Antarctic peninsula was 1.3°C warmer than today 11,000 years ago

From the British Antarctic Survey

English: Wordie Ice Shelf location within Anta...

Wordie Ice Shelf location within Antarctic Peninsula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming

Results published this week by a team of polar scientists from Britain, Australia and France adds a new dimension to our understanding of Antarctic Peninsula climate change and the likely causes of the break-up of its ice shelves.

The first comprehensive reconstruction of a 15,000 year climate history from an ice core collected from James Ross Island in the Antarctic Peninsula region is reported this week in the journal Nature. The scientists reveal that the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 -years has been unprecedented and came on top of a slower natural climate warming that began around 600 years ago. These centuries of continual warming meant that by the time the unusual recent warming began, the Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves were already poised for the dramatic break-ups observed from the 1990’s onwards.

The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth – average temperatures from meteorological stations near James Ross Island have risen by nearly 2°C in the past 50 years.

Lead author Dr Robert Mulvaney OBE, from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says,

“This is a really interesting result. One of the key questions that scientists are attempting to answer is how much of the Earth’s recently observed warming is due to natural climate variation and how much can be attributed to human activity since the industrial revolution. The only way we can do this is by looking back through time when the Earth experienced ice ages and warm periods, and ice cores are a very good method for doing this.”

Dr Mulvaney continues,

“We know that something unusual is happening in the Antarctic Peninsula. To find out more we mounted a scientific expedition to collect an ice core from James Ross Island – on the northernmost tip of the Peninsula. Within the 364m long core are layers of snow that fell every year for the last 50,000 years. Sophisticated chemical analysis – at BAS and the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory (part of British Geological Survey) – was used to re-create a temperature record over this period.

“For this study we looked in detail at the last 15,000 years – from the time when the Earth emerged from the last ice age and entered into the current warm period. What we see in the ice core temperature record is that the Antarctic Peninsula warmed by about 6°C as it emerged from the last ice age. By 11,000 years ago the temperature had risen to about 1.3°C warmer than today’s average and other research indicates that the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet was shrinking at this time and some of the surrounding ice shelves retreated. The local climate then cooled in two stages, reaching a minimum about 600 years ago. The ice shelves on the northern Antarctic Peninsula expanded during this cooling. Approximately 600 years ago the local temperature started to warm again, followed by a more rapid warming in the last 50-100 years that coincides with present-day disintegration of ice shelves and glacier retreat.”

Co-Author Dr Nerilie Abram formerly from British Antarctic Survey and now with the Research School of Earth Sciences, at The Australian National University says,

“The centuries of ongoing warming have meant that marginal ice shelves on the northern Peninsula were poised for the succession of collapses that we have witnessed over the last two decades. And if this rapid warming that we are now seeing continues, we can expect that ice shelves further south along the Peninsula that have been stable for thousands of years will also become vulnerable.”

Olivier Alemany, from the French Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement was part of the expedition. He says,

“The international polar science community has collected and analysed ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland as part of an effort to reconstruct the Earth’s past climate and atmosphere. Our team wanted to understand how the recent warming and the loss of ice shelves compared to the longer term climate trends in the region.”

This research makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the role that Antarctica’s ice sheets play in influencing future climate and sea-level rise. It was funded by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council).

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Regarding that rapid warming of 2C in the last 50 years, just remember that most weather stations in the Antarctic are near humanity, and humanity requires warmth to survive. For example:

The Antarctic peninsula is the most populated place in Antarctica.

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115 thoughts on “Antarctic peninsula was 1.3°C warmer than today 11,000 years ago

  1. “By 11,000 years ago the temperature had risen to about 1.3°C warmer than today’s average…”
    That would be the effect of the industrial revolution of those pre-Incan and pre-Mayan civilisations then; couldn’t be anything else, could it?

  2. Well, seriously!

    How would YOU like to go out into the freezing Antarctic semi-night, into those howling winds and blizzards, just to get a reading from your distant weather station?

    Much, much better to keep it really close to your front door, so that you can dash out, take a reading, and bolt back in.

    Makes sense to me…..

  3. Did they get the recent measurements by ice-coring of near-surface layers, or from thermometers? If the latter, they’re comparing data from two quite different sorts of technique so they’d need to be ultra careful to rule out artefacts. Were they?

  4. Really? the ice core is contaminated by micro site effects? Did you mention that to the Larsen B ice shelf perhaps? Oh whoops, too late!

  5. Those flags seem to suggest that any heat from that camp has no chance of reaching the thermometer, and given the circumpolar winds experienced there they more than likely point that way most of the time. If the camp did effect the results it would only be on the rare occasion the wind comes the other way and surely that would stick out a mile in the data. Very long shot that one Anthony.

  6. The northern half of the peninsular is north of the antarctic circle so gets winter sun. The bulk of the Larsen is included in this. warming is not ”unprecedented” because recent geological evidence shows that the peninsular was tree covered which shows at least some warming don’t you think?

  7. The article reads: ““We know that something unusual is happening in the Antarctic Peninsula…”

    Yup, it sure is unusual. The sea surface temperature anomalies for the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica aren’t warming. The long-term ERSST.v3b reconstruction shows it cooling. (We haven’t looked at one of these for a couple of years.):

    And the satellite era Reynolds OI.v2 sea surface temperature anomaly data shows it cooling:

    The latter graph is from my July 2012 update:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/july-2012-sea-surface-temperature-sst-anomaly-update/

  8. I have always been fascinated by the ‘media/PR’ aspect of Warmism and this press release is an excellent example of the media manipulation we have come to expect. Many years I noticed that Warmist propaganda was nearly always timed to coincide with periods of warm or hot weather in much the same way as ice-cream or sun tan lotion is marketed. Well it’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere right now or it soon will be and with the first breath of warm weather comes the inevitable stories about the Antarctic rapidly melting. The objective is simple to try and make everyone forget that we’ve just had one of the coldest SH winters for half a century. Of course sometimes the timing of these things goes awry and with a big chunk of winter remaining I fervently hope that the chilly spring will help Australian and S African people to ignore this drivel.

  9. They say “the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 -years has been unprecedented“, but they can’t tell that from the ice cores, because they aren’t accurate down to that kind of time-scale.
    And if “By 11,000 years ago the temperature had risen to about 1.3°C warmer than today’s average“, then today’s temperatures are not at all unprecedented.

    How they manage to twist it all to sound alarming is really rather – er – alarming.

    PS. I don’t trust the ice-core interpretations anyway.

  10. Mike Jonas @ 2:14 am

    From the abstract:

    Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia.

  11. Not sure I could find the actual temps in this article. Have they risen from – 40 deg C to – 38 deg C. The water run off must be amazing?

  12. Dome and Vostok Ice Cores also both show the stable temps, varying within a fixed range – of the last 15,000 years.

  13. “The centuries of ongoing warming have meant that marginal ice shelves on the northern Peninsula were poised for the succession of collapses that we have witnessed over the last two decades. And if this rapid warming that we are now seeing continues, we can expect that ice shelves further south along the Peninsula that have been stable for thousands of years will also become vulnerable.” ……………….
    So the reason that the Northern ice shelves collapsed was that they had been made unstable by 600yrs of warming. The ”ice sheets further South along the peninsular that have been stable for thousands of years will also become vulnerable” therefore does not follow that reasoning.

  14. I have emailed their press office as below:

    I was wondering why you state in your introduction that:

    “The scientists reveal that the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 years has been unprecedented and came on top of a slower natural climate warming that began around 600 years ago.”

