What if the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is for naught?

Guest post by Steven Goddard

Hell Hath No Fury….
A very hard day.

Catlin team member Ann Daniels had another very difficult day.

Today has been a difficult day of highs and lows, particularly for Ann, whose morning got off to a particularly bad start. In order to power the different technical components of the kit, the team use large batteries, which need to be heated to a certain temperature in order to extract the maximum amount of power. The process of heating batteries involves Ann, sitting by her stoves for several hours, using a specially insulated piece of equipment to capture the steam from boiling water, in order to get the batteries to the correct temperature.
Ann reached her lowest point of the expedition so far, when after tending the boiling pans of water for several hours, she realised she had pre-heated the wrong battery and had accidently picked up the dead battery from the previous day. It was a painful and frustrating realisation at the end of a cold morning.
On the plus side, at the end of the day, Ann felt warm enough to take off her sledging jacket when getting into her sleeping bag for the night. This is the first time in the 41 days of the expedition so far that she has felt warm enough for this luxury. She adds that she was still wearing 3 pairs of trousers, 2 thermal top layers, 2 hats and 4 pairs of gloves, but still, quite a landmark in the expedition so far!

Consider the following scenario.  All goes well and the team arrives home safely some time in the next six weeks.  Now, suppose that the Arctic continues to show recovery this summer, and the realization sinks in that the very premise of the expedition may have been flawed.

Such a surface Survey has never before been attempted, and the need for the information has never been greater. Current estimates for the disappearance of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover vary from 100 years away down to just 4 years from now. Whatever happens, the consequences of its meltdown will be of global significance in terms of sea level rise(due to thermal expansion of the oceans), the geo-politics of energy resources, rainfall patterns and the availability of water supplies and, of course, the impact on biodiversity, including polar bear.

How would she feel?  One can only speculate.  But as the Catlin team suffers on the ground, the satellites are watching the ice recover.
Since 2007, the global sea ice area anomaly has increased by more than 3,000,000 km2 and is now more than 600,000 km2 above the 1979-2000 mean.  You could fit England, Spain, France and Mexico inside the recovered ice area.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/iphone/images/iphone.anomaly.global.png

Arctic sea ice extent is rapidly approaching an eight year high for the date:

.https://i2.wp.com/www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

Arctic ice extent is converging on the 1979-2000 mean:

https://i0.wp.com/nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

Advertisements

192 thoughts on “What if the Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is for naught?

  1. Oh come on, the conclusion has already been written. This is the first part of Climate (won’t use the word science) Alchemy.

    These idiots are going to get the data and select the results which shows their flawed hypothesis is correct.

  2. “…suppose that the Arctic continues to show recovery this summer, and the realization sinks in that the very premise of the expedition may have been flawed…”

    Simply deny the obvious.

    I can image a response something along the lines of: “Due to insignificant variations found in all complex systems there may possibly have been some slight increase in the ice cover recently, however at a deeper analytical level it is obvious that the long range trend continues in an ominous direction.”

  3. “How would she feel? One can only speculate.” Okay. ;-)

    Like a self righteous martyr?

  4. Anthony,
    That IPod graph has it higher now at +.933
    OOPS they just changed it to -.341

    I guess they didn’t like the looks of the Global Sea Ice Picture so they changed it to the Arctic Sea Ice only… Ya just gotta love those guys at CT.
    Mike

  5. Is it just me, or does the anomaly graph have an absolutely huge amount of variability at the end of it? That leaves me with the question, which takes more energy: melting or freezing?

    The realization the expedition is for naught is the scenario I hope for, but just to have them home and alive (though still brain-addled) would suffice. The worst scenario would be to have them don their immersion suits and never come back for naught.

  6. Sadly, it won’t be for naught. If nothing else, the proponents of this belief system are skilled propagandists. They will point to the ‘success’ of this effort and show how thin the ice is, even if the extent increases.

    Expect the effort to be cut short because of the amount of ice that opens up; proof of how fast the ice is melting. I bet it was planned this way.

    No science, just a great propaganda coup.

