A question to the USGS and NPR

Which of these states is closest to 20,000 square kilometers in area?

UPDATE: USGS has issued a statement, see below.

WUWT reader “DC” points us to this Gore-esque pronouncement from a USGS scientist about “Antarctic ice loss”.

Jane Ferrigno of the U.S. Geological Survey in a National Public Radio interview
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124178690 (Audio clip available)

Ms. FERRIGNO: The fact that the ice shelves are changing on the peninsula is a significant signal that global change, climate warming, is affecting the ice cover of Antarctica. It’s affecting first the area that’s towards the north, that’s slightly warmer, but the effect of the warming has traveled from the northern part of the peninsula to the southern part of the peninsula, where it’s colder.

“RAZ: Give us a sense of how much ice [on the Antarctic peninsula] has been lost over the past, say, 10 years.

Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.

RAZ: So about the size of the state of Texas in terms of ice has been lost in the past 20 years. ”

It gets better.

Ms. FERRIGNO: Well, this is a fairly small amount of ice when you consider the whole Antarctic continent consists of about 13 million square kilometers of ice.

RAZ: I mean, it sounds so dramatic, the size of Texas, right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FERRIGNO: It is. It is very dramatic, and it is larger than the size of Texas, but when you consider the entire Antarctic ice sheet, it’s still a fairly minimal amount. But the thing that we’re really interested in seeing is that this is a sort of a red flag because if the warming continues, if the retreat continues, if the amount of ice on the continent starts to flow into the water, then there will be substantial impact to the sea level.

RAZ: That’s Jane Ferrigno. She is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Jane Ferrigno, thanks for coming in.

Ms. FERRIGNO: Thank you.

Ms. Ferrigno might do well to have a look at this map of the USA and Antarctica compared at Texas A&M University’s Polar Science program to get a sense of scale.

Here’s the story on all the Southern hemisphere sea ice, which includes all Antarctic sea ice, from Cryosphere today:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

click for a larger image

Maybe Ms. Ferrigno will be embarrassed enough by her geographic ineptitude and will heed Gavin Schmidt’s advice and stop trying to “persuade the public“.

======================================

UPDATE:

Statement from USGS:

The comment by Jane in the NPR interview was an honest mistake. We are sorry for the delay in responding to your email, but Jane has been out of the office. Below is an apology and clarification statement that will be posted on the NPR site soon. Jane will be in the office later today, and if you have any questions, please let me or her know.

From Jane …
I want to apologize to NPR and the listening audience for my misstatement last Sunday, February 28. During the last 20 years, an area more than 20,000 sq. km. (comparable to the size of New Jersey) has broken off the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the Antarctic Peninsula, the source of the ice loss, that I meant to say was larger than the state of Texas but smaller than the state of Alaska.

Thank you,

Jessica Robertson
Public Affairs Specialist
Office of Communications
U.S. Geological Survey
(703) 648-6624
jrobertson@usgs.gov

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236 Responses to A question to the USGS and NPR

  1. JinOH says:

    Is there anyone left out there that still takes these people seriously?

  2. Suranda says:

    Oh my goodness. Does Ms Ferrigno believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth as well?

  3. David A. Reyes says:

    Or that witches float because they are made of wood?

    -Dave

  4. John W. says:

    Why let mere details get in the way of a good hysterical narrative?

  5. Which state is larger, texas, new jersey or alaska?

    Michigan! go blue.

    Seriously what I wanted to say to Gavin was that scientists are persuading the public, or rather they are changing the public’s mind. in unintended ironic ways.

  6. latitude says:

    The first iceberg, B9B, broke off in 1987 and has been floating around for 23 years.
    Are these the two icebergs she is counting as lost?

  7. I’m trying to find a plausible way that a geographer could possible think 20,000 sq km is a larger area than Texas. I’m failing. If she’d dropped a factor of 10, I’d say, well, it happens. But this is just mathematically and geographically illiterate.

    Shocking.

  8. Just The Facts says:

    Also of note. Arctic Sea Ice Extent is on an upswing;
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    and just a hair away from the arbitrary normal range used by NCIDC:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    Global Sea Ice Area appears to be making a run on average;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is above average:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

    There are certainly no signs of the catastrophic, accelerating, extremely rapid, alarming, faster than we predicted only a few years ago, sea ice free arctic summer and drowning polar bear type melting we’ve heard so much about…

  9. brooks says:

    A complete farrago of misinformation from Ms Ferringo?

  10. James Smyth says:

    According to your graph (still less than Texas)

    0.223 x Million s KM = 223,000 sqKM.

    Assuming there’s not an averate/slope that would be 1/20th of that even..

  11. Gary Hladik says:

    Well, if you take the spherical Earth and flatten it into a Mercator projection, then a New Jersey-sized chunk of Antarctica probably does look about the size of Texas.

    Which confirms what I’ve long suspected: warmists are flat-earthers! :-)

  12. The sea-ice anomaly graph is of absolutly zero relevance to a piece about ice-shelf loss. But it tells the story you want other to hear, right?

    REPLY: No, it tells the story that is constantly ignored. Here’s a few more:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/17/ipcc-gate-du-jour-antarctic-sea-ice-increase-underestimated-by-50/

    Most people fail to realize the difference in the peninsula versus the continent of Antarctica:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/18/what-happens-when-you-divide-antarctica-into-two-distinct-climate-zones/

    Here’s one that deals with the improper weighting of temperature data in the Antarctic peninsula:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/29/steig-et-al-falsified/

  13. Gary Hladik says:

    BTW, is Jane Ferrigno a Miss America contestant?

  14. Matt says:

    You’re not so perfect yourself. Guess you need to brush up on your chart reading skills. The title in the chart you preface with “Here’s the story on all Antarctic ice from Cryosphere today:” is “Southern Hemisphere SEA Ice Anomaly.” Not ALL ice or even Antarctic ice. SEA ice in the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.

    Pot meet kettle.

    REPLY: Which includes all Antarctic sea ice. But you’re right, I’ll make it clearer.

  15. rbateman says:

    Wow… an Antarctic IceShelf Crackup Domino theory.
    Never mind that the growing Ice Shelf seems to crack, go out further, refreeze and fill in behind the pieces, they don’t get very far.

    NPR is rather hard to take when you know they have these set-piece interviews with no challenge.

  16. David Middleton says:

    My Engineering Geology final consisted of designing an earthen dam somewhere in the New Haven quadrangle. The goal was to trap the greatest water volume in a reservoir with the least surface area.

    I sited my dam in exactly the right spot.
    I laid out an ideal construction procedure.
    Then I listed the reservoir specifications.

    I wrote down 10^6 where I meant to write 10^9 for the reservoir volume.

    When I handed it to the professor, he looked at my paper and said, “Mr. Middleton, you have a promising career ahead of you with the Army Corps of Engineers. You just designed a reservoir that is 100m high and traps a reservoir 1km by 10m.” Or something like that.

    I had all the dimensions correct in my calculations. I just had a “typo” in the spec’s. He didn’t take many points off, I still got an A, but I’ll never forget that moment ~30 years ago.

    The moral to the story is that geologists will occasionally confuse thousands, millions and billions… Too many zeros.

    I think that the GRACE data (Velicogna) show that the Antarctic lost about 153 km^3 of ice per year from 2003-2008. The volume of the Antarctic ice sheet (West and East) is something like 30 million km^3. That’s about 0.0005% per year. I’m sure that the GRACE gravity meters are really good… But I bet that the margin of error in the PGR estimate is more than 0.0005%.

    Furthermore, Luxembourg-sized chunks of ice couldn’t be breaking off of Antarctica unless the ice sheet was growing and pushing the ice extent north. My ice maker doesn’t overflow when I set the freezer temperature above 32F. Glacial episodes and Bond cold events are identified in marine sediments by looking for ice-rafted debris… AKA dirt dropped from icebergs.

  17. hunter says:

    AGW’s best friends are illiteracy, innumeracy and credulity.

  18. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Ms. FERRIGNO: ” The fact that the ice shelves are changing on the peninsula”

    Pardon my ignorance, but what is exactly an “ice shelf on the peninsula”? Is that sea ice?

  19. ShrNfr says:

    Without regard to ice anomaly, Antarctica is its own unique climate. It has a constant high albedo and the ocean current that encircles it isolates it from the balance of the oceans. Are we paying for this sort of “research”?

  20. Johnny Canuck says:

    Maybe Lou Ferringo [The Incredible Hulk], is Ms Ferringo’s dad and he will burst onto the AGW scene and make short work of all the sceptics.
    We had better be careful what we say.
    YIKES!

  21. rbateman says:

    How many contrarian callers make it onto NPR on Science Friday?

  22. Steve Goddard says:

    Texas is more than twice as large as The Antarctic Peninsula.

    UAH shows no warming in the Antarctic Peninsula.
    http://climate.uah.edu/25yearbig.jpg

  23. NickB. says:

    Wow, the U.S. Geological Survey really sets the bar high for admission I guess.

    If she’s a professional surveyor then I am Nigerian Royalty – RAZ should send me his bank account information so I can blah.. blah.. blah…

  24. Peter Miller says:

    That’s not fair!

    The poor woman was confused and obviously not taught too much geography or science at school.

    On another matter – Does anyone know the answer to this?

    1. According to the warmists, rising CO2 levels (and the accompanying supposed ‘forcing’) are supposed to significantly increase surface temperatures.

    2. Rising temperatures increase evaporation (part of the ‘forcing’ argument); that means more water vapour in the atmosphere.

    3. Water vapour is a ‘greenhouse gas’, which means temperatures should rise further, BUT

    4. Rising water vapour levels should increase global rainfall and the number of days it rains. This should mean the atmosphere cools down, especially in the tropics, where rainy days are usually much cooler. Also, more clouds mean that more direct sunlight is reflected back into outer space, thereby cooling things down. But more clouds mean that there is greater insulation trappping the heat close to surface.

    5. Question: How on Earth is it possible to accurately quantify this into a computer model, in addition to all the other factors affecting climate?

  25. Rob M says:

    What concerns me is , of the voting public hearing this sort of official pronouncement, very few will know how poor is the quality control of facts by these people lecturing them on the state of the planet.

  26. Stan H says:

    I don’t understand how ice shelf breakup is of overriding importance in the grand scheme of things. What is important in the grand scheme of things is if the output of glaciers (ice shelf ice plus melt water) exceeds input (snowfall). I do not believe that Jane Ferrigno has shown this to be the case. In what ways are the glaciers themselves retreating or otherwise shrinking? Just because someone grows inch long fingernails doesn’t necessarily mean their nail matrices are any healthier than the next person’s. Come to think of it though, I suppose someone might be able to show that Antarctica is growing rotten ice shelves.

