Josh on Catastrophic reporting

Josh brings attention to this George Monbiot piece today in the Guardian today:

Noting that: Something of an annual event… sea ice alarm. 
After reading Monbiot’s essay, the cartoon will make sense:
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42 Responses to Josh on Catastrophic reporting

  1. Jim P. says:

    Haha. I was just reading George Moonbat’s nonsensical rant about how we’re destroying the planet with our “evil” fossil fuels. What a loon. To paraphrase another George (the late, great Carlin), “the planet’s fine; the people are screwed.” And these Greenpeace clowns should know their theatrics aren’t likely to be well received by the Russkies. Russia has been licking its proverbial chops to get into the arctic. They aren’t going to let activist protesters stop them. Do they think The Kremlin cares about global warming? Last I checked, it’s pretty darn cold in Russia. I’d imagine global warming is the last concern on the minds of Putin and the rest of the gang.

  2. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    The Moonbat article is outrageous. It blames AGW for the solar-induced changes in the polar jet streams. Unbelievable. The AMO gets no mention but his ideas about the IPCC being overly conservative are aired once again. When a man has nothing truthful to say about the Arctic, winds and ice, the least he can do is shut up.

  3. Jim P. says:

    The AMO gets no mention but his ideas about the IPCC being overly conservative are aired once again. When a man has nothing truthful to say about the Arctic, winds and ice, the least he can do is shut up.

    Funny he calls out the IPCC. I guess the “scientific consensus” doesn’t matter if your going to make an even more alarmist claim. The consensus is only trotted out to disparage skeptical viewpoints.

  4. This is the man who said we should all stop flying in CO2 spewing aircraft … then promptly jetted off to Canada to promote his book … complete hypocrite. “Do as I say and not as I do.” a la Al Gore.

  5. Jimmy Haigh says:

    What’s happening at the Antarctic George?

  6. Ken Nohe says:

    The first problem with climate change is that whatever we do, we will get some eventually with or without CO2. The second one is that it is hiding all the other issues which may be just as important. The overuse of ground water and land, the pollution of platics and heavy matals. If is easy to say that we can live with that. Mostly, it is true, until it is not anymore as we learned recently with Fukushima. The only thing that may save the big fishes is their toxicity, unless we are starving in which case it doesn’t really matter anymore. Remote beaches of the Pacific full of platic? Who cares? (Mostly from China, though, if you want to know. The address is still visible on most detritus.)

    Westerners live in Dysneyland, literally. They enjoy the ride and do not see what’s happening on the other side, behind the kichen. In Germany, the forest are expending and they are mostly clear; Germans are clean people. The obvious conclusion is that “nature” is safe. They are even polluting less than 20 years ago. But in reality, nothing has changed, they still use wood and while we sleep, the forests in Borneo and the Amazon are being rased to the ground. The Chinese are transforming the wood into objects ready to be exported to Germany, hoping in the meantime to achieve a German lifestyle within their life time. It may happen, but the global cost will be enormous. The countryside around Shanghai looks nothing like a nice, normal countryside. In fact, it is no countryside at all! A mix of factories, anarchic developemnt, polluted waterways, crisscrossed by train lines, highways, electric poles, under a brown sky. Welcome to prosperity!

    To see the future, move a few hundred kilometers to Japan. The sky is blue, that’s the good news. The factories are rusting, the developments are half empty and overgrown. Still crisscrossed by motorways but nobody stops anymore. The countryside is dying. Only the inner downtown areas are as prosperous as ever, but for how long? Chickens are not raised in farms anymore but in huge factories which feed the cities. And the same goes for everything else.

    Very, very soon, our problem will not be the elusive carbon dioxide and what it may do to us in 50 or more years but far more accute and immediate economic woes. When our just-in-time lifestyle stops, carbon will be the very last among our worries!

  7. RockyRoad says:

    Monbiot suffers from a climate disorder.

  8. bushbunny says:

    Before any Northern Hemisphere ice or mini ice age, polar ices melt. This fresh water is lighter than sea water, and disrupts the gulf stream that keeps the Northern hemisphere warm. I would fear a mini ice age arriving and it will one day, because we are naturally a ice planet. When you consider archaeologically speaking, its only in the last 10,000 years we have enjoyed a warmer interglacial episode. And humans thrived on this. A huge volcanic eruption could do the same too.Anyway have to get back to my studies of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Gud one Josh!