  7. They also haven’t updated the NH seasonal graph for IPod, can’t be showing people those rises I guess…

  8. Collecting measurements in a year when the ice has recovered tends to set the stage for future expeditions which will be contrasted with the colder conditions of 2009 and the thicker ice.

    I presume these guys are getting paid, and of course they are getting publicity, so I think so long as they don’t suffer any serious injury or health effect, they won’t feel too bad about their adventure, even if the mission gets aborted.

  9. Fred (20:39:18) :

    “… however at a deeper analytical level it is obvious that the long range trend continues in an ominous direction.”

    and at a deeper analytical level than yours, it is also obvious, that a time range below a full period of the relevant ocean current cycles is not a long range trend.

  10. Anthony,
    I don’t think that was the Global Sea Ice graph before, I think they just made a mistake. But the seasonal graph hasn’t been updated in a while, and who knows what other problems they have. I guess since it is just an amateur part time effort, we should forgive all… even all those problems they STILL haven’t corrected…
    Mike

  11. Mike,

    I’m not sure what you are seeing, but the global ice area graph shows a modification time of:
    Saturday, April 11, 2009 9:54:30 AM

  12. Steven,
    I was looking at the IPod product, the link is at the bottom right side of the home page.
    Mike

  13. I really and truly wish that global warming had caught up w/ our crew and that it was as warm as Miami in February!

    UMMMMM Not to be a kill joy. BUT!

    This is a classic sign of hypothermia. The victim ‘feels’ warm. When, in fact, they are in dire, extreme, danger of death.

    Please, Someone-save them. Their ignorance may be killing them! Like children. Poor, misguided, uneducated, children. Please, someone save them.

  14. “This is the first part of Climate (won’t use the word science) Alchemy.”

    I prefer Climate Gamer, since most of their predictions comes from nothing more than a glorified SimEarth.

  15. If they come up empty-handed, they’ll just continue per the normal procedure. When it was clear that Arctic ice extent was rebounding, they started wringing their hands and saying that it was “new ice” that doesn’t count. The really, really important ice, they say, is the old, multi-year ice. When the average ice thickness is found to be another meter thicker than last year, we’ll hear something like this:

    “The expedition has made an ominous discovery. They have found that the new Arctic ice, though several millimeters thicker than last year, is not high albedo ice, but darker, low albedo ice. This means that the Arctic ice cap is doomed to disappear this summer forever and possibly longer. ‘The situation is worse than we ever imagined,’ Pencil Shadow, experienced Arctic explorer, lamented. ‘Santa and his elves are already missing and believed drowned.'”

  16. Is the following done in their tent?

    The process of heating batteries involves Ann, sitting by her stoves for several hours, using a specially insulated piece of equipment to capture the steam from boiling water, . . .

    I think I now understand how the sleeping bags and outer-wear got so wet.
    Or did I miss the part about her going outside the tent to generate steam?

    In either case, there ought to be a better way.

  17. I figure it this way. Man is an explorer species. Even without climate crisis he is driven to climb the highest peak, ford the deepest valley and trek his silly behind thru conditions that would kill him. Their data has been pretty useless from the begining as they are zig zagging their way across a moving ice pack. So what are they really measuring? How fast the ice moved that day more than anything else:P

    What they are doing is however raising awareness. Look at their pictures, does it look like there is a lack of ice up there? Hahah I think for the most part they are proving that the ice is fine as most people will look and see rather than believe the written word. It is however a very bad time for science. Most scientists are coming off lookin like radical kooks.. sad.

  18. I’m still curious about the term “ice free.”

    Current estimates for the disappearance of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover vary from 100 years away down to just 4 years from now.

    Consider this paragraph from Wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Larsen

    In 1940 the St Roch was sent on a mission to travel from the Western Arctic to the Eastern Arctic. The St. Roch completed the West to East voyage in 1942, taking 28 months to do so. For most of these 28 months the St Roch was frozen in. The St. Roch was the second vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage, and the first to do so from west to east. Upon her arrival in Halifax the St. Roch was given an extensive refit, giving her a larger engine, and a deckhouse, increasing her accommodation. The refit was completed in time for her to make the return voyage to Vancouver during the ice-free period, completing her voyage in less than eighty-six days.

