnumbered! ;-)

    Let’s decide it all on a count of flaura and fauna out of their ‘natural’ territory. We need a trading system, though – 1 polar bear = 59 gulls = 4,289 ferns…..

    I look forward to your lead articles on critters being spotted more northerly than we might expect ;-). Alternatively, we could discuss the science on these matters, if anyone was interested in that!

  61. H.A. Reynolds, I read this article earlier today and did a bit of research on Maurice Strong. It is totally true what they say about him and his globalist ambitions… the connection is (of course): Rockefeller!

    “In 1973, William Irwin Thompson founded Lindisfarne, which has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Lindisfarne’s plan is for a new “planetary culture” synthesizing science, art, and spiritual awareness. Maurice Strong has been its financial officer, and Luciferian David Spangler has been on its faculty. Strong also has been a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and the custodian of a group of New Age ashrams in Colorado called “The Baca” which has been visited by David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and others.” ref. http://www.newswithviews.com/Cuddy/dennis146.htm

    It is also good that Gore’s mentor, Roger Revelle, changed his mind about the whole man-made global warming scam. Of course, Gore having to morality, rejected Revelle’s revision by accusing him of being senile.

  62. And do you know who else was in this Lindisfarne society? None other than James Lovelock himself… the Father of Gaia.

  63. Anyone care to comment on this linkhttp://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    It shows heat increases since 2004.

  64. If ivory gulls go south is because weather is getting colder in the artic, so get ready for a real cold winter 2009

  65. I didn’t read thru all the posts so forgive if this is a repeat. There are many reasons for rare bird sightings, some which we don’t understand. On the flip side, last year a mango hummingbird (native to the rainforests) was seen in GA and WI. GA also had an eruption year last year of red-breasted nuthatches commonly seen in Canada.

    It’s still a cool bird sighting though and I hope all those that travel to see it get at least a glimpse.

  66. Steven, I don’t know how much validity is in the graphs shown at that website. For one thing, the present temperature is average or colder for most altitude. But when you look at the average temperature at the near surface it shows about -16.5 to -17 Celsius. Well, for a global temperature it is pretty cold and the earth should be a snowball earth.

  67. Oh this isn’t unusual. I’ve been identifying a number of birds visiting the feeders outside my house this winter, many are species that are normally found in the high arctic. Saw a few Pine Grosbeaks and White Winged Crossbills the other day which spend their summers in the high tundra and their winters in the pine forests of mid-canadian latitudes. I am in New Hampshire.

    We are also seeing increases in wolf activity here in the Northeast, as they are forced southward out of canada by ever colder winters. The moose that are native to this state are expanding southward into southern New England, with resident populations now in Connecticut state that are reproducing: http://www.rep-am.com/sports/local_sports/doc495eee65ac1d3000173007.txt

  68. I have read every comment of the last three entries; the monumental thrashing and hashing things out respectfully albeit passionately has been a remarkable opportunity afforded so uniquely by this blog. One magnificent, undoubtable (for me) conclusion is that the AGWers or GCMers have:

    -the data wrong
    -the statistics wrong
    -the forecasting wrong
    -the atmospheric physics wrong
    -global climate history wrong

    And it is clear that most of the wrongs are purposeful and definitely befouling science. It is time to stop them. I voted for Al Gore; I shudder to think of that moment. At least the beautiful white gull offers a soothing moment as we try to “save our planet” from the pseudo-saviors.

    I would be appreciative of more recent work on atmospheric physics. I do not feel comfortable with “the greenhouse”; it is difficult to imagine the effects of gravity compared to that of a glass-wall encasement.

  69. N. O’Brain: He’s pining for the lovely sheets of iridescent nacreous clouds over the fjords.

  70. Slightly OT:

    Per Fox 32 TV Weather in Chicago: “Coldest January in 15 years.”

    Shhhhh, tell no one.

  71. Michelle, absolutely lovely pics of the gull – I particularly like #3, where the bird is landing.

    Everyone else.. carry on!

