Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

From the University of Washington

From research stations drifting on ice floes to high-tech aircraft radar, scientists have been tracking the depth of snow that accumulates on Arctic sea ice for almost a century. Now that people are more concerned than ever about what is happening at the poles, research led by the University of Washington and NASA confirms that snow has thinned significantly in the Arctic, particularly on sea ice in western waters near Alaska.

A new study, accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, combines data collected by ice buoys and NASA aircraft with historic data from ice floes staffed by Soviet scientists from the late 1950s through the early 1990s to track changes over decades.

Historically, Soviets on drifting sea ice used meter sticks and handwritten logs to record snow depth. Today, researchers on the ground use an automated probe similar to a ski pole to verify the accuracy of airborne measurements.

“When you stab it into the ground, the basket move up, and it records the distance between the magnet and the end of the probe,” said first author Melinda Webster, a UW graduate student in oceanography. “You can take a lot of measurements very quickly. It’s a pretty big difference from the Soviet field stations.”

Webster verified the accuracy of airborne data taken during a March 15, 2012 NASA flight over the sea ice near Barrow, Alaska. The following day Webster followed the same track in minus 30-degree temperatures while stabbing through the snow every two to three steps.

The authors compared data from NASA airborne surveys, collected between 2009 and 2013, with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers buoys frozen into the sea ice, and earlier data from Soviet drifting ice stations in 1937 and from 1954 through 1991. Results showed that snowpack has thinned from 14 inches to 9 inches (35 cm to 22 cm) in the western Arctic, and from 13 inches to 6 inches (33 cm to 14.5 cm) in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, west and north of Alaska.

Change in springtime Arctic snow depth compared to the average. The data come from Soviet drifting ice stations (1950-1987), US Ice Mass Balance buoys (1993-2013), and the NASA IceBridge airborne project (2009-2013). For measurements in the western Arctic only, the trend was a decline of 0.27 cm per year (about 1 inch less per decade) with 99 percent significance. Credit: M. Webster / Univ. of Washington

That’s a decline in the western Arctic of about a third, and snowpack in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas less than half as thick in spring in recent years compared to the average Soviet-era records for that time of year.

“Knowing exactly the error between the airborne and the ground measurements, we’re able to say with confidence, Yes, the snow is decreasing in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas,” said co-author Ignatius Rigor, an oceanographer at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory.

The authors speculate the reason for the thinner snow, especially in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, may be that the surface freeze-up is happening later in the fall so the year’s heaviest snowfalls, in September and October, mostly fall into the open ocean.

What thinner snow will mean for the ice is not certain. Deeper snow actually shields ice from cold air, so a thinner blanket may allow the ice to grow thicker during the winter. On the other hand, thinner snow cover may allow the ice to melt earlier in the springtime.

Thinner snow has other effects, Webster said, for animals that use the snow to make dens, and for low-light microscopic plants that grow underneath the sea ice and form the base of the Arctic food web.

The new results support a 15-year-old UW-led study in which Russian and American scientists first analyzed the historic Arctic Ocean snow measurements. That paper detected a slight decline in spring snow depth that the authors believed, even then, was due to a shorter ice-covered season.

“This confirms and extends the results of that earlier work, showing that we continue to see thinning snow on the Arctic sea ice,” said Rigor, who was also a co-author on the earlier paper.

The recent fieldwork was part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge program, which is using aircraft to track changes while NASA prepares to launch a new ice-monitoring satellite in 2017. The team conducted research flights in spring 2012 as part of a larger program to monitor changes in the Arctic.

###

The research was supported by NASA and the U.S. Interagency Arctic Buoy Program. Co-authors are Son Nghiem at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nathan Kurtz at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Sinead Farrell at the University of Maryland, Don Perovich at the federal Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and Matthew Sturm at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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111 thoughts on “Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

  1. “dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:33 am
    Changing precipitation patterns, that’s all. A regional effect.”

    ############
    note that skeptics merely assert claims. no data. no analysis. just assertion.
    no uncertainty. no doubt. no acknowledgement that they might be wrong.
    no critical assessment of prior work. no citations.

    read climate science. say no and throw up a reason

  2. Steven Mosher says:

    note that skeptics merely assert claims. no data… &etc.

    The Arctic is a region. As I said, Steven, I would like to see this compared with the Antarctic. More data would be good. The article reports on a regional Arctic effect. But thanx for not putting the usual quote marks around skeptic…

    The article reports that it’s minus 30º there. So this can’t cause disappearing Arctic ice due to ‘global warming’ — which is always and everywhere the implication by the climate alarmist promoters.

    Regional weather changes. Always. The Sahara desert was green savannah only a few thousand years ago. The Gobi desert hardly existed a few centuries ago. Now it is threatening Beijing; it’s only 60 miles away, moving toward the city, and growing.

    That’s the difference between skeptics and alarmists. The skeptics’ default position is natural climate variability. The null hypothesis. But alarmists see a ‘fingerprint of AGW’ in everything. Proving it has been their stumbling block. There is almost no evidence of AGW, and this Arctic weather pattern is no exception.

  3. Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am
    ———————————-
    I like how one random comment on a blog is a blanket representation of all skeptics. Imagine if that were true about all online comments!

  4. Positive feedback ( for both accumulating or declining )
    When ice is accumulating, more snow depth is available, which protects from melting.
    When ice is declining, less snow depth, exposure to sunshine increases melting.
    Apply feedback to natural variability and significant changes ensue.

  5. Thinner snow, really? Maybe they should take more measurements in more places on more occasions. On April 15th of this year I flew over about 2000 miles of Arctic, including the Greenland Icecap from Kulusuk to Nuuk, Baffin Bay, Baffin Island and Hudson Bay exiting near Churchill, Manitoba, on a very clear day I might add. I was astounded not only by the sea ice extent in Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay but by the evident snow depth everywhere. Yeah, I know you can’t measure snow depth from the air, but I’ve been an avid skier for 46 years, skiing some pretty deep stuff in the San Juans and the Wasatch Range, and I have developed a pretty good eye for looking at land features from above and below and determining whether there was a lot of snow or just thin cover. What I saw was thick, not thin.

