Al Gore’s “Reality Minions” think the North Pole is melting – except that’s NOT a photo of the North Pole

Even journalists get tripped up into thinking this is photo from the North Pole. At the real North Pole, history shows this to be a relatively common occurrence.

It isn’t very hard to catch Al Gore and his Climate Reality project followers in ridiculous claims that don’t hold up. For example there was his statement on national television where he claimed the temperature of the interior of the Earth was “millions of degrees” and then there is his “Climate 101″ video that failed so they had to fake the results in post production. None of his followers call him out on such things, so it isn’t a surprise to find that they think this photo proves the North Pole is melting, far worse than before.

Gore_CRP_NPmelt Drifting_webcam_Capture

Only one problem: that picture wasn’t taken at the North Pole, it was taken over 300 miles away. 

You see while they were busy lecturing the faithful, they forgot the one teensy-eeensy little detail about the source of this photo. It is from camera on top of the sea ice, and sea ice isn’t static, it moves. In fact according to the University of Washington who manages and tracks  these floating cameras and weather stations, while they started out near the North Pole, they aren’t anywhere close to it now. See the map:

NP_buoy_drift_map_annotated

My annotations added, original source: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

The North Pole Environmental Observatory web page describes their weather stations and webcams as “an automated scientific observatory in the central Arctic ocean” and describes the “Barneo 2013 buoy farm — including webcams.”

This “North Pole melted” image (and variants) got a lot of media play last week, showing the “lake at the North Pole” such as this AtlanticWire story saying “The North Pole has Metled Again” and this Daily Mail story, titled “The North Pole turns into a lake: Webcam captures melting ice following a spell of warm weather“.

That was enough to spur the sans-factually emotive Huffington Post into action with a before and after comparator:

Huffpo_NP_compareCapture

Of course, like the Gore Reality Bots, all of these “journalists” also missed the simple fact that the photo was taken hundreds of miles away where the buoy had drifted to. They could easily check this themselves with about 30 seconds of work, visiting the source for the photo here:

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

Some of the blame for this nonsense goes to the University of Washington’s Dr. James Morison, who manages the page titled: “North Pole Environmental Laboratory”. When that page was put together, the Arctic hadn’t become the poster child for global warming yet, so the the naming was probably innocuous.  However, that naming leaves the “webcam at the North Pole” assumption wide open for those that are factually challenged or just too lazy to check.

Using the contact info linked above, I’m sending a letter to Dr. Morison, asking him to fix this issue, naming the page something else, so fools won’t make the same mistake again next year. The webcam/weather station buoys spend most of their lifetime away from the North Pole, so the name of the web page is misleading, as has been aptly demonstrated by the fools in journalism and activism that didn’t look beyond the title this past week.

And, as of today, the “North Pole melt crisis” seems to be over.

NP_Cam2_7-29-13

And, of course, photos actually taken at the North Pole by the US Navy show that such open water is a regular occurrence in the past:

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 1959. (US Navy photo)

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962 (US Navy Photo)

NP_submarines_1987

HMS Superb, USS Billfish, and USS Sea Devil in a North Pole rendezvous in 1987
(U.S. Navy Photo)

 

UPDATE: NYT’s Andrew Revkin pointed out the same issue is his essay:

A Closer Look at That ‘North Pole Lake’

Revkin has a unique perspective, in that he’s one of the few reporters on the planet that has actually visited the North Pole with a science team.

He notes:

A Web search for “North Pole lake” turns up a lot of hype. I posted a YouTube video trying to clarify what is and isn’t going on:

Ponds of meltwater form routinely on Arctic Ocean sea ice in the summer. The sea ice is floating on the Arctic Ocean and in constant motion. The autonomous camera that took these images was placed on the ice a few dozen miles from the North Pole in early spring, but has since drifted hundreds of miles.

UPDATE2:

I’ve heard back from Dr. Morison at UW. He’s aware of the problem saying:

The lesson I’ve taken from this is that we need to do a much better job of explaining these images. What looks normal to those of us familiar with this particular environment can look alarming if we don’t provide the context.

I expect that we’ll see some improvements to the web page to discourage such future misunderstandings.  I thank Dr. Morison for the willingness to engage the issue with me and to consider improvements.

About these ads

111 thoughts on “Al Gore’s “Reality Minions” think the North Pole is melting – except that’s NOT a photo of the North Pole

  1. It matters little if this story is “corrected.” Most people just see it once, and will believe it forever. This is just like the Lemming suicide myth created in the 50s by Disney Studios. Seen once – believed in forever.

  2. I remember flying over the N. Pole, (or at least the flight deck announced that we were at the N. Pole), in an SAS airliner in August 1964 and there were lots of open leads. I have a photo somewhere.

  3. I remember seeing those lemmings being flung over a cliff by the film crew. They had to gather individuals from three different species and two continents to get enough of them for the shoot.

  4. Just went to the University Website link above, followed the link through to the webcams (http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/WebCams.html) and read Q4 ..

    ————————————————————————–
    4) Is the appearance of the pond due to global warming?

    No, not specifically. These melt ponds are a normal part of the seasonal cycle of the sea ice. With respect to global warming, we are more concerned when we see warm air temperatures in the winter that inhibit ice growth and the appearance of heat in the ocean that would melt the bottom surface of the ice.
    ————————————————————————–

  5. First:

    Even journalists get tripped up into thinking this is photo from the North Pole.

    My question would be when do they not get tripped up? remember the Beirut photo? And that was years ago (3 identical plumes arising from the city).

    2nd, you answered my other question – how did they anchor the buoy to the see floor over the north pole. Answer, they did not.

  6. This seems a highly relevant place to repeat an exchange I had with Vuk on exactly this photo elsewhere;

    Tonyb said;
    This was noted by the author in the library of the Scott Polar institute in Cambridge and has parallels in one of the news items previously quoted;

    ‘Observational data of the drifting station 1950-51-by M Somov -Volume 1 of 3 of this Russian North pole station on an ice floe.’

