The Economist Provides Readers With Erroneous Information About Arctic Sea Ice

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicespddrf_nowcast_anim30d.gif

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) – HYCOM Consortium for Data-Assimilative Ocean Modeling – Click the pic to view at source

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

A June 16th article in the Economist “The vanishing north” states that;

“Between now and early September, when the polar pack ice shrivels to its summer minimum, they will pore over the daily sea ice reports of America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre. Its satellite data will show that the ice has shrunk far below the long-term average. This is no anomaly: since the 1970s the sea ice has retreated by around 12% each decade. Last year the summer minimum was 4.33m square km (1.67m square miles)—almost half the average for the 1960s.

The Arctic’s glaciers, including those of Greenland’s vast ice cap, are retreating. The land is thawing: the area covered by snow in June is roughly a fifth less than in the 1960s. The permafrost is shrinking. Alien plants, birds, fish and animals are creeping north: Atlantic mackerel, haddock and cod are coming up in Arctic nets. Some Arctic species will probably die out.

Perhaps not since the 19th-century clearance of America’s forests has the world seen such a spectacular environmental change. It is a stunning illustration of global warming, the cause of the melt. It also contains grave warnings of its dangers. The world would be mad to ignore them.”

However, the Economist’s assertion that “global warming” is “the cause of the melt” is demonstrably false.

There is ample evidence that the Arctic has warmed over the last several decades, e.g.; the RSS Northern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere(TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

shows a .337 K/C per decade increase.

However, atmospheric temperatures are just one of numerous variables that are the “cause of the melt”. In fact, the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations, i.e.:

In this 2007 NASA article “NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low in 2007“;

“Son V. Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that “the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.”

“The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century,” Nghiem said.”

This 2007 paper “Rapid reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice” by Nghiem, Rigor, Perovich, Clemente-Colo, Weatherly and Neumann, found that;

“Perennial-ice extent loss in March within the DM domain was noticeable after the 1960s, and the loss became more rapid in the 2000s when QSCAT observations were available to verify the model results. QSCAT data also revealed mechanisms contributing to the perennial-ice extent loss: ice compression toward the western Arctic, ice loading into the Transpolar Drift (TD) together with an acceleration of the TD carrying excessive ice out of Fram Strait, and ice export to Baffin Bay.”

This 2010 Guardian article “Wind contributing to Arctic sea ice loss, study finds” states that;

“Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.”

This 2011 paper “Recent wind driven high sea ice export in the Fram Strait contributes to Arctic sea ice decline”  by L. H. Smedsrud, et al.;

“used “geostrophic winds derived from reanalysis data to calculate the Fram Strait ice area export back to 1957, finding that the sea ice area export recently is about 25% larger than during the 1960’s.”

This 2004 Science Daily article, ”Winds, Ice Motion Root Cause Of Decline In Sea Ice, Not Warmer Temperatures” states that,

“extreme changes in the Arctic Oscillation in the early 1990s — and not warmer temperatures of recent years — are largely responsible for declines in how much sea ice covers the Arctic Ocean, with near record lows having been observed during the last three years, University of Washington researchers say.”

“It may have happened more than a decade ago, but the sea ice appears to still “remember” those Arctic Oscillation conditions, according to Ignatius Rigor, a mathematician with the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory.”

This 2004 paper “Variations in the Age of Arctic Sea-ice and Summer Sea-ice Extent” by Ignatius G. Rigor & John M. Wallace, found that;

“The winter AO-index explains as much as 64% of the variance in summer sea-ice extent in the Eurasian sector, but the winter and summer AO-indices combined explain less than 20% of the variance along the Alaskan coast, where the age of sea-ice explains over 50% of the year-to year variability. If this interpretation is correct, low summer sea-ice extents are likely to persist for at least a few years. However, it is conceivable that, given an extended interval of low-index AO conditions, ice thickness and summertime sea-ice extent could gradually return to the levels characteristic of the 1980′s.”

This 2010 paper, “Influence of winter and summer surface wind anomalies on summer Arctic sea ice extent” by Masayo Ogi, Koji Yamazaki and John M. Wallace, published in Geophysical Research Letters states that;

“We have shown results indicating that wind‐induced, year‐to‐year differences in the rate of flow of ice toward and through Fram Strait play an important role in modulating September SIE on a year‐to‐year basis and that a trend toward an increased wind‐induced rate of flow has contributed to the decline in the areal coverage of Arctic summer sea ice.”

This 2001 paper, “Fram Strait Ice Fluxes and Atmospheric Circulation: 1950–2000” by Torgny Vinje found that:

“Observations reveal a strong correlation between the ice fluxes through the Fram Strait and the cross-strait air pressure difference.”

“Although the 1950s and 1990s stand out as the two decades with maximum flux variability, significant variations seem more to be the rule than the exception over the whole period considered.”

“A noticeable fall in the winter air pressure of 7 hPa is observed in the Fram Strait and the Barents Sea during the last five decades.”

“The corresponding decadal maximum change in the Arctic Ocean ice thickness is of the order of 0.8 m. These temporal wind-induced variations may help explain observed changes in portions of the Arctic Ocean ice cover over the last decades. Due to an increasing rate in the ice drainage through the Fram Strait during the 1990s, this decade is characterized by a state of decreasing ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean.”

This 2003 paper “Arctic climate change: observed and modelled temperature and sea-ice variability“, by By OLA M. JOHANNESSEN, LENNART BENGTSSON, MARTIN W. MILES, SVETLANA I . KUZMINA, VLADIMIR A. SEMENOV, GENRIKH V. ALEKSEEV, ANDREI P. NAGURNYI, VICTOR F. ZAKHAROV, LEONID P. BOBYLEV, LASSE H. PETTERSSON, KLAUS HASSELMANN and HOWARD P. CATTLE states that;

“The decreases in recent decades, which are also partially due to circulation-driven ice export through the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard (Vinje, 2001), have coincided with a positive trend in the NAO, with unusually high index values in the late 1980s and 1990s. During this period, the variability of ice motion and ice export through the Fram Strait was correlated strongly with the NAO; r∼ 0.86 for the ice area flux (Kwok and Rothrock, 1999) and r∼ 0.7 for the ice volume flux (Hilmer and Jung, 2000), although the relationship was insignificant (r∼ 0.1) before the mid 1970s (Hilmer and Jung, 2000). Deser et al. (2000) analysed a 40-yr gridded data set (1958–97) to determine the association between arctic sea ice, SAT and SLP, concluding that the multidecadal trends in the NAO/AO in the past three decades have been ‘imprinted upon the distribution of Arctic sea ice’, with the first principal component of sea-ice concentration significantly correlated (r∼−0.63) with the NAO index, recently cause-and-effect modelled by Hu et al. (2002). None the less, our calculations and those of Deser et al. (2000) indicate that, even in recent decades, only about one third of the variability in arctic total ice extent and MY ice area (Johannessen et al., 1999) is explained by the NAO index,”

This 2002 paper “Response of Sea Ice to the Arctic Oscillation” by IGNATIUS G. RIGOR, JOHN M. WALLACE and ROGER L. COLONY found that

“Hilmer and Jung (2000) note a secular change in the relationship between the Fram Strait ice flux and the NAO; the high correlation noted by Kwok and Rothrock (1999) from 1978 to 1996 was not found in data prior to 1978. We expect our overall results to be more robust given the strong relationship between the AO and SIM over the Arctic, as compared to the weaker relationship between the north–south flow through Fram Strait and the AO. Even if one ignored the effect of the AO on the flux of ice through Fram Strait, the divergence of ice in the eastern Arctic would be still be ;50% greater under high-index conditions than under low-index conditions, and the heat flux would be ;25% greater.”

”We have shown that sea ice provides memory for the Arctic climate system so that changes in SIM driven by the AO during winter can be felt during the ensuing seasons; that is, the AO drives dynamic thinning of the sea ice in the eastern Arctic during winter, allowing more heat to be released from the ocean through the thinner ice during spring, and resulting in lower SIC during summer and the liberation of more heat by the freezing of the ice in autumn. The correlations between the wintertime AO and SIC and SAT during the subsequent seasons offers the hope of some predictability, which may be useful for navigation along the Northern Sea route.”

This 2000 paper, “Arctic decadal and interdecadal variability” by Igor V. Polyakov and Mark A. Johnson, found that;

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

And lastly, in this June 16th, 2012 Economist article “Uncovering an ocean“, which is part of their “Cold comfort” Arctic Special Report, it states that;

“A simultaneous thinning of the sea ice is also speeding up the shrinkage, because thinner ice is more liable to melt. According to Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, the average thickness of the pack ice has fallen by roughly half since the 1970s, probably for two main reasons. One is a rise in sea temperatures: in the summer of 2007 coastal parts of the Arctic Ocean measured 7°C—bracingly swimmable. The other was a prolonged eastward shift in the early 1990s in the Arctic’s prevailing winds, known as the Arctic Oscillation. This moved a lot of ice from the Beaufort Gyre, a revolving current in the western Arctic, to the ocean’s other main current, the Transpolar Drift Stream, which runs down the side of Siberia. A lot of thick, multi-year ice was flushed into the Atlantic and has not been replaced.”

As such, there is ample evidence that “global warming” is not “the cause of the melt” as the Economist erroneously infers in its article “The vanishing north”. The Economist’s over simplifications, poor reporting and overt alarmism are indicative of the sad state of formerly respected information source.

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166 Responses to The Economist Provides Readers With Erroneous Information About Arctic Sea Ice

  1. blogagog says:

    If it’s not too much trouble, could you use the blockquote tag when you are quoting another article?

    That way it’s much easier to understand if the comments are yours or if they belong to the author you are quoting

    .

    Thanks in advance!

  2. pat says:

    As a subscriber, I am mystified by The Economists undying belief in Catastrophic AGW. They do not fail to include a reference in everything from book reviews to discussions on the middle east. The writers usually have absolutely no knowledge on the subject and often blithely offer platitudes on global warming in the most unusual context. They never retract their silly assertions, even when events prove them wrong. They simply move on with further alarmism. issue after issue, topic after topic.

  3. Jeff (of Colorado) says:

    ’twas summer and the slithly bergs did gyre and gimble in the waves
    all mimsy was the occelation, and the moan warmers outraged

  4. omnologos says:

    Every AGW claim has a half-life, the average time for it to be debunked. I was expecting two or three weeks, but now it’s gone down to a day, and rapidly approaching homeopathy territory.

    I’m sure there’s a hockey stick in there somewhere.

  5. Wagathon says:

    Changes are small (order of several tenths of a degree)
    Changes are not causal but rather the residue of regional changes.
    Changes of the order of several tenths of a degree are always present at virtually all time scales.

    Obsessing on the details of this record is more akin to a spectator sport (or tea leaf reading) than a serious contributor to scientific efforts – at least so far. [Richard S. Lindzen (rlindzen@mit.edu) at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, 22-February-2012]

  6. beesaman says:

    It is a great pity but they all seem to be salivating at the prosepect of less ice over at Neven’s blog as well. A great pity as it used to be a really good science driven blog, now it just seems to be home to warmist alarmists that can’t see which way the wind blows, even in the Arctic..
    I supspect there will be a few more warm is bad ‘but we haven’t really thought it through as cold is worse’ bandwagon type folk along soon, crowing about the rapid decline in peripheral Arctic ice and completey ignoring the growth in Anatarctic ice. Well global warming like cherry picking only happens in ‘certain’ places after all, we all know that!

  7. blogagog says: June 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

    If it’s not too much trouble, could you use the blockquote tag when you are quoting another article?

    That way it’s much easier to understand if the comments are yours or if they belong to the author you are quoting.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sure, done. Thanks for the tip.

  8. Phil Clarke says:

    The Economist was merely stating the conclusions of the most recent study into this phenomenon,

    Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat (GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L08502, 6 PP., 2012)

    Lead author, Dirk Notz, stated “The whole study was based on ruling out one possible cause after the other.” The team looked at each possible cause of ice loss, using statistical analyses to determine whether a particular cause could explain the ice decline. The scientists first considered natural variability, or the effect of short-term and seasonal weather conditions and winds. While variable winds and weather clearly play a role in how much ice melts each summer, they found that the amount of variability was far too low to explain the intensity of the decline. [...] “In the end, only the increase in CO2 remained on our list of possible drivers,” Notz said, “We find a clear, physically plausible correlation of increasing CO2 and decreasing sea-ice cover.” While other research has previously shown a connection between sea ice decline and global warming, most of those studies focused on climate models. The new study provides an independent confirmation that sea ice is in fact declining because of human-caused climate change.

    http://nsidc.org/icelights/2012/05/16/what-is-causing-arctic-sea-ice-decline/

    The Economist has it right, in other words.

    PS Not so ‘average’ now …

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

  9. Randolph Resor says:

    I was confused and annoyed by the “Economist” lead article on “the vanishing Arctic”. I’ve been a reader of The Economist since the 1980s and I tend to trust its information. But I am NOT a believer in global warming; I’ve seen too much contrary evidence. So I wonder, and so must many others, that with all that’s going on in the world, from the collapse of the Euro to the rise of Chinese military power, why The Economist chose to lead its June 16 issue with a poorly researched and poorly written article about the Arctic.

  10. omnologos says: June 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I’m sure there’s a hockey stick in there somewhere.

    Of course;
    http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20120616_SRC263.png

    it’s in the article “Uncovering an ocean”:
    http://www.economist.com/node/21556802

    And here’s the requisite picture of an arctic animal “stranded” on ice, even though it can swim:
    http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20120616_SRP008_0.jpg

    which can be found in this Economist article “The melting north”
    http://www.economist.com/node/21556798

    which is similarly named as the article I highlighted above “The vanishing north”;
    http://www.economist.com/node/21556921

    and shares the same lead-in pic;
    http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20120616_SRP001_0.jpg

    but is a different article.

  11. otsar says:

    It would not surprise me if their economic reporting were just as accurate and factual.

  12. JPeden says:

    “The Economist’s over simplifications, poor reporting and overt alarmism are indicative of the sad state of formerly respected information source.”

    From what I can gather, the Economist has become a “go to” source for elite Liberals-Leftists “in the know”. One close Liberal acquaintance of mine – who once tried to chide me for not being seen reading the New York Times, and also therefore being manifestly uninformed – has been handing down his old Economist editions to me as though I should read them just like he does, which I do while noting the stunning CAGW nonsense perpetrated there, some of which has been previously noted by WUWT. But the Libs apparently think I will be swayed “because the Economist says it.” Some of its other stuff seems pretty rational to me, although my rule is that once a person or entity starts getting PC, its overall credibility is extremely suspect, a tipping point has been reached, and…listen up Libs… The End Is Near!

  13. timetochooseagain says:

    Given that the annual air temperature maximum of the region from 80 N to the pole is basically constant, direct contribution of temperature change to the trend in annual minimum ice extent can’t be too great.

    Still, it is possible that changes in temperatures-especially those during winter, and of the water itself (which may be different from the air temps) are causing changes in wind conditions and indirectly causing changes in the ice extent.

    Of course, at that point we are starting to get into highly speculative territory.

  14. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    since the 1970s the sea ice has retreated by around 12% each decade.
    roughly a fifth less than in the 1960s

    One fith = 20%. Divide by 5 decades = 4% per decade?????

  15. geoprof says:

    I have read The Economist for many years. The CAGW meme has become an endemic thing with them. It drives me nuts. They mouth every alarmist meme put out there, and just as Pat said earlier, in every article. There are weeks when I just want to cancel, but I use the information regularly on economics and geography. It is disheartening, to say the least, to see a former great publication lose itself to these cultists.

  16. Gary Pearse says:

    Listening to a CBC radio broadcast in the car a few days ago. Biodiversity specialists – butterflies, etc. all talked mainly about habitat loss as the main threat – and most would agree. However at the question period, a reply was made that over and above regular habitat loss, we now have the coming affect of a 6-9 metre increase in sea level by 2050!! My main concern is that nice well meaning people believe in all this and it is being taught in already traditonally socialistic schooling in North America. Nevermind the charlatans like the team who, from the climategate emails, show that even they don’t really believe in all this alarmism – it is their bread and butter. They know they have cooked the studies and thrown out non-supportive data.