  6. “Yes, we know that the Arctic sea ice is recovering, but the really important measure is the snow pack on top of it and that’s in a worse decline than we thought”

    A virtual beer to the first person who finds a serious comment / headline to that effect….

  7. dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

    “default position is natural climate variability”

    When one explanation is used to explain everything, it explains nothing.

  8. The authors speculate the reason for the thinner snow, especially in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, may be that the surface freeze-up is happening later in the fall so the year’s heaviest snowfalls, in September and October, mostly fall into the open ocean.
    ====
    Which makes the most sense….
    Snow season has been moving up for several decades…..earlier in the fall…and later in the spring
    Fall has been increasing

    Still the same amount almost….just falling earlier in the year…..and melting earlier in the spring
    The block of time is the same

  9. There seems to be an influence of prevailing official thought to relate the change to AGW that precludes thorough and unbiased science.

    Snow deposition and depth is a critical part of glacier formation and influences the thickness of ice layers in ice core studies. I worked with and discussed at length this issue with Fritz Koerner,

    http://www.igsoc.org/news/fritzkoerner/

    a glaciologist who cored in Antarctica, as well as on Baffin and Ellesmere Islands.

    A major factor in the final snow level is the amount and direction of the wind. It not only determines the distribution as it falls but also redistributes the snow after it falls. You can also have a phenomenon called scouring in which the wind blowing the snow across the surface can remove previous snowfall layers. This becomes particular corrosive after the snow forms larger granules, firn

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/208027/firn

    during the transition to ice.

    Wind patterns are critical, but were ignored until NASA finally identified them as a factor in 2007.

    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html

    People studying Arctic climate and environment have known for years that wind patterns are critical in ice and snow formation and that they are as much a cause of changing ice conditions as temperatures. They are a major part of this changing snow pattern as well.

    Another factor associated with ice formation, changing wind patterns, and ocean currents is the horizontal transportation of heat, but there is a change in vertical movement of heat as it moves through the ice from the much warmer ocean below to heat the air. A change in water temperature would change the amount of snow melt on the surface. A diagram of the energy balance through arctic sea ice is included in this article I wrote about the claims of thinning sea ice.

    http://drtimball.com/2013/thinning-arctic-ice-more-al-gore-aided-and-abetted-misinformation/

    Measuring snow depth is very difficult any where because of wind, during and after deposition. It also says nothing about the type of snow and the water content. The fur traders identified “small snow” as the type that falls when conditions are very cold. The size of snowflakes and therefore depth of fall varies with temperature. On average warm snow requires 25.4 cm to produce the same water equivalence as 30 cm of “small snow”. The change in water content and depth of snow measured are somewhat commensurate with the warming from 1980 to 2000, especially when combined with the changing wind patterns.

  10. The data is actually quite variable from yr to year. A straight line through the data is only one possibility. There are a couple of other possibilities that look equally valid. 1) A slight increase from about 1950-1970 followed by a decrease thereafter. 2) Pretty much ZERO change from about 1950-1980 followed by a decrease thereafter, which more closely matches earths warming profile. If it is one of these two then it quite possibly is just another example of things going in 30-60 yr cycles.

  11. Mosh,
    It might easily be said of warmists: “note that warmists merely assert claims. model output. biased analysis. just assertion. no uncertainty. no doubt. no acknowledgement that they might be wrong. unbalanced assessment of contradictory work. only favorable citations.”

    But it would be unproductive and unkind. Where does lobbing these kinds of grenades into a conversation get anybody except ticked off?

  12. Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Alarmists don’t have a scientific leg upon which to stand. There is zero evidence is support of CACA & all the evidence in the world is against it.

  13. Edward Richardson says:

    dbstealey says: “default position is natural climate variability”

    When one explanation is used to explain everything, it explains nothing.

    I don’t think you understand “default position”. It is not an explanation, it is a starting point.

  14. To Edward Richardson
    Look in the mirror lately. CAGW activist have been singing the same song for 20 years.

  15. Note the ” so a thinner blanket may allow the ice to grow thicker during the winter”, preparing the reason why there has been no death spiral and the ice may increase in the near future..
    The CO2 warmed the air which made the ice thinner and now the pesky lack of snow means the ice has got thicker again.

  16. dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

    “it is a starting point.”

    No, natural variability is not the starting point. “I don’t know” or “I wonder why” is the starting point.

  17. Climate Weenie says: ” Apply feedback to natural variability and significant changes ensue.”

    Please allow me to quote ….”merely assert claims. no data. no analysis. just assertion. no uncertainty. no doubt. no acknowledgement that they might be wrong. no critical assessment of prior work. no citations.”

    Weenie – you have just declared feedback as the knob available to amplify response to your heart’s content.

    But conservation of energy is the basis of all systems theory – where does the law of conservation of energy fit into your assertion? Show us how you get the particular “loop gain” of your purported feedback system to argue an amplified response at the poles.

    Consider the energy balance at the edge of the ice sheet for a unit-retreat of ice cover. Energy must be conserved over the stages of this increment-amplified-further-increment that you assert due to incoming sunlight.

    Have you noticed there is ice at the poles? By some odd dint of fate, it just happens to be the parts of the globe where the incident power from the sun is smallest. Hmmm.

    Could this be because of diminishing cos-theta (reducing incoming solar power) as we head pole ward?

    Looking at the edge of the ice sheet, a retreat of ice cover at one cos-theta will lead to a change in surface area at a lower cos-theta. The incoming solar energy available to melt ice is therefore diminishing as the edge of the ice sheet retreats.

    From this, I would conclude that the feedback must be negative. And this comes from conservation of energy as cos-theta falls.

    But feel free to argue that this diminishing energy input is amplified as the ice retreats. Please explain the physics at the edge of the ice sheet.

  18. Snow what? Climate changes,but thanks to the sun we actually have one. so, lighten & smarten up and get a job.

  19. Snow is precipitation. If snowfall is in decline in an area where it is impossible to look at snowfall history you are left only with making a note in your logs and moving on. Any conclusion regarding snowfall on pack ice is speculation, opinion, and guesswork. What we can conclude is we can conclude nothing about the history of the snowfall until we have a proper history of the region. That is decades away.