  9. ferdberple says:

    Ken Nohe says:
    August 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm
    When our just-in-time lifestyle stops, carbon will be the very last among our worries!
    =============
    What Katrina should have taught us is that the government is completely unprepared for dealing with a natural disaster of any size. Instead they have squandered 100′s of billions to prepare for computer generated problems 50-100 years in the future.

    Where does the government maintain the emergency stockpiles of food, water and medicine in your city? Emergency shelters, where are they located? Why if we are spending billions on future problems are we not prepared for problems today?

    How believable is it that any money we spend on the future today will in fact benefit the future, given how poor a job the government has done in preparing for disasters today? How much more likely the government will simply siphon off the money to reward their friends and backers?

  10. John F. Hultquist says:

    The north polar jet stream is an air current several hundred kilometres wide, travelling eastwards around the hemisphere. The current functions as a barrier, separating the cold, wet weather to the north from the warmer, drier weather to the south.” [G. Monbiot, Aug. 2012]

    Note the last 5 words of G.M.’s statement: drier weather to the south

    In the US this would be the air coming northward from over the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder if G.M. has heard of Hurricane Isaac?
    ————————————————————-

    Great work, Josh. Always well done. Thanks.

  11. bushbunny says:

    Hurricane Isaac, I heard they had evacuated the oil rigs personnel.

  12. William McClenney says:

    OMG!! George…. You cannot possibly mean that at the half-precessional cycle old, plus a couple of centuries, Holocene, we may actually, really, be witnessing, the signature event that has characterized so many other post-MPT end-extreme interglacials (except, of course, MIS-11) events? Are you??

    Well! Now that would be just so typical! I mean the end extreme interglacials have always contained signature Arctic basinwide detrital events, heralding the lack of Arctic sea ice (open Arctic Ocean circulation under late-summer Arctic insolation/storm review…..), right at their very ends!

    And you actually propose to scare me with such a commonplace end extreme interglacial norm?

    Did you bump your consensus head?

  13. Steve C says:

    Another fervently overstated piece from Monbiot; another nicely understated cartoon from Josh. Thanks for a smile over my breakfast time coffee.

  14. Rosco says:

    Either he is really worried and fretting which must be affecting his mental health or he is a blatant fraud.

    If he is genuinely as concerned as he suggests he will be bitterly disappointed when yet again the disaster scenario is shown to be exaggerated.

    If he is a blatant fraud all his fawning flock will be bitterly disappointed.

    I worry occasionally – my worry is that science has been so seriously compromised as to become anathema should it become universally accepted that CAGW is wrong as I believe it is – but I don’t lose sleep over it.

  15. Rzichard says:

    Folks … he writes for the Grauniad. Nuff said.

    Richard.

  16. dave38 says:

    One of the comments on the article made more sense than the article its self
    ” would help if the media gave more prominence to this story instead of coverage of fictitious lions in Essex.

    Thats because more people in the country believe in the Essex Lion than in AGW.

    Its more likely to be true too”

  17. Scarface says:

    This salon-socialist and pseudo-activist is not to be taken seriously.

    He really thinks he’s Gods gift to mankind: a prophet in the ancient tradition.
    But in the old days, they already knew this kind of people:
    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous.”

    Moonbat could be funny, as a kind of standup comedian, but he isn’t because he´s trying to sell an idea that will exactly do what he says he´s trying to prevent: the downfall of the Western World.
    He’s a usefull idiot to a grim and dangerous redgreen agenda.

  18. Mgb says:

    Ken nohe, thanks for your comment above. It is the most literate and thoughtful series of points I have ever read about this vexed topic in 15 years of following the issue. I only regret that your comment is too long for a tattoo. You are exactly and completely correct in my opinion.

  19. Peter in MD says:

    Ferdberple, as far as Katrina, the federal gov’t (FEMA) couldn’t make a move until the local gov’t (The Governer) declared a state of emergency. That was the delay in getting supplies into New Orleans. I play golf with a guy would said we had stuff in Houston waiting to go but had to wait(he’s in logistics). So it wasn’t George Bush’s fault after all.