    Does the term mean “no ice anywhere” or does it mean “a whole lot of unconnected patches” or does it mean “some ice that one can easily maneuver around in a ship.”

    The folks on the St. Roch – would they not have keep detailed records of the conditions and described what is called “ice-free” in the above? The ship on its previous voyage was frozen in and took 28 months to make a one way passage. The return took only 86 days. Were they prepared for a trip like the first, or did they know they would encounter an “ice free” period?
    Did “ice free” mean to the crew of the St. Roch what it means in 2009 to the Gorical and friends?

  19. Ohioholic (20:53:07) :
    That leaves me with the question, which takes more energy: melting or freezing?

    I’m no scientist, but from what little I know I think the answer to your question would be melting. Cold is just a lack of heat, which is a low form of energy. When something like water freezes that means the molecules in it are less excited and thus have a lower energy content. It is when water is heated, like say to a boil, that the molecules become excited enough to release energy in the form of heat which we see as steam. Of course, heating water requires some external source whereas freezing water just requires the lack of a heat source and some way to release/radiate heat away from the molecules. Think of it this way: which is easier – to eat or to starve. To eat is preferable by far, of course, but if there is a lack of food there is not much one needs to actually “do” to starve other than not eat.

  20. I agree with barbee…the “warm” comment stuck right out to me immediately. Get them out of there before its too late.

    OT…Its official…600 spotless days!!! And going on 36 since the last official NOAA sunspeck. Though, I don’t want to jinx it by having Anthony the bringer of spots and the destroyer of spots commenting on it…lol

  21. well, let me correct myself slightly. the effect of boiling water is to transform it from a liquid to a gas over time. the energy release is heat. the physical effect is steam as water goes from a liquid state to a gaseous state. that is nit picking perhaps, but I thought it warranted a slight correction.

  22. Reading the description of Ann’s domestic chores above I am somewhat reminded of “The Famous Five” by Enid Blyton:

  23. Long time ice extent.

    Does this mean 1979 – 2000 or 1900 – 2000 or 1000 – 2000?

    It seems like comparing ice extent to a period of only 20 years which has a known warming anomaly is fruitless.

    More meaningful would be a comparison within the Holocene boundary would it not?

  24. Jeremy Clarkson will soon pick them up.

    In an SUV, because that is what he used to get to the North Pole over a year ago when the sea ice extent was less.

  25. Whatever happens, the consequences of its meltdown will be of global significance in terms of sea level rise(due to thermal expansion of the oceans)

    Haven’t they got this the wrong way round? Isn’t the so-called meltdown because of ocean temperature rise?
    Also, surely the albedo of the ice depends on it’s extent and not on it’s thickness.

    Ohioholic:

    That leaves me with the question, which takes more energy: melting or freezing?

    Melting involves a greater difference in energy than freezing does, due to the latent heat.

  26. In this sense, they may help the global warming church if they sink – perhaps including an airplane – and “prove” that some ice has disappeared there. If they can easily get to the North Pole during the late spring or summer, it will be strong circumstantial evidence that nothing is really melting over there.

    So the church is waiting for its first martyrs! I am sure that the survivors will say that the death was not caused by fanatic bigotry and profound mistakes in planning but rather by SUVs. But I am less certain that in this case, there will be too many insane people who will buy this explanation.

  27. Freezing and Melting are 2 sides of the same coin. It takes exactly the same amount of energy to melt ice as to freeze it.

  28. how does that gloabl ice area graph fit into a story about the arctic exploration?

    Arctic sea ice extent is rapidly approaching an eight year high for the date:

    i think this is a pretty weird statement. current sea ice is below the 2008 one. and 2008 happened to become the second lowest summer extent that we have on record.