    This is not opinion – we don’t have enough information to know if this is unusual. It is ok to say “we don’t know”.

  20. Since I’ve been following the study of arctic ice I’ve been impressed by the work these fellows do under difficult and dangerous conditions. Sooner or later we are bound to lose one to a stealthy, well-camouflaged bear. I’ve also been impressed by the -snip- they have to work under. The underlings run risks gathering the facts and hard data, and the -snip- sit in comfort and supply the political slant.

    It is interesting that the data they have shows decreasing snow. It springs to my mind that the AMO cycle is roughly 60-70 years, and we may being seeing a side effect of that. Also it should be noted that there weren’t all that many Russian and NATO bases floating around up there, (pretending to do science while in fact spying the dickens out of each other…even back then politics ruled.)

    However I’d be more interested to see any bits of data they may have on summer snows in past years, and whether they had as much as we’ve had this year. According to various charts I’ve looked at, freshly fallen snow has the highest albedo, and to have snow blanketing the arctic in July really throws a monkey wrench into all the talk about how the arctic is absorbing more sunshine due to open water, and the claim that this absorbed warmth is over-heating the Arctic Sea and causing the ice to go into a “death spiral.”

    I honestly fear the better sea-ice scientists will lose their funding if the arctic starts to behave in a politically incorrect manner, and the sea-ice increases. At the very least the wonderful cameras they have floating around up there will have their plugs pulled. After all, we wouldn’t know it was snowing in July if our lying eyes couldn’t see it. I saved a fine example of such fresh snow on July 27, at the very height of the melt-season, at the start of my post at: http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/arctic-sea-ice-melt-the-death-spirals-debunking/

  21. Edward Richardson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

    dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

    “default position is natural climate variability”

    When one explanation is used to explain everything, it explains nothing.

    If the climate system is mostly chaotic and/or unmeasurable in many key components, then it’s inexplicable.

  22. There really aren’t any changes until the 90s. That is the problem with linear trends, they hide the details that make all the difference. The question is: What happened in the 90s to change the snowfall or to increase the melt? As has been mentioned, regional changes require regional answers.

  23. Edward Richardson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

    The starting point of scientific inquiry, ie the Null Hypothesis, is that nothing out of the ordinary has happened climatically during the 20th & 21st centuries, ie that the same natural variability that has explained climate change for the past 4.56 billion years explains it now.

  24. When sea ice forms in calm conditions then heat can be radiated through the ice allowing the ocean underneath to continue cooling. Any cover or snow on that ice provides a reflective surface that reduces or prevents that radiation to atmosphere / space. In Antarctica snow did not happen at Vanda Station (30 km inland from coast in Dry Valleys) until the sea ice in the Ross Sea broke out. Only then did the air contain enough vapour to form clouds and cause snow. (only once in four months did we get snow falling and that ablated within hours) significant snow was only deposited when clouds touched land or ice.

  25. Any chance they have onsite temperature measurements at time of snowfall?
    I have noticed that seldom does it snow at 30 below.
    Here next to Great Slave Lake.
    Usually we get greater snowfall in warmer winters.
    So is the later ice meme plausible?
    Or is it cooling, with less open water,less moisture in the air?
    This differs form earlier time periods by?
    This AGW concept is beginning to resemble CAGW, coulda,woulda,shoulda.
    If only we has kept some real weather stations in the Canadian North, in the 1990’s….
    Insufficient data is beginning to look like a plan, rather than an unintended consequence.
    Until Climatology is flushed out, I expect my first reaction to claims of change, especially unprecedented change, will be cynical to say the least.

  26. When you stab it into the ground, the basket move[s] up, and it records the distance between the magnet and the end of the probe…
    ————
    Warmunist-approved ground stabbers are required to place a few large rocks into the basket prior to making measurements.

  27. Of course the default position (or starting point as someone tried to simplify for Edward Richardson)is natural climate variability. It’s called common-sense. But we’re not allowed to use any of that when debating with warmists …

  28. At least you have to give credit to the authors of the original article. They state their observations, speculate reasons and consequences (while clearly identifying them as speculative) and stating the uncertainties, all the while refraining from making dire apocalyptic predictions that seem to have become the norm in climate science.

    The result of these measurements may or may not have any broader meaning. To me, it just seems that lower snow pack on ice is consistent with the reduced ice area over the last few decades. As the arctic ice rebounds, the snow pack may evolve as well. It’s a matter of curiosity, not economy-shattering policy.

  29. I was curious to find a detailed picture of the “automated probe similar to a ski pole” that, “Today, researchers on the ground use … to verify the accuracy of airborne measurements (of snow thickness).” Alas, I could not. Now, part of the reason I wanted a detailed picture was because I feared it could be used as a dangerous weapon. After all, the use of tools is not often referred to in a violent fashion. We may ‘pound’ a nail, ‘hammer’ a stake, ‘drive’ something into the ground, but I don’t ever recall a stake described as being “stabbed” into the ground. But, perhaps I need not fear. Perhaps Melinda Webster’s anger management issues are under control or perhaps they never existed in the first place. And, in any case, it’s unlikely I’ll be traveling to the Arctic anytime soon.

    But, maybe my concerns about violence were unfounded in the first place. Perhaps the word ‘stab’ is a legitimate scientific description. Maybe there’s a precise ‘stab’ measurement. Perhaps it’s in fractions: 1/4 stab which is twice 1/8th of a stab. Perhaps it’s in decimals: 0.01 stab + 0.01 stab = 0.02 stab. I would certainly hope it’s a new state of the art scientific description since it coexists with a sophisticated branch of science that claims to measure millimeter variations in the Earth’s diameter, joule measurements in depths of hundreds of meters in multi-quadrillions of gallons of water, and substances down to parts per trillion.

    And, I have little doubt, as that intrepid researcher trudges onward and outward through the snow, that their good right arm (or left arm if they’re left handed) precisely and equally stabs that “automated probe” into that snow with no measurable variation whatsoever, stab, after stab, after stab, after…

    stab, after stab, after stab…

  30. Actually, I rather impressed that the authors essentially said we don’t know why the snow is thinning nor the consequences.

