Dear Woods Hole and NCAR, maybe you missed this trend in Antarctic sea ice?

More modeling madness projecting the future, but the actual data for the past 30 years says otherwise, with a positive trend. Regular commenter Julienne Stroeve of NSIDC is one of the co-authors, so perhaps she’ll weigh in here. The article says “They selected the five models that most closely reproduced changes in actual Antarctic sea ice cover during the 20th century.” But given what we’ve seen recently about preselection of data in Gergis et al, I wonder if this isn’t another case of the “screening fallacy“.

Graph from Cryosphere Today, University of Illinois

From NCAR: Emperor penguins threatened by Antarctic sea ice loss

June 20, 2012

BOULDER—A decline in the population of emperor penguins appears likely this century as climate change reduces the extent of Antarctic sea ice, according to a detailed projection published this week.

emperor penguins

Emperor penguins. (Photo courtesy Glen Grant, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.)

The study, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), with co-authors from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other organizations, focuses on a much-observed colony of emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, Antarctica. The authors conclude that the number of breeding pairs may fall by about 80 percent by 2100.

“The projected decreases in sea ice may fundamentally alter the Antarctic environment in ways that threaten this population of penguins,” says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, a co-author of the study.

The study uses a set of sophistical computer simulations of climate as well as a statistical model of penguin demographics. Building on previous work, it examines how the sea ice may vary at key times during the year such as during egg laying, incubation, rearing chicks, and non- breeding season, as well as the potential influence of sea ice concentrations on males and females.

The authors stress that their projections contain large uncertainties, because of the difficulties in projecting both climate change and the response of penguins. However, almost all of their computer simulations pointed to a significant decline in the colony at Terre Adélie, a coastal region of Antarctica where French scientists have conducted penguin observations for more than 50 years.

“Our best projections show roughly 500 to 600 breeding pairs remaining by the year 2100,” says lead author Stéphanie Jenouvrier, a WHOI biologist. “Today, the population size is around 3,000 breeding pairs.”

She noted that another penguin population, the Dion Islets penguin colony close to the West Antarctic Peninsula, has disappeared, possibly because of a decline in Antarctic sea ice.

The new research represents a major collaboration between biologists and climate scientists to assess the potential impacts of climate change on a much-studied species.

Published this week in the journal Global Change Biology, the study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor. Other funders include WHOI; the French National Agency for Research (ANR) program on biodiversity; the ANR REMIGE program (Behavioral and Demographic Responses of Indian Ocean Marine Top Predators to Global Environmental Changes); the Zone Research Workshop for the Antarctic and Subantarctic Environment (ZATA); the Paul Emilie Victor Institute (IPEV); Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Marie-Curie European Fellowship; and the U.S. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences visiting fellowship.

Vulnerable emperors of the ice

At nearly four feet tall, emperors are the largest species of penguin. They are vulnerable to changes in sea ice, where they breed and raise their young almost exclusively. If that ice breaks up and disappears early in the breeding season, massive breeding failure may occur, Jenouvrier says.

Disappearing sea ice may also affect the penguins’ food sources. They feed primarily on fish, squid, and krill, a shrimplike animal that feeds on zooplankton and phytoplankton that grow on the underside of ice. If the ice goes, Jenouvrier says, so too will the plankton, causing a ripple effect through the food web that may starve the various species that penguins rely on as prey.

To project how the extent of sea ice in the region will change this century, Holland and another co-author, Julienne Stroeve, a sea ice specialist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, evaluated 20 of the world’s leading computer-based climate models. They selected the five models that most closely reproduced changes in actual Antarctic sea ice cover during the 20th century.

“When a computer simulation performs well in reproducing past climate conditions, that suggests its projections of future climate conditions are more reliable,” Holland says.

The team evaluated simulations from each of the 20 climate models. The simulations were based on a scenario of moderate growth in greenhouse gas emissions during this century. The moderate growth scenario portrays future reliance by society on a combination of greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuels as well as renewable energy sources.

The simulations showed a decline in sea ice coverage across a large region by Terre Adélie at key times in the penguin breeding cycle, although they differed in the details.

Jenouvrier used the output from the climate models to determine how changes in temperature and sea ice might affect the emperor penguin population at Terre Adélie, studying such details as how the sea ice was likely to vary during breeding season and how it could affect chicks, breeding pairs, and non-breeding adults. She found that if global temperatures continue to rise at their current rate—causing sea ice in the region to shrink—penguin population numbers most likely will diminish slowly until about 2040, after which they would decline at a much steeper rate as sea ice coverage drops below a usable threshold.

