Bering sea water temperature, headed down

Apparently, not all the Arctic is warming to script. This is an interesting graph from PICES, titled The Bering Sea: Current Status and Recent Events.

Fig. 1 Time series of water temperatures at the Bering Sea mooring M2 (56.87°N, 164.03°W). Top panel: Daily depth-averaged water column temperatures. Bottom panel: Daily temperature anomalies at M2 (blue = negative and red = positive, left ordinate) and the percent of ice cover over the mooring (ellipses, right ordinate). Figure courtesy of Phyllis Stabeno and Nancy Kachel, NOAA.

It is accompanied by this text:

Normally, a moderate El Niño (as in winter 2010) would have resulted in a warmer Bering Sea and La Niña in winter 2011, and weakening in spring would have supported cooler conditions. However, in recent years it appears that the location of the Aleutian Low had more influence on the Bering Sea in 2010 and 2011 than did the intensity of the low or the ENSO connection.

Additionally, the report suggests the ecosystem of the Bering sea is not so bad after all, with plankton and fish volume on the rise.

There’s too much to reproduce here, read the entire article at PICES here:

http://www.pices.int/publications/pices_press/volume19/v19_n2/pp_35-37_BS_June2011.pdf

h/t to reader “Rosey”

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100 thoughts on “Bering sea water temperature, headed down

  1. This is in agreement with data from Bob Tisdale’s posts showing declining Arctic ocean OHC.

  2. Where was climate science state that ocean temperature was monolithic?

    From the article;

    “While there has been a rapid retreat of sea ice in
    the western Bering Sea, most of the western Arctic had
    been cooler than normal. A strong positive phase of the
    Arctic Oscillation (AO) characterized unusually low sea
    level pressures in much of the Arctic Ocean and drew
    warm air into the eastern Arctic.”

  3. This is anecdotal, but I have some fisherman friends on the Oregon coast one of which occasionally goes north to help his Brother-in-law do a little crabbing- he has said:” I think the
    North Pacific’s cooling off, our total catch is better!” He holds that the deep water is cooler and we ain’t seen nothing yet…
    But what does he know- he’s just a Fisherman/Crabber….

  4. go figure, ice over a single mooring and the SST drops to -1.8C. err that’s what it does.

    meanwhile, looking the whole picture, looks like a prediction of 5M-5.5M sq km isnt looking so
    good.

    ice melts for a whole host of reasons, wind currents, soot, warmer air, warmer water.

    In a world that is warming, all other things being roughly equal, arctic sea will retreat, over time. It wont retreat every day or every month or every year ( cause all other things are not really “equal”) some years may see huge losses, some years may rebound. but over time, over long stretches of time, those few extra Watts per year, integrate. slowly, methodically, they integrate. and since 1979 that is what you see. The ice that grows and shrinks every year, every year, on average, shrinks a little more. and a little more.

  5. I guess the guys on the Deadliest Catch are going to be in for another tough Opie season.

  6. Interesting read. Joe Bastardi had a tweet a few days ago saying, “Just looked at JAMSTEC Atlantic ocean forecast over next year. AMO shifts to cold next year,1st cold PDO/AMO year since 70s.” AMO going cold could increase sea ice as well as making for colder temps for the northern hemisphere and so forth. This is what people should eye in the next decade. It’s the other half ingredient that could have a notable effect on global temps.

  7. There was a comment made on the show, Deadliest Catch, that the winter ice has been worsening in the Bearing Sea crab grounds over the last few years.

  8. For more than 55 million years, Canada’s Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic, remained in one place while the world around it changed. Fifty-five million years ago, verdant forests grew at 75° North latitude. These wetland forests, comprised of species now primarily found in China, grew on an alluvial plain where channels meandered back and forth and periodic floods buried stumps, logs, and leaves intact. Today the forests are preserved as coal seams that outcrop on the edges …of modern Ellesmere Island, where there are no forests, and the tallest vegetation grows less than 15 cm high. Large parts of the area are polar desert, subject to intensely cold and dark winters and minimal precipitation.

    Why can’t we demand AGW fanatics explain that? Why don’t we demand the AGW fanatic explain no petroleum products to blame for that this earth that completely heated up on its own. No SUVs to blame. No human made CO2 to blame. Then why did this earth warm up so much? Who or what gets the blame for that? And why did this same earth with no help from humans freeze over where todays Ellesmere is a cold dead place literally frozen in time where nothing over inches grow?

    It is fully appropriate the Bering Sea, like every other sea on the planet, acts in its own environment, especially considering in the case of the Arctic we barely have 30 years of modern knowledge in which to rely on is ridiculous for anyone to make any judgments on long term climate in light of what I wrote above. This is a 4+ billion year old entity with a long history of changes both warm and cold with no humans available to effect the vast amount of historical changes. Therefore, it occurs to me WE have the winning hand here – we on this site know earth science and its about time we actually used our knowledge to fight back.

  9. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    “In a world that is warming, all other things being roughly equal, arctic sea will retreat, over time. It wont retreat every day or every month or every year ( cause all other things are not really “equal”) some years may see huge losses, some years may rebound. but over time, over long stretches of time, those few extra Watts per year, integrate. slowly, methodically, they integrate. and since 1979 that is what you see. The ice that grows and shrinks every year, every year, on average, shrinks a little more. and a little more.”

    For the sake of discussion I’m willing to stipulate to most of that, although I remain dubious that “those few extra Watts per year” have actually been demonstrated to be the primary driver of the situation in the Arctic. But, be that as it may, I still find myself with the same question I have posited here and elsewhere, on numerous occasions, without ever receiving a satisfactory response. That question is; why exactly are we supposed to be getting our undies in a bunch about this? Or somewhat less flippantly; what is the exact nature of the “catastrophe” that supposedly awaits us if this trend was to continue to its doom prophesied conclusion?

  10. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    In a world that is warming, all other things being roughly equal…

    But maybe all other things aren’t being roughly equal. Maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing a cooling trend that will swing global temperatures the other way, and the arctic sea will indeed retreat, over time, as a preponderance of ice takes over.

  11. Dave Wendt says:
    July 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    About 2/3000 years after the next ice-age starts the Greenland ice-cap will begin it’s catastrophic 5000 year melt-down. /sarc

    Mosher’s statement should read “In an Arctic that is warming, all other things being roughly equal….”

    Global warming. Monolithically. At high latitudes. In winter. Mostly at night, that’s what they say, mostly. (HT to Eric Cartman)

    They shriek that albedo drops and runaway warming takes hold. It’s never happened before, apparently.

  12. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Wow! What a vision! Mosher has become poetic. And his poetry is very revealing about the soul of the Warmista. All that is real is radiation. Radiation will overcome any and all natural processes.

  13. If you look at a small enough area over a short enough time period, you will always be able to find what looks like a trend going in the opposite direction to any trend that exists on the larger scales in space and time.

    Do you not think that ignoring what is happening over the Arctic as a whole, and looking just at the one little bit of data that confirms your point of view, is a bit desperate?

    Do you also have no comment about the statement from NSIDC about northern hemisphere snow cover? It turns out that while you were oh-so-excited about lots of snow in a couple of places in the US, it was overall the year with the second lowest snow cover in the northern hemisphere since 1966.