    From the snows of Kilimanjaroto the snows in the Arctic weather happens and quite often in cycles.

  31. Jtom says:
    August 13, 2014 at 11:34 am
    “Actually, I rather impressed that the authors essentially said we don’t know why the snow is thinning…”

    Hmm…. the data starts in the yr 1950 (same yr that CAGWers claim that mans CO2 supposedly started having an effect. What do you want to bet the next paper will have a graph of CO2 from 1950 plotted along with that purported linear snow thickness trend. I see “catastrophe” written all over that graph.

  32. Here is an example of Mosh’s “Climate Science” at its’ finest.

    According to climate “scientist” NASA emeritus Robert Bindschadlerh, all we need to accept human-driven climate change is the following:

    “Keeling’s curve and the fact that we know CO2 is going up. We know the physics of if you put CO2 into the atmosphere we know what is going to happen. That is physics. You can’t deny that; you can’t deny the Keeling curve that we’ve been pumping it in there. We know how much fossil fuels we’re taking out of the ground, and we know how much we’re burning and it’s traceable. And all the projections of climate models are becoming observable facts.

    That’s all you need. It’s real straightforward.”

    Ayup. By gosh and by golly, it’s so simple a caveman could do it.

    More of this climate alarmists’ propaganda and faux science here: http://truth-out.org/news/item/25509-nasa-scientist-warns-of-three-to-four-meter-sea-level-rise-by-2200

  33. Tim Ball on wind: I used to live in southern Sasakatchewan where it was a common to say we got the same snow 5 times – once when it first fell, then when it blew away, then when it blew back, then blew away and then back again. Anyone who has lived on the prairies and seen the sculpted wave like snow drifts undulating for miles; and watched the snow turn from white, to glazed ice, to grey, to black – knows of what I speak – dusty snow storms in the spring. Bare ground on the hill tops and flat looking snow several metres deep filling ravines and tree lines. There is a reason Saskatchewan highways are built up above the surrounding farmland. The wind sweeps the snow off.

    I would imagine snow depth on the ice would be more a function of surface wind strength than snow fall. The wind blown snow would tend to pile up around ice ridges and end up in leads.

    However, as a method of calibration, I expect the process is appropriate.

    Note: in general in my experience in the north, the less snow, the thicker the ice. Early snows insulate the ice and keep it thinner. Less snow also provides more light below the ice for plankton and algae.

  34. Different techniques for collecting the data can be the entire reason for the difference. In addition, the trend was actually pretty flat until around 1980 so it could be the +PDO or +AMO (or both).

  35. john robertson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:59 am
    Any chance they have onsite temperature measurements at time of snowfall?
    I have noticed that seldom does it snow at 30 below.

    That matches what I was told decades ago in school — colder climates nearer the north pole get less snow. So, less snow on the arctic ice pack could be a sign the climate is cooling, not warming. The assumption that less snow means warmer average temperatures is what you might expect from winter weather patterns in temperate zones like the northern US, which are of course far south of the arctic circle.

  36. @Tim Ball says

    “A major factor in the final snow level is the amount and direction of the wind. It not only determines the distribution as it falls but also redistributes the snow after it falls.”

    Across the Greenland Icecap things were pretty featureless (excepting coastal areas where there are mountains and glaciers). On a cloudless day, it was mostly just a vast expanse of white from north to south and from east to west. However, that made it pretty easy to spot blowing surface snow, depressions and gentle hills of snow even from thousands of feet in the air. There were huge ground blizzards, building up snow in some places and removing it in others, just as you point out.

    Having lived most of my life on Colorado’s eastern slope, I’m quite familiar with ground blizzards, and I marveled at how vast these areas of blowing snow were across the Greenland Icecap. With so much continuous redistribution of snow going on, I don’t see how anyone could possibly get accurate data about snow depth.

  37. Jimbo,

    Please may we have one of your delicious lists on snowfall predictions if you possibly have one at hand?

    Jones

  38. milodonharlani says:

    August 13, 2014 at 10:17 am
    Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Alarmists don’t have a scientific leg upon which to stand. There is zero evidence is support of CACA & all the evidence in the world is against it.

    Very appropriate. CACA is the study of human waste production in french hospitals.

  39. Where snow pack is increasing as in the northern hemisphere generally in the past decade, that has to be due to increased moisture in the atmosphere from global warming.

    And if snow gets less – that’s from global warming too.

    Heads we win, tails you lose.

  40. “From research stations drifting on ice floes to high-tech aircraft radar, scientists have been tracking the depth of snow that accumulates on Arctic sea ice for almost a century. Now that people are more concerned than ever about what is happening at the poles, research led by the University of Washington and NASA confirms that snow has thinned significantly in the Arctic, particularly on sea ice in western waters near Alaska.”

    Without really knowing who “people” are, NASA sometimes comes up with truly exciting things like the Solar studies, Cassini Solstice Mission, Magellan, Galileo, MESSENGER etc. They deserve more public attention and gratitude.

    Some of the other NASA studies, like this, are a total mystery to me. Hard to think of a more boring study with less meaningful results.

  41. more drivel

    Bruce Cobb says:
    August 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    Here is an example of Mosh’s “Climate Science” at its’ finest.

    Note how a skeptic will assign beliefs to people that those people dont have.
    So much for being skeptical.
    Willis has a good rule. quote me.

    find a place where I write that I accept all of climate science. I will wait.

    This is the typical “thinking” that pervades skeptical sites.
    They never question their own beliefs. They can’t even document what others say.

  42. Edward Richardson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:03 am
    dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

    “default position is natural climate variability”

    When one explanation is used to explain everything, it explains nothing.
    —————————–

    Using CO2 as an explantion for every regional, global , micro and macro climate, biological, zoological, and financial event grandly exercises (“When one explanation is used to explain everything, it explains nothing.”) at a scale that can be considered one of the seven wonders of the world.

    We are at best scratching the surface of understanding of climate variability, which climate alarmists are in peculiar denial about feeling to have settled the science long ago.

    Climate variability is not an explanation, it is a common fact, like the earth orbiting the sun. Links are not necessary to prove this, these kind of facts only require observation.