    Middle of June onwards ‘the melting of the snow and ice took place very quickly although the air temperature remained close to freezing’
    ‘the sun shone…could walk about without a coat…some even tried to get a sun tan.’

    ‘because of the thaw an enormous amount of water accumulated on the ice’

    ‘walking was only possible if one wore high rubber boots reaching above the knees’ (because of the water sitting on the ice.
    ‘many problems because of the thawing.’

    The book described how later in the season some high spots became dry and these were little hillocks in a sea of icy water sitting on solid ice. This caused me to ask the following question of NSIDC;

    “ …..how did pre satellite researchers estimating sea ice extent tell the difference between water, water floating on ice, and solid ice, and how can satellites differentiate between the three states? I was struck by Russian reports from the 1950’s at The Scott Polar institute in Cambridge when staff at the floating research stations commented about using Wellington boots in order to walk around the station, and how little dry ice islands eventually formed by the end of the summer surrounded by water on top of ice.”

    I received the following reply from Julienne Stroeve ;(reproduced with permission)

    “ … using passive microwave data it is very easy to tell the difference between ice and water as the dielectric constant differs quite a bit and this is reflected in large differences in the microwave emission. The main advantage of using passive microwave is that it can see the ice even if it’s cloudy or dark. There is a problem however in summer when melt ponds form on the ice since the sea ice algorithms then underestimate how much ice there really is (they think it’s open water).

    That’s one reason why we focus on extent rather than true ice area for the NSIDC sea ice news and analysis web site.

    Visible and thermal imagery provides higher spatial resolution but is often hampered by clouds. Trying to do this work using earlier visible and thermal imagery requires the scientists to go through each image and manually filter out the clouds and determine where the ice is.”

    —–
    vukcevic | July 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    ‘walking was only possible if one wore high rubber boots reaching above the knees’ (because of the water sitting on the ice.”

    Hi Tony
    The article accompanying the video said that currently the water depth is around 30 cm, which is in line with your quote.
    Ergo: nothing new, it was seen before; Arctic ice is just following its natural variability.

    ——-
    As can be seen this has all happened before and a further complication is introduced when we can’t even define the meaning of ice
    Tonyb

  7. One of the absolutely silliest stories is here:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/07/26/startling_images_show_melting_north_pole_turning_into_a_lake.html

    Dramatic images from an automated webcam scanning the North Pole reveal a lake where solid ice used to be.

    “It looks amazing,” Dr. James Morrison of the North Pole Environmental Observatory, told the Star. “It looks like it’s Lake Tahoe or something.”

    The devil is in the details, though, if you’re a veteran polar scientist such as Morrison.

    What he sees is an incremental sign of the relentless erosion of Arctic sea ice. What he also sees, comparing this with all the other webcam images over the months, is a loss of 30 to 40 centimetres of ice.

    Even more telling, Morrison said, is what you can’t see.

    Just so you know…

  8. Thanks for two new photos to add to my collection of submarines at the North Pole. I use them as desktops on my various devices; the ultimate dive.

  9. It matters not! The “damage”, media speak, has been done. 300 miles south of the north pole? That’s many more miles short of anyone who’s been anywhere near, north, of that region.

  10. I have before and after pictures at my site: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/lake-north-pole-vanishes/

    I think JimS may be right about some people, however still think it is worthwhile to send before and after pictures of the meltwater pond growing and then vanishing. By describing it as a lake, and even dubbing it “Lake North Pole,” an illusion was created by Alarmists, and by showing how swiftly the “lake” vanished, the illusion is shattered. Americans are used to being tricked by commercials and politicians, and will likely laugh about this latest trick. The important thing is to make them aware the trick was a trick.

  11. I think the majority of people on ARS are Al Gore “Reality Minions”. The mark down anyone that provides facts. The latest case being the photo in this article.

  12. Would this be the same camera that Roy Spencer used on his blog in the post “Big Bird at the North Pole”?

  13. The media is reporting news using an outdated filter, paradigm. They are assuming Arctic sea ice will continue to decline. The media is affected by the Oz principal (From the film the Wizard of Oz Where the heroine, Dorothy, is told if you say something emphatically three times and it becomes true). The warmists have told us a zillion times, very emphatically that the majority of the warming in the last 70 year is due to the increase in atmospheric CO2 and everyone starts to believe that statement is true, regardless of whether it is or is not true.

    The media needs to come to Wattsup to get an update on the climate issues. Climate change is changing.

    I suppose the media must have missed the fact that Arctic temperatures are colder than normal which would indicate there will be a recovery of Arctic sea ice and that there is now record sea ice around the Antarctic continent for all months of the year which indicates there is the start of cooling both poles.

    Also the Greenland Ice sheet has started to cool which is not surprising as each and very time the solar magnetic cycle changed from a grand minimum to a Maunder like minimum the Greenland Ice sheet cooled.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper.

  14. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/melting-at-north-pole-how-bad-is-it-16294

    “It’s moved away from the North Pole region and it will eventually exit Fram Strait,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., in an interview. Fram Strait lies between Greenland and Norway, and is one of the main routes for sea ice to get flushed out of the Arctic Ocean.

    The second thing to keep in mind is that melting sea ice at or near the North Pole is actually not a rare event. Observations from the webcams dating back to 2002, and from satellite imagery and nuclear-powered submarines that have explored the ice cover since the Cold War era dating back several decades, show that sea ice around the North Pole has formed melt ponds, and even areas of open water, several times in the past.

    The webcam depicting what seems like open water is most likely “just sitting in a big melt pond” that has formed on top of the sea ice cover, Serreze said. This melt pond started forming around July 10, and is likely close to its peak depth and extent. The occurrence of a melt pond at or near the North Pole is “just not that unusual,” Serreze said, and is even less rare at a more southern location such as where the camera is now.

