Tamino’s Trick

http://libertyboy.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/grant-foster.jpg?w=553&h=415

Grant Foster, aka "Tamino" giving a presentation. Photo by "libertyboy"

Guest Post by Jeff Condon

Tamino has his crowd all whipped up about sea ice.  He has done two posts now declaring how stupid I, Anthony Watts, and by association, all of you, are.   Sorry folks, it was a drive-by incident! For him, I’m not enough of a believer and for others, I’m too much. Is it is a good sign when you get it from all angles? Either way, he has made deliberately erroneous claims in an attempt to discredit this blog, and WUWT, which I suppose means we have struck a nerve.

The first thing I would like to clarify is my opinion on sea ice in general. Like many readers here, I have read a large number of papers on the topic, unlike most, I have also taken the time to download and plot satellite Sea Ice data, replicated the trends and examined sea ice on a regional basis. With help, I have identified evidence of minor trend inducing error and will soon be looking at how the online satellite data is knitted together during transitions. From all of these many hours of time, I’m completely unconvinced that man made global warming is causing very much of the observed sea ice decline. I’m also willing to be wrong but the literature appears to support that a substantial portion of the Northern hemisphere decline is caused by a weather pattern change in the Arctic.

This opinion is reasonably standard in the mainstream although it is often mixed with the claim that warming weakened the ice and allowed it to flow out of the polar region. The possibility that warming or weather are primary causes of the declining sea ice creates a need for disaggregation. Of course the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive so there is a lot of room for some combination of a variety of factors to be the cause. We also know that something the believers often conveniently forget is that not all warming is CO2 based.

So with all of that said, I don’t think that the effect man is having on the globe is detectable in the ice trend.  Detectable being statistically differentiable. That is very different from whether a trend can be detected or whether a trend is caused by natural warming. In his recent two posts, Tamino (aka Dr. Grant Foster) mixes everything together in what has been a successful attempt to whip up his followers. Unlike the Air Vent and WUWT, his crowd is comprised primarily of non-technical readers who often jump at any statement they can find with literally zero understanding of why or what they are attacking.

So, if you have a region like the Arctic, where sea ice is often, but not always, multi-year and that ice is being affected by being either pushed out of the region and melting, simply warming and melting or some combination, and you want to understand the trend in ice levels for the globe caused by surface temperature warming, then disambiguation of the effects is necessary. Therefore measuring ice which melts completely and re-forms annually should provide a cleaner temperature signal than a region reacting to something else.

To that end I made the plot below from gigabytes of satellite data which identified 72 degrees North Latitude as the line where multi-year ice is nearly non-existent. Layman Lurker confirmed this latitude independently (and with less effort) before I finished. Now “nearly non-existent” is different from “completely non-existent” but not by much (see how that works!). Engineers and scientists often approximate things but some in Tamino’s crowd show their inexperience and called this as an error despite having no evidence.

So I then added up all of the single year sea ice south of 72 North latitude in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, plotted all of it including the pole-hole part left out, and referred to it as global single year ice. Unfortunately, the global ice didn’t have enough trend for Tamino (wasn’t quite 95% significant) and he completely wigged. (“Wigged”, is a psychiatric term used to describe the reaction of believers when they discover something is unhelpful to the “cause”. ) What he did to “fight back” was misrepresent the work and show a ridiculous annual refreeze plot in the North region implying that somehow that is equivalent. That was Grant Fosters trick on his readers, who were unwilling or unable to point out the deception. Several of them fell for it completely and their acerbic comments went uncorrected by Grant.

The north pole is a trapped region which freezes “nearly” completely every year. As multi-year ice vanishes, there is an increase in available open sea area and single year ice area naturally increases. Therefore if you want to isolate the effect of temperature on sea ice from weather effects on North polar ice, it is counterproductive to include anything from that region.

I have spent about an hour and a half now processing the data to see how well each region correlates to UAH NH temperatures. I took the entire NH temperature and correlated it to Northern hemisphere sea ice South of 72 degrees North latitude and sea ice North of 72 degrees. Of course, since we are using ICE, it is preferable to use only ice and temperatures from months where northern ice is present. I chose Jan – September from the video but it was pretty arbitrary. An estimate again! OMG.

Correlation of ice area to NH temperature:
South of 72 – 0.692
North of 72 – 0.593

So sea ice south of 72 correlated better to the NH temperature than that North of 72. It appears that the ice I’ve chosen is a better indicator of NH temp than ice north of that point. Of course it covers a lot more land mass than the other ice but it again confirms that the satellite sensors are measuring a real warming and the high correlation (for climate science) indicates that warming is having an impact on ice melt.  It also confirms that the disaggregation of the data may not be worthless after all.

Lets see what Tamino’s crowd had to say about our collective stupidity-for daring to plot data:

“What Condon’s essay really illustrates is how fake skeptics fool themselves into thinking they have real evidence.”
“It’s my opinion that people like Jeff Condon are actually enemies of liberty.”
“It’s simple bootstrapping – it’s deliberate misinformation.”
“I cannot read much of Watts and other deniers – because too quickly I realize I am arguing with idiots. “
“Thanks very much for exposing this breathtaking piece of idiocy.”
“Every time I think I’ve finally become cynical enough to no longer be surprised by denier lies, something like this comes along and proves me wrong.”
“Watts’ comment was obvious. After all, he’s paid to say he’s not concerned. “
“This is typical of deniers. You start with the answer you want and then torture the data until you get enough evidence to believe it.”
“There is absolutely nothing justifiable from a scientific perspective in the ways Condon slices and dices the data”
“Cherry picking data to come to a conclusion the you already believed to be true, is the prime example of being a denier and not an honest skeptic.”
“Jeff Condon is anti-innovation, pure and simple.”
“Jeff is a moron.”
“Jeff got as close to the poles as he could without people noticing he was egregiously cheating.”