    When if you read the Abstract from the Nature paper itself is very clear states:

    “Although warming of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula began around 600 years ago, the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia.”

    As this Press Release is being digested by many media outlets, these two summaries just seem completely at variance to me? You changed “unusual (but not unprecedented)” from the paper to “has been unprecedented”

    Regards,

    Pete.

  15. Re the met station shown on the first day cover. I wonder if the little bubble cabins have air conditioners pumping out hot air, or if by some chance the crazy loons prefer to keep the heat in?

  16. plazaeme–your URL also includes the supplementary material in two files that can be downloaded for free. The second file is the Excel version of the data and one can make graphs of the temperature anomalies on a 10- or 100-year smoothing.

  17. Mr Cantwell puts it perfectly into perspective! “Did the researcher freeze to death at -40°C or -38°C? This sort of information could be crucial to human survival down there!” The very idea that this is warming is pathetic. LOL! Due hat tip to Plazaeme & Mike Jones too. The minute I hear the word “unprecedented”, I feel the urge to look at what the truth really is! It’s a bit like the Royal Society spokepersons ignoring the motto Nullius in verba, to Respect the Facts! As John Brignall pointed out in Numberwatch, as soon as they say that you need to start looking for the fictions!

    I do find this misuse of language quite insidious & deliberately manipulative. I do enjoy good old BBC progs that occasionally get repeated on BBC 3/4, like the one about methane clathrates melting after the 1 million year Siberian volcanic eruptions raising Earth’s temperature by 5°C, which caused melting of the clathrate which in turn caused another 5°C rise in global temps, a 10°C rise enough to cause mass extinction events, or so the theory went! They talk about what creatures on other continents might have experienced as a result, with little or no reference to the state of land masses at the time, referring to parts of South America here or Europe there, when at the time they never existed in a recognisable form today! They are barking mad at times imho!

  18. Nick Kermode says:
    “given the circumpolar winds experienced there they more than likely point that way most of the time”

    I can tell right away that you have never visited the Antarctic peninsula. The weather and wind is very variable and unpredictable.

  19. Nick Kermode says:
    August 23, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Those flags seem to suggest that any heat from that camp has no chance of reaching the thermometer, and given the circumpolar winds experienced there they more than likely point that way most of the time. If the camp did effect the results it would only be on the rare occasion the wind comes the other way and surely that would stick out a mile in the data. Very long shot that one Anthony.
    ===========================================================
    How about skin temperature of the fibreglass igloo nearest the weather station (together with the others) and thermal radiation? For some reason they are devoid of snow. I think Anthony’s point is that, if the weather station alone were to remain while all the rest of the camp, together with its denizens, were shipped back to Australia, the downward trend registered by the thermometer would be discernible. Thermal radiation is sensitive to proximity and line of sight–not to wind direction.

  20. Only one thing is unprecedented. Total loss of memory, which forces everyone in the media and the establishment to see every event as brand new. That’s unprecedented.

    NONE of the actual events, whether in politics or business or economics or climate, are unprecedented. It’s all happened before, and we dealt with it COMPETENTLY before. We SOLVED these problems in the past, or adapted to them if they couldn’t be solved.

    And that explains the loss of memory. It’s not mass Alzheimer’s. It’s a deliberate mass lobotomy by the elite, enabling them to UNSOLVE every problem. If we were allowed to hear about past solutions and past adaptations, we’d realize that the ruling class is doing EXACTLY THE WRONG THING in EVERY SINGLE SITUATION.

  21. Well, I got a reply already, and they have indeed now changed it!

    Hello Pete

    This is very well spotted and is an error on our part. The press release has now been amended to ‘very unusual’ rather than ‘unprecedented’. Many thanks for bringing my attention to this.

    Kind regards,

  22. Well done, ScousePete, getting them to change it. Maybe you could ask them why they changed it to “very unusual” when the paper said just “unusual”. Anyone would think they want to make it sound bad, instead of reporting science properly.

  23. By 11,000 years ago the temperature had risen to about 1.3°C warmer

    These ice core temperatures are so exact to tenths of a degree C. Yet NASA goes back and adjusts temperatures taken by professional meteorological observers in the 1940’s by more than 0.3°C. Amazing accuracy these ice cores. I don’t suppose anyone has validated the temperature proxies? — ahh thought not. Wouldn’t want to see any declines after all.

  24. About thermal radiation, its heat transfer is proportional to the fourth root of the absolute temperature difference in addition to being subject to R^-2 and shielding. Convection MAY be efficient here but the mixing of turbulent cold air – lots of it – makes me wonder.

  25. BBC news AGW agit-prop is in full swing curtsey of Bob Watson, appeared with lot of facial fur grown just in case hi got wrong his 2-4C degrees temperature rise.

  26. Looking at the First Day Cover and comparing my recollections of other thermometer housings; they are on stands, I imagine to elevate the sensor above the boundary layer air. Here it *appears* that the thermometer may be within a reasonable boundary layer, that may be occasionally deeper (due to smooth up wind) and warmer for conduction/convection of the possibly warmer snow field.

  27. Most of the “Antarctic Peninsula” stations that the 2dC increase refer to are in fact on King George Is in the So. Shetlands, out in the currents about 100km offshore from the actual Peninsula. John Ross Is is tucked in closer to the Peninsula on the E side, and so is more representative of the actual Peninsula.

  28. If ice core sampling is so precise, surely then the ice core data from the last several years accumulation will provide excellent calibration for the thermometers in current use.

  29. PRESS RELEASE,

    The scientists reveal that the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 years has been VERY unusual and came on top of a slower natural climate warming that began around 600 years ago.

    ABSTRACT,

    The high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia.

    Not much difference is there.

  30. Thanks Bob. It is useful to remember that the Antarctic Peninsula projects into the Drake Passage and that the latter has existed as a deep water passage allowing a powerful southern circumpolar current for only the last 34 – 30 Ma. The Drake Passage opening was clearly the trigger for the abrupt Eocene–Oligocene climate deterioration and the growth of extensive Antarctic ice sheets without any need whatsoever to invoke a mysterious reduction in atmospheric CO2. It is highly likely that prior to that event, driving forces for global climate homeostasis were far weaker (than they now are). This invalidates the currently fashionable attempts by the CAGW lobby to scare us with the earlier Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at 56 Ma.

  31. Back to the radiant heat theme and presumed surface emissivity from the camp structures impinging on the weather station, (which undoubtedly will be comfortably heated) an infrared image of the encampment would be most enlightening.

  32. Depending on the time resolution of the proxies (ice cores here), it may actually be hard to say if the rate of temp. rise is unprecedented or not. I’m pretty sure we have not had good thermometer coverage in this region for hundreds of years.

    Certainly the maximum temp.’s in the last 15,000 years have been 1.3 to 6 degrees higher!

    If they wanted to insure that there is no effect of radiant heat on the temp. probe it really should be at least 20 yards from the houses and upwind if there is a prevailing wind direction. And if many of the other temp. probes are in the island chain, they are obviously influenced strongly by ocean current temperatures which is something that Antarctic researchers freely admit but sometimes do not go out of their way to emphasize.

  33. I would like to see their data. Some of their findings tend to confirm what I have observed in analyzing isotope depletion data from ice cores. slides 44 to 51 at http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf. I do not agree that the warming rate in the last 100 years is unprecedented and I doubt that the word is even used in their paper.