  29. Such a surface Survey has never before been attempted, and the need for the information has never been greater.

    Therefore if this is to be a correct scientific experiment, there is no comparable data. This expedition would have to be re-run again to get data to make comparisons with.

  30. Ann mixing up the batteries is a sign of poor cognitive ability, possibly brought on by hypothermia – or just plain fatigue. Both are a hazard in such an environement. People who suffer from hypothermia often do “feel warm”. I hope this is not the case for Ann.

    This all reminds me of Jack London’s short story:
    “TO BUILD A FIRE”.

    Given the fatigue the crew appears to have, it seems very unlikely they’ll have strength left to make any real progress in the weeks ahead. Mistakes in such a harsh environment can be very costly.

    Again, why didn’t they use snow machines or dog sleds?
    They would certainly have been far more productive.

  31. AndyW (00:17:15) wrote:

    “What evidence for a recovery this summer is there currently? I see none so far.”

    Take a look at the first and third figures atop this thread. They show that there’s been a recovery relative to 2007.

  32. What hope have we got realistically of knowing whether we’re into warming or cooling? For a little while I’ve been following the radar forecast for weather for the UK here http://news.bbc.co.uk/weather/ It’s REALLY poor! What is forecast one day for the next gets changed almost every day! You’ve got to follow it to believe it. They’ll say it’s going to be fine, then whoosh – the cloud comes in where yesterday it was forecast to be cloud-free! It’s dire – we haven’t a hope of apparently knowing weather or climate the very next day! Sorry for all the exclamation marks – annoyed and bemused.

  33. Here’s my key takeaway from the conclusions to Drake’s article (cited above):

    “5. Presently, based upon the reportedly “most accurate” satellite data from AMSR-E (IRAC JAXA), Arctic sea ice extent is increasing at an accelerating rate.”

  34. @sod
    Predictions are difficult, especially about the future :-)

    According to http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm ,
    the only date ice extent values higher than april 11 2009 was 2003 and 2008.
    If 2009 follow the same steep decline as some of the other 21 century years in april/may, it may move back to a “typical” 21 century year. If the current trend (slope) continues, it might however soon be the post 2002 year with highest april/may NH ice extent.

    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  35. Oops: In my reply to Andy, I should have said that we’ll have to wait to see how this summer compares to prior ones. (But the trend is looking good, and the decadal oscillations have turned cool, so I’m hoping.)

  36. A more general comment, on the ice-extent trends. When the Polar basin is fully frozen, the possible expansion of ice-extent will be the Beering sea, the Okhotsk sea, the Barents Sea, and the Danmark and Baffin Straits.
    When the ice is reciding, there is a conspicuous “uniformation” of extent around may. I suspect this coincides with the desintergration of Beering Sea Ice, and when the disintegration of ice in the Chukchi Sea starts.

    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  37. I just hope that someone gets the poor buggers out of there in time to save them. Commitment to a cause it one thing but there are better informed folk, even on the AGW side of the argument who should have stopped their stupidity. Why not I ask….?

  38. About the recovery:

    2007 was a very special year with a very special wind pattern, everybody knows that. Projections based on actual models estimate an ice-free Artic in the summer not before 2030-2040.

    The question one really needs to answer is: will 2009 confirm the multi-decennal declining trend or not? For the moment, 2009 is below 2008. Looking at the seasonal sea ice extent evolution

    a confirmation of the actual decline trend would place a summer average extent of about 7 million km^2. If it is above that, then we could speak of a recovery.

  39. What is the actual significance of sea ice thickness unless it is measured over a significant period of say 30 years but even then it is only a snapshot there & then so to speak.

    As we are delving into the realms of fiction, I recall that marvellous spy thriller Ice Station Zebra! The nuclear submarine had to search for “thin” ice so that it was able to surface & break through the ice. So for something written & filmed almost 45 years ago, it suggests that the ice thickness varies considerably & probably always has done & therefore mos likely (95%) always will! Just a thought.

    Anyway, Happy Easter to one & all, up to & including those three poor souls up there on the ice pack, if they are actually there.