  27. Gary Hladik says:

    Sorry, it’s Miss Teen USA:

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

  28. Murray Carpenter says:

    @ just The Facts

    And below average Arctic temperature aswell :O)

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

  29. ML says:

    [b]She is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.[/b]
    Is it true ????????. If it is, I think that janitor in primary school in Timbuktu is more qualified for this position.
    The “climate science” is getting better and better every day
    Just WOW

  30. two moon says:

    She IS persuading the public. Many have been persuaded that she does not know what she’s talking about.

  31. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Anthony, the sea ice anomaly graph you are showing is that relative to the maximum or the minimum extent or the annual average extent?

  32. JJ says:

    Oh come on. Whats the problem? She was only off by a couple orders of magnitude. Well within the standard error bounds of climate science.

    Next you’ll be complaining that the core of the earth isnt really several million degrees, as the world’s most famous Nobel Prize winning climatologist has stated.

    Move along, nothing to see here.

  33. Paul Daniel Ash says:

    A complete farrago of misinformation from Ms Ferringo?

    No, she blew it on the comparison, but she was correct on the number. A New Jersey of ice is quite a lot… if you think New Jersey is small, try getting to Philadelphia from New York at rush hour.

    Anthony’s use of a graph of sea ice to try to contradict a report about ice shelves suggests that he either didn’t read the report or thinks no one else will. Not sure which I’m more uncomfortable with.

  34. Daniel says:

    I just wonder how much Ms Ferrigno got for this peer-reviewed report LOL

  35. Fudsdad says:

    We have trouble with kilometers over here in the UK as well and prefer to leave them on the continent of Europe.
    Does this woman have any qualifications to speak of? If so, the peolpe that gave them to her should be struck off.

  36. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Sorry, dumb question. Didn’t think straight for a second.

  37. Wade says:

    You must remember four things:

    1) Facts are meaningless! If facts mattered, these people would debate in an honest, open forum. Facts are meaningless because the vast majority of the public will not verify what is said. (If people would verify, they would see the Antarctic has had record highs lately.)

    2) The message has to be dramatic. If you say 20,000 km2, that means nothing. Especially to Americans. There are about 1.619 km per mile. If Ms. Ferrigno had said 12,427 square miles, the audience would know that Texas isn’t that big. But Americans don’t know square kilometers. So, in this case, obfuscation enabled Ms. Ferrigno to make a dramatic announcement.

    3) These are the same people who actually believe cold = warm. These people believe that everything is proof of AGW. They believe this, or publicly say this, for one of two reasons. One is my next point, the other is because they are delusional. The ones that truly believe that cold = warm are the ones who need to have their head examined.

    4) Easy money is hard to turn down. Being someone who fixes computers, the biggest problem I see is the fake antivirus scam. It is easy money, and these people (who are from Russia, by the way) aren’t going to give up that income without a fight. The fake antivirus scam is very dramatic and in-your-face. It tries to make you act now on impulse before you come to your senses. The AGW scam is just the same way. The ones that know better are the ones who want that easy money. With exceptions for some who want power or both power and money.

  38. KBK says:

    Aside from her 10x gaffe, I’d say she’s cherrypicking. The southern sea ice, according to the graph, has *increased* by roughly 200,000 sq km since 1979, an area comparable to 1/4 the size of Texas.

  39. Peter says:

    Aren’t all these gaffs just a result of the AGW crowd believing their own hype?

  40. George E. Smith says:

    Well as the old joke goes; “If those Texans don’t quit bragging, we’ll just cut Alaska in half, and make Texas the Third largest State.

    And Just for curiosity sake, Veep Joe Biden’s home State of Delaware can be placed in 12 different places, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Alaska, with no overlap.

    20,000 square km is about 76.4 nautical miles on a side. Not a heck of a lot different from those two icebergs that were playing Ooops a daisy the other day.

    Is that area shrinkage the real difference between then and now, or is it just the integrated amount that has fallen off; and what about all the extra ice deposited on top during that time.

    I wonder if Lou Ferrigno agrees with her.

    I won’t complain; if she were any smarter, maybe she would have my job.

  41. JP Miller says:

    I sent an email to Dr. Ferrigno and her apparent supervisor at USGS, Dr. R.S. Williams, using their email addresses at the USGS website, asking if they would care to comment on the WUWT blog. Both bounced back saying the addresses were not valid.

    I thought the USGS might like to know what their “scientists” are saying. Guess not.

  42. Richard Wright says:

    The moral to the story is that geologists will occasionally confuse thousands, millions and billions… Too many zeros.

    Huh? It’s not her number that’s the problem (regardless of whether it’s accurate or not) it’s that she claimed this number was comparable to the size of Texas and Alaska. Forget about the number, in her mind the amount of ice loss is 30 times greater than it could possibly be. Makes you wonder if she’s ever seen a map.

  43. Michael J. Bentley says:

    Oh gosh darn it!

    First FEMA goes to pot, now USGS. What next, why this could reach to POTUS or worse.

    Alphabet soup anyone?

    Mike

  44. RockyRoad says:

    David Middleton (09:14:37) :

    (…)

    The moral to the story is that geologists will occasionally confuse thousands, millions and billions… Too many zeros.

    ————-
    Reply:
    She’s no geologist I’d ever claim.
    Maybe she confused SQUARE km with LINEAR km, and in that case 20,000 km is indeed LONGER than Alaska, which is reported to be 3,639 km in length.

    Beyond that, I can’t see where there’s any excuse for what she said.

  45. John Peter says:

    Is there anyone reading or adding comments to this article who has the authority and connections to contact the US Geological Survey and point out the errors? I am no longer surprised, however, if that would be to no avail if the US Geological Society is committed to the “AGW religion”.

  46. Luke says:

    Somebody failed their geography class…

  47. JP Miller says:

    I remember high school science electives, maybe many of you do, too. You had to choose among one of the following thfourree: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Sciences. Guess which ones the smart kids chose? Guess which one everyone else chose?

    How about college? Remember taking Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Sciences…

    There are no doubt many smart people doing climate research, but my guess is there’s a whole bunch who are, well, not so smart…

  48. bob alou says:

    USGS? – Universe of Stupid and Gullible Scientists not to be confused with NPR – Nutty People’s Radio.

  49. D. King says:

    I blame Mr. FERRIGNO for her size comparison errors.

  50. John F. Hultquist says:

    Some of the 10 comments on the NPR site are interesting.

  51. Hal says:

    I wonder how Ms. Jane Ferrigno would do on “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?”

    Europe is a country and everyone speaks french there

  52. rbateman says:

    Murray Carpenter (09:26:37) :

    For a winter that blew cold air all over the N. Hemisphere, the Arctic temp. average was no worse for the wear, and the Sea Ice extent didn’t miss a beat either.

  53. woodNfish says:

    This is a prime example of government science at its best. It only goes further down hill from there.

  54. Jack says:

    Well, it is very good for govt work. Think how awkward it would be if her comparisons had been to objects in our solar system.

    Lets thank our lucky stars that the US Geological Survey has at least some standards…

  55. joated says:

    Aren’t these the same folks trying to say that the relative stability (even cooling) in the US is not that important because the US is such a small part of the Earth’s surface?

  56. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    So qualified to be a government employee and promote the AGW iis vewy, vewy, vewy scawy story.

  57. Leon Brozyna says:

    Simple solution – let’s have Congress pass a law (their solution to every perceived problem) to save the ice shelves, ordering the winds to stop blowing, the sea waves to quit crashing on the ice and fracturing it, and the glaciers to quite pushing ice too far out onto the sea where it becomes unsustainable.

  58. A C Osborn says:

    That was some “Blonde Moment”

  59. Eric Naegle says:

    @JinHO

    “Is there anyone left out there that still takes these people seriously?”

    Yes! My wife and most of our friends as well. Well… as seriously as most people in California can get at least. Driving a car and listening to NPR is like being in the oracle at Delphi, with the rarified local air amplifying the effect.

    20,000, 200,000, 2000,000… Yeah, whatever, it’s all good, dude…

  60. Freezedried says:

    I happened to stumble upon a book in the library that must have been the father of the IPCC reports. It was a compendium of the current climate knowledge to 1982 (IIRC). One interesting chapter was on sea level rise. It stated that the expected rise was about 80cm and was due primarily from heat expansion and some mountain glacier melt. Greenland melt was thought to be offset by an increase in Antarctic ice from increased precipitation. They stated that the gain in ice in the Antarctic could be greater than the melt from Greenland.

    It was interesting to note the lack of politics in the book, even in some work by Hansen. Probably before he discovered CAGW.

  61. Reminds me of a question asked, on record, during the international meeting, by Clinton’s Secretary of Energy: “What country, exactly, supplies our nuclear warheads?”

    Face it, fellow US citizens, we are being ruled by the people who know only one thing: how to embezzle our money. Everything else is beyond their comprehension.

  62. P Gosselin says:

    A USGS scientist !!!!
    OMG!
    Either this scientist is completely stupid and incompetent, are a lying charlatan trying to pull yet another fast one on the public. It’s probably in the IPCC 4AR too.
    Fire her and save some tax dollars.

  63. Dusty says:

    Which way would be best to make the comparison between 89-90 and 09-10 (or 88-89 and 08-09), by the peaks, the trough or the average? Looking at 89-90 season on the graph, the peaks are about the same and the trough is a little lower in 09-10. The average for the base period might be a little more than currently but, by eye, it seems to be pretty much irrelevant considering the intervening variations.

    Ferrigno would have been much better off going with the interviewer’s 10 years. Is it possible he knows more about the subject than Ferrigno?

  64. D. Matteson says:

    So an area the size of New Jersey has broken off and floated out to sea, wouldn’t it be better for all of us if New Jersey would break off and float out to sea.

  65. Jon says:

    Climate alarmists are rapidly reaching the intellectual level of The Flat Earth Society. People like Ms. Ferrigno who should be sources of fact seem to be quite comfortable saying things with certainty that are not close to reality.

  66. A C Osborn says:

    Did Raz keep asking her about the size of Texas to show
    1.How serious it was?
    2. Give her the chance to correct such an obvious Gaffe?
    3. To show what a stupid person she is for a US Geologist, which he reminds the viewers of at the end?

  67. Bob says:

    It’s just like all the other AGW nonesince. Sounds fine to the average listener on its face. When you look into it, its all just crap.

  68. Bernie says:

    But the interesting point is that the same error of magnitude underpins the Himalayan Glacier story as well. Recall that 500K km2 should have been 35K km2. So called informed parties seem to have (a) no idea as to basic geographic facts and (b) not the wit to look them up. The above diagrams make this abundantly clear. The question becomes how did Ms. Ferringo not know this!! That the NPR commentator didn’t know is less surprising but, given the magnitude of the error, is still a question with epistemological import.

  69. P Gosselin says:

    Eyeballing a straight line over the last 20 years on the anomaly map, I’d say Antarctic sea ice has gained by about 300,000 sq km, i.e. half the state of Texas. Like snowstorms in D.C., that’s proof of AGW – the models predicted it!