  17. Rob Potter says:

    The Economist lost the plot about five or six years ago. They had been pretty good previously and supported the inital Copenhagen Consensus conferences run by Bjorn Lomborg (bottom line from these is that AGW is happening, but there are more important issues to tackle) since that work was based on solid economics, but there has most definitely been a shift lately which has affected its entire editorial policy.

    The Economist actually supported Obama in the last US presidential election in complete betrayal of its free market (and free trade) history. Walter Bagehot is spinning in his grave.

  18. pat says:

    geoprof says:
    As a whole, it is an excellent publication, even though wildly leftist when it comes to America in particular. The international and economic statistic reporting is unparallelled.

  19. Reblogged this on thewordpressghost and commented:
    Everyone,

    I am not a weather scientist, although, my waitress last week was.

    But, I think Mr. Watt is an entertaining read.

    And I think he points out a lot of interesting facts about global warming.

    Hope you enjoy.

    Ghost.

  20. Richard Keen says:

    I used to subscribe to and read The Economist for many years. Back in the 1970’s, some Brits on the faculty would leave copies in the reading room at the Institue of Arctic and Alpine Research in good ol’ Boulder, Colorado. I found the magazine’s free market perspective back then quite refreshing.
    Fast forward to 2008…. The Economist endorses Barack Obama for president, saying “America, it’s about time”, but offering no reasons why we should prefer him over the other guy, and providing no investigation into Obama’s background or any ideas on what his real political and economic philosophies could be. The reporting, if I dare call it such, was most shallow and un-insightful. The same applies to their coverage of “climate change”, where they buy the IPCC line uncritically.
    I calibrate sources by how they cover subjects I know something about – perhaps more than the source does, at times – and The Economist fails this calibration test miserably. I have no reason to think their coverage of diamond mining or Kazakhstan is any more profound than their coverage of Global Warming or Barack Obama, so there’s no point in sinking the big bucks for this magazine. Sadly, the E-communist has lost its free market roots and has sunk to the shallow and slanted reporting of the rest of the media.

  21. davidmhoffer says:

    I dropped the economist a long time ago. Their pragmatic and factual reporting has become increasingly biased by political agenda. I dropped them before they bought into the CAGW meme, and they have done nothing since then to improve my opinion of them. They are going from bad to worse, and not just on the CAGW front.

  22. ShrNfr says:

    As usual I endured the normal amount of abuse making comments on that article. There are fruitcakes over there that are supported by Jeremy Grantham’s Grantham Institute like Lord Stern at the LSE that have taken what few neurons are left there in the folks besides TallBloke and washed and bleached them. I put Dr. Watt’s sea ice page up as a link. I doubt many people made the journey.

  23. Gary says:

    Is The Economist owned by The Guardian by any chance. Would explain a lot…

  24. acckkii says:

    1- In this 2007 NASA article “NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low in 2007“;
    “Son V. Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that “the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. . .”
    2- This 2010 Guardian article “Wind contributing to Arctic sea ice loss, study finds” states that;
    “Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.”
    3- This 2004 Science Daily article, ”Winds, Ice Motion Root Cause Of Decline In Sea Ice, Not Warmer Temperatures” states that,
    “extreme changes in the Arctic Oscillation in the early 1990s — and not warmer temperatures of recent years-. . ”
    4- And lastly, in this June 16th, 2012 Economist article “Uncovering an ocean“, which is part of their “Cold comfort” Arctic Special Report, it states that;
    “….. probably for two main reasons. One is a rise in sea temperatures: in the summer of 2007 coastal parts of the Arctic Ocean measured 7°C—bracingly swimmable. The other was a prolonged eastward shift in the early 1990s in the Arctic’s prevailing winds, known as the Arctic Oscillation. ”
    _________________
    The main stream is the “WIND”.
    Questions:
    What is the CAUSE of this “WIND” ?
    Is this Global Warming behind the curtain of the “WIND”?

  25. Sean Peake says:

    Just wondering… is there some kind of climate change conference coming up?

  26. Looks like Arctic sea ice will nearly disappear by Sept 2012:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html
    (sarcasm)

  27. AlexS says:

    The Economist is transforming itself into a Newsweek…

  28. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Notz and colleagues then looked at other possible drivers for ice decline, ranging from solar radiation and cosmic rays, to volcanic eruptions, wind patterns, and oceanic heat transport. For all of these potential causes, their analysis showed that none of these were correlated with ice extent.”

    The long run of strong El Ninos during the late 20th century correlates with the ice loss well enough.That would result in warmer water entering the Arctic Ocean.

    The Arctic ice has recovered a little since 2007 which correlates with the shift to negative Pacific Ocean Oscillations around 2003 or thereabouts.

    How do they justify excluding that cause ?

  29. Jim D says:

    I think this article was designed to comfort those who may be looking at the current state of the Arctic sea ice. You are supposed to go over to the sea ice extent graphs and repeat to yourself “it’s only the wind”. I might recommend taking a stiff drink too.

  30. Rob Z says:

    “There is ample evidence that the Arctic has warmed over the last several decades”

    It would appear that there is now ample evidence that the TLT and the sea ice extent minimum are not related. If 2007 TLT measurements looks like 2005 and 2010, it’s just a bunch of tree ring data. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should or that it will be meaningful.
    Along those lines:
    Psychology has recognized the problems of their field, it would be seem to be time for climatologists to do the same. This is an amazing article. Not pay walled.
    http://www.nature.com/news/replication-studies-bad-copy-1.10634
    We’ve all heard the term psychobabble due to the known issues of the “science” and the stupidity employed (both people and methods). Patients, mentally challenged due to numerous issues go to the “experts” only to learn that they need to change their ways. The payments keep flowing in from desperate clients seeking self confirmation that they’re saving themselves and the planet. Passing recommendations on to others to give their Doctors a try. More money to the doctors who become anxious to find something else wrong but only a bit different so the money wheel keeps turning. We now live in the age of “climatobabble”.

  31. BillyV says:

    What is happening to the Economist is consistent with O’Sullivan’s Law and the following snippet I think is relevent:

    “O’Sullivan’s Law states that any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time. The law is named after British journalist John O’Sullivan.

    One of the reasons for this is leftist intolerance versus right-wing tolerance. Right wingers are willing to hire openly left-wing employees in the interest of fairness. Left-wingers, utterly intolerant, will not allow a non-Liberal near them, and will harass them at every opportunity. The result over time is that conservative enterprises are infiltrated by leftists but leftist enterprises remain the same or get worse.”

  32. Chuck L says:

    The Economist used to be my go-to source of news; I appreciated the international viewpoint and high calibre of the reporting. Not any more, they are yet another leftist mouthpiece, joining Time and Newsweek in pushing the social democratic agenda.

  33. Vince Causey says:

    Phil Clarke,

    “The Economist has it right, in other words.”

    Your reference is to an article that purports to link the current warming trend to CO2 emissions. Whether or not this is the case, that is not the contentious part of the economist article. The “vanishing north” is drawing conclusions about the future state of the arctic, beyond even that in the last IPCC report.

    For example, they state: “If the warming continues, it could eventually disintegrate, raising the sea level by seven metres. Many of the world’s biggest cities would be inundated long before that happened.” The IPCC AR4 expect a maximum of 59cm increase. This is pure unsubstantiated scaremongering.

    They then add: “Some scientists argue that the perils are so immediate that mankind should consider geoengineering the atmosphere to avert them (see article). They may turn out to be right, but there could be enormous risks involved. A slower but safer approach would be to price greenhouse-gas emissions, preferably through a carbon tax, which would encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies (see article). That shift would be costly, but the costs of inaction are likely to be larger.”

    In other words, they have cherry picked the most extreme scientific opinions (eg Hansen) and decided what the future state of the climate will be, how much it will cost to adapt, how much it will cost to mitigate, and concluded that we should price CO2. There is nothing here that is even remotely factual, and only a fool would give it any credence.

    So, I would not agree with your assertion that the Economist “has it right”.

  34. Jimbo says:

    Last year the summer minimum was 4.33m square km (1.67m square miles)—almost half the average for the 1960s.

    Seeing as they are aware of the minimum in the 1960s they might want to contact the IPCC and ask them for their graph showing the minimum extent in the early 1970s. Funny how they skipped the early 1970s eh. ;-) Did I mention soot or was that Hansen? Heh, heh.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/polar-meltdown/
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/01/nasa-and-multi-year-arctic-ice-and-historical-context/

  35. Jim says:

    I’m not even convinced the ice is melting! Look at Antarctica… ice is at all-time record highs! Wonder how these alarmists at the Economist explain that away.

  36. Werner Brozek says:

    It is a stunning illustration of global warming, the cause of the melt.

    Just to reinforce points made above, 2012 so far is colder than 2011 on all data sets. And 2011 was either 9th or 12th warmest on all data sets. And we are far from the warmest on any data set. And all sets show long periods with no warming. Here are the details:

    2012 in perspective so far

    With the UAH anomaly for May at 0.289, the average for the first five months of the year is (-0.089 -0.111 + 0.111 + 0.299 + 0.289)/5 = 0.0998. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 12th. This compares with the anomaly in 2011 at 0.153 to rank it 9th for that year. (1998 was the warmest at 0.428.)

    With the RSS anomaly for May at 0.233, the average for the first five months of the year is (-0.058 -0.121 + 0.074 + 0.333 + 0.233)/5 = 0.0922. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 16th. This compares with the anomaly in 2011 at 0.147 to rank it 12th for that year. (1998 was the warmest at 0.55.)

    With the GISS anomaly for May at 0.65, the average for the first five months of the year is (0.34 + 0.41 + 0.47 + 0.55 + 0.65)/5 = 0.484. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 10th. This compares with the anomaly in 2011 at 0.514 to rank it 9th for that year. (2010 was the warmest at 0.63.)

    With the Hadcrut3 anomaly for April at 0.482, the average for the first four months of the year is (0.217 + 0.194 + 0.305 + 0.482)/4 = 0.2995. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 14th. This compares with the anomaly in 2011 at 0.34 to rank it 12th for that year. (1998 was the warmest at 0.548.)

    With the sea surface anomaly for April at 0.292, the average for the first four months of the year is (0.203 + 0.230 + 0.242 + 0.292)/4 0.242. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 14th. This compares with the anomaly in 2011 at 0.273 to rank it 12th for that year. (1998 was the warmest at 0.451.)

    So on all five of the above data sets, for their latest anomaly average, the 2012 average is colder than their 2011 average value.

    On all data sets, the different times for a slope that is flat for all practical purposes range from 10 years and 8 months to 15 years and 7 months. Following is the longest period of time (above 10 years) where each of the data sets is more or less flat. (For any positive slope, the exponent is no larger than 10^-5, except UAH which was 0.00103655 per year or 0.10/century, so while it is not significant, it could be questioned whether it can be considered to be flat.)

    1. RSS: since November 1996 or 15 years, 7 months (goes to May)
    2. HadCrut3: since January 1997 or 15 years, 3 months (goes to March)
    3. GISS: since May 2001 or 11 years, 1 month (goes to May)
    4. UAH: since October 2001 or 10 years, 8 months (goes to May)
    5. Combination of the above 4: since October 2000 or 11 years, 6 months (goes to March)
    6. Sea surface temperatures: since January 1997 or 15 years, 4 months (goes to April)
    7. Hadcrut4: since December 2000 or 11 years, 6 months (goes to May using GISS. See below.)

    See the graph below to show it all for #1 to #6.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001.33/trend/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/wti/from:2000.75/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997/trend/plot/uah/from:2001.75/trend

    For #7: Hadcrut4 only goes to December 2010 so what I did was get the slope of GISS from December 2000 to the end of December 2010. Then I got the slope of GISS from December 2000 to the present. The DIFFERENCE in slope was that the slope was 0.0046 lower for the total period. The positive slope for Hadcrut4 was 0.0041 from December 2000. So IF Hadcrut4 were totally up to date, and IF it then were to trend like GISS, I conclude it would show no slope for at least 11 years and 6 months going back to December 2000. (By the way, doing the same thing with Hadcrut3 gives the same end result, but GISS comes out much sooner each month.) See:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000/to/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000.9/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2000/plot/gistemp/from:2000.9/to:2011/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2000.9/trend

  37. TomTurner in SF says:

    The photo Al Gore and the global warming wackos don’t want you to see
    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/photo-north-pole-submarine

    Canada’s new leader takes on U.S. over Arctic
    North pole ice free in 1958: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/

    Are the ice caps melting? Climate science’s bipolar disorder
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/03/goddard_polar_ice/print.html

    NASA, Not Man, Behind Arctic Sea Ice Decline:
    http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2009/05/nasa-not-man-is-causing-arctic-sea-ice.html

  38. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Gary Pearse says June 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Listening to a CBC radio broadcast in the car a few days ago.

    Are you crazy?

  39. ferd berple says:

    The magnetic north pole is rapidly changing location. We know that major climate shifts have taken place in the past co-incidentally with shifts in the earth’s magnetic field. Is it perhaps just possible this is what is going on in the Arctic? Global warming cannot be the cause, or we would see melting in the Antarctic.

  40. The National Snow and Ice Data Center – NSIDC shows that for the last two weeks the Arctic Sea Ice Extent has gone lower than the 2007 curve. Now climate is judged by two weeks at FT!
    See http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

  41. Jimbo says:

    Phil Clarke says:
    June 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

    The Economist was merely stating the conclusions of the most recent study into this phenomenon,……………….
    The Economist has it right, in other words.

    How do you know they have it “right”? By the way I didn’t see anything about soot but maybe they looked. Here is soot’s contribution which may or may not be “right”.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2004/2004_Hansen_Nazarenko.pdf
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ko06100c.html
    http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/~bhatt/Teaching/ATM656.fall2007/reading_11_20_2007/Strack_etal2007.pdf
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231005002165
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231007009752

    Here are some images of patchy, black Arctic ice among other images.
    http://tinyurl.com/7t866nv

  42. mfo says:

    The Economist is 50% ownwed by the Financial Times, which is part of Pearson plc. Pearson have made a commitment to be a carbon neutral company and is a founding signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. Their environmental policy states: “We have a responsibility as a company to take proper care of the environment. This forms an essential part of how we run our business and reflects our support for the principle of sustainable development.”

    The Pearson Foundation focuses its efforts, resources, and alliances on the key approaches inside and outside the classroom that can most shape a child’s success. One of their initiatives was an environmental filmmaking competition that provides young people with the chance to share their views on the earth’s future and the importance of combating climate change.

    The prize was technology and support worth up to $25,000, including digital arts technology and a workshop for up to 60 students in their school. The winners also received a copy of An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.
    http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/pr/090122-edc.html

  43. Isn’t 2012 when Al Gore said all North Pole ice would be gone? Or was it 2013?

  44. NZ Willy says:

    The issue boils down to: will the Arctic ice recover in the short term, or will it continue to decrease. My own expectation for this year is that the Atlantic-side melt will not go beyond the New Siberian Islands, because it’s simply too cold up there.

  45. People that advocate “global warming” make it a habit of not bringing up the past. There has been less ice in the Arctic for most of the last 9000 years than there is now. They want only to talk about the last 30 years when Arctic ice had been in a small decline. They also don’t want to say there has been increase in Arctic ice since 2007. The decline that had been happening is over. There is now an increase in ice happening. It is normal for Arctic ice to go through these fluctuations.

  46. Eli Rabett says:

    It’s chewing gum and walking again. You need both higher temperatures and unfavorable circulation patterns to empty out the ice in the Arctic basin. Given higher temperatures (and there is a warming since 1980 of about .8 K/decade since 1980 from multiple sources and reanalyses, that means that the weaker ice is simply waiting for a favorable wind.

    NOTE: Eli Rabett is actually Joshua Halpern of Howard University

  47. Travis says:

    “In fact, the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations”

    I do not understand why people are so ready to treat winds, climate patterns, and temperature as three completely unrelated variables when it comes to changes in the Arctic. Are weather and climate not dictated by the uneven heating of earth’s surface and interactions with regional topography? Why are we acting like none of these variables affect any of the others?

  48. Scott says:

    The Economist has ceased being a news source of relevance long ago.

  49. charles nelson says:

    They don’t seem to have much of a handle on Economics either.