The authors say that more research is needed to determine whether emperor penguins may be able to adapt to changing conditions or disperse to regions where the sea ice is more habitable.

Human reliance on the Antarctic

Rising temperature in the Antarctic isn’t just a penguin problem, according to Hal Caswell, a senior mathematical biologist at WHOI and collaborator on the study. As sea ice coverage continues to shrink, the resulting changes in the Antarctic marine environment will affect other species, and may affect humans as well.

“We rely on the functioning of those ecosystems,” he says. “We eat fish that come from the Antarctic. We rely on nutrient cycles that involve species in the oceans all over the world. Understanding the effects of climate change on predators at the top of marine food chains—like emperor penguins—is in our best interest, because it helps us understand ecosystems that provide important services to us.”

Also co-authoring the study were Christophe Barbraud and Henri Weimerskirch of the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, in France, and Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States.

About the article

Title: Effects of climate change on an emperor penguin population: analysis of coupled demographic and climate models

Authors:  Stéphanie Jenouvrier, Marika Holland, Julienne Stroeve, Christophe Barbraud, Henri Weimerskirch, Mark Serreze, and Hal Caswell

Journal: Global Change Biology

Update

The article appears to be available here.

h/t to commenter Michael R

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74 thoughts on “Dear Woods Hole and NCAR, maybe you missed this trend in Antarctic sea ice?

  1. Am I alone in feeling that rather morbidly hypnotic thrill one experiences when watching car crashes and the like?

    Duncan B (UK)

  2. I can hardly wait to see how their projections come out. Perhaps we can do a mid-term check around 2075 and really hold their feet to the fire on it.

  3. BOULDER—A decline in the population of emperor penguins appears likely this century as climate change reduces the extent of Antarctic sea ice, according to a detailed projection published this week.

    An now back to the real world – it’s worse than we previously thought!!!

    April 13, 2012
    Emperor Penguin Numbers Double Previous Estimates
    Emperor penguins in Antarctica are far more plentiful than previously thought, a study that used extremely high-resolution imagery snapped by satellites has revealed.

    “It surprised us that we approximately doubled the population estimate,” said Peter Fretwell, a scientist with the British Antarctic Survey and lead author of a paper published today in the journal PLoS One.”

    It’s all downhill from here. Just think of the poor polar bears whose population has increased from 5,000 in the 1950s to over 20,000 today in the face of declining sea ice. We are doomed I tells ya!

  4. Rising temperature in the Antarctic isn’t just a penguin problem, according to Hal Caswell, a senior mathematical biologist at WHOI and collaborator on the study. As sea ice coverage continues to shrink, the resulting changes in the Antarctic marine environment will affect other species, and may affect humans as well.

    Rising temperatures in the Antarctic“? What world are these people living on? Did they bother to read O’Donnell et. al. or are they accepting Steig’s work as writ? “sea ice coverage continues to shrink” ….. but globally and locally in the Antarctic sea ice coverage is not shrinking. What is the point of this exercise?

  5. “They selected the five models that most closely reproduced changes in actual Antarctic sea ice cover during the 20th century.”

    Given the fact that we have little idea how much ice there was prior to the satellite era, how precisely did they determine which models best fit the data?

  6. I am not too convinced that the Dion Isle penguins vanished due to climate change. The small colony (estimated at150 breeding pairs) was discovered in 1948. It is the only colony discovered on the west coast of the peninsula. It reportedly started to decline in 1970 although I am not sure how thoroughly it was studied prior. It was one of the only known colonies where breeding took place on land (one other colony is known for this). It seems like an out of place, on the brink colony from the beginning.

  7. this is too retarded to believe.
    i want to see some hangings, now.
    helloooo heartland? got gleick?

  8. I am wildly speculating here but wouldn’t declining sea ice reduce the distance they have to walk to get to the ocean therefore reducing the likelihood of stress and deaths along the way? Would this not help to INCREASE their populations? Just speculating.

  9. Let’s see. We have a model of the ice responding to a model of the climate and a model of penguins responding to the model of the ice. The product is “simulations” that show the penguin populations “most likely” [whisper--waffle] will diminish, but, of course, “more research is needed[whisper-- rent-seeking].” And all without a shred of real data! Brilliant! /sarc

  10. As we continue to ignore the data and write papers based on defective models… “the resulting changes in the Antarctic marine environment will affect other species, and may affect humans as well.”

