Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate

Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate
Guest Post by Jeff Id on February 3, 2009

Something I’ve been interested in for the last several months is sea ice data. What makes it interesting is that as I understand it, models demonstrate the poles should be most sensitive to global warming leading the planet temp, especially in the Arctic. Recently I have been able to process the monthly and daily gridded arctic data as provided by NSIDC. The daily values allow a better analysis of trend than can be provided by the monthly data.

If you’re like me you recall the claims of fastest melt rate ever were made about 2007 , I fully believed them, because the graphs showed a much more negative value than in the previous 30 years as shown in Figure 1 below.

06-07-ice-area1

Click for larger image

This effort was originally intended to investigate how bad the melt rate was in comparison to the natural variation, I didn’t get that far yet. Accessing and processing the gridded data was critical to the analysis, so I spent the time reading the literature and writing code. Having full access to the NSIDC data allows some interesting analysis, they do an excellent job on their site.

There are two primary algorithms used for processing ice data NasaTeam and Bootstrap. The descriptions of the data state the difference between the two is very small and the sets are interchangeable except that bootstrap is recommended for trend analysis in research publications. Bootstrap is only provided in monthly data format while NasaTeam is provided in both monthly and daily provided you’re willing to download over 1G of data, write code to process it, refit the land and missing data mask and sum the results. I am. Also, NasaTeam provides a near real time version of the polar ice data which has a different land mask and hasn’t been processed for missing data. This data isn’t as clean but I wanted to use it. I applied the same land mask as the rest of the series to insure that there was a consistent baseline for trend analysis. The missing data from Jan 2008 onward created noise in the series which I simply filtered out using a 7 day sliding window filter.

The mask looks like this Figure 2

nasateam-arctic-ice-mask

The brown is land, black edges on land are coastline and light blue is the satellite data not measured. This mask is applied consistently through the entire data series. There was some question about masking on one of my other posts at WUWT where visually the land area seemed to change size, in the case of the NSIDC data they apply masks consistently except for the satellite hole and the near real time data.

The NasaTeam version of the arctic ice data looks like the plot below for  2009 (note the small size of the satellite data hole). This graph was created in R using the actual Nasa Team masks and data. I used the worst case land and polar masks to adjust the entire dataset to eliminate problems with consistency. Figure 3

nasateam-arctic-ice-feb-2009

Of course it’s an interesting picture, but what I wanted to know when I started this post was how bad was the worst melt rate in history and what is the actual melt area. In the plot below the arctic is losing sea ice at a rate of only 56K km^2/year. Of course sea ice area went up in the Antarctic during the same time frame though. Note the strong recovery in 08 of Figures 1 and 4, which actually exceeds values of most of the record, matching data back to 1980. Much of this is first year ice so the melt in 08 was expected to be a new record.

30-yr-ice-area1

Click for larger image

If you recall, in 2007 and 08 we were treated to headlines like this, which most of us accepted with a shrug.

Scientists warn Arctic sea ice is melting at its fastest rate since records began

NASA data show Arctic saw fastest sea ice melt in August 2008

Arctic Just Witnessed Fastest August Ice Retreat in History

I processed and analyzed the NasaTeam land area and missing data masks spending hours understanding different variances they list on their own website. After nearly everything I could find (except satellite transitions errors) was corrected (a different post) and corrections for variance in the measured pixel size, the final result in 30 day trends of arctic sea ice looks like the graph below (Figure 5). This graph is a derivative of the ice area plot. The maximum peaks and valleys represent the maximum rates of change in 30 day periods through the ice record.

meltrate

Click for larger image

Looking at this plot of the 30 day slopes of actual NASA gridded data, the maximum ice melt rate occurs in 1999 and in 2004 not in 2007. Surprisingly the maximum ice growth rates occur in 2007 and 2008, I don’t remember those headlines for some reason. Don’t forget when looking at the 2008 – 09 peak, the data is preliminary and hasn’t been through the same processing as the other data. From looking at the unprocessed data I doubt it will change much.

Certainly the 30 year arctic trend in ice area is downward, even the most committed global warming scientist has to admit this happens regularly in climate along with regular 30 year uptrends. The questions are, did we cause it or not, and was CO2 the instigating factor. The rapid recovery of ice levels has to have some meaning regarding the severity of the problem. This goes directly in the face of accelerated global warming and the doom and gloom scenarios promoted by our politicians and polyscienticians.

Why are my conclusions different from the news reported records? I think it’s likely due to the fact that the scientists used the monthly data which is processed using a weighted filter of the daily data that incorporates a longer time frame than a single month. This means their use of the monthly data to establish a monthly trend was in error and the real record down trends were actually set in 1999, 2003 and 1984. While the record uptrends were in 2007, 2008 and 1996.


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270 Responses to Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate

  1. tokyoboy says:

    One of my colleagues, who has been recruited by IPCC for three years, says that though the polar ice area is apparently increasing the ice layer is thinner so that the ice mass itself is slowly decreasing in line with the AGW theory. Is his opinion reasonable or not ?

  2. Craig Moore says:

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this graph and its source: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

  3. Robert Bateman says:

    With winter this cold, I cannot imagine the Arctic not freezing up big time.
    Keep it up, the public is growing wary of these roasting & drowning stories.

  4. John W. says:

    WHAT!? You used RAW data?! You didn’t “adjust” it to account for the “consensus” impact of anthropogenic global warming?!

    This is a perfect example of the danger of “kitchen” science: Using actual data to gain insight into how the real world behaves.

    This clearly hasn’t been peer reviewed, or funded by an appropriate governmental agency. Therefore, it must have been paid for by an oil company.

    Shame!

    [/sarc]

  5. DJ says:

    This is a simple case of geography. Melt ice to a record low summertime extent and you then can freeze a record amount of ice in the subsequent fall. Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    This change is exactly as expected under global warming and will continue for a period while the Arctic switches from a perennial ice regime to a seasonal ice regime.

  6. Frank Tuttle says:

    A branch of the Gulf Stream flows into the Arctic via Norway’s North Cape. It has never been clear to me how variations in this stream affect the water temperature in the Arctic and, of course, the ice melt/freeze.

  7. John W. says:

    Craig Moore (18:01:39) :

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this graph and its source: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

    WRT, they seem to be providing accurate information on sea ice.

    WRT the information, sea ice, in the Arctic, is behaving pretty much normally. However, one could observe that the growth trajectory seems to be heading for a ten year high.

    Did you have a point you wanted to make?

  8. John W. says:

    “WRT, they seem to be providing accurate information on sea ice.”

    SB: “WRT the source, they seem to be providing accurate information on sea ice.

  9. VG says:

    since the various “software glitches” changes without explanation @ cryosphere today

    http://mikelm.blogspot.com/2007/09/left-image-was-downloaded-from.html

    PLUS the masking of NH data (snow borders ect, posted here) PLUS changes at NOREX (again without explanation as I understand) (as posted on WUWT) it is becoming more obvious that the ice data may also have been or be in process of being “adjusted” to suit AGW. In the light of it all.. only the “sea ice index” data seems reasonably close.. beware of changes to this data soon!. Its clear that cryosphere today favours the AGW hypothesis see recent link to “clarifications”
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/global.sea.ice.area.pdf + all changes suit AGW

  10. David L. Hagen says:

    Al Gore gave a presentation at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Jan 28. 2009, 10 AM. During that he showed graphs of the Arctic ice changing. He particularly noted a rapid change in old ice vs new ice. See:
    ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: THE ROAD TO COPENHAGEN

  11. Pamela Gray says:

    Proof that you can statistically get your data to say what you want it to say (it’s the first law of publishing). If you want it to say warmer, it will, if you want it to say not warmer, it will. Knowing that, we should always look at peer reviewed journal articles with an eye to that law…and yes, as well as our own.

  12. TallDave says:

    Melt ice to a record low summertime extent and you then can freeze a record amount of ice in the subsequent fall.

    Or, you could not freeze a record amount and have a dropping maximum and dropping average every year, which is what global warming models predicted.

    Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    It seems unlikely “meters-thick” ice is melting every year. In any case, the volume wouldn’t affect sea level much, being sea ice.

    This change is exactly as expected under global warming

    Yes, everything that happens is predicted by global warming, even when it isn’t.

  13. VG says:

    DJ If you look closely Ice is appearing thicker (concentration) on NH cryosphere today than previous so wrong again….

  14. John W. says:

    DJ (18:21:21) :

    This is a simple case of geography. Melt ice to a record low summertime extent and you then can freeze a record amount of ice in the subsequent fall. Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    This change is exactly as expected under global warming and will continue for a period while the Arctic switches from a perennial ice regime to a seasonal ice regime.

    Unless, of course, the climate is emerging from a warming period. In which case we’ll see a regrowth of metres thick “permanent” ice.

    Will that regrowth of “permanent” ice be “evidence” of global warming?

  15. TallDave says:

    He particularly noted a rapid change in old ice vs new ice.

    And we need old ice because…?

    This is starting to remind me of people who oppose a lunar base because it could damage the delicate lunar ecosystem.

  16. Smokey says:

    DJ,

    Link, please?

    Meanwhile, check out Arctic sea ice before and after the government’s “adjustment”: click

  17. Wally says:

    Excellent graphs. I think this recalculation of results by people not involved in the original project is very valuable. I appreciate that most of the data centers will allow you get you hands on the data.

    I have been looking at the sunspot, optical thickness data, CO2 and MEI data in regards to the UAH and GISS temperature trends over the last 50 years. When I first started looking at sunspots I found little correlation with temperature but when I finished a three factor model of temperature using optical thickness, CO2 and MEI the resulting residual error with the GISS data had an 11-year cycle. I redid the model adding monthly sunspot data. It still has some issues and I’m sure I made a few mistakes along the way. anyone interested can see the results at http://web.me.com/wally/Site/Blog/Blog.html.

  18. Steve says:

    Would any of the statisticians please comment. When looking at the ASMR-E Sea Ice Extent, there is a tightening of the curves around June. It would appear that that data is more significant regarding normality than the maxima and minima. Also can anyone comment on the mechanism of the small, but obvious increase and then decrease in several if not all the curves early in June.

  19. Jeff Id says:

    Smokey,

    If you don’t mind who made these plots? Where is the data from?

  20. FatBigot says:

    I have never been able to get (what remains of) my mind around the sea-ice arguments.

    There seem to be two distinct topics. One is: what is actually happening? The other is: how does what is actually happening fit in with Dr Hansen’s computer games? Somehow a third (and, it seems to me, irrelevant) issue intrudes, namely whether what is actually happening has been recorded by human beings before.

    The problem with the third issue is that it makes no difference to anything other than emotion. If Dr Hansen’s computer games suggest Arctic sea ice will melt at an ever increasing rate in summer, the only test for that hypothesis is whether Arctic sea ice is melting at ever increasing rates in summer. Either it is or it isn’t. If he tells us global sea ice will melt at ever increasing rates, again measurements can be taken and compared to the limited historical data available. That such levels might not have been recorded before adds nothing to the argument.

    My feeble brain suggests that talk of “record levels” merely distracts attention from the question whether what is actually happening is consistent or inconsistent with the AGW Armageddon theory. It encourages people to jump to conclusions that are not necessarily valid.

    By the way, it’s still nice and white around FatBigot Towers. I’m expecting to find polar bears hiding behind the compost bin any day now.

  21. Dave L says:

    It’s the combination of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the solar minimum.

  22. a jones says:

    We do know courtesy of the Royal Navy and its nuclear boats [submarines] that since they first started to measure it in the late 1970’s the thickness of the Arctic ice has been declining. Likewise our satellite data only dates back to 1979.

    The Arctic ocean is a largely enclosed sea so ice formation and melting is subject to many different weather factors, and is highly variable from season to season.

    The idea that there is old ice and new is misleading, vast amounts of ice melt and huge amounts of water freeze every year. The motions of the ice vary so much from season to season that it is hard to say when this or that bit of ice was formed.

    Whilst there has been a retreat of Arctic ice in the past thirty years this is nothing unusual, we know from historical records going back five hundred years that this has happened before, most recently fifty years ago. We do not know why there are periods when the ice retreats and then grows in extent again. And we know nothing about how the thickness of the ice might have changed in those times.

    In short these variations in the Arctic ice are nothing to get excited about, they have happened before and will probably happen again. To suggest they they somehow represent some sudden change in the Earth’s climate or even to read into them that such changes might be afoot, is to say the very least melodramatic.

    Rather more speculative science fiction than fact.

    Kindest Regards

  23. Ed Scott says:

    Who is speaking for the plants?
    By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, February 2, 2009

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/8110

    There is no evidence CO2 is causing global warming or climate change but that is the basis for the slur and the proposed actions. As usual little thought is given to the direct and collateral damage such as the economic impacts from increased taxes and cost of doing business. No thought is given to the damage to nature. So you have the paradox of environmentalists screaming to reduce CO2 to save the planet, while putting all life in jeopardy by killing the plants. It is blind faith. But this is not surprising because the great problem of environmentalism as a religion is the failure to do full and proper cost/benefit analyses. For example, all you ever hear about are the down sides to warming when there are actually more up sides. One major downside rarely mentioned is the impact on plants of reduced CO2 levels.

  24. Grant Hodges says:

    “your replacing metres thick once permanent ice ” –

    Permanent ice. Hmm. . . . back in a minute:
    “When I visited the North Pole in July 1996* (on board the Yamal, , the same icebreaker from which the photograph of the pole surrounded by open sea was taken), the captain had to sail six miles away from the pole to find ice thick enough to permit safe disembarkation. Small areas of open water were clearly visible at the pole, with larger areas nearby. It is to be expected that on some occasions, by chance, a large area of open sea will surround the pole. This has likely occurred a vast number of times over the millennia, even if it was photographed for the first time this year. ”

    This is from a Dr. Leonard Evans, Bloomfield MI, phd in physics from Oxford U, who notes that the satellites don’t show the poles. I guess that is the “satellite hole” that is referred to above. I suppose I am trying to say that Artic ice has prolly always been in more or less a state of flux, of melting and remelting, as I understand it. Permanent seems inappropriate except as a general term. Perhaps somebody could shed some light on this . . .

    I am also distrustful of the term “multi-year ice”. I perfectly understand the intended meaning, but doubt its importance, since I expect that Artic ice is never permanent. The experience of one expedition in deploying portable automated mesonet stations causes me to suspect thusly:”More than once we found a PAM station the victim of ice motions. In fact, one of the stations we deployed first, Cleveland, was engulfed in a pressure ridge and had to be removed from service for repairs. The same equipment, after repairs, was later redeployed at Seattle, where again it was threatened by leads and was moved to Maui. And that Maui site almost suffered total immersion twice as a consequence of the unpredictable ice pack.” Ice station Sheba was established 300 miles north of Barrow AL, and drifted 800 miles from Oct to May, 1998. Such movement suggests impermanence as was seen when much Artic Sea ice was “dumped out of the refrigerator” in 2007 by unusual polar winds. Other posters may actually have some factual comment on the subject of “permanence”. I’m just giving impressions I have built up over the past few years (since 2007 and the big ice melt story).

    If there were really such a thing as permanent ice, we could build things up there, leave for the winter and come back and find them next fall. I bet you can’t.

  25. Lars says:

    Jeff, I hope you will post on the correlation, if any, between North Pole temperatures and Arctic Sea Ice extent.

  26. Gina Becker says:

    Soot from Asia is settling all over the arctic ice. Look at satellite photos of the globe. It absorbs more radiation heat than white snow (albedo effect), causing melting of ice, exposing more of the darker oceans that absorb more radiation heat, etc.–but the CO2 alarmists are blaming it on, well, CO2, of course, which doesn’t stand up to physics calculations. I believe soot, plus the many “correction factors” that NASA and Hadley, et al, apply to all the data, account for all the perceived “global warming” trends.

  27. Philip_B says:

    The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_07a.rnl.html

    I don’t know iff this anomaly is real or an artifact of processing, given the poor to non-existent polar coverage of the satellites.

    And, re the melting of ‘meters thick ice”. This is pure speculation. There is no data to support this conclusion, over the same time period as this analysis.

  28. layne says:

    I just LOVE that the warming Fanatics are stopping by to explicate their theories. It signifies the attention this site is getting, and the impact it is exerting on the fantasy “consensus”.

    DJ…. news flash: All increases in ice footprint BEGIN as NEW ice. … mainly because they are…. well, …. NEW. :-)

    I plan to construct a 10 ft tall carbon edifice of Al Gore in my back yard this summer, (or, extension of spring if the last two years are any indication) …. and I will invite channel 4 to witness as we douse Al, el-Carbon, in gas, and set him alite. Then, we’ll spin brodies around him with our SUVs in the hope this will generate enough C02 to keep us from another Maunder event. :-)

    Cheers!

  29. JohnD says:

    I stand by my previous perdiction (as best I can remember it…):

    Artic sea ice crosses the equator by March 1, 2009, 4:15AM local time!

  30. Roger Carr says:

    Wally (18:48:28): Cool blog, Wally. Thanks for the link. Would you take a moment to add it to your information when submitting here so we can simply click your name to go there? Anthony generously makes this option available to all contributors.

  31. G Alston says:

    DJ — Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    This sounds like conjecture, not science. First, there’s no guarantee that seasonal ice will be thin. There’s compaction to deal with. It compresses. And in so doing it gets thick in places. Second, I don’t know for a fact that ice that is thick necessarily melts slower if the melting is caused by ocean current and happening from underneath. It sounds reasonable, but sounds = assumption. Assumption isn’t data. Third, this is precisely the argument forwarded by the alarmist crowd in 2008 that claimed that the 2008 melt would make the record 2007 melt pale in comparison. And we know how _that_ turned out.

    In short, your statement has the all-too-familiar ring of “proof by repeated assertion,” which seems to be the primary tool of the alarmist’s debating arsenal.

    Got anything original or is this a retread?

  32. Smokey says:

    Jeff Id,

    I got the blink graph from this site, but I’m sorry to say I didn’t record its provenance. Let that be a lesson to me. Maybe if someone recalls it we can find out who composed it.

  33. Pamela Gray says:

    Philip B – Yes there is. There is a stalled warm jet stream anomaly next to Greenland. It is pulling warmer air and fairly strong winds from further south into the Arctic circle. I predict ice changes (downward extent trend and lower ice concentrations) until this area clears out.

  34. Pamela Gray says:

    Jet stream area that is. The ice will rebuild, both in terms of concentration and extent, quickly, once the cold air is allowed to circulate once again in its normal pattern. The jet stream affect can be very powerful up there, along with warm and cold oceanic currents.

  35. Lee Kington says:

    DJ (18:21:21) :
    Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was. Except that when the following seasonal melt is less than the result is a net gain. With a repeat you then have the beginnings of a new (and extended) multi-year field. The current pattern seems to indicate that the ‘guess’ the models made was incorrect.

  36. Jiminindy says:

    An ice-free pole should be no surprise, due to axial tilt. Cloud cover over the Arctic is random, as are the ocean currents. The non-variable affecting melting is solar radiation which has maximum impact on the (nearly) unmoving polar ice.

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    Grant Hodges (19:28:04) :
    “your replacing metres thick once permanent ice ” –

    If there were really such a thing as permanent ice, we could build things up there, leave for the winter and come back and find them next fall. I bet you can’t.

    The condition of permanent sea ice at the North Pole happens during ice ages. The thing that causes interglacials is the melting of the North Polar ice. As soon as the ice is persisting through the arctic summers (plural, ‘permanent’), we are ‘on our way’ into the next glacial… See Milankovitch.

    That the summer ice and snow sometimes melts is a Very Good Thing.

    From “Ice Age” by John and Mary Gribbin):

    Pg.53: [...]the single most important thing to emerge from these discussions was Koppen’s realization of the key season in the Ice Age saga. Adhemar and Croll had thought that the decisive factor in encouraging Ice to spread across the Northern Hemisphere must be the occurrence of extremely cold winters, resulting in increased snowfall. At first, Milankovitch had shared this view. But it was Koppen who pointed out that it is always cold enough for snow to fall in the Arctic winter, even today, and that the reason that the Northern Hemisphere is not in the grip of a full Ice Age is because the ‘extra’ snow melts away again in the summer.

    Pg 54: He reasoned that the way to encourage the ice to spread would be to have a reduction in summer warmth, because then less of the winter snowfall would melt. If less snow melted in summer than fell in winter, the ice sheets would grow – and once they had started to grow, the feedback effect of the way the ice and snow reflect away incoming solar energy would enhance the process.

  38. Jarmo says:

    I just wonder about the ice situation during MWP if this study is to be trusted.

    http://www.ulapland.fi/?newsid=6995&deptid=11589&languageid=4&news=1

  39. Nick Yates says:

    DJ (18:21:21) :

    This change is exactly as expected under global warming and will continue for a period while the Arctic switches from a perennial ice regime to a seasonal ice regime.

    If the Arctic sea ice had never melted before then it would be kilometers thick by now. We only have to wait one year for first year ice to become perennial ice as it will do next year. Given that ice is good insulator, I wonder if the melting and reforming of the Arctic ice acts like a sort of thermostat allowing excess heat in the ocean to radiate away quickly following a natural warming period. There is also evidence that the Arctic ice cap has been smaller in the past than now, as seen on WUWT.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/21/researchers-find-arctic-may-have-had-less-ice-6-7000-years-ago/

  40. AnonyMoose says:

    “This means their use of the monthly data to establish a monthly trend was in error …”

    So what happens when one uses yearly data to establish a yearly trend?

    Incidentally, the article text refers to Figures 1 and 4 without labeling the figures, assuming you’re referring to the figures in this article.

  41. jarhead says:

    JohnD wrote

    “I stand by my previous perdiction (as best I can remember it…):

    Artic sea ice crosses the equator by March 1, 2009, 4:15AM local time!’