  70. jaypan says:

    You guys are so unfair. In the golden past nobody has doublechecked what scientists have said. Now they have to expect their statements looked at by every laymen. How sad.

    I am already surprised why the Antarctic ice is not melted yet by the inner-earth millions of degree C … right, Al?

    And, btw, everything is bigger than Texas, why not those ice shelfs. Or was it … in Texas?
    Enough fun for today. Gotta go.

  71. tarpon says:

    I have always wondered how Antarctica ice can melt with temperatures so far below freezing. Does anybody think a degree or two matters in Antarctica ?

    When you look at satellite shots the ice is breaking off, not melting off the main Antarctica ice shelf.

    If anybody cares, in the history of earth all the ice has melted and the whole planet was an ice ball before. And it survived.

  72. nc says:

    Real honest scientists had better start speaking up about all this climatic false hood or else the word scientist will be on equal footing as the word politician. They will only have themselves to blame if they don’t start speaking up in mass.

  73. I’ve solved the puzzle. When she refers to Texas, she means Texas County, Oklahoma, in the panhandle, area 5,306 km².

    See, move along folks, no problem here!

  74. Vincent says:

    Isn’t she professor of geography at the University of Gore?

  75. Bill Parsons says:

    I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.

    It’s time to assess the overall size of the state of disarray of Climate Science.

  76. Codeblue says:

    This sounds like the thing Gavin was cautious about. Hyperbole, whether intentional or not, when trying to explain something to the public, is really bad PR.

  77. Steve J says:

    Unfortunately, the general public with their dumbed down educations and the soundbite du jour will accept this misinformation as fact and,
    they will even try to tell all of their friends.

    We need to look for some way to force debate on the radio to let the incompetents we fund expose themselves.

    Or we could just sue the bad apples for defamation of the truth?

  78. Bruce Cobb says:

    Ms. FERRIGNO: “The fact that the ice shelves are changing on the peninsula is a significant signal that global change, climate warming, is affecting the ice cover of Antarctica.”
    Huh? Would she like to try putting that in English, instead of Climatospeak? The ice shelves are changing how exactly? And which is it, “global change”, or “climate warming”?

    RAZ: “I mean, it sounds so dramatic, the size of Texas, right?”
    You got it, RAZ. With the CAGW cargo cultists it’s not about accuracy, or facts, it’s all about the “drama”. Looks like Ms. Ferrigno is the drama queen.

  79. MattN says:

    [snip - dialed back]

  80. Charlie Barnes says:

    “Peter Miller”

    “On another matter – does anyone know the answer to this?”

    No – but I’ve also wondered how it is that Carbon Dioxide, and any other of the ‘much more powerful greenhouse gases’, are able to keep more heat in to the planet than they keep from coming in from outside the atmosphere. How is a gas sensitive to the direction of radiated heat? Or is the answer more to do with convection, conduction and notions of specific heat, say?

  81. CO2 Realist says:

    Folks, let’s cut her a little slack. She made these comment on Feb 28, and hadn’t yet seen Gavin’s comments of March 2 where he instructed all climate scientists everywhere that “Their job is not persuading the public.”

    What’s even more appalling is that I’m sure she had time to prepare for this short segment on NPR, with a friendly host, so how could she get the story so wrong. If wasn’t like she was blind sided with some unplanned question.

    Oh, I know, her scary story follows the consensus thinking so it must be right. And anyway, even if the numbers are wrong won’t we be doing the right thing for the planet? /sarc off.

  82. John Barrett says:

    Come on you Americans, get with it.

    20,000 sq km is the size of

    Wales !

    You should know by now that Wales has become the standard unit for measuring area, be it icebergs or rainforests.

    REPLY:
    Save the Wales

  83. MattN says:

    “The message has to be dramatic. If you say 20,000 km2, that means nothing. Especially to Americans. There are about 1.619 km per mile. If Ms. Ferrigno had said 12,427 square miles, the audience would know that Texas isn’t that big. But Americans don’t know square kilometers. So, in this case, obfuscation enabled Ms. Ferrigno to make a dramatic announcement.”

    Except there are only ~7600 square miles in 20,000 square km…even more revealing.

    You have to divide 20,000 by 1.612^2 (2.62).

  84. MikeH says:

    Wow, Antartica is BIG! And we have how many weather stations on it?

  85. Mike B says:

    I think it’s important to point out that this wasn’t some off-the-cuff gaffe, where Ferrigno said, “20 thousand square kilometers have been lost,” and then the interviewer followed up with, “Can you give us a sense of large an area that is?” She could be forgiven if she just panicked on air and said something stupid.

    But from the transcript of the interview, this appears to be a prepared talking point. Hard to imagine that a geographer could be so utterly and completely clueless.

  86. woodNfish says:

    Alexander Feht (10:07:13) : “Face it, fellow US citizens, we are being ruled by the people who know only one thing: how to embezzle our money. Everything else is beyond their comprehension.”

    Yes, but you have to admit Alexander that it is the one thing they are VERY good at.

  87. NickB. says:

    According to my calculations 20,000 square km equals 7722 square miles.

    To put that in perspective we are talking about 6 Big Bend National Parks (the little green spot):

    http://www.pmansbach.com/BigBend/texas.gif

  88. rbateman says:

    JP Miller (09:44:08) :

    I imagine USGS is highly embarassed at this point.
    Millions heard what she said.
    Damage Control, report !

  89. Bill Marsh says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (09:34:45) :

    A complete farrago of misinformation from Ms Ferringo?

    No, she blew it on the comparison, but she was correct on the number. A New Jersey of ice is quite a lot…

    ——————-

    Actually, to put into perspective (assuming she is correct) Antarctica lost a ‘New Jersey’ of ice in 20 years, since there are approx 590 ‘New Jerseys’ of ice in Antarctica it would take roughly 12,000 years to lose all of it. To me that says a ‘New Jersey’ of ice isn’t all that much.

  90. JDN says:

    The soft patter of NPR is very persuasive. Everyone I know that wants CO2 emissions cut and is concerned about Antarctica, polar bears, baby seals, etc. listens to NPR. They really cover stories that other organizations won’t touch. They also convey the Marin county lifestyle so well that I was surpised they live in D. C.

  91. Mike B says:

    I think I may have cracked the Texas-sized code.

    According to this Washington Post article from last year, the area of the Western Ice Shelf is comparable to the size of Texas.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/13/AR2008011302753.html

    So Ferrigno’s mistake was that she was basically claiming that the entire ice shelf had melted.

    I feel much better now.

  92. tarpon says:

    nc (10:24:27) :

    “Real honest scientists had better start speaking up about all this climatic false hood or else the word scientist will be on equal footing as the word politician.”

    They are already on equal footing with used car salesman, and dropping. However you are right, scientists need to recognize that trust is not a renewable resource. And time is growing short.

  93. hunter says:

    Well, this USGS scientist is persuading me rather well.

  94. Neo says:

    Was Ms. Ferrigno part of that NASA team that smashed the Mars probe into the planet because they got the units mixed up ?

  95. hunter says:

    Even the claim that the Antarctic has lost ice at all is misleading, and deliberately so, by our AGW promoting friends.
    Ice may have been lost, but more was gained than lost, in the Antarctic region.

  96. Turboblocke says:

    You do realise that she’s talking about ice on the Antarctic penisular , not sea ice.

    Perhaps it’s time to assess the state of disarray on this site first? ;)

  97. old construction worker says:

    Ms. FERRIGNO along with Al Gore got an A in science. I think they attended the same Class.

  98. MikeT says:

    Well, while we are on about ice, perhaps things are changing a bit in the media. Today the Daily Telegraph (UK, hard copy) carried a story about a polar bear and its cub stranded on a tiny ice flow twelve miles from the nearest land…. And there wasn’t even a hint of a mention of AGW! It even had a BBC environmental presenter (Chris Packham) saying what good swimmers polar bears are and how they were probably quite safe!

    I don’t think I dreamt it.

  99. Luboš Motl says:

    Everyone knows that Al Gore is not particularly intelligent or educated. The “million of degrees” Earth is far from an exception. Let’s admit it, he is an idiot. But there is a lot of sense in which Al Gore is equally intelligent and educated (or non-intelligent and uneducated) as the “scientists” he uses as the ultimate authority.

    These people are third-class stuff, the people who barely got through schools and grad schools because they have never been good at anything. Because they happened to get somewhere where they don’t really belong, their current position is their greatest source of pride – they don’t have any valuable results – and they’re gonna do anything to keep this position.

    Junk science. Junk scientists.

  100. Steve Huntwork says:

    Even Ph.D astronomers fall for this crap. I will keep and repost this quote from Phil for the next few years:

    “As you can see by this NASA graphic from the linked page, Antarctica loses over 100 billion tons of ice per year, the equivalent of about a hundred cubic kilometers (more than 20 cubic miles) of ice. That number is hard to grasp, but it’s the equivalent to the volume of a mountain about 14,000 feet high — or, if you prefer, it’s like saying that one Colorado Rocky Mountain’s worth of ice disappears every year. Just in Antarctica alone.”

    As an Astronomer and rather smart person, Phil needs to explain to everyone how any satellite could measure such a tiny change in gravity over the entire continent of Antarctica to such an amazing accuracy!

    How was this truely amazing accuracy from a satellite validated and verified?

    Curious minds would like to know…

    My bet is that Phil will claim that he trusted what he was being told without question, but finally realized that something was wrong. That absolute trust in un-verified data sources was a major embarrassment to him.

    That, or he will delete all historical records of anything that he said on the subject…

    ………………

    Later, he had this reply:

    “The noise machine will rattle cages and distract and sling mud and do a grave disservice to everyone. But I’ll be here to fight them along with thousands and thousands of other scientists. And you know what? I have a hope: if we must battle over this for the next hundred years, we’ll have a nice, cool world in which to do it.”

  101. Tenuc says:

    This gets better and better…

    Perhaps no surprise that mistakes/exaggerations were made, the Director of the USGS is a Dr. Marcia K. McNutt :-))

  102. Mike86 says:

    I listen to NPR and usually donate. This year, with the AGW coverage, not a dime.

  103. Paul Daniel Ash says:

    since there are approx 590 ‘New Jerseys’ of ice in Antarctica it would take roughly 12,000 years to lose all of it. To me that says a ‘New Jersey’ of ice isn’t all that much.

    First, who said anything about all the ice in Antarctica? That’s just gross goalpost-moving… twenty thousand square kilometers of ice is twenty thousand square kilometers of ice. A New Jersey, six Big Bends… that’s a buttload of ice.

    If you want to say she exaggerated, fine: she either screwed up, which is pathetic, or intentionally misrepresented the facts, which is odious. But saying an amount of ice equivalent to an entire US state “isn’t all that much” is reaching, in my opinion.

    Hard to imagine that a geographer could be so utterly and completely clueless.

    Yes, it is. Good thing she’s a geologist.