And that all is from the FIRST post. Tamino, who I believe realized his trick made him look bad, put up another post quickly attacking an older piece where I dared point out that sea ice level reached ‘average’.

oh my……

And around the believers went again.

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

For the record, here’s what the sea ice looks like today – Anthony

90 thoughts on “Tamino’s Trick

  1. I’m curious to see how the atmosphere might respond to a return of higher levels of Arctic sea ice.

    Amongst all the other dynamics, an decrease in sea ice leads to an increase of heat escaping from the ocean. A certain amount of the Arctic increase in temperatures is due to the decrease in sea ice.

    When dynamics allow for an increase in sea ice, a certain amount of decrease in Arctic temperatures is to follow. The axis of multi-year ice has been pushed against the Canadian island coasts. When this area rotates about the Arctic an increase in sea ice seems likely.

  2. I see Tamino’s ranting over decreasing NH sea ice as much a red herring as his ranting over increasing temps. No rational skeptic that I know denies the loss of sea ice nor the warming trend we’ve seen up through the 90’s. Most skeptics I know (myself included) acknowledge there is a human component to climate change. What I am skeptical about is the attribution of all warming to human activity and more particularly to C02, the notion that it is all catastrophic, strong positive feedbacks amplify it to a +6C climate sensitivity, models trump reality, and natural constituents of climate are completely swamped by the human component. I’m also skeptical about everything bad under the sun being exaggerated and attributed to global warming (er, climate change (er. climate disruption)) or whatever it’s going to be called next week.

    When alarmists stop with their mass hysteria over every extreme weather event, shrinking shrimp in a heated lab bowl, hyper focusing on CO2 as the only environmental concern, ignoring rational solutions to whatever comes of climate change (natural or otherwise), start sharing the grant money to study the broader scope of climate, and are willing to discuss environmental challenges (natural or otherwise) without calling anyone who doesn’t agree with their hysteria an idiot, then I’ll start taking them more seriously.

  3. At this time of year, why should Arctic sea ice matter at all? There’s very little sunlight during the winter months, so the ice albedo effect will be minimal.

    And then there’s the issue that almost NOBODY lives in the high arctic, so we might as well be talking about Mars. It simply has no relevenance to humanity.

  4. Shouldn’t the response to Tamino always include a picture of the Skate and a NW passage shipwreck?

  5. What’s this “UAH NH temp to 82 lon?” Is this an average value? What is a lon? And “sea ice are is inverted and scaled?” Is it or are it?

  6. Sea ice is pretty hard to measure, especially before there were satellites. Remember in 2007 when the BBC reported 2013 was the year for ice free arctic? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7139797.stm

    Wasn’t it Tamino that support the idea the arctic tipping point has been reached not too long ago also?

  7. Jeff, I loved your animated plots and something struck me.
    There is an internal control in the temporal domain in you images. There are a large number of lakes, which will be generally isolated from sea currents, in you image field. Many of these lake change from blue to white on a yearly basis. Just sitting on different lakes, at different latitudes, and measuring the kinetics and extent of ice formation would give you a nice handle on the heat changes between water and the atmosphere.
    It would be nice to see if the rhythm of decadal changes in lake icing match the sea ice extent of not. You might be able to pull out a sea water induced ‘pulse’.

  8. Tamino was a valiant prince, but Grant Foster masquerading as so called ‘Tamino’ is no prince of anything except perhaps of foul language and unprincipled nuisance.
    Prince Tamino and Papageno ultimately intended to make the Earth a ‘heavenly kingdom’, while the above so called ‘Tamino’ predicts ‘burning Hell on the Earth’, more appropriate role (according to Mozart) would ‘The Queen of the Night’ peddling a dangerous form of obscurantism

  9. What’s funny with the Taminos type – i.e. arctic sea ice=canary- is that they forget as we saw so clearly this winter that when colder, denser air masses are ejected from the Arctic toward the tropics, there must be an associated renewal of warm air advection toward the pole through the same corridors delineated by relief. That explains why the shape of arctic sea ice melt is often the same, melting more or less in the same zones. In fact videos of multi year sea ice from 1980 to present show this increased mobilization of sea ice leading to the reduction of multi year ice as a consequence of entering a rapid mode of atmospheric circulation.
    BTW, if this renewal process was not happening on a regular basis between periods of relative stability -slow mode of circulation-, 50 y or even 100 y old multi year ice would be a common occurence. If it does not melt, it should be there. But that’s not the case.
    In fact paleoclimatological studies show that during the onset of the last glaciation, the Svalbaard Islands enjoyed for a while a warmer trend that finally was stopped when the cooling reached deeper southward. A recent paper surmized that arctic sea ice was covering less extension during the LIA, a period of global cooling, confirming this character of a transitional period toward cooler times.

  10. Does anyone promoting man made global warming believe that there will be Ice free arctic winters?

  11. Correlation of ice area to NH temperature:
    South of 72 – 0.692
    North of 72 – 0.593

    These correlations aren’t very different. Could the reason there is a better correlation south of 72 degrees just be a result of the absence of UAH temperature measurements north of 82 degrees?

  12. I went to Fosters Bulldust blog once – didn’t see anything remotely approaching rational debate or science – and left. I vowed not to return!

    An interesting read of your work Jeff – but would be much better without the references to Tamino and his muppets! (Just remember, arguing with idiots is pointless – it only brings you down to their level – it doesn’t raise them up to yours!)

  13. A note of caution about reading in correlation to the trends in the Sea Ice Vs. Temperature plot: Any affine function can be made to look like any other affine function by biasing and scaling. Since an affine function is definitionally a bias and a scale term, it’s actually trivial. So, if anyone looking at that plot thinks the functions actually track pretty closely, that is an illusion. The best that can be said is that they are trending in the same direction. But, there is no relationship established, and the odds of trending in the same direction are 50/50.

    I think I would avoid scaling and putting these quantities on the same plot like this. It suggests a consilience which is not necessarily real.