  14. I wonder if this is why Summer has nearly gone kaput the past few years here on the West Coast.

    The prog for the next week depicts what appears to be the onset of Climatic Autumn. Cold fronts pushing further and further equatorward, first Fall snows in the BC Coastal Mountains, maybe a dusting in the Sierra High Country down here.

  15. @Steven Mosher

    Is that the latest version of the ‘we’re all doomed sermon’?

    To me it’s just one big recreation area opening up. /sarc

  16. “For the sake of discussion I’m willing to stipulate to most of that, although I remain dubious that “those few extra Watts per year” have actually been demonstrated to be the primary driver of the situation in the Arctic. But, be that as it may, I still find myself with the same question I have posited here and elsewhere, on numerous occasions, without ever receiving a satisfactory response. That question is; why exactly are we supposed to be getting our undies in a bunch about this? Or somewhat less flippantly; what is the exact nature of the “catastrophe” that supposedly awaits us if this trend was to continue to its doom prophesied conclusion?”

    well, those few extra watts. over 100 years ago we measured the extra watts that result from a doubling of C02. about 4 Watts. A tiny amount really. why the difference between miami and minneapolis is about 75 watts. But those 4 watts get integrated year in and year out, Thats not even counting feedbacks. If you dropped 7.5 watts a year and held that constant for a few hundred thousand years, you’d be in an ice age. So, little things add up.

    1. you will see NOTHING in my post that indicates that I believe these extra watts are the PRIMARY driver. nope. Not saying that.
    2. Not saying that you need to get your panties in a bunch over those excess watts. not saying that.

    just a simple observation. the good readers here know that Ice melts for many reasons. Not just one reason. You’ve got many reasons, some contribute more than others. it depends on the year. However, you all know, that over time, if you add more heat to the planet the ice at the north pole will go down, eventually. Day in and day out, month in and month, year in and year out, you will OF COURSE see the forces (wind, soot, currents) that operate on short time scales having a big impact. but over time, over decades, over multiple decades, those short terms wiggles ( dramatic in the moment) will all be wiggles about a slowly descending line. So we might blame this year on soot or wind or currents or whatever, but the force that acts slowly and methodically wont be denied. 2020? 2030? doesnt really matter. And who knows its probably been gone before maybe in the MWP, not really the point is it.

  17. No billy, I dont think you’ll see any doom in anything I believe about the future. Nope no doom. try again.

  18. Rocky;

    “But maybe all other things aren’t being roughly equal. Maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing a cooling trend that will swing global temperatures the other way, and the arctic sea will indeed retreat, over time, as a preponderance of ice takes over.”

    What I mean by all other things being “roughly equal”

    as you all know some years the wind patterns drive the ice to melt faster, other years they dont. Over time, that force is ‘roughly equal’, Now soot, soot may not be roughly equal, it could get better and stay better. It could get worse and stay worse. Currents that help melt ice, on balance over time, they dont work to give us ice free arctics. maybe a few decades up, and then a few decades down.. But, add extra watts year and year out. integrate that over decades.. you’ll have LESS Ice than you would otherwise.

  19. The amount of heat being lost by the oceans by the melting of ice is huge. The amount of heat lost to the night sky when no ice is covering the oceans in the Arctic is also prodigious. This is our wonderful earth dumping heat from the last few rampant solar cycles that gave us less cloud cover, thus warming the oceans. If our sun does not awaken soon our oceans will cool for decades, the outcome far worse than any minor warming. To those who believe that CO2 is our enemy it maybe our saviour in a cooling world.

  20. @Mosh – as a slight query/aside on the ‘few watts’ issue, I assume you are talking ‘net’ values here. On the reasonable assumption that (for whatever reason) a net heat energy increase takes place in the atmosphere/LT and oceans, etc – there will be a corresponding net increase in radiative heat loss to space, albeit delayed by a time factor reflecting that it takes a period of time for that net increase to occur. During cooling, of course, the opposite occurs. So the really important point is the length of the time period over which such a net increase (or loss) occurs.

    If one wants to consider that the earths atmosphere has been heated by a couple of watts constantly for the last 50 years as a result of CO2/AGW (though of course we know we are warming from the last ice age in any case – but we will ignore that for a minute) – is this 50 year time frame enough for the external (into space) radiative emmisions to have risen by the same ‘couple of watts’ and thus ‘equilibrium’ to have been reached? (though of course we must remember that at the TOA, the actual emission rate would be proportionately lower due to its greatly increased surface area – indeed, would it even be measurable?)

    My query is therefore quite simply, what is the actual thermal ‘mass’ of the planet and how much energy would be required to change that thermal mass a signifcant (i.e. measurable amount) – or put another way, would a few watts over 50 years be physically enough to cause the alleged temperature rises allowing for the ‘spread’ of the heat energy through the entire thermal mass of the planet?
    Has anyone ever worked this out, to a reasonable degree of acuracy, say +/- 50% (which is exceedingly accurate in climate science terms!)?

    It strikes me that a primary indicator of an actual real life ‘almost’ proof if you like, of AGW based global warming as a result of any net heat energy increase (your few watts) would require that it can be shown that such a constant net increase over the requisite period of time could be demonstrated by an empirical analysis of the total earth thermal mass and its temperature (should this amount of energy actually be ‘retained’ instead of passing back out to space)?. Has this ever been done?

  21. @Mosh – sorry for being a bit convoluted – hope you (and anyone else) can understand my point. As an engineer, I’d just use the term back analysis – but thought I’d need to explain it needs to be done backwards from a knowledge of the thermal mass (or inertia if you prefer) of the earth system. Personally, I cannot see a few watts having a measurable effect over 50 years – but I do agree that over millenia, this could be expected. I am wondering if anyone has actually worked a rough and ready calculation out?

  22. This entire discussion shows how little direct relationship there is between SST’s in a portion of the Bering Sea and the overall state of sea ice across the whole of the Arctic, where SST’s are, and have been above average for many years– and the low year-to-year sea ice extent certainly reflects that. And this little extract from the research posted above mentioned:

    “Both years, 2011 and 2010, exhibited warm temperature
    anomalies in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas that
    have remained an Arctic-wide feature since the beginning
    of the 21st century.”

    Note: WARM TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES…ARCTIC WIDE FEATURE

    So the Arctic waters have been warmer than average for the past 11 years, despite multiple El Nino’s and La Ninas, and despite an intense solar minimum…and not just the waters, but the land as well as permafrost is melting too. These are all inconvenient truths for some who might want to place all climate forcing on oceans or sun alone.

  23. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    “What I mean by all other things being “roughly equal”…”

    ____
    Problem is, all things can never be “roughly equal” again when looking at the recent past, as we have an atmosphere that is not equal in composition to the range it had been in for the past million years, as greenhouse gases are at their highest levels in at least a million years. How can “all things be equal” under those conditions? The best we can hope for is too look to the past, when things were roughly like they were now in terms of Milankovtich cycles, atmospheric composition, etc. and see what the earth was like then. That takes us back to the Pliocene, roughly 3 million years ago:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/199704_pliocene/

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Bright-Green/2010/0108/Comparing-Earth-s-current-warming-to-the-Pliocene

    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2011/3/pliocene-climate-lessons

  24. Steve Mosher,
    If you added an extra 7w/m2 year in, year out, the earth would heat up by about two degrees and reach an new equilibrium. The ocean heat content would appear to take about 5 years reach the new equilibrium and Ice might take a decade to a couple of centuries depending on its formation processes.
    With regards to arctic ice there is a huge number of variables such as fresh water outflow from russia which creates a fertile low density high freezing point layer for ice to form.
    As for feedbacks you need to consider the two dominant negative feedbacks, the increase in black body radiation where increasing temp decreases the proportion emitted at wavelengths corresponding to the critical CO2 band, and the increase in convective cooling which is responsible for greater energy transfer than radiation from the surface, increases exponentially with increasing temp and is deliberately underestimated in computer models (which model it as a linear process)

  25. I’m sorry wayne co2 won’t do us much good if our government spends billions to bury it underground like they are doing here in Alberta!