    People make mistakes, whether it’s mixing up words that begin with “geo” or confusing sea ice for land ice.

  104. Milwaukee Bob says:

    D. Matteson (10:13:07) :
    “………. wouldn’t it be better for all of us if New Jersey would break off and float out to sea.” Ahh! Another rhetorical question! I love it!

    Questioner: “How many of you does it take to change a light blub?”
    USGS scientist: “Well, the average light blub is 20,000cm in diameter and the normal length of a left handed ladder is 6.479 yards and the size of a rubber glove is 2 pints, so therefore …… lets see …… divide by 4.3 ……. multiply by the distance to the sun, 92,000 miles, ah . . . . none! We call the maintenance department. And in about 3 months they send a GQCLEE. She does it”.
    Questioner: “A GQCLEE”?
    USGS scientist: “Green Qualified and Certified Luminance Enhancement Engineer”.

  105. Jan Peirs says:

    20 000 km2, that’s 2/3 the size of Belgium. How impressive ! There’s more change of Belgium disappearing from the map than the polar ice caps.

  106. Doubting Thomas says:

    Actually area wise it was smaller than Idaho County, Idaho which is listed as the 25th largest US County. Area 8,484.88 sq. miles. Hmmm – could somebody put up a US map with Idaho County highlighted?

  107. Viv Evans says:

    John Barrett (10:40:23) :
    Come on you Americans, get with it.

    20,000 sq km is the size of

    Wales !

    You should know by now that Wales has become the standard unit for measuring area, be it icebergs or rainforests.

    REPLY: Save the Wales
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wales says thank you.

    Cymru am Byth!

  108. Robert M. Marshall says:

    I think I’ve found a way to demonstrate that Ms Ferrigno isn’t completely Geo-ignorant. She said, “I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    Couldn’t she have meant that some area between Texas and Alaska, say New Jersey, was about 20,000 square kilometers? Okay, how about this.

    Perhaps she was just confused, nervous. The area between Texas and Alaska, including the rest of the Continental US and Canada appears to be about the same size as the Antarctic Continent according to the map in this post. Perfectly understandable slip.

  109. Doctor_D says:

    “In Antarctica, you’ll find 90 percent of the world’s glacial ice, but new research from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that every ice front in the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula is retreating.

    Jane Ferrigno is the lead author of that new report. She says scientists have known for a while that some of the peninsula’s ice shelves are breaking up.”

    Being the “lead author” there is no way she could make that kind of mistake. We must be missing something or they tried too hard to dum it down for us. Where is the report? My consulting engineering friends label us geologists as “Soft Scientists” referring to our tendency toward looking at the general picture and not the hard numbers. I guess this shoe fits here.

    And don’t get me started on “All Things (warming) Considered”. I was an NPR junkey as a young man but had to stop listening a few years ago with all the Gore-like alarmist garbble they feed us. Very dissapointing!

  110. marchesarosa says:

    This lady has had her allocated fifteen minutes of fame. Unfortunately for her it was on WUWT. Will she EVER live this down?

  111. Peter Plail says:

    John Barrett (10:40:23) :
    Wales is so old hat. The current European standard for ice extent comparison is Luxembourg

    See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7322754/Giant-iceberg-could-disrupt-ocean-currents.html

  112. Joe says:

    I was reading up on the oceans currents recently, and the flow across the arctic and antarctic is linear with around continents being eddie type effects due to the rotation of the planet traps these waters from moving lateral as well.

  113. John F. Hultquist says:

    Jane seems to be a geologist, NOT a geographer. She seems to have had problems with facts for a long time. The followind appears to be from 2002. (Scroll to end. amnh = American Museum of Natural History)

    http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/antarctica/i_ferrigno.html

  114. Josh says:

    “Ms. FERRIGNO: The fact that the ice shelves are changing on the peninsula is a significant signal that global change, climate warming, is affecting the ice cover of Antarctica.”

    To the alarmists is it global warming, climate change, global change, or climate warming? Answer: All of the above!

  115. Phillep Harding says:

    Tarpon – The earth can survive a lot. However, we are going to go back into a glacial period sometime in the next few hundred years, and that is going to result in a huge extinction as humans eat everything, trying to survive. “AGW is serious”? It is to laugh.

    MikeH – Want the job of building some more down there? 8D

  116. RayG says:

    The only answer to this kind of incompetent reporting is to write to the ombudsman of the offending media outlet if they have one and to the CEO. The following is my email to NPR’s ombudsman which I als sent to their CEO with additional comment.

    Date Created: 3/3/2010 2:18:38 PM
    Subject Failure to Fact Check:
    Body: In a Guy Raz interview with Jane Ferrigno of the USGS (URL below)the claim was made that the amount of ice that was lost from the antatctic Peninsula was at least 20,000 square kilometers, an area that was claimed to be between the size of Texas and Alaska:

    “…Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska. RAZ: So about the size of the state of Texas in terms of ice has been lost in the past 20 years. Ms. FERRIGNO: Yeah, that’s true.”

    As one of the commenters noted, 20,000 sqkm is about 1/3 the size of West Virginia, Texas is Approx. 700,000 sq km and Alaska is about 1.7 million sqkm. Further, there was no consideration given to natural variation. This kind of scare-mongering, sloppy reporting ill serves your mission to educate your audience. Where is your reporting on Dr. Phil Jones admitting that there has been no statistically significant difference in warming between the warming periods that have occurred since the 1930’s or that not releasing one’s data, etc was standard practice in climate science. So much for the scientific method. Read the comments posted with the transcript to understand just how poorly this interview serves your listeners.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyComments.php?storyId=124178690&pageNum=1

  117. Robert L says:

    Even if it were a square 20,000 km per side that is still less than Texas!

  118. Tom in Texas says:

    A C Osborn (10:03:25) : That was some “Blonde Moment”

    i48.tinypic.com/zoe5n4.jpg

  119. RayG says:

    What is of concern is that when I Googled her (to see if she is Lou’s daughter) I found that she has done more than 10 interviews on this subject over the last few weeks. One would think that she would have her facts straight by now or that the speech on her teleprompter would have been corrected.

  120. Benjamin says:

    Lol… ahem… I’m reminded of a certain former vice president…

    http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Dan_Quayle/

  121. Robert L says:

    whoops lost a 000 there, of course 20,000 km on a side would be 400 Million km2 much, much bigger.

  122. snowmaneasy says:

    Areas of so-called melting ice mean very little….it is the volume of melting ice that is important…Chen et al (2009) estimate about 220 gigatonnes per year for the whole of antarctica…there is of course large errors assocaited with these figures due to glacial rebound..however assuming 220 gigatonnes per year, this would translate to an annual global sea level rise of about 0.6 mm…

  123. Allan M says:

    Ferrignorant!

  124. Drew says:

    I’m pretty sure she was just really nervous and misspoke. She made two other speaking mistakes too, one where she confused the south and the north saying they were surprised to see retreat in the north rather than the south, and another where she must have tried to say either climate change or global warming, but instead said “global change, climate warming”. Plus if you listen to the clip you can hear the nerves in her voice.

    Also, the whole fact about ice loss, whatever the heck is actually correct (and which I agree, is not clear), was not supposed to be part of this news. The whole point of this news release was to say that they didn’t expect the extent to which ice shelves are retreating on the southern part of the Antarctic peninsula. The coverage from USA Today reports it correctly:
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/02/antarctic-melting-threatens-worldwide-sea-level-rise/1

    I work with scientists a lot and they tend to not be very good with interviews, so I’m sure she’s horribly embarrassed about this and yes, probably won’t do another radio or tv one any time soon. As for NPR, they do these interviews and assume that if the source is a credible one that they won’t say anything inaccurate, but in this case I think she just got nervous and messed up. You might be a little nervous too if you were going on a national radio program. Anyway, you don’t have to crucify the poor woman, she doesn’t get paid to be speaker, she gets paid to be a scientist.

    Also, it is accurate to say the continent of Antarctica, which is larger than the US, but not by an enormous amount (see graphic provided), has lost an area the size of a state in the previous two decades (maybe new jersey, but at least the size of rhode island anyway). Imagine if the US had lost that much land… well, I guess if it were New Jersey it might be okay.

  125. James Chamberlain says:

    It’s depressing how science in the US has become more like,

    “this is what you can do to be a better human being.”

    NPR science fridays and many other outlets tend to follow this line. I call it more some strange mixture between policy and religion.

    It’s time to teach again what science actually is.

  126. NickB. says:

    Turboblocke (11:09:42) :
    You do realise that she’s talking about ice on the Antarctic penisular , not sea ice.

    Perhaps it’s time to assess the state of disarray on this site first? ;)

    This article on USGS research by Ms. Ferrigno says otherwise:

    The melting of ice shelves won’t directly lead to sea level rise, since ice shelves already rest in the ocean

    This is ice around the peninsula, not on it

  127. RockyRoad says:

    Robert L (12:00:34) :

    Even if it were a square 20,000 km per side that is still less than Texas!
    ————–
    Reply:
    Sorry, Robert, but as a THINKING geologist I’m going to have to offer a correction on that. 20,000 squared is 400 million sq km, which is about 575 times bigger than Texas and 233 times bigger than Alaska.

    Think of it this way: 20,000 km is about 12,427 miles, which about half way around the equator (40,724 km). Or compare it to Earths entire surface area, which is 510,072,000 km², just a quarter larger than a square 20,000 km on a side.

  128. Patrik says:

    Drew>> Well… 20000 km2 lost in 20 years…
    1000 km2/year…
    So it will take about 13000 years for all the Antarctic ice to dissapear at the current rate?
    Are we in a hurry?

  129. snowmaneasy says:

    Greenland Ice Volume approx 5 million cubic kms
    Antarctica ice volume approx 30 million cubic kms
    and 1 cubic km of ice weighs 1 gigatonne

    Greenland therefore has approx 5 million gigatonnes of ice
    Antarctica therefore nhas 30 million gigatonnes of ice

    Greenland’s low coastal regions lost 155 gigatons (41 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2003 and 2005 from excess melting and icebergs, while the high-elevation interior gained 54 gigatons (14 cubic miles) annually from excess snowfall….so net loss is 100 gigatonnes per year…this would therefore create a global sea level rise of about 0.3 mm per year

    Therefore combining Greenland and Antarctica we are at the moment looking at a global sea level rise about 1 mm per year.

  130. RonPE says:

    ” . . at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    In addition Ms. Ferrigno forgot to remind the audience that the Earth’s temperature below the crust was millions of degrees.

  131. homo sapiens says:

    Viv Evans 11:38:08 . . . . ..

    REPLY: Save the Wales
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wales says thank you.

    ………………….

    England doesn’t!
    For years and years we English have been learning of global disasters destroying “an area the size of Wales”, but why is it never actually Wales itself? Still, perhaps one day!

    P.S. Actually the English are just a teeny bit sorry for the Welsh at the moment because vast tracts of their best wild landscape have been vandalised on the altar of AGW by the erection of useless wind turbines that do nothing but slice up birds and drive the tourists away.