  14. I like the Artcic Sea Ice extent that the NSADC puts out, but it brings up a couple of questions:

    1. Is all the data for the period of 1979-2000 (their averaging period) available?

    If so, could someone plot all the years from that period that were ABOVE the average?

    They only seem to be concerned with 2007 on.

    2. Why doesn’t someone use an updated averaging period (1989-2010), and compare the last two years to that?

    If the trend is all that they’re concerned about, then any 30-year period (which drives their average) would do.

    They’re probably afraid that the later averaging period would lower their average, and put the 2011 and 2012 closer to the average (thereby lowering the scare).

    Someone should try THAT, and really watch the screaming start…

  15. “his readers, who were unwilling or unable to point out the deception”

    It could also be that Grant Foster, aka Tamino, just refused to let any comment through moderation which showed him wrong. That’s exactly what he did to me on his ‘Oh Pleeze’ post when I pointed out his failure to even put trends on Goodridge plots, when he claimed that Goodridge’s statements about trends were wrong.

    It showed me that Foster’s mind was closed to anything he didn’t agree with. It’s just an echo chamber there, like at RC. Also, since this Grant Foster publishes peer-reviewed papers, it makes me wonder what quality of science you could expect from someone who behaves that.

  16. “Dear Dr. Grant Foster,
    I don’t care much for your analysis, but I love your sunglasses.”

    Ah yes, you must be referring to the Foster Grant brand of sunglasses.

  17. I see a remark from “Jackstraw” mentioning Dr. Grant Foster in a silly reference to cheap sunglasses. However, it does beg a question I’ve had for some time…

    Just what *are* “Tamino’s” degrees in, and from where? Does anyone besides Grant Foster know?

  18. Tamino sounds like a nut based on his comments but I don’t know much about him.

    “it again confirms that the satellite sensors are measuring a real warming and the high correlation (for climate science) indicates that warming is having an impact on ice melt.”

    I like the approach you took. Yet, SST and Air temperature below the point where sea ice forms seems to indicate the impact on Arctic sea ice due to temperature.

    What difference does it make if the “warming” is below the threshold where sea ice forms? Instead of January to September, shouldn’t it be post-maximum (or the point where sea ice should begin melting) to minimum sea ice area to signal temperatures role?

  19. I’m with Kev-in-UK – arguing with idiots is not a sensible tactic, plus I am reminded of a jingle we were taught as very young children when we first encountered nasty people who consider denigration of those they don’t agree with as ‘clever’…
    “Sticks and stones may break my bones
    But names can never hurt me”

  20. The alarmists never mention the soot and occasional volcanic ash factors in regards to Arctic ice extent.

    They also never wish to consider salinity, which can vary significantly from place to place in the Arctic. The Arctic ice lies on a thin layer of relatively fresh water – this layer is in constant interaction with the denser more saline sea water beneath.

    For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower temperatures than more saline water. So whenever there is an upwhelling of saline water (for the CAGW believer, these are called currents), then less “sea water” freezes.

    The Arctic Ocean, unlike all other oceans, is enclosed and has lower levels of salinity. In fact – wait for this CAGW faithful – if the Arctic Ocean was as saline as the rest of the world’s oceans it would almost certainly be ice free every summer.

    Just another couple of inconvenient facts which won’t be included in the IPCC’s next fantasy report on climate.

  21. “There’s very little sunlight during the winter months, so the ice albedo effect will be minimal.”

    There is a big albedo difference between sea ice and sea water.

    There is a lesser but still significant albedo difference between first year ice and multi-year ice.
    As multi-year ice sheds more and more of the salt content, it becomes more reflective.

    So, even without being ice free during summer, the recent decades have left the Arctic with a
    less reflective surface.

    But part of the sea ice loss is -dynamic- and -not- the result of warming.

    When ( not if ) that dynamic returns to sea ice accumulation, there will be some reversion to the mean ( cooling and increased alebdo ).

    Makes me wanna see what happens.

  22. I like your comments and analysis. I noticed some years ago that sea ice may be more affected by sea currents, surface winds, gyres, the atmospheric vortices, and the positions of the highs and lows around the northern hemisphere that can redirect the jet stream for months at a time.

    The weather where I live in Alberta is greatly affected by lows out in Pacific – sometimes those nasties out in the Gulf of Alaska, and sometimes it is the Pineapple express coming in hard over Oregon and Washington state meeting an arctic high. But this could all be calledis weather. Although, like you, I have seen what appears to be a longer term trend in polar vortices and other factors at both ends of the planet – which ties in to ozone and all sorts of other things. It is why I hate the focus on “THE one variable” in climate models.

    Seems to me, the more we know, the more we know we don’t know much.

  23. “if this renewal process was not happening on a regular basis between periods of relative stability -slow mode of circulation-, 50 y or even 100 y old multi year ice would be a common occurence. If it does not melt, it should be there. But that’s not the case.”

    Spot on.

    Arctic sea ice varies between periods of accumulation and loss.

    This shows up in surface obs:

    The cold Arctic from 1880 through 1915.
    The warm Arctic from 1915 through 1950.
    The relatively cold Arctic from 1950 through 1995.
    And the warm Arctic from 1995 through the present may well be the result of,
    not the cause of sea ice variability.

  24. Isn’t it obvious ? We`ve had a 0.6-0.8 degree warming over the decades, so this will have had a minor impact on sea ice ? What`s the big deal. That`s like saying “heat melts ice”. And that satement makes me a climate scientist !

  25. Luke Warmer says:
    March 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm
    “There’s very little sunlight during the winter months, so the ice albedo effect will be minimal.”

    There is a big albedo difference between sea ice and sea water.

    _______________________________________________

    Which is a good reason to care about SUMMER ice…

    But during the dark arctic winter, why would ice extent and albedo matter?

    I’m trying to find a reason to care.