  26. That DMI air temp (N of 80N) graphic doesn’t seem very predictive, does it? During the past 50 Arctic sea ice has been melting like crazy.

  27. The Arctic is going through its normal natural variability cycle. The North Pole has been ice free in the recent historical past, and there is no doubt at all that the N. Pole has been ice free at various times during the Holocene – when CO2 was below 300 ppmv.

    The climate alarmist crowd clings to the current Arctic ice cycle like a drowning man clings to a popsicle stick. It’s all they have left of their endless scary predictions. Too bad the Antarctic isn’t cooperating with the scaremeisters. And they still cannot produce one iota of testable evidence showing the current decline is caused by human emissions.

    Without evidence, it’s all just arm-waving.

  28. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am
    ***
    Steven – I rephrase your post, but applying the same logic:

    “In a world that is COOLING, all other things being roughly equal, ANTARCTIC sea [ICE] will GROW, over time. It won’t GROW every day or every month or every year (’cause all other things are not really “equal”) some years may see huge GROWTH, some years may SHRINK. But over time, over long stretches of time, those few FEWER Watts per year integrate slowly, methodically, they integrate, and since 1979 that is what you see. The ice that grows and shrinks every year, every year, on average, GROWS a little more. and a little more.’
    ***********************************************************
    I live at 43.5 degrees south, visitors to Scott base from this part of the world confirm the growth of sea ice over time, as also recorded in the satellite photo record since 1979.

    All the best.

  29. Smokey, of course there have been open water leads near the north pole in the recent past, as today, but that’s not what interests the scientists. An ice-free central arctic has probably not existed for at least several thousand years, but we’re moving very rapidly in that direction now. What’s your evidence for a “natural cycle” like that?

    As for the Antarctic, better not look now.

  30. Information has become so suspect on sea ice data, that I don’t know who, what, or where to get reliable data anymore.
    Example.
    Anthony has on his Sea Ice page images from several sources and none of the visual data seems to match each other.
    The University of Illinois – Cryosphere Today image for 7-17(19?) shows sea ice in Baffin Bay, but not in Hudson Bay or parts of the Beaufort Sea.
    The NSIDC shows a similar image but with a speck of ice in the Hudson.
    The CIS shows ice for both the Baffin and Hudson and more pronounced ice in the straits of the Beaufort.
    Another image that isn’t displayed on WUWT, but can be found at the NIC, show more pronounced ice in the Baffin, Hudson and the Beaufort.
    Having said this, any data to suggest more or less melt from previous years, cannot be determined, if this current data from these providers, cant agree or show even a modicum of regularity.
    I even supported JAXA until last years spring, when their data started to become suspect.
    There are too many irregularities among these data providers for me to feel comfortable to agree or disagree with the amount of sea ice loss anymore.

    Is it possible that these different images are being taken at different times of the day, and
    could there be enough discrepancies throughout the day to skew the data?
    /rhetorical

    I would like to just come out and say that the data is falsified, but its probably more likely that the culprit is an ‘interpretation’ of the data.

    Too many jobs are at stake.
    Too much money is on the line.

    Just more garbage.

    When Kevin mentioned that it was a shame that they couldn’t ‘hide the decline’ (re: global temps), little did we know that his statement would become a mission for men of his ilk to do so.

  31. Gneiss says:

    “What’s your evidence for a ‘natural cycle’ like that?”

    Glad you asked: click

    An ice-free North Pole is routine. But by all means, continue that impotent arm-waving if it satisfies some inner urge. ☺

  32. Smokey, you missed the boat. As I said,
    “of course there have been open water leads near the north pole in the recent past, as today, but that’s not what interests the scientists.”

    But,
    “An ice-free central arctic has probably not existed for at least several thousand years, but we’re moving very rapidly in that direction now. What’s your evidence for a “natural cycle” like that?”

  33. CFA, you could learn more about the different arctic ice measures by reading about them. Their own websites contain some information, and so do science-oriented blogs. The calculations are made by different research teams using different algorithms and sometimes different instruments, so of course they do not all get the same numbers. They do all get pretty much the same trends, there is no controversy among arctic scientists about that.

    Robert Grumbine wrote a nice analysis recently about the fantasy that arctic ice decline might be the work of a conspiracy.

  34. Gneiss,

    My citation didn’t refer to “open water leads.” That was your own misdirection. My citation was a first hand account of entirely open water at the North Pole. If you want more first hand reports, just ask. My evidence for a ‘central ice free Arctic’ has been presented. Unfortunately for you, your response was to ignore that first hand evidence.

    You are a true believer and therefore can’t be convinced of real world events, but for the undecided readers: if the current cycles exceed the Holocene parameters, then something unusual is occurring. But so far, the current cycles are well within historical parameters. Sorry about that, Gneiss, I know you desperately crave climate doom. But it just isn’t happening.

  35. Alistair Ahs says:
    “Do you also have no comment about the statement from NSIDC about northern hemisphere snow cover? It turns out that while you were oh-so-excited about lots of snow in a couple of places in the US, it was overall the year with the second lowest snow cover in the northern hemisphere since 1966.”

    But what about snow depth? What caused all the flooding around Minot, North Dakota?

  36. @Steve Mosher
    You appeal to the long term in regard tot the supposed radiative balance effect of CO2. Hovever the long term offers no respite for CAGW; over the whole Phanerozoic the correlation between proxy measured CO2 and global temperature is non-existent.

    (Data posted by Bill Illis, sorry no link, this is from a mobile phone.)

    Likewise data posted recently by Norm Kalmanovich over at Climate etc. compares temperatures on earth with Venus (much more CO2) and Mars, and shows that the relation between planetary temperature, atmospheric pressure and proximity to the sun shows no effect whatsoever of CO2.

    Within the next year or 2 as the AMO (of which Arctic ice is an inverse index) starts to fall from its current peak, your faith in CAGW and the Arctic death spiral will increasingly be put to the test.

  37. @ Kev-in-UK

    I suspect you can find the information you seek in the WGI section of the AR4 report from the IPCC. For example, from the technical summary there is this figure of energy content change:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-5-4.html

    I reckon that if you take that and then have a look at some of the SST/OHC data and play around with the numbers you will be able to get the answer you want.

    Short answer is: Yes, of course, many people have thought of that question already.

  38. “What caused all the flooding around Minot, North Dakota?”

    A local anomaly. As I said, these will happen in the opposite sign to the overall anomaly. We’re concerned, in the first instance, with the global long-term signal. You can’t contradict a global long-term signal with noise at one point in time and space.

  39. “My citation didn’t refer to “open water leads.”

    Yes, it did. The central arctic covers well over 4 million km2, and neither your news story nor any other has reported that water open in historical times.