  11. “…appears likely…”
    “…may fundamentally…”
    “…may vary…”
    “…potential influence…”
    “The authors stress that their projections contain large uncertainties…”
    “Disappearing sea ice may also affect the penguins’ food sources…”
    “…might affect…”
    “…most likely will diminish…”
    “…The authors say that more research is needed to determine whether emperor penguins may be able to adapt to changing conditions …”

    Definitive study.

  12. Unfortunately, these “scientists” have confused actual physical Emperor Penguins with another breed, the variety most often used for studies these days, the all-too-common Pixelated Penguin. The Pixelated Penguin is, in fact, strongly affected by virtual climate change in its binary environment, and yes, that virtual climate change is clearly due to man made programs. Thankfully, Pixelateds breed well in captivity (actually, ONLY in captivity) as long as adequate funding is available.

  13. Can I have some of their fantasy pills? I’m trying hard to pretend that reality doesn’t exist, but, damn it, it just won’t go away. Maybe if I had a bottle of those supercalifragilisticexpialidocious little pills, I could see visions of suicidal penguins dancing through the polar bear poo.

  14. The increase in sea ice is due to the antarctic glaciers sliding off the continent and into the sea. We’re doomed because of the subsequent sea level rise. And the penguins will be doomed, too, because eventually all that ice will slide off and melt.

  15. “The number of breeding pairs may fall by about 80 percent by 2100″, writes Stéphanie Jenouvrier.

    Well, Steph’s uncle may really be her aunt but is it scientifically useful to publish such a fact?

  16. This is a rehash of their 2010 study and it is all based on the sudden decline in the 1970’s began before the temporary ice decline sea ice extent. Sea ice extent was a totally unrelated variable because Emperors are depend on open waters of leads and polynya. They have just changed the variable to sea ice concentration. Periodic fast-ice breakouts have enhanced the breeding success by providing easier access to open waters, and easier access improves adult survivorship. Recent studies by Fraser 2012, have also shown that the fast ice that they nest on is thickening, None of those models have incorporated fast ice dynamics which are the most crucial.

    Not only do their models depend on climate models that have not predicted the ice extent,or fast ice, they depend on their 2001 paper where they made unsupported speculation that the low ice caused, low krill and thus the adults must have starved.No dead bodies or lean birds were ever reported. In contrast the same paper showed simultaneous high breeding success so there must have been ample krill to feed both young and adults. Also krill eaters like baleen whales and Adelie penguins breeeding at the very same site have been increasing at great rates again suggesting ample krill.

    There is much better evidence that the decline in Emperors was due to the coinciding flipper banding that was known to cause death or encouraged the adults to breed elsewhere. The 2001 paper noted a high degree of “lost” bands the first year and second year of banding. But they could not tell if the bands were lost or the birds just didn’t return. Satellite observation shows a new colony nearby at the Mertz Glacier. Furthermore at this colony the French had further disrupted the penguins by building an airstrip by dynamiting 3 islands, which also destroud about 2000 adelie penguin nests, who breed later in the spring. Their models simply can’t tell the difference between death and emigration, so they have arbitrarily decided the penguins died. Their model of survivorship is all based on that assumption and voila- death by global warming. Hal Caswell also has modeled the polar bears into a similar extinction. It is horrific science!

  17. “…The authors say that more research is needed to determine whether emperor penguins may be able to adapt to changing conditions …”

    Where was the “study” in this paper. How can you do more of something you simply haven’t done any of. Mon dieu

  18. To be fair, the fact penguin numbers are twice what was originally thought does not directly bear on whether or not significant changes in their environment could have a big impact on their numbers. It might just mean that they take longer to die out because there are more of them, or that they die in greater numbers.

    What I question is why not use (or ignore) real data on Antarctic ice extent? We have satellite data that tells us how much ice there is. If it is not currently shrinking, shouldn’t they first provide evidence that it most certainly can be expected to shrink in the future? Other than model exercises. (It’s a retorical question.)

    Whenever I see press releases like this that describe research that consists primarily of running models, I am reminded of when my son spent hours playing video games. He could run an entire NFL season in an hour or so. The game (model) was most likely far more accurate in simulating reality than GCM’s with fewer unknowns and far simplier processes. Yet who would be willing to place bets in Vegas on next year’s Super Bowl winner based on the results of running this game ( model)?