    So What? I am sure this is consistent with the models.

  42. Steve Keohane says:

    From what I’ve read the polar cap is ~20My old, ~ 0.5% of earth’s age. Seems abnormal to have any ice there at all.

  43. Tim L says:

    TX, Jeff

  44. Pieter F says:

    When I see a headline like, “. . . Fastest August Ice Retreat in History” I immediately wonder what notion of history is being applied — first signs of civilization, Adam and Eve, the invention of the thermometer, the birth of Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, the baptism of Al Gore? When reading further and I find that, for the story, history began in 1980, I am immediately skeptical about the importance of the message. It effectively begins history concurrent with the late 20th Century warming and avoids the mid-20th Century cooling period. That’s deaky and snevious!

    It reminds me of the early 2000 presidential campaign. In January of that year the US Weather Service announced that 1999 was the warmest since the agency had been keeping records. That was a fair enough statement as the agency began in 1817 and their data was known, though there was some discussion about the Urban Heat Island and its affect on the more recent data. Then the media got hold of the story and two national news organizations (ABC and CBS) reported, “According to government scientists, 1999 was the warmest on record.” It was only a day or two before a certain presidential candidate declared in a speech that 1999 “was the warmest in history.”

    By nearly all recognized accounts the Medieval Climate Optimum, the rise of the Roman Empire, the heights of the Egyptian dynasties, and the heart of the Eemian Interglacial (when first signs of culture appear in the anthropological record) were all periods substantially warmer than now.

    Can we be a little more careful on how we use the word ‘history’ or at least be clear about when history began within the context of a given story?

  45. DR says:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-north-pole.html

    “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],”

    The same arguments on thinning ice were used last year to justify such presumptuous hysteria, but nary a mention of what actually caused the low minimum in 2007.

    These “scientists” can say whatever they want and never worry about accountability.

  46. http://www.eoearth.org/article/State_of_the_Arctic_Report

    “Data from submarine based observations indicate that at the end of the melt season the permanent ice cover…thinned by an average of 1.3 m between 1956–1978 and the 1990s, from 3.1 to 1.8 m. On the other hand, measurements of the seasonal ice cover (the ice around the periphery of the Arctic basin that melts during the summer) do not indicate any statistically significant change in thickness in recent decades (Melling et al., 2005; Haas, 2004; Polyakov et al., 2003).”

  47. Richard111 says:

    “Adjusting” the data has no effect on the real world. Beware when they put CO2 under legal control. There will be no single aspect of our lives that will not come under government scrutiny. 1984 is the “bible” of our current government.

  48. John Nicklin says:

    a jones (19:21:59) :

    “We do know courtesy of the Royal Navy and its nuclear boats [submarines] that since they first started to measure it in the late 1970’s the thickness of the Arctic ice has been declining. Likewise our satellite data only dates back to 1979.”

    Unless those boats measured the ice at consistent locations. not necessarily the same lat and long since the ice moves, the data is of little value. So, if they deployed locator beacons at each measurement location and made all further lmeasurements based on those data points, the data might be valid. More likely, they were measuring the ice along their track which may have been different every voyage. Tim Ball has commented on this kind of evidence, he finds it to be of very little value.

  49. RichardM says:

    Using the word “permanent” to describe Arctic ice was analogously captured by former President Clinton, “It depends on what is is.”

    That ice isn’t permanent, but there is multi-year ice. It melts and migrates and is continuously renewed every winter (at least in our meager historical records). Even in them, we find that northern ice was “threatened” in the 30’s as the Soviets went looking for that fabled Northwest Passage. 2007 was an anomaly for sea ice extent, but the storms that compacted the ice? AGW as he cause for the “loss” of all that ice was thrust front and center.

    Jeff, great job!!!

  50. lulo says:

    I’m as much of a skeptic as the next guy on this forum, but, on this one, I have to agree with DJ. Arctic sea ice has decreased, but reaches a similar maximum each winter, so of course the freeze rates are higher than ever. The melt rates look higher too if you ask me.

  51. DJ says:

    >Whilst there has been a retreat of Arctic ice in the past thirty years this is nothing unusual, we know from historical records going back five hundred years that this has happened before, most recently fifty years ago. We do not know why there are periods when the ice retreats and then grows in extent again.

    Papers please. This is not supported by the scientific literature.

    There are a range of studies of historical data which describe multi-year multi-metre thick ice. That ice is all now nearly gone, and as best as we can tell the current ice volume is the lowest on record.

    This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change.

  52. Phil. says:

    Philip_B (19:46:46) :
    The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_07a.rnl.html

    I don’t know iff this anomaly is real or an artifact of processing, given the poor to non-existent polar coverage of the satellites.

    A few days ago the Russian Station North Pole-36 was recording temperature of -5ºC which I can well believe is an anomaly of that order.

    http://www.aari.nw.ru/resources/d0014/np36/data/plotimg.asp?par=0&width=1020&height=180&maxobs=-1&color=FF0000

    At that time it was at 86.979450N 137.125446W.

    And, re the melting of ‘meters thick ice”. This is pure speculation. There is no data to support this conclusion, over the same time period as this analysis.

  53. insurgent says:

    Don’t fret. This data will be “fixed” just like GISS and the ARGOS data. AGW will be back on schedule shortly.

  54. Paul Friesen says:

    Anyone who thinks the artic has maintained huge areas of very thick ice can go here. http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh put in the date sep 3 2003 and see that there was very little thick ice. Most areas are 60 percent concentration.

  55. VG says:

    This could be huge.. climate conf Santa Barbara

    “Klaus was invited to the conference in Santa Barbara by Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

    They met at the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, Euro.cz writes.”

    ie 99% papers in Australia are owned by this man.. they are nearly all 100% AGW (except The Australian)

  56. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    @DJ

    “your replacing metres thick once permanent ice ” –

    “Permanent Artic Ice” is another Myth – What was the impact of the Holocene Optimum on Artic Ice? and all within the last 10,000 Years.

    4 Degrees Warmer at the Arctic during this period than now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_Climatic_Optimum

  57. Flanagan says:

    John W: did you actually really write that Arctic ice is back to “normal”? And ready to set a 10-year record? We definitely don’t live on the same planet:

    Unless hovering at about 1 million km^2 from the average is “normal” of course. And the ice tends to be more-or-less equal to the 2006-2007 values, which were a record of course.

    TallDave: there is absolutely NO global warming model that predicts dropping maxima and minima each year. Actually, the decrease we saw over the last 10 years is way more rapid than first predicted.

    WRT the initial post: I think the NSIDC gave some explanation as to why most rapid decreases/increases appear simultaneously during the long-trend melt. And I don’t know any source (that you don’t cite, either) about the fact that 30-years long trends appeared “regularly” in the past in similar conditions.

  58. P Folkens says:

    DJ (22:42:26) : >. . . multi-year multi-metre thick ice. That ice is all now nearly gone, and as best as we can tell the current ice volume is the lowest on record.
    This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change.<

    One need not have temperature or ice data or even papers on climate change to make reasonable and accurate deductions. Anthropology and even early literature are sources of direct and indirect evidence that refute your notion of “the lowest on record.” For example, recent anthropological work in northern Greenland have revealed Eskimo settlements and ancient sea shores that show a sea level more than a meter higher 800-1000 years ago compared with now. If one accepts anthropological studies and carbon dating as part of the “record,” one must therefore accept basic climatology and climate change that shows rather conclusively that it has been warmer than now within the confines of what most regard as “history.” Think Strait of Anián, Northwest Passage, the Eskimo migration east from Alaska, the Norse Sagas and ventures into Baffin Island (Helluland). It all destroys the notion that the Arctic is the “warmest on record” or the ice is the least “in history.”

  59. Ken Hall says:

    Slightly off topic, but still related to ice and warming, or cooling….but this time in relation to the recent report that concluded that contrary to all the previous interpretations of the available data, the Antarctic is warming; Steve McIntyre has examined……and torn apart…. that particular report. I thought that readers of this blog, from all sides of the debate, would be interested. Here is a link to an Australian blog article about it:

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/going_cold_on_antarctic_warming/

    As this linked item concludes…. I also wonder if the mainstream media will report the fallacy of the warming with the same zeal that they reported the original report.

    Personally I would be VERY surprised if the BBC report it at all. No doubt they will be claiming that Antarctica is warming from now on right up until Broadcasting house becomes encased in 200 feet of ice!!!

    Sorry, silly me, when an inch of snow stops people getting to work in London…

    Anyway, that’s a whole other topic, back on track….

    If the only way to report Antarctic warming is to rely on statistical error, then the reportage and the “science” it is based upon is not worth a hill’o’beans!

  60. Rhys Jaggar says:

    a jones:
    ‘Whilst there has been a retreat of Arctic ice in the past thirty years this is nothing unusual, we know from historical records going back five hundred years that this has happened before, most recently fifty years ago. ‘

    Could you provide a data source to this – it would appear a hugely significant tool in addressing the nonsense of the warmers………..I’ve been saying I’m sure that’s the case for ages, but a data source would be a gold mine.

    WUWT – an article about that data perhaps?

  61. Ken Hall says:

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but, surely new ice is cleaner (has less particulate pollution like soot) and therefore has an increased albedo?

    So therefore if what we were told by alarmists in September-October 2007 is true, that the melting ice decreases albedo, thus absorbing more heat, thus increasing temperature in a positive feedback leading to more melting and the Arctic becoming ice free?

    Then surely the reverse is also true and the increase in ice extent (if not thickness) of crisp new pristine ice will increase albedo and therefore reflect more heat back, lowering temperature over-all and thus causing more freezing, more ice and a negative feedback loop that if extrapolated in the way alarmists did, would result in a new ice age???

  62. Barry Foster says:

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm 9th and 19th photos down – shows submarine Skate SSN-578 surfacing at the North Pole in March (remember, that’s at the peak of ice build) 1959. Lots of open water.

  63. Didjeridust says:

    Re:
    VG (18:32:32) and
    Paul Friesen (23:05:13)

    “Sea Ice Concentration” is not thickness of the ice, but a value showing how much water is covered by ice.
    100% Concentration says nothing about the ice being 10 cm or 10 m thick, just that there is ice and not open water in the actual measured crid cell

    And regarding the “permanent” ice thing and lack of kilometre thick ice: Permanent does not mean that the same ice allways stays put on the same spot…remember…north pole is solely sea ice and drifts around making the maximum age of ice just a few years, but: The amount of ice older than one year is now very low, and consequently much thinner, and the NSIDC graphs showing that the extent now is very close to the record 2006/2007 season…hey…just combine those factors and use your logic, folks…

    (“Best science blog of the year” – Yeah, right…)

  64. DJ says:

    Lots of very confident statements but not one single reference.

    Lets be clear – this thread and its defence merely shows a misunderstanding that Arctic sea ice because of geography and climatology retreats much more rapidly in summer than winter in a warming world. This is predicted by climate models and is 100% consistent with global warming projections.

    Personally, I am most happy for “sceptics” to keep talking about sea ice because these data are irrefutable evidence of a rapidly warming world.

  65. Jørgen F. says:

    “jmrSudbury (19:11:42) :

    rss for January 2009 is 0.322″

    Given UAH is at the same level, this analysis over monthly anomalies the last 7 years predicts 2009 to be another ‘non record’ year.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?m=200901.

    In Denmark at least the scientific news commentators are beginning to change their wording. Now expecting a new temperature record within 1-2 years, otherwise….

    Non-scientist AGW critics are now called ‘laymen’ … and not conspiracy nerds…

  66. A Wod says:

    There is a British explorer named Pen Hadow who is going to measure the thickness of the ice and find out about melting. He will be starting in Februrary of this year

  67. Malcolm says:

    30 years of data on Artic ice only gives 1 climatic data point. It explains nothing about natural variability, nor AGW, nor climatic trends, it is just one point on an open-ended graph. It won’t be until the end of this century that climate scientists ( a very loose term these days) will have enough data to detect a climatic trend, man-made or otherwise. Until then a sceptical viewpoint has to be retained.

  68. J.Hansford. says:

    Didjeridust…… I think you forget that the PDO is now in a cooling phase, which evidently effects arctic ocean currents. I think your new Ice will become old ice in due course.

    Did you notice that it is snowing quite heavily in London at the moment, that it has brought the city to a standstill with minus 10c degree temps? That London had it’s first October snow in 70 years?

    It may be that you need to …. er, Cool it, for a while and observe the natural world going about it’s natural cycles…..

    There is currently no evidence to suggest that anthropogenic CO2 is having a significant warming effect on Global average temperatures or effecting climate…. Though it apparently has been theorized to have an beneficial effect on increased crop growth, which is nice to know…. and something that can actually be measured and observed : )

  69. John Finn says:

    With winter this cold, I cannot imagine the Arctic not freezing up big time.
    Keep it up, the public is growing wary of these roasting & drowning stories.

    The Arctic is actually much warmer than the long term average – and, despite what you might be experiencing locally, the NH is also much warmer than average.

    RSS anomaly for January is +0.322
    NH anomaly (0 – 82.5) is +0.449

    I’m certainly growing wary (and weary) of the constant stream of unsubstantiated “global cooling” pronouncements.

  70. Robert Bateman says:

    If the AGW were true, and it’s way out there, then the resulting cold that has swept down on N. America and Europe would be displaced from the Arctic by warmer air from the tropics. That action would result in massive thinning of the Arctic Sea Ice. Come summer, there wouldn’t be jack left. I see the conveyor belts that ran up there just like I described in fronts spanning from Baja to Alaska. These are the result of impaired Sunspot heating that drive the Jet streams West to East.
    What’s really going on? The shields are down in the Arctic. The Neutron Count is up and the upper atmosphere has shrunk by 1/3. The tropical heat, instead of warming the Arctic is escaping out the highly thinned atmosphere up there. Earth is losing heat. Just like it always does in deep solar minima. The returning flow of air is frigid.
    You can fool some of the people some of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you’re not going to put ideas in my head anytime soon. I do that all by myself, and I will paddle my own boat, thank you.
    You can’t fake a spotless sun, and you can’t fake ghostly remnants of what once were dark sunspots when they do appear.
    I see you.

  71. Philip_B (19:46:46) : The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least. Perhaps that’s because, thanks to the special stratospheric warming event, the North Pole has sent its cold surplus down to the UK.

    DJ (22:42:26) : Papers please. This is not supported by the scientific literature. Papers from you too, in that case, please!
    This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change. You make a much bigger claim than the author claims here. Jeff Id does not disagree with the warmist position that over the last 30 years there has been an overall decline in the Arctic sea ice levels. He’s simply looking at some interesting data – that is legitimate science AFAIK. As to the posts in response, look carefully. Some posters understand little; some understand a lot; some are questionable; some are pretty fault-free. This is a snapshot of the real scientific process in action. It’s one of the best ways to progress from “lack of understanding” to a robust understanding, with the present state of climate science, when the most basic official assertions have shown themselves to be questionable, but are not allowed space for debate. For references for this, click my name. Look at the reference given earlier here: http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh – it shows pretty little change between 2009 and 1980. Of course only a snapshot, but telling. US submarines were photographed surfacing at a pretty ice-free North Pole in 1986. A study from Finland referenced in this thread shows the MWP summers were likely warmer than today. And there’s lots more of those, re MWP, peer-reviewed. Just not IPCC fodder.

  72. Mary Hinge says:

    Since Anthony has left the WUWT ship in other crew members hands the ship has been steadily steering away from real science, beyond pseudo science and deeply into the murky realms of conspiracy theory. I suggest Anthony grabs the wheel and steers back to the real world quickly.

  73. VG says:

    DJ: same here I am most happy for “AGW’s” to keep talking about anything concerning climate… the data is/will destroy their “theories” LOL.

  74. Det says:

    There is a nice website on Cyrosphere Today (from the Polar Research Group at the University of Illinois) which allows to compare the daily sea Ice from today back into the 80’s. very interesting to compare todays Arctic sea ice with the one from the same day last year (or years earlier)!

    Check it out here:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=03&fy=2008&sm=02&sd=03&sy=2009

    Enjoy,

    DET.

  75. Mark N says:

    DJ (01:25:15) :
    DJ….
    Lots of very confident statements but not one single reference…. none from you either.

    … its defence merely shows a misunderstanding that Arctic sea ice … back at ya!

    ….Personally, I am most happy for “sceptics” to keep talking about sea ice because these data are irrefutable evidence of a rapidly warming world…… I’m a skeptic, in part, because of words like “irrefutable” in arguments. I dislike “skeptic” being used as an insult, I’m proud to be one. And, wonder how it’s possible to do science without being a Skeptic?

  76. Robert Bateman says:

    Hit the AGW’er over the head with the recent “shields went down” embarassment. They haven’t an answer, because thier models are dumb idols that cannot speak. Watch Gore, read his eyes, he’s cracking under the strain, though his face may appear stone cold. He knows the Sun is hanging up there like a dead bird, and he hasn’t got forever. This is a political shame that scientists who should have known better got suckered into. Trapped like rats.

    The AGW for lunch bunch is going to regret this scare campaign.

  77. stephen richards says:

    DJ

    What exactly is old ice / permanent ice, please,? Is it ice with an age of 10yrs, 20 yrs, 30yrs, 100 yrs or some other arbitrary figure, because you will know that the arctic has melted on several occasions in the past for which there is ample historic evidence.

    Secondly, please instruct us all on how ice volume can be measured and when those measurements began. The year date will suffice.

    Thirdly, but I can’t speak for Anthony, I think you may well have missed the point. I don’t believe that A was trying to prove that global warming does not exist but that using the same data but unadjusted, and with a different statistical ‘method’ gives a different picture to that most published. Which is the correct situation on the ground? I will have to leave that to your intelligent analysis.

  78. stephen richards says:

    Mary

    You are becoming unhinged, i’m afraid. I criticised Anthony for being too much of a ‘news’ cum pseudo science site. Now I believe he is moving more into the climate science mode.

    I would like you to consider what you believe to be the essential knowledge base for a climate scientist. Eg me, I’m a physicist, solid state that is, with a couple of degrees. B UT I do not consider myself qualified; So who is? An astronomer (Hansen), a computer programmer (Shmidt), or perhaps a statistician? of maybe a combination.
    Right? Now relate that to this site and its progress.

    And your answe’r is *********************

  79. Robert Bateman says:

    We skeptics did not rush out on a campaign to scare the world half to death.
    We did not seek to remodel data or rewrite history.
    We did not go before Congress and other bodies to present dire staits.
    It is not we whom you have to worry about. It’s the politicians who will soon hear the public screaming at them, and in turn, the politicians will throw the AGW program under the bus, and the proponents with it.
    You did this to yourselves.
    You had only to stick to calm scientific debate.
    Now the political sword lived by will come into play.
    Sorry, but the political world is not the friend of science.
    Come back to calm waters of peer review before it is too late.
    I am not science. I’m the layman.
    There are hundreds of millions who have far less tolerance than I.

  80. MattN says:

    Tokyoboy: “One of my colleagues, who has been recruited by IPCC for three years, says that though the polar ice area is apparently increasing the ice layer is thinner so that the ice mass itself is slowly decreasing in line with the AGW theory. Is his opinion reasonable or not ?”

    My true-believer frinds say the same. Yet no one has presented me with any long-term thickness data to support that the current ice is really thinner than it was 50, 60, 70 years ago.

    It’s all they have to clutch to right now….

  81. Smokey says:

    DJ said:

    “This change is exactly as expected under global warming and will continue for a period while the Arctic switches from a perennial ice regime to a seasonal ice regime.”

    You were politely asked: “Link, please.”

    No link to your speculation/opinion was ever provided. But later on, you twice demanded of others:

    “Lots of very confident statements but not one single reference.”

    And:

    “Papers please. This is not supported by the scientific literature.”

    Aren’t you special. You never give the citations that you demand of others. Skeptical scientists are now expected to prove that the climate is acting as the climate always has?? You have the Scientific Method backwards, my friend.

    It should also be pointed out that many times in the past the polar ice caps have disappeared: click

    And Antarctica is conveniently omitted, since it shows increasing ice cover, which more than balances any Northern Hemisphere loss: click

    In order to be taken seriously, climate alarmists must show that the current climate is not within normal and natural historical parameters.

    Alarmists have abjectly failed to demonstrate that the climate is not acting normally. They have nothing, nothing but their always-inaccurate computer models to back them up. And now, according to their models, global warming means global cooling. Moving the goal posts is a disreputable tactic, which proves that the desired conclusion — AGW due to CO2 — must be arrived at by hook or by crook.

    Warmists will have to do better than that to be taken seriously here. They need to provide empirical, real world evidence that a change in a tiny trace gas will lead to runaway global warming. Because that is what the AGW debate is about.

    If such evidence is not forthcoming, the AGW/CO2 hypothesis fails, and we can begin to address real problems instead of scaring the awakening public by baselessly demonizing “carbon,” which we are made of and which is essential to all life.

  82. Nick says:

    Pamela Gray’s comments are on the right track. For answers to the Arctic sea ice puzzle, we should be looking at atmospheric patterns, not a tiny increase in average global temperature.

    I have yet to see scientific evidence of a connection between the retreat of sea ice in the period 2005-2007, and AGW. There is evidence, however, that the loss of ice during those years was caused by unusual wind patterns pushing the ice into warmer waters.

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html

    I expect the alarmists will say that the winds were caused by CO2!

  83. Ken Hall says:

    Alano, what is frustrating about so much reportage in the mainstream media about climatology is that they refuse to allow comments, so that every time they report the sky is falling alarmism backed up by palpably absurd and factually incorrect data, they cannot be corrected.