  26. I’m with Kev-in-UK – It’s never sensible to respond to idiots on the level they have descended to.
    I am reminded of a rhyming jingle we were taught when we were infants, to help us cope with the nasty people we would inevitably meet who would say bad things about us and to us;
    “Sticks and stones may break our bones
    But words will never hurt us.”

  27. it again confirms that the satellite sensors are measuring a real warming and the high correlation (for climate science) indicates that warming is having an impact on ice melt.

    All that number crunching and processing and you come this conclusion? Wow. Real science.

    REPLY: Thanks Günther for proving what I wrote over the weekend, with you, it’s all about the derision. – Anthony

  28. Peter Miller says:

    For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower temperatures than more saline water.

    Uh, no.

  29. From the Arctic cloud cover study I linked to above.

    Interannual variations of cloud amounts over the Arctic Ocean show significant correlations with surface air temperature, total sea ice extent, and the Arctic Oscillation. Low ice extent in September is generally preceded by a summer with decreased middle and precipitating clouds. Following a low-ice September there is enhanced low cloud cover in autumn. Total cloud
    cover appears to be greater throughout the year during low-ice years. Multidecadal trends from surface observations over the Arctic Ocean show increasing cloud cover, which may promote ice loss by longwave radiative forcing. Trends are positive in all seasons, but are most significant
    during spring and autumn, when cloud cover is positively correlated with surface air temperature. The coverage of summertime precipitating clouds has been decreasing over the Arctic Ocean, which may promote ice loss.

    Strangely the study makes no mention of solar insolation.

    It seems obvious to me.

    Less clouds in summer > more solar insolation > more ice melt > more clouds in winter

  30. > the literature appears to support that a substantial portion of the Northern hemisphere decline is caused by a weather pattern change in the Arctic… This opinion is reasonably standard in the mainstream

    {{cn}}

    Tamino has done the obvious – pointed out that sea ice shows a statistically significant decline. We all knew that anyway, so it isn’t ground breaking. He’s also pointed out that your arbitrary choice of 72 N is arbitrary – but we knew that too.

  31. I know that Pamino is a character in Mozart’s The Magic Flute but I wanted to see if I could find where the alias or pen name “Tamino” came from so it was off to google. To my surprise, I found the following: http://tamino.tumblr.com/ Has someone been influenced by that famous soft porn author Rajendra Pachauri?

  32. Erm, I know I are stupid, because I just keep asking questions and real scientists don’t ask questions (sarc), but if a new weather pattern establishes itself for long enough, isn’t that equivalent to a local change in climate?

  33. This opinion is reasonably standard in the mainstream although it is often mixed with the claim that warming weakened the ice and allowed it to flow out of the polar region.

    Unclear: are you saying that the literature describes multiple causes, including anthropogenic and natural for declining sea ice? Because that is what I have read in a range of papers.

    The possibility that warming or weather are primary causes of the declining sea ice creates a need for disaggregation.

    To try and weigh the relative impacts, yes.

    Of course the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive so there is a lot of room for some combination of a variety of factors to be the cause.

    Indeed. And warming and weather may have independent impacts, or weather may be responsible for warming, and warming may be responsible for weather changes. And these lines of inquiry are reflected in the literature.

    We also know that something the believers often conveniently forget is that not all warming is CO2 based.

    So where does this come from? If the mainstream literature is exploring all these ideas, which ‘believers’ are you referring to? If bloggers, then they are well aware that wind patterns are the major impact on end-of-melt ice cover, that AO fluctuation may play a part, and that the warming of the Arctic is only part of the story re sea ice trends.

    The casting of unnamed ‘believers’ as you’ve done propagates a false narrative. Where your opponents emphasise the role of warming, you mischaracterise that they see nothing else.

    Now, your analysis above suggests a fairly strong contribution to melting from warmer temperatures. But this is not the story you’ve been leading with, that warming has minimal impact on sea ice decline. But so far what you’ve presented as evidence for this opinion amounts to, “I’ve read a lot,” and maybe “I’ve crunched a lot of data.” Surely it’s a simple matter then to link us to the hard work you’ve done (and good on you for doing it). Let’s see it instead of just making assertions.

    In the post that generated the Tamino response, you referenced Comiso 2012. That paper, and many others that look at sea ice decline, crunches the numbers and finds a strong contribution to long-term decline from warming. I don’t see that the literature generally emphasies, as you suggest it does, natural causes for the decline in the satellite era. So you may have the makings of something worth publishing.

    In that analysis (of multiyear ice), Comiso co-located temperature with the sea ice study areas and got better correlation than you did using the entire NH temps.

  34. John from CA says:
    March 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    “What difference does it make if the “warming” is below the threshold where sea ice forms? Instead of January to September, shouldn’t it be post-maximum (or the point where sea ice should begin melting) to minimum sea ice area to signal temperatures role?”

    It made sense to me that since we are looking at regions without sea ice for part of the year, we shouldn’t correlate to temperatures in that time of the year.

    William M. Connolley says:
    March 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    “He’s also pointed out that your arbitrary choice of 72 N is arbitrary – but we knew that too.”
    I didn’t see it as arbitrary but rather was at the best point to do the analysis. If I went northward, multi-year ice begins to creep in and that will bias the result more positive as the multi-year ice vanishes.

    Oddly enough, despite all the accusations to the contrary, I didn’t attempt to go too far North and tweak the trend.

    Thanks Anthony, for carrying the post.

  35. Peter Miller says:
    March 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    ============
    I hope you made a typo in your comment. Fresh water has a higher freezing point (temp) than salt water in the example you made.

  36. What are the Alarmists fear-mongering about now? What a waste of resources. Those Alarmists Scientists should be retrained as cancer researchers or something else that would be useful to humanity.

  37. > If I went northward, multi-year ice begins to creep in and that will bias the result more positive as the multi-year ice vanishes.