    We can model trends from these observations, but there are many issues; when to start the trend, when to end it, what data is significant, what are the data relationships, how to normalize the data from different sources, what are primary indicators, secondary indicators and so on… The ultimate issue though is what is the purpose of building a trend. For Global Warming, it is to demonstrate we are destroying the planets climate with fossil fuels and most of us are going to die and if we build enough wind farms, and oil companies make less money, the climate would stabilize at the mythical optimum temperature.

    Science used in the pursuit of a political cause is the only thing doomed.

  43. Alx says:
    August 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    “it is a common fact, like the earth orbiting the sun.”

    Sorry, the earth orbiting the sun was not a common fact prior to the widespread adoption of heliocentrism “Common facts” change with time. What we call “natural variability” today might be well understood as a physical phenomena tomorrow.

  44. “PhilCP says:
    August 13, 2014 at 11:16 am
    At least you have to give credit to the authors of the original article. They state their observations, speculate reasons and consequences (while clearly identifying them as speculative) and stating the uncertainties, all the while refraining from making dire apocalyptic predictions that seem to have become the norm in climate science.”

    “at least”

    how generous.

  45. Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am
    “note that skeptics merely assert claims. no data. no analysis. just assertion.
    no uncertainty. no doubt. no acknowledgement that they might be wrong.
    no critical assessment of prior work. no citations.

    read climate science. say no and throw up a reason”

    GARBAGE!
    After batting with climate alarmists for two years on youtube I have not yet met one climate loonie who actually asserts real facts. No hard data from reliable sources. 90% of any links I get (if lucky) are “he ses, she ses” garbage. No proofs at all.
    If they do give what they consider data it is GISS, NOAA, and NASA with their apparently newly altered and defrauded datasets.

  46. Steven Mosher on August 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    more drivel

    Bruce Cobb says:
    August 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm
    Here is an example of Mosh’s “Climate Science” at its’ finest.

    Note how a skeptic will assign beliefs to people that those people dont have.
    So much for being skeptical.
    Willis has a good rule. quote me.

    find a place where I write that I accept all of climate science. I will wait.

    This is the typical “thinking” that pervades skeptical sites.
    They never question their own beliefs. They can’t even document what others say.

    “To generalise is to be an idiot”
    Mark Twain.

  47. Tom J says:

    Maybe there’s a precise ‘stab’ measurement. Perhaps it’s in fractions: 1/4 stab which is twice 1/8th of a stab. Perhaps it’s in decimals: 0.01 stab + 0.01 stab = 0.02 stab… I have little doubt, as that intrepid researcher trudges onward and outward through the snow, that their good right arm (or left arm if they’re left handed) precisely and equally stabs that “automated probe” into that snow with no measurable variation whatsoever, stab, after stab, after stab, after…

    They use a probe with a sliding collet that can be calibrated for a particular depth. That gives it stab-ility.☺

  48. Climate Weenie on August 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Positive feedback ( for both accumulating or declining )
    When ice is accumulating, more snow depth is available, which protects from melting.
    When ice is declining, less snow depth, exposure to sunshine increases melting.
    Apply feedback to natural variability and significant changes ensue.

    Exactly. In a heat dissipative system like the earth, tension between positive and negative feedbacks leads to chaotic oscillation.

    A reference? Ed Lorenz 1963, Deterministic nonperiodic flow.

    This reference BTW is the sufficient theoretical underpinning for natural climate variability on all timescales to be the null hypothesis of climate science, as pointed out by dbstealey.

  49. Snow drifts, the underlying ice is not a smooth surface.

    It was quite impressive and must have led to a greater significance that:
    ” The following day Webster followed the same track in minus 30-degree temperatures while stabbing through the snow every two to three steps.”

    The greater the trial, the more weight the data holds ?

  50. <Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice.

    So? Hair has thinned on Michael Mann’s head. It will take more than Mike’s Nature trick to hide that decline.

    You can’t trick nature.

  51. The assumption of 320 kg/m^3 snow density (in the range of wet firn) in the radar retrieval algorithm biases the estimated snow thickness to thin values: first major flaw.

    Additionally, in addition to the in-situ thickness measures there should have been density measures: second major flaw.

    On these errors I would have failed the paper.

  52. Monday 20 March 2000 – Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”

    David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.

    I’m wondering if this is the fact-based climate science Mosh says we should all be reading?

  53. A depth measurement without a corresponding density measurement specific to each depth measurement conveys no useful information about how much snow is present. Wind packing/shifting, brief thaws, variation in snowflake size and who knows what else are all in play. Its like equating temperature with tree rings.

  54. For the what- its- worth file—-In the mid 50’s when the snow cap was allegedly the thickest, there were numerous media pictures of U.S. nuclear subs surfaced at the north pole with no ice in sight.

  55. Edward Richardson says:

    …“Common facts” change with time. What we call “natural variability” today might be well understood as a physical phenomena tomorrow.

    I don’t understand why you keep avoiding the null hypothesis. That is directly connected with natural variability. There is nothing being observed today that is either unprecedented, or unusual. All current climate parameters were exceeded in the past. That was also natural variability, since human emissions were not a factor.

    But now, human emissions have completely failed to cause the disasters incessantly predicted by climate alarmists: sea level rise is not accelerating, the added CO2 is not causing runaway global warming [or any global warming for that matter], the oceans are not “acidifying”, Polar bear populations are increasing, relative humidity is declining, confounding all alarmist predictions, global ice cover is right at it’s long term average, to the consternation of the Warmist clique, there is no indication whatever of a global ‘methane burp’, cyclical coral bleaching has almost completely recovered, the prediction of more extreme weather has failed, Kiribati is not sinking under rising seas, etc., etc. And etc.

    What we are observing is simply natural variability in action, nothing more. We are very fortunate that we have been living in a “Goldilocks” climate for the past century and a half. Things could be far worse.

    Or, things could be better: the added CO2 has been very beneficial: agricultural output has risen measurably and the planet is greening. More CO2 would be a net benefit. It turns out that the demonization of ‘carbon’ was a complete false alarm. Not one of the things predicted by the alarmist crowd has happened. Why would you still believe anything they say?