  20. No mention by Monbiot of the dodgy nature of the data set reported from the old decaying satellites! The BBC reported the same with Harrabin wringing his hands over our misuse of the planet. I have complained to the BBC about their one sided reporting but as usual no reply.

  21. John West says:

    GM: “activists from Greenpeace, whom I regard as heroes”

    If naïve zealots that believe themselves to be above the law when it’s for “the cause“ are your heroes, then what wouldn’t you do or say for “the cause”?

  22. Griff says:

    With the record low levels of sea ice melt in the arctic, the case for global warming is effectively proved.

    There is no longer any point in arguing about hockey sticks, climate models, misplaced weather stations or satellite temperature measurements – here is physical evidence with only one likely cause. To prove global warming cause by human produced CO2 is NOT taking palce, you need to show conclusively ‘what melted the ice’.

    It was not soot, a natural cycle, volcanoes. It is at a lower level than at any point in human history.

    This paper shows that the ice melt can only have been caused by CO2 produced global warming:

    Notz, D., and J. Marotzke. 2012. Observations reveal external driver for Arctic sea-ice retreat, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L08502, doi:10.1029/2012GL051094.

    Its mentioned here:

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

    And here’s quote from it:

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

    ‘In the end, only the increase in CO2 remained on our list of possible drivers,’ Notz said, ‘We find a clear, physically plausible correlation of increasing CO2 and decreasing sea-ice cover.’ While other research has previously shown a connection between sea ice decline and global warming, most of those studies focused on climate models. The new study provides an independent confirmation that sea ice is in fact declining because of human-caused climate change.

    The post ‘Similar melts from 1938-43?’ here:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/

    effectively nails the idea that there have been similar low ice levels in the 20th century. See especially remarks on Danish ice records from the 1890s on.

    And a comment on a post here caught my eye:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Arctic-sea-ice-breaks-lowest-extent-record_NSIDC.html

    ‘When looking at ice cover during the satellite period I think we miss the big picture. Whaling records since 1880 together with aircraft and submarine records during the cold war make it pretty clear that prior to 1960 arctic sea ice extent never got below 8 million square km’
    .
    Sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012

  23. Josh says:

    Here is an interesting paper on “vigorous natural climate variability” http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034011/article

  24. Jim P. says:

    Ken nohe, thanks for your comment above. It is the most literate and thoughtful series of points I have ever read about this vexed topic in 15 years of following the issue. I only regret that your comment is too long for a tattoo. You are exactly and completely correct in my opinion.

    Sounded like a lot of sky is falling rhetoric on par with the whole warming scam. To quote from George Carlin again: “The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. “

  25. Jim P. says:

    Griff says:

    There is no longer any point in arguing about hockey sticks, climate models, misplaced weather stations or satellite temperature measurements – here is physical evidence with only one likely cause. To prove global warming cause by human produced CO2 is NOT taking palce, you need to show conclusively ‘what melted the ice’.

    It was not soot, a natural cycle, volcanoes. It is at a lower level than at any point in human history.

    That’s it folks, the debate’s over. We should all just listen to Griff and assume natural variability isn’t real.

    Sorry Griff, but nothing you posted shows why this can’t be part of the natural cycle of the earth. As Anthony has pointed out, 5,000 years ago during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, there was less ice than there was today. And that’s WELL within human life. But there weren’t any SUVs back then. Were there?

    Obviously, Griff has never heard of Climategate and how the researchers have been cooking the books to support the CAGW, one-world UN governance.

  26. Eric H. says:

    Griff,
    A physically plausible correlation is not proof that CO2 caused the ice melt nor that Arctic melting is proof of CO2 driven global warming. The Arctic has thawed more in than the past than it has this year without help from burning fossil fuels. Instead of trying to state “proof” why don’t you try looking at the science from both sides and then maybe you will see why we are skeptical of AGW. And by both sides I don’t mean reading the “myths” on SKS.

  27. Steve C says:

    Griff says:

    With the record low levels of sea ice melt in the arctic, the case for global warming is effectively proved.

