Antarctic Agreements and Disagreements

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Steven Mosher has pointed out a Science Magazine article (subscription only) about Antarctica. It is a discussion of the temperature changes in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). And where might that be?

Figure 1. Location of the West Antarctic Peninsula. Yellow push-pin markers show the location of temperature stations. Yellow outline shows the enclosing area used for temperature calculations. This is the smallest area using 5°x5° gridcells that contains all of the WAP temperature stations.

The Science Magazine article contains the following statement about the WAP, which set my bad number alarm bells ringing:

Physical Changes in the WAP

Changes in the WAP are profound. Mid-winter surface atmospheric temperatures have increased by 6°C (more than five times the global average) in the past 50 years (14, 15).

I had never looked closely at the WAP temperatures. However, that seemed way high for the changes in the WAP air temperature, no matter what month we are talking about. The references for that statement are:

14. P. Skvarca, W. Rack, H. Rott, T. I. Donángelo, Polar Res. 18, 151 (1999).

15. D. G. Vaughan et al., Clim. Change 60, 243 (2003).

I couldn’t find a copy of either of those on the web … so I did what I always do. I went to get the data, to see what is happening.

Initially, the situation looks good. There are thirty stations on the peninsula. Figure 2 shows the location of some of these stations:

Figure 2. Location of the temperature stations in the WAP

So, what’s the problem? As you might imagine, many of these stations are only occupied part of the year. Others have been occupied intermittently, or have closed entirely. As a result, we don’t have anywhere near the coverage that thirty stations would imply. Here’s a graphic showing the dates of coverage for each of the thirty stations:

Figure 3. Dates of coverage for each of the thirty stations in the WAP. Only a half dozen or so show coverage over most of the last fifty years

Things are not as good as they seemed. Some of the datasets ony cover a few years. Others are longer, but very spotty. However, as they say, “Needs must when the devil drives”. Here is what all of the different stations look like:

Figure 4. Plot of all stations on the West Antarctic Peninsula. You can see the difficulty in determining an average temperature change over the area. Some stations swing quite widely, while others show much less variation.

Are the winters warming? Well … obviously, it depends on exactly which datasets you use to create your area average. Do we include the spotty orange dataset that starts about 1986, or not? What about the blue datasets that only exist for the sixties and seventies? Based on these decisions, our answers will be different.

Next I looked at the major datasets. As you know, there are several temperature datasets that cover the globe. For the land alone, we have the CRUTEM3, GISS 250 km, and GISS 1200 km land datasets. The two GISS datasets use the same surface stations. However, they differ in that they extrapolate the temperature of empty gridcells using all relevant stations within either a 250 km or a 1,200 km radius respectively.

All of these are available at KNMI, which is an outstanding resource. Here are the month-by-month trends for each of those datasets:

Figure 5. Month-by-month and annual (“Ann”) trends for the air temperatures (land only) for the area of the West Antarctic Peninsula outlined in yellow in Figure 1.

There are several interesting things about this graph. First, a simple average of all of the stations (“All Station Average”) gives results that are broadly similar to the CRUTEM results. I assume that this is because of the general similarity in the climate zones of the 30 temperature stations around the peninsula, which allows for a direct average rather than the more sophisticated methods (anomalies or first differences) as used in the global datasets.

Next, in several months there is a difference of a full degree (per fifty years) in the trends of the CRUTEM and the GISS datasets. The various datasets are often claimed to be in good agreement. But this is only globally. When we get down to a gridcell-by-gridcell and month-by-month comparison of the trends, they are often quite different.

Since they are (presumably) using the same basic data (the 30 land stations), this is odd. Note that the annual trends are in reasonable agreement, but the monthly trends differ … why should that be?

The effects of the GISS algorithm for filling in the empty gridcells are also curious. Depending on the extrapolation radius chosen (250 km or 1,200 km) they differ by up to a half a degree in fifty years.

Finally, none of the datasets show a temperature rise of 6°C in fifty years in any month, as the Science paper claims. My bad number alarm was accurate. So I’m in mystery about where that claim might come from. August has the highest trends, at three to four degrees depending on the dataset chosen. But that’s a long way from six degrees.

Now, it is often said that the warming of the Peninsula is due to warming of the surrounding ocean. So I decided to take a look at that as well. Here are the same datasets, showing both the land and the ocean:

Figure 6. Land and ocean temperature trends for the area outlined in yellow in Fig.1

Here, the differences between the datasets are larger. For the first five months of the year the CRUTEM+HADSST dataset shows a much smaller trend than GISS, up to a a degree and three quarters smaller. The rest of the year, the datasets are much closer than in the first five months. Why would they be different in part of the year, and not the rest of the year?

In addition, this dataset makes it unlikely that the ocean is driving the warming. The trends including the ocean are almost all either the same or smaller than the land-only trends. This is particularly true of the CRUTEM vs CRUTEM+HADSST datasets.

Finally, I took a look at a shorter period, from 1979 to 2009, so that I could compare trends from the ground-based datasets with the UAH MSU satellite based dataset. Here is that data:

Figure 7. Ground and satellite data compared for the area outlined in yellow in Fig. 1. Note that these are thirty year trends rather than fifty year trends, as shown in the other figures.

Here, things get markedly odd. The satellite data shows cooling in about half the months. The overall annual satellite trend is … zero. Go figure. We see much greater differences between the ground based sets. The GISS peak warming is no longer in August, but in May. None of this makes a whole lot of sense … but there it is.

Final conclusions?

First, once again some mainstream climate scientists are exaggerating. There is no dataset in which we see a WAP air temperature rise of 6°C in fifty years as claimed in the Science paper.

Second, although it is widely claimed that there is good agreement between the various ground based datasets, as well as between the ground and satellite data, in this case we see that they are all quite different. Not only the amplitude, but in many cases the sign of the trend is different between ground and satellite data. The CRU/Hadley dataset varies from the GISS datasets. In all, there is not a whole lot of agreement between any pair of datasets.

All of which makes it very difficult to come to any conclusions at all … except one.

My only real conclusion is that it would be nice if we could get some agreement about one of the most basic data operations in the climate science field, the calculation of area averages of temperatures from the station data, before we start disputing about the larger issues.

DATA

The surface temperature data stations used for Figures 3 and 4 are identified in the GISS dataset as:

Matienzo
Teniente Matienzo (Ant South A
Racer_rock
Base Almirante Brown
Almirante_brown
Dest. Naval Melchior
Cms_vice.Do.Marambio
Palmer Station
Bonapart_point
Faraday
Petrel
Bernado O’Higgins
Larsen_ice_shelf
Deception
Dest. Naval Decepcion Sout
Deception Is. S Atlanti
Base Esperanz
Hope Bay
Santa_claus_island
Base Arturo P
Centro Met.An, Marsh
Bellingshause
Great_wall
King_sejong
Jubany
Arctowski
Admirality Bay
Ferraz
Rothera Point
Adelaide

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142 Responses to Antarctic Agreements and Disagreements

  1. John Trigge says:

    It would be interesting to see what the ‘peer review’ comments were for the Science Magazine article, assuming that there was any ‘peer review’ conducted. If there was, is there any way to get these to see what they said?

    Did they do any ‘back of the envelope’ calculations or look at the data in any way to check the veracity of the claims?

    Willis, perhaps you should patent your “bad number alarm” and try to sell it to the ‘science’ publications and their ‘peer reviewers’.

  2. Athelstan says:

    “My only real conclusion is that it would be nice if we could get some agreement about one of the most basic data operations in the climate science field, the calculation of area averages of temperatures from the station data, before we start disputing about the larger issues.”

    Amen to that Sir!
    The arguments are moot until we can have some sort of consensus on measurements full stop.

  3. Araucan says:

    All stations are along the seashore ….
    Thanks for the analysis …

    (Raw or homogeneized datasets ? ;) )

  4. Has anyone actually read the paper in question? how did they explain how they came up with 6 degrees?

  5. Margaret says:

    Hi Willis

    Thanks for all of your analysis.

    It looks like there are about half a dozen thermometers that are pretty consistently there for the whole of the 1970 to 200X period — what trend shows if you just take the average of those long-standing ones?

    Margaret

  6. toby says:

    Science 7 September 2001:
    Vol. 293. no. 5536, pp. 1777 – 1779
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1065116
    Prev | Table of Contents | Next

    Perspectives
    CLIMATE CHANGE:
    Devil in the Detail
    David G. Vaughan, Gareth J. Marshall, William M. Connolley, John C. King, Robert Mulvaney
    Global surface temperatures have increased by 0.6 ± 0.2°C in the last century, but this warming has not been evenly distributed across the globe. Some regions, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, have seen a higher than average warming. In their Perspective, Vaughan et al. show that the recent warming in the Antarctic Peninsula has likely been exceptional for 1900 years. Yet global circulation models are unable to reproduce this warming. They conclude that properly targeted national adaptation planning requires a better understanding of regionally specific climate processes.

    ——————————————————————————–
    The authors are at the British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK. E-mail: d.vaughan@bas.ac.uk

  7. DB says:

    15. D. G. Vaughan et al., Clim. Change 60, 243 (2003).

    Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/u52n45201t383m4r/

    Abstract:
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that mean global warming was 0.6 ± 0.2 °C during the 20th century and cited anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases as the likely cause of temperature rise in the last 50 years. But this mean value conceals the substantial complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally- and diurnally-biased, decadally-variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming, which was substantially more rapid than the global mean. However, each RRR warming occupies a different climatic regime and may have an entirely different underlying cause. We discuss the significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. Here warming was much more rapid than in the rest of Antarctica where it was not significantly different to the global mean. We highlight climate proxies that appear to show that RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia, and so unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. So while the station records do not indicate a ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming, the RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula might be a regional amplification of such warming. This, however, remains unproven since we cannot yet be sure what mechanism leads to such an amplification. We discuss several possible candidate mechanisms: changing oceanographic or changing atmospheric circulation, or a regional air-sea-ice feedback amplifying greenhouse warming. We can show that atmospheric warming and reduction in sea-ice duration coincide in a small area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process is the probable cause of RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining the RRR warming is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  8. Joe Lalonde says:

    Publications such as this is why science magazines are a joke.
    Willis would NEVER make it past the “PEER-REVIEW” system because he is too honest and it would hurt the sensationism that the magazine has been trying to keep going.
    Thank you Willis for you commendable work.