    There is no empirical evidence showing that rising CO2 has caused any global warming [it may, but if it does, the effect has been too small to measure]. And if the planet warms by a degree or two, it will also be a net benefit: millions of hectares in new farmland will be warm enough to produce crops in currently frigid places like Alaska, Mongolia, and Siberia. Statistics show that cold kills far more people than warmth.

    The one thread that runs through all climate alarmists’ comments is pessimism. They always see the glass as half empty. But, why? History shows us that humans have an immense capacity to deal with climatic changes. We can easily handle anything this side of another great Ice Age.

    The “carbon” scare benefits a narrow clique of rent-seeking scientists, and a somewhat larger group of government bureaucrats. Everyone else pays. But there is no solid evidence that any of the many scary, self-serving predictions made by them are anything but a false alarm.

  56. Warmologists and the MSM worldwide will now proceed in lockstep fashion to trumpet that less snow in the Arctic is “further proof” of manmade global climate Armageddon.
    Because less snow always means climate change, er global warming, or something.
    Same thing with more snow.

  57. Some of you might enjoy this page. Driving on ice roads on lakes of course is much different than sea ice, but it might be interesting for southerners to check out what winter transpiration in northern Canada (Well, most parts of Canada where people use the ice to cross lakes in the winter from BC to Quebec, from the US border to the Arctic Ocean. A lot quicker to go straight across a lake at low speed in the winter than go around. (And of course all the ice fishing …) Snow is mostly a nuisance and irrelevant IMHO except in the late spring when the sun gets high enough to shine through the ice and warm the water under neath. Driving over clear ice over a metre thick is an interesting experience.

    http://www.thedieselgypsy.com/Ice%20roads-3B-Denison-2.htm

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/ice_out_description.html

  58. Burt Snooks says:
    August 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm
    For the what- its- worth file—-In the mid 50’s when the snow cap was allegedly the thickest, there were numerous media pictures of U.S. nuclear subs surfaced at the north pole with no ice in sight.

    Since the first sub to surface at the N Pole was the Skate in August 1958, and did so through the ice, that plainly is not true.

  59. dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm
    .
    “There is nothing being observed today that is either unprecedented, or unusual”
    ..
    Can you tell me which biological organism in the past couple of billion years had the capability to drill down through four or five thousand feet of rock to extract hydrocarbons? Please verify that this ability is not “unprecedented” or “unusual”

  60. Two people have already figured out why there is less snow but no one has acknowledged either one, so I will give it a try. The problem with trying to figure why there is less snow from the article is because the iteration line in the chart is incorrectly drawn. It is against the rules of math to draw a linear line through data with break points. I have made this point several times over the past 7 years that I have been in WUWT, mostly as a lurker, but I do participate to some extent.

    The chart does show a 60 year cycle with the negative (cooling) phase showing up first then the switch to the positive (warming) phase then a portion of the switch back to the negative (cooling) phase. A tip of the hat to the two who took enough time to study the author’s data before typing a reply. And one of the two correctly identified the proper natural cycle. An additional two people guessed at the proper cycle among three candidates.

  61. To Edward Richardson:
    I may not quite understand your question but if you will provide a bit more information, I will be happy to try to answer your question.

  62. Edward Richardson says:

    Can you tell me which biological organism in the past couple of billion years had the capability to drill down through four or five thousand feet of rock to extract hydrocarbons? Please verify that this ability is not “unprecedented” or “unusual”

    Edward, I must admit that you’ve lost me there. The post was about climate parameters, not “ability”.

    My first paragraph established my premise:

    “I don’t understand why you keep avoiding the null hypothesis. That is directly connected with natural variability. There is nothing being observed today that is either unprecedented, or unusual. All current climate parameters were exceeded in the past. That was also natural variability, since human emissions were not a factor.”

    I am beginning to think you don’t understand what the null hypothesis is.

  63. dbstealey
    August 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm
    says:

    ‘Tom J says:
    Maybe there’s a precise ‘stab’ measurement. Perhaps it’s in fractions: … I have little doubt, … that their good right arm … precisely and equally stabs that “automated probe” into that snow with no measurable variation whatsoever, stab, after stab, after stab, after…

    ‘They use a probe with a sliding collet that can be calibrated for a particular depth. That gives it stab-ility.☺’

    I salute you sir. ‘Stab-ility.’ That gave me a good chuckle. I still wonder about the accuracy though. The photo I saw of the researcher (bureaucrat?) getting ready to stab that ski pole like device into the snow shows him/her (hard to tell when they’re all bundled up) holding it up at an angle and ready to thrust it down. If they’re doing that repeatedly I have little doubt that the angle’s gonna’ vary and, especially dependent on the diameter of the collet, that’s going to affect the depth it penetrates and thus the measurement. Particularly as he/she gets tired and sloppy. To be accurate that pole would have to be thrust down while it’s completely vertical and I doubt it ever is. These people would never be permitted to work as mechanics or crew on a race car team.

  64. dbstealey says:

    August 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    ………”I am beginning to think you don’t understand what the null hypothesis is.”
    =============
    I know I (still) don’t,… can you explain it in terms an 8 year old might understand ?
    Or might that make me the “null”, when explaining the hypothesis I don’t understand :)

  65. I spent a number of years involved with a winter automobile test site in northern Michigan. There were two snow seasons there each winter. In the early winter, we would get great amounts of lake effect snow from the near by Lake Superior. Sometime mid winter, Whitefish Bay would freeze over, and the lake effect snow would significantly diminish. In other words, the more ice, the less snow. This was obviously a local situation but proves the point that more information about the local conditions is necessary before making broad generalizations.

  66. To Edward Richardson,
    Most hydrocarbons do not get fossilized but a re recycled. Those that become fossilized are mostly released by faults, volcanic activity, and tectonic motion in general. Hydrocarbons were discovered by man when they leaked to the surface or were exposed by erosion.
    Mans ability to exploit an oil reservoir is about 20% maximum. Erosion is more thorough at releasing fossil hydrocarbons. A prime example are the Athabasca tar sands in Canada that had the overburden removed by glacial erosion. Another case is the giant heavy oil seep in lake Maracaibo in venezuela. hope this helps.