  19. Streuth, that must be a record. You’ve got a picture of six emperors there, and none of them have any clothes on.

  20. ‘The authors say that more research is needed ‘ now there is s real surprise.
    Models and BS all the way down ,mix in with the usual claims of doom and demand for cash , the classic climate science recipe

  21. “She (Jenouvrier) found that if global temperatures continue to rise at their current rate—causing sea ice in the region to shrink—penguin population numbers most likely will diminish slowly until about 2040, after which they would decline at a much steeper rate as sea ice coverage drops below a usable threshold.

    Well, for one thing, the temperature’s “Current rate” is actually in decline for the past 16 years, so the study is essentially useless as the “if” condition just isn’t being met.

    End of story!

    Now the “disconnect” between CO2 and temperatures becoming quite well known by now (see:

    http://www.colderside.com/Colderside/Temp_%26_CO2.html

    The Sea Ice since 2004 seems to have a 3+year up and down periodicity, where large (2 meter+) Antarctic land snow buildup occurring in years of diminished sea ice and little land snow accumulation in times where sea-ice increases in area. So things continue to change, and I think we knew that already. johnwschwartz (above at 6/21 – 11:25) had it right, with so many equivocations (at least accurately) described, we have something less than definitive and more pandering to the current AGW craze.

  22. Well, if the good author frequently visits and posts, surely she knows how much the WUWT auduence love complete papers, all calculations defined, all data used, all model output and how the data was interpreted.

    I especially would like to see the specifics on how penguin mortality was tied to ice percentages, or was penguin mortality tied to some other effect and attributed to ice?

  23. If pigs grow wings, they may attempt to fly and most likely they will succeed but further research is needed. Please send money.

  24. “Given the fact that we have little idea how much ice there was prior to the satellite era, how precisely did they determine which models best fit the data?”

    Do we have records from whaling nations? I assume that whalers track close to the ice.

  25. Hmmm, since the sea ice is increasing wouldn’t there be increased stress on the birds to reach their breeding grounds? Oh, that’s right. The models say the ice will disappear if we just wait long enough. Reality be damned. Of course the scientists messing with the birds wouldn’t have an affect on them either. /sarc

  26. At the very least, it seems that “they” are getting smart enough to push their projections out past 50 yrs. So they cannot be personally humiliated when their projections turn out to be absolute horse-poop.

    TR

  27. re Jim Steele’s most excellent post above above – amplifying information.

    This is a 2001 National Geographic article about the Emperor Penguin decline. No gross numbers are given to compare to the 600,000 bird count. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/05/0509_penguindecline.html

    This is a summary of the 2009 article by the same team: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127090728.htm. Again, no counts are given.

    This is an article about the disappearing Dion Inlet colony: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0014738. This is a very readable article – recommended. Nice section on alternative causes. I was hoping for a discussion on whether Emperors would emigrate to a new breeding location but did not find it.

    This is a blog post summarizing how banding effects survival rates. http://hauntingthelibrary.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/doh-declining-penguin-population-study-blames-research-scientists/

    And here is the more focused article in Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110112/full/news.2011.15.html

    Thanks for an informative post Jim!!!!

  28. P. Solar says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:12 am
    As we continue to ignore the data and write papers based on defective models… “the resulting changes in the Antarctic marine environment will affect other species, and may affect humans as well.”

    Translation: “Unless we categorize any changes in the Antarctic marine environment that our models project as catastrophic for the critters, our funding will dry up”

  29. The authors stress that their projections contain large uncertainties
    ========================
    Yeah, like as far as they know it could go in the opposite direction

    …and not even embarrassed to put their names on this

  30. Emperor Penguins are pretty tough little blighters (Australian Antarctic Magazine Issue 15: 2008):

    “Upon departing the colony the (Emperor) fledglings had to cross nearly 50 km of fast-ice and could not feed for several days until they reached open water.

    “Once they reached the edge of the fast-ice the young emperor penguins had 200-300 km of pack-ice in front of them. It was remarkable to see how they moved through it, heading directly north for the deep oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean.

    “The fledglings dispersed over nearly a quarter of the Southern Ocean in their first six months at sea. The eastern-most position was at 93°E and the most westerly position reached was at 7°E – over 2300 km from their birth colony! The total distance traveled by one individual was nearly 7000 km.