    “I know you desperately crave climate doom.”

    You know many things that aren’t true.

  40. Folks, observe cognitive dissonance in action: Gneiss fabricates his own reality, and when contrary evidence is presented, this is his response.

    Gneiss will never accept the reality that the North Pole has been ice free numerous times throughout the Holocene, when global temperatures were much warmer. We’re not trying to convince true believers like Gneiss – he is beyond reason and into fantasyland. But we can show the undecided that there is nothing unusual happening. The Antarctic ice cover is increasing, therefore human emissions are not the cause of the Arctic decline, which is simply natural variability.

  41. “Gneiss will never accept the reality that the North Pole has been ice free numerous times throughout the Holocene, when global temperatures were much warmer.”

    Smokey, you’re tossing a flurry of insults about who you imagine I am and what you imagine I think, without stopping to read what I actually wrote. Here it is a third time:

    “Smokey, of course there have been open water leads near the north pole in the recent past, as today, but that’s not what interests the scientists. An ice-free central arctic has probably not existed for at least several thousand years, but we’re moving very rapidly in that direction now. What’s your evidence for a “natural cycle” like that?”

    A few clues, in case any calmer readers are following this exchange:
    – “North pole” does not equal “central arctic ocean.” One is a geographic point, the other a 4+ million km2 area.
    – Similarly, leads in an ice pack at or near the north pole do not equal an ice-free central arctic. You could surface a sub in a lead; you could sail Barrow to Franz Josef across an ice-free central Arctic.
    – “Recent historical past” (past few decades? a few centuries?) does not equal “the Holocene” (past 11,700 years).
    – When someone writes “has probably not existed for at least several thousand years,” they are agreeing it could have happened during the Holocene. When someone writes “”Gneiss will never accept the reality that the North Pole has been ice free numerous times throughout the Holocene” they prove they didn’t read or understand that, even though it was repeated twice.

  42. Wil says:
    July 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

    CO2 concentrations during the Eocene (~55 million years ago) were >1000ppm, more than 4 times pre-industrial levels. That might be the answer why it was warmer back then…

    Kind of shot yourself in the foot with that arguement!

  43. Smokey says:
    July 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    That article also states that the party saw “rocky islands” at the pole. The nearest island to the pole is north of Greenland and about 700km away. I guess they must have been in the wrong place after all.

  44. Steven Mosher says:
    July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

    “In a world that is warming, all other things being roughly equal, arctic sea will retreat, over time. It wont retreat every day or every month or every year ( cause all other things are not really “equal”) some years may see huge losses, some years may rebound. but over time, over long stretches of time, those few extra Watts per year, integrate. slowly, methodically, they integrate. and since 1979 that is what you see. The ice that grows and shrinks every year, every year, on average, shrinks a little more. and a little more.”

    That phantasmagorical Trenberth-Kiehl cartoon “back radiation warming” should work at polar nights predominantly. However, most warming per season has been occurring during the summer times, hinting either AO thing, or cloud coverage, or influx of warmer Gulf Stream water into high latitudes due to warm AMO mode. Not speaking that the sine wave pattern has obviously nothing to do with Keeling curve, except so called experts w*nking tirelessly on the recent 30-years trend cunningly selecting 1979 as a point of creation of the Universe.

    http://climexp.knmi.nl/plotseries.cgi?someone@somewhere+i+crutem3_hadsst2_0-360E_60-90N_n_su+CRUTEM3%HadSST2_T2m/SST_anom_0-360E_60-90N+Index+season

  45. @Steve Mosher
    Thanks for a reasonable, rational comment, as usual.
    I admit I’m a little bit confused by the idea of ‘a few watts of energy adding up over time’. I think of it as a matter of moving the point of equilibrium. After all, if all the watts of solar energy received were to up over time, then the earth would have been a fireball long since.
    In contrast, the extra energy retained by extra CO2 is subject to the law of diminishing returns, whereas the cooling down effect of extra heat is a fourth power phenomenon.
    I know I’m misunderstanding you, but I’m not sure how. Could you please clarify for me?

  46. to Steve E:

    —- and in the Silurian there were tropical reefs in the Arctic Islands, now exposed. What does it prove? It confirms that the North Pole was not anywhere in that vicinity. In fact, the equator ran roughly through the Labrador Sea, from North to South, I believe.
    It’s called “polar wandering” and it’s being going on throughout geologic time.
    It also is an aspect of paleoclimatology that is often overlooked.

  47. We’re feeling the effects of that lower Bering Sea temp in the PNW, being that the N. Pacific lows keeps dumping down on top of us.
    La Beringa.

  48. Gneiss says:
    July 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Robert Grumbine wrote a nice analysis recently about the fantasy that arctic ice decline might be the work of a conspiracy.

    I shouldn’t, I know. My apologies to the readers.

    You are one troll I don’t mind commenting here Gneiss.

    The predictability of your rhetoric mimics, with singular similarity, every eco-facist I’ve run across.

    Whats that old adage, ‘Hypocrite! First get rid of the mountain of lies out of your own head; then you will see well enough to deal with the knoll of uncertainty in your friend’s mind.’

    Forget Robert Grumbine. His thought analysis is about as effective as a colander holding water.

    My issue is with the irregularities of the data from different sources, of the same event, from the same time. If data from 5 different sources can’t agree upon one particular conclusion, then it stands to reason that other conclusions cannot be agreed upon.

    To have multiple services disagree with a products outcome, such that daily sea ice data is, I am not going to agree with any of their conclusions.

    It’s not a freaking conspiracy when the data don’t match; It’s a travesty.

    Just like Kevin Trenberth said.

  49. Albert Jacobs says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
    1) Read Wil’s comment and you might understand my response.
    2) The pole might wander but the equator doesn’t, that’s always been there.
    3) The pole didn’t wander down level with the equator during the Silurian
    4) Don’t lecture a geologist on geology

  50. SteveE says:
    July 20, 2011 at 11:59 am
    Albert Jacobs says:
    July 20, 2011 at 8:52 am
    <<1) Read Wil’s comment and you might understand my response.
    <<2) The pole might wander but the equator doesn’t, that’s always been there.
    <<3) The pole didn’t wander down level with the equator during the Silurian
    <>

    Well Steve, I stopped lecturing geologists a long time ago. I was just pointing out that Ellesmere Island was in the tropics during Silurian time and that pre-rift reconstructions – of which there are several – point to the Equator running “through the Labrador Sea”, a Jurassic feature which, as we both know, probably did not exist in Silurian times.
    However your comment above is misplaced and I did not say what you said I did. Some of it sounds strange indeed and you miss it by a country mile.
    You jump to conclusions about my qualifications. I did my doctoral exam in geology in the 1950’s.
    I also resent being misquoted, which is something one does not do in science circles.
    I have no desire to be in any further contact with you.

  51. Well, Smokey called names and showed a monkey picture, but not to be outdone here comes CFA:
    “eco-facist”
    “Hypocrite!”

    What’s it about? CFA noticed that different sea ice area or extent websites don’t show identical maps, which confused him,
    “Is it possible that these different images are being taken at different times of the day, and could there be enough discrepancies throughout the day to skew the data?”

    I wrote a simple note about the ice indexes,
    “CFA, you could learn more about the different arctic ice measures by reading about them. Their own websites contain some information, and so do science-oriented blogs. The calculations are made by different research teams using different algorithms and sometimes different instruments, so of course they do not all get the same numbers. They do all get pretty much the same trends, there is no controversy among arctic scientists about that.”