    AtB

  40. There are two streams in the arctic melting.

    Is it melting since the little ice age? It sure is, and I am very happy it has because I like the present climate.

    Is the northern hemisphere melting faster because of CO2?

    check the two :

    From 2003, last time it hit the 0 anomaly, to now, the CO2 curve and the ice curve are anti correlated. So is not a candidate for any causation.

    Let us stick to that. The A in AGW is not CO2 and all these idiotic cap and trade that will enrich the rich and kill the poor are not necessary at all.

    So whatever is happening, it is not CO2 that is at falt. It might be soot, as we have seen elsewhere, I have no curve for soot.( http://www.junkscience.com/may03/wsj-Asian_Brown_Cloud.html ) to see if there are correlations. If it there is an A and it is soot, the problem is already solved without taxations: filters and scrubbings.

    Maybe they should be measuring the soot content of the ice encountered, and then the trip might not be in vain.

  41. What is all this’Someone should save them’, and ‘They should step in and save them’. Apart from who this ‘someone’ or ‘Them’ is, the Catlin group are volunteers. The West is a democracy where we can do what we like so long as it does not frighten the horses! Next time these pleaders go trail walking or fishing, ‘Someone’ or ‘Them’ might come along to ‘Save’ them!

  42. This type of thinking about what will happen in the future worries me. Analysing what has happened, may not give us insight as to what is going to happen. We need some physics on which to base any prediciton as to what is going to happen. It seems to me that there are two major factors affecting what the minimum might be in September 2009; how cold it was last fall and winter, and, far more important, how warm it is going to be this spring and summer. If we dont have a good idea as to how warm it is going to get, I think specualtion as to what Arctic sea ice extent is going to be in September, is not very helpful.

  43. It’s getting dangerous to sleep on the ice.

    Some days ago the Ice team spotted their first polar bear tracks of the expedition. More recently, Pen Hadow, Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels saw evidence that an Arctic Fox had been roaming nearby.

  44. I believe the chart labeled the global sea ice anomaly is only for the northern hemisphere (so it is not global in that it does not include the southern hemisphere and antarctica). The chart that shows both hemispheres does not show the 3 million kilometer deviation below the average.

    It doesnt seem correct to say the sea ice is now 3 million square kilometers above 2007, since you are comparing the sea ice volume that exists today (Spring) with the minimum Summer extent in 2007, so it is not apples to apples comparison.

    Or so it seems to me.

  45. “Premise may have been flawed”??????? That’s in the early running for understatement of the year.

  46. This is the future of America.

    In winter we will be boiling the batteries of our electric cars before we can drive to the shopping mall.

  47. Jeremy Clarckson went to the magnetic North Pole not the geographical North Pole. I doubt the North Pole marathon is at the North Pole.

  48. Why do I see lawsuits in the future between members of that expedition? If someone had such a bad day that it has to be discussed on the blog, I wonder what else is going on in that little group?

    What if someone decides they’ve had enough and wants to get off that frozen treadmill and go home? What if, with the lowered decision-making capacity that we’re already seeing hints of in their own accounts, what if that person is convinced/coerced into staying? And what if that results in health problems later?

    I’m just asking. I can’t think of a single valuable thing that will come out of this expedition beyond its central purpose, which is to increase the name-recognition of Catlin Group Limited (Creative Risk Management Solutions and Excellent Financial Security to Clients Worldwide.)

  49. They may be volunteers but the folks who rescue them are also-and risk their lives for what should be a Darwin award.Get them out now!…
    This has ceased to entertaining…

  50. Steam-powered batteries? Just like the enviro’s scheme to have battery-powered (zero emission) cars that in reality are powered by coal-fired steam generation, there is nothing as reliable at present as energy that comes by burning a hydrocarbon.

    This expedition is one giant metaphor for the left’s bankrupt Plastic Reality.

  51. Something just occurred to me, obvious in retrospect, but largely hidden in the mix of other issues with the science done my this expedition.

    As the various time-lapse loops show, there’s a huge amount of flushing of ice out of the Arctic ocean, so the oldest ice is only a few years old. So the ice loss during the summer is combination of melting (affected by thickness) and flushing (likely unaffected by thickness given how well the ice seems to break up anyway).