  34. Reading the exerts from this article made me wonder about what has happened with the Andrill project results- This 60 million dollar project drilled down from the Ross Ice Shelf to material dating to the start of the present glacial periods, which showed that the Ross Ice Shelf had collapsed 25 or 26 times. Then drilling went beyond to materials predating the glaciation to the end period of the prior glaciation period. The latest from Google was that the University of Nebraska was just now shipping out a 2 billion dollar drill for the new Andrill project which will start next year. NSF is providing another billion to cover the first two years of the project.

    http://www.dailynebraskan.com/mobile/news/unl-built-andrill-voyages-to-antarctica-1.2751637#.UDYbBCJcS1s

  35. From Ian W on August 23, 2012 at 5:09 am:

    (…) Yet NASA goes back and adjusts temperatures taken by professional meteorological observers in the 1940′s by more than 0.3°C. (…)

    I’ve started to try to understand the Time of Observation (TOBs) adjustments made by NOAA-NCDC to the USHCN numbers, been comparing the “raw” and “TOBs-only adjusted” monthly records. If NASA-GISS is only adjusting around 0.3°C, they’re on the low end for finagling. And that’s just looking at TOBs.

    If I ever understand that adjustment, then I’ll consider looking at the others. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a “Hg purity” adjustment snuck in somewhere, which will be argued as needed since mercury way back then was less pure, causing it to expand more, thus it’s justified to cool the past another 0.1°F or so.

  36. The paper doesn’t present any evidence for recent warming.

    I looked into the Antarctic Peninsula warming claim, and found it results from a single British station. All the warming was in the minimum temperature in a place where the minimum temperature never gets above zero.

    Thus, the claimed Antarctic Peninsula (atmospheric) warming can not be the cause of the increased iceshelf melt.

    The cause is increased insolation from decreased clouds, resulting from decreased anthropogenic aerosols.

    As it is for the Arctic.

  37. Now that they’ve “corrected” the press release, I wonder if they will re-issue the corrected one or just record the fact that they corrected it? Kind of like correcting an email after you’ve already sent it out to hundreds of people…

  38. The Sun is “OFF”. The Flux is under 100 units [the lowest values during a Sunspot minimum is about 70 units]. During a Sunspot peak ["NOW"], the Flux should have values of 250 to 300 units. Get ready for a cold summer and a horrific winter next year [unless the Sun avoids its natural 350 year min/max cycle.

    Mann’s Hockey Stick is correct except for one detail: It should be upside down!

    As for the Antarctic peninsula, hasn’t anyone seen the increase in ice over the last years?

  39. Antarctic are near humanity, and humanity requires warmth to survive.
    ———–
    And all you have to do is check the average wind velocity to see if this has a plausible influence on the temperature record. High winds means no.

  40. Mulvaney et al. confirm that the earth has been cooling since the Holocene Climatic Optimum.
    The duration of recent interglacials has been approximately half a precession cycle or 11,000 years.
    Kukla, G. J., Matthews, R. K. & Mitchell, J. M. The end of the present interglacial. Quat. Res. 2, 261269 (1972).
    Determining the natural length of the current interglacial. Tzedakis et al. (2012) predict that the next glacial period would start in 1500 years “if atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed 240.5 ppmv.”
    Do we know how well CO2 predicts climate – or lags climate?
    Glaciation is far more dangerous than a few degrees of warming.
    We can use all the CO2 we can get to fend off the onslought of the next glacial period!

  41. Another staging by BAS in Nature. Appaling!
    BTW the largest iceberg ever mappped came from the Filchner Shelf in… 1956.

  42. “One of the key questions that scientists are attempting to answer is how much of the Earth’s recently observed warming is due to natural climate variation and how much can be attributed to human activity since the industrial revolution.”
    The climate is a non-linear system with so many variables they have not all been counted yet. There is ‘sensitivity to initial conditions’ (the mathematical definition of ‘chaos’) in all aspects: temperature, pressure, motion, moisture, cloud formation, albedo, etc. To deconvolute the observed variations into “natural” and “anthropogenic” is a mathematical impossibility.
    “The only way we can do this is by looking back through time when the Earth experienced ice ages and warm periods, and ice cores are a very good method for doing this.”
    Climatologists may THINK this can be done, but they are only deluding themselves. Any student of mathematics would know better.
    Parsing out the ‘man-made’ climate change is as impossible as turning a chianti into a chablis by subtracting out the “red”.

  43. I had a look at their detailed data in the Supplemental versus the high resolution Antarctic summit ice core numbers.

    The Pennisula appears to have warmed up earlier out of the ice age than the summit and the warming was more pronounced around 12,000 years ago. It also does not vary as much as the Summit (which is important for those taking the proxy data and turning it into temperature reconstructions – some climate scientists do not seem to understand that different locations have different formula).

    The Older Dryas cooling event (14,300 years ago) starts about the same time in the Pennisula and the Summit but the Pennisula does not show any kind of Younger Dryas cooling event (12,800 years ago) – it was already warming very fast at this time. This is something someone should look at since we are trying to understand this/these event(s).

    Otherwise quite similar for the last 8,000 years.

  44. Of course if they really wanted to nail down the possible local temperature bias of the huts and sensor locations, they could set up a matrix of 6 or 8 sensors spaced out away from the station and get contemporary readings from all of them and see if there is a heat island effect from the proximity.

    Even a single additional sensor station 1000 meters from the station would help characterize any possible bias in the measurements. Given how much they spent to put all that hardware on the ice, you would think the additional cost of one more temperature sensor would be a trivial concern, and simple way to validate the sensitivity to local heat island effects from the structures.

    Why don’t any of these outposts seem to have redundant sensors?

    Larry

  45. A few weeks ago my article on temperatures was carried here;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-historic-variations-in-temperatures-part-3-best-confirms-extended-period-of-warming/

    I observed a 400/500 year warming tremd from CET which was confirmed by a warming trend from 1753 by BEST.

    This coincides with the 600 year warming trend observed in the Antarctic. BEST, Hadley and Giss merely plugged into a warming trend that was already well established and didn’t indicate the start of it. It predates enhanced co2 by many centuries. Is anyone looking for the cause?

    tonyb

  46. Robuk
    August 23, 2012 at 5:44 am
    ###

    If you had bothered to read any of the comments you would have known that the press release was changed because of an email sent by ScousePete.

    ScousePete is being very generous. It is obvious that the “error” was the standard deliberate attempt to spin a research paper in order to better support the cause. Got to keep headline propaganda going or else the brain washed masses will forget. Lefties see everything through the lens of their agenda and are willing to lie(etc.) for it. Most don’t even know that they are doing it because their ability to think and remember has been so compromised by the Marxist world-view that they have been programed to have. /soapbox

  47. The catastrophic warnings have been lapped up by my dear relative. Penguins are dying. The ice cap is melting. We are all going to fry on land and boil in the oceans. You know what? It gets my dander quite up and my Irish feathers terribly ruffled when a good and decent woman is fooled by dishonest rhetoric of the kind we are seeing in the latest emails and correspondance FOIA stash. The way these charletans work at twisting the words for greater impact! For shame! And to put a point on it, this isn’t mainstream media I am talking about, but the very people who are degreed in research!

    Those that work at this attempt to rile the populous to unnecessary worry and those that let it slide without protest ought to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on the rails. You are, as a bunch and in total, no longer good enough to sweep the floor of research, let alone have your writings see the light of day.

    And these are my kind words!

  48. Question for the experts:

    Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Destination Alpha side (one of two main entrances), 2009, resolution up to 4,483 × 2,989px available.

    I was looking at the pics for the station at the Wikipedia entry for a Stevenson Screen, saw something else.