    I’m rather puzzled as to what theory you’re testing. You’re accepting as obvious (and indeed it clearly is) that there is a significant downward trend in the multi-year ice. This trend is, in your view, obviously anthropogenic so there is no point in looking at it? And so you look at “first-year ice”? – but you use a very odd, at not clearly good, definition of FYI. You could read the literature – you claim proudly to have done a lot of that – and you’d find lots of papers about identifying FYI. They use a far more sophisticated criterion that “S of 72 N”.

    Take a look at, e.g. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/arctic_thinice.html (the second pic) which shows first, second and multi-year ice. You can immeadiately see that simple latitude is a very poor criterion.

    You also repeatedly assert that the Antarctic doesn’t need masking for multi-year ice because it nearly all melts. That isn’t really true – see e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sea-ice.area.nh.sh.png – and at the very least would need to be tested.

  38. RealOldOne2 says:
    “Also, since this Grant Foster publishes peer-reviewed papers, it makes me wonder what quality of science you could expect from someone who behaves that.”
    ===========================
    He published a paper recently that argued that if you adjusted out all the parts of the climate system that contributed to cooling, such that you were left only with the elements of the climate system that caused warming, this proved that warming occurred unabated.

    I’ve seen similar “logic” posted up in blogs many times before and always used to laugh at how absurd the blogger’s argument was. You can’t just ignore the data that happens to refute the argument you’re making. The climate system is the climate system. But the wider issue is, what does that say about the quality of this particular branch of research?

  39. @William M. Connolley says:
    You’re accepting as obvious (and indeed it clearly is) that there is a significant downward trend in the multi-year ice.
    ================================
    You can see all things of apparently great significance if you shine a microscope on tea leaves. ;-)

  40. Peter Miller says:
    March 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    “For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower temperatures than more saline water.”

    Says so much, really.

  41. “For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower temperatures than more saline water.”

    I now know what a “climate scientist” feels like making stupid obvious mistakes – arrgh!

    Obviously fresh water temperature freezes at higher temperatures than saline water.

  42. 72N (or let’s say 75N) is actually the most important latitude on the planet.

    Why? Because this is where the snow and ice either melts in the Summer or it doesn’t. It will always melt out at 70N or 65N because the Sun is always strong enough in the Summer to melt out all the snow and ice. Even in the deepest downturns of the Milankovitch Cycles, the Summer Sun should always be strong enough at these latitudes to completely melt out the snow.

    But in the deepest downturns of the Milankovitch Cycles, the Summer Sun is no longer strong enough to melt out all the ice and snow at 75N. The ice ages and the ice albedo feedback starts at 75N.

    So it is not an accident that 72N shows up in Jeff’s analysis as an important latitude. This is where the ice ages start or the interglacials continue. The Earth’s axial tilt only needs to decline by another 0.75 degree or so to kick us into an Ice Age (good thing it is not forecast to).

    ———————–

    The recent uptick in Arctic sea ice is particularly unusual. Have we seen anything like it in the past 20 years? No. The Arctic Oscillation switched back to positive about 2 weeks ago (removing the unusual warming in the eastern Arctic) which is probably responsible for the strong uptick. Of course, it has been extremely cold in the northern Pacific and western Arctic all winter and this has resulted in well-above average sea ice conditions in the Bering Sea etc.

    What if it goes above average in the next few weeks? The only “global warming canary in the coal mine” that we can actually point to, will no longer be dead like Franco but singing like a canary in a coal mine.

  43. Correction: “Obviously fresh water freezes at higher temperatures than saline water.”

    I really need to start taking my medication, so many typos.

  44. All of this ice talk made my nipples hard. Something that wasn’t ever supposed to happen again after 1998.

  45. 1. DMI summertime temperatures, as measured at 80 north latitude since 1958, have decreased from 1958 through 2012. Further, that decline in temperatures – during the only time of the year when the sun is shining across the Arctic – is recently accelerating, just as the sea ice extents is decreasing.

    2. Arctic sea ice extents minimums are now 4.5 million km2. Now, in today’s real-life world of actual sea ice coverage, there is virtually no sea ice in the north other than a roughly circular area above Greenland, slightly off center towards the Bering Strait. To a very good approximation, the entire current Arctic sea ice extent can be seen as a “cap” centered on the pole extending from the pole down to 79.5 latitude.

    3. In today’s real world, Arctic sea ice minimum – the ONLY additional ice that can “melt” if current trends continue (since the rest of the Arctic ice has already melted every summer) will melt back from that limit of 80 north latitude towards the pole. That is, if there is a “arctic feedback” from exposing more low-albedo open ocean water to the sun rather than highly reflective snow and ice, this change can only occur between 80 north and the pole because all other sea ice has already melted each year, and will continue to melt each summer.

    However, at the actual times of minimum sea ice at mid-September each year, the sun is less than 10 degrees above the horizon at its highest extent. At that low a solar angle, the water is HIGHLY reflective, and will absorb less than 5% of the sun’s energy at even at this highest point of the day at local solar noon. The rest of the day? Even less solar energy is present.

    The “outdoors myth” of “dark” albedo open ocean water is ONLY true at the equator, where there is an unusually low amount of floating sea ice that can be melted at any time of the year.

    Thus, when you combine actual solar exposure times to low solar incidence angles with a corresponding high reflectivity, plus a arctic air mass of 3.5 to 11 times the atmospheric mass than at the equator that absorbs a greater fraction of the energy before it gets a chance to strike the ice surface. plus a large evaporative loss of energy from open water of (approximately) 78 watts/m2, you find that open water – at the point of today’s melting at minimum sea ice extents, looses more energy than ice.

    Therefore, the more open water that is exposed at minimum sea ice extents, the colder the Arctic air will get. And that is what the DMI is showing with its actual decrease in summer temperatures at 80 north.

  46. Jeff B. says:
    March 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    “What are the Alarmists fear-mongering about now? What a waste of resources. Those Alarmists Scientists should be retrained as cancer researchers or something else that would be useful to humanity.”