    For example, Quote:”and last year saw the ice cap at its lowest level since records began. ”

    That claim is completely false. Ignoring the fact that the “fabled Northwest Passage” was open in the late 1930’s and the fact that the records referred to by the AGW alarmists are only some 30 years old (therefore irrelevant in geological or even recent historical terms) this article does not even acknowledge that GLOBAL ice has been constant for the past 30 years and there was less Arctic melt in 2008 than 2007 in spite of wild speculation in the spring and summer of last year that the Arctic ice was going to disappear altogether. We had more ice cover and surely if the AGW alarmists are correct about the feedbacks from low albedo from melting ice, surely the increased ice means higher albedo meaning increased rate of cooling feedbacks and therefore we are headed for a new ice age!!! (assuming that the AGW alarmist science is *irrefutably* correct, of course!)

    As for the main reason for this telegraph article, it will be interesting to follow this expedition. How will they know if the ice is getting thinner? Thinner than what? there is no recent baseline from which to compare. Is the ice thinner than 40 years ago? 80 years ago? 150 years ago?

    But is it thinner than 2007? probably not, but there is no way to know. Additionally this will not tell us if the ice is going to continue to get thinner, or thicker. But will only be a baseline for the state of a tiny part of the moving and constantly changing ice over successive days.

    How is this data to be used? How often will they repeat the expidition to see what direction ice thickness is moving in?

    Undoubtedly they will report that the ice is thinner than decades ago, well DUH! what would you expect when we have come out of a little ice age 100 years or so ago to the warmest years in a century up until 1998? We already know that the globe warmed during the 20th century. This will add nothing to the knowledge as to why the earth warmed during that time.

    If they did this expedition every year for 100 years, then we would have useful data. As it is they will only produce a partially useful baseline and a lot of alarmist propaganda.

  84. Flanagan says:

    Hey guys, I think I will copy those kind of pages predicting “global warming has stopped” or even “global cooling is on its way” so that we can have a good laugh together in a few years. I already did that, but with letters from “skeptical colleagues” at the time (yeah well folks I’m not that young anymore) – t’was in the early 90ies and I did have a good laugh some ten years afterwards…

    This is going to be embarrassing… For skeptics, I mean…

  85. Wally says:

    One thing to keep in mind for all the talk of Arctic sea ice thinning and melting is we only have 30 years of good data and a thousand or so years of sparse evidence. It is not unreasonable to expect that during the time of Norse settlement in Greenland that at least the sea ice around Greenland was greatly reduced, but that really tells us nothing about what was happening in Siberia or off the northern Alaskan and Canadian coasts. The alarm on sea ice was of course because after many years of slowly falling ice extent from 1979 to 2006 there was a big decrease in the minimum ice for 2007. All those scaremongers worrying about a tipping point in temperatures had their evidence. Of course the fact that 2008 had more ice kinda messes up the argument. Next fall’s minimum should be interesting to observe.

  86. Alan Chappell says:

    Grant Hodges (19:28:04)
    Thank you, great post.
    I would like to add the following as it appears that some of the above have no conception of the word logic :

    Websters Dictionary;
    PERMANENT= adjective = continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change. STABLE.
    An Iceberg ( which is what the North pole ice sheet is) to be Permanent would have to be Anchored to a fixed (or PERMANENT object ) Now there is no land mass under our iceberg just water, sea water, and like sea water in the rest of our oceans it moves, and above our iceberg we have air, and like the rest of our world where there is air it moves and is called wind, still don’t believe me? well try this simple experiment.
    Fill you bathtub with 5-10 inches of water, leave it to settle for an hour, then tale the head of a match and very carefully place it in the middle on top of the water.
    This match head represents the polar ice cap the water in the bath represents the worlds oceans, just watch that match head move, it will in 24 hours without any help do 2 or 3 tours of the tub!
    Now those that still believe in fairies, go play at the bottom of the garden and leave this site to serious folks.
    Alan

  87. TomVonk says:

    Personally, I am most happy for “sceptics” to keep talking about sea ice because these data are irrefutable evidence of a rapidly warming world.

    When one reads non sense like that , one can only agree with Dr L.Motl who identifies climate “scientists” as crackpots who would be utter failures in any serious domain of science .
    Their followers like this DJ are then of course sub par crackpots that confuse thinking with parroting the Hansens , Manns and similar doom prophets .

    Obviously locally melting ice (or freezing ice for that matter) is “irrefutable” proof of nothing and certainly not of a rapidly warming “world” .
    If anything and if it was statistically relevant (what it is not because of a ridiculously short time of observation) it would suggest something about the LOCAL fluctuation of oceanic currents .
    As the climate video games don’t resolve the oceanic current fluctuations they can say nothing about the rate of local phase changes .
    What serves here as “science” is a phase change parametrization and heavy averaging .
    Of course extrapolating from a local empirical measure to a global result (like “the whole world is warming”) is only hand waving which is the usual “scientific” method of the warmers and nobody expects better anyway .

    If somebody is interested to go a bit deeper in the arctic climate dynamics and the fact that it has nothing to do with “global” factors , there is f.ex Polyakov’s paper : http://www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~igor/research/amplif/amplif_jul02_2.pdf

    A quote :

    The ice-extent and fast ice thickness time series display a combination of decadal and multidecadal variability, with lower values prior to the 1920s, in the late 1930s-40s, and in recent decades, and higher values in the 1920s – early 1930s, and in the 1960-70s (Figure 3). This is consistent with the multi-year variability (LFO) evident in SAT records (Figure 1). Analysis of trends in these records shows that they are not statistically significant. Trends for recent decades seem to be larger but because of the fewer degrees of freedom in these shorter time records they are not statistically significant either.

  88. Neven says:

    Mary Hinge wrote: “Since Anthony has left the WUWT ship in other crew members hands the ship has been steadily steering away from real science, beyond pseudo science and deeply into the murky realms of conspiracy theory. I suggest Anthony grabs the wheel and steers back to the real world quickly.”

    I agree. Anthony, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This blog has the potential to play a big role in the discussions ensuing from AGW, but with the direction it is taking lately it will have nothing to fall back on when some renewed warming kicks in or Arctic Sea Ice level accidentally hits another low. The danger is, when AGW turns out to be a reality, that all this site did was promote inaction and obstruction.

    Regarding Arctic Sea Ice extent: Anyone care to make any predictions on what minimum will be in relation to previous years? I’m not an expert – quite the contrary – but I have this feeling it will fall between 2007 and 2008.

  89. Flanagan says:

    And, as I said, the NSIDC actually pointed out the very rapid sea ice increase in their news

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2008/111008.html

    but as it lasted a half month only, I think it is not very relevant, compared to the long and rapid melt.

  90. Mary Hinge says:

    stephen richards (03:06:56) :
    Mary
    You are becoming unhinged, i’m afraid. I criticised Anthony for being too much of a ‘news’ cum pseudo science site. Now I believe he is moving more into the climate science mode

    Well I am not alone in the view that the quality of this site is declining. From the
    ‘Ocean acidification and coral’ posting (a very poor quality piece) comes this comment from Paul Clark of ‘Wood For Trees’. His website is an absolute gem and I use it frequently, Anthony also uses his website for a number of topics. This is paul’s comments, in its entirety ( my bold text highlighting):

    woodfortrees (Paul Clark) (07:26:34) :

    OK, so some sub-editor at BBC Online turned “relative acidification” into “acid” to save space and increase shock value, not much news there. The comparison with geological history is spurious (actually, somewhat confirmatory to the danger) because we are talking about different species. I can’t fathom any possible relevance to short-term effects of, and recovery from, a nuclear blast. Not much left, then.

    This issue isn’t in the same class as the somewhat debatable (at least in scale) CO2->temperature link, which starts from a basic physical premise at the low end but requires theoretical models and large forward feedbacks to reach the wilder predicted catastrophic levels. The loss of corals seems to stem from simple, well-understood chemistry and biology, and most importantly, is actually being observed. Thanks to Bill D and John Philip for explaining this in measured terms.

    Sorry, folks, and Anthony in particular, but I find this site – particularly in some of the guest posts – is drifting from what seemed to be a genuine concern for measurement accuracy and lets-check-it-ourselves popular science towards reactive, anti-all-environmentalism point-scoring. If that’s Anthony’s wish (which I seriously doubt, actually), that’s his privilege, of course, but I’m afraid the change may leave some of the former audience behind.

    I would take what Mr Clarke says seriously and I really hope Anthony gets this site back on track.

    REPLY: I understand your concern. Part of it has to do with time, I’m exceptionally busy, my business needs attention in these terrible economic times, I have deadlines looming, and the moderation duties are at times overwhelming. I also have been devoting a huge effort into getting the surfacestations project done, rather than posting about it. We are now approaching the 70% mark. News items take less time than analysis pieces. When I have more time, I’ll be able to devote time to blogging on the measurement issues.

    There simply is not enough Anthony to go around. – Anthony

  91. Tom in about to freeze again Florida says:

    Lucy Skywalker (02:22:13) responding to Philip_B (19:46:46) : “Perhaps that’s because, thanks to the special stratospheric warming event, the North Pole has sent its cold surplus down to the UK.”

    May I add that another shot of “surplus cold” has moved all the way into Florida. Inland temps tonight could hit the teens north of Tampa and definately into the 20’s even south of Tampa. Luckily I live near the Gulf coast south of Tampa so the water temp will keep me just slightly below the freezing mark for only a short period. I can also add that this will be the third time this year I will experience below freezing temps at my location. My coconut palms are probably not going to make it as they have been overly stressed by the two previous cold snaps. My banana trees likewise. My grandmother who has lived here since 1960 has told me that once there were plenty of coconut palms growing naturally here, now there are none unless you buy one and plant it yourself. Perhaps the canary in the coal mine should be the latitude of survivability for coconut palms.

  92. Richard111 says:

    If the Arctic “new ice/baby ice” is that thin, anyone care to forcast how soon the Russians will send in the icebreakers to prepare for the drilling platforms?

  93. hunter says:

    DJ,
    Are you asserting that in recent years three was permanant Arctic sea ice?
    Additionally, do you know at what temperature sea ice forms?

  94. Jon H says:

    DJ – “this thread and its defence merely shows a misunderstanding that Arctic sea ice because of geography and climatology retreats much more rapidly in summer than winter in a warming world.”

    Has nothing to do with chemistry, and the fact moving saltwater does not freeze easily, or quickly.

  95. Jon H says:

    Link – http://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=1598

    As explained by an 11 year old.

  96. Ron de Haan says:

    DJ (18:21:21) :

    “This is a simple case of geography. Melt ice to a record low summertime extent and you then can freeze a record amount of ice in the subsequent fall. Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    This change is exactly as expected under global warming and will continue for a period while the Arctic switches from a perennial ice regime to a seasonal ice regime.

    DJ, Your claim is absolute BS (Bad Science)

    1. Sea ice per definition has no permanent character.
    2. Wind and ocean currents break up the ice or pushes it together.
    3. Throughout history the sea ice has been growing and melting.
    4. Please read this article: http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm
    5. It has happened before: Quote:
    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.

    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817 [13]

    6. I know it is difficult for many people to give up on doctrine, in this case the AGW “religion”, but simply look at the facts.
    There is nothing wrong with our climate and if we are not returning into a “Maunder Minimum” condition we can enjoy this beautiful planet and direct our talents to real problems that are in need of a solution. Human induced Global Warming and Climate Change are a HOAX.

  97. Dave says:

    That pic of the submarine in 1959 prompted me to do some research. On the one hand, the water around the sub is probably a bit misleading, since it’s no doubt due to the sub itself breaking through the ice. On the other, I came across a reference to a study on ice thicknesses as recorded in submarine voyages from 1958 to 1992. The study notes that ice thicknesses are highly variable and consequently probably not a useful indicator of climate change.

  98. Alan the Brit says:

    alano;-)

    Have I missed something? Reading that article I wasn’t aware that ice melt in 2008 was the “lowest on record” as the report states. I was under the impression that it was considerably less then what occurred in the summer melt of 2007, with a raid rate of recovery in the tail end of 2008!

    Can anybody confirm or otherwise whether WUWT reports were incorrect when posted last year? I suspect this is sloppy reporting & a tad pinch of sensationalism for maximum effect! No change there then. This site I trust, not a newspaper story.

  99. Mike Bryant says:

    John Finn,
    You said,
    “the NH is also much warmer than average.
    RSS anomaly for January is +0.322
    NH anomaly (0 – 82.5) is +0.449
    I’m certainly growing wary (and weary) of the constant stream of unsubstantiated “global cooling” pronouncements.

    Wow… The Earth is almost a third of a degree warmer than the long term average? YIKES!!!! I didn’t realize the huge numbers involved here… OK, take all my money and please lower the thermostat by precisely .322 degrees.
    Thank you for caring,
    Mike Bryant

  100. John W. says:

    DJ (22:42:26) :

    Whilst there has been a retreat of Arctic ice in the past thirty years this is nothing unusual, we know from historical records going back five hundred years that this has happened before, most recently fifty years ago. We do not know why there are periods when the ice retreats and then grows in extent again.

    Papers please. This is not supported by the scientific literature.

    Google Scholar returned 87,600 papers to the search terms “arctic ice history.”

    Bear in mind that most here accept cyclical climate variation. It’s the assertions about AGW and the Draconian measures called for by its adherents we object to.

  101. Richard C says:

    You wrote code, therefore I do not believe you.

  102. Peter Taylor says:

    I am about to update the climate science review accessed on my website at ethos-uk.com with a special chapter on the Arctic – it has bucketloads of science references – and my conclusion from a study of the atmospherics and oceanography papers, where many Arctic experts voice their assessment of the current low summer sea ice, is:

    – the the current low was not predicted by AGW models until well past 2050, so they can’t claim it ;

    – the ‘unusual’ events are cyclic – atmospheric temps have been almost as high and in many cases the records still stand for some localities in the 1920-1940 warm period; but the ocean temperatures are higher;

    – the ice-melt is caused primarily by warm water incursion from the Atlantic, it travels under the cold fresher surface water all the way into the Beaufort Sea region, where it gives up its heat – check out the lovely cryosphere maps at Illinois and you’ll see that is the main area of summer ice loss;

    – additionally, the warm phase of the PDO sent a lot of cloud over the polar regions – increased by 14% over 20 year period (State of the Arctic report, NOAA);

    – thus the ice is melted from below by warm water from the Atlantic and from above by radiation down from clouds.

    What has happened is a peaking of three warm cycles – Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation AND a solar grand maximum!!
    Quite enough to create global warming!

    But now the cycles are turning. The PDO has gone negative. The warm waters off Alaska have disappeared. The jetstream is altered and no longer drives in the moisture from the Pacific. Alaska is cooling. The Beaufort Gyre – being wind driven, is strengthening and will push out the warm Atlantic water – it will take a few years.
    The Arctic atmosphere is clearing. And there is a solar minimum which may be prolonged which will disturb the stratosphere. Data on inflowing ocean temperatures to the Arctic (Norwegian Sea) is already showing lower temperatures. So there is no natural driver left for an Arctic meltdown – only carbon dioxide, if it has the power (which I doubt).

    AGW theory will stand or fall (in my view it has already fallen) on what happens in the Arctic. So far – the data supports solar-cloud-ocean temperature as the main driver, followed by shifts in the jetstream that accelerate heat loss from the warm ocean stores – there is still a big one in the north Atlantic, but with a southerly shift of the jetstream it is now exposed to cloudless sky.

    Meanwhile, we should expect the Antarctic to warm up a little! During La Nina years there is a vast area of cloudless sky and incoming sun in the Pacific sending warm surface waters further south. Expect droughts to persist in S Africa and Australia, torrential rain in Indonesia, and wetter Mediterranean/Spain/Portugal – another torrential summer for Britain, and this to be the first of a series of very cold winters.

    I agree with all the comments about ‘sceptics’. I am a scientist. Scepticism is essential to science. But we don’t call it that – we call it critical faculty. We are getting branded so that people can justify not listening. At least things are better over the water – what with senate hearings and ex-NASA directors speaking out – here in the UK we have a monolithic monotheism.

  103. John W. says:

    Flanagan (00:09:04) :

    John W: did you actually really write that Arctic ice is back to “normal”?

    No. I didn’t. Go back and read what I posted. Think about the meaning of the phrase “behaving pretty much normally. ”

    What I will assert is that, since I don’t subscribe to either AGW or Creation Science, I have a hard time with the concept of anything “permanent” in nature. (Even the constancy of the Fine Constant is questioned.)

  104. Flanagan says:

    The RSS tropospheric anomaly for January is out: + 0.322

    This is the highest anomaly since July 2007, the 6th warmest since beginning of RSS but altogether the 4th coldest since 2000…

  105. Flanagan says:

    The last part was referring to January anomalies only.

  106. Jeff Id says:

    I knew there would be a few critics.

    Someone asked did you adjust for thickness, someone else asked where’s the data.

    Arctic ice measurements are available to everyone on the NSIDC website. The monthly and daily ICE AREA data is available for two processing methods but the central satellite hole in the area data is not corrected for. The daily data is useful for establishing 30 day trends is available in NasaTeam format only. These are area plots which use the ice concentration multiplied times the area of the pixel which means yes I did adjust for thickness to the ability of the data. That’s why the area measurement is more interesting.

    DJ – you say
    This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change.

    I think you stepped right on the point of the post. Would you then say the scientists who released greater than 3000 headlines across the globe about fastest melt in history also don’t have basic understanding of climatology?

    lulo – you said

    The melt rates look higher too if you ask me.

    The graph is right there in front of you. The data is the data and record 30 day melt rates happened prior to 2007.

    Mary Hinge –

    What?

  107. cbone says:

    “I expect the alarmists will say that the winds were caused by CO2!”

    Actually, they do say that. On another discussion forum I brought up the fact that the unusual melt was due in large part to a change in the Arctic Oscillation, wind not heat. The True Believer (TM) response was that the changing wind pattern was…. consistent with AGW theory.

  108. D. Patterson says:

    DJ (22:42:26) :

    “There are a range of studies of historical data which describe multi-year multi-metre thick ice. That ice is all now nearly gone, and as best as we can tell the current ice volume is the lowest on record.”

    “…lowest on record” being precisely what record?

    “This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change.”

    Are we to understand you to mean that you have a better understanding of basic climatology and climate change”?

  109. Ron de Haan says:

    David L. Hagen (18:29:45) :

    “Al Gore gave a presentation at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Jan 28. 2009, 10 AM. During that he showed graphs of the Arctic ice changing. He particularly noted a rapid change in old ice vs new ice. See:
    ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: THE ROAD TO COPENHAGEN”

    David L. Hagen,
    People can say about Al Gore what they want to say but I think friend and enemy will agree that he is an intelligent person with a mission.

    Therefore he will grab any argument to support his case.

    Unfortunately all his arguments have been debunked in detail and now his arguments are reduced to a discussion about old and new (baby) ice!

    It’s pathetic.

    There is however a difference between old ice and baby ice.

    Old ice is covered by a thick layer of algae and soot from erosion, volcanic and industrial emissions.

    The new ice is clear, has better reflective properties and therefore grows thicker much faster.

    It’s all part of a natural cycle and we should be discussing real world problems instead.

    I think Jeff has done a fine job with this article and makes perfectly clear that humanity can stop worrying about the alarmist’s doom messages of a melting arctic, rising sea levels and drowning polar bears.

    If we can now stop the cap and trade business and the pathetic efforts to generate our basic energy needs with wind mills and irresponsible wet green dreams we can
    focus on real world priorities such as:
    1. solving the current economic crises.
    2. feeding the world under a changed climate regime (colder)
    3. Clean water, housing and population growth.
    4. Prevention of loss of habitat (stop palm oil exploitation, one of the other green dreams that cause havoc and destruction)
    5. all other priorities that need rational approach and money which is now invested to fight a hoax.

  110. tom says:

    I’ve been musing over these posts and have come to a sad conclusion. The dummies who push global warming have done a real disservice to themselves and to the planet. These knuckle heads decided to use a scare tactic which will not be proven or dis-proven till the globe either warms or, it doesn’t.

    I believe the original idea came from those wanting to clean up the planet. After all, we are a messy specie. We use more than our share of resources and pay no attention to small, inconvenient facts like all the fish in all the lakes in the Midwest(USA) have a Mercury warning attached to them or, kids in cities have a higher chance of getting asthma or, that cutting down too many trees will make our air stinkier than it already is.

    To those who don’t believe carbon dioxide is bad for you, try inhaling some. The same goes for sulfur dioxide, methane, etc.

    The bottom line is everyone is caught up in this stupid ice melt/sea rise debate, which is unprovable, and we have taken our eyes off of the real problem. Pollution is bad for all of us.

  111. TallDave says:

    TallDave: there is absolutely NO global warming model that predicts dropping maxima and minima each year.

    You warmenists are straight out of Orwell.

    The 4th assessment report (AR4) of the IPCC (IPCC, 2007) has compiled projections of Northern hemisphere sea ice extent from future climate scenarios calculated with global coupled climate models. The results of these experiments exhibit a persistent decrease of summer sea ice extent as seen in the ‘model ensemble mean’ of 19 climate models, i.e. the average of all 19 model applications (Fig. 1).

    http://www.damocles-eu.org/artman/uploads/2007-record-low_sea-ice-event.pdf

    Of course, given that we’re working with only 30 years of data anyway, having “record lows” is almost meaningless anyway.

    But never mind that. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  112. Robert says:

    I know that there has been some after the fact discussion of ice thickness. Indeed, I find it plausible but not compelling. The ice thickness argument would have applied before all of the predictions of a record extent melt in 2008 were falsified. Is there a published peer reviewed paper that predicts that the arctic melting would be evidenced by reduction in thickness rather than extent prior to 2008?

  113. TallDave says:

    Also, it’s worth mentioning again that this total lack of scientific rigor is why scientific forecasters have said global warming predictions have no scientific basis, as previously posted here at WUWT, and that IPCC predictions violate 72 tenets of scientific forecasting.