    See the thing at the front left corner hanging off the roof of the building on a short mast? It doesn’t look like a light, there’s nothing else like it elsewhere around the building (that I can see). It looks like it’s open at the bottom for air circulation, with an opaque white shield.

    Is that a temperature sensor?

  49. Sorry, but there are major problems with both the recent climate data, and that which is retrieved through core samples. We know of data tampering on the continent, so I pay this zero attention.

  50. tonyb says:
    August 23, 2012 at 8:08 am
    Is anyone looking for the cause?

    Little doubt about that Tony, if the fluid far down below the Antarctica is so faithfully following the sun, I can’t see a solid reason why the fluid surrounding the Antarctica, which is directly exposed to sun (in more ways than one) should not do the same.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-dBzA1.htm

    Unfortunately climate science at the moment is so preoccupied with CO2 as a toddler who discovered ‘sucking dummy’, an awful lot of chewing on no substance .

  51. Hello Climatologists!!

    Does the observation that bits of Antarctica were warmer than today 10,000+ years ago raise any interesting questions in your minds?

    Here’s some that spring to mine:

    – what caused the warmer climate to occur?
    – what caused it to stop and cool down?
    – if it cooled down until 600 years ago, what caused it to stop cooling and start warming again?
    – how representative is Antarctica as a proxy for the rest of the globe? If you think it is a good one, how can you demonstrate it is? If not, how do you demonstrate that it is bad?

    Seems to me that answers to these questions might be highly relevant to our understanding of past climates.

    And given the timescales involved and the lack of increased CO2 due to fossil fuel burning at the relevant times, a thorough and demonstrable explanation of these pre-existing changes is essential groundwork before one can sensibly estimate any recent CO2 based contribution. It is not really good enough to assume that all of these other effects suddenly stopped in 1960 or thereabouts. You have to show that you have really got a handle on them first. IMO this work has yet to be done. Here is the opportunity.

  52. Because of all of the artic melting and in the mountains, we will be flooded on earth and there will be catastraphic floods on the on all of the continents. That is why the Mississisppi river is shut down right now and vessels can NOT navigate the waters. The Great Lakes are down (at least Lake Michigan). We are in a terrible drought in the US. See what all the melting is doing.

  53. Definitely check out the Supplemental, good stuff. The peninsula seems to be the austral Greenaland, a place where all trends are amplified and everything happens in a big way. The climb out of the LGM is practically vertical! Recent warming “not unprecedented”, you don’t say!

    Interesting that more recent trends are antiphase with other Antarctic cores and that snow depth has increased exponentially in response to recent warming without apparently reacting to the prior maximum or the climb out of the LGM.

    Interesting to think about what causes an unconformity in an ice core…

    And ENSO is only 5000 years old? Tisdale will be pleased with the temperature response. I would have expected it is a lot older than that. Off to the ODP data on this one.

    We know so little.

  54. Read O’Connell et al. 2010 who sent Steig packing… The Peninsula is not Antarctica. As for today’s warming cause, this is dynamic warming as a result of increased warm air advection from more frequent and powerful MPHs and catabatic winds (Leroux). There was even some record snowfall on the peninsula as a result.

  55. The warming started 600 years ago and is not unprecedented. But just wait, that’s not what we will hear from the hothead bloggers or the “science” journalists.

  56. Olaf says:
    August 23, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Really? the ice core is contaminated by micro site effects? Did you mention that to the Larsen B ice shelf perhaps? Oh whoops, too late!
    ……………..

    DJ says:
    August 23, 2012 at 5:39 am
    If ice core sampling is so precise, surely then the ice core data from the last several years accumulation will provide excellent calibration for the thermometers in current use.

    I’ve read that ice cores can’t be used to measure temperatures for the most recent 50, or 100, or 150 years, because the snow hasn’t compacted enough.

  57. Latimer

    I asked much the same questions just above your comment.Whilst I was therefore theoretically first I will gladly share with you and Vuk the £5 million research grant I am expecting any time soon from Big Oil or Big Wind in order to explore the basic question;

    Why did it start warming 500 years ago?
    tonyb

  58. tonyb:

    At August 23, 2012 at 8:08 am you ask

    This coincides with the 600 year warming trend observed in the Antarctic. BEST, Hadley and Giss merely plugged into a warming trend that was already well established and didn’t indicate the start of it. It predates enhanced co2 by many centuries. Is anyone looking for the cause?

    Your question shows you don’t understand global warming science. Obviously, the warming started because the penguins began operating their power station which is situated in the same place as Trenberth’s heat. And it must be there because nobody has found it and, therefore, there is no need to look for it.
    (just in case, /sarc)

    Richard

  59. @Kadaka; “See the thing at the front left corner hanging off the roof of the building on a short mast? It doesn’t look like a light, there’s nothing else like it elsewhere around the building (that I can see).”

    Surveillance camera housing?

  60. High winds do not remove all contaminations. Radiative transfers are nearly unaffected by wind. Only conductive transfers are.

  61. Doug Huffman says:
    August 23, 2012 at 10:04 am
    @Kadaka; “See the thing at the front left corner hanging off the roof of the building on a short mast? It doesn’t look like a light, there’s nothing else like it elsewhere around the building (that I can see).”

    Surveillance camera housing?

    bug zapper?

  62. From rogerknights on August 23, 2012 at 9:29 am:

    I’ve read that ice cores can’t be used to measure temperatures for the most recent 50, or 100, or 150 years, because the snow hasn’t compacted enough.

    The GISP2 reconstruction was extended by new techniques to much closer than 50 years.

    GISP2 Ice Core 4000 Year Ar-N Isotope Temperature Reconstruction

    Abstract and data:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2-temperature2011.xls
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2-temperature2011.txt


    ORIGINAL REFERENCE:
    Kobashi, T., K. Kawamura, J.P. Severinghaus, J.-M. Barnola,
    T. Nakaegawa, B.M. Vinther, S.J. Johnsen, and J.E. Box. 2011.
    High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the
    past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core.
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L21501, doi:10.1029/2011GL049444.

    GEOGRAPHIC REGION: Greenland
    PERIOD OF RECORD: 4000 YrBP – present

    Listing:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL049444.shtml

    Leif has a copy:

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011GL049444.pdf

    The freely-available archived data (first two links) go to 1993.

  63. @tonyb

    I asked much the same questions just above your comment

    Very happy to concede precedence to you!

    But worth noting as an excellent example of great minds thinking alike.

    Would it be mischievous – as an aside from all the important stuff – to wonder what is the ‘consensus’ explanation for the considerable deviation between these results and the notorious hockey stick which told us once and for all and absolutely definitively that the warming only started a hundred years ago? There is a 500 year discrepancy that ain’t going to go away without some fancy footwork somewhere.

    And can I draw your – and anybody else who’s interested’s – attention to a couple of climate science socials being organised by Bishop Hill’s courtiers in London and Oxford:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/23/london-bh-pub-meet.html

    All welcome of whatever persuasion within the climate world. Civility and good fellowship the only prereq.

    After the last one Richard Betts, an IPCC lead author wrote

    ‘I came away feeling that the extreme polarisation of the climate debate in the last 10-15 years could have been avoided if only everyone had just gone down the pub together in 1998!’