  132. Juraj V. says:

    Size of Texas, and few millions degree warm.

  133. David Chappell says:

    Cut the lady some slack. She’s a government employee so “Close enough for government work” applies.

  134. Kevin_S says:

    Believe me, if a chunk of ice the size of Texas were to break off, the world would know because us Texans would be beating a path to the ice with a boat loads of tequila and margarita fixin’s. :)

  135. Allan M says:

    homo sapiens (13:03:47) :

    Viv Evans 11:38:08 . . . . ..

    REPLY: Save the Wales
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wales says thank you.

    ………………….

    “England doesn’t!
    For years and years we English have been learning of global disasters destroying “an area the size of Wales”, but why is it never actually Wales itself? Still, perhaps one day!”

    Amen to that!

    I’m ¼ Welsh, so even in PC terms I am allowed to insult them, just so long as I insult the English pro rata.

  136. Houston says:

    Reminds me of when my daughter was 4 and came home from pre-school saying “Texas is bigger than the United States – right?” I responded “as long as we live here (in Houston) you can’t go wrong with that answer.”

  137. homo sapiens (13:03:47)

    For years and years we English have been learning of global disasters destroying “an area the size of Wales”, but why is it never actually Wales itself? Still, perhaps one day!

    Very good.

    I was in a pub deep in Welsh Wales some years ago and asked what I was doing there. I replied that we English had won a war a few hundred years back that allowed us to visit Wales without a passport and I was just exercising my rights! The entire pub fell silent except for the sound of my shoes running across the flagstones. My humour was not appreciated.

  138. Turboblocke says:

    To NickB. (12:48:03) : Quote from above”“RAZ: Give us a sense of how much ice [on the Antarctic peninsula] has been lost over the past, say, 10 years.

    Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    My mistake, I didn’t realise that in the Antarctic a penisula could include an area of sea.

  139. ErnieK says:

    Maybe some people just aren’t impressed by Texas.

  140. omnologos says:

    Wondered for a few seconds why Anthony would have finished the blog with a video of Baby Spice presenting at a London radio station 8-))

  141. NickB. says:

    snowmaneasy (12:50:15) :
    Therefore combining Greenland and Antarctica we are at the moment looking at a global sea level rise about 1 mm per year.

    The Antarctic ice Ferrigno is talking about was not on land – it was shelf ice over water next to the peninsula. That would mean, if the sea level measurements are trusted, up to 220 cubic km of water mysteriously appearing in our oceans(?)

    If I know my Consensus well enough, there is also thermal expansion and I wouldn’t doubt somewhere someone is saying that the 220 cubic km is coming from other areas of the Antarctic… but please clarify! Where is the 220 Antarctic gigatons of ice loss coming from?

  142. Jeremy Thomas says:

    The area of Texas is (drum roll)…696,241 sq km.
    The area of Alaska (ditto)…1,717,854 sq km.

    (1 minute with Wikipedia).

    Error is between 34 and 85.

    Poor girl.

  143. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Turboblocke (11:09:42) :

    You do realise that she’s talking about ice on the Antarctic penisular , not sea ice.

    Perhaps it’s time to assess the state of disarray on this site first? ;) “””

    Starting with the meaning of the adjective “peninsular”.

  144. Bernie says:

    Lubos was harsh but accurate. As I said earlier, these types of mistakes are too numerous to simply be slips of the tongue or brain freezes. They are reasoning from what they want the result to be. This is reasoning of children (and utopians), not scientists.

  145. Mark says:

    Far too many warmists just don’t have a clue!

    Witness this article in the Globe and Mail last week:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/lets-not-fret-over-climate-migration/article1483245/

    In it the author, one Doug Saunders, states:

    “If the predictions were true, the people of Ivalo would be gone, the first wave of refugees in a human tide caused by climate change.

    Their river valley Arctic village in northeastern Finland is the first really unambiguous victim of melting polar caps. Starting around 2005, much of the village was suddenly below sea level.

    There’s no question that global warming is having its way with Ivalo.”

    Interesting commentary given that Ivalo is notably inland, UP a river flowing into Lake Inari which has an elevation of 119 metres above sea level! A quick check of the facts reveals that Ivalo has notable flooding in 2005 due to the river overflowing its banks due to excessive snowmelt!

    Facts never matter to the warmists! Just ask Al Gore!

  146. snowmaneasy says:

    NickB. (14:27:40)
    Here is the abstract…

    Nature Geoscience
    Published online: 22 November 2009 | doi:10.1038/ngeo694
    Accelerated Antarctic ice loss from satellite gravity measurements
    J. L. Chen1, C. R. Wilson1,2, D. Blankenship3 & B. D. Tapley1
    ________________________________________
    Abstract
    Accurate quantification of Antarctic ice-sheet mass balance and its contribution to global sea-level rise remains challenging, because in situ measurements over both space and time are sparse. Satellite remote-sensing data of ice elevations and ice motion show significant ice loss in the range of -31 to -196 Gt yr-1 in West Antarctica in recent years1, 2, 3, 4, whereas East Antarctica seems to remain in balance or slightly gain mass1, 2, 4, with estimated rates of mass change in the range of -4 to 22 Gt yr-1. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment5 (GRACE) offers the opportunity of quantifying polar ice-sheet mass balance from a different perspective6, 7. Here we use an extended record of GRACE data spanning the period April 2002 to January 2009 to quantify the rates of Antarctic ice loss. In agreement with an independent earlier assessment4, we estimate a total loss of 190 77 Gt yr-1, with 132 26 Gt yr-1 coming from West Antarctica. However, in contrast with previous GRACE estimates, our data suggest that East Antarctica is losing mass, mostly in coastal regions, at a rate of -57 52 Gt yr-1, apparently caused by increased ice loss since the year 2006.

  147. snowmaneasy says:

    NickB. (14:27:40) …
    This is ice on the continent…

  148. Clawga says:

    D. King (09:50:21) :

    I blame Mr. FERRIGNO for her size comparison errors.

    LOL – My wife might agree with that statement

  149. Anticlimactic says:

    Peter Miller (09:22:28)

    Miskolczi has derived formulae to give the cooling effect of water vapour.

    A very readable explanation of Miskolczi’s ideas can be found here [19 pages - best to print it first!] :

    http://www.landshape.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=introduction

  150. Bones says:

    If I were a misanthropic alien, filled with hatred of the human race, I would scheme to put Ms. Ferrigno on NPR every day.

    And I fear there is a misspelling: isn’t it the U.S. GeNological Survey?

  151. 1DandyTroll says:

    Maybe she envisioned massive shrinkage of, instead of in, Texas due to this so called global warming winter of 2010.

  152. NickB. says:

    Turboblocke (14:11:55)

    She starts off talking about the ice shelves. The ice shelves are connected to the peninsula – not on top of them. Agreed, in the sentence you quoted it does seem to imply it was on top of the peninsula but that would also imply there is 20,000 km2 of bare Antarctic Peninsula with no ice on top.

  153. Mike G says:

    Bill Marsh (10:56:36) :

    Paul Daniel Ash (09:34:45) :

    A complete farrago of misinformation from Ms Ferringo?

    No, she blew it on the comparison, but she was correct on the number. A New Jersey of ice is quite a lot…

    ——————-

    Actually, to put into perspective (assuming she is correct) Antarctica lost a ‘New Jersey’ of ice in 20 years, since there are approx 590 ‘New Jerseys’ of ice in Antarctica it would take roughly 12,000 years to lose all of it. To me that says a ‘New Jersey’ of ice isn’t all that much.

    Actually (assuming you’re correct), they’re talking about edge ice. So, your number is off (on the small side) by a very large factor. The ice is much thicker just a little ways from the edge. So multiply your 12,000 years by a very large number to get closer to the ballpark. Being lazy and not doing the math, I’d guess many millions of years is more accurate.

  154. NickB. says:

    snowmaneasy (14:52:48)
    Gotcha ok, it’s the GRACE survey David Middleton was talking about earlier – not Ferrigno’s ice shelves. Makes sense now

  155. Turboblocke says:

    3 George E. Smith (14:36:52) :

    “”” Turboblocke (11:09:42) :

    You do realise that she’s talking about ice on the Antarctic penisular , not sea ice.

    Perhaps it’s time to assess the state of disarray on this site first? ;) “””

    Starting with the meaning of the adjective “peninsular”.”Big deal, I made a typo… or was I doing it to sow confusion?

    Interestingly, I’ve been corrected about “my mistake”. The majority of the Antarctic Peninsula ice is on land and much of the “sea ice” in the link Nick B gave is/was grounded, so comparing it to a plot of “sea ice anomaly” is not really relevent.

  156. Dave Wendt says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (11:24:56) :

    First, who said anything about all the ice in Antarctica? That’s just gross goalpost-moving… twenty thousand square kilometers of ice is twenty thousand square kilometers of ice. A New Jersey, six Big Bends… that’s a buttload of ice.

    If you really believe that I would suggest you need to get some bran muffins into your diet. A quick eyeball survey of the graphs over at CT indicates that the average annual flux of sea ice area in the Antarctic is somewhere north of 13Millionkm2. The Arctic number, being more unstable, is a little harder to estimate by eye, but I’d say a conservative number would be >10Millionkm2. By my arithmetic that puts the total area of sea ice lost and recreated annually at +/- 3X the area of the Lower 48 states. As the map included in the post amply illustrates, relative to the area of the country, NJ is mostly analogous to a wart on the behind of an elephant.
    The implicit assumption that is almost always overlooked in these tete a tetes about what precisely is occurring with planetary ice levels is that we really need to be obsessed with them in the first place. Personally I’ve never come across a clear and cogent discussion of what exact quality or character the ice possesses that requires us to be greatly alarmed by whatever it is doing. Even at the supposedly disastrous levels the alarmists are hyping, the change in sea levels amounts to 4 inches per century. During the previous century sea levels supposedly rose about 8 inches. If we didn’t have measurements to point this fact out to us, do you think anyone would have noticed?

  157. Dave Wendt says:

    oops again, should have been the increase in sea levels amounts to 4″, not change.

  158. AusieDan says:

    {JinOH (08:53:08) :
    Is there anyone left out there that still takes these people seriously?}

    Hi JinOH – unfortunately there is.
    I attended a small investment analysis group last night and presented my latest analysis on AWG.
    I was met with astonishment, although I had given them a very “persuasive” report some months before.

    But what of urban smog?
    We must live more simple lives (I was in a house with a hugh TV screen and FWD).
    But the government is taking action ……. they must know more than you

    And so it went.
    I find it very hard to keep my cool.

    Intelligent people think that science is just too hard and that we must trust what the experts and the government tell us.

    This really brought me back to the ground.
    The way things are developing so fast, it looks as though AWG is on its last legs.
    But the Australian public seem not to notice.