    I`m right there with You on alarmist fear-mongering being a shocking waste of resources but there`s already surfeit of alarmists and not enough researchers in that field with the inevitable shonky numbers . John Brignell highlights that very well at His site :

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/number%20watch.htm

    Makes You wonder to what degree does all the , neo-puritan , agenda driven , phobia-peddling and it`s accompanying dodgy funding allocations , drain resources from genuine research ?

  47. First, Arctic is really warming but not because of any greenhouse effect. The cause of this warming is a rearrangement of North Atlantic currents at the turn of the twentieth century that started to bring warm Gulf Stream water into the Arctic. The Arctic had been cooling for two thousand years before this when the warming suddenly started. This was discovered by Kaufman et al. who naturally called it – you guessed it – greenhouse warming. Problem is that he and his high-powered co-authors like Ammann, Briffa and Overpeck either did not understand physics or chose to ignore it. It is not too difficult to see that in order to create sudden greenhouse warming you have to put that greenhouse gas in the air first. This did not happen at the turn of the century but they were so used to getting away with outrageous claims that they thought nothing of it. It was not too difficult because you would have to know the carbon dioxide timeline to find out what they did. Anyway, it is all in my paper here:

    http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/arno-arrak.pdf

    [~dbs, not Anthony.]

  48. I’ve looked a lot at F&R2011, as a result of Willis’ article on it, and if that’s as good as Foster can do, I’m not impressed. He seems to studiously avoid running a regression with normalized inputs, to see the relative impacts of his variables. (Which would show that his case is not as strong as he makes it out to be.) He extrapolates a linear trend in a time series — a beginner’s mistake if ever there were one. He assumes that his variables enter his model with basically no impact, lurk for some lag time, then pop up to affect things for a single month and disappear. He uses a linear trend to stand for all influences other than select exogenous variables, and then equates this linear trend solely with (continuing) warming effects.

    He’s sophisticated enough to account for autocorrelation of errors, but so blinded by the result he wants to achieve that he can’t tell self-serving assumptions from reasonable ones.

  49. In the post that generated the Tamino response, you referenced Comiso 2012. That paper, and many others that look at sea ice decline, crunches the numbers and finds a strong contribution to long-term decline from warming.

    Comiso 2012 is the paper that found older multiyear sea ice was melting faster than younger multi-year.

    I’m sceptical any amount of warming would produce this effect.

    Whereas its fairly simple to explain by increased solar insolation. Older multi-year ice will have more particulates embedded in it. As solar insolation melts the ice surface these particulates concentrate on the surface reducing the albedo and accelerating the melt.

    Comiso found a correlation with warmer temps, which doesn’t mean he found a contribution. Such a statement is an assumption about what is cause and what is effect.

  50. RealOldOne2 says:

    quote
    It showed me that Foster’s mind was closed to anything he didn’t agree with. It’s just an echo chamber there, like at RC. Also, since this Grant Foster publishes peer-reviewed papers, it makes me wonder what quality of science you could expect from someone who behaves that.
    unquote

    I can sympathise with this — I had a post snipped for no better reason than to allow Dr Foster to score a small point. If he is prepared to do something like that just to make his blog followers admire his wit, what might he be prepared to do to get his point of view over in a scientific paper? Would he lie, cheat, hide declines?

    Well, probably yes, all those things.. A man whose integrity is suspect in small things is likely to be unreliable in large matters. I am continually puzzled that the warmers don’t realise this. Why are they not patient, polite, tolerant and forgiving in their posts? Surely it can’t just be that deep down they know they are on thin ice?

    However, let me speak a little in Dr Foster’s defence: he once calculated for me the warming saved per tonne of CO2. I always use his calculation when the naive claim that the UK’s efforts on CO2 reduction will be worthwhile — Dr Foster’s figures show that the best result would be about thirty thousandths of a degree.

    JF
    The picture is not very clear on my monitor. Please tell me that’s not a balding ponytail.

  51. Multi year sea ice is completely dependent on ocean currents and wind drift…. As the icecap drifts into warmer waters it melts more quickly…. Otherwise we would have a kilometers high ice glacier grounded on the seabed instead of a floating ice cap. So arctic sea ice is always moving and melting…. and depending on the prevailing currents and winds, some decades weather patterns are more conducive to moving the arctic icecap around than other decades.

    The catastrophists need to stop hyperventilating.

  52. Peter Miller says: March 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    “For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower temperatures than more saline water.”

    I now know what a “climate scientist” feels like making stupid obvious mistakes – arrgh!

    Peter, congratulations. In two sentences you’ve achieved more than Tamino in two whole pieces and a lot more, and WMC in his whole career that I’ve seen.

    Arrgh! Sorry! the magic words that distinguish us from “the Team”! and yet, also give us the chance to actually know what they feel like.

  53. Peter Miller says:
    March 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    For the scientifically challenged, such as a typical CAGW believer, fresh water freezes at lower higher temperatures than more saline water. So whenever there is an upwhelling upwelling of saline water (for the CAGW believer, these are called currents), then less “sea water” freezes.

    Um, for the grammatically challenged: you got it inversificated. ;p

  54. RayG says:
    March 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I know that Pamino is a character in Mozart’s The Magic Flute but I wanted to see if I could find where the alias or pen name “Tamino” came from so it was off to google.

    Both are from The Magic Flute. Tamino is the noble prince, elevated to divinely selected Global Ubermeister after the defeat of the Queen. Pamino is the bird-catchin’, jabberin’, side-kick who’s too “flighty” to qualify for the Inner Circle, but good-hearted enough to win a consolation prize (Pamina).

  55. I thought that Tamino derived from the Spanish name for the feral donkey of Mexico, a subspecies of Equus asinus. Thanks for the heads-up!

    As for the gist of the main article, I thought all we had to know to falsify the AGW-Polar Ice hypothesis was the fact that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Northwest Passage was navigable by primitive sailboats without icebreaker escorts. Remember, the burden of proof is on the hypothesis formulator. Why do we have to show any more?