  72. Perhaps slightly OT, perhaps not:

    Isn’t it time for the folks at Cryosphere Today to use the 30 year mean, i.e. start of 1979 to end of 2008 on all the sea ice charts ??

    I mean, why wouldn’t they ??

  73. I would caution the skeptics to not become insufferable. The news flow is going our way. Using the Dr. Armstrong null hypothesis, I can safely predict that the news flow will go the other way in the very near future. I am drawn to WUWT and CA because of the civil discourse and the open exchange of information, opinions and ideas.

    Both sides of this debate want Mother Nature to fit into a box that nicely confirms our view. The reality will be messy and difficult to sort out. IMHO, civil discourse and respect for opposing view points will help us all become more informed and more effective advocates for appropriate public policy. It will also keep the forums lively and informative rather than the intellectual equivalent of drinking warm koolaid.

  74. Kaboom (00:44:58) :

    Well, it’s bleeding obvious, isn’t it?

    “Ivory gulls normally stay well above Newfoundland, living on Arctic ice where they follow whales and polar bears to feed on the scraps and carcasses they leave behind after making a kill.”

    Whales have been hunted to extinction, polar bears have have drowned and starved, and the Arctic Ice has all melted, so of course these poor animals are seeking sustenance well outside their habitat.

    Shameful.

    With regard to your assertions of whale [with the exception of right whales, not extinct but low] and polar bear populations please visit the links below for the facts.
    International Whaling Commission

    Whale tables too large to copy/past

    Polar bear populations through 2006

    “…
    Population Estimates:

    [Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

    * WORLD
    o 1965: About 10,000 (IUCN 1966)
    o 1967: About 10,000 (Schuhmacher 1967)
    o 1972: Roughly estimated at 20,000 (DeMaster & Stirling 1981)
    o 1983: Perhaps 20,000 (Nowak & Paradiso 1983)
    o 1996: 20,000 – 30,000 (Watson 1996)
    o 1997: 22,000 – 27,000 (Garner 1997)
    o 1998: 22,130 – 27,030 (Truett & Johnson 2002)
    o 2001: At least 22,000 (Schliebe 2001)
    o 2002: 21,500 – 25,000 (Lunn et al. 2002)
    o 2005: 20,000 – 25,000 (Polar Bear Spec. Gr. 2005)
    o 2006: 20,000 – 25,000 (IUCN 2006)
    …”

    So … maybe the gulls were out of their “normal” habitat for other reasons?

  75. A rational person would explain that the birds not seen since 1889 were flying south due to climate cooling. If they were reacting to climate warming, they would be flying north. And the latter is what they did 110 yrs ago. What they are doing now is due to the former effect.

    Interesting, we just got a date on where we are in terms of travelling backwards in climate temperature: 110 yrs. By this time next year, where will we then be? 1850′s or the Dalton?
    Something to pay attention to: What are the animals doing?

  76. Speaking of human animals, I have this uncomfortable feeling that we are retracting in our willingness to engage in economic activities due to the subliminal message that the climate sends us. Take shelter, stay home and hoard or seek warmer climes. 10,000 yrs is time enough to program the human race. The animals do it, and we wonder aloud. We do it, and we don’t get the connection. We are animals too. Hopefully more intelligent.
    We know what’s coming. We just don’t know that we know.
    Cold is coming.
    Observe.

  77. Slightly OT, but more AGW lunacy from California (a lunatic-rich environment)

    I just returned home from Santa Barbara, where I attended the public hearing held by our State Land Commission as to whether or not an oil company would be granted a permit to drill for offshore oil in state waters. Of three commissioners, one voted Aye, one voted Nay, and the deciding Nay vote was cast by an AGW true believer, Lt. Governor John Garamendi.

    Garamendi stated he would not vote for the project because the revenues the state would receive would go toward various state budgets, and he would only vote for this if all the money (between $2.5 and $5 billion over 13 years) was applied to solving California’s Global Warming problem.