    “But the story doesn’t end here. Emperor penguins are three years of age, or older, when they first return to their colony to breed.”

    But the main threat seems to come from…er…. scientists:

    “A highly contagious poultry virus has infected penguins in Antarctica. It is the first known transmission of a “foreign” disease to wildlife on the icy continent. Although none of the birds appears to be sick, researchers say the outbreak, reported in today’s issue of Nature highlights the risk of tourists and researchers spreading disease.”

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/21620/ml_39790372337963_issue201520final.pdf

  31. “Warming trends a serious threat to polar bear survival
    Ian Stirling and Andrew Derocher show that climate warming is a direct threat to the long-term survival of polar bears. The loss of sea ice, the primary habitat of polar bears, threatens populations by reducing the bears’ ability to hunt. With increasingly poor access to prey such as seals, polar bears experience longer fasting periods, fewer and smaller cubs, lower survival rates of cubs and older bears, and an overall reduction in health. Warming effects are predicted to impact the more southerly populations first with a large disappearance of polar bears by the mid-century.
    Accepted Article.”

    Irony, O biting irony! Desrocher, this name rings a bell… LOL

  32. I am in the midst of writing a book on all he species that were supposedly endangered by CO2 and the was just finishing my chapter “he Emperor Penguin has no Clothes” so I am very familiar with all the papers and data. I wanted to save it for the book but I would rather share some relevant points about this paper with the blogosphere.

    One myth perpetuated by the 2001 paper by Barbraud was that disintegrating ice was causing chick mortalities. David Ainely who I respect very much, unfortunately latched on to that idea. After several email discussions where I argued that there was no such evidence, I emailed Barbraud asking for dates of any such events.He admitted he had none, and such dates are “very hard to come by”.

    Also in the Barbraud’s2001 paper they used sea ice extent that is not connected at all to Emperor survival.It is fast ice and open water access, and because sea ice extent was not biologically defensibly, they switched their statistical analysis to sea ice concentration.

    In Barbraud’s 2001 paper the methods section reported that they applied flipper bands from 1968 to 1980. However the drop in survival coincided better with the banding activities than it did with sea ice extent and there are several papers documenting the ill effects of flipper bands. Also whether or not flipper bands caused death, they would certainly stress Emperors that already feel like fish out of water so the penguins might have just abandoned the colony.Their models can not tell death from emigration and there were never any bodies. The same 2009 Fretwell paper that used satellite data to document new colonies and doubled the number of known penguins, discovered a new colony near the Mertz Glacier right near the Dumont D’Urville colony that is the being studied and modeled. It is very likely that many of the new Mertz Glacier Penguins were refugees from the disruption from banding. Not to mention the dynamiting of 3 islands to build an airstrip in close proximity to the colony in 1984.

    I was just writing today that “Perhaps due to the severe criticisms from several corners that linked low Emperor survival to their use of flipper banding, these authors issued a new 2012 paper that now reports that they actually banded from “1968 to 1988”. Perhaps it is just the skeptic in me, but it would be very tempting to change the dates due to the fact that penguin survivorship rapidly recovered from 1980 to 1988. By simply changing the dates, voila!, there is no more statistical link to death by flipper bands. Perhaps that is not the reason, but it is suspiciously curious that they overlooked 8 years of flipper banding in their 2001 paper when they had modeled the population from 1952 to 2000 based on flipper band returns.

    Furthermore by 2000 the colony also appeared to be growing once again. I had hoped this new 2012 paper they would update the population numbers, but they limited their study to years before 2000. Although they have counted pairs of breeding adults from 1962 until the present, they suspiciously chose only to model population estimates using data prior to 2000. The reported reason for not using data after 2000 was that their were too few banded birds, even though an exact count of pairs would be much more reliable method of measuring abundance. They would justify this omission because only mark and recapture studies provide survivorship estimates, but again only if they can prove the penguins died and did not emigrate. But with the annoying confounding factor of flipper bands hidden, and a new sets of carefully selected statistics, they went on to model that rising CO2 would reduce the population by 81% by the year 2100.”