    OK, one more stake in the heart—the Greenland Viking historical record. There…satisfied now?

    Only takes one.

  56. Not even sea ice is going their way now! And even if it did, what would that prove? Would it prove there is polar warming? There is certainly no global warming now!

    RSS for February just came out at woodfortrees. It came in at -0.121 C. So the combined January-February average is -0.09 placing it the 26th warmest so far. (UAH was also 26th warmest on its set after February.) For RSS, it is now 15 years and 3 months, since December, 1996, that the slope has no trend. (slope = -0.000234717 per year) See

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1994/plot/rss/from:1996.9/trend

  57. Irony:

    William M. Connolley using wiki as a climate science reference. Considering he’s the one that did the heaviest editing to a point that nobody believes wiki as a climate reference.

  58. @henrythethird says:
    William M. Connolley using wiki as a climate science reference. Considering he’s the one that did the heaviest editing to a point that nobody believes wiki as a climate reference.
    ====================
    A little like Trenberth citing the authority of the IPCC for why we should reverse the null hypothesis and accept the teachings of catastrophic global warming. (While forgetting to mention he was the lead author of a section of the IPCC report. In other words, his authority came from citing himself.)

  59. I predict a complete recovery of the Arctic sea ice by 2020.

    I also predict nobody will remember this prediction in 2020.

  60. Will Nitschke says:

    March 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    RealOldOne2 says:
    “Also, since this Grant Foster publishes peer-reviewed papers, it makes me wonder what quality of science you could expect from someone who behaves that.”
    ===========================
    He published a paper recently that argued that if you adjusted out all the parts of the climate system that contributed to cooling, such that you were left only with the elements of the climate system that caused warming, this proved that warming occurred unabated.

    That’s load of crap Will! Bob Tisdale wrote

    Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) attempted to remove from 5 global temperature datasets the linear effects of 3 factors that are known to cause variations in global temperature.The paper covered the period of 1979 to 2010…..The independent variables listed in the abstract of Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) are El Niño-Southern Oscillation, volcanic aerosols, and solar variations.
    There was some big El Niño events, and if i’m not mistaken, we also reached a solar maximum, within that time period. Do you not regard them as contributing to warming?

    You don’t have to agree with his work ( Bob obviously didn’t ), but you shouldn’t need to misrepresent what he did.

  61. Regardless of whether we are all evil, the data shows that sea ice has not continued to decline since 2007. That’s despite the econuts claiming temps continue to rise in that region. Inconvenient.

  62. Only of recent times have I dared venture to a few alarmist sites, without exception all proved to be devoid of any meaningful discussion. The debates did not question how large angels were or indeed whether they even existed, the debate was entirely about how many would fit on the head of a pin.

    I have thought about this for a while and tried to find a reason that these people could all be so narrow minded, angry and bigotted in their so called science.

    Nature, nurture and education can not do this to a person, It is only religion that gives these effects, they are religious nuts following the new Gaia religion. They are the useful idiots of those further up the food chain.

    As in the past when confronted by a fool carrying a sandwich board and yelling the end is nigh, it is best to ignore them and carry on doing real world stuff that may be of benefit.

  63. Julian Flood says: March 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    … let me speak a little in Dr Foster’s defence: he once calculated for me the warming saved per tonne of CO2. I always use his calculation when the naive claim that the UK’s efforts on CO2 reduction will be worthwhile — Dr Foster’s figures show that the best result would be about thirty thousandths of a degree.

    Nice. Got a reference?

    Ha, I remember answering Tamino myself. He gave me some useful info too but I cannot locate it right now.

  64. @Daveo says:
    “That’s load of crap Will! Bob Tisdale wrote…”
    ===========================
    Bob is a much more patient guy than I am, and entertains silly ideas put forward by Climatists before attempting to deconstruct them. Most of the rest of us just roll our eyes and shake our heads. Although as a sceptic it’s convenient to cite f&r2011 as a paper that demonstrates that natural variability has to date drowned out the effects of CO2, in contradiction to the IPCC AR4 claim that CO2 is now ‘the’ driver of climate. If it’s a driver, it’s something of a back seat one so far.

  65. Anthony,
    sometime ago I read a NASA paper, on the accuracy, not confidence levels, of ice data. At that time ~ 2000, there seemed to be a error of about 10-15%, especially in measuring the ice perimeter.

    I would imagine, with more recent satellite data & image processing methods, the accuracy would improve. Hence more recent data would be more trustworthy then older, especially pre satellite.

    Any comments?

    .

  66. WRT Taminao,
    some yeas back I got into a discussion with Tamino over at RC, amid some censoring. It concerned the Central England Temperature set from 1659-2009. In my case I used spectral analysis, & Fourier Convolution methods to indicate longer term trends. I remember Tamino predicted increasing CEL temperatures, while my analysis contradicted his. He preferred “true statistical” analysis, & my analysis was “flawed”, end of discussion, followed by more censorship.

    Well here was my 1650-2010, plot using CEL data, & a 50 year (0.02 cy/yr) freq. cut-off.

    http://www.4shared.com/photo/7rxAWINH/Ave1_2010_FF_50yr.html

    For comparison, here is the result of a 20yr (0.05 cy/yr) cut-off)

    http://www.4shared.com/photo/k3wgtEsA/Ave1_2010_FF_20yr.html

    I think the results speak for themselves.

  67. Interactive chart showing the complete satellite record without an imposed average. Cryosphere Today also does a great job of segmenting Arctic Sea Ice into regions and highlights the deviations both positive and negative within each region.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

    Maybe I’m wrong but temperature is only one variable in the process. Ocean salinity and fresh water input are far more significant. If anyone wishes to tie temperature to decline in Arctic Sea Ice, it seems logical to start with changes in the tropics and to include all ocean and atmospheric conditions in the equation before attempting to isolate the Arctic temperature changes as a smoking gun.