  114. fred says:

    Most things that are “expected under global warming” are also expected if the earth goes through a normal warming cycle, unless of course, you use bogus data to “disappear” the previous warm cycles then they are “unprecedented”.

  115. Alex says:

    I am not surprised,,, 1996, 2007, 2008 are all years notorious for relatively brutal winters

  116. Pamela Gray says:

    Understanding Arctic ocean currents and prevailing wind patterns as well as weather patterns both short and long term, will go a long way in helping you understand sea ice behavior. I have posted links before and will again.

    Regarding wind patterns. Go to http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ and click on the 30 animation. Watch as the ice moves around the pole center from West to East. That will help you understand how wind moves the ice around and packs it up against land forms. It will also help you to go to http://squall.sfsu.edu/gif/jetstream_norhem_00.gif and click on the animation to see how prevailing winds and jet stream patterns work together to vary the prevailing or common wind pattern around the pole.

    To get a basic understanding of Arctic ocean currents go to http://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/oceans/ArticOceanWeb/Currents/frontpagecur.htm and spend a day reading and viewing the information there. Then go to http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png to study the day’s oceanic temperatures.

    During the ice build up season, this study will help you understand how ice grows and shrinks. But don’t stop there. Go back to cryosphere and click on the various Arctic areas to see the anomaly in each area. You cannot make blanket statements about Arctic ice. Each area has its own environment to content with and thus acts in very different ways from one another. If you keep up on this study at least weekly, your ideas about a flea (CO2) affecting your Arctic room will slowly fade away as the elephant in the room (weather patterns) finally comes into view and you see that elephants have a far greater ability to change what your room looks like than a flea.

  117. John Galt says:

    The earth is how old? A better question is perhaps a record since when, since the last ice age or since we just started measuring the Arctic sea ice extent 30 years ago with satellites?

    We haven’t really been tracking the Arctic sea ice extent or the Arctic sea ice mass for very long.

  118. Richard M says:

    DJ (22:42:26) :

    “>Whilst there has been a retreat of Arctic ice in the past thirty years this is nothing unusual, we know from historical records going back five hundred years that this has happened before, most recently fifty years ago. We do not know why there are periods when the ice retreats and then grows in extent again.

    Papers please. This is not supported by the scientific literature.”

    Yes it is. Do a little research yourself. This information, provided by the climate scientists of early 1990s, is out there and I have read it. You might learn something if you seek the truth.

  119. Richard M says:

    Oops. That should be “early 1900s”

  120. Pamela Gray says:

    My above posts brings an idea to mind. It would maybe be a good idea to have a sticky above that works like the glossary. Weather patterns 101. It would have basic no-comment posts about seasonal and long term tilt, jet stream behavior, oceanic currents, sea ice behavior, climates and weather patterns, etc since all of these things have incredibly strong influences on any theory (especially since it is quite obvious that warmers work very hard to exclude these elephant-large affects in order to find the flea). Heck, even skeptics do that. But we must contend with the noise and understand that first, in order to have the proper perspective on smoothed data. Who knows, we all may be blinded by the flea (the CO2 kind and the Sun kind). The weatherman may one day be king once again.

  121. Tom M says:

    RE: Lance (01:33:24) :

    The Washington post, ice age July 9, 1971 Hansen

    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=275267681833290

    Hansen appears to be consistent throughout. Once an alarmist, always an alarmist. The exact nature of the predicted calamity is irrelevant, apparently.

  122. a jones says:

    Att John Nicklin

    No this was not casual reporting but a regular series of hydrographic surveys.

    Att Rhys Jagger

    There is a wealth of historical data on this which is usually discounted by climate scientists: for instance ship’s logs noting when and where they encountered ice. A colleague is compiling a survey of this. This is a small offshoot of the programme to compile and analyse all the met data of all RN ships’ logs from the late 18th century onwards. This is a huge project which will take several years but should give us a wealth of information on the climate around the world from that time onwards.

    Kindest Regards.

  123. Craig Moore says:

    John W-

    I was hoping Jeff Id woud respond by comparing his results with the graph I referenced.

  124. gary gulrud says:

    Good post. Reproduction of results in the practice of science as we used to understand it is essential to the health of the beast. In the biological sciences, most ‘scientists’ only contribute at this level.

    First Ice Extent/Area/Thickness report I’d hang my hat on.

  125. Rhys Jaggar says:

    a jones (07:04:18) :

    ‘Att Rhys Jagger

    There is a wealth of historical data on this which is usually discounted by climate scientists: for instance ship’s logs noting when and where they encountered ice. A colleague is compiling a survey of this. This is a small offshoot of the programme to compile and analyse all the met data of all RN ships’ logs from the late 18th century onwards. This is a huge project which will take several years but should give us a wealth of information on the climate around the world from that time onwards.

    Kindest Regards.’

    Thanks a jones – I look forward very much to hearing about this in the future.

    Regards

    RJ

  126. Don B says:

    There has been criticism of CO2 warming theory supporters for cherry-picking and manipulating data to justify their beliefs. A very recent example of apparant manipulation is the “discovery” of a warming Antarctica, even though scientists had believed for 50 years that it was cooling. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5077

    Like Caesar’s wife who must appear virtuous as well as be virtuous, skeptics ought to refrain from appearing to do what they accuse others of doing.

    It ought to be enough to note that the above normal summer sea ice melting in 2007-and to a lesser extent in 2008-was probably due to unusual current and wind patterns, and that freezing has brought areal coverage back to recent normality. There should not be any jumping through mathematical hoops to try to make a point.

  127. Wait, record lows in ice extent is followed by a record rate of refreezing? Its almost as if having less ice at the end of the summer might allow for more area to refreeze…

  128. klausb says:

    Financial meltdown …. consistent with AGW theory.
    Cinderella …. consistent with AGW theory.
    The Bible …. consistent with AGW theory.
    I Ching …. consistent with AGW theory.
    1984 …. consistent with AGW theory.

    Yup, finally I got it.

  129. Jeff Id says:

    AnonyMoose (21:31:20) :

    “This means their use of the monthly data to establish a monthly trend was in error …”

    So what happens when one uses yearly data to establish a yearly trend?

    The monthly data is sensitive to short term filtering/processing, annual trend from a monthly anomaly would not be very sensitive to that.

    —-

    I don’t go around looking for these things, they just happen. I was exploring the magnitude of the difference in ice melt to see how much faster the ice had melted. BTW: Everyone knows some arctic ice has melted.

    I like numbers, it is my belief that there is a great deal more to be learned from actually working with the data than you can get from just reading the papers. When I saw that the ice had set two record growth rates in 07 and 08 and the maximum melt rate was actually before 07, it kind of pisses me off. That isn’t what we were told by the ‘experts’ and it sure as heck isn’t what I expected when I spent the days of time working on the data.

    One thing I’m interested in now is in the measurement quality. I want to look at how the ice concentration near the pole change from one satellite transition to the next. My first look at it showed that there may be some differences in sensitivity to concentration percentage on what I would expect to be 100% ice.

    I flew over the Hudson bay area, last month. It was solid ice as far as you could see with clear skies from 30,000 ft but I see a light grey color in the hudson bay in the Feb 09 plot above. It’s difficult for me to imagine that any of that area wasn’t completely covered with ice. That’s for the future though.

  130. hunter says:

    Don B,
    It is not the skeptics who have abused the process, and showing that AGW promotional claims about ice, temeprature, data quality, negative feedbacks, sea levels, storm strength, tree rings, future predictions, past history and the present are all full of falsehoods is not an excercise in extremist behavior.
    We must not flinch in trying to head off the emergin catastorphe of AGW.
    It now seems that AGW hypesters are in competition to scare people about climate:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-warming4-2009feb04,0,7454963.story

    Dr. Chu needs to join Tom Daschle.

  131. Paul C says:

    “Personally, I am most happy for “sceptics” to keep talking about sea ice because these data are irrefutable evidence of a rapidly warming world.”

    Nah, they’re not. Truth is, we don’t know what they’re evidence of. They may, as Pamela Gray suggests, be evidence of a relocation of some existing heat. Or not. From my view as a biologist, I laugh at a lot of the smug commentary that comes out of the “climatologists”. One thing that slaps a biologist upside the head in his early days of study, is the extent to which we really have no handle on the base periodicities of many natural phenomena, and worse, no handle on the fact that we likely haven’t even identified many that exist. Couple that with the alarmist propensity for trying to define everything in time-frames of human lifespans (as if) and you have content for movie scripts, not prognostications based on science. It has to be kept foremost in one’s mind that the alarmist’s concerns are not for the planet, but for themselves. The planet will continue to do just fine, as it did before us, and will after, in its own way.

  132. Jeff Id says:

    Craig Moore

    “I was hoping Jeff Id woud respond by comparing his results with the graph I referenced.”

    You referenced the ice extent graph, which is actually the same data as ice area, if the percent infill of a pixel is greater than 15% the measured pixel is considered full.

    Beyond that, I don’t really know what you are looking for.

  133. John Galt says:

    tom (06:32:26) :

    I’ve been musing over these posts and have come to a sad conclusion. The dummies who push global warming have done a real disservice to themselves and to the planet. These knuckle heads decided to use a scare tactic which will not be proven or dis-proven till the globe either warms or, it doesn’t.

    I believe the original idea came from those wanting to clean up the planet. After all, we are a messy specie. We use more than our share of resources and pay no attention to small, inconvenient facts like all the fish in all the lakes in the Midwest(USA) have a Mercury warning attached to them or, kids in cities have a higher chance of getting asthma or, that cutting down too many trees will make our air stinkier than it already is.

    To those who don’t believe carbon dioxide is bad for you, try inhaling some. The same goes for sulfur dioxide, methane, etc.

    The bottom line is everyone is caught up in this stupid ice melt/sea rise debate, which is unprovable, and we have taken our eyes off of the real problem. Pollution is bad for all of us.

    Tom:

    You and I and everyone else inhale carbon dioxide every time we take a breath.

    Unlike those other compounds you mentioned, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Another inconvenient fact is that carbon dioxide is necessary for life. Reduce carbon dioxide enough and plants will die. Add more carbon dioxide and most plants grow better.

    Another inconvenient fact is most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources. Human civilization produces only a fraction of the carbon dioxide Gaea produces.

    A really inconvenient fact is stopping carbon dioxide emissions won’t reduce real pollution, unless the idea is to just shut down everything.

  134. Flanagan says:

    [snip, try a lighter tone, post was mostly ad-hom]

  135. Vernon says:

    Actually everyone seems to be forgetting that black carbon was found to be a significant driver for Arctic warming and ice melt.

  136. P Folkens says:

    Philip_B (19:46:46) : The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least.<

    How can that be if the northern-most terrestrial weather station at Barrow (Wiley Post Memorial marker) is showing a -6°C temperature anomaly for its portion of the Arctic? That same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least. Is there a surface station at the North Pole?

    Maybe Philip was thinking of North Pole, Alaska, which is 1,700 miles south of the geographic North Pole. That far south (south of the Arctic Circle) should be warmer, right? Wait! Their temp range today is -26°C for a high and -32°C for a low. The February average is -12°C for the high and -26°C for the low. That-14°C difference on the high is an anomaly, right?

    Is it possible that, in the dead of winter with no sunlight, the North Pole can be showing a +12°C anomaly while North Pole, AK, 1700 miles to the south is showing a -14°C anomaly at the same time? That’s a 26° difference!

  137. John Galt says:

    Vernon (08:04:02) :
    Actually everyone seems to be forgetting that black carbon was found to be a significant driver for Arctic warming and ice melt.

    Black carbon is not part of the currently agreed upon AGW narrative, at least until such time that it is.

    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

  138. Flanagan says:

    TallDave: it is exactly the fact that “ensemble mean” predict a continuous trend, and not individual realizations of the simulations that proves that none of these predictions states that sea ice will decrease EACH year…

    There seems to be a “consensus” among skeptics that 30 years is just one point in climatology, so not much can be said. Good for sea ice, satellites, etc. So what is you idea? Let’s wait for 300 years, so that we have 10 “points” and then say “oh, yes, it is a consistent trend after all. Too bad we weren’t sure before”.

    Anybody read McKinsey’s report on how much fighting global warming should cost? Wanna bet?

  139. tom says:

    John Galt,
    Actually, the reason your body exhales carbon dioxide is because it is a waste product; try inhaling some, as I’ve suggested.

    True, small quantities are harmless. The trouble comes in when you put in more carbon dioxide whilst and at the same time, you cut down the trees which filter it out.

    Look, I am skeptical of all science because for the most part, we’ve only been doing real science for such a short time that to jump to any conclusions about anything is un-scientific.

    All I’m saying is we need to pollute less; a lot less. We are involved, as a society, in a scientific experiment, the outcome of which is totally unknown. The outcome doesn’t even matter unless you take into consideration our future generation.

    So, what happens when we add all of these chemical compounds to our environment? Maybe nothing.

    All I know is it is making our home planet stinky and detrimental to all biological life. What happens to humans who are consistently exposed to the mercury from jet exhaust? How about all of the exhaust from burning all of that coal? Maybe there’s a reason all of that stuff is buried.

    So, the question becomes “what kind of home do you keep?”

  140. Ron de Haan says:

    cbone (06:21:10) :

    “I expect the alarmists will say that the winds were caused by CO2!”

    Actually, they do say that. On another discussion forum I brought up the fact that the unusual melt was due in large part to a change in the Arctic Oscillation, wind not heat. The True Believer (TM) response was that the changing wind pattern was…. consistent with AGW theory.

    cbone,

    Maybe this article provides some help to close the subject of the AGW Hoax for good:

    http://globalwarmingnot.blogtownhall.com/2009/02/03/greenhouse_theory_disproved_a_century_ago.thtml

    Also take a look at: http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com for extensive scientific reports and arguments.

  141. ak says:

    the rate going from one extreme to the other (minima to maxima) will always increase if the difference between those extremes increases. while the maximum sea ice is slowly declining, the minimum sea ice appears to be declining even more, making for a larger gap and greater changes between the two.

    as lulo pointed out, this works both ways – freezing and melting.

  142. John Galt says:

    John Galt,
    Actually, the reason your body exhales carbon dioxide is because it is a waste product; try inhaling some, as I’ve suggested.

    True, small quantities are harmless. The trouble comes in when you put in more carbon dioxide whilst and at the same time, you cut down the trees which filter it out.

    Look, I am skeptical of all science because for the most part, we’ve only been doing real science for such a short time that to jump to any conclusions about anything is un-scientific.

    All I’m saying is we need to pollute less; a lot less. We are involved, as a society, in a scientific experiment, the outcome of which is totally unknown. The outcome doesn’t even matter unless you take into consideration our future generation.

    So, what happens when we add all of these chemical compounds to our environment? Maybe nothing.

    All I know is it is making our home planet stinky and detrimental to all biological life. What happens to humans who are consistently exposed to the mercury from jet exhaust? How about all of the exhaust from burning all of that coal? Maybe there’s a reason all of that stuff is buried.

    So, the question becomes “what kind of home do you keep?”

    I inhale carbon dioxide with every breath I take. No problem!

    My question is are we still talking about carbon dioxide, a benevolent and essential atmospheric gas, or are we talking about pollutants such as sulfur dioxide or toxins, such as mercury. You keep lumping these together. Drinking too much water can kill you, should we classify water as a poison?

    Trying to redefine carbon dioxide as a pollutant is another losing tactic for the alarmists. Reasonable voices are getting drowned out by the extremists. It’s too bad because we could be spending our time and valuable treasure on solving real problems like reducing toxic emissions, fighting poverty or disease.

  143. D. Patterson says:

    tom (08:19:11) :

    “True, small quantities are harmless. The trouble comes in when you put in more carbon dioxide whilst and at the same time, you cut down the trees which filter it out.”

    The quantities of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere are so miniscule, scientists find it difficult to determine whether or not the amounts are an artifact of instrumental error in their measurements or real.

    Despite the fact humans have already used somewhere in the vicinity of half or more of known reserves of petroleum within only the past 150 years, the carbon dioxide released from the combustion of that petroleum remains virtually too small to be measurable. By contrast, the carbon dioxide released by humans from the production of cement is far more significant, yet it remains too small to reliably measure.

    Anyone who wants to jump to a conclusion and presume the carbon dioxide released by human activities must somehow be overwhelming the environment needs to learn just how insignificant the quantities are in total and in comparison to the natural sources which make up the vast contributions of the gas.

  144. tom says:

    If it is not a poisonous gas (to animals), then why do we exhale it as a waste product? In other words, if it was a “benevolent” gas, as you say, why are our bodies constantly getting rid of it. Why do our bodies not use it, like oxygen, for instance.

    The argument is getting off the point. A little carbon dioxide isn’t going to kill us. So, what happens when we keep putting more and more into the atmosphere, while and at the same time, we cut down the forests. Where is the tipping point between non-toxic doses and levels which are too high to support animal life?

    We could go round and round with this one but, I do believe we agree on the need to clean up the planet.

    Global warming is a non-issue. Global pollution is. Perhaps we should spend more time trying to address those issues.

  145. Robert Bateman says:

    The maximum allowable limit for C02 in a working environment is 5000ppm for an 8 hour shift. That’s 5%. Reason why: It’s not a toxic gas, it just replaces O2. Consult OSHA/MSHA for PEL’s.

  146. Paddy says:

    “Greenhouse Theory Disproved a Century Ago”

    http://globalwarmingnot.blogtownhall.com/2009/02/03/greenhouse_theory_disproved_a_century_ago.thtml

    What do you all think of this analysis of some old research? Is it an anti-Gore/Hansen bomb?

  147. An Inquirer says:

    Perhaps of interest is the question of increased ocean salinity and its impact on sea ice. Increased salinity significantly lowers the freezing temperature of water. If oceans have increased salinity due to runoffs, then we would expect less sea ice through time. However, I understand that mainstream science believes that the oceans about 100 million years ago decided that they had the right salinity levels, and annual salt sedimentation on the ocean floors now equal the salt inflow from rivers etc. So no impact on sea ice there. I have seen some AGW arguments that ocean salinity is increasing because of increased evaporation due to higher temperatures. Less often, I have seen arguments that salinity is decreasing as the Greenland glaciers melt. So are salinity levels having an impact on sea ice?

  148. Peter says:

    Great ice extent was reported for the winter of 2007-2008. You just don’t read all the headlines :-) At that point, it was not at all clear whether the rapid decrease in areal extent and volume (very very important; not covered by your analysis) seen in the summer of 2007 marked a transition point in the long-term decline that has been noted for a number of years. The summer ice of 2008, however, while greater in extent because of the cold preceding winter, melted and declined rapidly. BECAUSE IT’S THIN! So right now, winter ice seems to be on the fence, and with the expected regional cooling over the next decade, perhaps it will hold it’s own. But summer ice may very well have crossed a threshold, in which case we can expect the Arctic oceanography, ecology and economy to undergo some very interesting changes over the next few decades.
    Ice cubes in your freezer, and ice cubes in my freezer, are more or less the same (though we have a relatively old fridge). But there are significant differences (dynamic and causative) between permanent, long-term, and summer ice in the Arctic.

  149. Steve Keohane says:

    Thank you Jeff for your article and many of the resulting posts above. Many of the AGWs do not get that most of the people that write here can agree to some warming. But is it short term trends, cyclic anomalies or even abnormal? I have read on paleo-anthropology and archeology for nearly 50 years now. The Gulf of Mexico has been 2 meters higher based on shells and human occupation sites well inland now that were shoreline then. The arctic circle has been much more occupied or settled in the past, because it was so much warmer then(=less ice). Humans live where it is easiest to live, and migrate away when food sources diminish or are harder to aquire. Everywhere a glacier retreats, or shoreline ice melts, we find traces of human occupation or growing plants. I know the AGWs can’t see what this means, but it is evident to many. The fraction of a degree change we might have and millimeters of sea level change can only be viewed as well within the noise of the natural variations that occur. The mysterious deification of CO2-GHG as the omnipotent ruler of climate says all that need be said about that blind-sighted theory. There is nothing abnormal or unprecidented going on other than those making money by scaring people and legislating taxes on emissions of a beneficial trace gas.

  150. D. Patterson says:

    tom (09:35:28)
    “Where is the tipping point between non-toxic doses and levels which are too high to support animal life?”

    The tipping point for a grand mass extinction of most life on the Earth is somewhere for the sake of informal discussion about 100ppm to 175ppm less than the present levels. We live in an inter-glacial period that is extraordinary with respect to the rest of the ~542 million year period of the Phanerozoic Eon. The temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are now the lowest they have been since the Late Devonian major mass extinction event.

    By contrast, the Earth has typically been 10C to 12C warmer than at present, and the carbon dioxide levels have typically ranged between around 1200ppm to 4800ppm, with multicellular life deveolping in the early Phanerozoic around 5000 to 7000ppm.

    In other words, we are presently living in conditions within 0C to 2C and ~110-175ppm of carbon dioxide minimums in which major mass extinctions occurred in the past. Many types of plants such as grasses cannot thrive or even survive with reductions of carbon dioxide to levels of half or less of the present amounts. We are also presently around 10C in temperature and 1000ppm to 4200ppm in carbon dioxide less than the environmental conditions normal for most life on the Earth.

    Perhaps you should consider the fact that the past 600 million years of experience shows us that the only tipping point we risk is having too little carbon dioxide and too low of a mean temperature for the biota to survive and thrive.

    If you want something environmental to worry about, you may want to find a replacement for fossil fuels to maintain higher carbon dioxide levels to avert a major extinction event and a means of eliminating persistant plastics pollution.

  151. Lee Kington says:

    Pamela Gray (06:48:17) :
    Understanding Arctic ocean currents and prevailing wind patterns as well as weather patterns both short and long term, will go a long way in helping you understand sea ice behavior.