    “The whole Arctic sea ice cover does show melt during summer even at the North Pole,” he said, speaking of a typical melt season.

    Serreze said it’s usually possible to walk through these melt ponds with hip boot waders on, as opposed to having to swim, since there is ice underneath the meltwater.

  15. Last year stories like this came out about the Greenland ice sheet melting with these images:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/27/greenland-ice-sheet-melt

    Now this particular article explained further on that the Greenland ice sheet did not melt. Regardless, how many people read the whole thing? But they would read the first paragraph which says:
    “This is the most frightening picture you will ever see. The information expressed visually here can be summed up in three words: change or die. So let’s take a closer look.”

    There are some people, and I have met some of them, due to stories like this one and that they never read completely through, who actually believe that the Greenland ice sheet disappeared in July 2012, and you can’t convince them otherwise.

    It is a battle of propaganda, as far as I see it.

  16. I figure the reports need to be corrected so I have today written to the Editor of the Daily Mail drawing his attention to the fake/error story they ran on the 25th July. I doubt it will be corrected…but that’s no reason to do nothing.

  17. JimS says:
    July 29, 2013 at 10:40 am

    “It is a battle of propaganda, as far as I see it.”
    ________________________
    You get the Gold Star next to your name.

  18. So, were they having a week of sun? The picture where the ice has refrozen shows clouds.

    Also, when you look at the Sea ice reference page and see the sattelite measurements of % ice coverage, how strongly is that affected by melt pools? What about NRL’s ice thickness measurements?

  19. This was linked on the Drudge Report on Friday: http://www.climatecentral.org/news/melting-at-north-pole-how-bad-is-it-16294

    It took five minutes to debunk this. Camera #1 which is very near by camera #2 showed a very different view, but as you observed, a visit to the site showed neither camera were at the north pole, both being on a fast track to the North Atlantic via the annual ice conveyor stream east of Greenland. This is posted at the webcam page for those who are still capable of critical thinking and a few moments of research: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/WebCams.html

    I posted a note at the Freedman story (that has not gotten past moderation) showing the reality including the refreeze. What a ridiculous climate site that is and what an idiot Andrew Freedman is.

    The lack of honesty in climate alarmist hysteria is appalling.

  20. There you guys go again letting facts get in the way of a good story. It seems every day that they are taking more historical license than Oliver Stone making a movie. Maybe he advises them.

  21. As Solar Cycle 25 takes hold amid a 70-year “dead sun” Grand Solar Minimum, even Gorista/HuffPo types will come to the startling realization: “No, my reverberating friend, you are not the Beginning and the End” (Alan J. Lerner). Too late… by then, their suppurating mendacities will be one with Nineveh and Tyre, and good riddance to ‘em.

  22. The grade-B movie “Ice Station Zeba” was on over the weekend. I swear that film is where most people get their impression of the arctic ice cap. In the film, the ice cap is a featureless, snow covered plain. Just a solid sheet of unmoving ice.

  23. The Arctic Sea ice melt rate has really slowed down over the past 2 weeks.

    There are only a few years in the record going back to 1972 that have been this small over the last 2 weeks and over the past 5 days, it is the slowest melt for this time of the year on record.

    Things change of course but the melt pond arrived right at the time the sea ice melt rate slowed to one of its lowest ever. Still 45 days to go until the typical minimum on September 12th.

  24. You are forgetting the most basic conventions of Post-Modern Science. The “Truth” of any conjecture is determined solely by how badly you wish it were true, and the Falsity of any information is measured by the depth of your passion that such a thing must be false. And Anyone who says different is a Denier or a Raaacist or something.

  25. Why, there is sea ice even 10 thousand miles south of that spot, 300 miles is nothing compared to that.

  26. Bloke down the pub says:
    July 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

    The photo taken on the 29th seems to show fresh snow on top of the ice.
    Exactly. I have also read that such was the case. So, the snow melts, then when temps drop sufficiently, bingo, more ice. Much ado about nothing, and par for the course for the lamebrained MSM.

  27. I’m not sure why the photos of the subs is here. If it is to imply that the ice was less than today then that is misleading. We know it wasn’t and that the crew had to search for some time to find a gap in the 8 foot thick ice so they could surface. These gaps are called polynyas and are caused by wind and tide. They are temporary and soon freeze over.

  28. We have a slightly rude word in the UK to describe someone determined to air their ignorance. The word is f**kwit and it describes Gore and his acolytes perfectly. Apologies if you find the word offensive.

  29. Something else that now frozen pond has in common with ponds we’re all familiar with – it is the lowest lying spot there, so any melt water will flow to it, exaggerating the sense of scale of the melt. Given the already exaggerated effect of the camera lens, this was a cherry for picking for the science challenged MSM to run with, and for the science drop-outs in the alarmist blogosphere to amplify. All it lacked was some photoshopped penguins and dolphins grounded on the frozen beach, burning in the 24/7 arctic sun. And maybe some of those ambulatory asters that are migrating north to escape the heat from the mid-latitudes

    There needs to be a serious financial cost for printing such rubbish.

  30. Simon:

    I’m not sure why the photos of the subs is here. If it is to imply that the ice was less than today then that is misleading. We know it wasn’t and that the crew had to search for some time to find a gap in the 8 foot thick ice so they could surface. These gaps are called polynyas and are caused by wind and tide. They are temporary and soon freeze over.

    Actually you’re being misleading. You don’t know that the multiyear sea-ice in 1958 is more than now, because there isn’t data that gives you a reliable number.

    The idea that you can use the relative difficulty of surfacing a sub through an ice sheet during a period without satellite guidance as a proxy for total arctic sea ice coverage is of course ridiculously silly

  31. Karl Blair says:

    July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    “Apologies if you find the word offensive.”
    Which word – ‘G *re’?