    Does anyone have a link to a study that considers all aspects of Arctic Sea Ice formation and also attempts to convey a view of the regional trends?

  68. First, my CV on climate…none. But, I am a thinker and a reader. I believe we are still emerging from the LIA and we could have some more warming to do. But, I don’t see what’s ALL bad about it. I still don’t see how anyone has proven what is happening with snow, rain, heat, sun spots, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, animal extinctions, human death tolls, ocean temps, ocean chemistry, and yes, even CO2, is not within some natural variability given current population and economic distribution levels. Also, no one has proven “C” AGW and only some connection with man causing any warming. I see no major problem if the Arctic icecap is lost, again and more usable land is opened up due to some promised melting.

  69. “He published a paper recently that argued that if you adjusted out all the parts of the climate system that contributed to cooling, such that you were left only with the elements of the climate system that caused warming, this proved that warming occurred unabated.”

    Sorry, but it is impossible to remove the affects of ENSO from global temperatures. Nobody has managed to do it yet correctly. It requires to beable to do this removing the process caused by ENSO, and this involves most regions of the world oceans. The ENSO indicies is not the process of how these changes move this flow to other regions of the planet. All his paper did was move the warming from ENSO to a later time frame because it accumlates, moving with surface currents and warms other surface temperatures around the world therefore never removing it.

  70. From the CA article on the here-again, gone-again Gaspé cedars HS:
    “Tamino purports to be a data analyst …”.

    Apparently in the CS community, “analyst” means “fudging expert.” Or maybe HS-carver.

    Replication ist verboten! — “none of Cook, Jacoby or D’Arrigo would provide this information on the location of the Gaspé cedars when I inquired, saying that I wished to re-sample the site. They claimed that the collection was done prior to GPS and that they didn’t know where it was.”

    Naturally; he’d only have tried to find fault with it!

    Archives? We don’t need no steenkin’ archives!

    LOL

    P.S. Interestingly, “World experts on cedar … said that cedars like cool and moist climate.” So they’re inverted treemometers! A Gaspé HS would have indicated CAGC (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Cooling). Tamino should be careful what he fudges asks for.

  71. Warmists should ‘rejoice’ at good news – but they hardly ever do because it’s a religion to them. There has to be the threat of pending disaster to keep the folks in line.

    I often wonder that Warmists would say IF Arctic sea ice extent reached the 1979 level? The question in important for it would highlight AGW as a religion or not. Simple!

  72. Philip Bradley @ here

    “Comiso 2012 is the paper that found older multiyear sea ice was melting faster than younger multi-year.”

    Yes, over the long-term. Not for every year, however.

    “I’m sceptical any amount of warming would produce this effect.”

    Skeptical is good.

    “Whereas its fairly simple to explain by increased solar insolation. Older multi-year ice will have more particulates embedded in it. As solar insolation melts the ice surface these particulates concentrate on the surface reducing the albedo and accelerating the melt.”

    Fair hypothesis. Does it make any difference to the Comiso paper?

    Out of curiosity, have you applied much skepticism to the notion you have advanced in terms of the general understanding of Arctic ice melt. I would be curious to see how you attacked this hypothesis in true skeptical style. I have some criticisms, but I’d be interested to see what you came up with first.

    “Comiso found a correlation with warmer temps, which doesn’t mean he found a contribution. Such a statement is an assumption about what is cause and what is effect.”

    Yes, correlation does not mean causation – my language was lazy. I think the notion that ice melts when temperatures rise is not very controversial, and that this has happened in the Arctic is strongly and broadly supported by evidence. However, the notion that the rise of temps in the Arctic is mainly caused by ice melt lacks strong evidence. You know of any?

  73. [snip – I don’t like Tamino aka Grant Foster’s opinions either, but calling him names and libeling him like you did just won’t fly here – Anthony]

  74. J. Bob says:
    March 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Anthony,
    sometime ago I read a NASA paper, on the accuracy, not confidence levels, of ice data. At that time ~ 2000, there seemed to be a error of about 10-15%, especially in measuring the ice perimeter.

    I would imagine, with more recent satellite data & image processing methods, the accuracy would improve. Hence more recent data would be more trustworthy then than older, especially pre satellite.

    Any comments?

    Considering the number of dead graphs and satellites etc. on Anthony’s Ice Page, I’d say the current level of confidence is probably lower. Overall, since 2000, it may be higher. tAV has had some success with doing animations of the seasonal changes, all the way back to ’80 you might like to consider:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/seasonal-comparison-of-northern-hemisphere-sea-ice/

    10-15% error would be HUGE!

  75. Looks like Philip isn’t going to show up, so I’ll answer my own question.

    “Comiso 2012 is the paper that found older multiyear sea ice was melting faster than younger multi-year. I’m sceptical any amount of warming would produce this effect.”

    It’s exactly what would happen with pretty much anything warming the Arctic generally. As long as much of the region falls to below zero in winter, first-year ice will continue to form over a huge area, whereas multiyear ice will form less. As the multi-year ice gets eaten away, first year ice replaces it, and that first year ice become young multiyear ice if it survives the summer. With less ice thickness holding the pack together, flow increases and turnover begins to happen more quickly, meaning that it is harder for young multiyear ice to become older, thicker ice before it is transported out. It’s less difficult for first year ice to become younger multiyear ice because less time is needed for that to happen. Eventually the region becomes dominated by first year ice.

    And that’s exactly what has happened. Counterintuitively, the older multiyear ice is most vulnerable. The piece of the puzzle Phil is missing is the bit where new ice, and especially new multiyear ice, is formed more easily than older multiyear.

  76. philincalifornia says @ March 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    One can only hope that, as with an ass, the cross between a compulsive liar and a statistician is also sterile.
    _________________________________________________

    Unfortunately an ass is not sterile it is the offspring of an ass and a horse (mule or hinny) that is sterile but a nice thought any way.

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