  9. DB says:

    Here is a version of the Skvarca et al. work from 1998:

    Evidence of recent climatic warming on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula
    http://epic.awi.de/epic/Main?ui_parameter=Export&page=abstract&action=export&entry_dn=Skv1998a&lang=de

    Abstract:
    Air temperatures at the stations Marambio, Esperanza and Matienzo have been analysed to investigate recent climate change on the eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. The data are compared with the station Orcadas on the South Orkney Islands, the longest record available in Antarctica, and with Faraday on the western coast of the Peninsula. Though the interannual variability is comparatively high and the stations are located in different climatic regimes, a pronounced warming trend shows-up in all records. At Marambio a temperature increase of 1.5°C has been observed since the beginning of the record in 1971. This is of similar magnitude as the increase at the station Faraday on the west coast with 2.5°C for the longer period since 1945. The steady retreat and collapse of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf coincided with this warming trend. Of particular importance for the ice shelf mass balance in this region are the summer temperatures which show a statistically significant warming trend at the stations Marambio and Esperanza. The representativity of the summer temperatures of Marambio for northern Larsen Ice Shelf is confirmed by intercomparison with the parallel measurements at Matienzo which is located on the ice shelf.

  10. Zorro says:

    Temperatures are not of concern here either!

    Arctic ice scan dispels meltdown: study
    Ice thickness shows little change: researcher
    By Margaret Munro, Canwest News Service June 16, 2010

    http://www.canada.com/Scan+Arctic+dispels+melting+gloom+researcher+says/3175785/story.html

  11. David Smith says:

    Wind speed affects near-surface temperature. Calm nights tend to record lower temperatures than windy nights. So, any trend in near-surface temperature needs a check of wind speed trends before considering the temperature trend to be meaningful. Perhaps the Peninsula has become a bit windier in local winter.

  12. Katabasis says:

    Great piece Willis. Understable to even a “climate layperson” like me.

    What I find eminently depressing though is how this is already circulating across the media thanks to our credulous and uncritical churnalists.

  13. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Whatever happened to peer review? It’s such a shame that science has fallen to this level.

  14. Mike Davis says:

    Willis:
    You of course realize that you failed to search for the period that had the greatest change over a thirty year period. If you had taken each individual site to see which had the greatest change. Then picked the decade with the greatest trend and spread that fantastic trend over 30 or 50 years you will have whatever results you want. By extrapolating individual series you can have ether a cooling trend or a warming trend.

    Only conscientious unbiased researchers would lump all the data together and accept the end results! ;) The same is true for attempting to find quality data that is not biased towards any desired trend!

  15. Chaveratti says:

    Climate change and retreating ice in the WAP appear to be recurring themes in the published work of Prof. David Vaughan.

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_bas/contact/staff/profile/7811b11947b1395efb7ebd6e3d7cd5d6/publications/

  16. Pascvaks says:

    My only real conclusion is that today science is fantasy and ‘Science Magazine’ is Mother Goose.

  17. jcrabb says:

    Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Author: Vaughan D.G. et al

    Source: Climatic Change, Volume 60, Number 3, October 2003 , pp. 243-274(32)

    Publisher: Springer

    “We highlight climate proxies that appear to show that recent rapid regional warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia, and so unlikely to be a natural mode of variability”

  18. Ed Reid says:

    “My only real conclusion is that it would be nice if we could get some agreement about one of the most basic data operations in the climate science field, the calculation of area averages of temperatures from the station data, before we start disputing about the larger issues.”

    It would arguably be even nicer if we could get agreement on THE MOST BASIC data operation in the climate science field – COLLECTION from properly sited, installed and maintained measuring instruments and stations.

    It would also be nice if we could agree that DATA simply are. If there is a measurement, there is a datum. If there is no measurement, there is no datum. Data which has been homogenized, pasteurized, folded, bent, spindled and mutilated may well be a lot of other things, but it is no longer data.

  19. a dood says:

    When will they change their name from Science to Modern Alarmism Monthly?

  20. Ric Werme says:

    Physical Changes in the WAP
    SSCIENCE: Changes in the WAP are profound. Mid-winter surface atmospheric temperatures have increased by 6°C (more than five times the global average) in the past 50 years (14, 15).

    WILLIS: I had never looked closely at the WAP temperatures. However, that seemed way high for the changes in the WAP air temperature, no matter what month we are talking about. The references for that statement are:
    14. P. Skvarca, W. Rack, H. Rott, T. I. Donángelo, Polar Res. 18, 151 (1999).
    15. D. G. Vaughan et al., Clim. Change 60, 243 (2003).

    The last 50 years by my reckoning are 1960-2010, yet we have papers that were published 7 and 11 years. Add a year to process data and go through the publishing process and average, and lets say the last 10 years are not represented in the last 50 years. Those papers must therefore provide information about the latter half of the 20th century. That would be a more accurate yet readable description. Or it could be the old papers only cover 1940-1990. “Last 50 years” appears to simply be wrong unless it implies more recent references were included. Those could have been added to (14, 15) easily. Perhaps the authors didn’t think the 6° rise might attract attention. Unlikely.

    Thanks very much for looking into the 6° climb, I wish I had time to do similar stuff. This certainly is the standout finding in the paper, do we have people here with access to research libraries that carry the referenced journals?

    I might try hunting down the authors. Perhaps searchers can report status here so we don’t flood people with redundant requests.

  21. Max Hugoson says:

    Willis:

    When a determined analyst as yourself, can, within a 48 hour time table, “slice and dice” the so called “experts”…this makes on completely suspicious of the usefulness of ANY work done by the “experts”.

    It points towards the fact that “peer review” is WORTHLESS.

    Also, Science and Nature are completely corrupt and absolutely political. Alas, there are still bona-fide researchers who submit papers to them with inherent “integrity”. Giving them “cover” that they are ligitimate. However, that’s all it is…”cover”. When it comes to topics which have an “agenda” attached, integrity goes out the window.

    Max

  22. Jonathan says:

    The Elsevier website is down at the moment so I can’t get to ref [14]; ref [15] is

    D. G. Vaughan, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, C. L. Parkinson, R. Mulvaney, D. A. Hodgson, J. C. King, C. J. Pudsey, and J. Turner. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60 (3): 243-274 October 2003

    so perhaps you might ask WMC for a copy?

    It’s a long paper, but i think they get the 6C figure by cherry picking individual stations.

  23. John M says:

    jcrabb

    Always useful to read the whole abstract:

    We can show that atmospheric warming and reduction in sea-ice duration coincide in a small area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process is the probable cause of RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining the RRR warming is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.

  24. John Blake says:

    Since Mann’s “hockey team” first took to the ice c. 1999, virtually all Warmists’ academic/official articles and papers have displayed the same bias: If it’s cool it’s weather, if it’s warm it’s climate. Skewed samples, invalid methodology, spurious interpretations are climate hysterics’ stock-in-trade. Acting in bad faith, under false pretenses, the Green Gang covers their tracks by appeals to objective, rational fact-finding, whereas in actuality their self-evidently foolish findings lack any integrity whatever.

    Good to have such exercises as this Nature report exposed for the misrepresentations that they are. In no other field, excepting politics, could such productions be so lavishly rewarded… come to think on’t, what’s the difference?

  25. GregO says:

    Willis,

    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to portray the data – data that fails to substantiate a 6 degree rise in temperature over 50 years as claimed by the Science Magazine article. If there is any substantiation of this extraordinary temperature rise I would like to see it in this thread if anyone would like to hazard a defense. If there is no defense, then this claim of a 6 degree temperature rise over 50 years goes beyond exaggeration and proceeds directly into fabrication.

  26. phlogiston says:

    Max Hugoson says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:18 am

    hear hear

  27. trbixler says:

    Interesting to see how the sky has fallen and the data sets showing the event are weak. Many millions of dollars spent circling around the fallen sky but no millions spent to help produce future more accurate data sets. In fact the trend is to circle more and spend more in looking weak data wringing out subtle detail while spending less on getting accurate data. Maybe someone will shout just fix the darn thing, sort of a scientific effort that he thinks about every night.

  28. Rudolf Kipp says:

    Willis,

    I like the display of the temperature stations in google earth. Is the plugin you are using available in the internet?

  29. Lars Kamél says:

    Even in this part of the world, there may be an UHI effect in the temperature records. For example, a research or military base is founded, with a weather station on it. As time goes by, the base gets more buildings and more human activity, which effect the temperature measurements.

  30. DirkH says:

    “John M says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:37 am
    jcrabb

    Always useful to read the whole abstract:
    [...]
    Thus for the present we cannot determine which process is the probable cause of RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining the RRR warming is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.”

    So what he says is that as soon as “it is convincingly reproduced in climate models,” he has “a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century”? Remember, climate models NEVER predict anything. They only do unverifiable projections. Beginners mistake.

  31. Roger Knights says:

    “science” should be capitalized in the following (near the end):
    “… fifty years as claimed in the science paper.”

  32. wsbriggs says:

    OK, guys, I know this is a dumb question, but can anyone explain to me how the data shows the high temperatures during May-August, when I thought they were having Winter down there? It almost looks like the datasets have been inverted, by having a minus magically turn into a plus.

  33. Joe Lalonde says:

    Max Hugoson says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:18 am

    How many good research papers were disqualified for NOT using warming in the research?
    There are many areas that a ‘PEER-REVIEWER’ would have no clue as they are not experts in ALL areas of science.

  34. Ed Caryl says:

    Great work, Willis. One idea occurs to me: could the small increase you see be due to urban warming? Are the population and fuel use figures available for these sites? Over time, research bases tend to get “improved” with more people, buildings, concrete, asphalt, etc. We know this has happened in the north. This is likely why the satellite data shows no warming.

  35. Ed Reid says:

    wsbriggs @ June 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    There is no data shown in the post. The graphs are temperature TRENDS, not temperatures. Since AGW is supposed to provide greater changes in winter, these trends are not inconsistent with the AGW narrative. Little surprise there!

  36. Beth Cooper says:

    I guess they took their temperature recordings on the Isle of Deception.

  37. HaroldW says:

    wsbriggs June 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    OK, guys, I know this is a dumb question, but can anyone explain to me how the data shows the high temperatures during May-August, when I thought they were having Winter down there?

    Wsbriggs, the charts show temperature changes over the period (30 or 50 years), not absolute temperatures. The winter temperatures apparently are less brutal than they used to be.

    It’s apparent by looking at Figure 4 that the winter temperatures are much more variable than summer temps. One can see the effect similarly in the Arctic temperature patterns — I remember seeing a “spaghetti chart” with perhaps 10 years’ Arctic temps plotted, and the summertime temps were fairly narrowly grouped while the winter temps varied greatly. [Sorry, can't seem to locate the chart.]

  38. Hu McCulloch says:

    Willis — I haven’t looked at this paper, but one thing that occurred to me during the CA discussion of Steig (2009) last year is that the standard method (used by Steig and the global indices) of computing seasonal anomalies for each station and then averaging these across stations can greatly understate the fluctuations and even trends that do occur, when stations differ greatly in their time coverage.

    A better method, recommended by some people at NCDC but not adopted by the principal indices, is to first compute seasonal differences, then to average these differences across available stations (appropriately taking geographical coverage into account), then to accumulate these average differences over time, and only then to compute anomalies relative to whatever reference period is desired. This is more like how price indices are computed.