  33. Hmm, 19th Century whaling lead to a massive decrease in whale numbers (that feed on Krill) so over the 20th Century. there would have been a population increase in other animals based on the same food chain. So the Penguins are likely to be at a much higher numbers than in the past. With the slow increase in whale numbers, I would expect a slow decline in Penguins,,,,,

    Solution? Nuke the Whales. (Particularly any homeless, gender confused ones who read the Guardian…)

  34. ….. but globally and locally in the Antarctic sea ice coverage is not shrinking. What is the point of this exercise?

    I once asked a Mathematics undergrad student what was the point of studying “mathematical topologies ?” He responded that Baise Pascal had invented differential equations just to “make a form of mathematics that was completely useless.” Eventually, differential equations came to be the basis of most modern engineering, so they hoped that eventually somebody would find a use for “mathematical topologies” and they would be ready.

    If the Antarctic sea ice coverage ever starts shrinking, they will be ready to predict doom for the emperor penguins.

  35. Living in Australia, I frequently check Antarctic Weather conditions.
    I would stronly advise anyone who might be in the least bit ‘worried’ or ‘anxious’ about Global Warming to glance at Antarctic Weather conditions once in a while. Summer or Winter!

  36. “They selected the five models that most closely reproduced changes in actual Antarctic sea ice cover during the 20th century.”

    Too much selection of data and models. Recently, McIntyre blogged about the longest, most detailed proxy for temp over several thousand years that never gets used: the Law Dome ice core. It was deliberately rejected by Gergis, et all in their recent study (whose publication was cancelled when McIntyre pointed out unrelated terminal statistics gaffes in it) and by every other charter of the millennial temperature record because it doesn’t support their biases. The Emporer Penguin is doing fine. Remember recently these experts reported a drastic drop in the population of these birds until a NASA satellite showed they were all fine, just somewhere else.

  37. There ought to be a phrase in science for its own version of an urban myth – the constantly repeated projection that is contrary to and commonly treated as fact.

  38. Ross says:
    June 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Good point! Was there any talk of predation in the paper? If not, how can we be sure that the recently increasing ice hasn’t decreased predation resulting in many more emperors than previously thought?

    I have a suspicion this paper is in the ‘Gergis’ class.

  39. I think all pengiuns and polar bears should carry ID. Maybe we could use their divers[sic] licence.
    :)

  40. Yawn, another study based on unfounded data (AKA computer models) and the real world data says the opposite. Why do they say it? Well they can play the “cute animal will be hurt” card and get sympathy from the world’s idiots. Too bad there are so many of those.

    Did these people realize that these animals **** every 10 minutes and that any area around them smells terrible? Yea, spend some time around penguins and learn something about them before turning them into your poster…because I will share truths like that. Not so cute now, are they?

  41. She found that if global temperatures continue to rise at their current rate

    And exactly what is that rate and which data set is being used? On all data sets below, 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

  42. Before the internet nobody looked at daily or even monthly graphs of temperature, ice extent etc because nobody noticed any changes in climate. Methinks that currently most of the AGW comes at looking at too many graphs

  43. benfrommo says:
    June 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Not so cute now, are they?

    Penguins aren’t the only poopers on the planet, but it is hard to match some of the bull that comes out of Boulder.

    Jim Steele says:
    June 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    In Barbraud’s 2001 paper the methods section reported that they applied flipper bands from 1968 to 1980.
    [...]
    …these authors issued a new 2012 paper that now reports that they actually banded from “1968 to 1988”. Perhaps it is just the skeptic in me, but it would be very tempting to change the dates due to the fact that penguin survivorship rapidly recovered from 1980 to 1988. By simply changing the dates, voila!, there is no more statistical link to death by flipper bands.

    ‘Sounds fishy, at best, and I hope they’ll be pressed on this point. Generally speaking, I think that there’s far too much tagging and other handling of creatures under study. Such human intrusion is bound to have effects on the animal, even if such is not readily apparent to the humans. Where it can be measured, it may be covered up, as we see.

  44. Well, as long as they had Mark “death spiral” Serreze of the NSIDC along, then they have someone who can make accurate ice projections.

    Projections like this:

    “…My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of…” BBC news, 12 Dec 2007

    “…There is this thin first-year ice even at the North Pole at the moment,” says Serreze. “This raises the spectre – the possibility that you could become ice free at the North Pole this year.” …” ABC News site, 27 Apr, 2008.

    And about that second “projection” (Serreze: “…to set the record straight, I never made a “prediction”), there’s more to the “story”.