  50. dennisambler says:

    As usual the arguments are still around the short period of satellite measurements, just a finger snap in the overall scheme of things and yet there is ample evidence from geology and archaeology that there is nothing unique about the current Arctic. Equally, satellite measurements started at the end of the 60’s and 70’s cooling, when cod moved south to warmer waters, leading to the “Cod Wars” between the UK and Iceland, as Iceland sought to establish a 200 mile exclusion zone as they chased their south-migrating fish stocks. During that cold period, there were serious suggestions of geo-engineering to warm up the planet, including turning the Arctic into an ice free ocean.

    The quoted link to the 2009 Tonyb comprehensive post on Arctic ice history is well worth re-visiting in terms of “modern” ice history.

    The Arctic was much warmer in pre-history and A paper by Willerslev E. et al, “Ancient Biomolecules from Deep Ice Cores Reveal a Forested Southern Greenland”; published in Science, 6 July 2007, showed that Greenland was covered in a dense forest teeming with flora and fauna less than a million years ago.

    “Using DNA extracted from plants and insects embedded deep in ice cores scientists found evidence that Greenland, today a frozen island, was considerably warmer during the past 450,000 to 900,000 years than previously thought.”

    According to Robert McGhee, Head of the Scientific Section, Archaeological Survey of Canada, based at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa this also the case in relatively recent times:

    Climate and People in the Pre-Historic Arctic
    http://www.carc.org/pubs/v15no5/5.htm

    “By about 7000 years ago the massive glaciers of the last Ice Age had retreated to the mountain peaks of the eastern Canadian Arctic. Tundra vegetation had become established, and was grazed by caribou, musk oxen, and, in some areas, by bison. The gulfs and channels between the arctic islands had long been at least seasonally ice-free, and provided a home to populations of seals, walrus, and whales.”

    “There is considerable evidence that for the next 3500 years the arctic climate was noticeably warmer than today, the tree-line was north of its present position, sea ice was less extensive, and animal populations were large and well established.”

    It is for these reasons that I cannot get excited about each latest monthly ice extent recorded by satellite, because one thing is certain, there will be continuing climate change and artificially pushing up our energy costs by regulation and taxation will not stop it one iota.

  51. Kaboom says:

    It seems the Economist has fallen prey to the old meme that required the writer to include the words “in accordance with the prophecy” in all missives. Only they use “global warming can be seen in how [enter phenomenon]“.

  52. Ron H. says:

    I can’t help but laugh when I read something like the following quote from the GRL article:

    The scientists first considered natural variability, or the effect of short-term and seasonal weather conditions and winds. While variable winds and weather clearly play a role in how much ice melts each summer, they found that the amount of variability was far too low to explain the intensity of the decline. [...] “In the end, only the increase in CO2 remained on our list of possible drivers,” Notz said,

    As if such a method should be considered seriously. I am always reminded of watching episodes of the TV crime drama CSI, in which supposed forensic “experts” attempt to determine the murder weapon by fitting a variety of objects to the fatal wound of the victim until something fits exactly. “Ahah! This tire iron fits the dent in the victims skull, so the murder weapon must be a tire iron. Mystery solved.”

    It must be that, because we don’t know what else it could be.

    What nonsense.

  53. If their only focus is beginning all their worry series from the 1970’s, no wonder they report such dribble. Maybe we should ask them (shove it in their face, actually) what caused this interglacial and got us out of the last major ice age and, if a carbon tax has any relevance:

    http://earthintime.com/holocene.jpg
    http://earthintime.com/phartempco2.jpg

    Makes me wonder just what evidence they rely on? WWF/Greenpeace anyone..?

  54. George Steiner says:

    For over ten years, probably more actually, I have read the Economist from cover to cover exclusively. Until I gradually realized that it is all style and no substance. Then I stopped my subscription. This was about ten years ago.

    Their writing style is very good.This is in large measure why even today many think that it is a serious newspaper. But in fact it is very shallow.

  55. Then again, I’m wondering what caused then to shift their worry series from the 1800’s to the 1970’s. Hansen not doing a good enough job..?

  56. Indea says:

    The ice cover is now the lowest for this time of year in the satellite data record, and it’s due to many factors, winds, air temperatures, ocean temperatures. In all the publications mentioned in this post, not one of them says the majority of the ice loss we’re seeing in the Arctic is a result of winds\, and in fact statistically speaking, it’s less than 50%.
    I suppose it may be hard for some die-hard climate skeptics to accept this is going to be another anomalously low sea ice year, but it is. The loss of Arctic sea ice is consistent with climate models that for quite some time now have been predicting the Arctic will become seasonally ice-free as temperatures warm in response to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.

  57. Indea says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    June 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    People that advocate “global warming” make it a habit of not bringing up the past. There has been less ice in the Arctic for most of the last 9000 years than there is now. They want only to talk about the last 30 years when Arctic ice had been in a small decline. They also don’t want to say there has been increase in Arctic ice since 2007. The decline that had been happening is over. There is now an increase in ice happening. It is normal for Arctic ice to go through these fluctuations.

    Amino (surely not your real name), where is your proof that the last 9000 years have had less Arctic sea ice than today???

  58. Phil Clarke says: June 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

    The Economist was merely stating the conclusions of the most recent study into this phenomenon,

    Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat (GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L08502, 6 PP., 2012)

    Lead author, Dirk Notz, stated “The whole study was based on ruling out one possible cause after the other.” The team looked at each possible cause of ice loss, using statistical analyses to determine whether a particular cause could explain the ice decline.

    This is nothing short of laughable. I’ve been compiling a list of climatic variables;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/potential-climatic-variables/

    and I can guarantee that Dirk Notz1 and Jochem Marotzke1 aren’t even aware of many of the variables, much less having incorporated them into their “statistical analyses”.

    Simple example, there is no reference to polar vorticity in the paper. Polar Vortices

    “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”

    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/.

    “A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles.” “The vortex is most powerful in the hemisphere’s winter, when the temperature gradient is steepest, and diminishes or can disappear in the summer.”

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

    This article and associated graphics help to demonstrate the dynamical effect of the polar vortex on Venus’s south pole:
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/venus-polar-vortex/

    How were they able to look at and eliminate the influence of polar vorticity when we barely understand it?

    “In the end, only the increase in CO2 remained on our list of possible drivers

    Then they need to get a bigger list of possible drivers…

    The Economist has it right, in other words.

    Or in other words, The Economist is peddling uniformed alarmist rhetoric…

    PS Not so ‘average’ now …

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    Is was average in April, do you think “Global Warming” has kicked in since then…

  59. Indea says:

    justthefactswuwt,

    I don’t agree with the Notz paper that the only factor is GHGs, I think the paper has some serious flaws, and using statistics to identify the primary drivers is one of my major complaints. Statistics doesn’t provide cause and effect. It’s difficult because in our observations, no matter what variable we are observing, there are several factors contributing to the value of that observation. And we only have one observation. That’s why scientists try to model the climate system, so that they can do experiments to see how the climate will respond to perturbations in a variable.

    Just because April was near normal and June is low(lowest) in several decades doesn’t mean “global warming” has kicked in since April. It’s the long-term decline that is of interest, not the bumps and wiggles along the way. What is driving the long-term trend and how that is going to impact future development in the Arctic is what is of interest to me.

  60. Neapolitan says:

    I’m so glad I read this post, as it reinforces what I’ve known all along: heat doesn’t melt ice! See, I built a snowman for my kids in my backyard in February, but it had vanished by early April. Of course, some silly alarmists tried to tell me it was because it had “melted” due to “warmer temperatures”, but I knew better–and this post proves that it wasn’t temperature that did Mr. Frosty in, but rather wind and Atmospheric Oscillations!

    Now, with the Fourth of July coming up, I plan a simple experiment to once and for all prove to my warmist friends and family members that it’s not temperature that melts ice. I’m going to buy one of those 20-pound blocks of solid ice from the corner store and place it on the sidewalk, then cover it with a see-through glass cube. The glass will protect the ice from winds and Atmospheric Oscillations, so there’s no way it’ll melt, even if I leave it in the sun all day long. That’ll definitely show them! They’ll have no choice but to retract and recant their silly alarmist beliefs! I’ll be sure to let everybody here know how it goes!

  61. TomRude says:

    Eli Rabbett, a recent paper showed that during the LIA, Arctic sea ice extent diminished, and thus is a poor proxy of Global Warming…

  62. acckkii says: June 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    _______________
    The main stream is the “WIND”.
    Questions:
    What is the CAUSE of this “WIND” ?

    “Wind is caused by differences in pressure. When a difference in pressure exists, the air is accelerated from higher to lower pressure. On a rotating planet, the air will be deflected by the Coriolis effect, except exactly on the equator. Globally, the two major driving factors of large-scale winds (the atmospheric circulation) are the differential heating between the equator and the poles (difference in absorption of solar energy leading to buoyancy forces) and the rotation of the planet. Outside the tropics and aloft from frictional effects of the surface, the large-scale winds tend to approach geostrophic balance. Near the Earth’s surface, friction causes the wind to be slower than it would be otherwise. Surface friction also causes winds to blow more inward into low pressure areas.[1]

    Winds defined by an equilibrium of physical forces are used in the decomposition and analysis of wind profiles. They are useful for simplifying the atmospheric equations of motion and for making qualitative arguments about the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds. The geostrophic wind component is the result of the balance between Coriolis force and pressure gradient force. It flows parallel to isobars and approximates the flow above the atmospheric boundary layer in the midlatitudes.[2] The thermal wind is the difference in the geostrophic wind between two levels in the atmosphere. It exists only in an atmosphere with horizontal temperature gradients.[3] The ageostrophic wind component is the difference between actual and geostrophic wind, which is responsible for air “filling up” cyclones over time.[4] The gradient wind is similar to the geostrophic wind but also includes centrifugal force (or centripetal acceleration).”[5]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind

    Additionally there is;

    “katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning “going downhill”, is the technical name for a drainage wind, a wind that carries high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katabatic_wind

    Is this Global Warming behind the curtain of the “WIND”?

    I haven’t seen any evidence to support Global Warming’s Wizard of Oz-esque effect on wind. Can you provide any?

  63. LazyTeenager says:

    So a guy called just-the-facts wants to reject the notion that warmer temperatures cause ice to melt faster. Oh the irony in that name. A bit like calling yourself a democratic republic.

    I wonder if many consider that when all the ice is frozen no amount of blowing is going to push that ice out the Fram strait. And it gets a whole lot easier for wind to push ice out of the strait if a whole lot has already melted.

  64. chip says:

    The Economist lost the plot years ago and I never read it now. The magazine was originally founded as classical liberal publication with a focus on free markets, liberty and trade.

    But then it was captured by a statist leadership that incredibly led it to announcing support for Tony Blair and Obama. Their support for catastrophic AGW is just another waymarker of their descent into a snobbier version of Newsweek.

  65. Jim D says: June 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I think this article was designed to comfort those who may be looking at the current state of the Arctic sea ice.

    No, this article was designed to educate readers about the climatic variables that influence Arctic Sea Ice, offer a counter point to The Economist’s uninformed alarmist rhetoric, and hopefully help to hasten the demise of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming narrative ever so slightly.

    You are supposed to go over to the sea ice extent graphs and repeat to yourself “it’s only the wind”

    You’ll note that I’ve pointed out several other potential variables, including atmospheric temperature. It was The Economist that stated that;

    “It is a stunning illustration of global warming, the cause of the melt.

    I am not saying “it’s only the wind”, I’m saying it is not “a stunning illustration of global warming”.

    I might recommend taking a stiff drink too.

    I’ll probably take you up on that…

  66. AndyG55 says:

    “It is a stunning illustration of global warming, the cause of the melt.”

    One might actually want to look at the current temperature (after the ice area graphs on the sea ice page) its right there on the 40 yr average for this time of year. It looks to me as if the current loss of ice is due to the warmer winter temps, which were due to the sea currents, probably making the ice that formed during winter not as thick.

    But it isn’t Global !! Antarctica is still increasing year by year.

  67. Richards in Vancouver says:

    Randolph Resor, 11:00AM — You write:

    “So I wonder, and so must many others, that with all that’s going on in the world, from the collapse of the Euro to the rise of Chinese military power, why The Economist chose to lead its June 16 issue with a poorly researched and poorly written article about the Arctic.”

    I reply with one word: “Rio”.

    Cheers!

  68. Smokey says:

    Indea says:

    “…where is your proof that the last 9000 years have had less Arctic sea ice than today???”

    Here is a peer reviewed paper, which says exactly that.

    And a glance at this chart should convince any rational person that there was significantly less sea ice during the earlier Holocene.

    Now you can ask the pseudo-science author at the Economist for some new talking points.

  69. Indea says:

    Smokey, .you point to a paper that says 6000-7000 years ago there may have been less ice north of Greenland, but that does not support Amino’s assertion that much of the last 9000 years had less ice than today, nor does it give an idea of ice conditions Arctic-wide, again not proving Amino’s statement. I’m sure there has been less ice today in the past, and there have been times with no ice. That does not disprove that warming temperatures (from GHGs, from natural variability, from both forces) is causing the current ice reductions.

  70. Neapolitan says: June 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I’m so glad I read this post, as it reinforces what I’ve known all along: heat doesn’t melt ice! See, I built a snowman for my kids in my backyard in February, but it had vanished by early April. Of course, some silly alarmists tried to tell me it was because it had “melted” due to “warmer temperatures”, but I knew better–and this post proves that it wasn’t temperature that did Mr. Frosty in, but rather wind and Atmospheric Oscillations!

    Now, with the Fourth of July coming up, I plan a simple experiment to once and for all prove to my warmist friends and family members that it’s not temperature that melts ice. I’m going to buy one of those 20-pound blocks of solid ice from the corner store and place it on the sidewalk, then cover it with a see-through glass cube. The glass will protect the ice from winds and Atmospheric Oscillations, so there’s no way it’ll melt, even if I leave it in the sun all day long. That’ll definitely show them! They’ll have no choice but to retract and recant their silly alarmist beliefs! I’ll be sure to let everybody here know how it goes!

    LazyTeenager says:
    June 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    So a guy called just-the-facts wants to reject the notion that warmer temperatures cause ice to melt faster. Oh the irony in that name. A bit like calling yourself a democratic republic.

    Since you cannot refute the facts I’ve presented, your only recourse is misstatement. In my article above I wrote that “However, atmospheric temperatures are just one of numerous variables that are the “cause of the melt”. In fact, the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations,” Obviously I recognize that Atmospheric and Oceanic Temperatures influence Arctic Sea Ice, however I still assert that “the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations”. If you disagree, present some facts to disprove my assertions. The Warmist community is supposed to be made up the greatest minds in climatology, why can’t any of them come here and disprove my assertions?

  71. Werner Brozek says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    June 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    and there is a warming since 1980 of about .8 K/decade

    So it warmed by 2.6 C since 1980? What is your source?

    The following gives a slope = 0.0143316 per year or 0.14/decade

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1980/plot/wti/from:1980/trend

    In this article, RSS only gives 0.337 C/decade for the northern polar region only.

    Also note that the article talked about “global warming” and not polar warming.

  72. James Sexton says:

    Neapolitan says:
    June 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I’m so glad I read this post, as it reinforces what I’ve known all along: heat doesn’t melt ice!
    ===================================
    Sis, you need to check when the temp anomalies occur. Ice doesn’t melt at -20° F, just as much as it doesn’t melt at -40° Do try to keep up.

  73. Smokey says:

    Indea,

    As JTF says, since you cannot refute the facts I’ve presented, your response is misdirection. Your statement was, “where is your proof that the last 9000 years have had less Arctic sea ice than today???” I provided you with a credible, peer reviewed citation showing exactly that. So now your red herring argument has morphed into: “that does not support Amino’s assertion that much of the last 9000 years had less ice than today, nor does it give an idea of ice conditions Arctic-wide, again not proving Amino’s statement.”

    First, that is specifically what it shows. There is currently little Arctic ice, and temperatures now are cooler than during much of the Holocene. What does that tell you? It tells any reasonable person that an ice-free Arctic is a routine occurrence during the many warmer episodes of the Holocene.

    Your desperation to blame GHG’s, specifically CO2, is apparent but scientifically baseless. The primary causes of Arctic ice loss are wind and currents, not CO2. If it were due to CO2 then the Antarctic would be losing ice, too. But as we know, the Antarctic is gaining ice.