  32. Karl Blair says:
    July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    “We have a slightly rude word in the UK to describe someone determined to air their ignorance. The word is f**kwit and it describes Gore and his acolytes perfectly. Apologies if you find the word offensive.”

    Offensive? Hell it’s f**kin terrific.

  33. Reg Nelson says:
    July 29, 2013 at 11:44 am
    I’m surprised they didn’t add a few photo-shopped drowning polar bears to the pic.
    =====
    Or a red-nosed reindeer.

  34. Carrick
    With all due respect, we know with considerable certainly the ice was both thicker and covered a much lager area back when this sub surfaced. The records kept of the voyage detail this well. You don’t need satellites to do such crude measurements.

  35. Also check out polynas for future references about holes in in north. Is man made global warming making the worse? Get ready, 3,2,1, GO!

  36. The post (as many here at WUWT) makes for entertaining reading. Thank you. But it is too confrontational for the “right” people to take notice. We are, after all, laughing at their incompetence (ok, some of you are screaming at their dishonesty).

  37. Karl Blair says: July 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    That also accurately describes the weak troll, blackadderthe4th who links items to drive traffic to his utube page.

  38. John Spencer says: July 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Excellent Dr Spencer. Your video would be an even more excellent (excellenter ?) debunking tool with added voice commentary ;)

  39. The average vidiot thinks a melt pond is open water. In fact most melt ponds are atop feet of ice. When the refreeze they make a good substrate for the snow to stick to. This brings up another issue. Sea ice is oversimplified as frozen sea water. It can also grow in volume due to precip.

  40. Yeah, Goldie, but it ain’t at the North Pole, which was the statement countering the Gore-ism. Thicker ‘n the ice cap, maybe?

  41. Anthony, shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses. Your first sentence ( “It isn’t very hard to catch Al Gore and his Climate Reality project followers in ridiculous claims that don’t hold up.” ) could easily be changed to “It isn’t very hard to catch Anthony Watts and his WUWT followers in ridiculous claims that don’t hold up.” when considering stories such as;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/23/antarctic-peninsula-was-1-3c-warmer-than-today-11000-years-ago/

    Summarized at;

    http://rabett.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/anthony-watts-is-sad.html

    In fact their photo mistake on this occasion is an order of magnitude or so less than yours, you were thousands of kilometers out. Everyone makes mistakes, and pointing them out as you often do can be helpful, but you should consider your own before calling people “fools” and “factually challenged” etc etc lest people say the same of you when you make them.

  42. It’s no longer about the facts or the truth, it’s about headlines. That’s how desperate Warmists have become. They are slowly realising that they were WRONG. Nobody likes to be wrong, but there it is.

  43. It looks like the melt pond froze at such a rapid rate, it literally lifted the buoy on top/above the ice.

    Saturday midnight, (note there is still light in the land/ocean of the midnight Sun).

    Sunday at 1:00 pm, 13 hours later. A phenomenal freeze up rate which literally lifted the buoy on top of the ice (or alternatively, the water drained under the ice).

    [always look a little deeper into directory structures to find the good stuff].

  44. I think they have a child’s understanding of the term “north pole”.
    “The north pole” means the same as “the arctic”.

  45. “And, as of today, the ‘North Pole melt crisis’ seems to be over.”

    Oh my God. If we just extrapolate the freezing of the pond over the next few months it’s clear that we have entered the next glaciation! (fine, /sarc)

  46. mwhite says:
    July 29, 2013 at 10:24 am

    ===============================================================

    It’s worth noting that that photo was taken some 2000km South of the Pole.

  47. Simon:

    With all due respect, we know with considerable certainly the ice was both thicker and covered a much lager area back when this sub surfaced. The records kept of the voyage detail this well. You don’t need satellites to do such crude measurements.

    Which records are you referring to (is there an online reference?), and can you use it to produce meaningful uncertainty bounds on sea ice area or extent? From what I’ve read, the trips of the subs were relatively short and could hardly serve as transections that could be used to get any useful ice thickness profiles from. If you know of a reference that has looked at this, I would be interested.

  48. Also very important: Growth of South Pole (Antarctic) ice. Yes, the ice cover in Antarctica has been growing. It constitutes the largest single mass of ice on the planet.

  49. Carrick

    Read this. It clearly details the account of the Skate surfacing in what was a hole in the ice. It wasn’t melt water as has been implied here.

    http://www.navalhistory.org/2011/08/11/uss-skate-ssn-578-becomes-the-first-submarine-to-surface-at-the-north-pole

    Frankly I think you will always hide behind the fact satellites didn’t kick in till the 70’s. But there have been recent studies (Kinnard et el 2011) that show ice extent is way past anything in recent (last 1500 years or so) history…

    “Arctic sea ice extent is now more than two million square kilometres less than it was in the late twentieth century, with important consequences for the climate, the ocean and traditional lifestyles in the Arctic1, 2. Although observations show a more or less continuous decline for the past four or five decades3, 4, there are few long-term records with which to assess natural sea ice variability. Until now, the question of whether or not current trends are potentially anomalous5 has therefore remained unanswerable. Here we use a network of high-resolution terrestrial proxies from the circum-Arctic region to reconstruct past extents of summer sea ice, and show that—although extensive uncertainties remain, especially before the sixteenth century—both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years. Enhanced advection of warm Atlantic water to the Arctic6 seems to be the main factor driving the decline of sea ice extent on multidecadal timescales, and may result from nonlinear feedbacks between sea ice and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. These results reinforce the assertion that sea ice is an active component of Arctic climate variability and that the recent decrease in summer Arctic sea ice is consistent with anthropogenically forced warming.”

  50. I was rather surprised at the number of mainstream media outlets that carried this story without bothering to fact check it. Livescience, HuffPo, CBS News, The Atlantic Wire, etc. It’s also took me all of about 30 seconds to spot the error.

    Accuweather reported it correctly and added some information in the comments from Dr Morison where he noted that buoy with cam #2 was placed in a low spot with deeper snow that contributed to the formation of the melt pond.