    Yes, Serreze said we might have “an ice free north pole”, but the claim is, had anyone bothered to read the original story, they’d know that Serreze was simply talking about the physical North Pole – and not using “north pole” to refer to the entire Arctic being ice free!

    So we’ll have a hole where the North Pole was, but the rest of the Arctic is safe till 2030.

    They’d better put up barriers. Wouldn’t want anyone to fall in the ice-hole.

  45. I pointed out to Julienne on another thread that existing climate models have know issues, 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

  46. It is really simple folks. Take 20 climate models or a 1000. They all have the same (wrong) assumption that CO2 is the primary driver of climate. Take the 5 best of any number of them and you still have that assumption and that assumption will cause sea ice to decline.

    The real question is: how long have Emperor penguins been around? Did they survive the end of the last ice age? If so, than I think they will be alright even if the sea ice were to decline a little more…don’t you? Now…may I have a hundred grand to add a lot of big words and publish this far more intelligent, accurate and scientific statement in a journal?

    How about the National Science Foundation, WHOI; the French National Agency for Research (ANR) program on biodiversity; the ANR REMIGE program (Behavioral and Demographic Responses of Indian Ocean Marine Top Predators to Global Environmental Changes); the Zone Research Workshop for the Antarctic and Subantarctic Environment (ZATA); the Paul Emilie Victor Institute (IPEV); Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; Marie-Curie European Fellowship; and the U.S. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences visiting fellowship.

    ANYONE?

  47. Just The Facts,

    Julienne Stroeve has both front feet in the grant trough. She uses her unquestioned attractiveness for her own self-serving ends. Certainly her pal reviewed papers are rigor-free, predicated on computer models. I almost can’t blame her for the trade-off between attractiveness and her brand of scientology. But when her feet are held to the fire of the scientific method, she either hides out, or changes the subject.

  48. Smokey says:June 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t know, between her and Walt, I see a certain receptivity that I don’t see in many of their colleagues. Sure they have to play the game, especially working for Serreze, but deep down, I think they are good scientists.

  49. Just The Facts,

    Maybe I’m just frustrated because Julienne keeps dodging my repeatedly asked question.

    Either human emissions control the climate, or they do not. I say not, due to a complete lack of evidence. But Julienne will not say, because it would mean providing solid, verifiable, testable evidence to support her runaway global warming beliefs.

    So maybe I should go easy on her, since she’s just a girl and all. The scientific method is for us guys, right? Therefore, Julienne is exempt. Got it.

  50. You can’t blame these guys when your whole scientific field is a joke and you are taught that the only true data you can use for your papers is models…well you get crap like this.

    The scary part is when it starts to infect other parts of main stream teaching, I fell sorry for stats the way these charltans are going that has to be the next logical infestation by ‘The Cause’.

    RIP science and maths, welcome to modelled consensus science and maths.

  51. Andrew says:
    June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    That chimes with my own theory. PCs make it far to easy to produce rubbish, particularly graphs of tortured statistics. I think we should go back to producing graphs using ruler, pencil and graph paper. The work involved would make people far more rigorous and selective in what they produce.

  52. All film I have seen of Emperor Penguins show the breeding and hatching taking place a few miles inland not on the sea ice. This does not equate with what has been stated above.

  53. John Marshall: the films have deceived you. Except for 2 colonies, all Emperors breed on flat fast-ice that usually melts each year. Fast-ice is fastened to the shore or ice bergs as opposed to pack ice that is in constant motion. Although graceful divers the Emperor is a bumbling land walker and the shore line of Antarctica almost impassable with steep and rocky sides due to ancient glaciation and punctuated with insurmountable towering ice shelves where active glaciers meet the sea. The reason they breed through the dead of winter is to fully exploit the fast ice season.They walk 20 to 100 km to reach fast ice closest to shore which is the last ice to break up in the spring and least likely to be disturbed by drifting pack ice that will break off chunks of fast ice during the winter. There is only one, and very successful, land breeding colony, the Taylor Colony. There was also a very small colony breeding on land or ice on Dion Island just off the western Antarctic peninsula, but it is now abandoned. Perhaps you confuse the Emperor with the Adelie Penguins, the other ice-dependent penguin, which only breeds on land and breeds much later. If the Adelie needs to walk more than a few km’s to dry land they abandon the breeding sites. The largest lost of Adelie Penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula was not due to lack of ice, but due to winds that compressed the ice against the shore making their walk too long.