    Run along now to the illiterate morons at the Economist for some much needed alarmist talking points. Because you are in over your head here at the internet’s “Best Science” site.

    I subscribed to the Economist for some thirty years. When Mickelthwaite was appointed due to his misguided belief in the climate alarmist nonsense, I unsubscribed. I have no need to spend money on agenda driven pseudo-science written by scientific illiterates. Pass that on to them for me, will you please? Thanx.

  74. jourtegrity says:

    The Economist brags hard on its objectivity but the needle has been pegged hard left for the last few years. Becoming another lefty boutique rag.

  75. “We find a clear, physically plausible correlation of increasing CO2 and decreasing sea-ice cover.”

    Only if you cherry pick the Arctic and ignore the Antarctic. If you look at global sea ice there is a negative correlation with CO2. Thus, according to their analysis, proving increasing CO2 causes increasing sea ice.

    More junk climate science.

  76. Indea says:

    Smokey, seems you didn’t read the earlier posting at WUWT on the sea ice during the Eemian warm period…

    I should know you would react the way you do, it’s how you react to anyone who provides a different point of view than your rigid dogma. At least you’re consistent.

    btw…nothing you wrote or referenced supports that the last 9000 years had less ice than today.

  77. Jim says: June 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Look at Antarctica… ice is at all-time record highs!

    No, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is average;
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

    and Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly is bit above average.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

    Global Sea Ice Area below average;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    but certainly not indicative of rapid and catastrophic decline.

  78. I should have said,

    There is a positive correlation with CO2 levels.

  79. Grey Lensman says:

    Good grief, Lazy teenager, gets something right

    Quote

    A bit like calling yourself a democratic republic.

    Unquote

    Exactly right, a Democratic republic as opposed to a theocratic republic or a communist republic.

    A pity his understanding of the difference between Republic and Democracy does not extend to his knowledge of climate.

  80. Travis says: June 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    “In fact, the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations”

    I do not understand why people are so ready to treat winds, climate patterns, and temperature as three completely unrelated variables when it comes to changes in the Arctic

    I don’t know any of these “people” who are “so ready to treat winds, climate patterns, and temperature as three completely unrelated variables”. but the rest of know that some variations in Atmospheric and Sea Surface Temperatures are driven by Atmospheric and Oceanic Oscillations, e.g.

    A dominant mode of Arctic variability is the Arctic Oscillation (AO), and its strong positive phase during the 1990s may account for much of the recent decrease in Arctic ice extent. The AO explains more than half of the surface air temperature trends over much of the Arctic [Rigor et al., 2000].
    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~kostya/Pdf/Seaice.30yrs.GRL.pdf

    “We present area-averaged time series of temperature for the 100–150 m depth layer of the Barents Sea from 1900 through 2006. This record is dominated by multidecadal variability on the order of 4_C which is correlated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Index.”
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039847.pdf

    Are weather and climate not dictated by the uneven heating of earth’s surface and interactions with regional topography?

    There’s a lot more to it than that, rotation, tidal forces and ocean circulation are just a few. Read through this list;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/potential-climatic-variables/

    and let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed.

    Why are we acting like none of these variables affect any of the others?

    I am not sure who the we is but, something I wrote last year seems apropos, i.e.

    “I am often amused by claims that we understand Earth’s climate system, are able to accurately measure its behavior, eliminate all potential variables except CO2 as the primary driver of Earth’s temperature and make predictions of Earth’s temperature decades into the future, all with a high degree of confidence. I have been studying Earth’s climate system for several years and have found it to be a ridiculously complex, continually evolving and sometimes chaotic beast. Furthermore, our understanding of Earth’s climate system is currently rudimentary at best, our measurement capabilities are limited and our historical record is laughably brief.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/30/earths-climate-system-is-ridiculously-complex-with-draft-link-tutorial/

  81. renminbi says:

    I gave up on The Economist years ago. They claim to be for free markets, but their heart isn’t really in it. Why else would would they endorse people like Obama?
    They try to be “practical” leftists by conceding something to the market; they can then be “sophisticated”. Dishonest poseurs who believe their own BS.

  82. Smokey says:

    Indea says:

    “…nothing you wrote or referenced supports that the last 9000 years had less ice than today.”

    What?? You are crazy. Literally. I provided a peer reviewed citation, which you specifically asked for, along with a supporting graph of Holocene temperatures. Your predictable response is this.

    It will probably come as a real surprise to you, but scientific skeptics have nothing to prove. Your outlandish and easily refuted belief that the Arctic ice record goes back only to 1979 is typical of the alarmist crowd’s cognitive dissonance. Your cherry-picking of only the time frames that fit your belief system is indicative of a scientifically illiterate Economist reader. As you’ve noticed, I have no patience with someone who is not up to speed on the subject. I recommend taking several weeks off and reading up on the WUWT archives, keyword: arctic. You need a lot of basic education.

    The fact is that you have the onus of showing that what is observed today is anything unusual. You have failed, because I have shown you conclusively that it is not. If you don’t like the scientific method, go argue with the study’s authors. Go argue with R.B. Alley. Because I’m not really interested in debating with a closed-minded newbie who refuses to accept the findings of the scientists who actually went out on-scene, and collected real data. So believe whatever your eco-religion tells you. For me, I’ll stick to the scientific method and testable evidence.

  83. michael hart says:

    The shine started to come off my view of the Economist some years ago.

    They used to give the major economies a ‘grade’ on their economic management. They were still putting Japan at #1, edition after edition, even as the Japanese economy was going down the pan in the 1990’s.

    Did they ever acknowledge that their ‘superior’ analysis was really just flawed bravado; following the herd? Not that I saw. Ultimately, they simply did away with the rankings entirely. Reduces the embarrassment of having to admit being wrong.

  84. Barry Brill says:

    I’m still persevering with the Economist. Alone amongst the weekly mags, it usually presents both sides of challenging issues, before rebutting one view and settling on the other. Unfortunately, it is becoming too easily predictable on almost all subjects and particularly on anything remotely connected to fashionable environmental issues.

    One of its directors and investors, David Rothschild, wrote an intemperate book about global warming in 2010 and is clearly imbued with religious zeal on this subject. He joined the board about 5 years ago, and may have been part of the publishers’ decision regarding future editorial positioning.

  85. Grimwig says:

    I canned my subscriptions to New Scientist and Scientific American some time ago. Looks like The Economist is also off the menu for any reader whose IQ has made it into double figures!

  86. Andrew says:

    The economist site seems to be down. I was about to write them to tell what a piece of trype their magazine has become and why I don’t buy it anymore. It incredibly expensive for this sort of BS.

  87. AndyG55 says:

    Unoidea,
    A quick glimpse at the first chart in the Younger Dryas thread
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/younger-dryas-the-rest-of-the-story/
    shows that the Earth is quite likely pretty near the coolest its been in the last 10,000 years.

  88. Tez says:

    Jim says:
    June 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I’m not even convinced the ice is melting! Look at Antarctica… ice is at all-time record highs! Wonder how these alarmists at the Economist explain that away.

    Easy, that will be due to the wind.

  89. Bill Tuttle says:

    Alien plants, birds, fish and animals are creeping north: Atlantic mackerel, haddock and cod are coming up in Arctic nets.

    Last time I checked, Atlantic mackerel, haddock and cod were all native to Planet Earth, and there’s nothing new or unusual about any of those species turning up in Arctic nets.

    The Atlantic salmon’s normal range includes Russia and western Siberia, haddock spawning grounds include the waters around Iceland and Norway, and cod are common on both coasts of Greenland, Iceland, and well into the Barents Sea — all in areas well above the Arctic Circle.

  90. Eli Rabett says:

    As to Arctic temperature trends we have this for the melt season (which is the important one for sea ice) and here is another one for the yearly Arctic anomalies. Sorry for not including the links the first time, just forgot but an estimate of .8 K/decade since 1980 is not so bad.

    NOTE: Eli Rabett is actually Joshua Halpern of Howard University

  91. John Brookes says:

    A lot of shooting the messenger going on here.

  92. Indea says:

    Smokey, perhaps I need to spell it out for you a bit more clearly. You pointed to a news summary of a paper that says there was open water north of Greenland at some time 6000-7000 years ago. A couple points you fail to neglect. First off the error bars on any paleoclimate reconstructions are LARGE. It is impossible to tell how for how long, and exactly when this open water occurred. It certainly does not support Amino’s assertion that most of the last 9000 years had less Arctic sea ice than today. Second, it says nothing about Arctic wide ice-conditions. So you have yet to support the statement that most of the last 9000 years had less sea ice than today, and you have said nothing about Arctic-wide sea ice conditions. Thirdly, as the WUWT story on sea ice in the Eemian suggests, sea ice could have been more extensive locally despite warm air temperatures.

    Thus far, you have proved nothing.

  93. Rob L says:

    That Gisp2 ice core graph that Smokey posted is very interesting for the periodicity it shows in major past warmings:
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    Minoan, Roman, Medieval, all almost exactly 1100 years apart, with the next spike in the sequence due to occur right about now.

    That should set everybody’s alarm bells ringing over attribution of present warm temperatures.

  94. Some European says:

    @Eli, of course you meant .08K/decade. I think most analyses come to somewhere between .10K/decade and .15K/decade.
    Thanks to the WUWT team for bringing up Arctic Sea Ice, once in a while.
    Does anyone know the current state? Last time I read something on this blog, it was at exactly the same level as the average (1979-2000, am I right?). Is the ice cover still recovering?
    I’m looking forward to see regular updates al through the melting season!

  95. Smokey says:

    Indea,

    You asked for a citation, so I gave you a peer-reviewed citation. [Not a "news summary".] Plus, I provided a graph showing that most of the Holocene was significantly warmer than now. Warmer would mean less ice, no?

    But now you’re still arguing about those facts like a typical religious eco-fanatic. Earth to Indea: You have the onus of showing that the Arctic was continually ice covered during the Holocene, and that current levels are unprecedented. I have provided ample contrary evidence, which refutes your belief system. All I needed to do to show you were wrong was to provide one contrary fact. I provided more than is necessary.

    You can believe that the current Arctic ice extent is unprecedented, or you can accept the plain fact that this has all happened before, repeatedly, and to a greater extent than today. But that would deconstruct your anti-human eco-alarmism, so your response is predictable.

    I suggest that you run along back to the pop-sci Economist, where you can emit your baseless opinions without the discomfort of being contradicted by scientific facts. They like fact-free, baseless opinions there, so long as they support the alarmist narrative. You fit right in.

  96. Travis says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    June 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    “the rest of know that some variations in Atmospheric and Sea Surface Temperatures are driven by Atmospheric and Oceanic Oscillations, e.g….”

    How about the idea that the relationship goes both ways? It can be implied by your statements, though you do not do so yourself, nor do most people who post here and blame the changes in temperature and ice extent/thickness on wind patterns and climate oscillations. My argument isn’t that climate is not a complicated, perhaps even chaotic, system; it is that even people here who realize that still seem to get stuck in the frame of mind that since the most visible and direct cause of a particular sea ice event is wind, therefore another variable like temperature cannot have had anything to do with it. I claim that this “complicated natural causes” line of thought is as narrow-minded and simplistic as the thought that any particular event is solely due to anthropogenic causes.

  97. Pamela Gray says:

    For heaven’s sake Lazyteenager, now you are just typing without thinking. Wind can move solidly packed floating ice. It can even move chunks of sea ice onto land and into your patio. This has been well-documented and is uncontended by all sea ice scientists. Now if you meant to say that wind cannot move Arctic ice that is frozen from the surface down to the ocean floor in the entire “bowl” you may have an imaginative point. Maybe. In reality, both wind and Arctic currents move solidly packed ice this way and that.

  98. Eduardo F. says:

    That’s why I’ve cancelled my three decades long subscription two years ago.

  99. Eduardo F. says:

    That’s why I’ve cancelled my three decades long subscription two years ago.

  100. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Eli Rabett on June 17, 2012 at 5:16 am:

    As to Arctic temperature trends [cut] and here is another one for the yearly Arctic anomalies. Sorry for not including the links the first time, just forgot but an estimate of .8 K/decade since 1980 is not so bad.

    Title of graph at link: Arctic Temperature Anomaly 1900-2008
    Caption:

    Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from the 1961 – 1990 mean for land stations in the Arctic north of 60°N. From the CRUTEM 3x dataset, available online at http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/. Note that this curve does not include marine observations. Image credit: Arctic Report Card 2009.

    Topic is Arctic Sea ice, you provide a graph of land surface air temperature anomalies, and so far south it includes practically all of Alaska, Finland, most of Canada, large chunks of Russia, all of Iceland, etc. Wonderful selection of readings and lower latitude to catch UHI from growing population centers using more energy as it got cheaper and more available over 109 years.

    As seen on this large map, the Arctic Region may be defined as the area:

    1. Within the Arctic Circle, currently at about 66°33’N (it moves around slowly, currently northward).

    2. Where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10°C (50°F), aka north of that isotherm (noted on NSIDC’s Arctic map).

    3. North of the treeline, noted on this map and added without the definition on NSIDC’s map.

    Your “Arctic” temperature map fails on all three definitions of being of the Arctic.

    And despite its URL identifying the page as “Sea Ice” it has nothing to do with the sea temperatures.

    And is wonderfully selected to pick up not trends of the Arctic Ocean temperatures that’d actually affect the sea ice, but those from temperature readings contaminated by growing population centers, increasing urbanization, and increasing energy usage.

    Gee whiz, Mr. Joshua Halpern, as smart as Eli thinks Eli is, Eli should think Eli would be too smart to select such a lame off-subject graph. Eli should think Eli can try harder than that.

  101. Jeremy says:

    The Economist is controlled by The Rothschilds.

    They also own The Weather Channel.

    The Economist is NOT an economics magazine or even a news magazine it is a weekly propaganda puff magazine and a tool to support the agenda of the elite. As such, it targets intellectuals and professional with propaganda messages that support the notion of a need for control by the elite for the good of everyone else. CAGW fits this meme perfectly; it calls for the elite to adopt & unilaterally enforce “save the planet measures” ostensibly for all our own good but in reality to strengthen the corrupt rule by the unelected elite.

  102. Bob Layson says:

    If the earth is losing ice at a faster rate than before then it will be gaining sea at a faster rate than before. As it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.

  103. Bill Tuttle says:

    John Brookes says:
    June 17, 2012 at 6:31 am
    A lot of shooting the messenger going on here.

    Shooting a messenger bearing bad news is a bad idea. Shooting a propagandist delivering a false message is acceptable (that was not a death threat).

  104. John Carpenter says:

    I started reading The Economist since freshman year in college and subscribed to it for decades. For years I was impressed by its appearance as being the least biased newspaper out there. But the times and stewardship of that newspaper have certainly changed. Now it’s a shadow of its former self and not worthy of my time any more.

  105. Indea says:

    Smokey, your comments are getting a bit silly. I never asked for anything except for Amino to link to some studies/data that would validate his/her statement that much of the last 9000 years has seen less Arctic sea ice than today. You tried to respond to that, but you didn’t give anything except a link to a news report on a paper that said sometime between 6000 and 7000 years ago there was open water north of Greenland. You are the one that failed to address the question at hand. And because you have failed you resort to name calling, innuendos, etc. What that shows me is that you can’t think outside the rigid confines of your mind. You are stuck. And that is sad. An open mind is something you never want to lose. You have no idea what I think about climate, except that I said the ice cover right now is at the lowest it’s been for this time of year during the satellite record and that this decline is consistent with climate model predictions. Both of those statements are true.

  106. David Ball says:

    Indea says:
    June 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm
    ” ice cover right now is at the lowest it’s been for this time of year during the satellite record” -accurate

    “this decline is consistent with climate model predictions” – disingenuous

    The truth is computers cannot accurately predict traffic flow, never mind multiple layers of variability in a system as complex as the climate. The only ones who want you to believe they can are the modellers themselves. It is getting more shrill in the academic echo chamber. Implosion imminent.

  107. David Ball says:

    “During the satellite record” is the “weasel phrase” in the first statement. It is not completely accurate either upon further reflection.