  159. Steve Wrathall says:

    Almost exactly the same claim was made on TVNZ’s “Sunday” documentary on 3 May 2009. See:

    NARRATOR: “…on the Antarctic Peninsula, ten massive ice shelves, some as big as Texas, have broken off”

    It provoked discussion on the website Hot-Topic where even the warmists admitted it was garbage.
    http://hot-topic.co.nz/morning-morgantown/

    And yet, like some mutant chain letter, this claim get recycled through the warmist backchannels. This is the sort of “evidence” which is supposed to stampede us into global energy rationing? Pathetic.

  160. Richard says:

    in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.

    Besides not having a clue about the sizes of the states of Texas or Alaska, has anyone checked on her claim that 20,000 Km2 have been lost in the last 20 years? Where does she get the figure from?

    As far as I can make out about 6,000 sq kms have been losy from the Wilkins Ice Shelf from 1947 to 2009, that is in 52 years. 4,000 since 1998

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222120137.htm

  161. Dave Wendt says:

    Regarding Ms. Ferrigno’s difficulties in mentally conceptualizing the relative size of things, there is an old and terribly crude and sexist joke on this subject.

    Why are women such poor judges of size and distance?

    Because men have been lying to them for centuries about what six inches looks like.

    This will probably be snipped in moderation, but people need a good laugh once in a while and if you can’t laugh at this nonsense all that’s left is to weep.

  162. Pete Barnum says:

    OK Anthony, I had enough of these ginned up, created from whole cloth stories making fun of hard working government employees. Don’t think we are not on to you and your growing staff of morphological hucksters impersonating NPR journalists! It’s all a shameful plot to make scientists look stupid! An outrageous lie bigger than the Texas and Alaskan continents!

  163. Anticlimactic says:

    A lot of the problem for the pro-AGW ‘scientists’ is that when they are put in the public eye they come across as really dumb guys when they actually have to explain anything. Admittedly it takes a knowledgeable listener to spot the errors, and sites like this to bring it to a wider audience!

    When I was working I was unhappy with the number of management layers, and above a certain level they seemed to be ineffective – I referred to them as the ‘fantasy management layers’, nothing they did made any difference.

    We seem to have a ‘fantasy climate science’. Now they are being asked to PROVE IT for real, not just have their claims accepted as gospel. First they need to understand what ‘science’ is and what constitutes ‘proof’, and also to understand the concept of a ‘healthy scientific debate’.

  164. Steve in SC says:

    Too bad we can’t just pile all this ice on Washington, D.C.

    For her sake, I hope this Ferrigno woman does not work with explosives.

    It is fairly obvious that none of these AGW types attended lecture 4a in precision speaking.

  165. John Trigge says:

    In replay to: JP Miller (09:44:08) :

    I sent an email to Dr. Ferrigno and her apparent supervisor at USGS, Dr. R.S. Williams, using their email addresses at the USGS website, asking if they would care to comment on the WUWT blog. Both bounced back saying the addresses were not valid.

    I thought the USGS might like to know what their “scientists” are saying. Guess not.

    I sent an email to ‘jferrign@usgs.gov’ and it has not bounced after over 1 1/2 hours. I have asked her for an explanation and a public apology for her alarmist comparisons of area. Time will tell if she responds; I’m not expecting much but live in hope.

  166. Wren says:

    George E. Smith (14:36:52) :
    “”” Turboblocke (11:09:42) :

    You do realise that she’s talking about ice on the Antarctic penisular , not sea ice.

    Perhaps it’s time to assess the state of disarray on this site first? ;) “””

    Starting with the meaning of the adjective “peninsular”.
    =====

    I think the whole thing is amusing. Her error prompts errors by people poking fun at her error. It’s good comedy.

  167. Richard says:

    Ms. FERRIGNO: Well, this (20,000 square kms) is a fairly small amount of ice when you consider the whole Antarctic continent consists of about 13 million square kilometers of ice.

    Right. Its also a fairly small amount if you consider the total area of the ice shelves – about 1,145,000 square kms. and the ice on the antarctic continent is about 13.7 million square kms

  168. fact check says:

    This is not a defense of the person, nor of the agency. One person does not make up USGS, The USGS is not a consensus. There are truths and there are estimates about the amount of ice on the Antarctic continent. There are truths and there are estimates on the amount of sea ice in the Antarctic.

    Because the facts about the amount of ice loss from the continent have not been determined in this blog exchange, from anyone that has posted here, is is not a scientific discussion, is it? I work at the USGS; I do not believe every statement made by every USGS scientist is a fact, but it can be an estimation, and an estimation can be argued about. I remain anonymous

    I wonder why we argue without facts here. Write your estimates at the end of this blog concerning what happened to the Antartic continent’s ice over the past 20 years.

    Now focus – only on the ice, not on the scientist, let us hear your estimates…

    Did continental ice grow in mass because of snowfall? Yes
    When?
    Did continental ice lose mass because of summer warming? Yes
    When?
    Did continental ice lose mass due to calving because of glacier movement? Yes
    How much?
    Did continental ice overall in the past 20 years lose or gain mass?

    That is still the question
    The answer is an estimate. The person you are discussing has not determined the exact answer, only an estimate.

    What is the exact answer?
    – – – – -

  169. Gary Turner says:

    JP Miller (09:44:08) :

    I sent an email to Dr. Ferrigno and her apparent supervisor at USGS, Dr. R.S. Williams, using their email addresses at the USGS website, asking if they would care to comment on the WUWT blog. Both bounced back saying the addresses were not valid.

    Note that the USGS is still back in DOS mode. Email addresses are clipped at eight characters, thus no “o” in jferrign@.

    I sent the following (with no bounce-back):

    Would you care to clarify your statement, “I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost [from the Antarctic peninsula] , and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”?

    Texas covers more than 695,000 sq.km., while Alaska is more than 1.7 million sq. km.. Did you misspeak, or were you simply parroting some special interest P.R. release?

    How is 2,000 km^2/year at all significant, especially in light of the peninsula being volcanic, and the ice buildup on the continent?

    I look forward to your response.

    cheers

  170. Dave Wendt says:

    fact check (17:26:40) :

    “That is still the question
    The answer is an estimate. The person you are discussing has not determined the exact answer, only an estimate.

    What is the exact answer?”

    The problem highlighted in the post is not the accuracy of the estimate, but that the person pushing the estimate seemed to believe that it fell between the size of Texas and the size of Alaska. The estimates of climate science are always uncertain. The size of the various States of our nation, not so much so.

  171. John F. Hultquist says:

    Back on 3 December 2008 on the ‘Tonight Show’ they had one of the battles of the “Jaywalk All Stars.” I don’t remember the question but it led to the 3 young folks (Paige, Zach, and Natalie) expressing the belief that Alaska is an island. Leno was astonished. I sent him a couple of links to maps showing Alaska as an island – one by the U.S. Mint is now gone. Alaska was off the coast of S. Calif. But it must be floating. In this one it is south of Big Bend, TX – and it is smaller than Texas. Look for yourself. Moving, shrinking, floating – Earth is strange indeed.

    http://www.infoplease.com/states.html

  172. ML says:

    Pete Barnum (16:01:11)

    “…………..An outrageous lie bigger than the Texas and Alaskan continents!”

    Did anybody notice that as of Mar 03, 2010 we have two more continents

  173. John from CA says:

    20,000 square kilometers?

    As a complete side-liner, I’ve been watch and recording the daily numbers for Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    Data provided by NSIDC: NASA SMMR and SSMI

    There hasn’t been a single day over the last 2 weeks that we haven’t gained or lost more then this value.

    Or this for a cooling figure ;)
    022110: -.597 (92,000 sq. km increase in the past 2 days |

    This one was pretty warming for a 1 day figure ;)
    022210: -.684 (87,000 sq. km decrease since yesterday)

  174. NickB. says:

    Turboblocke,
    I hope I didn’t come across as harsh – this isn’t about scoring points against people you don’t know and in all likelihood are very nice and well meaning people.

    For me at least, the point is to try and understand what the heck is going on with this immensely complex world of ours. So with that in mind, in case it hasn’t been said, welcome and by all means challenge orthodox thinking (on either side)

    Best Regards

  175. Elizabeth (Canada) says:

    As is typical of these blunders, the average Joe will not understand the significance of 20,000 square km of ice compared with Antarctica’s total area, they will remember instead that Texas has melted.

  176. Mooloo says:

    I wonder why we argue without facts here.

    You have to understand the context.

    I remain a doubter about AGW. And that is largely because I know that too many of the climate scientists are wildly inflating the danger beyond any actual evidence. If they are prepared to exaggerate, I tend to believe that they are also prepared to hide stuff, and to suffer from major confirmation bias.

    When the head of an important scientific body comes along and makes spurious estimates of the danger we face, I lose even more faith in the ability of the climate scientists to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    The fact that Ms Ferrigno was making stuff up as she went along is an important fact in its own right. She should be speaking soberly, presenting evidence against warming as well, if there is any (which, of course, there is).

    It’s your own boss who started it, by talking nonsense. When Ms Ferrigno starts to talk only in facts, then you can lecture us about doing likewise.

  177. old44 says:

    Ms. FERRIGNO: In the last 20 years at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska, would you believe it?

    I don’t think so.

    Would you believe, Nebraska?

    No.

    How about a small village in Wyoming?

    Appologies to Mel Brookes.

  178. Richard says:

    fact check (17:26:40) : focus – only on the ice, not on the scientist, let us hear your estimates…

    What is the exact answer?

    Fact check – I suggest neither you or I know. But while on estimates ask the pertinent questions.

    Is the ice loss significant? Has it led to any significant rise in sea levels? The answer to both is NO!

    Compare this to Ms. FERRIGNO answer : It is. It is very dramatic, and it is larger than the size of Texas..

  179. tom says:

    The funny thing is that Texas is two to three times as big as the entire Antarctic peninsula…

    …and still the area of ice that the Antarctic Peninsula has lost is bigger than Texas…that sounds dramatic indeed…dramatic in regards of the American education system.

  180. Squidly says:

    Wow, this explains quite a lot… thank you for the post!

  181. CarlNC says:

    When the facts aren’t enough, exaggerate and distort. It worked for Gore.

  182. jaypan says:

    Drew (12:32:29) :
    “… Also, it is accurate to say the continent of Antarctica, which is larger than the US … has lost an area the size of a state … at least the size of rhode island anyway. Imagine if the US had lost that much land… ”

    Are you saying Antarctica has lost a piece of LAND?

    Or did miss the inside joke?

  183. AnonyMoose says:

    David A. Reyes (09:00:15) :
    Or that witches float because they are made of wood?

    No, of course not. They float because the water rejects their unnatural evil. All the experts say that.

  184. Fred says:

    I make and keep PDF files of pages like this. The problem is whether to file under “Antarctic” or “misrepresentation”.