  64. The statement is made that “the rapid warming of this region over the last 100 -years has been unprecedented”
    But wait a minute–later it says “the Antarctic Peninsula warmed by about 6°C as it emerged from the last ice age.” We know from ice cores that the last Ice Age ended VERY abruptly, warming as much as 15 °C in only 100 years. So how can warming in the past 100 years be “unpresedented?” What kind of double talk is this?
    The implication is that the ANTARCTICA warmed by this amount, but the study is only for the Antarctic Peninsula, which holds a minor amount of the glacial ice in Antarctica and is surrounded by ocean water that has warmed recently (the Antarctic Peninsula warming is undoubtedly more a matter of the warmer ocean water surrounding the peninsula than general Antarctic atmospheric warming). In fact, the temperatures recorded at the South Pole and at Vostock since 1957 show NO WARMING at all for that past 55 years!
    The bottom line here is that this study does NOT show that the Antarctica ice sheet is warming at all.

  65. Latimer

    Fashion and wishful thinking. It provided the answer required at the time to justify the continuance of the ipcc and the development of climate science.
    Tonyb

  66. Tony the answer is simple.
    First penguin’s droppings that landed there, started the ever stronger methane positive feedback, a bit warmer, more penguins survive, more droppings, more methane, more warming, and so on and on. (sarc/ off)

  67. tty says:
    August 23, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Actually the wind direction is very predictable.

    Geoff Alder says:
    August 23, 2012 at 3:35 am
    and
    Marc77 says:
    August 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

    It is quite clear from both photos that the measurement device is housed within a radiation shield, as is common practice. Anthony took some excellent photos which show how these work (see link). Your points are invalid but there is some irony that a site devoted to disproving AGW (nothing wrong with that of course) keeps blaming humans for the warming.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/WattsandBEST.html

  68. rogerknights says:
    August 23, 2012 at 9:29 am
    I’ve read that ice cores can’t be used to measure temperatures for the most recent 50, or 100, or 150 years, because the snow hasn’t compacted enough.
    ——————————————–
    The rate of accumulation can be considerable. The P38 “Glacier Girl was recovered from the Greenland ice sheet in 1992 after a force landing in 1942. After 50 years in place it was buried 268 feet below the surface.

    http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl-recovery.htm

  69. Don J. Easterbrook says:
    August 23, 2012 at 10:59 am
    The bottom line here is that this study does NOT show that the Antarctica ice sheet is warming at all.
    ————————————
    This one does.

    http://ess.uci.edu/researchgrp/velicogna/files/increasing_rates_of_ice_mass_loss_from_the_greenland__and_antarctic_ice_sheets_revealed_by_grace.pdf

    The paper describes an ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet during 2006 to 2009 of 246Gt/yr, equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.7mm/year.

  70. ScousePete says:
    August 23, 2012 at 4:05 am
    Well, I got a reply already, and they have indeed now changed it!

    Good job Pete! Thanks.

  71. Entropic man says:
    Don J. Easterbrook says:
    August 23, 2012 at 10:59 am
    The bottom line here is that this study does NOT show that the Antarctica ice sheet is warming at all.
    This one does.

    http://ess.uci.edu/researchgrp/velicogna/files/increasing_rates_of_ice_mass_loss_from_the_greenland__and_antarctic_ice_sheets_revealed_by_grace.pdf

    The paper describes an ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet during 2006 to 2009 of 246Gt/yr, equivalent to a sea level rise of 0.7mm/year.

    DJE–This study is based entirely on the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) data and involves a good deal of statistical computer manipulation and choices. Before accepting the GRACE data, one would like to see how it compares to ground truth, i.e., how does it compare with temperature, snowfall, and other measureable observations in Antarctica and Greenland. For example, just how did this ice loss take place—by melting of ice? The average temperature near the South Pole is about -58ºF and during the winter the temperature often drops below -100 ºF. To get any significant melting, the temperature must warm above 32 ºF for an extended period, requiring a warming of about 100 ºF. Ice can also be lost by sublimation, but this is much less effective than melting and requires substantial warming. Temperatures have been recorded at the South Pole and at Vostock since 1957 and neither station shows any warming trend at all in the past 55 years.
    Snowfall is also an important factor, but there is no indication of snowfall reduction. So the question is how is all this ice being lost? All indications are that ice in Antarctica is actually increasing, not decreasing.
    And then there is the fact that the GRACE argument for “accelerating ice lost” is only over a three-year period, hardly a significant enough interval to define a trend. Although the GRACE data doesn’t presently seem to be confirmed by actual ground truth, when it can be matched with ground observations, the data may prove to be interesting.

  72. From Nick Kermode on August 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm:

    It is quite clear from both photos that the measurement device is housed within a radiation shield, as is common practice. (…)

    Offhand it appears you don’t understand a Stevenson Screen has louvered sides to keep direct sunlight off the instruments while allowing air flow, is painted white to avoid heating from sunlight… And that the issue discussed is absorption of longwave infrared, which a Stevenson Screen is not designed to prevent. White painted wood objects do warm up from nearby heat sources.

    Actually it appears you are aware of this but are deceptively implying that a Stevenson Screen, which protects the instruments from direct solar radiation, will shield them from the longwave radiation, aka radiant heat.

    (…) Anthony took some excellent photos which show how these work (see link). (…)

    Now you deceptively try to draw innocent readers to a disreputable site with a deceptive article stuffed with misdirection, innuendo, and some outright falsehoods. Google cache here:

    ‘Debate’ is a contest of orators: science is a contest of evidence. Watts ignores how scientists handle the data: using strong statistical techniques to remove bias. A study using Watts’ own data – Menne 2010 – found that station exposure does not play an obvious role in temperature trends, the same conclusion reached by a team including Watts in a later paper, Fall et al 2011.

    Menne 2010 is the disreputable paper using incomplete non-quality controlled data essentially stolen from Anthony and the Surfacestations project. Fall et al 2011 did find the quality of the sites, the siting, did play a role in affecting temperature trends, as discussed in this WUWT post.

    Fall et al 2011 has been subsequently superseded by the work in Watts et al 2012, see post here. Using the new WMO-approved siting standards based on Leroy 2010, siting does have a major impact on temperature trends, greatly increasing the warming trends. Since they use the old standards, both Menne and Fall are deprecated.

    The deceptive article also does a bait-and-switch, starting with Stevenson Screens then switching to near-IR photos of Gill (multiplate) styled shields for a false “proof”:

    Rather than draw readers’ attention to the hot spots, I would invite readers to compare the color (temperature) of the instrument housing with the color (temperature) of the general surroundings. In each case, the temperature station casing is – despite being near a source of heat – at the same temperature as the nearby land.

    First, the pics are meant to illustrate how the temperature sensors are too close to significant heat sources, a violation of siting rules, they are not for scientific assessments of specific temperatures. However, astute readers should notice, as is better seen in the higher quality versions in the original 2009 pdf report: The housings are at different temperatures than their mounting posts. In Figure 8, the “same temperature as nearby land” is seen in the range of temperatures of the heated building, not open land. Figure 10, “same temperature as nearby land” but more than the open air the sensor is supposed to be measuring. Figure 12 is in silhouette thus looks darker (cooler). Figure 14 like Figure 10.

    And that shouldn’t apply here as those housings shouldn’t be used in Antarctica. As mentioned in the Abstract of the published paper covered here:

    Observations of atmospheric temperature made on the Antarctic plateau with thermistors housed in naturally (wind) ventilated radiation shields are shown to be significantly warm biased by solar radiation. High incoming solar flux and high surface albedo result in radiation biases in Gill (multiplate) styled shields that can occasionally exceed 10°C in summer in case of low wind speed.

    Also, the deceptive article starts by referencing the BEST papers starting with the title, although they are hardly mentioned in the text. No matter, as the BEST papers have failed peer review and been rejected, as noted here.