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/weathermatrix/did-the-media-just-prove-north-pole-is-not-melting/15739869

    Of course many alarmists think that 350 miles is close enough and the message is more important than facts or accurate reporting.

  51. And still the drivel keeps flowing. Propaganda masquerading as news.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23346370

    Irony is lost on the journos who write this garbage. We hear about Alaskans allegedly “suffering because of a problem they did nothing to cause”, ie ‘fossil fuel induced climate change and yet in every picture we see fuel tanks, petrol powered snow mobiles, motor bikes, ice drills…
    I doubt that there will be much of a follow up story in ten years time when the dea level has risen 1cm and the town is still thriving.

  52. Lew Skannen
    I think you will find the point of the article is the island is no longer protected for long periods by the ice so the sandy base is at the mercy of the sea and its waves.

  53. Here is a copy of my letter to the editor of the DM.

    To the Editor.

    Sir,

    I doubt that you are interested in learning about the inaccuracies incorporated in some of the stories the paper prints, but in the case of the egregious article about the North Pole Automated Observatory in the Arctic Ocean, I am prompted to contact you.

    The author entirely missed the point that the weather station wasn’t at the North Pole, when the photograph was taken, it was positioned over 300 miles away.

    NP_buoy_drift_map_annotated

    That is an extremely crass mistake to make & I suggest her future contributions are vetted by a responsible adult, in order that such abysmal accounts are avoided.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/29/al-gores-reality-minions-think-the-north-pole-is-melting-except-thats-not-a-photo-of-the-north-pole/

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

    Yours truly.

  54. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    For those persons who are basing their AGW/CO2dangers/carbon tax+ beliefs on “evidence” such as that the North pole melt is due to man-made causes, please read this.
    It has “melted” in the recent past several times – 1959, 1962, 1987. All before the ‘dreaded’ global warming hoax took hold.
    Not only that, but the photographic evidence of this year’s melt is incorrect.
    Time to have a deeper think about your beliefs, perhaps?

  55. Simon says: July 29, 2013 at 9:44 pm,

    “Carrick Read this. It clearly details the account of the Skate surfacing…”

    The submarine surfacing at the north pole in 1958 is not in any way a useful measure of the thickness of ice, nor is it a comparison of ice’s thickness then and now. When the seaman says: “Heavy ice, ten feet.” How could he possibly measure that by looking through a tiny glass prism from a depth of 180 feet? I imagine “ice, ten feet” simply means any ice that’s too thick to surface in, not that it’s literally ten feet thick.

    Second you give a quote from a climate science paper, which is actually very telling. It says:

    “..there are few long-term records with which to assess natural sea ice variability. Until now, the question of whether or not current trends are potentially anomalous5 has therefore remained unanswerable.”

    You say “..you will always hide behind the fact satellites didn’t kick in till the 70’s” but the quote from the paper you give actually confirms that we knew little about ice’s thickness or extent until the satellite era. Why do you pretend to know better?

    The paper goes on to reinforce this view by saying that it’s the first time anyone has really had a stab at trying to determine the ice’s past thickness. But they still really don’t know, because:

    “..extensive uncertainties remain, especially before the sixteenth century..”

    Now for the cause of the alleged, possible ice loss:

    “Enhanced advection of warm Atlantic water to the Arctic6 seems to be the main factor driving the decline of sea ice extent”

    Hmmm, so it’s actually warm water from the Atlantic that’s melting the ice. What happened to global warming? Oh yeah, here it comes:

    “…the recent decrease in summer Arctic sea ice is consistent with anthropogenically forced warming.”

    The phrase “consistent with” in this context means “not contradicting”. It’s really a way for a scientist to say something without saying anything at all. It means it might be related to global warming, but then again it might not.

    To the global warming zealot however, the phrase “consistent with” is interpreted as “proves”.

  56. While it is true that the evidence for ice extent and thickness is much less comprehensive before satellite imagery it is self-serving and disingenuous to claim that therefore no credible conclusions can be drawn about the Arctic ice before the mid seventies.
    For obvious commercial reasons the edge of the ice was closely monitored by shipping businesses along the Russian, Scandinavian and Canadian coast. The cold war polar flights and sub patrols also provide good data, after it was declassified.

    The bottom line is that we can be as certain as we are about the heliocentric solar system that Arctic ice has not melted out to this extent in the summer since at least the Holocene optimum around 7000 years ago.

    In the years from which the sub pictures are taken the edge of the ice was known and was far further in extent than it has been for the last few decades. The Arctic ice is melting out each summer to an extent unseen during the history of human civilisation because of the polar amplification factor which was a primary prediction from AGW theory. Trying to minimise the impact of this known change by casting spurious doubt on the pre-satellite data and posting dubious pictures of surfacing subs looks like the actions of people unable to accept reality and desperately looking for any excuse to reject the clear import of the rid disappearance of the polar ice.

    By the way there is clear evidence that the Antarctic land ice is shrinking significantly as well. The winter ice extent may be larger as a result of a warmer circumpolar environment increasing fresh water input. But the summer extent and the land ice at the south pole are both shrinking like the north pole.

  57. Simon says:
    July 29, 2013 at 11:14 pm
    Lew Skannen
    I think you will find the point of the article is the island is no longer protected for long periods by the ice so the sandy base is at the mercy of the sea and its waves,/blockquote>

    Hi Simon,

    The trend of sea ice coverage for that particular part of the Arctic is actually upwards over recent years (PDO going negative is the most likely reason – less warm water flowing through the Bering Strait), so that wouldn’t be the cause.

    The suggestion of the article is that melting permafrost is to blame, but the fact is that the village is on a barrier island and should never have been put there in the first place. The inhabitants of the time were resettled there several decades ago, having previously lived on solid land rather than shifting sands for a good reason.

