Paging AP’s Seth Borenstein – Hey Seth, where’s the beef?

I sent some notes via Twitter yesterday and today to veterinarian turned NASA science writer Maria-Jose Vinas (who wrote yesterday’s self contradicting piece from NASA on Greenland) and AP’s Seth Borenstein about his article proclaiming the “sudden massive melt” in Greenland, citing Keegan et al. (2011):

From NEEM (a station with lower elevation than the Summit station)”

“A core from the CO2 firn-air sampling site at NEEM was retrieved in July 2009, and the physical properties of the firn have been analyzed. In the 81m of analyzed firn core, two regions containing ice layers were identified at depths of 29m and 46m. Isotopic analysis provides a depth-age scale that dates these layers to be from 1935 and 1879, respectively. These years were in the two warmest decades of the instrumental temperature record for Greenland.

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011AGUFM.C33C0661K

And of course I got no reply. But in the meantime. Dr. Roger Pielke Senior had similar thoughts about this hype from NASA and Borenstein, and points us to the Summit Station Webcam:

Webcam view today of the Greenland Ice Cap Summit Station – click for live view

 Viewing that image of “massive melt”, it looks like a Clara Peller moment for Seth. Hey Seth, where’s the beef?

The real meat is in the data, as Dr. Pielke writes:

Note the zero line, and the few small excursions above zero

source of image: Greenland Summit Station - the plot is of temperatures at the top of the Greenland icecap for the last 30 days.

The news headline, in particular, is an example of media hype. There was no “massive melt“. The term “massive” implies that the melt involved large masses of the Greenland icecap. They could have written “Sudden Extensive, Short-Term Surface Melting On the Greenland Icecap“, but instead chose to overstate what is a short-term weather event. Melting of surface ice occurs in Greenland whenever there are relatively warm surface air temperatures, as shown in the plot from Summit Station at the top of this post, and sunny skies, as reported by Thomas Mote in Seth’s article.  Almost anytime, sublimation (direct transfer from ice to water vapor) occurs.

I noted a similar graph in my story yesterday. There may have been a brief few days of melt, but it appears to be over:

As Keegan et al. (2011) tells us, just because we have a shiny new satellite camera, doesn’t mean we are photographing “unprecedented events”. It is mind blowing that NASA would allow this self contradictory piece in the first place, and then let it go uncorrected after being notified that there’s no unprecedented event at all, and their own article citing Keegan et al says so!

The issue is with ascribing short term observations in nature to a long term problem. Our satellite record is very short, 30 years or less, yet when you go back and look at ice core data as NASA did, and at the anecdotal evidence of history, you find these events have happened before.  It’s somewhat like the rush to blame severe weather and drought on global warming, yet when you look into the past, you find precedence for what is being described today as “unprecedented”. The belief that almost any aberration in weather and climate today can be attributed to global warming is pure folly, and tends to be rooted in our newly acquired ability to monitor the planet with millions of cameras in the hands of the public, and new instruments in the hands of the scientists.

(Note: I’ve covered the reporting bias related to the rise of technology in detail here: Why it seems that severe weather is “getting worse” when the data shows otherwise – a historical perspective )

Without looking to the past, which is much harder work than looking at the glitzy insta-photos from satellites, you really can’t say that events on the planet today are “unprecedented”.

A good example of historical precedence of melting in the Arctic is this article from 1922 in the WaPo:

 changing-artic_monthly_wx_review_intro.png

Here is the text of the Washington Post (Associated Press) article:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.
Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

Another good example is the excitement over the “derecho” thunderstorm that flattened parts of Washington DC and knocked out power recently. Many have tried to link that event to global warming, but when you do the slightest cursory review of history, you discover that it is a climatologically common event, first described in the American Meteorological Journal in 1888 and by the records kept by the NOAA storm prediction center, a 1 every 4 years event for Washington DC:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/01/washington-dcs-derecho-not-something-new/

Indeed, where’s the beef?

UPDATE: Andrew Revkin at NYT’s Dot Earth got a response from NASA and agrees this is a mess,  writing in “Unprecedented’ Greenland Surface Melt – Every 150 Years?”

The flow of news releases and background science content from NASA is generally excellent, but the space agency badly blew it earlier this week with this headline, which has now reverberated around the Web: “Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt.”