  67. For many, many, many years the ice has been moving one way. The science is to know when it reverses.

    Think about it……

  68. Edward Richardson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:27 am

    dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

    “it is a starting point.”

    No, natural variability is not the starting point. “I don’t know” or “I wonder why” is the starting point.

    Well maybe Mosher should have done so, then.

  69. “Tim Ball says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

    A major factor in the final snow level is the amount and direction of the wind. It not only determines the distribution as it falls but also redistributes the snow after it falls. You can also have a phenomenon called scouring in which the wind blowing the snow across the surface can remove previous snowfall layers. This becomes particular corrosive after the snow forms larger granules, firn during the transition to ice.”

    Annual precipitation is around 3″. As noted, wind moves the snow all over, and some of us swear the friction just wears it out. It just does not snow much at -35F. Roads are built elevated above the terrain, and the wind keeps them bare, but the snow is quite deep along the shoulders.

  70. Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    ________________________

    G 2 H*ll Mosher ! You are the prime example of a warmist a-hole. Nothing – NOTHING – you have predicted has come to reality. Your pretentious arrogant comments now appear silly and desperate…

  71. Hi u.k.(us),

    The Null Hypothesis is the statistical hypothesis that states that there are no differences between observed and expected data.

    That’s the definition I got from a texbook, and it’s the one I’ve been using. But it takes a while to sink in. An 8-year old wouldn’t understand it. And it isn’t as clear as the following explanation.

    Richard Courtney and I were debating the Null Hypothesis a while back with another commentator, and I saved his comment because it was more lucid than the definition I had been using. Here it is:

    The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.

    The Null Hypothesis is a fundamental scientific principle and forms the basis of all scientific understanding, investigation and interpretation. Indeed, it is the basic principle of experimental procedure where an input to a system is altered to discern a change: if the system is not observed to respond to the alteration, then it has to be assumed that a change was not caused by the alteration.

    In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. That is what the scientific method decrees. It does not matter how certain some people may be that the hypothesis is right, because observation of reality (i.e. empiricism) trumps all opinions.

    Please note that the Null Hypothesis is a hypothesis which exists to be falsified by empirical observation. All hypotheses are subject to falsification. It is a rejection of the scientific method to assert that one can “choose” any subjective Null Hypothesis one likes. There is only one Null Hypothesis: i.e. it has to be assumed that a system has not changed, unless it is observed that the system has changed. If it has, that falsified the hypothesis.

    However, deciding a method which would discern a change may require a detailed statistical specification. In the case of global climate, if no unprecedented climate behaviours are observed, then the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed. The Null Hypothesis has not been falsified.

    Importantly, an effect may be real but not overcome the Null Hypothesis, because it is too trivial for the effect to be observable. Human activities have some effect on global temperature for several reasons. An example of an anthropogenic effect on global temperature is the urban heat island (UHI). Cities are warmer than the land around them, so cities cause some warming. But the temperature rise from cities is too small to be detected when averaged over the entire surface of the planet, although this global warming from cities can be estimated by measuring the warming of all cities and their areas.

    Clearly, the Null Hypothesis decrees that UHI is not observed to be affecting global temperature, although there are good reasons to think UHI has some effect. Similarly, it is very probable that AGW from GHG emissions is too trivial to have observable effects.

    The feedbacks in the climate system are negative and, therefore, any effect of increased CO2 will probably be too small to discern because natural climate variability is much, much larger. This concurs with the empirically determined values of low climate sensitivity.

    Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of Drs.
Idso from surface measurements:

    
http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    
and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data:

    
http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf


    and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data:

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf

    Indeed, because climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent, it is physically impossible for man-made global warming to be large enough to be observed (just as the global warming from UHI is too small to be detected). If something exists, but is too small to be detected, then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection), and thus the Null Hypothesis would not be falsified.

    To date there are no discernible (observable) effects of AGW. Hence, the Null Hypothesis decrees that AGW does not affect global climate to a discernible degree, and the Null Hypothesis has not been falsified. To be falsified there would have to be observable, measurable effects. That is the ONLY scientific conclusion possible at present.

    Hope that helps.

  72. You all should appreciate the Mosher comments more. He and Stokes and many others are closet skeptics, or they wouldn’t be here..Filtering through the trained spin requires a certain level of exposure. That is not intended as an insult to anyone. Unfortunately, citations directly correlate to funding of such.

    Albeit citations are a fleeting thing, it is all we have.

  73. That graphs shows the decline starting even before 1950. But the warming didn’t start until the mid 70s. Infact, the globe was actually cooling during the 50s and 60s. So if anything, this result should prove the AGW is NOT causing this, and that this is a natural phenomenon.

  74. Steven Mosher says “read climate science. say no and throw up a reason”
    —-

    Here’s Mr Mosher’s two word rebuttal comment on a previous story last week:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm
    “One site.”

    Not only is he rude but he’s a hypocrite. Grow up Steven. Seriously, grow up. Leave the discussions to adults.

  75. Less snow means what, colder climate? Whatever ice there is, wouldn’t it fall on it in September and October anyway? No one here would argue that temperatures haven’t warmed since 1950 so what’s the news here? No one knows what was going on in the artic prior to that. Was there more or less snow in the 1920’s or 30’s? The main argument against CAGW is that sea level rise has been remarkably constant, that extreme weather events is a myth and that the correlation between CO2 and temperature is tenuous. Here I am, a layperson following all of these ‘papers’ and I’ve yet to see one that shows me the money. It’s all speculation built on models.
    Steven Mosher or anyone for that matter, explain to me why CO2 caused all the warming since 1950 but the warming at the turn of the 19th century was natural variability. Why were the 1930’s just as warm as now and why did the 60’s and 70’s cool? If you can’t explain the warming during those periods, how can you be so sure about the current warming?
    It is the difficulty in making observations in a complex environment where much is not known, You only have a limited perspective and when you make judgments based on that limited perspective you are easily deceived.
    But here is where the rubber meets the road; show me the sea rise and the increase in extreme weather events and the rise of temperatures linked to CO2 increases.