  108. Travis says: June 17, 2012 at 8:20 am

    How about the idea that the relationship goes both ways? It can be implied by your statements, though you do not do so yourself, nor do most people who post here and blame the changes in temperature and ice extent/thickness on wind patterns and climate oscillations.

    They are absolutely inextricably intertwined, e.g. changes in ocean temps can influence atmospheric oscillations, that can lead to a decrease in sea ice extent, that can increase atmospheric temps, that can influence atmospheric oscillations, etc.

    My argument isn’t that climate is not a complicated, perhaps even chaotic, system; it is that even people here who realize that still seem to get stuck in the frame of mind that since the most visible and direct cause of a particular sea ice event is wind, therefore another variable like temperature cannot have had anything to do with it.

    But this is an issue primarily for the Warmists not of the skeptics. It was the Economist that wrote that, “It is a stunning illustration of global warming, the cause of the melt.” and it was a Warmist study cited in comments above that claimed that, “In the end, only the increase in CO2 remained on our list of possible drivers”. No where in my article did I state or infer that Wind and atmospheric oscillations were the only variable, rather I stated that “atmospheric temperatures are just one of numerous variables that are the “cause of the melt”. In fact, the largest influences on Arctic Sea Ice appear to be wind and Atmospheric Oscillations,”

    I claim that this “complicated natural causes” line of thought is as narrow-minded and simplistic as the thought that any particular event is solely due to anthropogenic causes.

    No, “natural causes” is the null hypothesis. If you want to try to refute it, present some evidence to support the inclusion of “anthropogenic causes”.

  109. Smokey says:

    “Indea says:

    “…where is your proof that the last 9000 years have had less Arctic sea ice than today???…nothing you wrote or referenced supports that the last 9000 years had less ice than today.”

    First, you must accept the premise that if Arctic temperatures are colder, more sea ice will be present, and if Arctic temperatures are warmer there will be less ice – all other thing being equal, such as wind and currents.

    Agreed? If you agree, we can continue. I will assume you agree with that uncontroversial premise.

    That said, here are some charts for you to study:

    click1
    click2
    click3 [Arctic ice extent, greater present than past]
    click4
    click5 [much warmer earlier in the Holocene]
    click6 [much warmer earlier in the Holocene]
    click7 [much warmer earlier in the Holocene]
    click8 [much warmer in the geologic past]

    Conclusion: Natural variability in Arctic ice cover is completely normal. There is more Arctic ice now than during most of the planet’s recent geologic history. There is NO evidence that humans are the cause of Arctic ice cycles. It is an entirely natural occurrance, like an eclipse, and its being used to alarm the public. An alarmed public is easy to tax.

    If you have testable evidence showing that human emissions are the cause of the recent decline in Arctic ice, post it here. Otherwise, use your head. Arctic ice variation is not going to affect you any more than an eclipse will.

  110. Julienne Stroeve says:

    Smokey, I’m curious about what you think the future holds for the Arctic? Do you think companies like Shell Oil would spend millions to do exploratory drilling in the Arctic, getting ready to drill 10 years from now, if they didn’t believe the climate model predictions that sea ice will continue to decline as temperatures warm from increases in atmospheric gases? They are just one example of many companies preparing for a much reduced Arctic sea ice cover.

    While it is likely that there have been many episodes in the past where there was less sea ice in the Arctic than there is today, that does not disprove that human activities are in part responsible for the current temperature trends (and subsequent sea ice trends).

    I don’t see anywhere that Indea said there have not been periods in the past with less sea ice. What Indea seems to be wanting is proof to support Amino’s statement that much of the last 9000 years had less ice than today. We don’t have sea ice reconstructions from the last 9000 years to support that statement, though I’m optimistic that scientists will continue to find more clues as to what the ice cover was like in the past. The indigenous people of the North are a valuable asset in that effort as ice conditions have been stored in their stories and songs for millennia.

  111. Julienne Stroeve says:

    David Ball, the current sea ice decline is in agreement with climate model hindcast simulations of Arctic sea ice conditions. Indea is correct in that statement. You can read my Stroeve et al. 2007 paper on the subject. I have recently completed analysis of the CMIP5 models, and the story remains the same.

    And during the satellite data record, sea ice conditions right now are the lowest for this time of year. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a new record minimum this September, but given the current thickness distribution it’s doubtful there will be any significant recovery in the ice cover again this summer.

  112. Smokey says:

    Julienne Strove says:

    “What Indea seems to be wanting is proof…”

    We would all like proof, Ms Scientist. You write about ‘hindcasting simulations’ as if that is conclusive proof of anything. It is not, so how about predicting a forecast of Arctic ice extent by month for 2013, 2014, and 2015? I’ll save it for you. Use all the computer models you want.

    If you’re right, I’m sure Big Oil will have a check ready for you. But despite your assigning them motives, they may simply be making a prudent business decision to be first out of the gate; you have your assumptions for their actions, and I have mine.

    In my conversation with Indea, who seems to be a good photographer but believes, based on her received indoctrination, that the current Arctic ice cycle must be caused by human activity, the usual alarmist Argumentum ad Ignorantium: “What else could it be??” But I pointed out, with links: “There is more Arctic ice now than during most of the planet’s recent geologic history. There is NO evidence that humans are the cause of Arctic ice cycles. It is an entirely natural occurrance, like an eclipse, and its being used to alarm the public. An alarmed public is easy to tax.”

    Show me that human emitted CO2 is causing the current Arctic ice decline [I could possibly be convinced that it is due to industrial soot. But how can the government tax Chinese soot?]. The global warming scare is based on the rise in [harmless, beneficial] CO2, not on soot, and the corrollary is that CO2 is causing Arctic ice to decline. So show me. [And you won't get far with the Asian soot argument, even if it turns out to be true. I have yet to hear Chinese soot credits proposed.]

    Kindly provide testable evidence showing that X amount of anthropogenic CO2 emissions cause Y amount of Arctic ice loss, using Popper’s scientific method. I like science. But I don’t think much of witch doctors, and science without rigor is pseudo-science; AKA: PNS. So please provide any empirical, quantifiable evidence you have, showing that human CO2 emissions are causing Arctic ice loss. Make it testable and replicable, because I want to test and verify your methods. Include your metadata and code. Thanks.

  113. JohnC says:

    Julienne Stroeve asks if Shell & others would be spending money on oil exploration if they thought the ice would return. Since they are drilling on ice platforms, that would be “yes”. The technically difficult part is for the extraction and delivery equipment to survive the ice build up and break up. (same reason there are no piers north of Nome.)

  114. Julienne Stroeve says June 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Do you think companies like Shell Oil would spend millions to do exploratory drilling in the Arctic, getting ready to drill 10 years from now, if they didn’t believe the climate model predictions that sea ice will continue to decline as temperatures warm from increases in atmospheric gases?

    It seems like Shell isn’t waiting for Global Warming and they are doing everything they can to accelerate the breakup and melt of the ice, e.g.:

    “Shell plans to drill new wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in 2012 and 2013. The company has invested billions in Arctic leases since 2005 but ran into opposition from environmentalists and native Alaskan groups. Last August, however, Shell received a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management conditional permit to explore for oil in the Beaufort Sea, east of the Chukchi. In October, the EPA issued a final air-discharge permit sought by Shell to drill in the Beaufort Sea. With that air permit, Shell can use its Kulluk rig for 120 days a year in Arctic waters, the agency said. In mid-December, BOEM conditionally approved a revised, Shell plan to drill six, oil-exploration wells in the Chukchi Sea next year.

    Together, the Beaufort and Chukchi seas could hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In comparison, 17 billion barrels of oil have flowed out of Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay fields in the past 30 years. ”
    http://www.marinelink.com/news/exploration-arctic-awaits342119.aspx

    “The Nordica is one of two Shell-contracted icebreakers owned by the Finnish government. It is heading to Alaska to join its sister ship, the Fennica, to support the Kulluk and Noble Discoverer, the two drilling vessels en route to the north coast of Alaska to drill five exploratory wells for Shell in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas later this summer.

    Shell has said it intends to begin drilling in the two neighboring seas on or about July 10 and continue until just before ice forms this autumn. ”
    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2012/2012-05-01-01.html

    “Icebreaker, support

    Good ice management is necessary to enhance station-keeping performance of arctic drilling units, Shell stressed to OGJ. The company has contracted two Russian icebreakers and two Finnish and Swedish-flagged anchor handling-ice management vessels to accompany the two drilling units.

    The I/B Kapitan Dranitsyn, owned by the Russian Federation and operated by Murmansk Shipping Co., is the primary icebreaker assigned to the Discoverer drillship. The conventionally propelled ship was built in 1982 at the Wartsila Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland. It was remodeled in 1994, upgraded in 1999 and received a passenger vessel certificate.

    The anchor-handling vessel and secondary icebreaker for the Discoverer drillship is the Finnish-flagged Fennica, owned and operated by Finstaship. Built in 1993, the Fennica is 116 m long, 26 m wide, and draws 8.4 m. This vessel has reamers on the hull, which improve turning in ice, break a wider channel, and reduce rolling and midship friction.2

    The anchor-handling tug supply (AHTS) M/V Vladimir Ignatjuk is the primary icebreaker assigned to the Kulluk platform. The ship is owned by the Russian Federation and operated by Murmansk Shipping Co.

    Gulf Canada built this Canadian-designed vessel in 1982 at the Victoria Yard of the Burrard Yarrrows Corp. in British Columbia. It was originally named the Arctic Kalvik when it worked in the Beaufort for Gulf Canada. It has an overall length of 88 m, breadth of 17.5 m, draft of 8.3 m, and accommodates 23 crew members. The Vladimir Ignatjuk is classified by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping as a 100 A1 icebreaker tug and LMC ice- breaking tow, ice class 1A super.

    The anchor-handling vessel and secondary icebreaker for the Kulluk is the Norwegian-built AHTS M/V Tor Viking. This KMAR 808 vessel was built in 2001 and is owned and operated by Viking Supply Ships AS, based in Kristiansand, Norway, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kistefos AS. The Tor Viking is 83.7 m long, with a breadth of 18 m, and draft of 6 m.

    In addition to the redundant icebreakers that protect the two drilling units, Shell has committed to three other vessels as part of its oil spill response (OSR) system, including the Affinity, an ice strengthened arctic oil tanker; the Arctic Endeavor barge with Point Barrow tug; and the Chouest Nanuq, a new, ice-strengthened resupply vessel.”
    http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-105/issue-37/drilling-production/shell-alaska-readies-ice-class-drilling-units-for-beaufort-sea.html

  115. Julienne Stroeve says: June 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I’m curious about what you think the future holds for the Arctic?

    Well if we’re talking about Beaufort Sea and Chukchi where Shell is drilling, Beaufort Sea Ice Area has been anomalously low every summer since 2007;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.11.html

    and this year is trending at the bottom of its 5 year range:
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/plots/r01_Beaufort_Sea_ts.png

    Chukchi Sea Ice Area has been anomalously low every summer since 2002;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.10.html

    but this year is trending towards the top of the range:
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/plots/r02_Chukchi_Sea_ts.png

    With Shell and co running around there with icebreakers and support ships, I am going to predict that the ice is going to break up and melt faster than it did previously, and that little or no multi-year ice will survive in the Beaufort Sea.

  116. Julienne Stroeve says:

    John C, the oil companies do use results from climate models for planning purposes. I have personal experience with two oil companies on this issue.

    Justthefacts, I think it would be interesting to do a study on the impacts of ships on Arctic sea ice.
    The Beaufort/Chukchi seas have become a region of significant multiyear ice loss in recent years. You may have missed our 2011 paper on the impacts of the 2010/2011 negative AO on the sea ice cover. While some of the papers you referenced above discuss that during a negative winter AO phase, more sea ice is tends to be retained in summer, whereas the reverse is true during a positive AO phase, that wasn’t true during the extremely negative AO of winter 2010/2011. The old, thick ice that was transported into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during that anomalously negative AO phase all melted out the following summer. The energy balance of the Beaufort/Chukchi seas has changed in the last several years, resulting in significant melt.

  117. stogy says:

    The Ogi, Yamazaki and Wallace (2010) paper you cited as one example showing the importance of wind in arctic ice melt actually mentions in the abstract that their conclusions show that “roughly 1/3 of the downward linear trend of SIE over the past 31 years” and the “combined effect of winter and summer wind forcing accounts for 50% of the variance of the change in September Arctic sea ice extent from one year to the next”. It would have been better to include this in your cited quote from them, rather than choosing their much less specific “general statement” conclusion.

    Of course their conclusions point to the fact that 2/3 of the downward linear trend has to have come from somewhere else. They also don’t discuss any reasons for changes in arctic wind activity.

  118. stogy says:

    And a little more from the Nghiem, Rigor, Perovich, Clemente-Colo, Weatherly and Neumann paper. The quote you found said that:

    ““Perennial-ice extent loss in March within the DM domain was noticeable after the 1960s, and the loss became more rapid in the 2000s when QSCAT observations were available to verify the model results. QSCAT data also revealed mechanisms contributing to the perennial-ice extent loss: ice compression toward the western Arctic, ice loading into the Transpolar Drift (TD) together with an acceleration of the TD carrying excessive ice out of Fram Strait, and ice export to Baffin Bay.”

    But the paragraph before this one said:

    “A warming trend, increasing long-wave radiation, and Atlantic water intrusion in various regions over the Arctic Ocean have been reported [Richter-Menge et al., 2006]. These thermodynamically induced changes to the ice cover may in turn be impacting ice dynamics, with the thinner ice exhibiting enhanced motion and export by the PE. Dynamic and thermodynamic effects appear to be combining to expedite the loss of Arctic sea ice as evident in QSCAT observations of a faster reduction rate and a 10% decrease in total ice extent by the first week of August in 2007 compared to those at the same time in 2005 and 2006.”

  119. stogy says:

    A little more too from the Smedsrud paper you cited:

    “The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice the last decades is thus only partly caused by increased long-wave radiation related to ongoing atmospheric CO2 increase (Smedsrud et al., 2008). A number of feedback eðects have contributed once the ice thickness decreased (Perovich et al., 2008; Rampal et al., 2009; Screen and Simmonds, 2010), but as demonstrated by the General Circulation Models, additional forcing is needed to explain ongoing changes. Contrary to previous conclusions (Vinje, 2001; Kwok, 2009), 15 the ice export has likely been an eðective contributor to Arctic ice loss since the 1960’s.”

    So yes, winds, ice export play a major part in the decline in sea ice. The debate seems to be more about the extent to the contribution of the various forcings, rather than that one forcing is the cause of it all.

    I could go on but, I think there is enough here to indicate that your conclusion,

    “As such, there is ample evidence that “global warming” is not “the cause of the melt” as the Economist erroneously infers in its article “The vanishing north”.”

    also really mischaracterises the scientific debate, as your own cited sources show.

  120. Bill Tuttle says:

    Julienne Stroeve says:
    June 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    The indigenous people of the North are a valuable asset in that effort as ice conditions have been stored in their stories and songs for millennia.

    Their stories can tell you about conditions during the old story or song, but good luck attaching a specific time to the narration. I’d trust their oral tradition that an event happened, but nailing a specific year to “the summer that my great-great-great grandfather caught two foxes in the same trap” is gonna be tough.

  121. Bill Tuttle says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    June 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm
    “Last August, however, Shell received a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management conditional permit to explore for oil in the Beaufort Sea, east of the Chukchi.”

    Sure ’nuff.

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/05/24/science/earth/24arctic-map.html

  122. acckkii says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    June 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    “1-Wind is caused by differences in pressure.
    2-On a rotating planet, the air will be deflected by the Coriolis Effect, except exactly on the equator.
    3- Globally, the two major driving factors of large-scale winds (the atmospheric circulation) are the differential heating between the equator and the poles.
    4-The thermal wind is the difference in the Geostrophic wind between two levels in the atmosphere. It exists only in an atmosphere with horizontal temperature gradients.
    5- Additionally there is;

    “katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning “going downhill”, is the technical name for a drainage wind, a wind that carries high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity.”