  185. AnonyMoose says:

    tom (19:58:21) :
    …that sounds dramatic indeed…dramatic in regards of the American education system.

    We don’t know if this is due to the American education system. It could well be another product of the Antarctic education system which we’ve so often encountered.

  186. Daniel H says:

    Dr. Ferrigno discussed her Antarctic peninsula research in a USGS press release (and podcast) dated February 22, 2010 [1].

    The press release contains a link to her study on Antarctic peninsula ice shelf disintegration and glacier retreat [2]. Based on the ice shelf data discussed in her paper, I was able to determine how she got the “20,000 km2″ estimate for ice shelf loss during the past 20 years. It was actually slightly more than 20,000 km2 and the time period was closer to 24 years. The ice shelf disintegration events that were mentioned in her paper are listed below.

    Format:

    Name_of_ice_shelf – ice_lost_in_km2 – (year-of-collapse/years-of-disintegration)

    Jones 25 (2003)
    LarsenA 1600 (1995)
    LarsenB 4550 (1986-2000)
    LarsenB 3250 (2002)
    LarsenC 6000 (1986)
    Wilkins 4000 (1998-2009)
    Wordie 700 (1989)

    Total: 20,125 km2

    Note: Her paper did not provide any data for the Wilkins ice shelf collapse events (total area lost) but the data was provided in the press release itself. She also did not provide a figure for the Larsen-A ice shelf collapse but I was able to find that information on NASA’s web site [3].

    [1] http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article_pf.asp?ID=2409
    [2] http://pubs.usgs.gov/imap/2600/B/LarsenpamphletI2600B.pdf
    [3] http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20040171402_2004178212.pdf

  187. rbateman says:

    Bottom line is that the Southern Sea Ice Anomaly is still growing despite any ice shelf loss. To the tune of 500,000 km2, which swamps 20,000 km2 (or the 24,000 km2 above).
    What’s the point?
    For each km2 lost, 20 more take it’s place.
    That’s not warming, that’s a cherry picking expedition, extreme edition.

  188. fact check says:

    Thanks to those of you who can keep clarifying the issues; whose purpose is to be, as it were, a proxy peer review group. Your careful scrutiny of the governmental and quasi-governmental climate science studies and corresponding press releases that have reached the public’s eyes and ears is appreciated. Be aware, though that peer review is a responsibilty. It is not for those trying to bring about an all-around consensus of AGW lines, and also not for those mocking the AGW camp in all points. Someone must break up the mob mentality. Climate science in seriousness does not consist of a contest between two camps. It is each one for himself soberly weighing the evidence.

    I pray that this attitude spreads to the other climate science blogs, however badly they are currently biased towards a hasty conclusion.

  189. Brian G Valentine says:

    Prediction: There might be noticeably increased ice loss within the next three years in the Antarctic peninsula.

    Reason: The Chilean earthquake, forcing deeper colder water to the surface, slowing water from the Equatorial Current diverted South off the South American continent (arising from the Coriolis force of the rotating Earth) and making its way to circumpolar Antarctic water. The slower water will absorb more solar heat in the remaining Southern Hemisphere summer, melting more ice.

    How to decide: From the signature of the resulting thermohaline gradient, aiding in the convection of circumpolar Antarctic water returning to the Equator.

  190. david elder says:

    The region of Antarctica in question appears to be the Antarctic Peninsula. If so, it is only a small part of the continent. And according to Duncan Wingham it sticks out so far from the continent that it can contact a warm current in the area; he thinks that this not global warming is the agent responsible for the ice changes there.

  191. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    Texas has no replaced Manhattan for disasterholics?

  192. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    a man from Texas and a man from Alaska end up sitting next to each other on a plane. the man from Texas keeps talking about how everything in Texas is big, big this, big that, bigger than that this, bigger than that that, and so on and so forth, on and on, until the man from Alaska can’t take anymore of this stranger on a plane talking about how big Texas is and finally says

    “Look, if you don’t be quiet about how big Texas is we from Alaska are going to cut Alaska in half and Texas is going to be the third largest State.”

  193. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Hal (09:53:10) :

    I wonder how Ms. Jane Ferrigno would do on “Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?”

    Europe is a country and everyone speaks french there

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    or how about this poor girl? I feel so sorry for her, I really do

  194. Jeff Steadman says:

    Oh great, now the USGS has stepped in it; I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    However, I will say that the Survey still has some fantastic scientists working for it, particularly in geology (my field).

  195. Beth Cooper says:

    Hunter:(09:16:52) LOL. Mind if I borrow your quote? :-)

  196. Alexej Buergin says:

    “I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    Well, she just forgot what NJ stands for, and she is quite right: New Jersey IS a place somewhere between Texas and Alaska.

  197. fred wisse says:

    Ms Jane Ferrigno deserves the Nobel Price for her work !
    This would please Al Gore and Barack Obama both at no end , finding such an excellent recognition for the fantastic science she is representing

  198. OceanTwo says:

    You just need to look around you. It’s all about Maths:

  199. Graham Jay says:

    @ Tarpon

    “I have always wondered how Antarctica ice can melt with temperatures so far below freezing. Does anybody think a degree or two matters in Antarctica ?”

    I wondered about that too, but ice evaporates too:

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem03/chem03444.htm

  200. paul jackson says:

    5. Question: How on Earth is it possible to accurately quantify this into a computer model, in addition to all the other factors affecting climate?
    I don’t believe you can, to many inter-dependent terms, A+B+C is supposed to equal C+A+B, and they very probably don’t, it’s a variation of the N-body simulation, and a “here be dragons” area of mathematics.

  201. “Is there anyone left out there that still takes these people seriously?”

    Yes. Me. I’m still slurping the Kool-Aide but I have to say that all of these damn graphs and stuff that knock the hell out of AGW are making me crazy!

  202. pyromancer76 says:

    Anthony, “Maybe Ms. Ferrigno will be embarrassed enough by her geographic ineptitude and will heed Gavin Schmidt’s advice and stop trying to “persuade the public.”

    Sorry, did not have time to read commenters additions to the post — always valuable. I hope her scientific stupidity is noted in her file. When “we” take back the U.S. and fire all those scientific stupids in our most important public research institutions…. Wow! Now that will be a sea change.

  203. wakeupmaggy says:

    Mike86 (11:22:02) :
    I listen to NPR and usually donate. This year, with the AGW coverage, not a dime.

    I listen to their classical music channel and always had a generous annual donation. Not only did I stop donating two years ago but wrote them a letter explaining why.

    I put the cash in Anthony’s and Steve’s tip jars instead.

  204. DC says:

    Perhaps the confusion came from the Texas-sized ice pack referred to in the caption for a photo in the ‘Ice Bridge Mission Over Antarctica Passes Dozen Flight Mark – 11.03.09′ entry here
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/status_reports/DC-8_100209.html

  205. Brian G Valentine says:

    Amino Acids feels bad for Miss South Carolina. Why?

    She was asked why “a sixth of Americans can’t locate the US on a map.”

    Miss South Carolina provides a complete explanation “why” by her answer, and I think people are being too hard on her.

    Miss South Carolina is the product of poor education in a country fixated upon things like “beauty pageants” – as Miss South Carolina demonstrates perfectly.

  206. wakeupmaggy says:

    Peter Miller (09:22:28)
    .Question: How on Earth is it possible to accurately quantify this into a computer model, in addition to all the other factors affecting climate?

    It isn’t possible. Mass delusion.

    “Everyone who has had the misfortune to talk with people in the heart of or on the edge of a mental disorder, knows that their most sinister quality is a horrible clarity of detail: a connecting of one thing with another in a map more elaborate than a maze. If you argue with a madman, it is more than likely you will get the worst of it: for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment….The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason”
    G.K. Chesterton

  207. Bruce Cobb says:

    Michael Spencer (04:54:54) :

    “Is there anyone left out there that still takes these people seriously?”

    Yes. Me. I’m still slurping the Kool-Aide but I have to say that all of these damn graphs and stuff that knock the hell out of AGW are making me crazy!

    Ah, that would be the cognitive dissonance kicking in. It’s a war between the irrational belief that man’s additions of C02 (plant food) to the atmosphere is causing dangerous climate change, with the completely rational idea that climate change is natural, and C02 has little to do with it, and man’s C02 even less.
    The cure is knowledge. The more you learn, the more you realize this supposed concern about C02 is completely silly.

  208. G. Karst says:

    Febuary (month end averages) NSIDC (sea ice extent)

    30 yrs ago
    1981 Southern Hemisphere = 2.9 million sq km
    1981 Northern Hemisphere = 15.7 million sq km
    Total = 18.6 million sq km

    Record Arctic minimum extent year (Sept 2007- 4.28 Mkm2).
    2007 Southern Hemisphere = 2.9 million sq km
    2007 Northern Hemisphere = 14.5 million sq km
    Total = 17.4 million sq km

    Last yr.
    2009 Southern Hemisphere = 2.9 million sq km
    2009 Northern Hemisphere = 14.8 million sq km
    Total = 17.7 million sq km

    This yr.
    2010 Southern Hemisphere = 3.2 million sq km
    2010 Northern Hemisphere = 14.6 million sq km
    Total = 17.8 million sq km

    Northern Hemisphere Plate:
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu//DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Feb/N_201002_extn.png
    Southern Hemisphere Plate:
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu//DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Feb/S_201002_extn.png

    1979-2000 Southern Hemisphere Feb. mean = 2.9 million sq km
    1979-2000 Northern Hemisphere Feb. mean = 15.6 million sq km
    Total Feb. mean = 18.5 million sq km

  209. Stefan P says:

    @ Mark

    ref: Ivalo/Finland

    the place is famos for driving like mad on the ice of the lake. Probeably the CO2-emissions of all these Porsches, Beamers, Audis, etc. have meltet the snow in the vincinity. If you shell out about 6.000 $ y’ll hav a lot of fun with tyres, armed with 1 1/5 inch spikes.

    ;-)

    http://www.focus.de/auto/news/ivalo-finnland-porsche-training-im-ewigen-eis_aid_479778.html

  210. Apology and statement from USGS scientist Jane Ferrigno.

    I want to apologize to NPR and the listening audience for my honest misstatement last Sunday, February 28. During the last 20 years, an area more than 20,000 sq. km. (comparable to the size of New Jersey) has broken off the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the Antarctic Peninsula, the source of the ice loss, that I meant to say was larger than the state of Texas but smaller than the state of Alaska.

    Jessica Robertson
    usgs.gov
    jrobertson@usgs.gov

    Thank you for posting this. But why not a statement from Ms. Ferrigno herself? Are you the official spokesperson ? – Anthony

  211. Dell Hunt, Michigan says:

    DISCOVERED THE TRUTH ABOUT THE NPR INTERVIEW:

    I have figured out the NPR [National Public Radio] hidden secret behind the claim.