    Thank you Pamela for introducing those facts once again.

    For the warmers and their models; any loss of Arctic Sea Ice does not automatically evidence of Global Warming nor is it conformation that any guesses made by models are accurate. If anything, what Pamela provided, is evidence of what the models are not capable of regarding the Arctic Sea Ice volume or extent. Models cannot generate accurate projections of all natural influences. Hence, they are a work in progress. A ‘tool’ that may someday help us to better understand the climate. Nothing more.

  152. tom says:

    Ok, ok, I’m almost convinced. Seems the majority here feel carbon dioxide is a harmless gas.

    The only way to settle this is through scientific experiment. Those who feel carbon dioxide is benevolent, harmless, etc. here’s a good way to convince all who feel otherwise. Lock yourselves in air tight rooms and start breathing. Just breathe, till all of the oxygen has been used up and all that’s left is carbon dioxide. If you can survive this condition for 10 min., we’ll all be convinced. If you die, we will all know for sure that carbon dioxide is a poison.

    I believe it to be a poison so, I’ll sit and wait for all responses (if any.) ;-)

    Robert Bateman; I am familiar with OSHA guidelines. Being a tradesman, I received extensive OSHA training.

    One can say that all gasses displace oxygen. Perform the above mentioned experiment. Let me know how you do. :)

  153. John Galt says:

    If it is not a poisonous gas (to animals), then why do we exhale it as a waste product? In other words, if it was a “benevolent” gas, as you say, why are our bodies constantly getting rid of it. Why do our bodies not use it, like oxygen, for instance.

    The main by-products of human respiration are water and carbon dioxide. I guess that means water is a pollutant as well.

    Carbon dioxide is an essential gas. Plants cannot live without it. Our food chain, and life on this planet as we know it, depends upon carbon dioxide.

    Plants give off oxygen as a waste product. Does that make oxygen a pollutant? Oxygen is a highly corrosive element. One of the great die-offs in earth’s history is believed to have been caused by the oxygen released through photosynthesis. Oxygen free radicals believe to cause cancer and other diseases. In high concentrations, oxygen gas is explosive Perhaps we should regulate oxygen as well.?

  154. tom says:

    D.Patterson;
    Thank you for your eloquent presentation of facts. Truly enlightening for me, at least. Your answer captured what I’ve been saying all along, with one difference; if people want to categorize carbon dioxide as being bad and if that categorization leads to environmental improvements, so what?

    I am doing something. I’ve started a company specializing in the reduction of energy use in buildings and renewable energy systems installations. I am also working on a wind turbine design.

  155. D. Patterson says:

    tom (11:08:54) :

    Tom, I don’t see anyone here who has argued that a 100 percent carbon dioxide atmosphere is deadly to humans and other species of animals. Since you are familiar with OSHA, you should already see that the combustion of the entire remaining reserves of fossil fuels is incapable of poisoning humans with carbon dioxide. There just aren’t enough gigatons of carbon dioxide present in those fossil fuels to increase the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide much more than is present at this time. To do so would require the reconversion of most of the world’s carbonate sedimentary roks in the Earth’s crust deposited there by Nature for the past 600 million years or so into atmospheric carbon dioxide. If anything, the plant kingdom is currently deprived of carbon dioxide, and the animal kingdom is deprived of a more diverse and prolific plant kingdom who would thrive on the carbon dioxide.

  156. Lee Kington says:

    tom (11:08:54) :

    Lock yourselves in air tight rooms and start breathing. Just breathe, till all of the oxygen has been used up and all that’s left is carbon dioxide. If you can survive this condition for 10 min., we’ll all be convinced. If you die, we will all know for sure that carbon dioxide is a poison.

    CO2 is Oxygen to plants. Most or our crops would not be doing as well as they are without the current atmospheric levels. In fact…. an increased elevation in atmospheric CO2 would help most crops even more. We are far, far from levels that would be harmful to man.

    Heck…… even in a ‘controlled’ breathing situation…. the Navy permits up to 1000 ppm of CO2 in compressed air Scuba tanks. But wait…. The US Navy standard for air on submarines is 8000 ppm.

    But…. you call it a poison. Well…. we breath Oxygen. Pure oxygen is harmful to man. So do you suggest we start reducing the poison Oxygen from the atmosphere? Doing so, after all, would eventually eliminate any potential for future anthropogenic global warming.

  157. Peter says:

    tom:

    The first law of toxicology is, “the poison is in the dose”.
    Try another experiment: drink 10 gallons of water in one sitting – it’ll kill you.
    Oxygen comprises almost 30% of the atmosphere, whereas CO2 comprises a mere 0.04% – almost 1000 times less.
    Plants actually start dying off at below 260ppm, which is just slightly below pre-industrial levels – so if we cut CO2 levels by half we’ll also be killing our food supply.

  158. Tim Clark says:

    Flanagan (00:09:04) :

    WRT the initial post: I think the NSIDC gave some explanation as to why most rapid decreases/increases appear simultaneously during the long-trend melt. And I don’t know any source (that you don’t cite, either) about the fact that 30-years long trends appeared “regularly” in the past in similar conditions.

    Arctic Decadal and Interdecadal Variability
    Igor V. Polyakov
    International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Mark A. Johnson
    Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks

    Atmospheric and oceanic variability in the Arctic shows the existence of several oscillatory modes. The decadal-scale mode associated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and a low-frequency oscillation (LFO) with an approximate time scale of 60-80 years, dominate. Both modes were positive in the 1990s, signifying a prolonged phase of anomalously low atmospheric sea level pressure and above normal surface air temperature in the central Arctic. Consistent with an enhanced cyclonic component, the arctic anticyclone was weakened and vorticity of winds became positive. The rapid reduction of arctic ice thickness in the 1990s may be one manifestation of the intense atmosphere and ice cyclonic circulation regime due to the synchronous actions of the AO and LFO. Our results suggest that the decadal AO and multidecadal LFO drive large amplitude natural variability in the Arctic making detection of possible long-term trends induced by greenhouse gas warming most difficult.

  159. terry46 says:

    Why are we having missing data from Jan 08??One would think in this day and age of computers we would all the data possible.That is unless one,or should I say all the global warming crowd which is getting thinner now, only want to get the reading they want.One other thing .Why hasn’t our new president,Obama, been to Kentucky to visit those people who are without power and food or shelter??? My guess is it doesn’t fit well with the climate change lies they are spreading.Nothing more than goverment control.

  160. Gary Hladik says:

    I expect a race to answer tom’s experiment; here’s my entry:

    Displace the oxygen in a room with carbon dioxide, and the subject dies.

    Displace it with nitrogen, and the subject dies.

    And this “toxic gas” is about 80% of the air we breathe! Yikes! :-)

  161. Peter says:

    tom:

    I might add that CO2, unlike ‘pollutants’, is completely colorless, odorless and tasteless. You have no way of knowing that it’s there without some instrument to measure it with.

  162. Peter says:

    D. Patterson, as a paleontologist, I can only ask where on Earth you got those numbers and interpretations?? We have no “tipping point for a grand mass extinction”. Any such points depend entirely on the conditions under which the ecosystems under consideration evolved, the type of disturbance or perturbation, and the rate of the perturbation. Anyone who claims to understand the complex relationships among these factors is a charlatan (and yes, I would include fellow scientists here). It is precisely one of the most pressing questions that we are currently trying to understand. I am not saying that the tipping points don’t exist; they almost assuredly do (see here). But to even begin to claim that one understands the relationship between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and ecosystem tipping points, and that we are currently in a safe zone, is nonsensical.
    You simply cannot equate past conditions for life with the current ones. The Earth has been considerably warmer, and considerably colder, in the past, including the Phanerozoic. But, the rates of change of climate that we can measure in the distant geological record are all far slower than the rates observed today, and slower than those predicted to occur in the near future. (This is a simple function of the resolution of the geological record). Whether many organisms will be able to adapt to such rapidly changing conditions is unknown. Some undoubtedly will, but many others will be critically endangered. And, and this goes for so many others reading this blog, WHY do you think that predicted warmer conditions, if accurate, will be fine for humans??! Our ancient ancestors being able to migrate back and forth with glaciers and so on is totally irrelevant to the modern world. The human population is immensely greater than it was back then, resources are more limited, and the global population is, for all intents and purposes, globalized. Simplistic analogies with the past will not serve us well.

  163. Rhys Jaggar says:

    tom

    You don’t die due to excess carbon dioxide at the levels we’re talking about here i.e. well, well less than 1% of air.

    You die due to lack of oxygen in your experiment, if you die at all. You need oxygen to convert the food you eat into energy your body can use (the relevant cycles called glycolysis and the citric acid cycle/Krebs cycle for the biochemists amongst you).

    Carbon MONOXIDE is a poison because it competes with oxygen for the haemoglobin protein which transports oxygen from the lungs (capturing the air we breathe) to the tissues, thus preventing oxygen doing its job where it’s needed.

    Carbon dioxide is dissolved within blood as bicarbonate and diffuses across the lungs to be exhaled having been produced as a by product of the energy generation process.

    The experiment you need to do to prove carbon DIOXIDE is a poison would be to create an environment with 20% oxygen and whatever levels of carbon dioxide you want to test, with the rest being nitrogen.

    IMHO

  164. Peter says:

    DJ:

    Of course, your replacing metres thick once permanent ice with very thin seasonal ice and as a result the volume is a fraction of what it was.

    Any increase over the summer minimum is, by definition, seasonal ice. Conversely, the ‘permanent’ ice extent cannot, by definition, be greater than the summer minimum, and is probably considerably less.

  165. Jack Linard says:

    Regular reader, infrequent commenter, hydropower engineer with over 40 years, experience in all continents except Antarctica. (If it warms up quickly enough I might just get a shot at that too).

    Tom (11:08:54) – your comments are breathtakingly [snip]

    Reply: Nice pun there, but too harsh to get past the moderator ~ charles the moderator

  166. Ben Kellett says:

    I’ve not had a chance to check whether someone has already posted a similar remark, but I am very interested to see what happens in the Barents Sea over the next week or so. This together with the Okhotsk sea the main areas where sea ice is missing by comparison with the long term average. So, if it fills up, we should start to see the 2009 line begin to converge again with the long term average.

    It does seem odd that the data just seems to have stood still for the last few days – just as temps in that area have taken a dive. I noticed the same thing happening when Hudson Bay suddenly filled up earlier on in the season.

    Whatever the case however, both Hudson Bay and the Barents Sea have been late at best this season, which may lead to less thickness before the melt onset. It may be the case of course that Barents Sea fails to catch up before the melt. The Barents Sea is of course in the firing line of the Gulf Stream, so tends to be the area of the Arctic Ocean with least winter ice pack.

    Ben

  167. DaveE says:

    tom (11:08:54) :

    “The only way to settle this is through scientific experiment. Those who feel carbon dioxide is benevolent, harmless, etc. here’s a good way to convince all who feel otherwise. Lock yourselves in air tight rooms and start breathing. Just breathe, till all of the oxygen has been used up and all that’s left is carbon dioxide. If you can survive this condition for 10 min., we’ll all be convinced. If you die, we will all know for sure that carbon dioxide is a poison.”

    Have you never heard of oxygen narcosis Tom?

    DaveE.

  168. Tim Clark says:

    By my calculations, 2008 Global temps were only .092 degrees above normal. Is that correct?

    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt

  169. Peter says:

    Peter (the other one):

    But, the rates of change of climate that we can measure in the distant geological record are all far slower than the rates observed today

    What is the temporal resolution of the measurements in the distant geological records? How can we be sure that cyclical changes of the order of a degree over a few decades (or even centuries) haven’t happened innumerable times in the geological past?

  170. D. Patterson says:

    tom (11:25:13) :

    “D.Patterson;
    Thank you for your eloquent presentation of facts. Truly enlightening for me, at least. Your answer captured what I’ve been saying all along, with one difference; if people want to categorize carbon dioxide as being bad and if that categorization leads to environmental improvements, so what?”

    Because there is substantial reason to believe categorizing carbon dioxide as bad for the environment in a best case scenario will result in extensive environmental damage and human death, while in a remote worst case scenario doing so might result in contributing to all of the harm to be expected with an early return of the ice age. A most likely scenario is that not focusing on carbon dioxide can only help and avoid the substantial harm resulting from ill conceived responses to an illusory threat.

  171. Neil Crafter says:

    Mary Hinge (02:34:54) :
    Since Anthony has left the WUWT ship in other crew members hands the ship has been steadily steering away from real science, beyond pseudo science and deeply into the murky realms of conspiracy theory. I suggest Anthony grabs the wheel and steers back to the real world quickly.”

    Its good to have you as WUWT’s moral and scientific compass, what would we do without you?

  172. Rhys Jaggar says:

    By the way, anyone know why NSIDC’s daily ice extent charts have gone on the blink since the end of January?

  173. DJ says:

    This responses have degenerated into semantics. Permanent = perennial. The Arctic in the available records covering the period of observations has experienced a perennial ice regime. Nothing is permanent in lasting for ever, but we are all mature enough to understand the difference between seasonal and perennial ice regimes.

    Here’s a nice figure (ironically from a “sceptic” site) which shows historical ice data http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/Blog%20and%20Wiki%20format%2C%20Arctic%20Seasonal%20Sea%20Ice%20Extent%2C%201870-2007%20ver%203.jpg
    using Data from the University of Illinois. Summer ice is collapsing, annual ice is declining but more slowly due to basic geography and climatology.

    The IPCC, nsidc, University of Illinois etc all provide very extensive peer reviewed literature for those who really wish to understand the science of Arctic climate change. NOAA provides a running commentary on changes at http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/.

    The coming years will set record low Arctic Sea ice extent and we will soon see a sea ice free Arctic summer.

  174. tom says:

    This is good. Conversation, that is. I wish I would have been able to read the [snip].

    Here’s the way I see it. Carbon dioxide is the boogey man! Global warming is it’s terrible effect (not to mention rising sea levels.) Is any of it true . . . who can tell. The bottom line is the Western Powers are about to embark on a huge clean up mission. Clean up the carbon dioxide by reducing emissions. The emissions which carry all the rest of the crud will be cleaned up because of the Global Warming scare. I really don’t see the benefit of disputing this theory.

    I’ve often wondered why they chose carbon dioxide instead of . . . ohhh, I don’t know . . .carbon monoxide or sulfur dioxide or . . . . Then I realized that it just doesn’t matter. We’re going to clean up our mess because “the polar bears are drowning.”8-o

    The argument has been made that there are many people perpetuating this scare in order to make a lot of money. So, what’s the difference between them and those who make money from sewing gasses into our atmosphere?

    Rhys Jaggar (cool name) Let’s do it. 20% oxygen, 75% carbon dioxide, the rest nitrogen. Now you’ve my curiosity aroused!;-)

    Peter: I do believe DPatterson said for “informal discussion’s sake” before giving those stats.

  175. Chris Schoneveld says:

    P Folkens (00:43:50) : “For example, recent anthropological work in northern Greenland have revealed Eskimo settlements and ancient sea shores that show a sea level more than a meter higher 800-1000 years ago compared with now.”

    Apparently, you and the anthropologists you quote have never heard of post-glacial rebound. Of course, those fossil shoreline indicators have moved up together with the isostatic uplift of the land. So let’s not use those observations as an argument for less ice (i.e. higher sea levels) 1000 years ago.

  176. William says:

    Dave
    Would you feel better if I locked several plants in the same air-tight room until they died from lack of CO2? I guess one man’s poison can be a plants food for growth. What’s the point?

  177. Peter says:

    Tom:

    I really don’t see the benefit of disputing this theory.

    How about preventing the waste of untold trillions of dollars of our money tilting at windmills? Money which could far better be spent on really cleaning up the environment – for example, we could provide clean water and sanitation for all at a tiny fraction of that cost.
    Do you have any idea just how much pollution exists in third-world countries, caused by the burning of wood, etc? In the developed world, pollution is now far, far less than it was in the days of our grandfathers.

  178. Jack Linard says:

    To Charles the moderator: Yes but I was right. Wasn’t I?!!

    Reply: not for me to say, but the choice of words was above average ~ charles the moderator

  179. Mr Green Genes says:

    Pray tell. When are the years coming and how soon will we see your ice free Arctic summer? (+/- 10 years will do ;-) )

    (Apologies if I’ve got the blockquotes all wrong – I am but an egg)

  180. Lee Kington says:

    Tom,

    I would respond to this:

    I really don’t see the benefit of disputing this theory.

    But…. I don’t think that Anthony’s ‘science’ blog is the place to get into the realities which include heavy politics.

    Catch me at MY CLIMATE BUZZ or the Sean Hannity Forums (This THREAD will do: Global Warming Watch) and I will be more than happy to go into all of the issues.

  181. Mr Green Genes says:

    Fantastic – I messed the blockquote up completely!!!

    I was of course referring to:-

    DJ (12:25:18) : The coming years will set record low Arctic Sea ice extent and we will soon see a sea ice free Arctic summer.

    I’d still like to know:-

    When are the years coming and how soon will we see your ice free Arctic summer? (+/- 10 years will do).

    I apologise for the inconvenience …

  182. Edward Morgan says:

    Jeff you’ve id’d this one correctly. Thank-you for your clear explanation. No wonder those birds are being seen all over. I’ve heard people talk of those waxwings coming as far south as the midlands (uk). When it all clicks you know its right. Fog gone. Appreciated, Ed.

  183. tom says:

    Peter:
    You suppose we should put up coal fired power plant to power the sanitation facilities and water pumping/filtration stations? Or, perhaps developing wind turbines and solar panels might be a better option.

  184. llabesab says:

    AlGore says that when the Arctic/Antarctic sea ice melts, a big chunk of the world will be underwater. Funny, but I put ten ice cubes in a big glass; filled the glass to the absolute rim; came back 60 minutes later and, guess, what? The water didn’t overflow. Did Al “The Bore” Gore forget the “Inconvenient Truth” of “displacement?

  185. John Galt says:

    I really don’t see the benefit of disputing this theory

    It’s very possible the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is an effect of the warming and not the cause. According to the ice core data Gore used to *prove* warming is caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere, the warming actually comes first and then the CO2 goes up! Gore either can’t read the data or he deliberately deceived his followers. The time lag between warming and increased CO2 is a few hundred to a few thousand years.

    There is also no real evidence that more warming will have an overall detrimental effect on the planet. Life likes warmth. Cold kills. Compare the climate during the Medieval Warm Period with the Little Ice Age. Which of these two would you rather live in: a climate of milder winters and good harvests or a climate with long winters, crop failures, famine and plagues?

    Familiarize yourself with Bjorn Lomborg’s work, particularly “Cool It”. Lomborg, like you, believes the warming last century was man-made and due to greenhouse gas emissions. However, Lomborg rejects the alarmism and the hysteria. Lomborg points out that more warming will have both benefits and detriments but it will be overall beneficial. Lomborg also analyzes the cost between not emitting a ton of CO2 v. the cost of dealing with the effects. According to Lomborg, it costs 10x as much to stop a ton of CO2 emissions as it does to clean up after it.

    Lomborg also analyzes the cost/benefit ratio of various humanitarian efforts. Some of the most cost effective are childhood vaccinations and better prenatal care. The least cost-effective thing we can do is trying to stop global warming.

    Many of us believe we can’t really stop global warming anyway, unless you want to stop civilization and eradicate about 90% of the human species. We are also limited to stopping or preventing global warming only to the extent that it’s man-made and not natural. That is, if the warming is 60% natural and 40% man-made, we can only hope to control the 40% .

    The climate has warmed steadily since the low-point of the Little Ice Age (or would that be the peak of the LIA?) and it’s like most of the warming we had last century is just a continuation of the natural processes that ended the LIA.

  186. hunter says:

    DJ,
    Would you like to propose a wager for your confident prediction about ice?

  187. E.M.Smith says:

    tom (08:19:11) :
    John Galt,
    Actually, the reason your body exhales carbon dioxide is because it is a waste product; try inhaling some, as I’ve suggested.

    OK.. hang on…. POP!!! fizzzz Long Sniff inhale deeply savor rich aroma… GUZZZZZLE!! Heck, carbonated tastes good too!!!

    I have inhaled lots of CO2, swallowed, soaked in, and consumed gallons of saturated CO2 solution (daily when possible!), and have found no bad effect on my being.

    (The ethanol content, however, deserves close watching ;-)

    All I’m saying is we need to pollute less; a lot less.

    Absolutely, but CO2 is not a pollutant.

    What happens to humans who are consistently exposed to the mercury from jet exhaust?

    Last time I looked Kerosene K1, Jet-A, Jet-A1, and JP4 & JP8 were not laden with mercury. Or is it not reported in the spec?

    How about all of the exhaust from burning all of that coal?

    It does need serious scrubbing and mercury removal; which I think present designs do have…

    Maybe there’s a reason all of that stuff is buried.

    Yes: algae, trees, and ferns died and silt was deposited on top of them. They are a natural product of mother gaia…

    If we do absolutely nothing with coal & oil, nature will erode them back into the ocean, they will enter the environment, eventually be sediments subducted under the continents, and return as volcanic ejecta. You thought volcanos made CO2 from basalt, or what?

    Most volcanos form at subduction zones from the change of rock melt point from the entrained water et.al. in the subduction zone making a more liquid magma that rises and erodes the rock above to make a volcanic vent. The existence of the “ring of file” is a demonstration of sediment recycle…

    Inspection of a coal resource map for the USA shows the erosion channels through the original deposits. That coal eroded and went back into the environment, mercury and all, without our help.

    “Use it or lose it” is a reasonable summation.