    You also said:

    (…) Your points are invalid but there is some irony that a site devoted to disproving AGW (nothing wrong with that of course) keeps blaming humans for the warming.

    Your accusation is completely false, this site certainly IS NOT DEDICATED to disproving AGW. The scientific research concerning global warming is reviewed here, as well as other things. The usual points of contention are the amount of global warming and what amount of that can be ascribed to anthropogenic causes. There has been no blanket denial of AGW. Indeed, many scholarly articles have appeared here that attempt to quantify the anthropogenic contribution.

    You have participated in indirect and direct deception, tried to lure readers to a deceptive article at a disreputable site, and made a blatantly false accusation against this site. Your credibility, and your scruples, are noted.

  73. kadaka (KD Knoebel):

    re your post at August 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm. THANKYOU!

    I write to draw attention to it because many people ‘skip over’ long posts and your long post is worthy of their attention.

    Richard

  74. The article had the following comparison:

    “According to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), ice equivalent to 1,000 years of British domestic water consumption has been lost over the past half century.”

    This leads to the previous undefined and highly relevant WTF equivalent [Water to (useless) Factoid].

  75. Don Easterbrook says:
    August 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm
    “The average temperature near the South Pole is about -58ºF and during the winter the temperature often drops below -100 ºF.
    Snowfall is also an important factor, but there is no indication of snowfall reduction. So the question is how is all this ice being lost?
    And then there is the fact that the GRACE argument for “accelerating ice lost” is only over a three-year period, hardly a significant enough interval to define a trend.”

    The general tone and points raised in your comment suggest limited understanding of how an ice sheet works.
    One analogy involves a garden table, wet cement and a bucket. Pour a bucket of cement onto the centre of the table and it slumps into a pile. Add another bucket and the pile becomes higher and wider.As you add more bucketsfull, at some point the pile of cement fills the table and overflows at the edges. Further buckets maintain this shape, but do not change it further.Add a few small stones and visualise how they flow down and out from the centre and off the edge.
    Scale things up a bit. The cement is ice, which can flow slowly under pressure.The table is the antarctic bedrock, with the table edge where it meets the ocean.Each Antarctic Winter snow falls on the top of the ice sheet and, once compacted, builds up the surface at about 5 feet/year. The weight of accumulating ice in the centre spreads the ice sheet outwards, At the edge, glaciers flow down off the ice sheet towards the sea. They melt on land when the temperature goes above 0C or form floating ice sheets which melt or break off as icebergs. Note that ice is lost from the ice sheet mostly at the edges, where any extra warming would show as increased flow rates in glaciers and retreating ice sheet edges or glacier calving positions in Summer.
    To answer the three points I’ve chosen from your long comment.
    Temperatures near the South Pole measure the temperature of the central Antarctic Plateau, some 10,000 ft up and well away from the ocean. Melting very rarely happens there.
    Snowfall continues to add ice on the Plateau, which continues to slump. With the Antarctic Plateau isolated from the rest of the planet by its latitude, its altitude and the Polar Vortex I would expect it to be almost literally the last place on Earth to show global warming. Most climate scientists would be surprised to see much change there yet.
    I made no mention of acceleration. If you read the paper it does compare the 2006-2009 data with earlier measurements and notes an increase on previous ice loss rates.
    Regarding the validity of the GRACE data, I see mutterings about it from the sceptics, but everyone else seems happy. Certainly I’ve seen nothing in the peer-reviewed literature which would invalidate it.

  76. Kakada,
    Sorry you took my last comment that way, but in fairness you have misrepresented it and thrown in the D word which is not what I said, nor would say. Anthony and other contributors are certainly dedicated (the word I used) to finding flaws in scientists work (this post as evidence ,as well as recent GISS plotting errors and many others) that might cause a rethink for the majority of climate scientists. That is why I said there is not anything wrong with that, indeed something very important may come from it. I understand people take irony different ways and I apologise if I offended. It was meant to be light hearted.
    With regard to your link to to Genthon et al their results are nothing new. Since the early 80’s it has been known that radiation screens vary like that dependant on sun angle and some other variants. Gills own testing showed this. Gill showed that they reach agreement regardless of thermal radiation etc around 10 m/h or maybe less of wind from memory.
    Being able to only see the abstract of Genthon I can not tell what they are comparing this fluctuation to. Further problems with that link for this case is that we can’t see if they consider temperature measurement errors as a function of wind speed. The papers that are fully available online that do this experiment find that all tested types of recording devices fall into closer agreement when wind is added and increase their accuracy as the winds increase. If Genthon et al have not done this ( and their caveat of “in the case of low wind speed” suggests they haven’t) their paper and your reference to it is totally irrelevant seeing as they are talking about the Antarctic Plateau which is very calm. This particular commentary is about a the peninsula, a place that averages 50m/h winds year round and records the most extreme winds on the planet. So it would seem (to me) that the research that considers all factors suggests the windier it gets the more accurately the thermometers can consider thermal radiation effects.

    We could probably go back and forth all day pointing out each others mistakes and given the fact the actual experts are human they will make some too. We can incredibly accurately measure temperature, that is no doubt, but separating, adjusting, homogenising, biasing,human error, incompetence, problematic technology, problematic terrain and modelling all provide opportunities for us to make mistakes. The fact that what we think are our most reliable sources are pretty much in agreement, and changing all inclusive methods makes little difference, does lend itself to think those involved have it about right.If errors were discovered I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. However a discovery that the results are biased high would give me little comfort and would amount to climate scientists being wrong about the timeframe/rate not the cause. CO2 traps heat, CO2 is released when we burn fossil fuels, CO2 is increasing, heat seeking missiles work, satellites detect less LW radiation at specific CO2 wavelengths leaving the atmosphere, the planet is warming. Disprove some of those and I for one will be incredibly happy but like I originally said a thermometer in the windiest place on earth,upwind of an incredibly well insulated Apple Hut and years after it was first suggested this may cause a bias and to check the numbers is a very long shot indeed. Thanks for your reply, I did learn a few things.

  77. Entropic man–your crude analogy doesn’t answer any of the questions I posed. How is all this supposed ice loss occurring? Where is the evidence of increased melting or increased calving of the main Antarctic ice sheet? Where is the evidence of increasing temperature in the ablation zone? All evidence points to increased thickening of the main ice sheet, not thinning.
    You don’t seem to understand that the West Antarctic ice sheet contains only about 10% of Antarctic ice and is surrounded by ocean water that has been warming in recent years. Thus, it is not representative of what is happening with the main Antarctic ice sheet, which shows no indication of accelerating melting. So even if the WAIC is showing signs of ice loss, that says nothing about the overall condition of 90% of Antarctic ice.

  78. Don Easterbrook says:
    August 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm
    You don’t seem to understand that the West Antarctic ice sheet contains only about 10% of Antarctic ice and is surrounded by ocean water that has been warming in recent years. Thus, it is not representative of what is happening with the main Antarctic ice sheet, which shows no indication of accelerating melting. So even if the WAIC is showing signs of ice loss, that says nothing about the overall condition of 90% of Antarctic ice.
    ——————————
    90% of the Antarctic ice is as it always was. It is piled 3000 metres deep over a continent climatically isolated from the rest of the world and will not be melting in the next few years.. As you say, the effects of waming are showing around the edges, where the ice sheet meets the ocean. The West Antarctic ice sheet is most exposed and showing the most rapid change, the rest of the coastline shows some increase on the Indian ocean side and decrease on the Pacific side, ( http://nsidc.org/icelights/files/2012/01/Antarctic_trends1.png ) but the continental ice sheet damps temperature changes and the overall sea ice anomaly has hardly changed.