    So, do ice thickness measurements provide much of any clue as to how many decades the ice cap will remain? Whatever ice they measure won’t be there in a few years.

    So, the important things to study may be melt rate and freeze rate, and that is better done by studying individual points on the ice cap (e.g. the buoys) instead of measuring a transect of ice. Beyond that, air/ocean currents, air/water temperatures, and albedo are all important.

    Given the unevenness of the ice they’re crossing, I can’t see their data holding any useful information.

    All in all, this seems like a fine scheme to find corporate sponsors for an Arctic Adventure.

  52. Where can I find a graph of Antartic ice like the one the NSIDC has for the Artic? I looked all over their website but cannot find it, no suprise there the only thing I could find on the Antartic was about how some ice bridge collapsed, talk about only showing evidence on one side! They have no “front page” data on worldwide see ice extent or on antartic sea ice! Should we start an email campaign to get them to be a little more balanced?

  53. F Rasmin said, “What is all this’Someone should save them’, and ‘They should step in and save them’. Apart from who this ’someone’ or ‘Them’ is, the Catlin group are volunteers. The West is a democracy where we can do what we like so long as it does not frighten the horses!”

    That is a very good point. I think that nanny governments take advantage of this very human tendency to want to save everyone who they believe needs saving.

    My daughter decided that she wanted to have her last child at home. I was not consulted in this decision, but knew it was not a foolhardy one since she lived close to the hospital and had employed a very good midwife. When the day came, a well-meaning neighbor came over to the house insisting that my son-in-law and I force her to the hospital for the delivery. The neighbor had to be repeatedly urged to leave the house.
    Our sweet little Grace came into the world very easily and is now three years old.
    My daughter hasn’t spoken to her neighbor since.
    God protect us from well-meaning neighbors.

    This is still a free country despite all indications to the contrary.

  54. For naught? The expedition started that way. The problem with the expedition is it took too long to raise the money and gain the sponsors that the weather changed to a colder pattern.

    Additionally why wouldn’t you survey ice thickness from below using a submarine. If this was so important then the US government, UK, NASA would have done a grid pattern annually of the ice thickness to determine it’s mass a long time ago. They have a system of drift buoys in the ice now.

    All this leads to the statement that this is a PR stunt not a scientific one. “an action displaying a spectacular skill or daring”. Maybe daring but certainly not displaying any skill. Why aren’t we getting any photos from the ice? Why aren’t we getting any data?

    Can you say book deal?

  55. Ric Werme said, “So, do ice thickness measurements provide much of any clue as to how many decades the ice cap will remain? Whatever ice they measure won’t be there in a few years.”

    You’re correct it seems that ice thickness has almost nothing to do with ice remaining decades out or even the same year.
    The best way to predict the ice remaining would be a wind prediction, unfortunately, no computer models are able to do that.

  56. Ric,

    Winter flushing of the ice is affected by thickness. It is more difficult for the wind to blow 8 metre thick ice around than 3 metre thick ice. That is one reason for the large amount of multi-year ice loss during the previous winter.

  57. Helloooooo Bobby

    Bobby Lane (22:34:59) :

    well, let me correct myself slightly. the effect of boiling
    water is to transform it from a liquid to a gas over time.

    So far, so good.

    the energy release is heat.

    ??

    To ‘boil’ this water, you’re adding heat energy to the water until the water reaches 100 °C, and then you add yet more energy to transform that 100 °C water to 100 °C steam.

    Changing the temp of water (below 100 °C) requires 4.186 Joule/gram to change that water just 1°C .

    To change 100 °C water to 100 °C steam requires the input of 2261 Joules per gram … and this results in _no_ change in temp, just that ‘phase change’ from liquid to gas.

    See that big energy barrier in there? Call it the “heat of vaporization”. It’s like a spring being compressed … very little change (no change) in termperature from 100 °C water to 100 °C steam BUT a HUGE input in energy. Like a compressed spring (maybe a bad analogy but hey).