    All of this is on geologic time scales. There is a case to be made for assuring the rate of production is within reasonable ranges of natural processes. Since nature produces much much more than we produce from fossil fuels, I think that limit is fairly large…

    Sidebar: There is more energy in the Uranium in a given mass of coal than there is in the carbon. A major reason for thorough coal ash recovery and flue gas scrubbing ought to be the recovery of that U resource. We throw away a few thousand tons of U each year in this way. This would extend our U resourse from about 10,000 years to over 20,000 years; but nobody seems to care much about the impending shortage of U based energy supply 10,000 years from now …

  188. E.M.Smith says:

    Clearly that was supposed to be “ring of fire” …

  189. Peter says:

    Tom:

    You suppose we should put up coal fired power plant to power the sanitation facilities and water pumping/filtration stations? Or, perhaps developing wind turbines and solar panels might be a better option.

    However you do it, it’s better (and less polluting) than what they’ve got now.

  190. I am not a scientist. But reading the main article and the comments, in regard to discussions of “normal” climates or apropos something like “normal climate change” (the opposite of AGW), how does one establish a “norm” at all?

    For millions of years this planet was a habitat to various kinds of “terrible lizards.” Was that in appreciation of its longevity a “norm”? In contrast homo sapiens is really a new kid on the block. So, even, let’s say, that Anthropomorphic Global Warming is real … perhaps that is just part of what THIS species does. (There may be some ecological advantage in being a big dumb lizard.) I raise this, admittedly otherwise off-topic point, because the entire AGW debate strikes me as something like the Medieval conundrum of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”

    There is something very weirdly psychological about all this arguing.

    I also note that atheism is a fad among scientists today — not that I’m making claims about what scientists believe — who knows what they believe. But I note a “fad,” rather like the changes in hemlines and lapel styles are fads. And this fad is particularly interesting from a psychological perspective because sometimes the same people who argue that there is no God and that change occurs “randomly” are the same demographic that says the climate is no longer “normal.” But how does one define “normal” in a randomly functioning system?

    I have no scientific training to analyze the scientific claims being made here by dueling parties. But I have sufficient experience of human nature to observe some of the psychological dynamics.

    Certainly if human beings were changing the planetary habitat in ways that threatened their own existence, one couldn’t fault them for trying to take corrective actions. But looking at the arguements from a more cosmic perspective, I must say I find it amusing to think that non-scientist Al Gore gets a particular statum of Western society in alarms when — any stray, “randomly” arriving meteor of sufficient size could render the entire debate and the proposed “corrective actions” moot (to say the least).

    Whatever. One must marvel at the economy of the terrible lizards. They flourished in one form or another for such a marvelously long time. In contrast some of us are already on the verge of expiration from the tedium of this teapot tempest.

  191. mfearing says:

    I get a good laugh from this blog every few days. Not that the discussion isn’t, interesting. It can be educational. But the hatred spewed from the ‘anti-Gore’ or whatever camp they belong too is weird. If you disagree with someone’s opinion in science we have methods to find the answer to the given question. Unlike a question about religion, we will see more facts and more clearly understand them in the coming years. In time a more refined understanding will appear, most likely a more complicated picture of what’s happening that pleases neither group of extremists. But the cynics start to sound a bit like those who feel evolution is a theory on the same footing as Creationism. You know the good old 8,000 year old earth idea. They still argue that, but it’s clear the delusional aspects of their argument have taken control. Don’t turn this into that. It’s too important to all of us.
    I’m not a professional scientist, I draw pictures, so I am not sure why there isn’t more straight up research and discussion here instead of the anger displayed. From my perspective it makes the folks holding out for more info on climate change look bad. I’m not sure why anyones opinion on this subject is worthy of attack with the vitriol I see here. The good thing is, in another 50 or 100 years it will be much clearer and I guess some folks can feel better that they were right.

  192. D. Patterson says:

    Peter (11:46:52) :

    The use of the term, “tipping point” was used wryly with an “if” to indicate a response to the use of the term by the Global Warming proponents. I would not use the term except to acknowledge the usage by global Warming proponents. Major mass extinctions have occurred in association with temperatures and carbon dioxide levels comparable to those at the present, and are often cited as an important factor in causing the mass extinctions. Certainly, plants, then and now, benefit from large increases in carbon dioxide and are thretened with extinction in the event carbon dioxide is substantially deceased from present levels.

    “But to even begin to claim that one understands the relationship between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and ecosystem tipping points, and that we are currently in a safe zone, is nonsensical.”

    We certainly do know for a demonstrated fact that certain species of plant life will perish when carbon dioxide levels are reduced beyond a certain level. I hope you are not going to contend that present plant life will not undergo extinction if present carbon dioxide levels were reduced to less than a certain “safe zone” fraction of present levels tolerable by these plants?

    “You simply cannot equate past conditions for life with the current ones.”

    You certainly can to a useful general degree when certain species’ genetics and biochemical mechanisms remain virtually identical or sufficiently similar to draw conclusions. We certainly cannot pretend that we’re dealing with a completely different universe having a wholly different physics and chemical properties. As a paleontologist, you must know that the fossil record reveals massive numbers of species became extinct around the world when their environment suddenly became much colder. The oxygen isotopes in the fossils alone indicate that much.

    “The Earth has been considerably warmer, and considerably colder, in the past, including the Phanerozoic.”

    When during the Phanerozoic did the Earth become “considerably colder” than the present; i.e. more than 3C to 10C colder than anytime in the Tertiary?

    “But, the rates of change of climate that we can measure in the distant geological record are all far slower than the rates observed today, and slower than those predicted to occur in the near future. (This is a simple function of the resolution of the geological record).”

    Such was the presumed interpretation of the stratigraphy until recently. The latest ice core research has revealed details from much finer resolution than is typically possible in studying rock stratigraphy. We now have the evidence to demonstrate temperature changes of 7C in only fifty (50) years, which would appear to be virtually instantaneous in the fossil record. The world climate can and has made sudden shifts in climate in only a number of decades of time, so present changes cannot be presumed to be caused by humans at all without other very substantial evidence.

    “WHY do you think that predicted warmer conditions, if accurate, will be fine for humans??!”

    We already know for a fact that the Earth’s climate is not static and cannot be engineered by humans to remain static, so that is not an available possibility or choice.

    We also must recognize that our environment is already at the extreme lower end of Earth’s scale of experience with temperature and carbon dioxide levels during the Phanerozoic, so any further major cooling resulting from a catastrophic event like an asteroidal impactor, nuclear war, planktonic ecological disaster, etc. could result in the mass extinction of most species of multi-celled plant and animal life.

    Since we are unable to remain static with regard to climate change, and we cannot risk going lower on the scale and causing or suffering a very severe ice age or a snowball Earth event; our only remaining choice is to take our chances on survival in the warmer and wetter Earth environment that was common for most of the past ~542 million years. We already know that reducing arable land with a colder climate cannot support the current global population, but a warmer climate can increase arable land, water supplies, and plant productivity. Humans have tended to prosper in wamrer climates, and most other life preceding humans prospered in a climate wamer by 10C and with carbon dioxide levels of 1200ppm to 4800ppm (Scotese; Geocarb). It’s up to humanity to reduce and adapt its population to sustainable levels before Nature does it for us.

  193. Pamela Gray says:

    I would like to know the stats on the percentage of warmers, by age and gender, who actually drink this poison.

    Here is a question for you, which came first, waste oxygen or waste CO2, back when one-celled things were all we had.

  194. Psi says:

    P Folkens (00:43:50) :

    DJ (22:42:26) : >. . . multi-year multi-metre thick ice. That ice is all now nearly gone, and as best as we can tell the current ice volume is the lowest on record.
    This whole thread is built on a lack of understanding of basic climatology and climate change.<

    One need not have temperature or ice data or even papers on climate change to make reasonable and accurate deductions. Anthropology and even early literature are sources of direct and indirect evidence that refute your notion of “the lowest on record.” For example, recent anthropological work in northern Greenland have revealed Eskimo settlements and ancient sea shores that show a sea level more than a meter higher 800-1000 years ago compared with now. If one accepts anthropological studies and carbon dating as part of the “record,” one must therefore accept basic climatology and climate change that shows rather conclusively that it has been warmer than now within the confines of what most regard as “history.” Think Strait of Anián, Northwest Passage, the Eskimo migration east from Alaska, the Norse Sagas and ventures into Baffin Island (Helluland). It all destroys the notion that the Arctic is the “warmest on record” or the ice is the least “in history.”

    Mr. Folkens–

    Superb post.

    Climate scientists seemed to sealed in an almost hermetic, impermeable theoretical bubble. What you are describing is simply the “medieval warm period,” as verified by independent archaeological and anthropological evidence of the arctic region. Very well done post — Anthony, I think you should ask this poster to write up a more detailed and referenced account of this. Great stuff. I wonder if eskimo folk memory recalls these warmer days?

  195. mikeangelo says:

    As a fellow meteorolgist, I find your post very interesting to say the least. I fall along the same line of global trending, as I feel you do. And, some of the responses to your blog were also extremely interesting.

    Keep up the good work and spawning the discussion. There’s so much more that needs to be heard on this subject.

    Best regards –
    -MikeAngelo-

  196. D. Patterson says:

    Pamela Gray (17:10:22) :

    “Here is a question for you, which came first, waste oxygen or waste CO2, back when one-celled things were all we had.”

    Neither. Arcaeobacteria are anaerobic. See for one example:

    Huber, C. and Wächtershäuser, G. Activated Acetic Acid by Carbon Fixation on(Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions. Science 276: 245-247 (1997). Review (Prebiotic Chemistry) by Crabtree, R. H. Where Smokers Rule. Science 276: 222
    (1997).

    Origin of Life on Earth: Anaerobic C-C Bond Synthesis

    http://www.csun.edu/~hcchm001/NiFeS.PDF

  197. fred says:

    Arguments about CO2 toxicity bring to mind Al Sleet, the hippie dippie weatherman:

    The radar is picking up a line of thundershowers which extends from a point 9 miles NNE of Secaucus, New Jersey, along a line and 6 miles either side of the line to a point 5 miles SSW of Fond Du Lac.

    However, the radar is also picking up a squadron of Russian ICBMs… so I wouldn’t sweat the thundershowers.

    Man is just bumbling along in this world. TSWHTF long before CO2 hits toxic levels. IMO, the damage done to economies and human sustenance will crank in long before CO2 has a chance.

    AGW is just the Ghost Dance, the Cargo Cult of the 21st century – magic that will prevent the future everyone sees coming, but cannot face. Like the Ghost Dance, it will not prevent the future, it will hasten it.

  198. TallDave says:

    TallDave: there is absolutely NO global warming model that predicts dropping maxima and minima each year.

    Of course not “each year,” but the IPCC report does boldly (and incorrectly) predict a shrinking sea ice trend.

    Actually, the decrease we saw over the last 10 years is way more rapid than first predicted

    Except there isn’t any decrease in overall sea ice, and even Arctic sea ice has recovered subtantially.

  199. D. Patterson says:

    Ann’s New Friend (16:10:01) :

    “How does one establish a ‘norm” at all?’

    What is normal is relative to what you choose to measure.

    In the AGW or Global Warming discussion, proponents of AGW tend to deny most of the pre-human climates as being relevant to the discussion or otherwise a norm to be used in comparisons of climate change. Doing so, however, denies or otherwise hides the fact that the worldwide climate has demonstrated the capacity to undergo previously unbelievable rapidity and scales of climate change without the presence or influence of humans. One of the principal arguments proposed in favor of the AGW hypothesis is the claim that only human influence and not Nature can explain a rapid change in climate in today’s world. When it is demonstrated such climate changes occurred before the presence of humans, such an argument cannot be sustained. Consequently, the question of what is a normal rate of cliamte change before and after the presence of humans is critical to determining the validity or non-validity of an AGW hypothesis and argument claiming only human influence can cause such a climate change.

    Another frequent AGW argument is an urgent need to implement a precautionary principle to save the Earth from AGW before there is time enough to complete the scientific studies needed to falsify the competing hypotheses and prove the validity or non-validity of the AGW hypothesis. The AGW argument presumes warming and carbon dioxide are threats to be avoided, whereas pre-human experience during the geological time periods in which most forms of multi-celled life arose and adapted appears to indicate the opposite. What is normal in that context is arguably whatever is in the typical range of experience in human and pre-human time periods supporting our forms of aerobic life.

    In other words, you determine what is “normal” by examining the time periods in which the present day life forms and their ancestors with like climate dependencies evolved to see what climates were most prevalent. The Phanerozoic Eon is most representative for this purpose, and the climates most prevalent were about 10C warmer than present with 1200ppm to 4800ppm of carbon dioxide.

  200. Roger Sowell says:

    mfearing (16:40:42)

    We cannot afford to wait, because the politicians are enacting laws that supposedly will reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, yet will likely have a serious detrimental effect on jobs, the economy, and lifestyles.

    For example, California (where I live) passed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires by 2020 that CO2 emissions and other GHGs shall be reduced to the levels emitted in 1990. Further, this law requires by 2050 that the emissions be 80 percent below the 1990 level.

    In practice, this means roughly a 30 percent reduction by 1990 compared to business as usual, and an 87 percent reduction by 2050.

    This is far too serious for us (any of us) to sit back and wait for 50 or 100 years and see how it turns out, IMHO. I am working to repeal California’s GWSA, and I hope all will join me.

    It appears that, in 2009, President Obama will sign into law a federal version of California’s law. Meanwhile, evolving economies (India, China, for two) are churning out the CO2 into the sky. Anything we do to mitigate CO2 will be overwhelmed by their activities. Lovely, isn’t it.

    For information, see this link

    The warmists are deliriously happy over these anti-CO2 laws. If I live to 2020, it will be interesting to see how cold the world is, and how far in the toilet the US economy is. I do not expect to live to see 2050.

    The questioning performed by Anthony and others on this site is invaluable to the goal of having rational public policies rather than draconian laws that will further cripple the US economy relative to the world.

    Roger E. Sowell

  201. Kohl Piersen says:

    Anne’s new friend says that there is a ‘fad’ of atheism amongst scientists –

    “And this fad is particularly interesting from a psychological perspective because sometimes the same people who argue that there is no God and that change occurs “randomly” are the same demographic that says the climate is no longer “normal.”

    Where do you get this stuff? If some scientists argue that there is no god, why do you think that there is a ‘fad’ of atheism amongst scientists? If some who argue there is no god also believe that the climate is no longer normal – so what?

    Surely it might be possible to find people who exhibit one or another combination of any of the following qualities –
    – is a scientist
    – is not a scientist
    – believes in god
    – thinks belief in god is ignorant superstition
    – thinks AGW is horsesh*t
    – thinks that anyone who thinks AGW is horsesh*t has recently been lobotomised
    – thinks that change is random (?)
    – thinks that change is deterministic (?)
    …..etc etc.

    So what? How does any particular combination of these raise any ‘interest from a psychological perspective’ ? And how does that relate in any way to the issue at hand?

    I assure Anne’s new friend that my thoughts in relation to AGW and my thoughts in relation to belief in god are entirely irrelevant to each other. I suspect that most people engaged in the issue of AGW would take the same attitude.

  202. squidly says:

    The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least.

    +12C ??? .. leaves me suspicious. And could this also be a contributor to the Jan. 09 significant uptrend in RSS?

    Hmmm… Doesn’t smell right to me.

  203. DJ says:

    >DJ,
    >Would you like to propose a wager for your confident prediction about ice?

    Hunter I have proved this thread a nonsense, but you keep moving the goals posts. This thread simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic geography and climatology.

    I’ll agree to a wager if you agree to compensate the victims of climate change if you are wrong. Like most sceptics there is no responsibility that comes with your advocacy of a sceptical position which has no scientific basis in the peer reviewed literature.

  204. Ron House says:

    Peter (11:46:34) :

    I might add that CO2, unlike ‘pollutants’, is completely colorless, odorless and tasteless. You have no way of knowing that it’s there without some instrument to measure it with.

    CO2 is not completely tasteless. The taste of carbonated water is the taste of CO2. Easily verified by venting a little CO2 from a cylinder of same and putting your tongue in the way before it has a chance to dissipate. High concentration CO2 in the air alerts you pretty quickly to its presence!

  205. Phil. says:

    squidly (19:41:18) :
    The NOAA global temperature anomaly is showing a huge +12C temperature anomaly for the North Pole. The same anomaly has persisted for the last week at least.

    +12C ??? .. leaves me suspicious. And could this also be a contributor to the Jan. 09 significant uptrend in RSS?

    No because RSS doesn’t use data from northwards of 82.5ºN.

  206. David A says:

    And do GW proponets agree to accept responsability for the unintended consequences of their actions? Within the last three years our energy policy alone has cost the US at least 600 billion and helped percipatate the current economic crisis.

  207. P Folkens says:

    Psi (17:19:12) : “I wonder if Eskimo folk memory recalls these warmer days?”

    I wintered over in Barrow a few years back, working on a project at the Iñupiat Heritage Center. I got to talking with the director and a historian at the center about exactly that. The oral tradition speaks of the days when the Iñuits hunted mostly caribou and waterfowl because the ice was not conducive to hunting seals and the whale. It was at this time some of their ancestors migrated east to Greenland. An article appearing in Nature a few years later (29 May 2008) put a more academic conformation on the oral tradition. David Cressey’s article pointed out that the Thule culture migrated to Greenland around 1000 years ago (Medieval Warm Period) leaving the present “native” population. The oral tradition and even recent memory also speak of having to move the village of Barrow every so often because the sea level was rising. My host pointed way out into the Bering Sea indicating where the borough used to be in his ancestors’ time. (And thank you for the kind comments.)

    Chris Schoneveld (12:28:15) : “you and the anthropologists you quote have never heard of post-glacial rebound. Of course, those fossil shoreline indicators have moved up together with the isostatic uplift of the land. So let’s not use those observations as an argument for less ice (i.e. higher sea levels) 1000 years ago.”

    Chris, interesting that you should raise that. Dr. Vivian Gornitz looked at the predictions of sea level rise made in the late 80s and 90s and found that the majority of them required serious correction for PGR, diminishing the severity of the predictions. She also pointed out that some of the sea level rises that were touted publicly as evidence of rapid global warming did not compensate for the opposite of PGR—peripheral bulge subsidence. Greenland’s PGR has not been as significant as say Sweden as it is still largely glaciated. Also, the photos I’ve seen of the northern Greenland habitation sites and ancient sea shores are substantially higher than the meter I mentioned, more than adequately compensating for what PGR did occur in northern Greenland. If you require evidence of higher sea levels a thousand years ago in areas not affected by PGR or peripheral bulge subsidence, there are many—California, the Mediterranian, and Brazil among them. Rhodes Fairbridge and his famous sea level curve of the late Holocene used several reference points to show a higher sea level world wide during the MWP. I WAS warmer with higher sea levels during the MWP.

  208. Alg says:

    What can be learned from the last 30 years? Should not the last 90 years be in focus? There was a strong warmin starting in the late 1910s. The matter was already raised in a lecture held in Edinburgh by Jules Schokalsky* on Arctic warming in the year 1935, as discussed at http://www.arctic-warming.com/
    *)Schokalsky, J.; ‚Recent Russian researches in the Arctic Sea and the in mountains of Central Asia’, in: The Scottish Geographical Magazine, Vol. 52, No.2, March 1936, (p. 73-84), p.77.

  209. Alan Chappell says:

    Tom,
    I would ask you to prove your theory of the air tight room, and as you are the only ‘expert’ on this subject please feel free to be the ‘subject’ of the experiment ? (after all who can ridicule personal experience?) I am sure that all here at WUWT will await your publication.

    Jack Linard (11:56:02)
    nice try Jack

  210. Smokey says:

    Alg (01:59:12) :

    “There was a strong warming starting in the late 1910s.”

    Yes, and just about then Solar irradiance began to rise: click

  211. TonyB says:

    P Folkens

    You are quite right about previous higher sea levels.

    The following link leads to a graph produced by a Dutch Govt organisation-the Dutch certainly know a thing or two about the subject and confirm sea levels are stable and are somewhat lower than during the MWP.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=61

    There are a variety of places in the UK showing sea levels higher than today without complications of glacial action or deposition. These include the landing place of Julius Caesar two thousand years ago and William the Conqueror in 1066. This set in place the building of a number of castles with sea access. This links leads to a 1913 book on Harlech castle-one such building. Suggest select b/w pdf

    http://www.archive.org/details/merionethshire00morr

    Extract

    “In 1409 an attack was
    made upon Harlech, led by Gilbert and John Talbot for
    the King; the besiegers comprised one thousand well armed
    soldiers and a big siege train. The besieged were
    in the advantageous situation of being able to receive
    their necessary supplies from the sea, for the waves of
    Cardigan Bay at that time washed the base of the rock
    upon which the castle stands. Greater vigilance on the
    part of the attacking force stopped this and the castle was
    surrendered in the spring of the year.

    A remarkable feature of the castle is a covered
    staircase cut out of the rock, defended on the seaward
    side by a looped parapet, and closed above and below by
    small gatehouses. This was the water-gate of the fortress,
    and opened upon a small quay below.”

    The following pictures show the current location of the sea with the castle now high and dry.

    sea in far distance from harlech castle

    and this

    http://www.buildmodelcastles.com/html/castle_history.html

    very good item about Harlech

    http://www.walesdirectory.co.uk/Castles/Harlech_Castle.htm

    Sea levels AND temperatures were higher in the MWP and the Roman warm periods and presumably other extended warm periods.

    TonyB

  212. Roger Knights says:

    DJ wrote:
    “I’ll agree to a wager if you agree to compensate the victims of climate change if you are wrong.”

    That just “begs” the response, “I’ll agree to a bet when you warm-mongers agree to compensate the victims of mitigation efforts if you are wrong.” (I’m sure others will respond similarly, as they have in the past when DJ’s objection has been raised.)