    Is this Global Warming behind the curtain of the “WIND”?
    I haven’t seen any evidence to support Global Warming’s Wizard of Oz-esque effect on wind. Can you provide any?”
    _________________________________
    Thank you to the exact expression. My goal was the same.
    “differential heating between the equator and the poles” as one of the major driving factors of large-scale winds, “The thermal wind” …….and “katabatic wind…….high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity.”
    Again the main theme is still the “HEAT”.
    “Pressure” mainly is the aftermath of “HEAT”.
    “Global Warming” not as an ideology, but under the scientific definition, which means “heat”, may be the fact for more “WINDS”. It’s the throttling pedal for the above dynamic model.
    “differential heating” is a fact. Increasing the potential of this “differential heating” means more “WIND” and irregularities. New system with large scale changes in presence of a rotating planet, what else should we look for new indications? Heat-pressure-rotating planet-gravity.
    Question:
    Is this planet independent from “WARMING”, if any “WARMING” happens?
    In fact, it is constantly being done, but for now, this is about the capacity of the planet and the creatures.

  123. Brian H says:

    Once the progressives home in on a publication to subvert from within, its days are numbered. The Economist fell to the dark side a couple of decades ago.

  124. Brian H says:

    acckkkkkk;
    More of your persistent nonsense. Warming doesn’t produce more winds, it flattens the energy gradient from tropics to poles and reduces heat exchange and winds and storms and extreme weather.

    Someday, you’ll get something right. But not today.

  125. acckkii says:

    Brian H says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:06 am
    ________________________
    And more of your persistent Vilification.
    Read the quoted parts carefully. You are incapable to do it properly.
    I made it easy for you…1-2-3-4-5

  126. acckkii says:

    Brian H says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:06 am
    ____________________________
    lesson 1- THE SUN IS WARMING THE EARTH.
    lesson 2- Globally, the two major driving factors of large-scale winds (the atmospheric circulation) are the differential heating between the equator and the poles.
    lesson 3- forget about global warming. Just take the warming as heat- whatever you like. Or assume it as Brian Hot.

  127. Julienne Stroeve says: June 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Justthefacts, I think it would be interesting to do a study on the impacts of ships on Arctic sea ice.

    Yes, I’ve seen evidence that particulates;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particulates

    especially Soot/Black Carbon;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soot
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_carbon

    may have a significant influence on Sea Ice:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728092617.htm
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/27/MN5H1EK6BV.DTL
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/25/soot-ahoy-ship-traffic-in-the-arctic/
    http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2010/2010-20.shtml

    Per the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report; http://www.pame.is/images/stories/PDF_Files/AMSA_2009_Report_2nd_print.pdf

    Page 5 – “Black carbon emissions from ships operating in the Arctic may have
    regional impacts by accelerating ice melt.”

    Page 142 – Black carbon is a component of particulate matter produced by marine vessels through the incomplete oxidation of diesel fuel. The release and deposition of BC in the Arctic region is of particular concern because of the effect it has on reducing the albedo (reflectivity) of sea ice and snow. When solar radiation is applied, reduced albedo increases the rate of ice and snow melt significantly, resulting in more open water, and thereby reducing the regional albedo further. In the Arctic region in 2004, approximately 1,180 metric tons of black carbon was released, representing a small proportion of the estimated 71,000 to 160,000 metric tons released around the globe annually. However, the region-specific effects of black carbon indicate that even small amounts could have a potentially disproportionate impact on ice melt and warming in the region. More research is needed to determine the level of impact this could have on ice melt acceleration in the Arctic and the potential benefits from limiting ships’ BC emissions when operating near to or in ice-covered regions. The potential impacts of black carbon should also be a point of consideration when weighing the costs and benefits of using in-situ burning of oil in spill response situations.”

    There are also the non-Black Carbon/Soot based impact of Ship Traffic including Supply/Bulk Shipping, Fishing, Passenger/Cruise Ships and Icebreakers:

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Page 4;

    “There were approximately 6,000 individual vessels, many making multiple voyages, in the Arctic region during the AMSA survey year; half of these were operating on the Great Circle Route in the North Pacific that crosses the Aleutian Islands. Of the 6,000 vessels reported, approximately 1,600 were fishing vessels.”

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Pages 141 – 142;

    “The AMSA has developed the world’s first activity-based estimate of Arctic marine shipping emissions using empirical data for shipping reported by Arctic Council member states. Emissions were calculated for each vessel-trip for which data was available for the base year 2004. The 515,000 trips analyzed represent about 14.2 million km of distance traveled (or 7.7 million nautical miles) by transport vessels; fishing vessels represent over 15,000 fishing vessel days at sea for 2004. Some results could be an underestimation of current emissions, given potential underreporting bias and anecdotal reports of recent growth in international shipping and trade through the Arctic.”

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report on Page 79;

    “A specific example of where cruise ship traffic is increasing at a rapid rate is off the coast of Greenland. As Table 5.3 shows, cruise ship visits and the number of passengers visiting Greenland has increased significantly between 2003 and 2008. For example, between 2006 and 2007, port calls into Greenland increased from 157 to 222 cruise ships. The number of port calls in 2006 combined for a total of 22,051 passengers, a number that represents nearly half of Greenland’s total 2006 population of 56,901.

    In 2008, approximately 375 cruise ship port calls were scheduled for Greenland ports and harbors, more than double the number of port calls seen in 2006.”

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Page 137;

    “The 2004 U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy reported that, while at sea, the average cruise-ship passenger generates about eight gallons of sewage per day and an average cruise ship can generate a total of 532,000 to 798,000 liters of sewage and 3.8 million liters of wastewater from sinks, showers and laundries each week, as well as large amounts of solid waste (garbage). The average cruise ship will also produce more than 95,000 liters of oily bilge water from engines and machinery a week. Sewage, solid waste and oily bilge water release are regulated through MARPOL. There are no restrictions on the release of treated wastewater.”

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Page 84;

    “During 2004-2008, there were 33 icebreaker transits to the North Pole for science and tourism. An increasing number of icebreakers and research vessels are conducting geological and geophysical research throughout the central Arctic Ocean related to establishing the limits of the extended continental shelf under UNCLOS.”

    Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Page 84;

    “Map 5.6 demonstrates the surge in vessel activity in the summer season, when all of the community re-supply takes place and most bulk commodities are shipped out and supplies brought in for commercial operations. Summer is also the season when all of the passenger and cruise vessels travel to the region.”

    and Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment 2009 Report Page 160;

    “Spring break-up to mark the start of summer navigation will vary and, as happens now in more southerly seas, shippers eager to start work will test the limits of their vessels in ice.”

    http://www.pame.is/images/stories/PDF_Files/AMSA_2009_Report_2nd_print.pdf

    Particular to Icebreaking, this site recently put on password protection;
    http://www.rabt.se/Offshoreicebreaking/Reference-list/

    but prior I found this quote quote interesting:

    “Ajurak Icebreaker trials – Fram Strait (2009)) Icebreaker and ice-management trials on behalf of ExxonMobil in connection with the Ajurak project. In this research expedition during September 2009 Icebreaker Oden (TransAtlantic management) and Icebreaker Fennica was performing various tests for ExxonMobil.”;

    Other information of interest:

    “As the only major southward flowing current in the Greenland Sea, the EGC transports recirculating Atlantic Water, Arctic Ocean water masses, and >90% of the ice exported from the Arctic Ocean (Woodgate et al. 1999, Rudels et al. 1999).”

    http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/atlantic/east-greenland.html

    Per this Coast Guard Compass article;
    http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/index.php/2009/06/coast-guard-and-the-arctic-part-2/

    “Coast Guard Cutter Healy is the largest of the heavy ice breakers in the Coast Guard. Her ice breaking capabilities are 4.5 ft @ 3 knots continuous and 8 ft of ice when backing and ramming. Backing and ramming is pretty much what it sounds like and I don’t mean how you parallel parked a car when you were a teenager.”

    “Key sea and air lanes need to remain open as a matter of international legal right and not depend on the approval from nations along the routes, so that vessels like Healy can get where they need to go and get there quickly.”

    If you look at the icebreaker Healy’s Cruise Track for 2006;
    http://www.icefloe.net/images/HLY-06annot.pdf

    2007;
    http://www.icefloe.net/docs/HLY-07track.pdf

    and 2008;
    http://www.icefloe.net/docs/healy2008.pdf

    it is easy to see how effective a single Icebreaker can be at breaking up the ice.

    Per this report from Baltic Ice Management (BIM) on their 2008 – 2009 season;
    http://portal.fma.fi/sivu/www/baltice/BIM_Joint_Annual_2008_2009.pdf

    the chart on page 10 it seems to indicate that they had 23 icebreakers in use in just the Baltic Sea at the peak of their icebreaking season. Much of it is about opening and maintaining shipping lanes, cruise ship routes and fishing grounds.

  128. acckkii says:

    Brian H says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

    More of your persistent nonsense. Warming doesn’t produce more winds, it flattens the energy gradient from tropics to poles and reduces heat exchange and winds and storms and extreme weather.
    Someday, you’ll get something right. But not today.
    ______________________________________________
    More of your persistent nonsense.
    Warming produces winds. It takes place 24/7. If you are living in a place or a desert nearby a sea you’ll SEE it. Do not be afraid of the word “WARMING”, it’s not always “GLOBAL WARMING”.

  129. Günther Kirschbaum says:

    Justthefacts, how much of the total sea ice melt in one melting season can be attributed to ships breaking the ice? And how much to particles emitted by ships in the Arctic? I know there aren’t any numbers, but how high a percentage would you guess? 5%? 10%? 20%?

  130. BillD says:

    The link between rapid warming of temperatures and melting ice is just a correlation, which does not prove causation. For example, can we really be sure that the record high temperatures in Greenland of 76 oF in May will really cause ice to melt? Similary, the notion that recent temperatures in the 90’s (oF) in Siberia will cause melting of the “permafrost” is just an untested hypothesis. In my view, all of the ice melting can be attributed to ships and wind.

  131. Smokey says:

    In my comment on June 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm I answered Julienne Strove’s question to me regarding my post of June 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm. I then asked her to explain, using verifiable science [not her computer model "hindcast simulations"], if she thinks that human CO2 emissions are the cause of declining Arctic sea ice?

    Ms Scientist has posted here since I answered her question and asked my question, but she has ignored my question to her. I think the reason is that she is incapable of giving a credible answer.

    As one of the ‘humans are the cause’ climate clique scientists riding the grant gravy train, I enjoy seeing Stroeve post here, because it gives us ordinary folks a chance to ask her some uncomfortable questions. But it is hardly fair for Ms Scientist to ask us questions, have them answered, and then ignore our own questions to her, the putative expert. She seems to have a character very similar to BEST’s Richard Muller.

    Perhaps Ms Stroeve can revisit my post above, and make an attempt [again, per the scientific method; testable and verifiable] to show that human CO2 emissions have any effect on the current ice decline in the Arctic. Quantify it please, Miss Stroeve: show us that X amount of emissions cause Y amount of Arctic ice decline, and show us your methodology. Explain why CO2 is partial to the Arctic, while completely ignoring the Antarctic. A real scientist ought to be able to either give credible answers, or admit that she is just winging it.

  132. Richard M says:

    About a month or two ago I made a prediction right here on WUWT. I noted that while the winds had been favorable for Arctic ice this winter, they changed in mid-March. I commented that if those winds kept up the ice would start to decrease. Well, the winds did not change. They have been consistent and sure enough the ice has been melting.

    Notice I said nothing about temperatures which were warmer this winter while the ice was building but have since been much closer to average this spring. So, the melt correlates only with wind this year. We have at least one example where temperature appears to be a non-factor while wind is a big factor.

  133. Julienne Stroeve says:

    Smokey, I recently submitted a paper to GRL that provides my estimate of the % of the sea ice decline attributable to external forcing. I will pass that along once it’s accepted for publication. In the meantime, you can go to
    http://pcmdi3.llnl.gov/esgcet/home.htm;jsessionid=7AA360F4764E06F5915ACF1356EDF178
    and download all the CMIP5 sea ice concentration data files for the historical and the RCP4.5 simulations and process them so that you obtain total ice extent. You’ll need that to verify my method.

  134. Smokey says:

    Julienne Stroeve,

    Thank you for that link. However, when I click on the link, and then on “CMIP5″, I get the message: “Error: Search text contains invalid characters – please use only letters and numbers” Since I simply clicked on their “CMIP5″ link, I think I only used letters and numbers.

    However, my central question [and the central question in the entire debate], is still: “Do you think human CO2 emissions are the cause of declining Arctic sea ice?” Third time I’ve asked.

    The Null Hypothesis [in which Kevin Trenberth is so anxious to put the onus onto skeptics, to make them try to prove a negative] shows unequivocally that past climate parameters, including Arctic sea ice, have repeatedly [and greatly] exceeded current parameters, both more and less. Therefore, the Null Hypothesis has never been falsified regarding Arctic ice.

    The climate Null Hypothesis is absolutely essential in determining if human activity has any global effect on the climate. So far, the answer is an unequivocal No. There has been no acceleration in global temperatures, despite a 40% rise in CO2. The gentle temperature rise since the LIA continues along the very same trend line for hundreds of years, with no acceleration, and without exceeding its long term parameters – which would certainly be expected due to the ≈40% rise in CO2 – if CO2 had the claimed effect. Quite obviously, CO2 has no measurable effect.

    And ocean currents, winds, and the various ocean and atmospheric oscillations are entirely sufficient to explain current Arctic ice observations, and to make predictions within a reasonable margin of error without invoking an extraneous CO2 variable. But that is still not the question.

    In one of your interviews that I watched on YouTube last year, you stated that human activity was the cause of climate change. That conjecture has no supporting evidence. It is an opinion. If I am wrong, please provide verifiable, testable, empirical evidence supporting that conjecture, keeping the Null Hypothesis in mind.

    So once again I ask: Do you think human CO2 emissions are the cause of declining Arctic sea ice?

  135. Jesse Farmer says:

    Let me pose one question- what causes the wind?

    Surely a glorified TV weatherman can answer this. Wind is caused by pressure differentials and the movement of atmospheric mass from high pressure to low pressure.

    And what causes pressure differences? Differential heating- warming up one area more than another, leading to lower pressure in that area.

    Now, you’ve shown two facts in your post- 1. that the Arctic has warmed, and 2. that the wind patterns have changed. And yet, you fail to see the painfully obvious connection between the two, that many authors of the studies you quoted say directly: a warming Arctic, triggered by anthropogenic greenhouse emissions, has led to changes in the dominant wind patterns which have exacerbated sea ice loss. Different mechanism, same root cause.

    How does it work? A positive mode of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is characterized by increased flux of ice out the Fram Strait and increased inflow of warmer Atlantic water. Atmospherically, a positive AO is denoted by lower pressure over the central Arctic, which directly relates to summertime heating, which, as you can probably guess, has become more extreme in recent decades.

    There’s no need to cite any more papers here, as you got the correct references with your above discussion. But it may be useful to look to the paleo record- see de Vernal et al. (2005) Paleoceanography, Ledu et al. (2008) Can. J. Earth Sci. and Farmer et al. (2011) Geophysical Research Letters for records showing tight coupling between records of past Arctic temperatures and sea ice extent- the warmer the temperatures, the less ice. Now, if you can just combine your quoting skills with actual understanding of the papers you cite, you might just have a future as a scientist!

    Jesse Farmer

  136. acckkii says: June 18, 2012 at 3:01 am

    “Global Warming” not as an ideology, but under the scientific definition, which means “heat”, may be the fact for more “WINDS”. It’s the throttling pedal for the above dynamic model.
    “differential heating” is a fact. Increasing the potential of this “differential heating” means more

    I am not really sure where you are going with this. Global Warming is label that has been used to refer to the influence of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions on “Earth’s Temperature”. Thus far I’ve seen compelling evidence to support the possibility that some portion of the warming that occurred during the second half of the 20th century, was associated with Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions. Beyond this, have seen now compelling evidence to support changes in wind, differential heating, or otherwise as a result of increased Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions. If you have such evidence, please present it.

    Question:
    Is this planet independent from “WARMING”, if any “WARMING” happens?
    In fact, it is constantly being done, but for now, this is about the capacity of the planet and the creatures.

    I am not sure what you’re asking here. I compiled a summary many current measures of “Earth’s Temperature” last week;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/10/a-big-picture-look-at-earths-temperature-peter-gleick-edition/

    Please take a look through and tell us if you see any indications of the particular “WARMING” you are referring to.