    Perhaps someone can help CFA by articulating just what was eco-fascist and hypocritical in my statement. Far as I know it’s simple truth. Can you not learn more by reading what the host websites or ice scientists have written about these measures? Do the teams not use different algorithms and sometimes instruments? Or for that matter different smoothing, and different definitions of what they’re measuring such as “area” or “extent”? Given that, is it really suspicious or discrediting that they don’t get identical numbers? It would seem more suspicious if they did! And yet, despite minor differences, do they not all find similar trends, such as September means falling by around 160 or 170 thousand square km per year since 2002 (which is the starting point for IJIS; longer periods can be used to compare the older indexes)? Is there a controversy among arctic scientists about that fact?

  52. @ Gneiss

    As I know, you know, gneiss is defined as:

    A metamorphic rock with a banded or foliated structure, typically coarse-grained and consisting mainly of feldspar, quartz, and mica
    =======
    Why the short term view ?
    If you are going to play the contrarian, I’d like to see more effort on your part.

  53. Gneiss has moved the goal posts to “there have been open water leads near the north pole in the recent past, as today, but that’s not what interests the scientists.”

    Since I didn’t raise the issue of open water leads, Gneiss is simply changing the subject. The early 1900’s citation I gave above for an open Arctic ocean as far as the eye can see has been morphed by Gneiss into ‘open water leads.’

    If it were not for obfuscation, misdirection, changing the subject, and psychological projection, the alarmist claque wouldn’t have much to say. Their evidence is not even flimsy, it is non-existent. Yet they continue their scare tactics.

    The fact remains that the current climate, including the Arctic, is well within it’s historical parameters. And nothing Gneiss has said changes that fact.

  54. Albert Jacobs says:
    July 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Sorry if you think I misquoted you, but you said:

    “In fact, the equator ran roughly through the Labrador Sea, from North to South, I believe.”

    That is simply not true and is why I expressed comments 2 & 3. Perhaps that’s not what you meant, but the way you phrased it gave that indication.

  55. An old axiom: No one writes well the first time. It seems that most of the writers don’t express themselves very well in their haste to say something. Slow down, drafting is difficult. Now you know!

  56. ukus writes,
    “Why the short term view ?
    If you are going to play the contrarian, I’d like to see more effort on your part.”

    I’m not playing anything. My short term view (I’m guessing you mean since 2002) was chosen because IJIS data begin in 2002 and CFA’s post was about comparing it with other indices. If we drop IJIS then the other indexes go back to 1979 or 1972; there are reconstructions from submarine and other observations into the 1950s, and various ice-edge or proxy-based reconstructions going back much farther. There’s been some very interesting recent work on these topics. All of it underlines the exceptionally fast recent decline.

    But you can look those studies up just like you did the definition of gneiss. Why would you like to see more effort on my part?

  57. Smokey writes,
    “Gneiss has moved the goal posts to ‘there have been open water leads near the north pole in the recent past, as today, but that’s not what interests the scientists.'”

    The goal posts haven’t moved at all, scientists have been saying that all along. On blogs and in media, non-scientists often confuse the concept of an “ice-free central arctic” with commonplace polynyas or open water leads like the 1926 expedition saw. The current pan-arctic low extent has no precedent in recent historical times, according to recent studies I’ve seen. Much farther back there have been other ice-free eras, but the current rate of change still appears unusual.

    Smokey also writes
    “obfuscation”
    “misdirection”
    “changing the subject”
    “psychological projection”
    “alarmist claque”
    “flimsy”
    “scare tactics”

  58. Joltinjoe says:
    July 21, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Well said. For the most part none of us know with whom we are conversing. Let us leave the jumping to conclusions, name-calling and obscuration to the challenged.

    To throw some light on my use of the word challenged: Those who believe the climate only conformed to homoeostasis before mankind started burning stuff.

  59. Henry Galt writes,
    “Let us leave the jumping to conclusions, name-calling and obscuration to the challenged. To throw some light on my use of the word challenged: Those who believe the climate only conformed to homoeostasis before mankind started burning stuff.”

    That leaves the jumping, calling, and obscuration to just about nobody, which of course would be a good thing.

  60. Gneiss says:
    July 21, 2011 at 7:15 am
    “But you can look those studies up just like you did the definition of gneiss”
    =====
    OK, I took your bait.
    You say:
    “There’s been some very interesting recent work on these topics. All of it underlines the exceptionally fast recent decline.”
    =====
    Do you care to explain this statement, or should I take it at face value, considering it is the utterance of an Authority.

  61. ukus writes,
    “OK, I took your bait.”

    If you took my bait you would have looked up some studies, that was a real suggestion. You seem not to have tried it, but here’s one place to start: Polyak et al. in QSR 2010.

    “Arctic sea-ice extent and volume are declining rapidly. Several studies project that the Arctic Ocean may become seasonally ice-free by the year 2040 or even earlier. Putting this into perspective requires information on the history of Arctic sea-ice conditions through the geologic past. This information can be provided by proxy records from the Arctic Ocean floor and from the surrounding coasts. Although existing records are far from complete, they indicate that sea ice became a feature of the Arctic by 47 Ma, following a pronounced decline in atmospheric pCO2 after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations. The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in the early Holocene, after which the northern high latitudes cooled overall, with some superimposed shorter-term (multidecadal to millennial-scale) and lower-magnitude variability. The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities.”

  62. And here’s another, Spielhagen et al. in Science 2011:

    “Abstract

    The Arctic is responding more rapidly to global warming than most other areas on our planet. Northward-flowing Atlantic Water is the major means of heat advection toward the Arctic and strongly affects the sea ice distribution. Records of its natural variability are critical for the understanding of feedback mechanisms and the future of the Arctic climate system, but continuous historical records reach back only ~150 years. Here, we present a multidecadal-scale record of ocean temperature variations during the past 2000 years, derived from marine sediments off Western Svalbard (79°N). We find that early–21st-century temperatures of Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming.”

  63. Or, Kwok & Rothrock GRL 2009 (I’ll stop after this one).

    “The decline of sea ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean
    from ICESat (2003–2008) is placed in the context of
    estimates from 42 years of submarine records (1958–2000)
    described by Rothrock et al. (1999, 2008). While the earlier
    1999 work provides a longer historical record of the
    regional changes, the latter offers a more refined analysis,
    over a sizable portion of the Arctic Ocean supported by a
    much stronger and richer data set. Within the data release
    area (DRA) of declassified submarine sonar measurements
    (covering 38% of the Arctic Ocean), the overall mean
    winter thickness of 3.64 m in 1980 can be compared to a
    1.89 m mean during the last winter of the ICESat record—
    an astonishing decrease of 1.75 m in thickness. Between
    1975 and 2000, the steepest rate of decrease is 0.08 m/yr
    in 1990 compared to a slightly higher winter/summer rate of
    0.10/0.20 m/yr in the five-year ICESat record (2003–
    2008). Prior to 1997, ice extent in the DRA was >90%
    during the summer minimum. This can be contrasted to the
    gradual decrease in the early 2000s followed by an abrupt
    drop to <55% during the record setting minimum in 2007.
    This combined analysis shows a long-term trend of sea ice
    thinning over submarine and ICESat records that span five
    decades."