He adds this note from NASA, also citing Keegan et al. (2011):

Updated | Lora Koenig of NASA just sent this note providing the reference underlying her comment about past summer melting episodes at the summit (the spot on the giant ice sheet least vulnerable to melting):

The study I am citing is Alley and Anandakrishnan, 1995, “Variations in melt-layer frequency in the GISP2 ice core: implications for Holocene summer temperatures in central Greenland” published in the Annals of Glaciology for establishing the long-term frequency of melt events at Summit , Greenland. And Clausen et al., 1988 Glaciological Investigations in the Crete area, Central Greenland: A search for a new deep-drilling site also published in Annals of Glaciology for an early reference to the 1889 melt event though as mentioned in the press release Kaitlin Keegan and her advisor Mary Albert at Dartmouth University have more recent research on this event and please contact them for additional specific information.

My comment shows that melt events have occurred at Summit in the past and I have quoted the longest-term average frequency of ~150 years (exactly 153 from the paper) over the past 10,000. Since this is an ice core record that frequency is for the location of Summit only. The frequency ranges from ~80 to 250 years over different sections of the GISP2 ice core, please see the paper for specifics.

UPDATE2: I loved Revkin’s skewering of Joe Romm on his Tumblr blog. Revkin writes:

Joe Romm in full thought-police mode, labeling NASA glaciologist’s statement of scientific fact and uncertainty on Greenland surface melt episode “scientific reticence.” This even though Romm excerpts a line explaining that such events are etched in Greenland’s ice-core record roughly every 150 years:

Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,” says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. “But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.”

That statement is a classic example of what James Hansen called “scientific reticence.”

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65 thoughts on “Paging AP’s Seth Borenstein – Hey Seth, where’s the beef?

  1. This reminds me of a piece I saw in the St Petersburg paper about unprecedented ice showing up in the Baffin Islands. It was one of the articles that documented the supposedly non existent global cooling scare, and it was particular poignant because, if I recall correctly, they had someone from CRU quoted in the article.

    Irony can be a bitch.

  2. It is kind of sad really when you think that one of our greatest governmental scientific institutions can let this stuff emanate from their organization!

  3. Someone should show Paul McCartney this picture and tell him he doesn’t need to worry about
    a melting North Pole.

  4. Like the Sahara. In the early 80s, satellites first measured its extent and found it was growing.
    Cue environmentalists crying “Disaster! Desertification! Overgrazing!”
    Then the Sahara started shrinking. Turns out it has regular cycles, like everything else.
    Cue….silence.

    More knowledge is wonderful, but some people need to adjust their attitudes, or it’ll be a case of ‘the more we know, the more paranoid we get, and the more we blame ourselves for everything that happens’.

  5. “Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.”

    Has any research been done to tie gulf stream temps to hurricane activity in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico? Possible that increased hurricane activity in this region reduces gulf stream energy transport to Arctic?

  6. Is that a nasty smokey chimney visible in the Summit Webcam?

    You’d think that the brave evangelists of global thermageddon would be using smokeless fuel, or a windturbine, while they are telling everyone else what fuels to use. Or perhaps they don’t believe their own propaganda…?

  7. I get the feeling that they are lining us up for when the actual 150yr melt occurs, to say ‘see, it has happened again, it must be climate change/global warming’. Therefore a much larger scare can be made of the natural 150yr event.

  8. From ZT on July 25, 2012 at 11:56 am:

    You’d think that the brave evangelists of global thermageddon would be using smokeless fuel, or a windturbine, while they are telling everyone else what fuels to use. Or perhaps they don’t believe their own propaganda…?

    What “natural” methods of staying warm are available up there anyway? Everyone huddling together at night to conserve heat, naked under six layers of blankets?

    And if they did, would they admit it? Best of luck waiting for those pics to show up on someone’s Facebook account.

  9. Whenever I see a hyped enviro propaganda piece in the local papers from Associated Press, the reporter is always Seth Borenstein. Always. News you can trust. Riiiight.

  10. So we now have a new definition of the word unprecedented, ie not in my lifetime.
    Alarmist nonsense in action again, all this sky is falling panic is giving science a bad reputation.

  11. Does this thin layer of melt form a layer of ice which keeps surface air from mixing with the air in the firn beneath? If so, it could throw a wrench in the way they calculate CO2 readings from air bubbles in ice.