  137. Günther Kirschbaum says: June 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Justthefacts, how much of the total sea ice melt in one melting season can be attributed to ships breaking the ice?

    Extremely complex question with no simple answer. Firstly, against a total melting season is hard, because much of the ice is going to melt one way or another, thus if it melts one day earlier, because a ship broke it up, does it count? In terms of attribution, as has been discussed in this thread, the variables are all intertwined, thus it is very difficult, if not impossible, to isolate them. For example, if a ship breaks up the ice and the wind and currents carry the ice towards the ice pack, then the effect of the ship is likely minimal. If a ship breaks up the ice and the wind and currents carry the ice away from the ice pack to warmer waters, then the effect of the ship might be substantial. Conceptually, icebreakers are used to break up and clear ice. If you look at Healy’s first cruise track for 2006 (in green);
    http://www.icefloe.net/images/HLY-06annot.pdf

    if there is a Southern wind and/or current, it is conceivable that a single icebreaker could have a significant impact on the rate of ice melt in the Bering Sea. However, would this melt be attributable to the icebreaker, the wind, the current, the warmer water the ice floated into, the warmer atmosphere above it, how cloudy it was, whether the ice had soot on it, a combination thereof, etc.?

    And how much to particles emitted by ships in the Arctic?

    Not sure, and am especially not sure of how one could isolate the effect of the ship particles versus those from other sources of combustion, but referencing a few of the sources I cited above:

    “Mark Jacobson found that eliminating soot produced by the burning of fossil fuel and solid biofuel could reduce warming above parts of the Arctic Circle in the next 15 years by up to 1.7 degrees Celsius.

    Jacobson found that eliminating soot produced by the burning of fossil fuel and solid biofuel could reduce warming above parts of the Arctic Circle in the next 15 years by up to 1.7 degrees Celsius. For perspective, net warming in the Arctic has been at least 2.5 degrees Celsius during the last century and is expected to warm significantly more in the future if nothing is done.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100728092617.htm

    In the Arctic region in 2004, approximately 1,180 metric tons of black carbon was released, representing a small proportion of the estimated 71,000 to 160,000 metric tons released around the globe annually. However, the region-specific effects of black carbon indicate that even small amounts could have a potentially disproportionate impact on ice melt and warming in the region. More research is needed to determine the level of impact this could have on ice melt acceleration in the Arctic and the potential benefits from limiting ships’ BC emissions when operating near to or in ice-covered regions.
    http://www.pame.is/images/stories/PDF_Files/AMSA_2009_Report_2nd_print.pdf

    We quantify ship emissions scenarios which are expected to increase as declining sea ice coverage due to climate change allows for increased shipping activity in the Arctic. A first-order calculation of global warming potential due to 2030 emissions in the high-growth scenario suggests that short-lived forcing of ~4.5 gigagrams of black carbon from Arctic shipping may increase global warming potential due to Arctic ships’ CO2 emissions (~42 000 gigagrams) by some 17% to 78%.
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/10/9689/2010/acp-10-9689-2010.html

    I know there aren’t any numbers, but how high a percentage would you guess? 5%? 10%? 20%?

    I won’t venture a guess, as it would be nothing more than that, i.e. it’s not even an educated guess at this point, and I am not even sure what appropriate parameters would be, e.g. how much greater we would expect ice extent or area to be today if there were no ships, no icebreaking, no soot, no effluence, or are we trying to isolate variables and average it over an entire melt season? Regardless, it is a fruitless point, as Julienne said, “it would be interesting to do a study on the impacts of ships on Arctic sea ice.”

  138. Julienne Stroeve says: June 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The Beaufort/Chukchi seas have become a region of significant multiyear ice loss in recent years. You may have missed our 2011 paper on the impacts of the 2010/2011 negative AO on the sea ice cover. While some of the papers you referenced above discuss that during a negative winter AO phase, more sea ice is tends to be retained in summer, whereas the reverse is true during a positive AO phase, that wasn’t true during the extremely negative AO of winter 2010/2011. The old, thick ice that was transported into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during that anomalously negative AO phase all melted out the following summer. The energy balance of the Beaufort/Chukchi seas has changed in the last several years, resulting in significant melt.

    Yes, the first time I’ve read this paper, I assume that you meant 2009/2010 above?:
    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_4271_f11/readings/week_6_7_Arctic_Oscillation_2010GL045662.pdf

    These findings are particularly interesting:

    This reflects pronounced differences in atmospheric circulation during winter of 2009/2010 compared to the mean anomaly pattern based on past negative AO winters, low ice
    volume at the start of the melt season, and summer melt of much of the multiyear ice that had been transported into the warm southerly reaches of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

    Part of the explanation lies in pronounced differences in atmospheric circulation during winter 2009/2010 compared to the mean anomaly pattern based on past negative AO events. In particular, the wind field drove older ice directly across the Beaufort into the Chukchi Sea as opposed to curving northward in the western Beaufort.

    however I find no evidence in the paper to support this conclusion:

    In our view, events of 2009/2010 did little to delay the Arctic Ocean’s ongoing transition to a seasonally ice‐free state.

    Tangentially related, I’ve been keeping an eye on the large melt area in the Beaufort Sea and if you zoom in on the area on this satellite image;
    http://www.arctic.io/observations/

    you’ll see some odd greenish areas, which don’t seem to appear anywhere else in the Arctic.

    The green is also visible in this satellite image, even though it is mostly obscured with clouds;
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r05c02.2011212.terra

    which is a zoom from this Arctic satellite image;
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2011212.terra.4km

    The 3-6-7 band shows the ice more clearly;
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2011212.terra.367.4km

    but the zoom doesn’t indicate anything unusual:
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r05c02.2011212.terra.367

    Any thoughts on what the greenish areas are, i.e. is that runoff carrying silt into the sea? Recently “a group of U.S. scientists has discovered enormous blooms of algae growing in an area of the Arctic Ocean that they never thought could support the phytoplankton: below the sea ice.”;
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/06/07/sci-phytoplankton-blooms-arctic.html

    but algae blooms seem like quite a stretch.

  139. Jesse Farmer says: June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Let me pose one question- what causes the wind?

    Let me pose one question back, did you actually read this thread? If you had, you’d realize that we covered your question here;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1011002

    here;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1011103

    and here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1011535

    Once you’ve caught up, let me know if you have any more questions.

  140. stogy says: June 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    So yes, winds, ice export play a major part in the decline in sea ice. The debate seems to be more about the extent to the contribution of the various forcings, rather than that one forcing is the cause of it all.

    I could go on but, I think there is enough here to indicate that your conclusion,

    “As such, there is ample evidence that “global warming” is not “the cause of the melt” as the Economist erroneously infers in its article “The vanishing north”.”

    also really mischaracterises the scientific debate, as your own cited sources show.

    You’re late to the bandwagon, granted, I am impressed that you took the time to read some of the papers, but I already addressed your misstatement approach here;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1011051

    and here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1011535

  141. stogy says:

    @justthefactswuwt

    “You’re late to the bandwagon, granted, I am impressed that you took the time to read some of the papers, but I already addressed your misstatement approach here”

    ———–
    I didn’t want to be influenced by the comments. I am trying to take a skeptical approach to all the information I read on any “science” blog, looking at the claims people make and whether they are backed up by evidence. On this thread, based on the author comments alone, I found that the claims fall a long way short of what I would describe as “skeptical”.

  142. Jesse Farmer says:

    Justthefactswuwt, you are sticking your head so far in the sand in search of “natural causes” that you are completely blinded to the very simple explanation for the data you provide.

    Two incontrovertible facts:
    1. The Arctic has warmed (surface T, sea surface T) over the past decades
    2. Arctic sea ice has significantly declined in both volume and aerial extent over the past decades

    Moreover, both these trends (particularly sea ice) have been observed for long enough (1979-present, for satellite monitoring of sea ice) that the AO has gone through both positive and negative phases, with sea-ice declining through both (as Julianne mentioned she observed in 2010-2011 during the strongly negative AO).

    Therefore, while there is a coupling between AO and sea-ice decline year-to-year, in the longer term, AO phase cannot explain the 30+ year record of continuous decline. You need to reconcile the near continuous loss of sea-ice in the Arctic with some other factor.

    You mention katabatic winds and the Coriolis force in your comments on winds. How have these changed in the Arctic over the past 30 years? (Answer: there is no reason to expect they have changed).

    Your search through the literature is commendable, but do not forget the notion of parsimony. The simplest explanation with the fewest number of logical leaps-of-faith is considered the most correct. If you can explain decadal-scale Arctic warming and sea-ice loss simply, and without invoking major anthropogenic changes to the carbon cycle, may I suggest you submit to Nature or Science immediately.

    Jesse Farmer

  143. acckkii says:

    Jesse Farmer says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Let me pose one question- what causes the wind?
    _________________________________________________
    acckkii says:
    June 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    “……The main stream is the “WIND”.
    Questions:
    What is the CAUSE of this “WIND” ?
    Is this Global Warming behind the curtain of the “WIND”?”
    acckkii says:
    June 18, 2012 at 3:01 am

    justthefactswuwt says:
    June 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    “……I haven’t seen any evidence to support Global Warming’s Wizard of Oz-esque effect on wind. Can you provide any?”

  144. acckkii says:

    Brian H says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:06 am
    ___________________________
    Brian Hot The Troll:
    Jesse Farmer says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm
    Let me pose one question- what causes the wind?
    Surely a glorified TV weatherman can answer this. Wind is caused by pressure differentials and the movement of atmospheric mass from high pressure to low pressure.
    And what causes pressure differences? Differential heating- warming up one area more than another, leading to lower pressure in that area.

  145. David Ball says:

    Julienne Stroeve says:
    June 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm
    Read my lips: “Cannot model traffic flow” and “Modellers are the only ones that are saying the models work”. Get it?

  146. Smokey says:

    Jesse Farmer,

    If I read your comments correctly, it seems that you believe that anthropogenic “carbon” is the cause of Arctic ice decline: “If you can explain decadal-scale Arctic warming and sea-ice loss simply, and without invoking major anthropogenic changes to the carbon cycle, may I suggest you submit to Nature or Science immediately.”.

    Then explain how CO2 ["carbon"] decides to reduce Arctic ice, while leaving the Antarctic unaffected.

    Blaming CO2 is preposterous. There are various reasons for the current decline in Arctic ice, including currents and winds, atmospheric and ocean cycles, etc. One thing that is clearly not a cause of Arctic ice decline is CO2.

    And contrary to the incessant and ongoing anti-science indoctrination in the media and in the journal industry, at current and projected levels CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. There is no downside; more CO2 is better. That is a testable hypothesis. I invite you to try and falsify it, using the scientific method.

  147. Julienne says:

    Smokey, I’ve said it many times before, I believe the sea ice decline is a result of both natural and externally forced climate change. You can read my 2011 paper that provided a synthesis of the factors contributing towards the decline: Stroeve, J.C., M.C. Serreze, J.E. Kay, M.M. Holland, W.N. Meier and A.P. Barrett, 2011. The Arctic’s rapidly shrinking sea ice cover: A research synthesis, Climatic Change, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0101-1.

    JTFW: you write: however I find no evidence in the paper to support this conclusion:

    In our view, events of 2009/2010 did little to delay the Arctic Ocean’s ongoing transition to a seasonally ice‐free state.

    Typically a negative AO phase helps to keep old, thick ice in the Arctic Basin and thus slow summer ice loss. What the paper discussed was that despite the extreme negative AO phase of winter 2009/2010, even more old, thick ice was lost the following summer. In this way the circulation pattern that typically helps to keep ice actually caused more loss of the old, thick ice. All climate model simulations, despite being in their own phase of natural climate variability, show declining sea ice as we increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The external forcing outweighs the natural variability in these model simulations, and all models forecast ice-free summers in the future.

    As for the “greenish” areas, it’s hard to see that clearly from the images you linked to. To me it looks more like melt water on the surface of the ice and thin ice regions. I doubt its the algae blooms.

  148. Günther Kirschbaum says:

    As for the “greenish” areas, it’s hard to see that clearly from the images you linked to. To me it looks more like melt water on the surface of the ice and thin ice regions. I doubt its the algae blooms.

    He means in the open sea. It’s either river discharge or algal blooms, probably both. Here’s a nice algal bloom from August last year (just above Norway).

    Maybe that is causing the decline in sea ice? o_O

  149. acckkii says:

    Let the ice at the poles are melting and there is no unanimity on this point. The result of this transformation is that the high-pressure stream of hot air to the cold polar regions of low pressure is constantly weakening.
    Therefore there would be no more strong differential heating between the equator and the poles, and the major driving factors of large-scale winds would not work anymore.

  150. Jesse Farmer says:

    Smokey, your statement “One thing that is clearly not a cause of Arctic ice decline is CO2″ is incorrect and directly contradicts published scientific literature. As several commenters have pointed out, Notz and Marotzke in Geophysical Research Letters this year showed that atmospheric CO2 is the only variable that can possibly account for the trend of Arctic sea-ice loss. Emphasis on trend- we are talking about the loss of sea ice over decades here, not just the year-to-year variability. Here’s the link: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051094.shtml.

    CO2 does not decide to do anything, as it has no free will. But it is quite efficient at absorbing infrared emissions. Regarding the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea-ice extent, Günther’s comment is spot on (another hint: compare the specific heat of water to the specific heat of land).

    I can’t comment on whether there’s an upside or a downside for increased atmospheric CO2 from a biological perspective, as that’s not within scope of my research. However, atmospheric CO2 equilibrates with the ocean, so increasing CO2 will increase the the ocean’s hydrogen ion concentration. Several studies (Feely et al., 2004; Doney et al., 2009) suggest this is not good news for marine calcifying organisms. As scientists are doubters by nature, I return the question to you and invite you to try to prove your statement that there is no downside for more CO2, using the scientific method.

    Jesse Farmer

  151. But isn’t this Graph above at “Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU)”, and which purports to shew the “result” of .337 K/C per decade increase, a product of the “Start Point Fallacy”. If a line is drawn starting say at year 2000 it shown either No Trend or a slight Negative trend. How does this fit in with their so called observation of increased melting of ice sheets and etc.?

  152. Smokey says:

    Julienne,

    Thank you for saying, “I believe…” Got a link to your paper? I would like to see what you believe.

    • • •

    Jesse Farmer,

    Thank you for posting the link to that piece of speculative horse manure. It is a grant-trolling conjecture; nothing more than an opinion.

    You say you invite me “to try to prove your statement that there is no downside for more CO2″. As a scientific skeptic, I have nothing to prove. That is the job of those putting forth their conjecture that CO2 is the cause of declining Arctic ice. Their entire argument is based upon the Argumentum ad Ignorantium fallacy: “Since we can’t think of any other reason, then it must be due to human-emitted CO2.” Your link says: “…CO2 is the only variable that can possibly account for the trend of Arctic sea-ice loss.”

    The only variable that “can possibly account” for the Arctic ice decline?? Hogwash. That is as close to the scientific method as Scientology. [And keep in mind that over time ≈80% of peer reviewed papers turn out to be in error. No doubt that paper will raise the percentage.] A ridiculous statement like that presumes the authors know all there is to know about the subject. As if.

    On the other hand, those claiming any CO2 hypothesis conjecture have the onus of providing convincing, testable, replicable evidence [ie: verifiable data and observations] to support their claims.

    As definitive proof that they have failed to make their case, witness the wide disparity in the simple question of temperature sensitivity to 2xCO2. Guesstimates range from the UN/IPCC’s preposterous 3º+C, to ±1ºC [Lindzen], to less than 0.5ºC [Spencer, Idso pere & fils, Schwartz, etc.], to 0.00ºC [Miskolczi]. If there were evidence, per the scientific method, confirming the climate sensitivity number, then the human component could be inferred, and the sensitivity question would be decisively answered. The undisputed fact that there is no agreement on the correct climate sensitivity [if any] to 2xCO2 means that CO2=AGW remains a completely unproven conjecture. That is not to say it is not true. But there is no proof. None.