    The oil company had already stipulated it would perform carbon offsets for 150% of the GHG emitted by their project, yet this was not enough. The oil company also agreed, in fact volunteered, to pay immediately $100 million to the state upon receiving their drilling permit. But no. Not enough. Even when the state is facing the largest budget deficit ever ($13 billion and growing by almost $1 billion per month!).

    Sea level rise is non-existent off California for the past few years, and although the Sierra snowpack is less than usual, the rest of the U.S. is freezing with many record cold temperatures.

    This lunacy in California may be coming soon to a government near you!

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  78. OT – Anyone care to comment on the implications of a Mt Redoubt eruption? Won’t the particulates thrown into the arctic affect the melt this summer? Should make for a colder summer in the Northern Hemisphere, shouldn’t it?

  79. PHilincalifornia: sorry friend Cryosphere is dedicated to AGW read their comment on
    Statement related to Daily Tech article of January 1, 2009
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/global.sea.ice.area.pdf. They have been trying to keep the red line below for years. Here’s just a slight record of program glitches to do this
    http://mikelm.blogspot.com/2007/09/left-image-was-downloaded-from.html. However they did remove a Gore statement recently they ain’t too bad…

  80. I would think Austin’s remark on (Arctic) SnowOwl could contain interesting
    information (with possible implications for our thoughts on global warming).

    There are obvious and easily understandable reasons for delimiting temperature records “back” in history: a minimum of geographical coverage and precicion/accuracy need to be met to give useful information.

    I assume the choice of 1880 often chosen, is for reasons along these lines.
    However, if proxies (sensu Mann :-) ) like distribution of polar and subpolar fauna indicates that the late nineteeth century was unusual cold, the thoughts on how we should draw and interprete temperature baselines could be changed.
    (Almost) needless to say, such observations would be weakened if it is only a regional feature, and strengthened if it is circumpolar.

    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  81. OT … heads up…

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Mount Redoubt continues to rumble and simmer, prompting geologists to say this Alaska volcano could erupt “perhaps within hours to days.”

    Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory have been monitoring activity round-the-clock since the weekend.

    If Mount Redoubt does erupt, it would be the first time this occurred in nearly 20 years. And if won’t likely be pretty.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,485048,00.html

    Sorry for the OT Anthony. I am just wondering how big it might be. What would a VEI 3 do to the Winter Climate?

  82. Adam (10:49:58) :
    “any other explanation”
    One would have to see a detailed map of the globe.

    I live in Greece and January has been warmer than average Januaries by maybe about five degrees C in the day and the night temperatures. The reason is that the lows are up over the Black Sea and send us a lot of warm moist air . We are not complaining, we need the rain. We get the tail end of the storms of western europe and since I hear of floodings, temperatures must be notably up there too. Plus it is summer in the southern hemisphere.

  83. Here is a better link on the Volcanic activity….

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/news/1-news/662-mt-redoubt-could-erupt?start=2

    Of the potential eruption scenarios this is part of the most likely…

    Communities around the volcano, especially to the east, northeast, and southeast, would likely experience trace to several millimeters (less than 0.4 inches) of ash fall as a result of discrete explosive events. Such events could also generate pyroclastic flows that swiftly melt snow and ice to form mudflows, or lahars, that would likely travel east down Drift River, possibly reaching and flowing into Cook Inlet……

    ….. An eruption consisting of multiple explosive events, episodic lava-dome growth and collapse, and lahars may last weeks to months.

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/news/1-news/662-mt-redoubt-could-erupt?start=2

    More than likely Anchorage will be affected.

  84. I would think the particulate injected into the atmosphere by Redoubt would lower even further the Arctic sunlight received next summer. More cooling.
    Extreme cold, crust shrinks and gets more brittle, volcanic zit pops, ash & dust high in atmosphere making it colder.

  85. JP (11:26:56) :
    La Nina developed in Dec, so that rules out the East-Central pacific

    As discussed in a previous post La Nina has not developed this NH winter and the indications are that it will not develop. On the contrary there has been quite rapid warming in equatorial pacific waters recently http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml

  86. Randall (19:26:42) :

    Dell Hunt, have you seen any snowy owls by the Cascades?