  12. The real unprecedented thing about this story is the level of hype. It seems that all the world’s news-sites has this story which if we are to believe the temperature measurements lasted only for one day or two. Be worried be very worried for quality of the news you get from the MSM.

  13. “Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average”

    If this type of melting event occur once every 150 years wouldn’t this suggest an astronomical source for the event? has this been explored before the hyped “unprecedented” press release, are there no astronomers at NASA with whom they could have consulted? It took me an hour to find similarities between 1889, 2012 and other dates with similar Greenland/Arctic conditions last night (because I was curious to have a look).

    I’ve noticed that the heliocentric-configuration of the planets look very interesting (and out of interest) at the moment Jupiter is on one side of the Sun and all the other planets are on the opposite side, it could be more than just a coincidence that when earth is at aphelion and the Sun is approaching Solar Maxim and if you calculate the mass of the planets and consider the heliocentric-configuration of this mass, the melting events appear remarkably similar.

    Do you think any of the above was ruled out by the geologist even out of curiosity?
    Astronomy has been apart of our civilization for thousands of years and is now being constantly dismissed at every turn as if it were Astrology or some kind of pseudoscience.
    Just like how some Archaeologists and the Druids believe that Stonehenge was built to worship the sun and the moon, when in Fact it was built to map astronomical events.

  14. Two LC-130′s landed at Summit Camp in the ‘extreme melt’ and the slush on 13 July 2012. They only weigh around 100,000lbs.

  15. I know it has been done to death, but it still bares repeating.

    Wikiquote on the Eisenhower farewell address:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
    ==============
    If he were running now, he would be unopposed (by either party).
    A true leader.

  16. From the article: “The belief that almost any aberration in weather and climate today can be attributed to global warming is pure folly, and tends to be rooted in our newly acquired ability to monitor the planet with millions of cameras in the hands of the public, and new instruments in the hands of the scientists.”

    Slightly OT, but I think relevant: now that there are literally “millions of cameras in the hands of the public,” UFO sightings today are non-existent. The boomers reading here will remember the constant deluge of UFO reports from a few years back, accompanied with grainy photographs, which often resembled pieces of farm equipment, suspended in front of a (not-grainy) background as “proof” that UFOs were visiting the Earth!

    UFO fanatics have been replaced by Global Warming Alarmists!

    What I would accept as “proof” of AGW, would be a photograph of Dr. Hansen’s office building standing in the very water he predicted would inundate it by now! …or a similar image of the NYT building!

  17. “Nearly all of Greenland’s massive ice sheet suddenly started melting a bit this month, a freak event that surprised scientists.”

    The media conflated the “massive ice sheet” and “melting a bit” into “massive melting”. Makes for a better headline.

    Doesn’t make it true.

  18. Ole Heinrich says:
    July 25, 2012 at 11:53 am
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summit_Camp Look at the average temperature data §.-)

    Its made it into Wiki already! “unprecedented” warming – how can these people be so knowingly immoral and opportunistic. Thinking sceptics not only occupy the high ground, almost any ground is higher than the ground occupied by these scurrilous humankind-loathing people, Now if NASA has any trace of decency, it should edit that still-wet entry in Wikipedia, or maybe Revkin will take it on – he’s been learning over the past couple of years that the company he was keeping maybe is not so stirling.,

  19. From beesaman on July 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm:

    So we now have a new definition of the word unprecedented, ie not in my lifetime.

    Count your blessings. Soon the definition will be “I can’t find it on Google, must be something new!”

  20. Are Summit image archived anywhere? One thing is to see map colored by propagandist, and the other is the actual photo.

  21. “””””…..ZT says:

    July 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Is that a nasty smokey chimney visible in the Summit Webcam?

    You’d think that the brave evangelists of global thermageddon would be using smokeless fuel, or a windturbine, while they are telling everyone else what fuels to use. Or perhaps they don’t believe their own propaganda…?….”””””

    Kwitcher carpin Z; How else are they gonna get a nice stratum of black carbon to report on in their next gummint grant application ??

  22. Greenland Ice Melt on 150 year cycle freaks out Media.
    The expected beginning of Greenland Ice melt on schedule after 150 years has caused the media to completely loose it. One media person is quoted as saying “It has never happened in my lifetime, let alone in the satellite era. We are all going to die (before we see the start of this melt again)”

    Halley’s Comet makes a freak return after 76 years.
    Scientists were surprised when Halley’s Comet showed up on its normal cycle of 76 years. “It has never happened in my lifetime, let alone in the satellite era. We are all likely going to die (before we see it again)

    Venus transit of the Sun stuns astronomers.
    Astronomers were surprised by the unprecedented occurrence of a solar transit of Venus earlier this year as part of the normal 121 and 8 year dual cycle. “It has never happened in my lifetime, let alone in the satellite era. We are all going to die eventually.