    ************
    I think it would be an excellent idea for the partisans of both sides to be able to bet against the other side. But arranging such bets on an ad hoc, one-to-one basis imposes a high overhead (making bets that are under $1000 (say) impractical), a high risk of non-payment, a great potential for foot-dragging “denial” in the event of a loss, a great potential for inter-personal nastiness during the negotiation and afterwards, etc.

    What’s needed instead is a neutral venue where betting can be done impersonally, in small amounts, at a low overhead, with assurance of being paid (or at least getting ones money back in the event of a “draw” or “inconclusive”), etc.

    Such a venue already exists. Bettors “bid” for bets at odds that sellers offer, in terms of any number of small-amount “contracts.” This has the effect of causing the odds offered to adjust quickly to reflect the money placed on each side of the bet. One of the additional advantages of this site’s method is that a person can cash-out or reduce his bet if he changes his mind, or has an emergency for which he temporarily needs money. (Of course, the “house” takes a cut as its commission when this occurs.)

    The site already has a category for climate-related bets (click “Climate and Weather” in the menu on the left side of the screen). Its current bets relate only to whether laws regulating CO2 emissions will be passed in five countries. It also has bets relating to numbers-of-hurricanes and snowfall-levels in various cities, here:

    http://www.intrade.net/market/listing/showEventGroup.faces?eg=508

    It deals mostly with political and economic events, like the price of gold in the future, etc. That sort of question is easier to settle, because of its sharp Yes/No boundary, than questions like whether arctic sea ice has retreated, sea levels have risen, global temperature has risen, glaciers have retreated, etc. It would be very desirable if Intrade could be persuaded to add these fuzzier sorts of bets. It would do so only if the bet could be settled by reference to a data point from an agreed-upon “authority.” It wouldn’t want to have to serve as an arbitrator or interpreter of the fine points of the question.

    There are downsides (and disagreements) to every authority, and downsides to every indicator of global warming (arctic ice, sea level, etc.), and to every data point regarding that indicator. But that problem can be easily finessed if Intrade were to provide a dozen (say) separate questions relating to the matter. That would allow bettors who don’t trust the indicator or an authority cited in certain questions to bet on the other questions where they believe those are more reliable. And it would allow the question of overall global warming to be distributed over several data points, reducing the risk that an anomalous reading in one indicator or data point would improperly answer the question. By employing a majority vote among indicators, a bettor could compensate for the weakness of each of them.

    I therefore suggest that a new thread be set up here (or somewhere else on the Internet–or in many sites) where a preliminary set of betting-questions can be proposed and their wording thrashed out. Once these have been debugged sufficiently that lots of folks on both sides have said, “I’d bet on that question,” then Intrade could be approached by e-mail and asked to start taking bets on one or more of those questions. I think it would be a good idea to start small, with only a couple of questions, and to approach Intrade with a statement endorsed by leading names on both sides of the debate that they are prepared to abide by the settling of the bet in the manner described. One can suggest a contract to Intrade by e-mail here:
    markets@intrade.com
    Here’s another link, this one giving access to a pageful of contact information (by mail, fax, etc.):

    http://www.intrade.net/faq/contactUs.faces

    Intrade desires more respectability, visibility, and trading volume. By adding bets on the impact of the highly contentious matter of climate change, it would be performing a great social service. It would also thereby get lots of visibility, as its site would surely be regularly alluded to during online exchanges whenever a disputant is tempted to say, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Finally, once people register with the site, some will no doubt be tempted to place bets on the hundred or so other propositions on offer there. So Intrade will do well by doing good.

    Intrade has been in business since 1999, and the predictions of the odds set by its markets in choosing winners of elections have been more accurate than those of pollsters. It’s been widely cited by political pundits as having a high accuracy rate.

    Intrade is located in Dublin, Ireland and can’t accept payment from US credit cards. One has to set up an account online (there is a real-time online assistant to help step one through the process), then mail them a check, and then wait ten days for it to clear. In the interim, you should “learn the ropes” by making play-money bets in its training-wheels section, on it “Labs” tab.

    Here are links to the sections of Intrade’s site where the details of participating are discussed. (NOTE TO MODERATOR: Delete the remainder if it seems like too much of a “plug.” I’m just trying to be helpful with all this info.)

    About Intrade: https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/help/general.html

    Rules: https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/help/index.jsp?page=rules.html

    Safety & Security: https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/home/safety_and_security.jsp

    Help & FAQs: https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/help/index.jsp?page=general.html

    Rates & Fees: https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/help/index.jsp?page=general.html%23fees

    Forum (where bettors can argue for their positions: it’s pretty spicy): https://www.intrade.com/forum/

  213. D. Patterson says:

    Chris Schoneveld (12:28:15) :

    “So let’s not use those observations as an argument for less ice (i.e. higher sea levels) 1000 years ago.”

    The sea level is independently confirmed by a number of sources to be higher than at the present time on three occasions in the past 7,000 years, including the Medieval Warm Period ~1000 years ago . One of those sources is the Dutch National Institute for Coastal and Marine Management (KNMI), who conducted studies in support of their responsibility for protecting Dutch lands below current sea levels.

    The High Arctic region of Northern Greenland has evidence that the Arctic Sea was partially or completely ice free for a period of time during the human habitation of the area by the Independence I culture. This evidence includes a beach ridge which is reported by the NGU during IPY research to be formed only by sea wave deposition indicative of a partially or wholly ice free Arctic Sea.

  214. Bruce Cobb says:

    DJ (21:08:18)

    DJ,
    Would you like to propose a wager for your confident prediction about ice?

    Hunter I have proved this thread a nonsense, but you keep moving the goals posts. This thread simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic geography and climatology.

    I’ll agree to a wager if you agree to compensate the victims of climate change if you are wrong. Like most sceptics there is no responsibility that comes with your advocacy of a sceptical position which has no scientific basis in the peer reviewed literature.

    The only thing you’ve proven, DJ, is that you are an AGW True Believer. “Victims of climate change”? What nonsense! You seem to think that climate has never changed before, which is absurd. Man has always managed to adapt, and is in a much better position to do so today, but not if he gets sidetracked and suckered by this AGW . “Peer reviewed literature”? Please. You ‘re talking about people who think getting rid of the MWP is science. Indeed, the fraud, deceit, and grant-grubbing has become epidemic. AGW “science” has become a self-perpetuating, festering stink hole, with hugely negative consequences already, and even greater ones likely if the fraud isn’t uncovered, and stopped. Fortunately, more and more scientists are now dissenting from the AGW claims, and blogs such as this are helping to get the truth out.
    We know the climate warmed last century by about .7C, and this obviously has affected the arctic. Now, we appear to be cooling, and the ice appears to be responding, with it’s own variations due to such factors as winds, and currents. The likelihood is, with a negative PDO, and extremely quiet sun, we will have cooling conditions for 30 years, or possibly more. Arctic ice will respond gradually to that, with less summer melt, and increased mass during winter. Whatever we do WRT C02 will not impact climate except as “noise”, but increased C02 would actually be, and has been, a benefit, by benefiting plant growth, and thus food supplies. A cooling climate will, of course, have a negative impact on food supplies. We should, in fact, be preparing for a cooling climate, not wasting precious resources on this AGW foolishness.

  215. You have presented your argument in scientific terms, but please don’t allow Al Gore to qualify it.

  216. Pamela Gray says:

    mfearing, the tit for tat and angry posts are EXACTLY what happens in the lab, and especially between competing labs amongst the Ivory Tower folks. Been there. Read “Molecules of Emotion” By Candace Purt. Such a good book. I have lived a tiny fraction of her experiences in the lab. It ain’t pretty and nice. However, I believe the verbal fist fights advance scientific discovery, contrary to your, may I assume, inexperienced opinion. Consensus is a thread killer, let alone a science killer.

  217. Peter says:

    Ron House:

    CO2 is not completely tasteless

    It is at the concentrations likely to be found in the atmosphere.

    The point I was trying to make is, it’s in no way noxious and cannot be regarded as a ‘pollutant’

  218. Phil. says:

    Smokey (03:40:36) :
    Alg (01:59:12) :

    “There was a strong warming starting in the late 1910s.”

    Yes, and just about then Solar irradiance began to rise: click

    As I told you before Judith Lean, the author of that reconstruction, no longer supports it and has published a revised version. If you want a graph of the currently accepted position I suggest you contact Leif. Continuing to refer to data you know to be incorrect undermines you credibility.

  219. Alg says:

    The claim that „Solar irradiance“ ( Smokey (03:40:36)) may have caused the “The strong warming starting in the late 1910s.” did pay little attention to a basic fact that the dramatic warming 1939-1949) showed up in the winter temperatures only. There is little sunshine north of the Polar Circle during the winter season.

  220. Smokey says:

    Phil.,

    Please stop pontificating. The chart in question was constructed from NOAA data: click

    If you have a problem with the NOAA and the NCDC, take it up with them. And if Ms Lean has now recanted, one can only speculate why. Peer pressure? Withholding of grants? Simply winging it the first time around? Marching orders from her boss? Failure to “adjust” data?

    I was simply providing the chart so everyone could see that the planet began warming in this cycle during the early 1900’s, and that the likely cause was the Sun, rather than changes in a minor trace gas.

    Notice also in the same chart that similar frigid events like what we’re now experiencing correspond to past declines in Solar irradiance [Wolf Minimum, Dalton Minimum, etc].

    Feel free to believe whatever you want to believe. I posted the chart because it’s of interest to me, and I thought it would be of interest to others. If you have a chart showing something completely different regarding Solar irradiance, by all means, post it for us and we can discuss it.

  221. D. Patterson says:

    Phil. (07:24:35) :

    “As I told you before Judith Lean, the author of that reconstruction, no longer supports it and has published a revised version. If you want a graph of the currently accepted position I suggest you contact Leif.”

    Judith Lean revised her reconstruction, but her 2004 revision and other later reconstructions did not change the finding of increasing TSI in the early 20th Century (Lean 2004, Wang 2005, and Svalgaard 2007).

  222. tom says:

    I don’t get the fear. There have been a few posts which have stated the current climate is bad for business.

    This makes no sense. If we embark on this journey to clean up the toxins we spew, not only will this present opportunities for entrepreneurs to cash in on this trend, it will also better our standing around the globe. New jobs will be created to tackle new initiatives. WE ALSO END UP WITH CLEANER AIR! So, if this mad dash to reduce CO2 produces the reduction of the real noxious gasses as a side effect, where is the problem?

    Seems to me all who oppose the “green initiatives” have a vested interest in keeping things the same. I would say they are scared of things changing in this “green” direction because their current business model or, mode of income, depends on the continuation of unsustainable, polluting practices.

    Run scared. The “green” economy is coming. Adjust or, be left behind.

    I, for one, will cash in on the clean up process just as others have cashed in on industries which have screwed up our air quality and poisoned our water.

    Here, Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources publication;
    Look at the Enadangered and threatened species, consumption advisories and aquatic nuisance species. All of these problem are here because some industries and individuals don’t give a damn. Profit above all else.

    I made a mistake in an earlier post. Mercury in fish comes from coal fired electric plant;

    http://www.dnr.state.il.us/fish/digest/digest.pdf

    We have been neglectful in our clean up duties. Now, when the time has come to enact laws which will hold us responsible, we argue about whether or no the current climate models are right. Of course they are not right. The climatologists are trying to make sense of a chaotic system. So what?

    Are we ok with dirty air and water?

  223. Smokey says:

    “Are we ok with dirty air and water?”

    That is a complete non-sequitur.

    The U.S. has cleaned up its environment better than anyone else. Since most of the world signed the 1992 Kyoto protocol:

    Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%
    Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%
    Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%
    Emissions from the U.S. increased only 6.6% [source]

    We didn’t sign on to Kyoto; those other countries did. Yet we have a significantly cleaner environment.

    Finally, you’re getting off the track by falsely implying that people want dirty air and water. It’s a dishonest tactic. Stop it.

    The central issue is the validity of the AGW/CO2 hypothesis. And so far, nothing but always-inaccurate computer models support it. The problem isn’t AGW, it’s the alarmists’ computer models.

  224. Pieter F says:

    TonyB (03:41:39) : and D. Patterson (05:15:54) :
    Rhodes Fairbridges sea level curve is not terribly unlike the Nederlands one you (TonyB) shared. The Fairbridge curve adds a few more details and the extent of rises and falls are greater (+3m to -2m). By looking into supporting documentation and subsequent studies, Fairbridge’s +3m maximums and +1m during the MWP I find to be more like what actually happened. The Dutch graph is a bit understated and may represent local conditions that might have involved PGR as well.
    Those well-establish facts that we know about the period — indeed the entire late Holocene interglacial optimum for the past 6,000 years — are what the AGW promoters [like Chris Schoneveld (12:28:15)] choose to ignore or try in vain to refute with obtuse arguments. If every one involved in the debate were aware of the sea level proxy for climate conditions since agriculture led to civilizations, and in particular the simple fact that the worst case scenarios postulated by Hansen, Mann, and the IPCC would achieve only the average during that period, the entire discussion would have a completely different emphasis. Perhaps we could then focus on deforestation, ocean pollution, and over population rather than this convoluted emissions nonsense.

  225. Dave says:

    Does someone know the cause of the ice loss in the Barents Sea from last days?
    Because, at the same time, Kara Sea doesn’t seem to melt.
    Is this the wind, or still something else?

  226. AKD says:

    Yes, tom, the government can pick winners and has done so many times in the past, with a long track record of failure.

  227. Jeff Id says:

    I just want to thank everyone again. Especially Anthony for the huge daily effort he puts into providing this excellent forum. If I missed some questions or comments that need to be addressed, I apologize. Feel free to try me at the Air Vent.

    Jeff

  228. DJ says:

    >The only thing you’ve proven, DJ, is that you are an AGW True Believer.

    Bruce you have no expertise in climate and that you make such statements makes it clear you do not understand the scientific process or risk managment. Science moves through peer review. The literature on sea ice is absolutely clear. One is reckless as a scientist not to support action in a considered way on the basis of the literature, particularly given the cost of mitigation will be slight – again this is evident in the litearture even if industry lobbiests and blogs like to claim otherwise.

    >That just “begs” the response, “I’ll agree to a bet when you warm-mongers agree to compensate the victims of mitigation efforts if you are wrong.”

    The cost of early mitigation – Roger – will be tiny. The cost of delaying to mitigate if the peer reviewed science is right (and lets face it the data looks pretty much on the predictions) will be massive. Basic risk managment tells you that you should move cautiously and sensibly in the direction of mitigation. If you delay mitigation and the peer reviewed science is right then you have to fast track the decommissioning of stranded infrastructure which is massively expensive and also deal with a climate which is changing at an accelerating pace.

    Let us not pretend that the economics of climate change or risk management for climate change supports a do nothing position.

    Given that the cost of early mitigation efforts will be zero or perhaps even negative what have you got to fear? Given that 25% of human emissions come from deforestation what have you got to fear – we can slash emissions overnight by putting an end to this crazy practice.

    Why don’t you give reducing your foot print a go Roger. I’ve saved $1000s in recent years by doing simple things like changing light bulbs, getting rid of inefficient appliances, insulating and the like.

  229. Bruce Cobb says:

    tom (10:00:49) :
    Run scared. The “green” economy is coming. Adjust or, be left behind.

    I, for one, will cash in on the clean up process just as others have cashed in on industries which have screwed up our air quality and poisoned our water.

    “Green” is a buzzword which can pretty much mean anything. Ever hear of “greenwashing”? Change a few light bulbs, design a marketing campaign, and voila, you’re “green”. It’s more about the APPEARANCE than anything else, and above all, it’s about making money. But, now, with things like Cap n’ Trade and/or carbon taxes we all get to pay a lot more for energy, and for what?
    Sure, we all want cleaner air and water, and there’s always room to improve that. But, it is wealth that has given us the means to clean up our environment. Spending trillions of dollars stupidly on AGW-inspired “industries” like CCS, geoengineering, wind farms, solar, and geothermal energies will only serve to make everyone poorer. Every one of those things, though they may be feasible in some situations, in addition to being costly has environmental concerns. Corn-based ethanol was supposed to be “green”. How’d that turn out?

  230. Pieter F (10:39:02) :
    “Those well-establish facts that we know about the period — indeed the entire late Holocene interglacial optimum for the past 6,000 years — are what the AGW promoters [like Chris Schoneveld (12:28:15)] choose to ignore or try in vain to refute with obtuse arguments.”

    It is quite funny to see how I – a very outspoken global warming skeptic – get labelled as a AGW promoter only because I make a remark of caution not to use ancient shore line indicators as evidence of past higher sea levels. One can be a skeptic but that doesn’t mean one cannot be critical of certain arguments that are not well thought through.

  231. Matt says:

    As a sceptic of global warming I nonetheless remain concerned about artic Ice extent. (This is of course not an issue in the antarctic where there has recently been record ice).

    The maximum and minimum arctic ice extent is recent times is none the less lower.

    What interesting is the negative feedback that these recovery rates show. This whole fast recovery process seems to be as a result of a negative feedback in polar ice coverage something the models certainly do not reflect.

  232. Jeff Alberts says:

    Kohl Piersen (19:11:00) :

    I assure Anne’s new friend that my thoughts in relation to AGW and my thoughts in relation to belief in god are entirely irrelevant to each other. I suspect that most people engaged in the issue of AGW would take the same attitude.

    So then, we can leave out references to gods in climate discussions (except tongue in cheek, of course).

  233. Bruce Cobb says:

    DJ (12:18:27) :
    Bruce you have no expertise in climate and that you make such statements makes it clear you do not understand the scientific process or risk managment. Science moves through peer review. The literature on sea ice is absolutely clear. One is reckless as a scientist not to support action in a considered way on the basis of the literature, particularly given the cost of mitigation will be slight – again this is evident in the litearture even if industry lobbiests and blogs like to claim otherwise.

    “No expertise in climate” is a non sequiteur, and is a typical AGWer tactic. I understand the scientific process. Do you? Science moves through peer review? Sorry, no, not necessarily. Fraud can easily slip through peer review, since reviewers often don’t have access to the data the paper is based on. With AGW “climate science”, what we have is a self-perpetuating cycle, with the ASSUMPTION that C02 drives climate. Sorry, wrong again, a scientists job isn’t to “support action”, that is the politician’s job.
    Cost of mitigation will be slight? That’s a laugh. It will certainly be multi-trillions of dollars, despite claims to the contrary from your AGW “literature”.
    Stop deforestation? Sure. Sounds great. How exactly? They’re slashing and burning rain forests to grow biofuels, in order to “cut carbon”. Gee, that doesn’t seem to be going so well, does it?

  234. Peter says:

    DJ:

    Science moves through peer review

    The likes of Einstein, Newton and Darwin will be rolling in their graves.
    Peer review is (or rather, has become) little more than glorified rubber-stamping.

    Given that the cost of early mitigation efforts will be zero or perhaps even negative

    Which planet do you come from? It’s already costing me personally around GBP3000 (yes, you read right, that’s three grand) a year just in fuel tax just to commute to work. And that’s something I can’t do much about without creating even bigger expenses for myself, or reducing my income to well below the level I need.

  235. Roger Knights says:

    Pamela: “Candace Purt” should be “Candace Pert”

  236. Regarding replies by D. Patterson and Kohl Piersen in response to my comment.

    D. Patterson, who gets my point, writes: “In the AGW or Global Warming discussion, proponents of AGW tend to deny most of the pre-human climates as being relevant to the discussion or otherwise a norm to be used in comparisons of climate change. ” And I would just add that the question of “norm” is more than just a statistical one. The whole notion of a “norm” implies an ideal — a “should.” The debate — especially on the AGW side — also weirdly presumes that human beings are somehow outside or separate from nature, rather than being a part of nature.

    ~snip~ With earlier climates, other life forms flourished. Why this prejudice against dinosaurs? They were nothing if not efficient animals. (Of course I do understand the sentiment here that we human beings want to flourish. I’m definitely pro-flourish.)

    I think Kohl Piersen doth protest too much. ~snip~ In a random system where things just happen in consequence of “laws of physics” and where life “evolves” in response to those events, what is to say that AGW isn’t just another fact like other facts (assuming that it is true). Perhaps it is part of evolution. Intelligent beings build cars, make lots of CO2 and change the climate, according to which new life forms adapt, human beings evolve into the next great thing, and randomness goes merrily along its random way.

    I would think that any self-respecting atheist would see this point in its crystaline clarity. Mind you, I am making a “devil’s argument,” but a valid one.

    As I say, I’m definitely pro-flourish. But I am not convinced that AGW is real. And I do see the hyped up advocacy on behalf of the idea as having a negative impact on scientific credibility.

    [Sorry ANF, no religious/atheist discussion allowed here, it will only trigger similar comments ad infinitum. ~ dbstealey, mod.]

  237. To dbstealey, mod.

    I understand. Thanks for the heads-up. ANF

  238. Pamela Gray says:

    I can’t believe there are still posters who are asking why the sea ice is behaving like it has over the past week. Can I just cut and paste?

  239. John Nicklin says:

    DJ

    Personally, I am most happy for “sceptics” to keep talking about sea ice because these data are irrefutable evidence of a rapidly warming world.

    If you consider 0.6 degrees C +/- 0.2C over 100 years to be rapid, I guess anything is possible.

    a jones

    No this was not casual reporting but a regular series of hydrographic surveys.

    By that I saaume that they found the same chunks of ice from measurement to measurement, not just the same tracks plotting waypoints. If not, then my comment still stands.

  240. Pieter F says:

    Chris Schoneveld (12:59:11) :”One can be a skeptic but that doesn’t mean one cannot be critical of certain arguments that are not well thought through.”

    Sorry, Chris. Point taken. Critique welcome. However, the Greenland shore habitation sites, even when adjusted for PGR, as sell as many other sources indicate a much warmer period during the Medieval Optimum. They also suggest a largely ice-free Arctic for many summers during the period. According to the AWGers, we should all be deathly afraid of conditions half way as warm as the MWP.