  54. Jimbo says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am
    I am wildly speculating here but wouldn’t declining sea ice reduce the distance they have to walk to get to the ocean therefore reducing the likelihood of stress and deaths along the way? Would this not help to INCREASE their populations? Just speculating.

    ================
    It’s likely that they are nesting on a site that was at some time much nearer the ocean, I read that speculated before – critters have long genetic memories for sites and trails it seems and keep to paths carved out by their ancestors thousands of years ago.

    In Kenya a while back we stopped and watched a zebra crossing of thousands of them over a vast plain, in single file! Some wildebeests had joined them on the migration and there were several places where a few interrupted the line, also keeping to the single file. One couldn’t help but put them in a different landscape imagining a deer trail through forest.

  55. Over night, I occasionally drifted into thought about all of these research papers getting the pal review shove into the limelight. They certainly can’t be just premature research findings slipping through the so called science nets, can they?

    Just why would such obvious dreck get published? Oh, it is certainly possible and very likely that one grant was ending so there is a need to move on. That is, get another grant (tub of untracked money to us plebians). I was sort of satisfied thinking that was the basic reason Julienne’s motivation here.

    But why such a rush of bad science getting the pal review kiss of free publicity?

    Reading the new posts in an older thread and all of the references to AR4 and WG1, one poster mentioned the green propaganda IPCC inclusions, himalaya’s glacier and Amazon’s gates that were masqueraded as real science. (Thank you David!).

    A light popped on! This research paper (Those poor poor penguins) looks and reads exactly like the pitiful drivel published by the big green money sucking monsters called (mistakenly) conservation organizations.

    This pal reviewed penguin dross is an attempt to legitimize green propaganda papers so they can be front an center in the next IPCC AR. “Peer Review” claim the CAGW fundamentalists and “Ye shall be saved… right after you give us all of your money, cease your useless waste of resources on higher standards, and start walking for transport.” “Oh, don’t forget we also require immunity from prosecution and we govern forever unquestioned”. “Oh yeah, baby!”. “We CAGW faithful will become the new royal blood!”. “That and we certainly need never fear a burning world from our deity CO2″. (cue in the sinister laughter track now and fade).

    I sure wish I could add an /sarc to that insight. Verbalizing the CAGW fantasies is a definite /sarc. Perhaps even the frequent references to the pal review of the paper also gets a /sarc as I could be mistaken and I do not have proof. How else could this paper get through an sincere review? well, OK, I’ll slide a /sarc across the table for Julienne’s motives and review process.

    Time will tell the truth though and I look forward to that day.

  56. Jimbo says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am
    I am wildly speculating here but wouldn’t declining sea ice reduce the distance they have to walk to get to the ocean therefore reducing the likelihood of stress and deaths along the way? Would this not help to INCREASE their populations? Just speculating.

    Yes indeed. A 2009 paper by Massom titled “Fast ice distribution in Adélie Land, East Antarctica: interannual variability and implications for emperor penguins Aptenodytes forsteri” examined fast ice breakouts that shortened their walk from 100 km to about 60 km. This was a study on the same population that the models used to suggest coming extinction and one BarBraud co-authored both papers. They wrote, “Successful penguin breeding seasons in 1993, 1998 and 1999 ([number of fledged chicks in late November / number of breeding pairs] >75% success) coincided with lower-than-average fast ice extents and persistently short distances to nearest open water (foraging grounds), and corresponded to a strong positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode. Poor breeding seasons in 1992, 1994 and 1995 (success <15%) coincided with average to slightly higher-than-average ice extents and persistently long distances to foraging grounds. Poor-to-moderate breeding years (success ~40 to 50%), e.g. 1996 and 1997, occurred with above-average ice extents combined with fairly long distances from breeding to foraging grounds during the chick nurturing season. The overall correlation between breeding success and distance was high (r2 = 0.89)"

  57. Gary Pearse says:
    June 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    “They selected the five models that most closely reproduced changes in actual Antarctic sea ice cover during the 20th century.”

    Too much selection of data and models. Recently, McIntyre blogged about the longest, most detailed proxy for temp over several thousand years that never gets used: the Law Dome ice core. It was deliberately rejected by Gergis, et all in their recent study (whose publication was cancelled when McIntyre pointed out unrelated terminal statistics gaffes in it) and by every other charter of the millennial temperature record because it doesn’t support their biases.

    “I fought the Law and the .. Law (Dome) won”

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