  76. looncraz says:
    August 13, 2014 at 10:49 am
    The question is: What happened in the 90s to change the snowfall or to increase the melt?
    ====================================================================
    The large El Nino at the end of the 1980s that lasted until mid 1995 may have been the start of a warmer flow of water into the Arctic.

  77. Joseph Bastardi says:
    August 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm
    What next, size of snowflakes?
    ==========================================
    The next study will show how the shape and flavor of snowflakes has been changing since the rise in co2.

  78. I wonder over what period and frequency their measurements were taken. I’ve seen considerable depths of snow some years in my back garden, and other years I’ve seen none. I’ve also seen deep snow and no snow in the same winter period, and deep snow in some areas and no snow in other areas at the same time. Their conclusions don’t state whether the cause is ice and snow melt as opposed to reduced precipitation. If they feel it is melt that has caused the problem then it was interesting to see that their research was done in areas of -30 degrees!

  79. So with rising temperatures we were supposed to get MORE precipitation not less. So perhaps the GHE theory is wrong.

  80. dbstealey

    From the article.

    “Knowing exactly the error between the airborne and the ground measurements, we’re able to say with confidence, Yes, the snow is decreasing in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas,” said co-author Ignatius Rigor, an oceanographer at the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory.

    And your excellent comments above on testing hypotheses can I add…

    It’s a bit more difficult than the above quote would suggests. What is the magnitude of any experimental error? I’d guess there is a significant difference in both techniques. This may go to explain the significant heteroscedasticity in the plot. So all may not be what it seems, and while one could apply weighted regression analysis to address this issue in order to get a statistical model with more robust analysis, it does still suggest that you may have two sub-population in this data – to me it seems clear that the heteroscedasticity is due to the twin-historical datasets. The plot should therefore be coded according to technique, otherwise your just splicing one dataset with another – and we’ve seen that done before. In short, bot sets should be marked differently on the plot (different symbols for the different periods).

  81. dbstealey

    …I need to add if there is indeed heteroscedasticity (I think there is) then the p-value supplied is nonsense if they’ve used simple linear regression – they need to use weighted approach.

  82. It is counterintuitive IMO that less sea ice would cause less snowfall. Wouldn’t less ice would expose more unfrozen Arctic Ocean which should provide more moisture to the atmosphere increasing snowfall?

  83. Edward Richardson says:
    August 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm …

    I rather think the point here is “the capability to drill down through four or five thousand feet of rock…” has had no observable effect on world temperatures once you factor out what you would expect from the null hypothesis of natural variation.

    Raw observations tend to verify that this ability has not produced “unprecedented” or “unusual” world climate responses.

  84. Chuck L

    Yeah there’s a whole lot of this that doesn’t quite follow or doesn’t quite fit the usual AGW narrative. I always remember being told that that the colder it is then the less likely you are to see large snow accumulations. I don’t know if this is true, I’m guessing all you need is some moisture in the atmosphere and it to be cold enough. In which case the movement of air (and associated weather) needs to be at least looked at. For example, has snowfall increased elsewhere during this same time.

  85. Every snowmobiler knows that heavy snow means thin ice, and wind determines where the snow goes, it is not an “even coat” on any ice surface for very long. Considering that there are no natural wind breaks for 100’s of kilometers, and the arctic is a desert, and that ice covered water restricts “lake effect” type of storms, I am not suprised the snow pack varies greatly, like everything in nature, it is only suprising when it is constant.

  86. goldminor says:
    August 13, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Joseph Bastardi says:
    August 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm
    What next, size of snowflakes?
    ==========================================
    The next study will show how the shape and flavor of snowflakes has been changing since the rise in co2.

    Just avoid the yellow ones…

  87. Don’t the polar bears clean themselves by pushing snow through their fur? Are they supposed to just get stinky and live with it if this situation deteriorates further? Shouldn’t we develop a bear deodorant in-line with the precautionary principle, as things could get rather woofie up there if we were to neglect our duty of care. The top of the world might begin to smell like the bottom of the world, an unfortunate sort of pole reversal.

  88. mjc says:
    August 14, 2014 at 7:54 am
    Just avoid the yellow ones…
    =============================================
    Are you suggesting that those were not lemon flavored?

  89. ferdberple says:

    AGW predicts increasing humidity.

    Exactly. The alarmist prediction was that in a warming world there would be more evaporation, which would raise relative and specific hujmidity levels.

    Didn’t happen. They have been declining for decades. Makes you wonder if global temperatures are being recorded honestly.

  90. “thinner snow cover may allow the ice to melt earlier in the springtime”
    It is not really the air that does most of the melting in the Arctic summer. It is the water from below that is much more efficient at melting water, being much denser.

  91. Mosher says:
    “This is the typical “thinking” that pervades skeptical sites.
    They never question their own beliefs. They can’t even document what others say.”
    +++++++++++
    I read this as saying skeptical sites have a problem, whereas AGW sites do not.
    You also suggest that AGW sites do question their own beliefs. Although evidence suggest the opposite.

  92. Steven Mosher says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:38 am
    “dbstealey says:
    August 13, 2014 at 9:33 am
    Changing precipitation patterns, that’s all. A regional effect.”

    ############
    note that skeptics merely assert claims. no data. no analysis. just assertion.
    no uncertainty. no doubt. no acknowledgement that they might be wrong.
    no critical assessment of prior work. no citations.

    read climate science. say no and throw up a reason
    ++++++++++++
    Mosher, you would do well to learn by what dbstealey writes. Instead, you lob misleading words attempting to distract people from being able to find truth. I come here to find truth by reading opposing views and then researching. I want to be wrong –because by being wrong one learns something they did not know.
    It’s apparent that your statements are agenda driven. You do what disingenuous people often do. That is, you accuse people of what you are guilty of. That’s how I and many others see you –and I think people like you are obstacles to truth.

    I’ve read many of your posts – which seem crafted to take people down the rabbit hole of deceit. Perhaps it’s to stoke your work, which is one sided. This includes your work with BEST. It’s sad that someone with your brilliance uses knowledge the way you do.

  93. Interesting. Now what causes this, what will the consequences be and will the trend continue, stall or reverse?

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