    Well, for the bare fact of that local warming, certainly, or the ice wouldn’t have melted. (Actually, just about everyone here accepts that there is, indeed, a tad more energy in the system than there was in our grandparents’ time, so it really isn’t that surprising.) And?

    To prove global warming cause by human produced CO2 is NOT taking palce, you need to show conclusively ‘what melted the ice’.

    Tsk, tsk, not at all, mon vieux. To prove global warming caused by human produced CO2 IS taking place, YOU need to show conclusively HOW our tiny contribution to one trace gas in the atmosphere produces so much effect, when all the evidence suggests that our total effect on the global climate is so small as to be lost in the noise of natural variability. The onus is on you to prove the causal chain, NOT on everyone else to disprove it.

    Good luck with that. You might find it instructive to check out some of the interesting links which pop up here regularly, rather than the obsessive propaganda on junk sites like SkS. Here’s an interesting one to start you thinking about the magnitude of CO2′s effects, and here’s WUWT’s own useful checklist to see how complete and detailed all those scary papers you seem to believe really are.

    [PDF] Our forebears lived – and in many cases died – through climatic variations quite as great as, or greater than, anything we’re seeing. Like many other sceptics, here and elsewhere, I used to believe all that manmade apocalypse stuff, too – until I went looking for evidence to support it.

  28. bob says:

    Quote: “Where does the government maintain the emergency stockpiles of food, water and medicine in your city?”

    At Wal-Mart. Seriously.

  29. DirkH says:

    Ken Nohe says:
    August 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm
    “The Chinese are transforming the wood into objects ready to be exported to Germany, hoping in the meantime to achieve a German lifestyle within their life time.”

    I’m not sure what you’re talking about as I’m German and I have no wooden object that has been transformed in China; even though I have a few computers assembled in China.

    In any case, a few days ago a poetic writing contest for alarmist essays was announced in a WUWT post. I think you might qualify. Look it up.

  30. DirkH says:

    Mgb says:
    August 29, 2012 at 2:44 am
    “Ken nohe, thanks for your comment above. It is the most literate and thoughtful series of points I have ever read about this vexed topic in 15 years of following the issue. I only regret that your comment is too long for a tattoo. ”

    Wrong.
    http://www.tattoo-teez.com/get-longest-text-tattoos-on-your-body/word-text-tattoos-11/

  31. Jim Clarke says:

    Hey Griff…why is the ice trend in the Antarctic in the opposite direction, contrary to the theory you now say is proved. And as far as records are concerned, going back 130 years is hardly proof that this event is unprecedented in human history. Most skeptics believe in the natural cycle that produced the little ice age, and that we have been warming (mostly naturally) for the last 250 years. Naturally occurring lower ice extents were probable a 1,000 years ago, when vikings colonized Southern Greenland for a few hundred years.

    The main ‘proof’ of your point is actually a logical fallacy: the argument from ignorance. It is the same logical fallacy that the entire IPCC argument is based on, and that we humans have used to blame witches and gods for changes in the weather for millennium. “Since we can not think of any other reason why this is happening, it must be happening because of __________!”

    But skeptics can think of many other logical reasons for what we observe in the climate today and those reasons are more consistent and have less contradictions than the CO2 argument. If you can not see the other explanations, or the many contradictions and failures in the CO2 argument…then I bet you haven’t looked. It is pretty obvious to those of us who have.

  32. Mike one of many says:

    Artic melting gives rise to the concept of semi-global warming or perhaps northern hemisperical warming thanks to those choozy little spheres of CO2 drifting only Northward.

  33. Mgb says:

    Jim p, I think you missed kens point, with respect. I disagree with nothing that you wrote, but then neither would ken I suspect. It’s the humans, or more correctly our current way of life, that is in trouble, not the planet itself. Ken is just saying that our globalised western consumption and debt based economic model is over stretching itself and we are losing sight of the fundamentals. For the record that is a thing worth worrying about, as history has shown many times (to the Romans most notably) but GW isn’t (or anything else George Monbiot says).

    We have lots of problems, just not what George said.

    Dirkh, thanks I stand corrected.

  34. Peridot says:

    Ken Nohe says:
    August 28, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Westerners live in Dysneyland, literally.