    I have to admit, its been so cold here that other than work, and an occasional trip to the grocery store, I haven’t gone out much. So haven’t been out to Cascades to investigate the wildlife.

  87. Harold Peirce Jnr… Quote: “Then the silk-stocking enviromentalists and limosine liberals, who fund the holier-than-thou protestors of spring seal hunt, will start whining because there are no fish, lobsters and crabs to eat at the fancy joints in NYC!”

    Yes, but then they will claim that just more proof of man-made global warming.

  88. Lee:
    “Sorry for the OT Anthony. I am just wondering how big it might be. What would a VEI 3 do to the Winter Climate?”

    From what I’ve read VEI 3 is pretty small. Mt Saint Helens in 1980 was a VEI 5, and looking at the temperature record, I don’t see a large drop in temperature for any length of time. I think the bigger impact would depend on how large an area the ash spreads. The ash would be a huge change in albeido, and there could be a large melt because of it. (I bet the AGWers would love that)

  89. Just as my confidence is growing that AWG is complete hogwash and that our Penn-Livingston virility-starved sun spots are going to turn our planet into an ever growing Ice cube, Drudge goes and tells me that “Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city recorded its third consecutive day of temperatures above 43 degrees Celsius (109 F) for the first time since 1855″

    When I give mother nature a script, I expect her to stick with it !!!

    (Woman, they’re always making you wait.)

  90. When guesstimating effects of a volcano in the Arctic, remember that dark ash on snow/ice may add melting effects. There has been interest in what China’s dust/soot plume does on the Arctic surface. I think it’s yet another uncertainty in weather science, where some researchers have looked at the topic but not enough is yet known about the subject.

  91. I should point out that both in the year on year and in the monthly records it is not unheard of for heat or cold (and wet or dry, but that’s a different story) to immediately follow or precede its opposite. Sometimes in extremis. Since records began. In both and opposing hemispheres ;-)

    (I couldn’t work out where to put the commas, so left them out. Sorry)

  92. Birds migrate to find food. While cold and snow and ice cover may have an impact on the ability to forage for food, to show a reason for migration, you would have to correct for the cyclical nature of the prey populations vs those ot the predators.

    While I agree that a cold summer would reduce forage for prey populations thus reducing their number, such as a summer seen in Alaska this year, its not clear that it was too cold to reduce prey numbers. You may just be seeing the net result of predators being too numerous for the prey.

  93. Jim Thomas

    The records still stands that 1855 was warmer and in other cities it has peaked below the temperatures recorded in 1901. Up till now I understand it has been a cool summer

    tonyB

  94. Re: Ross’s response to Kaboom’s lament about disappearing whales and polar bears: Kaboom was being facetious.

  95. Pierre Gosselin (06:52:07) :

    “One trend I’ve noticed: MORE SCEPTICS
    Reader comments at newspaper websites with stories on AGW are overwelmingly sceptical, with many scoffing at the notion of AGW.
    And once the fuel bills come due, look for the AGW fantasy to be ridiculed even more.”

    I’m not sure that’s true. What I DO believe is that sceptics are becoming more vocal. The true believers are unobservable. I have never actually MET a believer, so maybe we northern Englanders are naturally sceptical.

    DaveE.

  96. Everybody else is having all the fun except us on the west coast. Snowstorms and freezing temperatures all across the US (east of the sierras), canada and Europe. Snowy Owls and Arctic Gulls visiting at low latitudes. People bracing up for more arctic blasts everywhere.

    Everywhere except here that is. Right now in Santa Cruz it feels about 70 degrees farenheit, brilliant blue sky, with more of the same predicted straight through until the middle of next week.

    Is that what I should expect through these solar minima periods? While rest of the NH gets the exciting snowstorms and neat frozen lakes, Californians gets- yawn – arm temperatures and sunny, dry weather?! Aaargh!!

  97. Roger Knights (13:39:56) :

    Re: Ross’s response to Kaboom’s lament about disappearing whales and polar bears: Kaboom was being facetious.

    Maybe. Hard to tell sometimes.