    The only hypothesis I have proposed is easily testable [if you don't know how to test it, ask and I'll explain]. It is this:

    At current and projected concentrations, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere

    So far, that testable hypothesis has withstood all attempts at falsification per the scientific method. The entire runaway global warming scare is based on the belief that CO2 is globally harmful, therefore it must be reduced. But there is no evidence supporting that belief. However, I am always open to new information. If you can falsify that conjecture by using verifiable facts and data, I will sit up straight and pay attention. But so far, all I have heard are opinions based on models, appeals to authority, and arguments from ignorance.

  153. Jesse Farmer says:

    Smokey, wow, just wow. I really do not have the time to address the sort of desperate, fervid ignorance that characterizes your post. I apologize that the notion of a CO2 influence on earth’s climate, continually tested and proven through nearly a century of primary research, is such anathema to your religious-like preconceptions. I would offer you condolences, but myself and the scientific field have none to offer.

    For all the poor folk who spent the time to trudge through the garbage you just wrote, however, I offer the following list of reconciliations.

    1. The piece of “speculative horse manure” Smokey so dislikes is a piece of peer reviewed scientific literature in a reputable journal. By default, that usurps the accuracy and rigor of any content Smokey has ever produced as a “scientific skeptic”.
    2. Smokey’s point about the lack of other reasons is actually not wholly incorrect. Scientists cannot think of a single other forcing that could possibly cause the observed loss in Arctic sea ice, aside from anthropogenic CO2. That does not exclude factors currently unknown to the scientific community, ice-melting unicorns, or other alchemy. Perhaps Smokey himself is up there with a butane torch melting all that ice.
    3. The wide disparity of temperature sensitivities is a farce- only one of those sensitivities is widely accepted in the community and is consistent with both reconstructions of past CO2 and climate changes and modeled expectations of such changes- the IPCC #’s. Lindzen’s estimates of climate sensitivity are so laughable that his latest foray into the topic struggled to get published in “Asian Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science” (hint: not a reputable journal). Smokey thinks this is a result of some big liberal conspiracy within the depths of the peer-review system; in reality, the weight of the the scientific evidence is so firmly in support of the IPCC’s climate sensitivity estimate that, even if 80% of the papers turn out incorrect, there is still overwhelming evidence to support a 3°C sensitivity to doubled CO2.
    4. To debate the notion that CO2 as a gas traps outgoing infrared radiation, hence leading to a greenhouse effect, is a refutation of basic physics. If you are sitting in your chair reading this, and not floating into outer space, then that physics is correct and you have just proved yourself wrong.
    5. I just gave Smokey several papers on CO2 being harmful to the marine biosphere (the largest source of biomass on the planet) via ocean acidification. The potential inhibition of calcifying organisms can in no way, shape, or form be characterized as “beneficial to the biosphere”. If you do not believe that ocean acidification is a real phenomenon, then you have to reject acid rain as a real phenomenon. Unfortunately, acid rain has already demonstrably happened.

    Personally, am I incredibly worried about CO2 in the atmosphere imminently leading to an armageddon scenario? No. But that does not mean we should not research the issue at hand, the better to understand any future potential complications at play. In my opinion, that is a much more reasonable approach than Smokey’s “pretend its a conspiracy theory and ignore it” view.

    Jesse Farmer

  154. Julienne says: June 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    In our view, events of 2009/2010 did little to delay the Arctic Ocean’s ongoing transition to a seasonally ice‐free state.

    Typically a negative AO phase helps to keep old, thick ice in the Arctic Basin and thus slow summer ice loss. What the paper discussed was that despite the extreme negative AO phase of winter 2009/2010, even more old, thick ice was lost the following summer. In this way the circulation pattern that typically helps to keep ice actually caused more loss of the old, thick ice. All climate model simulations, despite being in their own phase of natural climate variability, show declining sea ice as we increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The external forcing outweighs the natural variability in these model simulations, and all models forecast ice-free summers in the future.

    I’ll try not to belabor the point, and understand the pressure you are under to tow the line, but fundamentally said model simulations are unsound, e.g.;

    “Many atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) and chemistry–climate models (CCMs) are not able to reproduce the observed polar stratospheric winds in simulations of the late 20th century. Specifically, the polar vortices break down too late and peak wind speeds are higher than in the ERA-40 reanalysis. Insufficient planetary wave driving during the October–November period delays the breakup of the southern hemisphere (SH) polar vortex in versions 1 (V1) and 2 (V2) of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) chemistry–climate model, and is likely the cause of the delayed breakup in other CCMs with similarly weak October-November wave driving.”

    “In the V1 model, the delayed breakup of the Antarctic vortex biases temperature, circulation and trace gas concentrations in the polar stratosphere in spring. The V2 model behaves similarly (despite major model upgrades from V1), though the magnitudes of the anomalous effects on springtime dynamics are smaller.”

    “Clearly, if CCMs cannot duplicate the observed response of the polar stratosphere to late 20th century climate forcings, their ability to simulate the polar vortices in future may be poor.”
    http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2009/EGU2009-651.pdf
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010JGRD..11507105H

    “It is unclear how much confidence can be put into the model projections of the vortices given that the models typically only have moderate resolution and that the climatological structure of the vortices in the models depends on the tuning of gravity wave parameterizations.

    Given the above outstanding issues, there is need for continued research in the dynamics of the vortices and their representation in global models.”
    http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/waugh+polvani-PlumbFestVolume-2010.pdf

    As for the “greenish” areas, it’s hard to see that clearly from the images you linked to. To me it looks more like melt water on the surface of the ice and thin ice regions. I doubt its the algae blooms.

    It looks like a cloud is hanging over the Beaufort Sea at the moment, here is a screen print I grabbed yesterday:

  155. Werner Brozek says:

    Jesse Farmer says:
    June 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm
    there is still overwhelming evidence to support a 3°C sensitivity to doubled CO2.

    I beg to differ. Right now, the ppm is about 390 and it went up from 280 to 390 and it is going up at about 2 ppm per year. At that rate, the doubling for another 170 ppm would occur in 85 years or around 2100. Since it is presumed the temperature went up by 0.8 C already, it would have to go up by another 2.2 C in 88 years. This amounts to 0.25 C per decade or about 0.38 C in 15 years and 7 months. But look at what happened to the RSS temperatures in the last 15 years and 7 months.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.83/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend

    OK. I cherry picked that one. But the maximum slope that Phil Jones found was 0.166 C per decade. This is by “cherry picking” the best possible slopes of the last 100 years and it is still way short of 0.25 C/decade.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    So exactly where is your “overwhelming evidence to support a 3°C sensitivity to doubled CO2″?

  156. Smokey says:

    Werner,

    Good to see you here again, and as expected, you have easily and politely demolished Jesse Farmer’s argument. Jesse refers to my request to abide by the scientific method as “desperate, fervid ignorance”, My, my. Jesse’s panties are in a twist.

    Jesse says, the “speculative horse manure Smokey so dislikes is a piece of peer reviewed scientific literature in a reputable journal.”

    No, Jesse, Smokey simply points out that just because something is Pal-Reviewed does not confer credibility. Especially not in this case. There is no scientific rigor in this lame paper. See Popper’s requirements for rigor. It is not present in the citation provided by Jesse.

    Next, Jesse says, “Scientists cannot think of a single other forcing that could possibly cause the observed loss in Arctic sea ice, aside from anthropogenic CO2.” Another argument from ignorance: “Since we cannot think of any other cause of Arctic sea ice decline, then it must be due to CO2? As if.

    Next, Jesse denigrates MIT’s head of it’s Atmospheric Sciences department, as if Jesse is remotely qualified to pass judgement on what is arguably the finest engineering school in America. What qualifies Jesse to critique Professor Lindzen, whose CV makes Jesse look like the rank amateur that he is?

    Next, Jesse ignores the fact that the planet itself is falsifying his failed runaway global warming scare. As CO2 continues to rise, global temperatures are not following. Thus, the CO2=AGW conjecture is being falsified by the ultimate Authority: planet earth herself.

    Finally, Jesse’s concern over the bogus problem of ‘ocean acidification’ has been addressed repeatedly here. I recommend to Jesse that he do an archive search on WUWT to convince himself that there is no evidence showing that the oceans are ‘acidifying’. It is just one more scare by the same folks who brought us the runaway global warming scare, based on “carbon”. Surely Jesse is not so stupid that he would fall for another similar scare…

    …or would he?

  157. acckkii says:

    Smokey says:
    June 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Indea,

    “……Warmer would mean less ice, no?”

    Smokey says:
    June 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Indea,

    “…..The primary causes of Arctic ice loss are wind and currents, not CO2. If it were due to CO2 then the Antarctic would be losing ice, too. But as we know, the Antarctic is gaining ice.”
    _____________________________________________________
    1- “warmer” = less ice
    2-“wind and currents”= primary causes of Arctic ice loss
    3- Arctic ice loss~ Antarctic ice gain

    Questions:
    1- is this Arctic ice loss/Antarctic ice gain (and vice versa) cyclic?
    2- are we in little ice age?
    3- the differential heating between the equator and the poles causes the winds, when the Arctic/Antarctic is warmer/colder does it mean less/more winds?

  158. acckkii says:

    Smokey says:
    June 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Indea,

    “…… Plus, I provided a graph showing that most of the Holocene was significantly warmer than now. …”
    ______________________________________
    Your evidence suggests that Arctic ice was less than the current situation.
    1- Do you have access to the reasons for this situation?
    2- What was the situation in Antarctic?

  159. Smokey says:

    acckkii says:

    Questions:
    1- is this Arctic ice loss/Antarctic ice gain (and vice versa) cyclic?

    I don’t know.

    2- are we in little ice age?

    We appear to still be emerging from the LIA.

    3- the differential heating between the equator and the poles causes the winds, when the Arctic/Antarctic is warmer/colder does it mean less/more winds?

    If I answered that I would be speculating. I prefer not to speculate.

    • • •

    To address one other bit of nonsense posted by Jesse Farmer above, I should point out that “ocean acidification” isn’t discussed much any more, even in the media, because there is no verifiable evidence that the ocean is being “acidified”. That is just another scare story in the very long list of scare stories that have failed under scrutiny.

    A search of the WUWT archives [keywords: Middleton; Eschenbach] will produce several articles that falsify the notion of ocean “acidification”. There is no supporting evidence whatever, and the papers refereced by the credulous Jesse Farmer are thoroughly deconstructed. But “ocean acidification” makes a great scare story for the alarmist crowd, so every now and then we see that one trotted out again.

    Finally, I note that as usual, Jesse Farmer cannot falsify the testable hypothesis:

    At current and projected concentrations, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere

    The alarmist crowd is great at making up scare stories. But when it comes to the scientific method, they all skedaddle.

  160. Jesse Farmer says:

    Werner, your point is well-taken. The last 15 years are, as you say, not supportive of a 3°C CO2 sensitivity. However, for determining CO2 sensitivity, any 15 year period is worthless. The reason why is that the Earth is a highly stochastic/noisy system, so in order to get around large short-term variability, you need records of sufficient length to make any determination quantitatively (statistically) significant. The overwhelming evidence for 3°C sensitivity comes from the long paleo-record, where the glacial-interglacial temperature and CO2 oscillations of the past million years are fully consistent with a 3°C climate sensitivity. And before Smokey even considers pulling the “temperature increased before CO2″ misconception, read Shakun et al. (2012) in Nature. Several times.

    Smokey, I really wish I had the time to go through all your posts, and indeed many of the posts on WUWT, and point out every fallacy/misconception/mis-quotation. Alas, the days are too short, and I need to perform research so that I can buy food. The scientists over at realclimate.org have done an excellent job pointing out many of these inaccuracies; I can only suggest you go there.

    There’s one thing you said I can’t help but comment on: “Pal-reviewing”. HA! That statement makes it obvious that you have never published (or perhaps, you have not published in quite some time, and want to blame your losing streak on a broken system). Otherwise, you would know how brutal the peer review process is, and the checks and balances that prevent abuses of the peer review system. When a paper comes up for review, no author has any friends.

    If I understand your argument right, it is that all these papers cannot be credible, because they demonstrate inaccuracies in your own posts. So what gives your posts credibility? Your dogged pursuit of “truth and justice” in the scientific method? Nice try. Here’s an idea- write up some of your criticisms as official comments on those papers, and submit them to the journals. There’s no publication fee; it won’t cost you a dime, and your opinions will gain credibility if published. Heck, I’ll cite you.

    That’s just a pipe-dream, though. What will really happen is that you’ll find out all the inaccuracies in your statements in excruciating detail from the cold hand of an anonymous reviewer. A cautionary note- be sitting down when you open up the response email from the editor. It’s not going to be pretty.

  161. Smokey says:

    Jesse Farmer says:

    “‘Pal-reviewing’. HA!”

    ^That statement is rooted in ignorance. Mr. Farmer needs to get educated, and a great place to start is by reading The Hockey Stick Illusion by A.W. Montford, available on the right sidebar.

    Montford shows the seamy underside of climate pal review, with its backstabbing, intimidating journals to publish the pure crap that is laughingly referred to as ‘science’, the money-grubbing, the endless jaunts to holiday venues at taxpayer expense, the conniving to inflate the number of publications, the outright fabricating of data, and on, and on.

    The book was finished just as Climategate #1 was leaked, and those emails confirmed everything in Montford’s book. Diogenes couldn’t find an honest ‘Team’ member with a searchlight.

    As far as the trumped up pseudo-science goes, the fact is that the long term rising temperature trend since the LIA has not changed. There is no acceleration in the natural global warming trend, despite the ≈40% rise in [harmless, beneficial] CO2.

    That leads to an inescapable conclusion: CO2 does not have the effect claimed. People like Farmer are running a scam on taxpayers. They are feeding at the public trough, but they have zero evidence to support their conjectures. Pal review is a circle jerk of back scratching authors citing each other, but without any testable evidence that CO2 causes global warming. None of that relatively small clique of climate charlatans can produce any testable, replicable, empirical evidence, per the scientific method, proving that CO2 will ever result in runaway global warming.

    Farmer is living in a bubble, oblivious to the real world. There are really not very many climate charlatans on Mann’s Hokey Team, even though they would like everyone to think there are. For what it’s worth in science [not much], the true “consensus” knows that the climate alarmist scare is fueled by money, politics, and a relatively few scoundrels riding the grant gravy train. OTOH, more than 31,400 scientists and engineers, including more than 9,000 PhD’s – all in the hard sciences – have co-signed the OISM Petition, stating that the rise in CO2 is harmless and beneficial. I think they know a bit more about the subject than Jesse Farmer and the self-serving bunch running RealClimate on the backs of the taxpaying public.

  162. acckkii says:

    Smokey says:
    June 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    “….A search of the WUWT archives [keywords: Middleton; Eschenbach] will produce several articles that falsify the notion of ocean “acidification”.
    ______________________________________________
    In the Nature, nothing is absolute.
    Both acidification and neutralization changes occur in the planet.
    Subject to the conditions and how the interaction is dependent on variables involved in it.
    I’ve read the following article several times:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/27/the-ocean-is-not-getting-acidified/

  163. Werner Brozek says:

    Jesse Farmer says:
    June 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    The overwhelming evidence for 3°C sensitivity comes from the long paleo-record, where the glacial-interglacial temperature and CO2 oscillations of the past million years are fully consistent with a 3°C climate sensitivity. And before Smokey even considers pulling the “temperature increased before CO2″ misconception, read Shakun et al. (2012) in Nature. Several times.

    OK. You do not want to hear that in the distant past, a warm spell lasting thousands of years caused the deep ocean to finally release the stored CO2. See the following which shows carbon dioxide and methane and temperature on the same graph.
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/07/carbon-dioxide-and-temperatures-ice.html
    But instead of focusing on the fact that CO2 went up AFTER temperatures went up, note that temperatures went DOWN AFTER CO2 was way up! So I see nothing that is “fully consistent with a 3°C climate sensitivity”.

  164. BIGTIX says:

    Climate sensitivity is defined as the average increase of the temperature of the Earth that you get (or expect) by doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere – from 0.028% in the pre-industrial era to the future value of 0.056% (expected around 2100).

    Recall that the contribution of carbon dioxide to the warming is expected because of the “greenhouse” effect and the main question is how large it is. The greenhouse effect is nothing else than the absorption (of mostly infrared radiation emitted by the Earth) by the “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere, mainly water vapor – but in this case we are focusing on carbon dioxide, one of the five most important gases causing this effect after water vapor.

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