  23. Romm: ““But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.”

    IF. He really likes IF.

    If the Sun went dark at noon and stayed that way, we should worry.
    If we see a 150 year event occur more often, we should worry. Of course, he is ignoring the fact that we have NO REASON TO EXPECT a 150 year event to become more common than every 150 years. But, one can always throw out an IF to worry the public as they now think a “scientist” thinks that this is a real possibility. Oh, worra, worra!

  24. higley7 says:
    July 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    But 150 year events might be like London buses; you don’t see one for ages then three come along one after another.

  25. Gary Pearse says:
    July 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm
    Ole Heinrich says:
    July 25, 2012 at 11:53 am
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summit_Camp Look at the average temperature data §.-)

    Its made it into Wiki already! “unprecedented” warming – how can these people be so knowingly immoral and opportunistic. Thinking sceptics not only occupy the high ground, almost any ground is higher than the ground occupied by these scurrilous humankind-loathing people.

    Wiki-Wacky

  26. George E. Smith; says:
    July 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm
    “””””…..ZT says:

    July 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Is that a nasty smokey chimney visible in the Summit Webcam?

    You’d think that the brave evangelists of global thermageddon would be using smokeless fuel, or a windturbine, while they are telling everyone else what fuels to use. Or perhaps they don’t believe their own propaganda…?….”””””

    Kwitcher carpin Z; How else are they gonna get a nice stratum of black carbon to report on in their next gummint grant application ??

    I’m guessing the smoke is from a trash burner. It wouldn’t be cost-effective to ship it out.

  27. “There may have been a brief few days of melt, but it appears to be over”

    “The real meat is in the data, as Dr. Pielke writes:

    “Note the zero line, and the few small excursions above zero source of image: Greenland Summit Station – the plot is of temperatures at the top of the Greenland icecap for the last 30 days.””

    The excellent included graph in the top post is so simple to understand. Just synchronize those two little blips above the 0°C threshold with all the chicken-little hysteria from the green-red climate cabal and it all becomes clear. They are insane.

    I swear, even if a glacier was rolling through their backyard it still wouldn’t stop them from their childish AGW obsessive compulsive disorder.

  28. Got the corn going. Or did, probably back to normal now. Spring conditions for a day. A day that comes once in 150 years. Here today gone tomorrow. Hope someone got a piece of it.

  29. Per Strandberg (@LittleIceAge) says:
    July 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    ….. Be worried be very worried for quality of the news you get from the MSM.
    ___________________________
    I quit trusting the MSM when they showed footage of the riots on my college campus in 1970. Only one problem. There WERE NO RIOTS, zip, zilch, nothing but students walking to class. Yet they showed it on national TV and scared the heck out of my parents. It was all about covering someone’s backside after the Kent State shootings by show the general public there was dangerous “Unrest” on college campuses. My boy friend (27 yr old engineer going for a masters) was at the Kent State shootings BTW and that was also completely inaccurately portrayed in the media. The town was denying fully adult resident students the right to vote because they were Vietnam vets in college on the GI bill. Many were in their mid to late twenties and all were “weaned” from Mama by combat duty.

    The true story still isn’t anywhere in print or on the net.

    Every single instance where I have had first hand knowledge of a news story it was dead wrong. That one is just the easiest to explain.

  30. u.k.(us) says:
    July 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I know it has been done to death, but it still bares repeating.

    Wikiquote on the Eisenhower farewell address…
    ____________________
    I sure wish he was running instead of the Democrat-lite the Republicans picked.

  31. Everyone knows a million to one chance happens nine times out of ten. :P

    (yes, yes, /sarc.)

  32. Stands out like dogs balls so I guess others have noticed it too – but I dont have the time to read through all the comments before work so ….
    I was rather surprised to see the figures 29m to the 1939 level and 46m to the 1879m from a core collected in 2009. Man, thats a lot of ice – and I rather thought there was supposed to be some sort of catastrophic global warming going on. I would have expected with all the warming thats been talked about over the last few decades that the those relatively recent levels would have been well gone by now. But 29m? I wonder if any one has some ice cores from say 1970s which give the thickness down to 1939 before all this recent warming happened? Or am I missing something here?