    Literally? I don’t – I live in the UK!
    Maybe Moonbat lives in Disneyland. However, he said a while ago shortly after the Japanese tidal wave, on BBC “Newsnight”(I think) that he supported nuclear power as renewables couldn’t cut ir. To say this startled everyone else there would be putting it mildly. Perhaps he views an electricity-free future as a possible personal disaster.

  35. Karl Blair says:

    The Moonbat is back……more Guardianista drivel. Enough to make one ashamed to be British.

  36. Andrew W says:

    Well, judging by this I’d bet on an average summer minimum of under 4 million km^2 for this decade, and ice free late summer before the end of the decade.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

  37. Jeff Guinn says:

    From his article:

    This is partly because climate breakdown there is self-perpetuating. As the ice melts, for example, exposing the darker sea beneath, heat that would previously have been reflected back into space is absorbed.

    Regardless of anything else, this is just plain wrong. The ocean’s albedo at high latitudes is essentially the same as newly fallen snow, and probably more than sea ice.

  38. Jeff, you said: “The ocean’s albedo at high latitudes is essentially the same as newly fallen snow, and probably more than sea ice.”

    Hmm… so I guess the people at the National Snow & Ice Data Center have got it all wrong then.
    [From http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/processes/albedo.html%5D
    "Sea ice has a much higher albedo compared to other earth surfaces, such as the surrounding ocean. A typical ocean albedo is approximately 0.06, while bare sea ice varies from approximately 0.5 to 0.7. [...] Snow has an even higher albedo than sea ice, and so thick sea ice covered with snow reflects as much as 90 percent of the incoming solar radiation.”

    If you find a good reference, you should write to the NSDIC so they can correct their figures! :-)

  39. Gail Combs says:

    I really wish we could just pack up all the CAGW believers and dump them in some nice very backward African country. I am sure the natives would be very happy to exchange places. Or better yet how about Zheleznogorsk since they are so worried about the earth frying… I understand

    A really great cartoon as usual Josh.

  40. Jeff – further to my earlier comment, to be fair, it is true that the angle of incidence has an effect on the albedo of open water. Again quoting NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/factors/radiation.html):

    “Open water absorbs the most radiation of all arctic surfaces. With an albedo of about 0.08 [the other page said 0.06], it reflects only 8 percent of the incoming radiation. However, the variation of albedo with solar altitude is especially pronounced for the surfaces of oceans and lakes. The albedo of a water surface increases with decreasing solar altitude and approaches a mirror-like 100 percent near sunrise and sunset, or when the sun is low in the arctic sky.”

    Angle of incidence is apparently just one of many factors affecting the albedo of the ocean though. See for example this 2004 paper:
    http://snowdog.larc.nasa.gov/jin/Papers/jingrl04.pdf
    “A parameterization of ocean surface albedo”
    “Measurements at a sea platform show that the ocean surface albedo is highly variable and is sensitive to four physical parameters: solar zenith angle, wind speed, transmission by atmospheric cloud/aerosol, and ocean chlorophyll concentration.”
    Highest albedo on any of the graphs of OSA (Ocean Surface Albedo) is 0.4… which is still lower than that of sea ice.

  41. Pamela Gray says:

    New Record in one of the coldest areas in the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Guess which direction?

    Record Report

    000
    SXUS76 KPDT 261821
    RERPDT

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PENDLETON OR
    1120 AM PDT SUN AUG 26 2012

    …NEW DAILY RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES FOR AUGUST 26TH…

    NOTE: STATIONS MARKED WITH * INDICATE THAT THE STATION REPORTS ONCE
    PER DAY. FOR CONSISTENCY…THESE VALUES ARE CONSIDERED TO HAVE
    OCCURRED ON THE DAY THE OBSERVATION WAS TAKEN BUT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY
    OCCURRED (ESPECIALLY FOR MAX TEMPERATURE) ON THE PREVIOUS DAY.

    STATION PREVIOUS NEW RECORDS
    RECORD/YEAR RECORD BEGAN

    MEACHAM, OR 33 / 1998 32 1929

  42. Brian H says:

    Not enuf sunlight to warm the Arctic Ocean, but water is a way better radiator than ice. Open water will cool the world.

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