  64. Gneiss, Now you are clouding the issue with facts. That kind of behavior just don’t cut it round here :-)

  65. Gneiss, you have posted a load of horse manure, and I don’t care if it’s been pal reviewed or not. It still stinks.

    For example, many millions of years are conflated with a few hundred thousand years, and then… Presto-chango! A conclusion! Human emissions are at fault. Of course. [<--- sarc]

    And: "We find that early–21st-century temperatures of Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming.” Presumably, eh? and if it's "global," why isn't the Antarctic 'amplifying' at the same 'global' rate as the Arctic? In fact, everything observed can be fully explained as natural variability. But there's no grant money in that explanation, is there?

  66. Smokey, said: “if it’s “global,” why isn’t the Antarctic ‘amplifying’ at the same ‘global’ rate as the Arctic?”

    It is well known that the Arctic is predicted to warm more than the Antarctic. e.g. here:

    http://courses.eas.ualberta.ca/eas570/arctic_amplification.pdf

    “The Arctic is especially sensitive to the feedback because it is much warmer than the Antarctic and closer to the melting point, thus small perturbations in the surface energy balance can substantially alter the length of the melt season.”

    A

  67. Note the article title:

    Bering sea water temperature, headed down

    If CO2 was causing the Arctic to warm, the connected Bearing Sea would be warming, too. But of course, true Belief is impervious to reason.

  68. Smokey writes,
    “Gneiss, you have posted a load of horse manure, and I don’t care if it’s been pal reviewed or not.”

    No, of course you don’t! You’re the guy who responded to this question,

    “An ice-free central arctic has probably not existed for at least several thousand years, but we’re moving very rapidly in that direction now. What’s your evidence for a “natural cycle” like that?”

    by posting a 1926 newspaper clipping about a dirigible expedition that saw rocky islands at the north pole.

    Getting back to the science you don’t care about, here’s another piece to the puzzle,, Kaufman et al., Science 2009:

    “The temperature history of the first millennium C.E. is sparsely documented, especially in the Arctic. We present a synthesis of decadally resolved proxy temperature records from poleward of 60°N covering the past 2000 years, which indicates that a pervasive cooling in progress 2000 years ago continued through the Middle Ages and into the Little Ice Age. A 2000-year transient climate simulation with the Community Climate System Model shows the same temperature sensitivity to changes in insolation as does our proxy reconstruction, supporting the inference that this long-term trend was caused by the steady orbitally driven reduction in summer insolation. The cooling trend was reversed during the 20th century, with four of the five warmest decades of our 2000-year-long reconstruction occurring between 1950 and 2000″

  69. Finding this stuff is fun because there’s so much good, interesting research nowadays, and I haven’t read it all either. I should mention that I’m looking it up myself, these aren’t from links that some blogger has pointed me toward.

    Brigham-Grette in PNAS, 2009

    “What do the interglacials in this and other Arctic lake records inform us about the future? In short, if it happened before, it could happen again, and it’s happening now. A growing number of observations show that summer Arctic sea ice was much reduced during MIS 5e [marine isotope stage 5e, around 120,000 years ago] and may have been almost seasonal because of Milankovitch-driven summer insolation as much as 11–13% above present (11). Emerging records from the central Arctic Ocean [Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) and Greenland Arctic Shelf Ice and Climate Project (GreenICE); Figs. 1 and 2] also point to seasonally open water during MIS 5e (15, 16). The GIS was reduced in size and tree line advanced northward across large parts of Arctic (11). The early Holocene was another period only slightly warmer than today and forced by enhanced summer insolation approaching 10% in the high latitudes (8) that drove marked changes in tree line (9) and a significant reduction in sea ice along the Canadian Arctic (17) and northern Greenland (18). These warm periods inform us about the sensitivity of the Arctic system to warming in response to Arctic amplification (1) and provide the testing ground for climate model verification.

    But modern climate change is driven largely by atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the face of decreasing insolation (5). Therefore, we need only look to Arctic records of the mid-Pliocene to capture our geologic moment of déjà vu when CO2 is estimated to have been in the range of 350 to 400 ppm like it is now (19). Intermittently throughout this time period sea level may have been +5 to +40 m above present (ref. 19 and references therein), driven in part by massive reductions in Antarctic ice sheets (20). Syntheses of this Pliocene interval and later interglacials (ref. 21 and http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientificassessments/saps/sap1-2) leave little doubt that renewed studies in the high latitude are well justified to test and improve the chronological coherence of Arctic records. With a seasonally ice-free Arctic now projected to be only a few decades from now, perhaps Yogi Berra was right: “it’s déjà vu all over again.” “

  70. Gneiss,

    Thanks for posting that paragraph, where the authors admit that the temperature over the past 2K years is sparse. So how do they get around that? By going through the extensive historical record, as Tony Brown has done?

    No. They use their model instead, and then do reconstructions. Why? Maybe because the Antarctic debunks their conjecture.

    Your arbitrary rejection of the verified historical account of the dirigible explorers who witnessed open Arctic ocean as far as the eye could see from altitude, and your ignoring of the Royal Navy account posted above ["It will without doubt have come to your Lordship's knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated"], in favor of a model-based assumption is certainly not science. As Prof Richard Feynman made clear: when there is a conflict between an observation and a model… the model is WRONG.

    There is no evidence that GHG’s, and CO2 in particular, are the cause of the current Arctic cycle.

  71. Smokey,

    Here is a more recent version of Antarctic Ice Area Anomaly:

    Intrigued as to why yours stops in 2009. Either way, no debunking as the Arctic is predicted to lose ice faster than the Antarctic.

    And I believe the exact Feynman quote is, ““It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”. Couldn’t agree more, but I don’t think your newspaper artcle counts as “experiment” in the way Feynman intended.

  72. I am trying to program a set of spreadsheets to predict the solar heat energy available to the ocean and ice surfaces in the far north: that is, above 70 degrees latitude.

    Solar incident levels (the angle of the sun above the horizon) are easy to predict for any day of the year. This equation also provides the hours of sunlight per day, which ranges from 0 through 24 depending on day of year.

    Absorption in the atmosphere can be approximated from the thickness of atmosphere that the light energy passes. (Cloud reflection and amount of haze in the air are significant and have to be addressed, but that will be later.)

    I have not found a reliable reference for albedo – but have read hundreds of times with little more than “ice reflects 97% of the sun’s energy” or “the (open) ocean absorbs 90% of the inbound energy.” These might be adequate for some users for various approximations at various agencies, but are only good for very high (if not vertical) incident angles: which will only happen if the Arctic ice pack were offshore of an ideal tropical island below a perfectly clear sky on the equinox in a dead calm.

    (1) So, at very low angles (below 0 degrees and 25 degrees above the horizon), what is the best reference to specify what proportion of the sun’s energy is absorbed (by ice and by by open water) and what proportion is reflected at each angle?

    (2) In the real world case of moderately to very calm seas (waves between 6 inches and 1 foot), does the open-water albedo change significantly from laboratory conditions?

  73. Gneiss says:
    July 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm
    ukus writes,
    “OK, I took your bait.”

    If you took my bait you would have looked up some studies, that was a real suggestion. You seem not to have tried it, but here’s one place to start:……….
    ========
    Good job finding studies to support your viewpoint.
    Did you bother looking for studies that might not support your viewpoint ?