    Did the paper(s) in question use the “levels” method or the “difference” method to get their big trend? Having looked at the Steig data, which is similar to this data, I doubt that you could get a 6 dC trend either way.

    Because the difference method will give bigger estimated swings in average temperature, it may also yield greater serial correlation, which is always a problem in computing trends with data like this (as Steig discovered last year). Do these papers make any correction of standard errors for serial correlation (if only by the simple Bartlett-Quenouille-Santer method)?

    Note also that 6 of the Steig BAS stations (and probably several of these) are not even on the peninsula, but rather on K George Island in the S Shetlands. Others like Racer Rock are AWS stations that should be used with caution as they tend to get buried in between human visits. Racer Rock itself had a big error like Harry’s that was corrected by the BAS last year, immediately after mention of the problem on CA. One would hope they used the corrected data.

  39. When convenient, AGW types point out that warmer winters mean more snow. In this case, it is an inconvenient truth.

  40. Bill Illis says:

    You can get all the monthly Antarctic station data here. (txt files also available)

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/stationpt.html

    And the Automated Weather Stations is here.

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/awspt.html

  41. Smokey says:

    Northern Hemisphere snow extent, 1967 – 2010.

  42. vukcevic says:

    Decline in the GMF Z-component is a good proxy of the temperature increasing trend.
    GMFz at western peninsula and at the opposite side of the Antarctic circle:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC8.htm

  43. Daniel H says:

    The full text of the Science article can be downloaded for free from the lead author’s home page at Rutgers. Here is the direct link to the PDF file [807 KB]: http://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu/media/downloads/papers/Science_1520_2010.pdf

    As mentioned in other comments, the two papers cited in the Science article are available online for a small fee. There is also an AGU paper from 1996 by RC Smith, SE Stammerjohn, and KS Baker, entitled Surface air temperature variations in the western Antarctic Peninsula region, which found an increase for mid-winter WAP monthly temperature trends that is similar to the Vaughan et al paper’s findings. However, the authors conclude that WAP climate anomalies are strongly linked to extreme Southern Oscillation Index (SOI/El Nino/ENSO) events rather than anthropogenic mechanisms (which I suspect is at odds with the Vaughan et al paper). Here is the abstract:

    Surface air temperature records from several Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) stations are examined. The annual progression of surface air temperatures show an along-peninsula gradient indicative of a contrasting influence of maritime versus continental climatic regimes. WAP temperature records also show a significant warming trend in mid-winter temperatures, with an increase of 4-5°C over the past half-century (1944-1991). Increased temperature variability in fall and winter is linked to the high interannual variability of sea ice coverage. Linear regression analysis shows a significant (99.9%) anticorrelation between air temperature and sea ice extent, even after accounting for serial correlation in the two time series. There are distinct seasonal lead/lag relationships between temperature and sea ice in this region, which underscore the complexity of polar feedback mechanisms. The more than 45 year Faraday air temperature record shows a significant (95% confidence level) correlation with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and coherences between both temperature and sea ice with the SOI suggest teleconnections between the WAP and lower latitudes. Because sea ice-temperature-SOI relationships appear to be strongly linked in the WAP region, the WAP is an ideal area to study ecological responses to the significant trends and relatively large interannual variability.

    The paper’s summary restates the specific BAS stations that were used to obtain the temperature trends:

    Monthly trends are strongest in mid-winter and highest in June at 0.114°C/year which represents a 5.5°C increase in June temperatures over the 48 year record (1944-1991). It is important to note that the trend for the region is strongest in mid-winter, which consequently will have important impacts on both maximum ice extent and the marine ecology associated with winter ice extent.

    Several station records (Rothera, Faraday, Palmer, SSI) were selected as representative of the temperature gradient along the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition, the short Palmer record was shown to be strongly correlated with the Faraday record in particular. The annual progression of temperatures and the variability associated with these temperatures (Figure 4) show an along-peninsula gradient in the relative influence of maritime versus continental climate regimes. Increased temperature variability in fall and winter is linked to the high variability in year-to-year sea ice coverage and the corresponding increased continental influence when an extensive ice cover exists. Data from AWS Hugo, which is just 90 km seaward of the peninsula, show that standard deviations of daily temperature are significantly lower than those from a coastal station (AWS Bonaparte). Thus, in addition to the along-shore gradient, there is a sharp on/offshore gradient in maritime versus continental regimes. Much of the variability in both air temperature and sea ice in the Palmer LTER region is influenced by these contrasting climate regimes.

    A more thorough analysis of the methods used can be found in the main body of the paper which includes an extensive discussion of the link between ENSO, sea ice, the WAP climate system, and other climate variables. It’s actually a pretty good read. The full paper can be downloaded as a PDF file [2.55 MB] here: http://pal.lternet.edu/biblio/lterfinalms/084lterc.pdf

  44. Bill Tuttle says:

    “Yet global circulation models are unable to reproduce this warming. They conclude that properly targeted national adaptation planning requires a better understanding of regionally specific climate processes. “

    Translation: “We’re going to have to study this further, so give us lots and lots of money.”

  45. JPeden says:

    Nice work again, Willis! I’d dismissed the claim because it sounded pretty wild, and of course is seen by now against a background of near 100% proven uncredibility of the CAGWers’ previous claims and predictions. But then someone always has to do the actual work of analyzing such claims, especially since the other Climate Scientists and most of the non-Climate Scientists don’t, so thanks!

    For me, Climate Science = propagandistic thought control, the “means” essentially being the same as the “ends”. No thanks!

  46. bruce says:

    one simple question, for the layman: When recording temps for a location, are the days temps averaged, or is protocol to use a certain time stamp as reference?

  47. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    It doesn’t matter how many times I read this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10342318.stm I just don’t get it! Are they saying that CO2 actually causes cold now? Genuinely, it’s a question, I can’t get my head around the wording.

  48. John Trigge says:
    June 19, 2010 at 3:24 am
    It would be interesting to see what the ‘peer review’ comments were for the Science Magazine article, assuming that there was any ‘peer review’ conducted.
    A good argument for publishing [electronic versions] the peer reviews as well.

  49. P.F. says:

    An important element that stands out in Eschenbach’s post and the numerous responses that followed is the nature of the discussion — measured, rational, open, magnanimous, rich in data and observations. This (WUWT) is truly a wonderful place to visit.

  50. Colin from Mission B.C. says:

    Great post, Willis.

    When I read that article a few days ago, my spidey senses also started tingling when I saw the claim of a 6-degree temperature rise in the WAP. Your exploding of this claim, as with most claims by the AGW bed-wetters, is welcome, but not a surprise.

  51. vukcevic says:
    June 19, 2010 at 8:06 am
    Decline in the GMF Z-component is a good proxy of the temperature increasing trend.
    The increasing population of the US is by the same argument a good proxy for the increasing temperature. [it might even be an inconvenient truth]. Just because two cherry-picked curves look the same does not mean that one is a proxy [not to speak about a 'good' one] for the other. Please try to increase the credibility of this blog, rather than the opposite.

  52. Willis Eschenbach says:

    John Trigge says:
    June 19, 2010 at 3:24 am

    It would be interesting to see what the ‘peer review’ comments were for the Science Magazine article, assuming that there was any ‘peer review’ conducted. If there was, is there any way to get these to see what they said?

    Sure there is a way … you just have to be Phil Jones, then the reviewer sends you the paper and asks you about the review … just kidding, the pre-publication paper and the review comments are supposed to be secret, although the CRU emails showed large holes.

    I have long held that at the end of the review process, reviewer’s comments (positive or negative) should be published and the reviewers names should be added to them, whether the paper itself is published or not. In part that is because I’m tired of being anonymously stabbed in the back … and also for the sake of science.

  53. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jcrabb says:
    June 19, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula

    Author: Vaughan D.G. et al

    Source: Climatic Change, Volume 60, Number 3, October 2003 , pp. 243-274(32)

    Publisher: Springer

    “We highlight climate proxies that appear to show that recent rapid regional warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia, and so unlikely to be a natural mode of variability”

    Truly, you gotta love the stones on these guys. The three major records disagree, showing different warming rates for the various months. They all disagree with the satellite record, which show no warming at all for the area in question since 1979. We have only short, spotty ground records, none of which go back before the 1940s. As a result, we don’t even agree on the present warming trends.

    Yet they claim that the warming is “unprecedented” over the last two millennia. Here’s a tip for people just entering the field. If a study contains the words “robust” or “unprecedented”, it is neither.

  54. Hu McCulloch says:

    The Vaughan et al paper, which was one of the 2 sources cited by the recent Science paper by Schofield et al for its 6dC figure, does report a 11.0dC/century trend for Faraday winters, using 1950-2001 data, which would be 5.5dC/50 yrs. However, the se on the 11.0dC/century is given as 9dC/century, which would make it only insignificantly different from 0 (despite a mysterious claim of significance in the last column of the table).

    Is this consistent with the data you found, Willis?

    Vaughan et al say they corrected for serial correlation using a method of Trenberth (1984) and vonStorch & Zwiers (1999), but I haven’t checked their calculation or those sources.

    OSU doesn’t have the Svarca paper (Polar Research, 1999), which was the other one cited by Schofield et al. in Science.

  55. BillN says:

    A few snippets from the 2003 Vaughan, et al, paper are below.

    After reading the paper, I would say it was very objective and clear that the warming was a local condition without correlation to AGW and in disagreement with the Antarctic continental record.

    …. BEGIN SNIPPETS ….
    Whichever weighting we choose, there is only weak evidence of significant overall warming in station data from continental Antarctica, and we find no evidence that this is significantly greater than the global mean warming during the 20th century (0.6 ± 0.2 ◦C, Houghton et al., 2001). Thus, we find no ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming in the Antarctic station data.
    ….
    While the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed 1979–1999, nine out of twelve of the stations from the rest of Antarctica, show cooling, although none achieve 5% significance.
    ….
    The west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula is the only region of Antarctica where a strong correlation between sea-ice extent and near-surface air temperatures is ob- served (Weatherley et al., 1991);
    ….
    In detail, the zone of greatest negative trend in sea ice duration (>5 days per year) coincides with the two stations showing the strongest warming trend (Faraday and Rothera).
    ….
    Farady Station ONLY (this was the highest trend):

    Period Trend (degC/century) Significance
    1951–2000 +5.6 ± 2.1 5%
    1961–2000 +4.5 ± 2.5 10%
    1951–1980 +4.8 ± 4.7 Not sig.
    1961–1990 +4.6 ± 4.3 Not sig.
    1971–2000 +3.6 ± 4.2 Not sig.
    ….
    [ note: at one point they state that borehole thermometry records do not correlate with met station warming]
    ….
    we interpret this to imply that the RRR warming may not have made current temperatures equal to the Holocene- maximum, but that recent warming is exceptional in the context of the past 1800 years (Pudsey and Evans, 2001).
    ….
    Among the local impacts of continued RRR warming would be, continued retreat of ice shelves, retreat of low-altitude glaciers, increased seasonality in some snowfields. Biological habitats will continue to undergo changes in extent, although it is unlikely that any particular species would be seriously threatened (Convey, 2001). Similarly, there would probably be few global impacts resulting from changes on the Antarctic Peninsula (Anisimov et al., 2001) – some contribution to sea level change is expected, although its sign is unpredictable at present.
    ….
    The 50-year rapid warming may, or may not, have its root cause in global anthropogenic climate change, but whether or not it does is relatively unimportant from the point of view of impact assessment and adaptation. The same may be true for more populated areas of the world. In which case, regional climate changes will most probably have a more profound impact on human activities than global mean warming.
    …. END snippets ….