  98. Well, it’s bound to happen. The first sign of global warming is extreme temperatures, so some places will be very cold and the other very very hot.

    Animal and bird movements are an interesting way of tracking temperature patterns. Often during the onset of an earthquake or a tsunami the first signs can be felt by birds and animals. You’ll also observe this during an eclipse

  99. @John (11:59:15) :

    Any thoughts on the bloomberg article below discussing the continued shrinking of the glaciers? I had hoped the process would be slowing down. Can anyone point me to any other, perhaps contradictory studies?

    I wonder what those numbers are going to look like for 2008. Arctic sea ice seems to have been building strongly this winter: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/02/15/arctic-ice.html

    This NSIDC report, which is not very current, does document a flattening of ice growth for December 12-19 but curiously has not been updated to reflect changes since then. It will be interesting to see if changes for the entire winter reflect the earlier 8% average increase over 2007 lows:

    http://www.nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    The report shows that you can draw favored interpretations to any set of data. 2008 is claimed to be the second lowest arctic sea ice level on record. But if it is 8-10% above 2007, that also suggests that the pendulum may be swinging back in the other direction.

    Just a hunch — but I wonder if the 2008 glacier data won’t turn out to show the same trend.

    I appreciate your posting “contrarian” perspective here. We all need that.

  100. Polar Bear Population on the Rise

    A Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) Jan 30, 2009 news blog reports that polar bear experts, wild life biologists, etc met in the Yukon to discuss the plight of the Polar Bear and what can be done to save them. Innuit delegates informed all that they are seeing more polar bears around than ever! Here is the link (I wish I knew how to shorten it):

    http://technology.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/News/ContentPosting?newsitemid=yukon-pbear&feedname=CBC-TECH-SCIENCE-V3&show=False&number=0&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=True&paginationenabled=false

  101. We have here a snow owl, too.
    Not from up north, instead did successfully escape a private zoo in the northern part
    of the State of Hesse, Germany. There was a price set on the whereabouts of that bird.
    Nobody did care about that price. We all like our freedom. Owls too.

    Too, I do know of Snow Owls in Belgium, Netherlands and the State of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Looks alike the big birdies do like that climate here, now.
    Not me. It’s now the third winter in a row, where I did wear long undertrousers, sometimes. Where is Global Warming when I do need it?

    That seems to be the Global Gore Effect. The energy for all his phrases/talks seem
    to be extracted from the atmosphere. Hummm, shall we tell him to shut up?

  102. Interesting Gary, here is a quote:
    “CBC News

    “About two dozen delegates, including field workers, biologists, wildlife management officials and Inuit representatives, have gathered at Yukon College from Friday until Sunday for a pan-northern workshop on polar bear conservation.
    The workshop comes two weeks after federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice hosted 70 delegates for a national roundtable on the same subject, in the hopes of bridging a divide between scientific opinion that says polar bears are threatened and Inuit beliefs that bear populations are rising.”

    The scientific opinion is at odds with the people actually on the ground. That sounds familiar.
    Mike

  103. Psi (08:02:14)

    I love that first article. The headline says:

    “Recent Cold Snap Helping Arctic Sea Ice, Scientists Find”

    Man those scientists are really smart! I guess that’s why we pay them the big bucks. I wish I was smart enough to figure out stuff like that!!!

    Mike

  104. Everywhere except here that is. Right now in Santa Cruz it feels about 70 degrees farenheit, brilliant blue sky, with more of the same predicted straight through until the middle of next week.

    Is that what I should expect through these solar minima periods? While rest of the NH gets the exciting snowstorms and neat frozen lakes, Californians gets- yawn – arm temperatures and sunny, dry weather?! Aaargh!!

    Isn’t that why you live in Santa Cruz? ;) That’s what my sister tells me, anyway, and my Grandmother has loved it there for over 60 years (Capitola).

  105. I wonder what they taste like?

    Don’t look very big…..probably have to have quite a few to make a decent meal.