  58. izen says:

    July 30, 2013 at 2:49 am

    “By the way there is clear evidence that the Antarctic land ice is shrinking significantly as well. The winter ice extent may be larger as a result of a warmer circumpolar environment increasing fresh water input. But the summer extent and the land ice at the south pole are both shrinking like the north pole.”

    So wrong it’s quite scary.

    The only observation of any land ice shrinking over in Antarctica is based in the peninsula. Why would winter ice extent increase with freshening of water (not even observed here) when plenty of observed water freshening, is occurring in the Arctic and there sea ice is declining generally. There is no sign or evidence/observation that the Antarctica continent is melting like the Arctic, please stop telling lies. How can the land get warmer while the sea ice increases when Antarctica’s main energy source is from much warmer oceans hundreds of miles away. The continent is far from not warm enough for any melt even during mid-summer, the only exception is the peninsula that because of it’s location is in a different climate zone anyway.

  59. @-Matt G
    “There is no sign or evidence/observation that the Antarctica continent is melting like the Arctic, please stop telling lies. ”

    There are several observations confirming that the Antarctic land ice is melting as any search would have confirmed. To claim that it is only on the peninsula or insignificant is … So wrong its scary.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/multimedia/chart20121129.html

    “In a landmark study published Thursday in the journal Science, 47 researchers from 26 laboratories report the combined rate of melting for the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has increased during the last 20 years. Together, these ice sheets are losing more than three times as much ice each year (equivalent to sea level rise of 0.04 inches or 0.95 millimeters) as they were in the 1990s (equivalent to 0.01 inches or 0.27 millimeters).”

    Matt, you really should check your facts before accusing others of lying to avoid looking ignorant when the vast majority of the evidence shows that no lie has been told.
    At least, not by me.

    While it is clear that this year may not be a record melt out matching last year, the amount of ice left in the Arctic is already so depleted that even a small melt this year will still exceed most of the last decade and the minimum ice extent and volume is much less than seen since the Holocene optimum when perihelion was in the Arctic summer.

    Can anyone explain what scientific point the pictures of submarines surfacing in the Arctic are meant to make?
    That gaps, leads, in the ice can open up at any time any where especially after storms is well known, but it has little relevance to total ice volume or extent.

    There are multiple measures of the past Arctic ice which all confirm that the present melt has not been matched in the last few millennia. Pictures of subs in the Arctic do nothing to refute or falsify those multiple measures, so what IS the point of posting these pictures ?

  60. So, if everything was hunky dory in ‘no global warming land’, and it was business as usual in the Arctic, what would this picture look like?

    /rhetorical question.

    It’s frustrating to take nature’s flair for dramatica and have it amplified to the ignorant masses as a symbol of the story being promoted.

  61. ATTENTION ANTHONY or MODERATORS,

    One caught in the blackhole. Please rescue it?

    Please delete this one.

    Thanks!

    [??? Don't see anything stuck in the "spam" filter. Mod]

  62. izen says:

    July 30, 2013 at 2:49 am

    “…that Arctic ice has not melted out to this extent in the summer since at least the Holocene optimum around 7000 years ago.”

    So you admit that CO2 is not necessary for the Arctic to melt “to this extent”. And for the global temperatures to be higher than now. Since, CO2 was not necessary then it probably is not necessary now.

  63. izen says:

    July 30, 2013 at 5:48 am

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/multimedia/chart20121129.html

    ——————————————————————————————————
    “There are several observations confirming that the Antarctic land ice is melting as any search would have confirmed. To claim that it is only on the peninsula or insignificant is … So wrong its scary.”

    The first link shows no data in supporting melt in Antarctica, I didn’t disagree with Arctic melting.

    The 2nd link is based on gravity and is a poor way of judging ice loss, this site explained why years ago. How can you distinguish the compacting of ice with lice loss for example? Ice loss is not the same as ice melt, there are numerous reasons for ice loss even if this proxy was correct.

    “Matt, you really should check your facts before accusing others of lying to avoid looking ignorant when the vast majority of the evidence shows that no lie has been told.”

    The links do not support any of the claims you mentioned regarding Antarctica melting. Ice loss can be defined by numerous mechanisms and melt is just one of them. The continent is too cold for ice to melt, this is where you are wrong. The majority of the continent is -10c and below during it’s warmest periods in summer. Ice loss can be caused by sublimation and ice shelves breaking off in their natural way. A decrease in precipitation over years leads to losses more than gains even when well below zero centigrade. There is nothing there to indicate the ice melted like in the Arctic.

    The Arctic ice is mainly influence by ocean cycles like AMO over a 60 year period where both warming and cooling occur. Antarctica is not influenced by short cycles like these so it represents the changing climate better. The pictures of submarines just show that ice free areas in the Arctic are normal and what’s happening over recent decades is not unusual so far. Just wait until the AMO changes again and then see what happens in the Arctic. Even if the Arctic ice was to all melt in future it would still be there for about 11 months of the year. The winter ice would still be as huge as ever in area. It is the ice coverage that affects humidly and atmospheric behaviour, volume has no influence on this. We know little about ice volume and the data too short to make any worthwhile comparisons. We don’t have yet reliable Arctic data that covers both a warming and cooling period of the planet Earth..

  64. RE: izen says:
    July 30, 2013 at 5:48 am

    To speak with any certainty about the thickness and extent of arctic ice in the times before we could look down at the Pole with satellites is stepping out on a limb. At best it is educated guessing, and there is quite a range in the educated guesses.

    Stepping out on a limb, my own guess is that there is a cycle of thickening and thinning ice, related to the warmth or coolness of influxes of water through the Bering Strait from the Pacific, or as an extension of the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic.

    As ideas such as the AMO and PDO are relatively new, and still being studied, our understanding of any sort of “sixty-year-cycle” is incomplete, however there does seem to be some basis for surmising that the satellite era has only witnessed the first half of such a cycle, and the thirty years we have witnessed has been the “melting half” of the cycle.