  74. u.k.(us) says:
    July 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Good job finding studies to support your viewpoint.
    Did you bother looking for studies that might not support your viewpoint ?

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

    Why don’t you look for yourself? If you can find any, I’d be interested to see them. But please find actual studies, not just newspaper articles, blog posts or out of context charts.

  75. John B says:
    July 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm
    u.k.(us) says:
    July 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Good job finding studies to support your viewpoint.
    Did you bother looking for studies that might not support your viewpoint ?

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

    Why don’t you look for yourself? If you can find any, I’d be interested to see them. But please find actual studies, not just newspaper articles, blog posts or out of context charts.
    ——-
    It seems I hit a nerve.
    Control of the message has been brought into question.
    I think Gneiss is more than capable, to reply to my inquiry, although your consternation has been duly noted.

  76. ukus writes,
    “Good job finding studies to support your viewpoint.
    Did you bother looking for studies that might not support your viewpoint ?”

    I just looked for recent studies, period, and I’m passing on what I found. John B is right, if you think you know otherwise, why not try?

    “It seems I hit a nerve.”

    You’re imagining that. Far as I can tell you haven’t even made a point. I think you’ve been trying to convey an attitude through sarcasm. But I’ve enjoyed the motivation to look up studies and learn some new things. Here’s another one, Kinnard et al. GRA 2010:

    “Arctic sea ice extent and concentration have declined significantly over the last few decades, with thick multi-year ice being replaced by thinner first year ice. While the 2009 minimum summer sea-ice extent (~ 5.4 million sq km) was greater than that of the record low of 2007, it remained well below the 1979-2000 mean value of 7 million sq km. In order to properly identify the various mechanisms that drive sea-variability on inter-annual to centennial time scales, there is a need to document past sea-ice cover variations in the Arctic region. Here we present circum-Arctic and regional-scale reconstructions of sea-ice (summer) cover variations over the past ~900 years developed from a multi-proxy network of paleo-environmental data. These data include glacial ice cores, lake sediments, tree rings, and historical and/or documentary evidence. We adopt well-established multivariate statistical techniques to apportion the spatio-temporal variance in the multi-proxy network between temperature and other forcings. A stepwise multiple linear regression procedure is used to construct annually-resolved time-series of total and regional summer sea ice extent for the circum-Arctic. The resulting reconstructions are compared with known atmospheric circulation patterns (e.g., NAO) and key climatic variables in order to identify dominant processes responsible for the observed variability in the past millennium.

    The most striking feature of our pan-Arctic sea-ice cover reconstruction is the abrupt and sustained decrease in summer ice extent observed during the second half of the 20th century, which is apparently unprecedented in the previous ~9 centuries. Our results suggest that as of 1985, Arctic summer sea ice cover extent dropped below the lower bound of the reconstructed minimum for the Medieval Warm Optimum (ca AD 1150). These findings support the contention that human influence on Arctic sea ice became detectable after the early 1990s.

  77. Gneiss says:
    July 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm
    ============
    Well done, on your research (and your writing).
    Are you willing to let politicians decide your future, based upon 1/2 of a 60 year cycle in temperatures ?

  78. u.k.(us) says:
    July 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Well done, on your research (and your writing).
    Are you willing to let politicians decide your future, based upon 1/2 of a 60 year cycle in temperatures ?

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

    I think you may be missing the point of Gneiss’s posts. The satellite record may only go back 30 years but the evidence, as pointed at by Gneiss, is that Arctic sea ice has been fairly stable for hundreds, or thousands, of years (depending on the study). Even if there is a 60 year cycle, its effect appears to have been overwhelmed since the middle of the 20th century. But it is precisely because scientists don’t want to make predictions based on only 30 years of data that these studies were done.

  79. ukus writes,
    “Well done, on your research (and your writing).
    Are you willing to let politicians decide your future, based upon 1/2 of a 60 year cycle in temperatures ?”

    Ah, ukus, you read none of the abstracts? Can you find one word there about politicians, or confirmation of your 60 year cycles? Not one of the studies used just 30 years of data, either. As John B understood, that was the whole point.

  80. Smokey writes,
    “Your arbitrary rejection of the verified historical account of the dirigible explorers”

    I don’t reject that they saw open water. Leads and poynyas have been features of sea ice for as long as we’ve known. I did laugh to see you had un-sceptically posted an old news clipping that reported rocky islands at the north pole. Perhaps they actually saw some rock-covered ice floes broken off from ellesmere, or they saw real islands but were not at the pole, or the reporter got the story wrong, I don’t know, but something’s not right with that tale.

    As for an ice-free arctic ocean, that’s a whole different thing, as scientists very well understand. By all the research that I’ve seen (such as articles cited above), it has not occurred for at least thousands of years.

  81. Gneiss, you’re grasping at straws. The planet was much warmer than it is now at various times during the Holocene. If your Belief convinces you that the Arctic was never ice free in the past, and that global, well-mixed atmospheric CO2 is melting Arctic ice but not Antarctic ice, you’re certainly entitled to your fantasies. Pay no attention to the snickering.

  82. John B says:

    “…I don’t think your newspaper artcle counts as “experiment” in the way Feynman intended.”

    Prof Feynman discussed “observation” in the same lecture. ["If it disagrees with observation... it's wrong."].

    Also, thanx for the graph of Antarctic ice, which shows that it is right at its average level. That nasty ol’ CO2 is probably just attacking the Arctic ice first. Then it will go after Antarctic ice, eh? That evil trace gas is capable of anything.

  83. Smokey says:
    July 23, 2011 at 7:58 am

    John B says:

    “…I don’t think your newspaper artcle counts as “experiment” in the way Feynman intended.”

    Prof Feynman discussed “observation” in the same lecture. ["If it disagrees with observation... it's wrong."].

    Also, thanx for the graph of Antarctic ice, which shows that it is right at its average level. That nasty ol’ CO2 is probably just attacking the Arctic ice first. Then it will go after Antarctic ice, eh? That evil trace gas is capable of anything.☺

    ————————

    Watch the clip, Smokey. He does not say that. He says, “if it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong”. He says it twice. He does use the word “observation” or possibly “observations”, too, but not in the phrase you misquote. And surely even you realise that the “observation” or “experiment” has to be (a) relevant and (b) verified before it would prove a theory wrong.

    Yes, CO2 goes after Arctic ice first, beause the Arctic is already warmer. You can look it up for yourself.

    And your chart for the holocene shows Greenland, not “the planet”. Pretty sure you can’t use GISP ice core data as a proxy for global temperature..

  84. Smokey writes,
    “If your Belief convinces you that the Arctic was never ice free in the past”

    Why not read what I actually said, or even read those abstracts?

  85. John B argues like the typical true Believer. So does anyone else who believes that CO2 has a mind of its own, and decides which ice to melt. The Arctic is well below freezing. The melting is occurring at the edge of the ice cover, caused by warmer ocean currents and other local factors, not by a tiny trace gas.