    So, the referenced Vaughan, et al, paper seemed very reasonable. But maybe used out of context in the Science article?

    Cheers,
    BillN

  56. Chad Woodburn says:

    It seems that all too often the definition of “scientists” is this: Educated fools who can manipulate and distort the data and the theory in such a skillful way that they can convince large segments of the population that they know what they’re talking about and that their conclusions are truth, and not just propaganda.

    Then again, that pretty much covers it for a lot of lawyers, doctors, economists, business experts, consultants, psychiatrists, educators, historians, theologians, and politicians, etc. etc.

    There are real scholars and honest experts, but in my experience they are a minority in their fields. How sad!

  57. David44 says:

    Granting the dubious assumptions that the temperature data are accurately measured and appropriately adjusted, is it taken as mere coincidence that the west Antarctic area of purported temperature increase is also an area of widespread volcanic and subsurface geothermal activity? If geothermal has been ruled out as the cause of WAP temperature increases, how so and by whom?
    Also, what has been done to rule out direct human habitation/station activity as having an effect on temperature measurements a la Anthony’s surface station survey?

  58. Troels Halken says:

    Interesting. I have been looking for at temperature heads-up for Antarctica, but can’t seem to find a reliable one.

  59. David S says:

    Great post yet again, Willis. I’m sorry if this is a dumb question, or if I am asking the wrong person, but how on earth can they validate their 2000-year proxies when they have such a patchy and short-lived instrumental record?

  60. Rhoda R says:

    David S: Ya gotta have FAITH!

  61. Peter Miller says:

    Does anyone wonder why leading figures of the alarmist movement almost always refuse to publicly debate AGW with sceptics?

    Not surprisingly, they have to hide behind ‘peer reviewed’ papers published in magazines, where sceptics are viewed like jews at a nazi rally.

  62. Enneagram says:

    It would be interesting if WUWT makes a searchable data base with every crazy climate change allegation, and if possible, classified from the weirdest to the foolest. It would be a great help to future historians who will surely study the history of the fall of the occidental civilization, owed to this madness, and how it effectively destroyed all the advancements in science, technology and well being of humanity.

  63. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Roger Knights said on June 19, 2010 at 6:57 am:

    “science” should be capitalized in the following (near the end):
    “… fifty years as claimed in the science paper.”

    Maybe a correction is called for, but that’s the wrong one.

    … fifty years as claimed in the science paper.

    There, that’s more accurate. ;-)

  64. Billy Liar says:

    Is the Rothera thermometer at the airport?

  65. tty says:

    Here we have a pattern of warmer winters in a polar area, but not warmer summers, and also the fact that this warming is not found in the satellite record.

    To me this spells inversions. Very low winter temperatures at high latitudes are almost always due to shallow inversions, i. e. very low temperatures in a thin layer of air close to the ground because of heat radiating away into space in the clear and dry air.
    However since these low temperatures only occur close to the ground they are not “visible” in the satellite record that measures the temperatures higher in the troposphere.
    Such inversions can only occur when the sky is more or less cloudless, and they are only stable in still air or very light winds. Has there by any chance been an increase in cloudiness and/or winds in winter at the stations with the strongest warming trend?

  66. Robert says:

    Willis should not be taking in depth analysis until reading the papers in question which are referenced. If he does read them then he realizes how this claim was made. Instead he doesn’t read them and guesses how they found this and then disproves his own guess. It’s a common straw man and better quality control should be expected here. If you are to make conclusions which argue against several papers, you have to READ THE PAPERS prior to making these accusations. Like I always say, the biggest thing missing here is the lack of reading the core literature prior to mud flinging.

  67. tonyb says:

    David Vaughan is a climate scientist with the British Antarctic survey team and a lead author at IPCC

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Vaughan_(scientist)

    William Connolley (AKA Stoat) is a former climate modeller at British Antarctic survey and lives in Cambridge very close to David Vaughan. Connelley is better known as the (former?) gatekeeper of Wikipedias climate pages.

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/about.php

    As Jonathan observed earlier the authors are;

    D. G. Vaughan, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, C. L. Parkinson, R. Mulvaney, D. A. Hodgson, J. C. King, C. J. Pudsey, and J. Turner. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60 (3): 243-274 October 2003

    Being neighbours and from the same warmist team don’t make the stuff that the two produce incorrect, but certainly warrants close examination.

    tonyb

  68. Willis Eschenbach says:

    DaveJR says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Other journal website is down at the moment

    Whoa, we have a winner, kudos to Dave. DaveJR has send us the text of one of the two papers used as references for the Science Magazine claim that:

    Changes in the WAP are profound. Mid-winter surface atmospheric temperatures have increased by 6°C (more than five times the global average) in the past 50 years (14, 15).

    which was

    15. D. G. Vaughan et al., Clim. Change 60, 243 (2003).

    Examining the paper (which features the noted Wikipedia science censorer, William Connolley), Table 4 shows the seasonal trends, with Faraday showing a warming (1951-2001) of 11 degrees per century in the winter …

    So the authors of the most recent paper are blowing smoke. The WAP isn’t warming at six degrees. Instead, there is one WAP station (Faraday) which, if you pick the time period carefully (1950-2001) shows a winter warming of 5.5° per fifty years. And even that is a bit of sleight of hand, because if we take the entire period of record (1945-2009), the winter trend is 4.8° per 50 years.

    A final note. The British data is here. The oddity is that it is a bit different than the GISS data. In the period 1951-2009, 45% of the months are identical between the two datasets. Another 45% have a difference of a tenth of a degree, 2% have a difference of 0.4° or greater, and three months have a difference of over a full degree.

    This doesn’t make any difference in the trends … but it is another example of the poor agreement between the various fundamental datasets in the field. Surely GISS and the Brits could get together and agree on what the actual data looks like … and then we could discuss how to do areal averages …

    Note that the GISS Faraday record is made up of five individual records, which are quite similar. The British seem to be using some other records, see the reference above.

  69. tonyb says:

    RobertJune 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    You made a very fair comment that papers should (ideally) be read before they are commented on. However so much of climate science is behind pay walls that it makes it impracticable-however desirable. I spent $300 last year buying paywall articles 90% of which were a waste of time and money.

    Unless I’ve missed it this paper will cost $47 to buy. Perhps we need to start a deicated paywall fund to buy such articles?

    Tonyb

  70. DaveF says:

    Thanks, Toby, for showing us the paper’s heading. Why am I not surprised that this 6deg claim has William Connolley’s name on it?

  71. pwl says:

    It would be nice if someone could address in a full posting a question that I’ve wondered about for a while now…

    Given that the two poles are where they are and get the very small amounts of solar energy that they do as compared with the rest of the planet how is it there is any fear that they could melt at all?

    It seems to me that both the arctic and the antarctic would need to have seriously large temperature increases before all the ice could melt… it’s like -50c to -70c in the antarctic and the ice sheets are what about 1.5 kilometers thick and melting ice takes 80c of heat to phase transition from ice to liquid so even if it were to increase by 70c to 0c it still wouldn’t melt for a long time! If the antarctic increased by 70c what would be happening to the rest of the planet? Let’s see Vancouver would be 87c assuming the same increases all over the planet.

    It just seems that the fears of such increases are so shockingly remote in probability as to be next to nil baring the entire planet moving closer to the sun, the sun growing, a super massive continuous super nova, the silly scenario from the movie 2012, the moon crashing into the earth, an asteroid hitting the earth, a gamma ray or other radiation burst hitting earth head on, or other such very rare or highly remotely unlikely scenarios. The asteroid is about the only one that we really need to worry about…

    But the point remains for even less extreme temperature increases… say 5c to 20c… would that have any effect upon the massive ice cap in Antarctica? Or Greenland?

    The problem is that unless something massive happens (as described above) the poles will keep on receiving the same amounts of energy as they have for millions of years… so the Natural Null Hypothesis seems to prevail unless somehow we can lift the entire temperature of the antarctic +70c to zero +80c to phase transition it into liquid.

    Could we even do this if we tried?

    http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/02/22/how-could-we-melt-enough-ice-for-a-20ft-rise-in-sea-levels

    http://pathstoknowledge.net/2009/02/22/a-sea-level-calculator

  72. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Robert says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Willis should not be taking in depth analysis until reading the papers in question which are referenced. If he does read them then he realizes how this claim was made. Instead he doesn’t read them and guesses how they found this and then disproves his own guess. It’s a common straw man and better quality control should be expected here. If you are to make conclusions which argue against several papers, you have to READ THE PAPERS prior to making these accusations. Like I always say, the biggest thing missing here is the lack of reading the core literature prior to mud flinging.

    Take a deep breath there, Robert. The paper made a claim. I did not know what the claim was based on. I did not “guess how they found this”, that’s your fantasy. I simply analyzed the WAP trends using all the available actual data. I didn’t speculate, I didn’t just say “It’s wrong.” I actually ran the numbers to see if their claim held up. It didn’t. If you don’t like an analysis based on the available actual data, you’ll have to explain why.

    Now, thanks to DaveJR (see my preceding post), we have one of the papers available, and guess what? The claim was based on one single station … which agrees with my analysis. If you want to pay $47 to get the other paper, post it and we can lay this all to rest … but I know what my bet is on …

  73. Max Hugoson says:

    Can someone use their WordPress ID and post the link to Willis’ rebutal on the Time Internet Magazine Site?

    Might was well “help the flow of info”.

    Max

  74. Steven Mosher says:

    Willis, the paper mentioned and graphed two stations only. cant recall which they were. but looking at the antarctic data ( spent a month on a while back) I can say this:
    The data is poorly organized, poorly documented, and poorly presented. That doesnt of course make it wrong, but the workmanship was shoddy to say the least.

  75. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jonathan says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:32 am

    The Elsevier website is down at the moment so I can’t get to ref [14]; ref [15] is

    D. G. Vaughan, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, C. L. Parkinson, R. Mulvaney, D. A. Hodgson, J. C. King, C. J. Pudsey, and J. Turner. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60 (3): 243-274 October 2003

    so perhaps you might ask WMC for a copy?