  106. Mike Bryant (08:50:35) :

    Interesting Gary, here is a quote:
    “CBC News

    “About two dozen delegates, including field workers, biologists, wildlife management officials and Inuit representatives, have gathered at Yukon College from Friday until Sunday for a pan-northern workshop on polar bear conservation.
    The workshop comes two weeks after federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice hosted 70 delegates for a national roundtable on the same subject, in the hopes of bridging a divide between scientific opinion that says polar bears are threatened and Inuit beliefs that bear populations are rising.”

    The scientific opinion is at odds with the people actually on the ground. That sounds familiar.
    Mike

    Here is good review of the status of the polar bear by a scientist long involved in the research on the topic. Dr. Mitchell did a credible job of discussing the pitfalls in both climate and polar bear research.

    http://www.fcpp.org/main/publication_detail.php?PubID=2571

    Don’t forget the financial incentives of the natives in the northern parts of Canada. Dr. Mitchell acknowledges the hardship hunting bans can have on the local economy in those parts. The Inuit are quite poor and do not want to give up what has been a good source of income for their people. They naturally want to see good population growth, or at least enough growth to permit them to continue their hunting. Very similar to the response of the fishing communities of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to the news of the impending cod population collapse. The warnings were ignored and now the fishing industries have collapsed. There truly is a depression in those regions now.

    The above illustrates the real need for science to be objective and careful in its pronouncements when commenting on topics affecting people’s day-to-day lives. If you overstate your position, which is what I believe is happening now with AGW, you lose your credibility when you later comment on topics in which you are correct, such as with the cod populations.

    In any event, Dr. Mitchell demonstrates the polar bear is doing quite well in most of the areas where we have accurate population counts. In two population groups, not so well. Although in one of them, Western Hudson Bay, the decline has been halted.

    Jack

  107. Kaboom; Are you for real with that post? If so, you have no idea about any of this. May pay you to get up to speed on some of the issues. Seems that there are more polar bears now than ever before and the arctic ice has not all melted.

  108. “The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.” Who reported this? the IPCC, the Meteorological Office…. No, that was the US Weather Bureau in 1922.

  109. TWC just showed a bit about the freeze in Florida. Pictures included one of a large herd of manatees (a non-herding species…) cozied up in the warm water from a power plant discharge keeping warm… So much for ‘thermal pollution’…

    (Hey, anything that helps manatees survive, I’m all for…)

  110. Dear, dear,

    The occurence of Ivory Gulls in southern latitudes has nothing to do with any climate, wheather or whatever. They are able to wander long distances and vagrants can occur anywhere.
    And we are talking about the toughest of toughest birds in the Northern Hemisphere. It was even seen breeding on rocky cliffs facing the North in Greenland, otherwise it could be too warm for them!
    As far as Europe concerned, the occurrence is randomly distributed over the years, e.g The Netherlands has three records, in 1987, 1990 (I saw that one) and in 1994 (must check on the last one). In the UK it occurs almost annually, mostly in the Northern Isles, but also more southerly as happened e.g. in 1986 in Yorkshire (saw that one too).
    Which birds we get in Europe is not clear, they could come from Spitsbergen, Greenland or from Northern Canada. The 1990 bird in the Netherlands occurred after a stormy period with northwestern gales, the 1987 bird in a cold winter, with other birds originating from Northern Russia/Siberia rather from the Nearctic region (Gyr Falcon, Steller’s Eider). The bird in France is accompanied by a Kumlien’s Gull, a gull well known in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in winter.
    So don’t spill your beans, the occurrence of this individual in Plymouth, or the one in France has most probably nothing to do with the cold this winter!

    By the way Anthony, the map you showed, only shows the Nearctic region. It occurs in the Palearctic too (Svalbard or Spitsbergen we like to call it in the Netherlands – once ours!).

  111. Thanks Jack for your coments re Dr. Taylor and the polar bear populations. I’m not a biologist but I’m puzzled that melting ice would threaten the polar bear. If the ice melted, wouldn’t the seals have to come ashore where the polar bears, presented with a linear distribution of seals, could feast without interuption. Perhaps we should be concerned more about the seal populations.

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