    Next, Prof Feynman clearly states in the video I posted that scientists “compare directly with observation” to see if their conjecture works. John B is disputing what can be heard verbatim — a bizarre affliction that George Orwell called “doublethink”: holding two contradictory ideas at the same time. In current parlance: cognitive dissonance. It is an affliction common to climate alarmist true believers, who are no different than true believers in Harold Camping’s doomsday predictions, or Jehovah’s Witnesses true believers. Cognitive dissonance is rarely curable. John B would still Believe that runaway global warming caused by CO2 is right around the corner even if the planet descended into the next great Ice Age, and glaciers covered Chicago under a mile of ice. Just as Leon Festinger’s Seekers’ belief system became even stronger when the flying saucer didn’t appear as prophesied, John’s evidence-free Belief that the climate is controlled by a tiny trace gas is just as strong – and just as misguided.

    For rational folks, the current Arctic ice cycle [which prior observations have also shown to have repeatedly occurred, and in which the ice must necessarily have re-formed in between the melting episodes], shows that natural regional climate variability is the routine cause, not the tiny, harmless and beneficial trace gas that climate lunatics Believe controls the planet. CO2 follows temperature on all time scales, it does not precede temperature, but Believers assume that with CO2, effect precedes cause: doublethink.

    There is zero testable evidence per the scientific method showing that CO2 is causing the current natural and routine Arctic ice decline. There are only computer models programmed by self-serving grant anglers. But models are not evidence, and their climate models can’t even hindcast, much less forecast. Stock market cycles are much simpler than regional and global climate cycles and weather patterns, but not one market program was able to predict the subprime market crash even a month before it happened. If a computer could be programmed to correctly predict the climate, the programmers would certainly use their knowledge to predict the stock market’s future actions, and become fabulously wealthy. Climate models are just rainmaking juju.

    Finally, John B is also wrong when he claims that ice cores don’t reflect global temperatures. There are regional fluctuations as always, but the MWP and other significant global warming episodes can be plainly seen, and there is voluminous evidence that the MWP was a global event. None of this will convince Believers; this is simply correcting John B’s constant misrepresentations. Corroborating charts covering both hemispheres provided on request.

  86. Smokey said: “Stock market cycles are much simpler than regional and global climate cycles and weather patterns, but not one market program was able to predict the subprime market crash even a month before it happened. If a computer could be programmed to correctly predict the climate, the programmers would certainly use their knowledge to predict the stock market’s future actions, and become fabulously wealthy.”

    Smokey, you clearly understand the stock market even less than you understand climate. The reason models cannot predict the stock market is due to a thing called the “strong market hypothesis”. In layman’s terms it means that everything that is known about a stock is already factored into the price. In other words, the effect of “forcings” is immediate. The moment a corporation declares its annual profits, the price jumps to reflect the new knowledge. Immediately. The moment interests change, pries change. Immediately. Even if traders just think interest rates will change, prices jump. Immediately. The only sure way of making money on the stock market is knowing the news and acting on it before everyone else finds out about it – but that is called insider trading, and it is illegal. Climate doesn’t work that way. Temperature does not jump suddenly due to the effect of a forcing, no matter what the forcing is. So the future effect of that forcing can be modelled. Climate fluctuations may look to the uninformed like the stock market, but the similarity is only superficial.

    And you originally quoted Feynman as saying “”If it disagrees with observation… it’s wrong.”. He didn’t say that, as you later corrected yourself. But more importantly, I think you have misunderstood him – possibly intentionally. I’m pretty sure he is making the point that experiment trumps theory, not that any old casual observation, cherry pick or “common sense” trumps science. Do you not agree? He also is quoted as saying, “Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” I fear you are in danger of fooling yourself with anecdotes like the newspaper clipping. I prefer to stick with the science.

  87. Smokey said “John B is also wrong when he claims that ice cores don’t reflect global temperatures.”

    Let’s look at what Dr Richard Alley, a principal investigator with the Greenland Ice Sheet Projects (the people who drilled the ice cores), had to say on the matter:

    “the temperature is a local record, and one site is not the whole world.”

    “I believe we are pretty good in the community at properly qualifying our statements to accord with the underlying scientific literature; the blogospheric misuses of the GISP2 isotopic data that I have seen are not doing so, and are making errors of interpretation as a result.”

    “So, using GISP2 data to argue against global warming is, well, stupid, or misguided, or misled, or something, but surely not scientifically sensible.”

    You can read the full statement from which these remarks are taken here:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/08/richard-alley-on-old-ice-climate-and-co2/

  88. John B, it takes you two posts – one of hairsplitting nonsense, and one big appeal to authority – to respond to something I never commented to you about?? I was simply correcting misinformation. Things must be awfully lonely in your mom’s basement.☺

    Nitpicking the quote I posted doesn’t change its meaning, so no need to respond. Readers know nitpicking when they see it, and they know it takes the place of a good counter-argument, which the nitpicker lacks. That’s why he nitpicks.

    As for your appeal to authority, here is a chart showing the close correlation between ice core temperatures in different hemispheres. Note that it’s not Alley’s chart. Got more charts showing the same correlation if you want ‘em. But somehow I doubt you’ll ask, because they verify that that the MWP, the LIA, and similar events were global, not regional like the current Arctic ice variability.

    And the Bering Sea is still getting colder.

  89. Smokey, It’s not nitpicking, just accuracy.

    You were wrong about both the wording and interpretation of Feynman.
    You were wrong about the stock market.
    You were wrong about the use of ice cores as global proxies.
    You were wrong about “appeal to authority” (it is not an appeal to authority to quote an expert talking about his field of expertise, an appeal to authority is to quote someone because who they are as if they should be believed for that reason alone)
    You are definitely wrong about my Mom’s basement :-)

    And the Arctic is still getting warmer…

  90. John B said:

    I think you may be missing the point of Gneiss’s posts. The satellite record may only go back 30 years but the evidence, as pointed at by Gneiss, is that Arctic sea ice has been fairly stable for hundreds, or thousands, of years (depending on the study). Even if there is a 60 year cycle, its effect appears to have been overwhelmed since the middle of the 20th century. But it is precisely because scientists don’t want to make predictions based on only 30 years of data that these studies were done.

    I’m surely coming in to the middle of something here, but I am curious about the following. Does the evidence also show that there have never been declines in Arctic Ice similar to those leading up to 2007, or today, or whatever over the last thousands of years, or tens of thousands of years?

  91. @Richard Sharpe

    Looking at the abstracts Gneiss posted…

    Last thousand years: “Our results suggest that as of 1985, Arctic summer sea ice cover extent dropped below the lower bound of the reconstructed minimum for the Medieval Warm Optimum (ca AD 1150). ”

    Last 120,000 years: “A growing number of observations show that summer Arctic sea ice was much reduced during MIS 5e [marine isotope stage 5e, around 120,000 years ago] and may have been almost seasonal because of Milankovitch-driven summer insolation as much as 11–13% above present (11). Emerging records from the central Arctic Ocean [Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) and Greenland Arctic Shelf Ice and Climate Project (GreenICE); Figs. 1 and 2] also point to seasonally open water during MIS 5e (15, 16). ”

    Millions of years: “Although existing records are far from complete, they indicate that sea ice became a feature of the Arctic by 47 Ma, following a pronounced decline in atmospheric pCO2 after the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Optimum, and consistently covered at least part of the Arctic Ocean for no less than the last 13–14 million years. Ice was apparently most widespread during the last 2–3 million years, in accordance with Earth’s overall cooler climate. Nevertheless, episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations.”

    So, while nobody is suggesting the Arctic has never been ice-free in the summer before, the recent decline is out of the ordinary, particular in respect of the speed at which it is happening.

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