    There do seem to be enough reports of past melting to suggest ice extent was decreased in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Also there are parts of northeast Greenland that were accurately mapped by sailing ships back around 1820, and that simply could not have been done unless those coasts were surprisingly ice-free for a while. These bits of historical fact suggest earlier times of melting, as well as times of refreezing.

    Now let me step back in off this limb.

  65. @-Matt G
    “The first link shows no data in supporting melt in Antarctica, I didn’t disagree with Arctic melting.”

    The first link, third paragraph, third sentence :-

    “The new estimates, which are more than twice as accurate because of the inclusion of more satellite data, confirm both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice. Combined, melting of these ice sheets contributed 0.44 inches (11.1 millimeters) to global sea levels since 1992.”

    Now I suppose you could quibble and claim the land ice in Antarctica does not actually melt until it reaches the sea, but the fact is that BOTH poles are losing ice at unprecedented rates as confirmed by both gravity measurements and land based altimetry.

    @- mkelly
    “So you admit that CO2 is not necessary for the Arctic to melt “to this extent”. And for the global temperatures to be higher than now.”

    Yes, during the Holocene when the Milankovitch cycle resulted in almost as much extra solar energy warming the N hemisphere summer as is now added by the rising CO2 the summers were just about as warm as now and the ice may well have melted almost as much.
    Stuff warms and melts for a reason, energy has to be added from somewhere. We know where the extra energy came from to end the last ice age and cause the warm summers in the Northern hemisphere around 8000 years ago.
    And we know the source of the extra energy that is warming both summers and winters and melting the ice at both poles in the present.

  66. izen says:

    July 30, 2013 at 9:00 am
    Yes, during the Holocene when the Milankovitch cycle resulted in almost as much extra solar energy warming the N hemisphere summer as is now added by the rising CO2

    Please tell how CO2 adds energy?

  67. Just curious. What are those mountains visible in the distance in the melt picture?
    Is it normal to see mountains from the North Pole in any particular direction?

  68. izen;

    No.

    There are NO explicit satellite “measurements” of any ice melting trends or year-to-year for either Greenland nor the Antarctic. There are no “measurements of either original ice weight/thickness/area/contours NOR of the underlaying continental rock nor is there a “difference” from a baseline “measurement” of either the Greenland or Antarctic land masses/sunken sea beds.

    What there is a single ice borehole to Greenland’s baseline rock near the middle of ONE area of ONE part of ONE cross-section of that massive island. And two (or three) boreholes of the mountaintops AROUND the massive Greenland ice cap. You are telling us how much the Appalachian Mountains have gone up in the past 30 years based on 2 years of elevation changes of Manhattan’s granite and Chicago’s landfilled area of 1879. Plus one measurement of the height of Mount Washington in New hampshire.

    The GRACE satellite measurements are ONLY “differences” of minutely small gravitation attractions as the paired satellites fly OVER Greenland and Antarctica (and the rest of the ocean and land continental rocks and ocean floor masses. Then that data is interpreted (hopefully correctly) by ASSUMING that the movement (up, down, expansion, contraction and compression, magma etc) of the total land mass of the granite base UNDER the ice is exactly known AND the exact original and final ice elevation and mass are known.

    THEN the gravity (mass) differences that are measured by the two satellites – assuming they are working as theoretically defined) are calculated AS IF all of the changes were due SOLELY to ice mass loss. If the land mass is changing, these assumed results are wrong, and ice mass may be either increasing or decreasing.

    It is absolutely known that certain areas of the Greenland ice cap are increasing their depth significantly (by hundreds of feet of net ice increase) since the 1940’s and 1950’s. Rather than “change in mass measured => reduction in mass of ice”, the math works out equally well as “increase of ice mass => greater compression of rocks under ice” .

    So, you are relying entirely on those “dozens of scientists” whose current life, current funding, and future work and entire reputation and publishing history is dependent on finding ice loss in Greenland. Is that …. “peer review” only 97% accurate?

  69. izen says:

    July 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    That is the difference between the two, Arctic ice melts due to mainly warmer ocean temperatures influencing the local climate, where temperatures go above zero centigrade. Antarctica estimated ice losses are due to movement of shelves that break up under stress in much deeper and warmer parts of the ocean where they melt. Combined melting of these ice sheets in paragraph 3 don’t say where the source of melt is. Due to area and ice pressure of the continent it can only support a certain threshold of ice. This over thousands of years continues to fall when ice breaks up and then take time to move to previous ice levels with further build up in snow. It obviously takes longer for snow to build up than a massive chunk to just break off.

  70. Oh, yes, and additionally, you are absolutely correct the NPEO buoy image isn’t at 90 north. However, here’s something showing the area close to there:

    http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r04c04.2013211.terra

    Scale across the bottom is about 400KM. North Pole is in the lower left hand corner.

    So, Anthony, have any mid-20th century images of the same area at about the same date, showing the pack broken up with so much open water? I thought not.

  71. A few years ago I sent those pictures of the submarines that had surfaced at the North Pole during the last century in an email to an environmentalist friend who is a rabid believer in the AGW scam. The email was captioned “OPEN WATER AT THE NORTH POLE!” My friend refused to reply to the email and wouldn’t respond to anything I sent for a couple of months. His lack of response told me that the email had made it’s point.

    In the current information age, it is impossible for even well-educated people to keep up with the tremendous volume of information that is available to them, and it is easy to hoodwink anyone. That is why it pays to be skeptical about all things.

  72. Sorry, not to sidetrack unduly here, but to Jim S, all the way up top: regardless of what Disney may or may not have done, they did NOT “create” the lemming suicide “myth.”

    As far back as 1941, James Thurber published his short story, “Interview With A Lemming,” which of course references that behavior. It may be true, it may be false, but it NOT Disney’s invention.