    Look at glaciers like Pine Island, and you see faster flows and increased rates of ice loss.

    http://ess.uci.edu/~erignot/publications/RignotetalAnnGlaciol34_2002.pdf

    NASA measured an increase in snowfall on the East Antarctic ice sheet of about 4.5 gigatonnes/year.

    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/121648main_ais2.pdf

    With the GRACE data showing an overall loss of 2.4Gt/yr the amount of annual ice loss from all causes in West Antarctica and around the rest of thecoastline would be about 6.9Gt/yr

  79. Entropic man says:
    August 25, 2012 at 3:57 am
    “With the GRACE data showing an overall loss of 2.4Gt/yr the amount of annual ice loss from all causes in West Antarctica and around the rest of thecoastline would be about 6.9Gt/yr”
    ———————————
    I must stop trying to do mental arithmetic when I’m tired.
    That last paragraph should have read:-

    With the GRACE data showing an overall loss of 246Gt/yr the amount of annual ice loss from all causes in West Antarctica and around the rest of the coastline would be about 250Gt/yr

  80. That human occupation on the Antarctic Peninsula can lead to the calving of massive glaciers, the most obvious consequence of warming there, is somewhat unlikely.

  81. Dear WUWT

    I guess I owe the world a humble apology for personally contributing so much to the urban heat island in Antarctica, and hence to misinterpreted climate records.

    The badly sited meteorological screen in your photo is at an Australian summer camp in the Northern Prince Charles Mountains, near Mt Jacklyn – in the background. Temperatures measured here were for local information of pilots and field parties only – it is useful to have an idea of how many layers of clothes to put on before exiting your Antarctic shelter. Temperatures here were only measured for less than 2 months over a couple of seasons and have NEVER been used for any climate record.

    This photo was taken in the 1988/89 austral summer when I, and a colleague Andy, lived in the UNHEATED shelter nearest to the meteorological station. I didn’t realise that I was so hot that my body heat could influence temperatures measured on the Antarctic Peninsula, thousands of kilometres away. It must have been Andy!!!

    Ian

  82. Of course they should also take into account increased clustering of penguins seeking scraps as food. Penguin body heat is an important variable left out of such studies. Similar problems exist in Arctic studies re: polar bear body heat.

  83. Anthony

    Correct me if I am wrong here but, as an Australian, I was not aware that Australia had any bases in the Antarctic Penninsular – you know, south of South America and all that. And the photo you show has been identified by Ian as being from a very long way away from the Antarctic Pennisular.

    When I mouse over the photo it is labelled as australian_antarctic_postcard.jpg. And it even has a stamp with the ANARE logo on it (Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition).

    So what on earth has that photo got to do with a post about the Antarctic Penninsular?

    Then when commenters here started trying to dissect the ‘station quality’ issues of this site, you didn’t even mention that the photo has zero to do with the subject of the post. That perhaps going into the detail of how elevated the met station in the photo might be has zero relevence since the station isn’t in the Antarctic Penninsular, isn’t part of any climate record, and only operated few a few months a year as a service to Antarctic pilots.

    Did you point this out to any of the commenters here? Why not?

    REPLY: It illustrates that weather stations in Antarctica and heat generating/using humanity are in proximity, the same thing happens in the Arctic, such as at the DEW line stations, where they’d “make up temperatures” rather than brave going outside at times.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/17/fabricating-temperatures-on-the-dew-line/

    Not hard to understand really, people don’t place the weather stations so far away from the huts that they have to risk death to get a reading in subzero temperatures and white out blizzards. – Anthony

  84. And to expand on Rob Painting’s point. Did human occupation of the Antarctic Penninsular lead to the ollapse of the Larsen A & Larsen B ice shelves? Are thet the cause for the retreat of the grounding line of the Pine Island Galcier – admittedly some distance away from the penninsular.

    If so how? Lots of dynamite perhaps?

    REPLY: First you have to prove that temperature rise measured inland at the Peninsula is manifested in the sea water temperature or above the ice, and show that it in fact made them collapse. Air temperature > water temperature isn’t a strong transfer – Anthony

  85. “….Regarding that rapid warming of 2C in the last 50 years, just remember that most weather stations in the Antarctic are near humanity, and humanity requires warmth to survive….”

    So you’re saying that warming in the Antarctic is due to UHI????

    Keep it up Anthony, the farce is strong with this one.

    REPLY: No dumkopf, there is no UHI since there’s no “urban” in Antarctica. That’s your made up farce. I’m saying that weather stations, like the one shown, are almost always next to human habitation where it is warmer. Really how hard can it be to understand this, especially with a photo?- Anthony

  86. Anthony says:

    “How hard can it be to understand this, especially with a photo?”

    That photo has been well and truly been proven inadmissible. Can you admit your mistake then provide us some information that proves your point? Cheers

    REPLY: It illustrates that weather stations in Antarctica and heat generating/using humanity are in proximity, the same thing happens in the Arctic, such as at the DEW line stations, where they’d “make up temperatures” rather than brave going outside at times.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/07/17/fabricating-temperatures-on-the-dew-line/

    Not hard to understand really, people don’t place the weather stations so far away from the huts that they have to risk death to get a reading in subzero temperatures and white out blizzards. – Anthony

  87. [Snip. Try to be deferential to our host. Use a "/sarc" tag if you're trying to be funny. ~dbs, mod.]

  88. With all due respect, how can a building have an effect on a temperature trend if the building is the same distance from the thermometer, year after year?

  89. Anthony, Ian reported earlier in the thread that the thermometers housed near camps were used for local weather only, as information for pilots and how many layers of thermal underwear to don. The temperatures measurements used for climate information are automated and “use the ARGOS data relay system, carried by the NOAA series of near-polar orbiting satellites.” negating the need for what you suggest. Im sure Ian from above would have some excellent info for you given his position within the Australian Antarctic Division. Your photo does not support in any way what you are suggesting. Have attached a link to a good site that includes a link to a page that discusses the known possible problems with the types of thermometers and sensors used in Antactica. It hasn’t been updated for some time so you may have something to contribute/ some issues may have been resolved in further study. In any case creating a dialogue with Ian may be helpful as I don’t understand why you keep referencing that photo and hypothesising about poorly sited stations when an on the ground first hand scientist tells us that they are not even used for climate related data.

    REPLY: “The temperatures measurements used for climate information are automated and “use the ARGOS data relay system, carried by the NOAA series of near-polar orbiting satellites.” negating the need for what you suggest. ”

    Ummm, no. Argos didn’t come into being till the mid 2000’s, and nearly all climate data before that back to the first camps in Antarctica came from Stevenson Screen type stations. While there may have been some near term improvements the fact the the stations for decades prior were near human habitation because they were required to be manually read. For example: http://www.discoveringantarctica.org.uk/alevel_2_1.html

    And one of the oldest ones: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/earth/antarctica/antarctic-conservation/blog-archive/image.php?src=http://www.nhm.ac.uk/resources/nature-online/earth/antarctica/blog-archive/images/meteorological-screen-545.jpg&from=/nature-online/earth/antarctica/blog-archive/?cat=14&paged=8
    Meteorological screen used by Captain Scott’s expedition nearly a century ago – it stands about 65m behind the expedition base at Cape Evans and would have been used to capture some of the earliest information on weather on the continent.