    Ask Connolley for a copy? Never. The man has done more damage to science than just about anyone I know. Not only do I not want to be beholden to him, I wouldn’t cross the street to micturate on him if he were on fire.

  76. Stephen Brown says:

    I don’t know (or particularly care) about just how cold it is in Antarctica but I DO know that it is really, really cold today 19th June) in Cape Town. The sea has frozen over. The ice is thick enough for people to walk out a fair distance on the ice. There’s snow on Table Mountain and some of the mountain passes in the Southern and Eastern Cape are closed by snow drifts.
    I’d show a photo or two but don’t know how to put them up.

  77. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Rudolf Kipp says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Willis,
    I like the display of the temperature stations in google earth. Is the plugin you are using available in the internet?

    Yes, it’s a KML standard file available here.

  78. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Lars Kamél says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Even in this part of the world, there may be an UHI effect in the temperature records. For example, a research or military base is founded, with a weather station on it. As time goes by, the base gets more buildings and more human activity, which effect the temperature measurements.

    Very true, Lars. In addition, the colder the weather, the more difference that the buildings and human activity make, which would fit with the greater trend in winter.

    I’d have to see the actual location of the stations to say if that were an issue or not … maybe Exxon would pay me to go down to Antarctica, they’ve fallen behind on their payments to me … well, to tell the truth they’ve never paid me, but I wouldn’t mind a ticket to the WAP, as long as it was round-trip …

  79. Steven Mosher says:

    Willis
    Giss pull its data from here

    url_Antarctic1<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/stationpt.html&quot;
    url_Antarctic2<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/temperature.html&quot;
    url_Antarctic3<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/awspt.html&quot;

    its a ugly mess to read this all in with R, but its done.

  80. latitude says:

    “In addition, the colder the weather, the more difference that the buildings and human activity make, which would fit with the greater trend in winter. ”

    bingo

    and they also tend to “adjust” temperatures up a little now, and “adjust” them way down 100 years ago………………

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    I found the abstract of another interesting paper here, by some Ukrainian authors. (The Faraday station was taken over a few years ago by the Ukrainians and renamed “Vernadsky”.) It discusses the reason for the changes in the temperature at Faraday. Rather than saying anything about CO2, they say:

    The meteorological observations at Faraday/Vernadsky station display long-term changes in the wind distribution pattern: the appearance frequency of the “continental” wind (0°E±45° azimuth) observation has been reduced but the appearance frequency of the “ocean” wind (180°E±45° azimuth) has been increased threefold in the last two decades in comparison to 1950s-1970s. That is evidence of the structural change-over of circulation pattern in the region which is advantageous for warming. Results show that the changes in the quasistationary pattern in Antarctic troposphere contribute to the local climate change in Antarctic Peninsula region.

    The Eastern Europeans seem to be more into science and less into CO2 than folks in the West …

  82. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Willis
    Giss pull its data from here

    url_Antarctic1<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/stationpt.html&quot;
    url_Antarctic2<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/temperature.html&quot;
    url_Antarctic3<-"http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/awspt.html&quot;

    its a ugly mess to read this all in with R, but its done.

    Thanks, Mosh. If you cared to share the R code, it would save me stacks of time.

    w.

  83. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Roger Knights says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:57 am

    “science” should be capitalized in the following (near the end):
    “… fifty years as claimed in the science paper.”

    Done, Roger, thanks for the heads-up.

    w.

  84. Robert says:

    Willis,
    if I can get your email i’ll send you the paper. Secondly, the statement you said about Faraday may be from a paper but having visited Faraday on a glaciology expedition, there was discussion with the Vernadsky station over the temperature record and they certainly seemed apt towards indicating that CO2 is playing a role also.

  85. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hu McCulloch says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Willis — I haven’t looked at this paper, but one thing that occurred to me during the CA discussion of Steig (2009) last year is that the standard method (used by Steig and the global indices) of computing seasonal anomalies for each station and then averaging these across stations can greatly understate the fluctuations and even trends that do occur, when stations differ greatly in their time coverage.

    A better method, recommended by some people at NCDC but not adopted by the principal indices, is to first compute seasonal differences, then to average these differences across available stations (appropriately taking geographical coverage into account), then to accumulate these average differences over time, and only then to compute anomalies relative to whatever reference period is desired. This is more like how price indices are computed.

    Did the paper(s) in question use the “levels” method or the “difference” method to get their big trend? Having looked at the Steig data, which is similar to this data, I doubt that you could get a 6 dC trend either way.

    Hey, Hu, good to hear from you. I’m not sure how they did it. I tried both direct averages and first differences, and found little difference between the two. In neither case did I get a 6° per fifty year trend.

    Because the difference method will give bigger estimated swings in average temperature, it may also yield greater serial correlation, which is always a problem in computing trends with data like this (as Steig discovered last year). Do these papers make any correction of standard errors for serial correlation (if only by the simple Bartlett-Quenouille-Santer method)?

    The paper that was provided by Dave says that they used the method of Nychka, and I was able to replicate their calculations within reasonable error. However, they only applied it to individual stations, as near as I could tell …

    Note also that 6 of the Steig BAS stations (and probably several of these) are not even on the peninsula, but rather on K George Island in the S Shetlands. Others like Racer Rock are AWS stations that should be used with caution as they tend to get buried in between human visits. Racer Rock itself had a big error like Harry’s that was corrected by the BAS last year, immediately after mention of the problem on CA. One would hope they used the corrected data.

    Yes, there are a host of individual station problems, as one might imagine … for example if you look at Fig. 4 you see one lonely month that is obviously way high and in error. This lack of error checking drives me mad.

  86. Dave says:

    It is high time that `open access` to all data sets and all reviewers` comments on papers discussing these and related issues became standard procedure. How else is science to advance realistically and without bias and spin? Future generations will look askance at this lack of fully open discourse. The closed system stance adopted by some institutions (Royal Society, National Academy of Sciences) and journals (Nature, Science) runs completely at odds to scientific progress. What would Galileo, Einstein, Popper or Feynmann have said? Would they have laughed or cried at the present situation?

  87. latitude says:

    “but the appearance frequency of the “ocean” wind (180°E±45° azimuth) has been increased threefold in the last two decades in comparison to 1950s-1970s”

    wouldn’t that explain the precious build up of sea ice, then the break up of that same sea ice?

  88. latitude says:

    I know sea ice is “precious” but that should read “previous”

  89. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Illis says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    You can get all the monthly Antarctic station data here. (txt files also available)

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/surface/stationpt.html

    And the Automated Weather Stations is here.

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/READER/aws/awspt.html

    Great, yet another dataset. That one differs from both the GISS and the British dataset, by as much as 12° in a given month. The situation just gets worse …

    w.

  90. Paul Vaughan says:

    The western peninsula is NOT representative of Antarctica – (trends there running opposite to elsewhere on the continent – [and trends are functions of spatiotemporal scale (!) that ignore RICH nonrandomness]).

    Also, recall some graphs from a recent Bob Tisdale WUWT article on deep-south GISS-data-antics – too funny seeing how GISS handled that region – must’ve been too ‘inconvenient’ to do anything sensible.

    This 6 degree C curveball sales-pitch got MSM coverage in Canada last week. I would have posted a sleazeball-media alert at WUWT “Tips & Notes”, but that page always takes WAAAAAY too long to load — suggested: DUMP IT HOURLY!!!

  91. 1DandyTroll says:

    Mr Eschenbach how is it really to make a point in pointing out what you’re referencing. Usually most of us skeptics, even you if memory serves right, go above and beyond to make the AGW proponent to explain if they’re showing actual temperatures or anomalies from a predetermined reference (zero) line, and of course what time period and data was used to concoct that very reference line.

    Take your second graph, what exactly are you trying to portray, anomalies or actual real temperature readings? Most wuwt readers can probably extrapolate the other graphs by now, but still make a point explaining the details of the graphs, otherwise you can prove whatever with statistics.

  92. Willis Eschenbach says:

    bruce says:
    June 19, 2010 at 8:32 am

    one simple question, for the layman: When recording temps for a location, are the days temps averaged, or is protocol to use a certain time stamp as reference?

    Not a simple question at all. At some stations they take 2 or 4 temperatures per day. They may just average the high and the low. Other stations have a “max/min” recording thermometer, and they average that. Other stations record the temperature electronically, and then average the high and the low. Of course, none of these give a true mean temperature …

  93. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hu McCulloch says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    The Vaughan et al paper, which was one of the 2 sources cited by the recent Science paper by Schofield et al for its 6dC figure, does report a 11.0dC/century trend for Faraday winters, using 1950-2001 data, which would be 5.5dC/50 yrs. However, the se on the 11.0dC/century is given as 9dC/century, which would make it only insignificantly different from 0 (despite a mysterious claim of significance in the last column of the table).

    Is this consistent with the data you found, Willis?

    Vaughan et al say they corrected for serial correlation using a method of Trenberth (1984) and vonStorch & Zwiers (1999), but I haven’t checked their calculation or those sources.

    OSU doesn’t have the Svarca paper (Polar Research, 1999), which was the other one cited by Schofield et al. in Science.

    Yeah, I caught that as well. They gave the one sigma standard error (“s.e.”) on the 100° trend as 9° per century, which was obviously wrong if it was as significant as they claimed (1%). Upon checking their calculations, I found that rather than being the one sigma s.e., the ±9° was actually the 95% confidence interval … grrrr. Waste my time with their stupid errors. So their claim of significance was correct (I got 2%, close enough to their 1%), but the ±9°/century was not the s.e.

    The bogus part to me in the Science Magazine study was to take the trend from one stinkin’ station and call it the trend for the whole peninsula. That just alarmism.

  94. Juraj V. says:

    “Here warming was much more rapid than in the rest of Antarctica where it was not significantly different to the global mean. ”

    Pardon? AFAIK, the rest of Antarctica is pretty much cooling, in the contrary of global mean. Vaughan et al, you are scientific prostitutes and bunch of liars on top.

  95. Willis Eschenbach says:

    David S says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Great post yet again, Willis. I’m sorry if this is a dumb question, or if I am asking the wrong person, but how on earth can they validate their 2000-year proxies when they have such a patchy and short-lived instrumental record?

    Pass. You’ll have to take up that question with the proxificators, I haven’t a clue …

  96. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Billy Liar says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Is the Rothera thermometer at the airport?

    All of Rothera is at the airport, but I don’t think that means much in midwinter. However the location of the thermometer with respect to the buildings might. Here’s what I think is the temperature measuring station at Faraday …

    I have no problem believing that when the wind is blowing from the buildings towards the thermometer, that there would be a UHI effect. Note that the citation above says that winds from the ocean are more frequent … and that is the direction that blows heat from the buildings towards the thermometer.