    “Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    I have found it! San Juan County located in Southeastern Utah:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan_County,_Utah

    Comes in at an area of 20,547 sq km, and is located in an “area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    ;>P

  212. John from CA says:

    area of the 48 USA states: 9,629,090 sq. km

    Normal annual Southern hemisphere ice area growth: roughly 13,000,000 sq. km
    Normal annual Southern hemisphere ice area melt: roughly 13,000,000 sq. km
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.area.antarctic.png

    That’s a lot of ice.

    Note: 1 mile = 2.59 sq. km

  213. David L says:

    “if..if…if…if”…..Have any climate scientists taken a course on logic? Aren’t they constantly commiting the logical fallacy of “Slippery Slope” and many others?

    “IF the warming continues, IF the retreat continues, IF the amount of ice on the continent starts to flow into the water, THEN there will be substantial impact to the sea level”

    Please……stop with the logical fallicies….Thank you.

  214. John from CA says:

    Clearly, everyone is have a lot of fun at Ms. Ferrigno’s expense. It would be refreshing if she did pop in with a comment.

  215. JP Miller says:

    I did get a response from the USGS. Here it is:

    JP,

    The comment by Jane in the NPR interview was an honest mistake. We are sorry for the delay in responding to your email, but Jane has been out of the office. Below is an apology and clarification statement that will be posted on the NPR site soon. Jane will be in the office later today, and if you have any questions, please let me or her know.

    From Jane …
    I want to apologize to NPR and the listening audience for my misstatement last Sunday, February 28. During the last 20 years, an area more than 20,000 sq. km. (comparable to the size of New Jersey) has broken off the ice shelves of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the Antarctic Peninsula, the source of the ice loss, that I meant to say was larger than the state of Texas but smaller than the state of Alaska.

    Thank you,

    Jessica Robertson
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Office of Communications
    U.S. Geological Survey
    (703) 648-6624
    jrobertson@usgs.gov

  216. JP Miller says:

    Ooops, sorry; didn’t notice the USGS statement was already up.

  217. John from CA says:

    LOL – correction to John from CA (07:38:27)
    Note: 1 square mile = 2.59 km2

  218. David L says:

    “It is the Antarctic Peninsula, the source of the ice loss, that I meant to say was larger than the state of Texas but smaller than the state of Alaska.”

    I’m sorry, I said an ice cube the size of Texas broke off. I meant to say an Ice cube of Texas didn’t break off.. But IF that broke off, and IF it floats away, and IF it melts, and IF the water rises, and IF there’s coastal flooding, and IF people aren’t paying attention, and IF people don’t get out of the way THEN there will be massive loss of life. Ergo: Cap and Trade.

  219. JP Miller says:

    My response to the USGS:

    Ms. Robertson,

    Thank you for your kind reply and clarification.

    As USGS must know, climate science has serious problems for reasons I will not elaborate, but which are obvious. Dr. Ferrigno’s comment, while an honest mistake, was certainly not a “seat of the pants” mistake. There is a difference. She had obviously thought about and prepared comparisons that the average person could understand in talking about Antarctic Ice loss. If a USGS scientist cannot be counted on to do such simple homework thoroughly, how can we trust her science? And, by extension, USGS science.

    I would strongly recommend two things to the USGS:

    1. Stop acting in a way that makes the organization appear to be doing as much advocacy as science regarding “global warming.”

    2. Be MUCH MORE humble and tentative about what is REALLY known and not
    known about climate and how it works.

    I have a PhD in science and have done computer modeling and, from what I can tell (although I am certainly no expert in climate science), the various computer models created for climate analysis do nothing but codify assumptions for which data are sorely lacking (e.g., climate response to forcings, effect of hydrological cycle/ cloud cover).

    Climate science has some very fundamental flaws at its root — you need to acknowledge those before the public will take you seriously.

    Until then, stick to predicting earthquakes. You’ve got a better chance of being right there…

  220. mac says:

    Uh sorry…witches float because they are lighter than ducks.

  221. Pascvaks says:

    Ms. Jane Ferrigno was one of our best double agents, as a result of your laughter and cat-calls you have created a monster. She has resigned and is now fully committed to the AGW cause. She will stop at nothing to destroy us and all life on earth.

    Please People! Remember that we are few in number and need every able bodied person we can recruit for our cause. In this day and age, truth is an extremely endangered commodity.

  222. John Galt says:

    Does ice breaking off the ice sheet indicate warming? How does current rate of ice break-off compare with the rate from 1948 to 1978? Wouldn’t we see the ice retreating if it was melting?

  223. wakeupmaggy says:

    Dell Hunt, Michigan (07:18:01) :
    “Ms. FERRIGNO: I think I’ll go back 20 years, and in the last 20 years, I would say at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice has been lost, and that’s comparable to an area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    I have found it! San Juan County located in Southeastern Utah:
    Comes in at an area of 20,547 sq km, and is located in an “area somewhere between the state of Texas and the state of Alaska.”

    You are totally not kidding!
    We just drove through there and it’s a winter nightmare, many feet of snow, now ice, piled up in parking lots as high as the front loaders can reach, rural driveways still snowed in, buildings collapsed. Wide eyed Monticello residents grasping strangers by their sleeves to tell the tale of their most unbelievably snowy winter.

    Not to worry, most of it will end up in Lakes Powell and Mead, much needed. Thanks Antarctica.
    But then the salt cedars might suck it up and turn it into tornadoes in Kansas, where Dorothy might get sucked up into OZ, (at least back into the Southern Hemisphere) where she is finally able to confront the Man Behind the Curtain, also with our thanks.
    All that heavy ice in San Juan County might throw off the tilt of the earth, and the subsidence from the weight might pop the Yellowstone caldera like a pimple. If If If.

    If all the world were apple pie,
    and all the seas were ink,
    and all the moon was green cheese,
    what would we have to drink?
    ;>P

  224. Justa Joe says:

    Drew, is Antarctic ice supposed to remain the same for all of eternity? We are talking about ice here.

  225. nolan says:

    Anthony, I know I can come here for good information, but now I see I can get a few laughs as well. Thanks.

  226. Al Notgore says:

    Surely the changes seen in Antartica just now are no more significant than the break up of the Weddel Sea iceshelf in late 1920’s early 1930’s? In 1927, a whaler encountered an iceberg from this break up which even when it had reached the South Shetland Islands was still around 90 to 100 miles long – so big that the whaler sailed around it to make sure it was a berg and not a new island! The iceshelfs change over time and if the AGW supporters want to use these changes as evidence they need to demonstrate cause and effect.

  227. Lindsy says:

    Glad to see an admission of fault. I did not even get that good of a response… they seemed to think the blunder a more trivial matter. Though I will say she was very nice and responded to me quite quick.

    “Hello-

    I caught that error as well. Being from Alaska, I do think of Texas as being rather small – but not tiny like NJ!

    I found a Statement from the USGS on the Watts Up With That? blog. It’s copied below

    Regards, …”

    I wonder why the USGS doesn’t post anything on their site? It was their mistake, not NPR’s.

  228. Gene L. says:

    So, the amount of ice lost (off the Antarctic Peninsula, which is WAY North) is only about 0.15% of the entire ice mass extent of Antarctica… and the entire Peninsula is a whole 5.4% of the entire ice mass extent of Antarctica (rough numbers or 13,000,000 sq km, etc., as cited by the article). Makes me REALLY worried…

    I wonder how well Jane also knows about the location of the Peninsula, and its susceptibility to ocean currents, etc.

  229. wakeupmaggy says:

    The ice isn’t “lost” just because it cracked off from millenia of independent stresses and floated away to be a shipping hazard for generations.

    FGS what an absurd interview overall. Is it the females in science and media doing this brainwashing?

    “RAZ: I mean, it sounds so dramatic”
    (!!! oohDANGER!!bettergetanannystatetofixeverythingsincemenarelikehatracksformooses!!!)

    We need our drama, don’t we (all grown up), girlfriends?

    Doesn’t NPR have better things to “report” (tattle-tale) on to the over educated but gullible and stupid twenty somethings trapped in their hocked hybrids?

    Crock pot rant. Slow burn.

  230. Drew says:

    See, I was right, she misspoke and got mixed up. Several people here pulled apart what she meant and figured it out. It’s a mistake, but not an unforgivable one.

    The basic point of this research is that they did a big survey of ice shelves on the Antarctic penninsula and were surprised by the amount of retreat in southern ones. The survey is outside of what would be expected and is just a piece to fit with all the others indicating some weirding of the global climate. This one scientific story doesn’t mean anything conclusive and shouldn’t be taken as proof in and of itself of anthropogenic climate change, it’s just one more point that fits the model. One more piece of evidence for a theory that is proving itself true in one place after another. We don’t have to be alarmist, but we don’t have to deny the whole thing either.

    I recommend this article by Bill McKibben likening climate denial to the OJ case, it’s a pretty good one. I do admit he gets a little pushy with the 350.org stuff at the end, but it’s definitely worth a read anyway.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mckibben/the-attack-on-climate-cha_b_476755.html

  231. Mike says:

    From NPR
    Correction: During this interview, it was stated that in the last 20 years, at least 20,000 square kilometers of ice have been lost, an area, it was stated, somewhere between the size of Texas and Alaska. That is incorrect. 20,000 square kilometers is roughly the size of New Jersey. The United States Geological Survey says that it is the Antarctic Peninsula, the source of the ice loss, that is larger than the state of Texas but smaller than Alaska.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124178690

    As is common the denier/skeptic (pick the term you prefer) community focuses on a small error to obscure a larger truth.

  232. Slofstra says:

    That ‘Sea Ice Anomay’ graph is very puzzling. It plots deviations in the sea ice compared to the mean by 1 to 2 million square km. How can that be?
    Any chance the ‘y’ axis is mislabelled?

  233. NickB. says:

    Mike (21:15:40)
    Rumor has it this was not the first time Ferrigno has made this misstatement, and the NPR correction was not made, AFAIK, until we brought it to their attention.

    The gross exaggeration is not the only problem here – she was talking about peninsular ice (connected to the Anarctic Peninsula but not on top of it), which is sea ice – not land ice. She failed to make that distinction anywhere (not the first time), and then implied that the 10,000km2/decade decline in this one spot was hugely important… while failing to mention the 100,000km2/decade “statistically insignificant” net increase in Antarctic sea ice (according to EPA estimates).

    So lets see here, that makes for gross exaggerations of 10x and 35x in one interview. I’m sure if a non-CAGW Proponent made equivalent gaffs the Real Climate, Tamine, Romm, Gore, etc community would understand it was a simple slip-up and not call attention to it, right?

  234. Issac says:

    I like your site but please remove the [snip] Pub from “Scientology,org” in it. I am a rational individual, so not a creasy body.Thank you.

  235. Justa Joe says:

    Sorry Drew,

    The lady’s mis-statement is representative of how the AGW promoters have been playing fast and loose with the facts, which will no longer be tolerated. There hasn’t been enough study to say what is weird and what is normal.

Comments are closed.