  33. ZT comments “You’d think that the brave evangelists of global thermageddon would be using smokeless fuel, or a windturbine, while they are telling everyone else what fuels to use.”

    There is a large renewable energy program at Summit Station. It has been a test bed for wind turbines, including hardening them for survival in the -60C winter conditions. This summer two different solar programs were initiated, including a microinverter array one the sides of the main camp building:

    http://www.polarfield.com/blog/green-energy-greenlands-summit-station/

    Primary station power is still produced by diesel generators. Glycol heat recovery is used for heating most of the permanent buildings. Reducing the amount of fuel burned has been a major focus, not just because of the impact of locally produced hydrocarbon emissions, but because the fuel itself needs to be transported into camp. This is primarily done with the LC-130s (we use the same JP-8 that they fly with), offloading from their tanks into onsite fuel bladders. In recent years, there has been an annual traverse from Thule for hauling fuel and supplies:

    http://www.polarfield.com/blog/cps-convoy-heads-summit-greenland/

  34. I guess what Im asking in my last post is…
    If unprecedented warming doesnt melt to a level below the last period of unprecedented warming, its not actually competing with the the rate of cooling?

  35. “Billy Liar says:
    July 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm
    Two LC-130′s landed at Summit Camp in the ‘extreme melt’ and the slush on 13 July 2012. They only weigh around 100,000lbs.”

    The aircraft were sprinkled with magical Anti-CO2 AGW/CC ice melting A-grade pixie dust. That made them light as a feather while coming into land :-)

  36. A Crooks of Adelaide says:
    July 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Stands out like dogs balls so I guess others have noticed it too – but I dont have the time to read through all the comments before work so ….
    I was rather surprised to see the figures 29m to the 1939 level and 46m to the 1879m from a core collected in 2009. Man, thats a lot of ice – and I rather thought there was supposed to be some sort of catastrophic global warming going on. I would have expected with all the warming thats been talked about over the last few decades that the those relatively recent levels would have been well gone by now. But 29m? I wonder if any one has some ice cores from say 1970s which give the thickness down to 1939 before all this recent warming happened? Or am I missing something here?
    ________________________
    Yeah, interesting. ~30 meters for the 2009 – 1939 time period (70 years)
    and then you have ~15 meter for 1939 – 1879 time period (60 years)

    Either there is a wee bit of compression going on or we have had a lot more snow that hasn’t melted in the last 70 years. The ~60 years sounds like one full ocean oscillation BTW. And what do you know, Vukcevic has a nice graph showing just that.

  37. Seth is one of the new breed of “journalists” that are so smart, so green, so progressive that doing the old fact checking routine is not a requirement of their jobs. Because when your first priority is Eco fear mongering and hysteria flogging, facts are but a minor, inconvenient distraction to the Great Cause of saving humanity from CO2, or as some people call it, plant food.

  38. Marian,

    It isn’t the landing that it is the hard part when the snow is soft, it is taking back off again. They will often need multiple attempts (aka “slides”) to pack the snow. The skiway itself is over 5 miles long. On days where they need a boost to reach take off speed, they can fire rocket bottles mounted near the back of the fuselage in what is called a Jet Assisted Takeoff (JATO). They only do that a couple of times a year, but it is pretty spectaular to watch:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/how-the-lc-130-flies-to-greenland-and-antarctica#slide-1

  39. The Independents headline: The big thaw: Greenland ice cover vanishes in just four days!

  40. Scientific theories are produced with the full expectation of withering examination.
    Political policies depend upon the lack of examination.

    Both, are aimed towards the future of the children, or so I’ve heard.

  41. sceptical [July 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm] says:

    “And the ice continues to melt.”

    Sure about that?

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/weather-tempout-lastmonth.png

    Well to paraphrase this

    Vinny Gambini: How could ice be melting on your island when it takes the entire grit-eating world a temperature above 0°C?

    sceptical: Um… It’s special ice, I guess.

    Vinny Gambini: [across beside the jury] What? I’m sorry I was over there. Did you just say you it was special ice? Are we to believe that frozen water melts back into a liquid at a lower temp on your island than any place on the face of the earth?

    sceptical: I don’t know.