  97. Hector M. says:

    Off topic: The BBC reports on a study of seabed cores dating 2.7 million years, showing how a glacial climate developed in the Northern Hemisphere and was felt also in the Tropics. So far so good. But several commentators cited by the Beeb suggest the “culprit” (sic) was no other than CO2, since greenhouse gases would have “intensified the feedbacks” leading to glaciation. The usual suspect turns up after every crime, no matter the nature of the crime.

  98. Hector M. says:

    Oops. Here’s the missing link.

    The BBC link to my previous comment is http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10342318.stm.

  99. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Robert says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Willis,
    if I can get your email i’ll send you the paper. Secondly, the statement you said about Faraday may be from a paper but having visited Faraday on a glaciology expedition, there was discussion with the Vernadsky station over the temperature record and they certainly seemed apt towards indicating that CO2 is playing a role also.

    Thanks, Robert, I’m at willis [at} taunovobay.com. I’m shocked to hear that some folks at the Vernadsky station blame CO2, shocked I tell you …

  100. Hu McCulloch says:

    Stephen Brown says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:53 am
    I don’t know (or particularly care) about just how cold it is in Antarctica but I DO know that it is really, really cold today 19th June) in Cape Town. The sea has frozen over. The ice is thick enough for people to walk out a fair distance on the ice.

    Yikes — that’s a little like Long Beach or Charleston freezing up in winter!

  101. Willis Eschenbach says:

    1DandyTroll says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Mr Eschenbach how is it really to make a point in pointing out what you’re referencing. Usually most of us skeptics, even you if memory serves right, go above and beyond to make the AGW proponent to explain if they’re showing actual temperatures or anomalies from a predetermined reference (zero) line, and of course what time period and data was used to concoct that very reference line.

    Take your second graph, what exactly are you trying to portray, anomalies or actual real temperature readings? Most wuwt readers can probably extrapolate the other graphs by now, but still make a point explaining the details of the graphs, otherwise you can prove whatever with statistics.

    First, I don’t like people who post anonymously, but I don’t usually say anything. But posting with a name of “1DandyTroll”??? If you want to be taken seriously, pick another name. I dislike answering anyone who calls themselves a troll, sorry.

    In particular, on the left side of each graph it says what it is measuring. If it says “anomaly” it is an anomaly. If it says “trend” it is a trend. If it says “temperature” it is temperature. Is that really not clear? Or are you just trolling?

  102. jorgekafkazar says:

    Roger Knights says: “science” should be capitalized in the following (near the end):
    “… fifty years as claimed in the science paper.”

    It should also be in quotes:

    … fifty years as claimed in the “Science” paper,” since their content is increasingly contaminated with elitist partisan propaganda.

  103. Hu McCulloch says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm
    ….
    They gave the one sigma standard error (“s.e.”) on the 100° [11.0] trend as 9° per century, which was obviously wrong if it was as significant as they claimed (1%). Upon checking their calculations, I found that rather than being the one sigma s.e., the ±9° was actually the 95% confidence interval … grrrr. Waste my time with their stupid errors. So their claim of significance was correct (I got 2%, close enough to their 1%), but the ±9°/century was not the s.e.

    The BAS page at
    http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/icd/gjma/faraday.temps.html explains that Faraday data before 1950 is not consistent with the post-50 data. It gives the Faraday winter trend 1950-2009 as +.1035dC/yr +/- .0564, but then explains that this is the 95% CI (corrected for serial correlation a la Santer), and not the s.e. Evidently Vaughan et al were using the BAS convention, without telling anyone.

    But if, as your Ukrainians note, the prevailing winds have shifted to being from the sea rather than from inland, that could account for the dramatic and atypical warming.

    Sounds like a good note for you to send to Science, Willis!

  104. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard says: June 19, 2010 at 9:14 am
    Just because two cherry-picked curves look the same does not mean that one is a proxy [not to speak about a 'good' one] for the other.
    Scientific scepticism is perfectly justified. Talking nonsense it is not;
    and cherry-picked is not as you can see here:

    Antarctica: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC8.htm
    Arctic: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC1.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC16.htm
    Equator: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC20.htm
    Globally: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC23.htm
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC6.htm

  105. Michael says:

    The extended solar minimum should deliver a very unpleasant winter to the southern hemisphere. How many deaths will it bring this year, that is the question?

    “Winter Solstice
    June 21 (Southern Hemisphere)

    The Winter Solstice has been celebrated in some way or another for thousands of years. In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is often connected with various religious holy days. Pagan religions associated the winter solstice with significant life changes, intricately linked with the universe and fates that determined the future and effected those lives. This significance can also be found in the Southern Hemisphere, where the Winter Solstice takes place in June.

    For science-enthusiasts the winter solstice is an interesting astronomical occurrence that offers an opportunity to celebrate what we have managed to learn about the cosmos and affords us an opportunity to revel in the excitement of space exploration and the complexity of the universe.

    Winter Solstice marks that day when there is less daylight than at any other time of the year. We commonly refer to it as the shortest day. The Summer Solstice, on the other hand, is the day with the most daylight (the longest day).”
    http://www.secularseasons.org/june/winter_solstice.html

  106. Dr A Burns says:

    I wonder what the impact of radiative heating on Antarctic weather stations from the walls of warm nearby buildings is ? Radiative heating is fn delta T **4 which becomes much more significant with low temperatures. The view factor is small though.

  107. Individual stations as well as CRUTEM3 5×5 grids can be plotted using a map interface at: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/climate.aspx

    Click “Map Interface for Graphing” then select a geographical area.
    For Antarctica, select 16: Global south of -45

  108. Ed Caryl says:

    Willis,
    for an example of UHI, check this picture of the station at O’Higgins:
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/Raford2/RZLQhSiM02I/AAAAAAAAAC4/cbJtSC7rAgM/antarctica 101.jpg
    Find the Stevenson screen.

  109. Ric Werme says:

    Hu McCulloch says:
    June 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    The BAS page at
    http://www.nerc-bas.ac.uk/icd/gjma/faraday.temps.html explains that Faraday data before 1950 is not consistent with the post-50 data.

    Heh – it’s also not consistant with the date stamp at the top of the page, “Last Revised: Thursday 27 May, 110″ Somehow, it’s nice to see that not all the Y2K problems have been fixed, and this is one that can’t be blamed on only allocating two columns on a punch card. :-)

    FWIW, the Unix “cal” program says 27 May, 110 was a Monday.

  110. Billy Liar says:

    Willis,

    Thanks for your prompt response. Good pictures.

  111. pat says:

    More not so credible science from science.:

    “Ocean Changes May Have Dire Impact on People

    ScienceDaily (June 19, 2010) — The first comprehensive synthesis on the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans has found they are now changing at a rate not seen for several million years.”

    “These are driving major changes in marine ecosystems: less abundant coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves (important fish nurseries); fewer, smaller fish; a breakdown in food chains; changes in the distribution of marine life; and more frequent diseases and pests among marine organisms.”

    These are all true, but are hardly attributable to the non-existent acidification of the oceans trumpeted by the article. They are all attributable to incredibly destructive environmental practices by fisheries, sewage and waste disposal, poor land use decisions, the destruction of estuaries, greed and indifference, and such. We can never cure a problem if we insist upon dealing with a dream instead of getting down to business.

  112. maksimovich says:

    as your Ukrainians note, the prevailing winds have shifted to being from the sea rather than from inland, that could account for the dramatic and atypical warming.

    Their visualization of the changes in the quasistationary pattern in Antarctic troposphere is here

    http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh133/mataraka/ozoneap.jpg

    There are however a number of problems with the NCEP-NCAR pressure sets ie they are bogus,(Connelly 2001 did note this) and a sensitive to initial condition’s (observations ) is detailed by Kalnay.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/wesley/paobs/ek.letter.html

    The ongoing problem with initial dependency (Ghil 2008) and irreducible imprecision(Mc Williams 2007 ) are discussed by Trebneth 2010 eg incorrect isentrophic gradients invoke conservation law problems .

  113. Jimbo says:

    Yet again we see Willis Eschenbach conducting peer review how peer review should be conducted. Alas, with climate science, all we get nowadays is “nudge, nudge, wink, wink say no more”. It’s a travesty and a shame. :o(

    Thank goodness for the internet as all the details are being recorded and stored for future scientists to look at how modern science had descended into a paid for religion of the 21st century.

  114. david elder says:

    Willis, check out Lawrence Solomon in his The Deniers Part IV: Polar Scientists on Thin Ice, 15 December 2006. Expert Duncan Wingham thinks the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is probably not due to global warming but to the fact that it sticks out so far that it contacts a warm current.

  115. Paul says:

    “Ed Caryl says:
    June 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    Willis,
    for an example of UHI, check this picture of the station at O’Higgins:
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/Raford2/RZLQhSiM02I/AAAAAAAAAC4/cbJtSC7rAgM/antarctica 101.jpg
    Find the Stevenson screen.”

    There is no excuse for putting the Stevenson screen there. They should know better at a research station. I would love to see an IR of that one.

    http://surfacestations.org/ has there work cut out for them.

  116. Ozzie John says:

    With difference being biased towards winter months I was thinking ….

    One thing about measuring temperatures in very cold places is the difference in temperatures that can occur very close to the ground. If you look at this link showing Dome A temperature graphs you can see that there can be up to 20 deg C difference in 3m of elevation when there is no wind. And there is an insulating effect for a buried sensor at 0.1m

    http://www.aad.gov.au/weather/aws/dome-a/index.html

    Dome A (at ~4000m elev.) is abviously a much different place to the penninsula but I wonder if the automatic measurement stations used in the penninsula could have caused some of this difference ? – ie: if the sensors are not regularly cleared of snow and adjusted to maintain 1m above the snow in winter.

  117. ES says:

    From your list of stations; 8 of them (1/4) are all on King George Island (KGI). It is approximately 95 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide with a land area of 1150 square kilometres. Included are:
    Centro Met.An, Marsh
    Bellingshause
    Great_wall
    King_sejong
    Jubany
    Arctowski
    Admirality Bay
    Ferraz

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_George_Island_(Antarctica)

  118. Jimbo says:

    Maybe we should think of the Peninsula as belonging to a different climate zone. This was covere on WUWT on April 18, 2009

    “….the climate of the peninsula has a significantly different set of temperature and precipitation norms than the majority of the main continent.”

  119. Baa Humbug says:

    Regards data coverage, does that mean no T data was recorded, or T data was discarded?

    Remembering the hpx83 article at savecapitalism back in December HERE
    And the Wigley email to Jones…

    From: Tom Wigley
    To: Phil Jones
    Subject: HadCRUT2v
    Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:16:28 -0700
    Cc: Tim Osborn , Ben Santer

    Phil,

    Why is there so much missing data for the South Pole? The period Jan 75 thru
    Dec 90 is all missing except Dec 81, July & Dec 85, Apr 87, Apr & Sept 88,
    Apr 89. Also, from and including Aug 2003 is missing.