  241. Pamela Gray says:

    DJ, tell me what you know about sea ice behavior as a function of land boundaries, Arctic currents and various temperatures of said currents, and wind patterns/air temperatures. Specifically, tell me how large these effects are on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, as well as on a decadal basis. Then please inform me of the tested relative affects of CO2 and soot on sea ice behavior. Don’t use model or projection papers. Please cite any paper that has studied sea ice data collected up to the current date and that includes testable mechanisms. Please note that NOAA has already published a seminal report on the above variables and the rapid melts of the recent past.

  242. Psi says:

    P Folkens (00:23:17) :

    Psi (17:19:12) : “I wonder if Eskimo folk memory recalls these warmer days?”days?”

    I wintered over in Barrow a few years back, working on a project at the Iñupiat Heritage Center. I got to talking with the director and a historian at the center about exactly that. The oral tradition speaks of the days when the Iñuits hunted mostly caribou and waterfowl because the ice was not conducive to hunting seals and the whale….[snip]

    Fabulous. I second my own call for Anthony to please consider having you do a guest blog on this topic. I myself am ABD in Anthropology — went on to the Fudd degree in another field — and I think this stuff is just perfect. Of course the hardcore AGW folk will pooh pooh it since its not part of their models, but for everyone else, hearing this story, through which you can now correlate at least three significant data points (hard scientific evidence of higher sea levels in the Arctic, tradition of MWP, and Eskimo folk memory), will begin to look mighty intriguing to us ordinary folk who aren’t sufficiently trained in the arcana of “Climate Science” to understand all the fuzzy math that goes into those exalted models.

  243. brian says:

    <If the only way to report Antarctic warming is to rely on <statistical error, then the reportage and the “science” it is <based upon is not worth a hill’o’beans!

    Ken Hall (00:45:52) : I must comment on your commentage!

    hill’o’beans: obvious spelling error- “billions” more likely. reference see:paradigm vs ‘ “pair o’ dimes” shift ‘ – spare a dime. o! taxes my lexicon! a Con you say? Solomon said – like striving after the wind. They should Pull Their Skirt and walk out, or blame it on the dog.

    brian
    pumping fossil water into the air
    every day

  244. Warren says:

    Bruce Cobb
    . Spending trillions of dollars stupidly on AGW-inspired “industries” like CCS, geoengineering, wind farms, solar, and geothermal energies will only serve to make everyone poorer.

    LMFAO
    Might as well spend it on a war…..at least thats productive. :-)

    btw VG..Rupert Murdoch owns The Australian

    Warren

  245. Bruce Cobb says:

    Bruce Cobb
    . Spending trillions of dollars stupidly on AGW-inspired “industries” like CCS, geoengineering, wind farms, solar, and geothermal energies will only serve to make everyone poorer.

    LMFAO
    Might as well spend it on a war…..at least thats productive. :-)

    Relevance? You AGWers just LOVE your non sequiteurs, don’t you? Saves having to use your brain, I guess. LMFAO

  246. Roger Knights says:

    There’s a site where “play money” bets can be made on a variety of topics, including the environment. (I’ve turned $2,000 to $700,000 in a little over a year, mostly by betting heavily at long odds on the stock market crash.) See here for the home page, where you can register to participate:

    http://www.hubdub.com/

    Here’s the page on the environment topic, which has other bets relating to AGW. (I just bet $1000 (in play money), at 10-to-1 odds, that the Wilkins Ice Shelf will hang on until 2010.):

    http://www.hubdub.com/science/environment

    Here’s a bet that was proposed to Gore. Here’s the link:

    http://www.hubdub.com/m30611/Who_will_win_the_Climate_Bet__Al_Gore_or_Wharton_Professor_Scott_Armstrong

    Who will win the “Climate Bet” – Al Gore or Wharton Professor Scott Armstrong?
    Current forecast: J. Scott Armstrong (68% chance)
    Combining all predictions, the current most likely outcome is J. Scott Armstrong with a probability of 68% (up 7% in last 1 day)

    In June 2007, Wharton Professor Scott Armstrong offered Al Gore a bet of $10,000 on who could best predict global mean temperature over the next ten years. Al Gore declined the bet, citing the reason that he does not bet money (the full story can be reviewed at http://theclimatebet.com ).

    Now, assume that Armstrong and Gore had made a gentleman’s bet (no money) and that the ten years of the bet started on January 1, 2008.

    • Armstrong’s forecast was that there would be no change in global mean temperature over the next ten years.

    • Gore did not specify a method or a forecast. Nor did searches of his book or on the Internet reveal any quantitative forecasts or any methodology he relies on. He did, however, imply that the global mean temperature would increase at a rapid rate – presumably at least as great as the IPCC’s 1992 projection of 0.03°C-per-year; thus. The IPCC’s 1992 projection is to be taken as Gore’s forecast.

    Settlement details: The criterion will be the mean absolute errors of Armstrong’s and Gore’s annual forecasts for the ten year period, with the errors to be measured against the UAH global temperature record (http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu). The win goes to the smallest mean absolute error.

  247. Roger Knights says:

    PS: Individual Hubdubbers can post questions on the site themselves, without moderation. This could be a good way for both Warm-mongers and Cooler Heads to put forward their first versions of bets that could later be submitted to Intrade for Real Money wagering.

  248. a jones says:

    I am sorry it has taken a little while to check the archives.

    I am only too aware of the tendency of scientists to discount historical record upon one pretext or another where it does not agree with currently fashionable scientific beliefs.

    For instance when I was young, a long time ago, the eyewitness accounts of the eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii where much discounted by vulcanologists even though their predecessors of fifty years before based much of their wok on Pliny. It was not until they could see on film what happened beneath hydrogen bombs that they began to change their views back again: and the very accurate records of the Mount St. Helens eruption convinced them that those ancient eye witness accounts were, within their limits, very accurate indeed.

    It happens that we have detailed recorded data on the sea ice extent in the Arctic going back the 1750’s from the records of the British and Russian Admiralities. The Russians were interested because they lacked a warm water port, the British by the possibilities that the Northwest Passage might open giving access to the Pacific and beyond with all the possibilities of trade that offered.

    Early navigation was fairly primitive and did not normally extend beyond coastal waters although the Polynesians crossed the Pacific. Regular and reasonably safe ocean voyages did not become possible until technology developed new types of instruments and ships, notably the Chinese Junk and the Viking Longship.

    We do not know whether the Chinese reached the Arctic ocean or whether the Vikings explored the Northwest Passage: the only written accounts of these voyages were not contemporary so they may be legendary.

    But they were so powerful and important that the British went on looking for the Northwest passage until cheap steam navigation made it largely irrelevant.

    We do know from contemporary accounts that the Vikings reached and began to settle Greenland at the same time as native American did so from the other side as it were: and that the two fought each other with raids and battles until both were driven out presumably by increasing cold.

    For instance we know from contemporary written accounts that the Vikings began to abandon their settlements in Greenland from about 1200 onwards because as one writer observed the world is turning colder: and we also know that by 1250 the sea ice had advanced so far south that the Viking Shipmasters on passage from Iceland to Greenland were forced to sail much further south than before and so the voyages took much longer and required increased quantities of stores.

    Form the 1750’s the data is much more reliable and whilst to modern eyes the measuring methods are rudimentary and the gaps in the observations quite large it does form a continuous record from which we may deduce the following:

    A] That the Arctic ice has been in slow but steady retreat for over two hundred years. From that it is reasonable to assume that there has been a gradual warming of the Arctic regions. We do not know why or how.

    B] That the extent of the sea ice can fluctuate with remarkable speed year on year but that overall, despite a trend of gradual but steady decline, it shows alternate phases of growth and retreat with each phase typically lasting between thirty and forty years. Again we do not why or how.

    So I hope the above is clear. And when I said the current observations are nothing to get excited about I meant it.

    But everyone is excited of course not least because some proponents of an elaborate supposition, I hesitate to call it a theory, about the climate hold it up as proof of their assertions. Ho hum.

    Moreover modern technology alllows us to observe the ice extent from day to day in almost real time: and modern computer power permits us to perform complex statistical analyses at the touch of a button.

    Nothing wrong with all of this, it is a wonderful advance in technology although sometimes I am a little bit nostalgic about the days when we did it with a slipstick.

    And of course today information is more widely and quickly available than ever before, again on balance a good thing I think. So many people are very interested in this topic and eager to contribute their happenceworth.

    Again the wider the debate the better and if you think such debate in the groves of academe is serious, indeed grave and stately all I can say I is you have never seen just how poisonous academic disputes and politics can be.

    Oh and if you fondly imagine that somehow detailed statistical analysis of some limited sample of events the mechanism of which you know little or nothing can detect whether the event is significant, random or cyclical and thus predict what is going to happen do drop me a line. I have a wonderful investment product I would like to sell you.

    Think of how much money you could make using it by gambling on climate change as advocated above.

    Kindest Regards.

  249. George E. Smith says:

    “” DJ (12:18:27) :

    >The only thing you’ve proven, DJ, is that you are an AGW True Believer.

    Bruce you have no expertise in climate and that you make such statements makes it clear you do not understand the scientific process or risk managment. Science moves through peer review. The literature on sea ice is absolutely clear. One is reckless as a scientist not to support action in a considered way on the basis of the literature, particularly given the cost of mitigation will be slight – again this is evident in the litearture even if industry lobbiests and blogs like to claim otherwise. “”

    So DJ; presumably we can infer that (a) you ARE a climatologist, and (b) you ARE also an economist; since you declare that the “cost of mitigation will be slight.”

    Just what is you economic science evidence for the cost of mitigation being slight.

    We know for example that so-called “renewable green energies” do NOT have slight costs associated with them. For example they are unable to sell themselves on any economic basisi; even with the Taxpayer subsidies, they are uneconomic. And taxpayer sibsidies are almost universally a product of private enterprise profits which are largely dependent on fossil fuel energy sources.

    Wind power for example has almost no cost savings at all, and is a big money wasting process, since the savings in real on demand energy supply is virtually zero. You have to have reliable “backup” on demand energy based mostly on fossil fuels (or nuclear for those who wised up); because you can’t depend on the wind (or sun) being there when you need energy.

    And we have no viable energy storage capacity (other than fossil fuels) to handle the total energy requirements of even the present; let alone the future.

    We are going to have problems just getting by in the future just doing things that need to be done; without spending now trillions of dollars on programs whose purpose is to satisfy some precautionary principle philosophy.

    And I suggest scientists are best when they do science; and they should leave policy to people who are trained in that expertise.

    So Steven Chu is Nobel Prize Laureate; just like Al Gore, and a physicist; but he has no expertise in either climate or economics; so he will guide the pronouncements of our new Oracle; who has zero expertise at doing anything; and is now in panic mode over a laugher pork spending bill in Congress which is going to pass anyway.
    So what is he going to do when he is confronted by a real problem; like a Nuclear armed Iran; or perhaps a Russian blockade of energy to Europe.
    Can he manage a new “Berlin Air Lift” type of operation to keep Europe supplied with (fossil) fuels.

    The French; bless their hearts, made the Nuclear choice years ago, and aren’t facing the problem of their European neighbors have. So does the USA public have the stomach for such a confrontation under our new leader; who hasn’t negotiated so much as a simp[le trade deal.

    Well I’m well off the track now; but I don’t see science coming to our rescue any time soon.

    I belong to the AAAS, so I do get their literature, and it is clear that “the science community” are champing at the bit to get in line for their government gravy train handouts, to keep funding their “research” into the extent of normal climate variability.

    George

  250. Bruce Cobb says:

    a jones (13:22:26) :
    All I can say is bravo. Extremely concise, and well-reasoned. I’ve saved a copy of it for inspiration purposes.

  251. Carlos says:

    mfearing

    I’m not a professional scientist, I draw pictures, so I am not sure why there isn’t more straight up research and discussion here instead of the anger displayed. From my perspective it makes the folks holding out for more info on climate change look bad.

    Well I just make pictures too, but you and I are capable of understanding the issues regardless.

    There is plenty of over the top rhetoric on both sides but there is also plenty of discussion on research. The demonization of the opposition in the service of attempting to make hideously expensive changes in the way we live is all one sided, however. And the Natural Climate Change (NCC?) Deniers seem quite keen to continue to ignore very relevant and important data that undermines their position. The threat to our way of life is more immediate, particularly in this political climate, than the highly speculative alarmist claims they are using to try and destroy our ongoing success as a species.

    To assuage your concerns. Keep in mind that life began on earth, and flourished, when there was much greater heat and greater CO2 concentrations (and Corals too!) then we have now. It is the captured CO2 in that ancient life that Alarmists claim we must stop returning to the environment. As an exercise in logic, how could it be that even if we restored all the life-sequestered CO2 to the environment (a complete impossibility) — by consuming every bit of coal and oil — we would accomplish anything more than to return the earth to a state where conditions were very very healthy indeed?

  252. Carlos says:

    Well I mean captured/life-sequestered Carbon, of course. Like I said. I make pictures, not clearly reasoned posts.

  253. Carlos says:

    And of course, the same holds true of Life-sequestered Calcium Carbonate rock (limestone), so why do we have to be concerned about Concrete production, either? It was all non-toxic then. What has changed?

    If anything, the argument that it would be good to put as much as possible back in circulation bears at least as much validity as any notion that returning a few percent will ruin everything, whereas spending many trillions in current and future lost wealth might ruin all sorts of things, and would probably change nothing for the better. Warm and wet is good, just ask a farmer.

  254. Richard Sharpe says:

    George E Smith says:

    So Steven Chu is Nobel Prize Laureate; just like Al Gore, and a physicist;

    Not at all. Steven Chu has a real Nobel Prize. Gore has one of the pretend prizes that were not established by Alfred Nobel.

    In my book that makes Chu much more worthy of my respect, even though I think he is mistaken and simply following the herd on the AGW issue.

  255. Ross says:

    <blockquote.
    a jones (13:22:26) :

    Bruce Cobb (06:12:47) :

    a jones (13:22:26) :
    All I can say is bravo. Extremely concise, and well-reasoned. I’ve saved a copy of it for inspiration purposes.

    ****************************

    Please allow me to second Bruce Cobb’s praise of your essay.

  256. Pamela Gray says:

    DJ I am still awaiting your review of basic sea ice behavior with testable mechanisms. The noaa web sites you have in your posts indicate warming and ice melt. No one here disagrees with that. But your web sites do not state this is because of CO2 or soot. In fact, in several instances the jet stream and wind patterns on ice packing and melt are proffered as reasonable mechanisms.

    I have spent study time to look into sea ice behavior. I am waiting for your feedback on what you have studied.

  257. Pamela Gray says:

    I am curious as to why ice buildup follows fairly normal winter patterns but summer melt has not. There are several plausible mechanisms at play here. Few of the Arctic areas have not experienced this high melt during summer. I am off to figure out some of them. Here is my starter list:

    Summer Arctic temperatures blown in from other areas. Strong outflow winds. Jet stream positioning during melt season. Oceanic currents and temperature during melt season. Water vapor. Humidity. Lack of cloud cover. Ozone.

    One thing is for sure. If summer melt ever returns to normal and ice build-up remains at the current pace, we should see lots of above average Arctic sea ice year round. It therefor appears reasonable to hypothesize that Arctic sea ice buildup depends not on the winter season, but on the summer season.

    A pattern like this leads me to hypothesize that we are talking about a cyclic weather pattern possibly tied to a cyclic oceanic current pattern that is in sync at the moment during the summer.

  258. Nic Lonsdale says:

    quoting P Folkens

    “recent anthropological work in northern Greenland have revealed Eskimo settlements and ancient sea shores that show a sea level more than a meter higher 800-1000 years ago compared with now.”

    Does this imply that 800-1000 years ago the sea level was a metre higher evrywhere?
    How does this compare with the Roman harbours on the south coast of England (of 2000 years ago), I was told as a child that silting had caused them to be now inland or strangely elevated ?

    Sorry – could be a totally silly red herring.

  259. Roger Sowell says:

    The little red line
    is going vertical again, and is on course to exceed all levels for this date, since 2002.

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California (still raining, this is day 4 in a row)

  260. a jones says:

    attn Nic Lonsdale

    Not at all it is a perfectly proper question and I will attempt to answer it to the best of my ability.

    In theory sea level should be constant around the globe, but until recently this idea was the subject of great dispute until the cutting of the Suez canal between two seas showed it was essentially correct.

    But the sea is subject to waves and mean sea level is affected in the short term, days, weeks or months, by the winds which can pile up water in enormous quantities, and by the local pressure of the atmosphere which can depress or increase the level significantly for years or more.

    Similarly you might imagine that the ripples in water or the waves in which you paddle which can grow into mighty breakers are local events but even the tides themselves are waves driven by the gravitational forces of the heavenly bodies and the rotation of the earth. Although close to the equator they travel at around a thousand miles an hour you do not perceive them as a wave, merely a local rise and fall in sea level. Moreover they do not affect seas largely closed off from the oceans such as the Baltic where the tidal range is a few inches. Whereas off the West Coast of Ireland it is tens of feet.

    So measuring mean sea level is a hard thing to do and up until now the best method we have are tidal gauges, But these have only been around for a couple of hundred years. Moreover they are subject to the fact that the land can and does rise or fall, over hundreds of years.

    Within the limitations we have of measuring mean sea level we can, with a reasonable degree of certainty estimate it has been rising by about 2 mm a year for the last thousand years: in the last twenty years we have had satellite date some of which suggest this may have increased to 3mm a year but it is not clear whether this is true, or due to errors in measurement or local barometric effects.

    Similarly due to their geology the East and South coasts of England suffer from relatively rapid rates of erosion, deposition and sinkage. Within the last six hundred years once great ports such as Dunwich or Rye have been left high and dry but this has little or nothing to do with mean sea levels.

    If mean sea level continues to rise at the current rate we might expect it to be between two and three hundred mm higher by the end of the century.

    So I hope this answers your question.

    Kindest Regards.

  261. Pamela Gray says:

    Anybody have a subscription to Nature? The following article describes wind patterns and Arctic ice melt during the summer. It appears that an approximate 40 year wind cycle may be responsible for high summer melts.

    Nature 451, 286-288 (17 January 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06590; Published online 16 January 2008

  262. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Pamela Gray
    ‘One thing is for sure. If summer melt ever returns to normal and ice build-up remains at the current pace, we should see lots of above average Arctic sea ice year round. It therefor appears reasonable to hypothesize that Arctic sea ice buildup depends not on the winter season, but on the summer season. ‘

    I suspect that there must be a natural limit to arctic ice area simply because it doesn’t stay dark for so very long once you get out of the Arctic Circle, hence limiting summer ice latitudes pretty permanently short of extreme cooling.

    Volume, however, I tend to agree with you. Key there is getting the measurement mechanisms set up. I think various projects are looking to start doing that now – monitoring that for 100 years will be very helpful.

    40 year wind cycles: I suspect you will find a lot of 25 – 70 year cycles operating through multiple climatic parameters – I had a look at NCDC annual data for precipitation and temperature for US and there are clear cycles operating across those lengths in some, but by no means all US states. These overlap:

    e.g.
    California 1910 – 1975 cold; 1980 onwards hot.
    Washington 1920 – 1985 cold; 1985 onwards warm.
    Colorado 1903 – 1930 cold; 1931 – 1960 warm; 1964 – 1990 cold; 1990 onwards warm.
    Florida 1960 – 1988 cold; 1989 onwards warm.

    Minnesota 1912 – 1939 dry; 1977 to present wet.
    Pennsylvania 1900 – 1930 dry; 1970 to present wet.

    That’s a very crude first pass data examination.

  263. RoyfOMR says:

    (Q) How many IPCC consensus scientists does it take to construct an Urban Heat Island

    (UHI)?
    (A) Three. One to order the barbecue, one to poke the steaks with the thermometer and

    one whom publishes in a peer-reviewed paper that novel, advanced statistical

    analysis conclusively prove that there was no barbecue and thus UHI is no more than a

    denialist artefact!
    (Q) How many does it take to demonstrate that the UHI effect matters when determining

    climatic change?
    (A) Lots and lots and lots of people- all rowing in the same direction- thanks Mr

    Watts!
    (Q) How many Canadians are required to illustrate that more effective symbiosis

    betwixt claim-atolgy(sp?) and applied statistics would do us all a great favour?
    (A) I believe just the one- SMc!

    Sorry, Mr Watts, for being totally Off-Target but as much as I’m impressed by the

    views and knowledge of the majority of the posters on the current topic- I’m more

    than a tad depressed with the overwhelming,’majority’ consensus that time after time

    simply ‘steam-rollers’ and demonises alternative viewpoints into the tarmac!

  264. Steve senkoruk says:

    Perhaps it is simply the halocline or layer of fresh water from the previous thawing. Since sea ice is low in salt the resulting melt water floats above the saltier sea water slowly absorbing salt. Since salt depresses the freezing point the fresher water freezes at a higher temperature and results in more ice at higher temperatures . One would expect to see more “sea “ice for awhile , then taper off if warming continues and temperatues rise .

  265. Victor Hatch says:

    The cloudiness of the northern Hemisphere has greatly increased, Particularly in the Artcic, in thee last 50 years due to jet airplane travel. Water vapor is the major greenhouse gas, and the exhaust of these jets has a major component of water vapor (the fuels are carbohydrates). These clouds reduce the night time cooling of the earth below; see data about the day to night temperature changes while airplane travel was blocked after 9-11. And in the arctic the nights are very long and the normal route of air travel between North America, Europe and Asia is over or near a path over the arctic.

    From this it is to be expected that the northern areas of the world would be warming if all other factors remained the same.

    One would therefore expect the data on the antarctic to be a better indicator than that of the arctic.

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