    Vinny Gambini: Perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your island. Was this magic ice? Did you buy it from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhr0d0_magic-grits_shortfilms

  42. priceless from Blade. I note that The Age in Melbourne has cut and pasted this story as well. Seems to be ongoing, almost mindless verbatum from our “journalistic elite”. I’m wondering what percentage of the reading public are not getting past the “97% – the sky is falling, again”, headline? OR, are there more and more readers thinking “yeah right, heard this too often”. I think its starting to be the latter. Im waiting for one of these dopes to raise the hole in Ozone layer panic again. That will really turn punters off.

  43. This is akin to “shouting fire” in a crowded cinema. Its both sad and criminal. At my little forum for ordinary people, a lot were very scared and frightened. I had to edit the title of the post. You cannot brush it off or make it seem a minor thing. Its done its job, frightened people and nobody is bought to book.

  44. Gail Combs. says: July 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm
    ……
    Ms Combs Thanks for referring to the graph (there is always hope :) )
    It may be that the North Atlantic – Arctic oscillations are not well understood. Greenland borders the Nordic Seas source of an almost theoretical example of the energy exchange between ocean and the atmosphere, SST is currently at its peak while the heat energy is transferred into atmosphere, however atmospheric pressure is turning negative, classic 1/2 cycle accumulated energy transfer phase shift:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAO-SST-ea.htm

    Possible cause of the ocean-atmosphere oscillations is even more obscure to the current science, but there is no mystery; sun and the Earth are acting in concert: sun provides (more or less constant) energy input, the Earth stores the energy (oceans), solar oscillations are the trigger, the Earth is happy to respond. Perhaps far to simple for some, but that is how I see it. http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

  45. At http://www.summitcamp.org/status/power/ one can find out how much power is being produced by the evil, CO2 producing hydrocarbon powered generators (43.555 Kw) at the time of this post, or by the 22 wind powered generators (5 watts!). While one can argue that there aren’t many places where one can test bird blenders at -60 C, putting wind power in such a remote location is simply asinine. Although it’s probably a better choice than the other “environmentally friendly” plan to use solar cells during the arctic winter.

  46. There’s lies and theres out right dammned lies…this clearly falls in to the latter!
    Such a shame how science has become so corrupted and sloppy

  47. For what it’s worth…
    I just happened to be listening to the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme this morning and they interviewed a spokesman from Shell about when they were going to begin drilling of the coast of Alaska. He said “We are waiting for it to be ice free. The ice is thicker than normal this year, the thickest it’s been in 10 years”

  48. The ice was here, the ice was there,
    The ice was all around.
    It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
    Like noises in a swound.

    Water, water every where
    And all the boards did shrink.
    Water, water every where
    nor any drop to drink.

    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – abridged for effect of course.

  49. mycroft says:
    July 26, 2012 at 4:52 am
    There’s lies and theres out right dammned lies…this clearly falls in to the latter!
    Such a shame how science has become so corrupted and sloppy

    Nothing wrong with the science, but there’s a lot of sloppy reporting of it in this case.
    I don’t know whether it’s in trying to write brief headlines without understanding the content
    or deliberate misrepresentation. I agree with Anthony about the headlines, it’s better to stick to the original NASA one which was quite explicit: “Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt”.

  50. Blade says:
    July 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    “There may have been a brief few days of melt, but it appears to be over”

    “The real meat is in the data, as Dr. Pielke writes:

    “Note the zero line, and the few small excursions above zero source of image: Greenland Summit Station – the plot is of temperatures at the top of the Greenland icecap for the last 30 days.””

    The excellent included graph in the top post is so simple to understand. Just synchronize those two little blips above the 0°C threshold with all the chicken-little hysteria from the green-red climate cabal and it all becomes clear. They are insane.

    I swear, even if a glacier was rolling through their backyard it still wouldn’t stop them from their childish AGW obsessive compulsive disorder.

    For those living in Greenland it’s not the glacier rolling through their backyards but flood waters from the melt:

  51. Billy Liar says:
    July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    higley7 says:
    July 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    But 150 year events might be like London buses; you don’t see one for ages then three come along one after another.