    Also — more seriously but correctable. The S Pole is just represented
    by a single
    box at 87.5S (N Pole ditto I suspect). This screws up area averaging. It
    would be
    better to put the S Pole value in ALL boxes at 87.5S.

    hpx83 states…

    Tadaaaaa! Of the original 110 dataseries, only 18 are left. The original 2700+ datapoints are down to around 600. And what do you know – the series shows a whopping slope of 0.0447 which would mean a trend of 4.47 degrees of warming per century! I am sorry boys and girls, but there simply is no way in HELL that you can “accidentally” remove all series that show less of an upward trend, and settle for 18 of the most upward trending series (thus raising the warming / century by 3 degrees!)

  120. Gail Combs says:

    DB says:
    June 19, 2010 at 4:15 am

    15. D. G. Vaughan et al., Clim. Change 60, 243 (2003).

    Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/u52n45201t383m4r/

    Abstract:
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that mean global warming was 0.6 ± 0.2 °C during the 20th century and cited anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases as the likely cause of temperature rise in the last 50 years. But this mean value conceals the substantial complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally- and diurnally-biased, decadally-variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming, which was substantially more rapid than the global mean.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    HMMmmm, I wonder if someone slipped a decimal point using this data as well as just skimming the Abstract instead of actually reading it.

    “warming was 0.6 ± 0.2 °C …., over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming,”

  121. Robert says:

    Sorry willis, couldn’t get the paper back to you yet
    I get the message “We are currently experiencing difficulties with our electronic resources. Access may be affected. We apologize for any inconvience.”

    When I try to access my university’s library. I’ll try again tomorrow, cheers.

  122. Geoff Sherrington says:

    wsbriggs says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:03 am
    OK, guys, I know this is a dumb question, but can anyone explain to me how the data shows the high temperatures during May-August

    Yep, I noticed the warmth in mid-winter also. Something is badly wrong.

  123. Keith Minto says:

    A discussion of Rothera together its screen location in summer and winter was discussed here….. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/13/frigid-folly-uhi-siting-issues-and-adjustments-in-antarctic-ghcn-data/

  124. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Robert says:
    June 19, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Sorry willis, couldn’t get the paper back to you yet
    I get the message “We are currently experiencing difficulties with our electronic resources. Access may be affected. We apologize for any inconvience.”

    When I try to access my university’s library. I’ll try again tomorrow, cheers.

    Thanks, Robert, much appreciated.

  125. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    wsbriggs says:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:03 am

    OK, guys, I know this is a dumb question, but can anyone explain to me how the data shows the high temperatures during May-August

    Yep, I noticed the warmth in mid-winter also. Something is badly wrong.

    Guys, those graphs are not showing temperatures. They are showing temperature trends.

    w.

  126. Frank says:

    Willis: The authors of this Science paper claim that references 14 and 15 demonstrate a 6 degC rise in winter temperature on the WAP over the last 50 years. The abstracts for references 14 and 15 (below) provide no support for this claim. The proper way to challenge their statement is to consult these references and understand why they make this claim. When you fully understand the evidence behind their statement, then you can demonstrate why they are wrong – assuming you still think they are. If anyone challenged one of your analyses, I’m sure you would want them to take the trouble to fully understand your work before criticizing it.

    The WAP is one of three areas in the world allegedly showing the greatest “rapid recent regional” (RRR) warming. (They cite AR4 WGII Chapter 15, but a text search of this chapter didn’t uncover a discussion of three such regions.) Alarmists are claiming that these regions are a model for the ecological damage future climate change will cause, so it would be wonderful if someone could discredit “RRR warming”. It isn’t clear why the Science authors cite surface air temperature change, but not water temperature change, in an article about marine ecosystems. Instead, they discuss changes in ocean heat content – as if water temperature hundreds of meters below the surface has anything to do with marine productivity. Even worse, none of the ecosystem changes are linked to the alleged 6 degC air warming in WINTER. And the abstract for reference 15 says that GCG’s haven’t predicted the changes seen at the WAP, so there is no evidence linking ecological changes at the WAP to GHG-induced climate change. The extreme nature of the changes at the WAP presumably represent natural variation.

    “In part because of the heat and nutrients supplied by the Upper Circumpolar Deep Water, the WAP hosts an extremely productive marine ecosystem supported by large phytoplankton blooms (26). However, over the past 30 years the magnitude of these blooms has decreased by 12% (27). The changes have been particularly dramatic in the northern WAP, with declines driven by an increase in cloudy days, deep mixed layers associated with persistently strong winds, and a reduction in the marginal ice zone (27). There is evidence that the algal community composition has shifted from large to small cells (27, 28). These changes are not uniform across the Peninsula; areas in the south that were previously mostly covered with ice now have open water, allowing local ocean productivity rates to increase (27, 29). Nevertheless, the net productivity of the WAP appears to have decreased.”

    The heart of the paper is Figure 1, which is probably available free online and downloadable (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/figsonly/328/5985/1520).

    Figure 1 Caption: Fig. 1. Changes observed along the WAP over the past 30 years. Annual average air temperatures at Faraday/Vernadsky Station (65°15’S, 64°16’W) and Rothera Station (67°34’S, 68°08’W) have increased. There has been an increase in heat content (relative to freezing) of ACC slope water that had direct access to the WAP continental shelf (black diamonds). Average phytoplankton biomass declined between 1978–1986 and 1998–2006 (between 1987 until 1997, no ocean color satellite imagery was available). There were also large shifts in the penguin populations at Anvers Island from 1975 to 2008.

    Reference 14 abstract: “Observation of the retreat and disintegration of ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula during the last three decades and associated changes in air temperature, measured at various meteorological stations on the Antarctic Peninsula, are reviewed. The climatically induced retreat of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf on the east coast and of the Wordie, George VI, and Wilkins ice shelves on the west coast amounted to about 10 000 km2 since the mid-1960s. A summary is presented on the recession history of the Larsen Ice Shelf and on the collapse of those sections north of Robertson Island in early 1995. The area changes were derived from images of various satellites, dating back to a late 1963 image from the recently declassified US Argon space missions. This photograph reveals a previously unknown, minor advance of the northern Larsen Ice Shelf before 1975. During the period of retreat a consistent and pronounced warming trend was observed at the stations on both east and west coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula, but a major cause of the fast retreat and final collapse of the northernmost sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf were several unusually warm summers. Temperature records from the nearby station Marambio show that a positive mean summer temperature was reached for the first time in 1992-93. Recent observations indicate that the process of ice shelf disintegration is proceeding further south on both sides of the Antarctic Peninsula.”

    Reference 15 Abstract: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that mean global warming was 0.6 ± 0.2 °C during the 20th century and cited anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases as the likely cause of temperature rise in the last 50 years. But this mean value conceals the substantial complexity of observed climate change, which is seasonally- and diurnally-biased, decadally-variable and geographically patchy. In particular, over the last 50 years three high-latitude areas have undergone recent rapid regional (RRR) warming, which was substantially more rapid than the global mean. However, each RRR warming occupies a different climatic regime and may have an entirely different underlying cause. We discuss the significance of RRR warming in one area, the Antarctic Peninsula. Here warming was much more rapid than in the rest of Antarctica where it was not significantly different to the global mean. We highlight climate proxies that appear to show that RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is unprecedented over the last two millennia, and so unlikely to be a natural mode of variability. So while the station records do not indicate a ubiquitous polar amplification of global warming, the RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula might be a regional amplification of such warming. This, however, remains unproven since we cannot yet be sure what mechanism leads to such an amplification. We discuss several possible candidate mechanisms: changing oceanographic or changing atmospheric circulation, or a regional air-sea-ice feedback amplifying greenhouse warming. We can show that atmospheric warming and reduction in sea-ice duration coincide in a small area on the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, but here we cannot yet distinguish cause and effect. Thus for the present we cannot determine which process is the probable cause of RRR warming on the Antarctic Peninsula and until the mechanism initiating and sustaining the RRR warming is understood, and is convincingly reproduced in climate models, we lack a sound basis for predicting climate change in this region over the coming century.”

    The British Antarctic Survey (by the author of reference 15) says: “Since records began, 50 years ago, mean annual temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have risen rapidly [Turner, et al., 2005; Vaughan, et al., 2001; Vaughan, et al., 2003]. A total increase in mean annual air temperatures, of around 2.8 °C makes this the most rapidly warming region in the Southern Hemisphere – comparable to rapidly warming regions of the Arctic.” http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/bas_research/science/climate/antarctic_peninsula.php

  127. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Frank says:
    June 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Willis: The authors of this Science paper claim that references 14 and 15 demonstrate a 6 degC rise in winter temperature on the WAP over the last 50 years. The abstracts for references 14 and 15 (below) provide no support for this claim. The proper way to challenge their statement is to consult these references and understand why they make this claim. When you fully understand the evidence behind their statement, then you can demonstrate why they are wrong – assuming you still think they are. If anyone challenged one of your analyses, I’m sure you would want them to take the trouble to fully understand your work before criticizing it.

    Frank, thanks for your comments. You’ve made this same claim before, but you seem to not be following the story. I have shown all available datasets, none of which support the claim. I have looked at one of the references, and found nothing to support the claim. I’m waiting to get the other, and will report when it arrives.

    Now, I’m willing to put some good money on the idea that the other reference will show nothing as well. But I’m not willing to shell out $47 to read garbage. If you would like to pay for the reference and send it to me, I’ll gladly review it. Until then, I’m content to wait a couple days to get a free copy.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll look like an idiot for not consulting the reference. I greatly dislike looking like an idiot.

    Which is why I looked first at the CRUTEM dataset, and at the GISS1200 km land dataset, and at the GISS 250 km land dataset, and at the CRUTEM+HADSST land/ocean dataset, and at the GISS1200 km land/ocean dataset, and at the GISS 250 km land/ocean dataset, and at the UAH MSU satellite dataset, and at every freakin’ individual station on the entire Peninsula and surrounding islands, before making my claim.

    And having done so, I can assure you that regardless of what the final reference has to say, there’s no way that the West Antarctic Peninsula has warmed 6°C in the winter. The datasets don’t show it, and the station data doesn’t show it.

    This may represent a fundamental difference between how you do science, and how I do science. You read a paper and first go get the references.

    I, on the other hand, read the paper and first go get the underlying data. I don’t trust the paper, nor do I trust the references. I trust the data, and I would rather approach it with what Zen Buddhists call “beginners mind”. I don’t want to look first at how the references see the issue, that just clouds the beginners mind. I want to look first at the facts. Observations. Those are what count for me.