    And here’s a stamp showing a Stevenson Screen station in Antarctica: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/dev/hillger/BritishAntarctic.319.jpg

    Here’s one from 1935: http://www.freezeframe.ac.uk/collection/british-graham-land-expedition-collection/p51-8-a094

    Here’s the longest record in Antarctica, at Mawson: http://www.antarctica.gov.au/living-and-working/stations/mawson/this-week-at-mawson/2011/this-week-at-mawson-21-october-2011
    Still a screen there. Still inside the camp.

    Many of the newer automated stations have their own problems, such as getting buried by snow, which makes them report warmer temperatures. Sorry, you kids just don’t know what you are talking about. – Anthony

  90. Anthony – I think you are confusing ARGO (robotic ocean buoys that measure temperature and salinity at depth) with ARGOS (satellite based data relay system). ARGOS has been around since at least the early 1980s: large scale ARGO deployments only really started in the early 2000s.

    Most Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in Antarctica use the ARGOS data relay system – since the satellites are near-polar orbiters, you gets lots of passes at high latitude and almost hourly measurements. Yes – snow accumulation does alter the height of the AWS surface above the surface if the stations are not maintained. But because of the persistent and strong surface temperature inversion over the ice sheet, this means that the measured temperatures get COLDER (not warner) as they get closer to the surface. (I question who does and who does not know what they are talking about).

    The AWS are almost all in very remote sites (hundreds of kilometres from heated buildings). The record from AWS does only extend back about 30 years, and manned stations or proxies (ice cores, etc) are needed for longer records. But over the last 30 years or so, the trends from the AWS and the manned stations are consistent.

  91. Ian is correct Anthony. ARGOS has been used in Antarctica since 1984. Your assertion that any measurements before 2000 were taken using Stevenson Screens is incorrect. A very quick google will tell you that.

    REPLY:
    Then show it. Don’t make me do your work for you. – Anthony

  92. Yes I’m familiar with the AWS stations in Antarctica, but neither Ian nor Kermode said AWS, you said ARGOS. Best to be precise first with your terminology to prevent confusion. I thought you were speaking of the satellite system used for the ARGOS buoys.

    This still does change the fact that many Stevenson screens (such as the one that is shown in Mawson) are converted for such automated purposes and still in the camp. Rule 1 of stations is not to move them if you can help it. The CLIMAT reports, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLIMAT) which are used in GHCN, GISS, HadCRUT and other climate databases, clearly show such stations like Mawson and Rothera point (also shown above) in the report: http://www.ogimet.com/cgi-bin/gclimat?lang=en&mode=1&state=Anta&ind=&ord=REV&verb=no&year=2012&mes=07&months=

    The AWS stations have their own problems, they tend to get buried, creating false high temperature readings due to the snow. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/04/snow-job-in-antarctica-digging-out-the-data-source/

    Note the Fossil Bluff station, right next to a building, also in the CLIMAT report.

    The issue is stations be right next to growing human influence in the Antarctic peninsula over the last century. Some data relay doesn’t change that, especially when the CLIMAT reports show those base stations and a few of the network of AWS stations (but not all), such as the network managed by University of Wisconsin. While there are a handful of AWS stations in the CLIMAT report, the majority are at base camps and it has always been that way because they have the longest baseline for climate.

    Here’s a map of the AWS stations, many in the peninsula are warming:

    The peninsula has the greatest population, it also is the most affected by changes in maritime currents. Note that not all of the AWS stations shown on the map are in the CLIMAT report.

    As for who knows what about snow and warmth, ask the subniveans.

    The fact remains – manual weather stations were established near camps, camps have grown over time, and they continue to be used for climate databases, even though they may have been automated. AWS stations are mostly used for independent scientific research, but except for a few listed, aren’t part of the CLIMAT reports. They also don’t have the long term history.

    In another polar envirnment, see how even a village like Barrow has issues with waste heat http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.971/abstract

    http://www.cas.umt.edu/geography/documents/Hinkel_etal_2003_winter_UHI.pdf

    Sorry, not buying your arguments.

  93. Thanks for the long reply Anthony but at the start you say we didnt mention AWS…….from Ian previously….

    “Most Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in Antarctica use the ARGOS data relay system”

    I said “are automated and use the ARGOS data relay system.

    Ians comment mentions AWS and both are very specific that it is the data relay system not a plural of the ARGO system. Please read things more carefully to avoid confusion.

    • I don’t see every comment that gets posted on this blog we have a team of moderators so I never saw the original I only saw yours

  94. Shelama says:
    August 27, 2012 at 10:55 am
    Anthony, your credibility remains unchanged with me.

    With me as well!

  95. This is what has happened since I last looked at these comments?

    The people who gladly accept the physics of longwave infrared when talking about the radiative properties of greenhouse gases operating many kilometers above their heads, and call all skeptics “anti-science deniers” when a few out-there ones don’t,

    Can’t accept those physics over much-shorter distances of several tens of meters, and make snide insults about Anthony Watts’ credibility.

    And they say we are the ones who refuse to accept “Inconvenient Truths”? And wonder why people don’t accept their doubletalk?

  96. The photo is not of Mawson Station. It is a temporary traverse station. The sole purpose of the weather station is to determine what the weather is like before venturing outside.

  97. Simon says (Ha, good one!) on August 29, 2012 at 12:58 am:

    The photo is not of Mawson Station. It is a temporary traverse station. The sole purpose of the weather station is to determine what the weather is like before venturing outside.

    A. Show where it was stated the Stevenson screen pictured on the 1997 Australian Antarctic Territory first day cover featuring the Apple huts was at Mawson Station, as you are implying was stated.

    B. Why go to all that trouble to set up such a scientific instrument to just make a quick check of outside conditions? There are no day/night 24-hr variations in temperature, it’d basically be what it was the day before. Precipitation is practically nonexistent. The only real thing worth checking would be wind speed, and that Stevenson screen sure ain’t housing an anemometer.

    That setup is for scientific temperature measurements, and that’s all. If all they needed to know was the temperature on the other side of the door, there are far simpler alternatives that can be setup far faster, even built into the huts. Your statement fails the practicality, reasonableness, and logic tests.

  98. Kadaka,
    You need to read the upthread comments. A scientist who lived in the hut nearest the screen said the temperature was measured for the purpose of determining what clothes to wear when they left the hut. Your comment fails the informed comment test. Pay attention to what other people tell you to prevent lapses like this from happening.

  99. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: (August 29, 2012 at 12:01 am )
    “….And they say we are the ones who refuse to accept “Inconvenient Truths”? And wonder why people don’t accept their doubletalk?…”

    As Michael Sweet has pointed out your error kadaka, here is a chance to redeem yourself and demonstrate that you have some integrity. But then, if you had actually read the previous comments before making your post, you wouldn’t have made the error would you.

    So how about it? Going to admit you are wrong?

  100. Michael Sweet says:

    “A scientist who lived in the hut nearest the screen said the temperature was measured for the purpose of determining what clothes to wear when they left the hut.”

    Yes. But. That is not the purpose for which the station was built. Is it?

  101. The picture here gives a better idea of the proximity of the weather station to the unheated huts.

    Even if the station was used for long-term records, which apparently it hasn’t been, not to mention it is not situated on the peninsula…

    It would be easy enough to adjust for the step change if in fact there was any extra heat affecting it from the huts.

    You can see pictures of the actual AWS weather stations in the Antarcic Peninsula at the following link.

    http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aws/index.php?region=Antarctic%20Peninsula&station=Bonaparte%20Point&year=2012

    No nearby buildings evident.

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