  73. Al Gore’s “Reality Minions” think the North Pole is melting – except that’s NOT a photo of the North Pole

    We should look for evidence that the Warmies are out there correcting this epic fail. Surely the AGW “scientists” and prophets like Hansen, Mann, Gavin, Gore, Jones, Ehrlich, McKibben, Trenberth, Pachauri, Serreze, Stroeve, Nye, Heidi Cullen, ( etc … ) are on the job trying to set the record straight? What about their vocal online contingent like Romm, Connolley, Tamino, Cook, Lewandowsky, Dana Nutcase, Gleick, Mooney, Bart Verheggen, Eli Rabbett, Joel Shore, Michael Tobis, Phil., R. Gates, telford, sceptical, Sun Spot, JJThoms, Louise, Rattus, LazyTeenager, jai mitchell, izen ( ad nauseum … ) ? Surely they will be running over to those sites correcting this incredibly embarrassing lie in the same manner they drop by here to nitpick some minor little thing that irks them so.

    How about our “neutral” fence-sitting friends like Mosher, Fuller, Nick Stokes? What is the point of thousands of man-hours analyzing databases full of climate minutia when an enormous error like this comes along to swamp all that work and plants a radically incorrect notion into the public consciousness? Are they out there trying to squash this huge propaganda-fest? Somehow I doubt it.

    The truth of the matter is that these are the crazy tales that shape public opinion, not the alleged fraction of a fraction of a degree temp delta or watts per square meter that they want to waste our time and money on. For the majority of those people listed above they actually benefit from these lies because the sheeple are led in the “proper direction” – AGW catastrophe. I say that any of those alleged scientists and commenters who are not out there ridiculing this and other mistakes are complicit in this lie and most likely welcome it because it serves their purpose. Surely there is a link somewhere, maybe at Judith Curry’s of Mosher and Stokes setting the record straight? We can’t leave it all up to Revkin alone to fix this egregious error which wouldn’t even have legs if it wasn’t for the daily AGW alarmism these people support or give quiet approval to.

    Let’s recap. In addition to this North Pole melting nonsense we have two other recent examples of uber-crazy, and like clockwork they always seem to pop up at this time of year when the sun is shining a little more directly at the Northern Hemisphere. This one completes a Trifecta …

    Global Warming To Boil The Ocean

    NASA predicts 8 degrees of warming in the US by 2100

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/29/al-gores-reality-minions-think-the-north-pole-is-melting-except-thats-not-a-photo-of-the-north-pole/

    That’s just in the last three days! I suggested Steve Goddard dig into the newspaper archives to see if there are any historical examples of this magnitude of crazy, but I highly doubt there will be anything even close, well not since witches were last drowned or burned at the stake. We are in a new era now. The Ehrlich-Hansen-Mann-Gore era of crazy.

  74. Simon, I’m not “hiding” behind anything—lack of credible evidence is just that.
    And there are other plausible models that explains the excess ice loss.

    I was aware of Kinnard 2011 and am incredibly underwhelmed by it.

    I appreciate the navy history link. Thank you.

  75. izen:

    There are several observations confirming that the Antarctic land ice is melting as any search would have confirmed. To claim that it is only on the peninsula or insignificant is … So wrong its scary.

    I am afriad you’re mistaken about this. The evidence for ice loss is controvertible, starting with this: Mass Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses.

    As was correctly discussed above, the main evidence of increased interior ice loss comes from GRACE. Almost the entire ice loss “signal” is actually from a model, not data. (The seeming ice loss is due almost entirely to an adjustment for isostasy, on a continent that is heavily under instrumented and so is poorly understood, with no data that show any particular sign of ice mass loss in and of itself.)

    There is a bit of discussion here, and some good back and forth on the two views + references.

    The key point is the GCMs predict long term ice gain on the continent. There is no plausible model to explain the excess continent ice mass loss and the more recent corrections to GRACE’s modeling suggest rather smaller isostatic corrections than were present previously.

  76. The Times of London, the original paper of record gets into the act… (paywalled in part)

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/weather/article3829757.ece

    Weather Eye: melting Arctic ice

    Paul Simons
    Published at 12:01AM, July 31 2013
    In future, we might now expect there to be nearly ice-free summers across much of the Arctic Ocean
    The North Pole is melting. A big lake is all that can be seen on a webcam at the North Pole. The surface ice has melted into small pools that have joined up to form a large lake of meltwater. A time-lapse animation of this summer’s vanishing ice can be seen at 1.usa.gov/14JLdxT Unusually high temperatures over the Arctic Ocean — currently 1-3C above normal — have caused the ice to melt. Once warm air causes the surface ice to melt it sets off a vicious cycle as the open water traps more heat from the Sun and causes further melting.
    In future, we might now expect there to be nearly ice-free summers across much of the Arctic Ocean.

  77. A simple adjustment would be a note: “Distance as the Arctic tern flies to the Pole: 300 miles. Due north.” In bold.

    l;p

  78. The Englishman says:
    July 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    The Times of London, the original paper of record gets into the act… (paywalled in part)

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/weather/article3829757.ece

    Weather Eye: melting Arctic ice

    Paul Simons
    Published at 12:01AM, July 31 2013
    In future, we might now expect there to be nearly ice-free summers across much of the Arctic Ocean
    The North Pole is melting. A big lake is all that can be seen on a webcam at the North Pole. The surface ice has melted into small pools that have joined up to form a large lake of meltwater. A time-lapse animation of this summer’s vanishing ice can be seen at 1.usa.gov/14JLdxT Unusually high temperatures over the Arctic Ocean — currently 1-3C above normal — have caused the ice to melt. Once warm air causes the surface ice to melt it sets off a vicious cycle as the open water traps more heat from the Sun and causes further melting.

    Ya, ya, Except that the dark water is at a sharp angle to the sun, and is radiating far more heat to space than it’s taking in. Negative feedback, doncha know?

Comments are closed.