    PS – A final clue for me was that one of the two references was to a paper co-authored by William Connolley, which pretty much guaranteed that the authors of the original Science paper weren’t really all that interested in science …

  128. Baa Humbug says:

    Willis, is it worth looking at the data from a nearby island, South Orkney islands are nearby. Signy and Orcadas have weather stations.
    the late great John L Daly looked at these back in 2002 HERE under the title Life- an Extreme Ecological Response.

    Being so close, data from these islands may help shed light.

  129. paulo arruda says:

    Willis,
    Look NEWS (PDF). http://antartica.cptec.inpe.br/
    The data are from Station Comandante Ferraz Brazil. Scientific data and are VERY, very interesting. Last 24 years 0C anomaly.

  130. Tim Clark says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:June 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm
    This may represent a fundamental difference between how you do science, and how I do science. You read a paper and first go get the references.
    I, on the other hand, read the paper and first go get the underlying data. I don’t trust the paper, nor do I trust the references. I trust the data, and I would rather approach it with what Zen Buddhists call “beginners mind”. I don’t want to look first at how the references see the issue, that just clouds the beginners mind. I want to look first at the facts. Observations. Those are what count for me.

    Look at the data, what a novel concept. Kudos.

  131. Murray Duffin says:

    Willis, Using your all temperature station curve, I can easily eyeball an average blue winter temp in the early ’60s as minus 23 degrees, and a magenta average winter temperatures in the early 2000s as minus 14 degrees and get a warming of 9 degrees C over 40 years. The authors were being conservative!! Murray

  132. a reader says:

    I sometimes wonder if popular books and magazine articles check sources properly. This Time article says 6 degrees C, but could they mean F? On my National Geographic Antarctica map from 2002, it says that “the Antarctic Peninsula’s average temperature has increased by about 4 degrees F since the 1950s”. Later on in the same paragraph, they quote David Vaughan of BAS saying it’s “regional warming in an area with a highly variable climate”.

    Another book that I recently read is Mark Bowen’s “Thin Ice”. In that book on page 33 he makes a statement that I considered questionable:
    “At Britain’s Rothera Station, on the peninsula’s western shore, for instance, temperatures rose an astounding twenty degrees Fahrenheit in the last quarter of the twentieth century.” He references this to Vaughan et al. (2001) in Science. Could this possibly be correct? I couldn’t find this article online.

  133. George E. Smith says:

    Willis, I like your overhead map of Antarctica, including the yellow “first down markers”; the ones at -60 S, and -70 S latitudes.

    So that puts the whole of Antarctica in the “Antarctic” ( beyond -60S), including the Antarctic Peninsula. The -70S marker is even more interesting, because exactly half of the surface area beyond -60S lies south of -68.9 S so your marker is south of that. Now if you had included the entire Antarctic circle as well at -66.5 S, one would see that about encircles Antarctica, except for the tip of the Peninsula; and one would also see that the Ross and Weddell Seas carve deeply into that area beyond your -70 line.
    Which is why I stand by my statement, that there is actually more land in the Arctic, than there is in the Antarctic. That is not the same as saying that there is more sea in the Antarctic, than there is land; although that might be true too. I’m sure some expert googler, can actually come up with some land area number for Antarctica (of course omitting the sea ice shelves; since those are only temporary fixtures, that break up all the time.

    But I am still bamboozled Willis, as to why the Antarctic peninsula is warmer than the Ross sea coastline of Antarctica; shouldn’t they be the same Willis; I think Robert thinks they should be.

  134. peterhodges says:

    Chad Woodburn says:
    June 19, 2010 at 10:17 am

    It seems that all too often the definition of “scientists” is this: Educated fools who can manipulate and distort the data and the theory in such a skillful way ….that pretty much covers it for a lot of lawyers, doctors, economists, business experts, consultants, psychiatrists, educators, historians, theologians, and politicians….

    Ah! Glad to see philosophers not on the list ;)

    Robert says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Willis should not be taking in depth analysis until reading the papers in question which are referenced……you have to READ THE PAPERS prior to making these accusations. Like I always say, the biggest thing missing here is the lack of reading the core literature prior to mud flinging.

    I am going to start picking on you robert. you have an unwarranted faith in your peers, and you cannot see the world through your own prejudices.

    willis presents data. it does not matter whatever tripe these charlatans manage to pull out of their a**e*, Willis has shown it to be unsupported by real, actual, data.

    the data, like anyone, will confess to anything under torture. why bother reading the paper to see how they did it?

  135. Willis Eschenbach says:

    George E. Smith says:
    June 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

    …Which is why I stand by my statement, that there is actually more land in the Arctic, than there is in the Antarctic.

    George, I didn’t understand that at all, or why it is relevant. But in any case, here’s an overlay of Antarctica on the North Pole:

    The white circles are the Arctic/Antarctic circles at ±66.5°.

    The Antarctic has much more land than the Arctic. Let me run some numbers:

    Area inside the Antarctic circle: 2.12E7 km^2
    Area of Antarctica: 1.4E7 km^2, = ~ 2/3 of area is land.

    By eyeball, the Arctic (inside the Arctic Circle) is about the inverse of that, which is to say 1/3 land. Hang on, let me check that … yes, Google says:

    Area of Arctic Ocean: 1.4E7 km^2

    So they are almost exactly opposite. Inside the Antarctic Circle is 2/3 land, while inside the Arctic Circle it is 2/3 water. So there is twice as much land inside the Antarctic Circle as inside the Arctic Circle.

    This of course has a huge effect on the climate, particularly given the location of the land in each case. The Arctic is comprised of a thin skin of colder ice over warmer water. The Antarctic is a thick skin of ice over cold rock, cold to the bone.

    w.

  136. Willis Eschenbach says:

    a reader says:
    June 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Another book that I recently read is Mark Bowen’s “Thin Ice”. In that book on page 33 he makes a statement that I considered questionable:
    “At Britain’s Rothera Station, on the peninsula’s western shore, for instance, temperatures rose an astounding twenty degrees Fahrenheit in the last quarter of the twentieth century.” He references this to Vaughan et al. (2001) in Science. Could this possibly be correct? I couldn’t find this article online.

    a reader, thanks to the wonders of the web, you can check this yourself. Go to the GISS site. Type in “Rothera”, click “Search”, and click on the “Rothera” link on the page that comes up. You should see this page:

    From there you can download and analyze the data. The temperature rise (linear trend) for the last quarter of the 20th century (1975-1999) is 2.6°C, or 4.6°F … in other words, Bowen is an alarmist who a) doesn’t check his figures, and b) doesn’t have a “bad number detector”. I don’t know of a single station on the planet that warmed by 25°F over a quarter century, the “astounding” nature of the claim should have been a huge red flag for him.

    This is why I don’t first do what was recommended to me by Robert above, check the references. They are often wrong. I check the data first. Vaughn is the reference that I couldn’t find on the web, that I was castigated by Robert for not reading …

  137. a reader says:

    Thanks Mr. E.

    Bowen’s book also contains the Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 claim (on page 391). He claims to have a Phd in Physics from MIT and to have accompanied Lonnie Thompson on several of his expeditions to core glaciers, so he should have familiarity with the issues. Dr. Schmidt on RC gives the book a “big thumbs up” . In all fairness, I read a first edition of this book, so some of these data may have been corrected in later editions.

  138. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Willis Eschenbach says:
    June 22, 2010 at 11:38 am
    George E. Smith says:
    June 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

    …Which is why I stand by my statement, that there is actually more land in the Arctic, than there is in the Antarctic.

    George, I didn’t understand that at all, or why it is relevant. But in any case, here’s an overlay of Antarctica on the North Pole: “””

    Willis, why it is relevent, is that the land in the Antarctic; comprised almost exclusively of the Continent of Antarctica; forms a substrate for the deposition of vast quantities of snow, that eventually become ice, that is much more permanent than sea ice which has a habit of melting, and collapsing. So as the arctic sea ice melts; assuming without proof, that that might be happening; the open waters should result in more evaporation in the region; and to the extent that there is a lot of land in the Arctic, there is a lot of substrate on which elevated levels of snow frall can reside; so the amount of land actually available in the Arctic is of considerable interest for that reason.

    So I said:- “”” George E. Smith says:
    June 21, 2010 at 10:51 am
    Willis, I like your overhead map of Antarctica, including the yellow “first down markers”; the ones at -60 S, and -70 S latitudes.

    So that puts the whole of Antarctica in the “Antarctic” ( beyond -60S), including the Antarctic Peninsula. The -70S marker is even more interesting, because exactly half of the surface area beyond -60S lies south of -68.9 S so your marker is south of that. “””

    And in the several other places where I have made the same claim I have said basically the same.

    I did NOT and doNOT say there is more land inside the Arctic Circle, than there is inside the Antarctic circle.

    I said there is more land inside the Arctic, than there is in the Antarctic; and those regions ar commonly defined as beyond +/- 60 degrees; not 66.5 degrees; and I specifically mentioned beyond 60 degrees; even pointing out that half of the area in that region is beyond 68.9 degrees.

    So try overlapping your +/- 60 degree circles, instead of the Arctic and Antarctic circles at 66.5. In the Arctic lies more than 95% of alaska’ all of Greenland nearly all of Scandinavia, and a vast area of Russia (Siberia).

    Every climate paper reference to “The Arctic” or the Antarctic, that I have ever seen makes it clear that those regions start at 60 degrees; even to the point of mentioning that in 1850 or thereabouts there were precisely 12 weather stations “In the Arctic”; whereas Now we have some 70 odd and at one time had as many as 86 I believe.

    So much for continuity of data.

    But I have never made any secret of the fact that I regard those areas beyond 60 degrees to be in the Arctic or Antarctic respectively; and I always refer to the circles by name; whenever I wish to reference the Antarctic or the Arctic circles.

    So my point is all that Alaskan/Canadian/Russian/Scandinavian Land in the Arctic; will be a good repository for the increased levels of Snow Precipitation which will most certainly accompany an ice free Arctic ocean.

  139. Willis Eschenbach says:

    George E. Smith says:
    June 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I did NOT and do NOT say there is more land inside the Arctic Circle, than there is inside the Antarctic circle.

    I said there is more land inside the Arctic, than there is in the Antarctic; and those regions ar commonly defined as beyond +/- 60 degrees; not 66.5 degrees; and I specifically mentioned beyond 60 degrees; even pointing out that half of the area in that region is beyond 68.9 degrees.

    I see that we have a terminology problem. While in a slang sense the “Arctic” means “that cold area up north”, in a scientific sense it is specifically used to mean the area above the Arctic Circle at 66.5°N latitude (hence the name). As one of a host of examples, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center says:

    Arctic [ark-tik]- the area lying above 66 ½ degrees North latitude that includes the Northern Lands and Arctic Ocean.

    Thanks,

    w.

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