    Indeed, the 150 years is the average over the last 10,000 years it’s been less frequent over the last 4,000. As I pointed out on the other thread:
    The data at Summit is given by GISP2.
    The rate of occurrence there is ~15/4000 years, since it’s such a rare event it’s reasonable to
    model it as a Poisson process, with a λ of 0.375 (per century). Over the last 4000 years that’s a mean expectation of 0.375/century with a variance of 0.375.
    From a Poisson analysis you’d expect ~27 centuries without a melt, ~10 centuries with one melt year, ~2 centuries which is in reasonable agreement with the data.

    The actual data re melt years is here, note before the 1889 event you have to go several centuries to find another:

    http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/DATA/alley1.html

  52. I have little knowledge of ice-core science, but I have to wonder: If ice occasionally melts in Greenland and (presumably) in other places where scientists take ice-core samples, do the ice cores show evidence of such melting, and how much ice has melted?

  53. “It is mind blowing that NASA would allow this self contradictory piece in the first place, and then let it go uncorrected after being notified that there’s no unprecedented event at all, and their own article citing Keegan et al says so!”

    It may be mind blowing for you, Anthony, but that is only because you haven’t yet admitted that NASA is a partner in the fraud of catastrophic climate change. It is past time for you to lay down you boyish hero worship of NASA and other government agencies (NOAA, NSF, CDC, etc.) and take an honest look at what they are hiding behind their “science” mask.

  54. Steve Wilent says:
    July 26, 2012 at 8:51 am
    I have little knowledge of ice-core science, but I have to wonder: If ice occasionally melts in Greenland and (presumably) in other places where scientists take ice-core samples, do the ice cores show evidence of such melting, and how much ice has melted?

    Yes, that’s where the data about Summit came from (see my earlier post). The ‘unprecedented’ aspect of the recent event is that it’s the first time that the whole surface of the ice-sheet has been observed with such a large fraction of it melting. As a result there has been serious flooding in Greenland. The implication of the core data is that if melting occurred before at Summit then the rest of the sheet surface was also melting, based on the core data it occurred once in the last 750 years or so around 1889. A cluster of similar events occurred about a thousand years ago when the insolation was higher than now.

  55. Phil. [July 26, 2012 at 8:28 am] says:

    Blade [July 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm] says:

    “I swear, even if a glacier was rolling through their backyard it still wouldn’t stop them from their childish AGW obsessive compulsive disorder.”

    “For those living in Greenland it’s not the glacier rolling through their backyards but flood waters from the melt:”

    [embedded video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RauzduvIYog%5D

    LOL Phil! The video is entitled ‘Broen over Watson River i ruiner 12. juli 2012′ and shows a bridge over a fast flowing river. The Broen (or ‘bridge’ as I can tell) has water flowing under it. Yes, you heard that right, water under a bridge. If you watch the wide shot at 0:23 it looks as if everything is working exactly as designed. The geography shows a well-planned water channel with high embankments (where the roads and people are) and a deep channel where the annual melt-water goes.

    Of course if there really was dangerously increasing melt (there isn’t) then the people could easily convert such a location from a simple bridge to a damn and harvest some of that green energy. The fact that it has not been done (well I cannot be sure from the video, I do seee what looks like poured concrete forms of some sort) tells me there isn’t enough predictable energy there to justify the cost. Try again Phil, you can do better than the proverbial water under the bridge!

    And as far as my comment: “I swear, even if a glacier was rolling through their backyard it still wouldn’t stop them from their childish AGW obsessive compulsive disorder.”, I see nothing from the leftist red-green cabal or those sheeple they continually try to scare to indicate otherwise. I can easily picture a glacier parked in Mann, McKibben or Mann’s backyard while they rush to jump into a limo to bring them to their next cocktail party so as to regale their hosts with more doomsday propaganda.

  56. Phil. says:
    July 26, 2012 at 11:00 am
    The ‘unprecedented’ aspect of the recent event is that it’s the first time that the whole surface of the ice-sheet has been observed with such a large fraction of it melting.

    “Observed” — meaning, “direct, recorded observation” — is the key word. The proliferation of vid-capable cellphones means that a lot of phenomena that were previously reported only by word-of-mouth will get stuck with the “unprecedented” label.

    …based on the core data it occurred once in the last 750 years or so around 1889. A cluster of similar events occurred about a thousand years ago when the insolation was higher than now.

    Phil, your GIS link shows that melt events have been fairly cyclical over the past 4,000 years, too:

    http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/DATA/alley1.html

    Have you done any correlation with solar cycles for that period yet?

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