    (All this assumes sea level pressure or thereabouts.)

    the physical effect is steam as water goes from a liquid state to a gaseous state.

    Yup, taking that evergy that transformed it into steam with it. at the rate of 2261 Joules per gram.

    BTW, the process is 100% reversable. The energy doesn’t go anywhere, except with the steam (or ice, but at different ‘rates’ to cross ‘phase change’ barrier from solid-liquid and liquid-solid).

  58. Wouldn’t it have been safer and easier to just sneak to the top of the Chrysler building and unfurl a banner that says “Stop Global Warming Now” or something?

    It certainly would have been just as productive.

  59. Quote from North Pole Marathoner:

    “I’ve been at the Pole before but this was pleasantly different in that I didn’t have to haul a sled there!”
    Sir Ranulph Fiennes, UK (Polar Explorer and 2004 Competitor)

  60. Hello Peter

    Peter (00:03:42) :


    Ohioholic:

    That leaves me with the question, which takes more energy: melting or freezing?

    Melting involves a greater difference in energy than freezing does, due to the latent heat.

    Well, actually, neither – they are equal (melting-freezing energies)!

    Otherwise, we have found an infinite ‘hole’ into which we could pour just energy down; an energy ‘sink’ we could use with an air-conditioner’s condenser and get rid unwanted heat energy!

    Enough comedy, onto the physics.

    The energy ‘barrier’ for solid-liquid (and vice versa; they are equal after all!) phase change (heat of fusion ) is 334 Joules/gram (water-ice at 0 °C) … and while this happens the temperature does not change. More ‘compressed spring’ action if you will.

    From the previous post water is only 4.186 Joules/gram per 1 °C

    Reference: http://www.chemcool.com/referencetables/tableB.htm

  61. Flanagan, you said, “a confirmation of the actual decline trend would place a summer average extent of about 7 million km^2. If it is above that, then we could speak of a recovery.”

    That graph really looks scary. The only problem is that it is based on wrong numbers. Don’t trust CT.

    Look at this graph comparing CT numbers to the other sea ice agencies.

    This is a laugh. They should shut the site down or fix it. As it stands it is only propaganda that is bandied about here and on other sites as if it is true.

  62. Never assume what you’re trying to prove unless you’re trying to prove you’re an idiot.

  63. I am just a simple red neck, so I probably just don’t understand. After all, I went to a public school.

    But didn’t Darwin say that stupid people were supposed to die young before they had stupid children?

    Signed by my evil twin,
    Steamboat Jack

  64. Gee, aside from the false premise underlying the expedition, why does Ann get the kitchen duty for warming up the batteries? Looks awful sexist to me, although it is warmer heating up batteries over her camp stoves than playing in the snow. When it comes to doing science, I guess even progressive scientists have to make special dispensations to biology when it comes to the division of labor. Maybe she should apply to be Harvard’s next female president?

  65. I suspect that the science is mostly window dressing on this trip (especially as, according to the BBC and their fellow travellers, the AGW debate is over and the science is settled anyway.) This isn’t so much about obtaining data as it is about “raising awareness” in the run-up to Copenhagen in December. Many people following the Catlin Expedition via the BBC will tune out all the pernickety little details of gathering meaningful data, but this is beside the point as long as they are left with the vivid take-home message that the Arctic is melting as never before and that time is running out if the world does not sign up to Kyoto 2. If this is so, it joins a long string of similar events designed to keep the fickle public mind straying from the emerging truth of climate change – plastic polar bears floating down the Thames, Pugh and his kayak, Earth Hour, Robert Swan’s Antarctican expeditions, etc. Essentially this is little different to a group of well-heeled eco-tourists watching glaciers calve in the summer, then announcing to the world that they have watched climate change happening before their very eyes. In other words, this is not science but theatre.

  66. The global warming folks already know that the public is no longer responding to their ‘scientific’ argument. They blame this on oil companies and skeptics in Congress, whom they say are corrupting the public. There has been extensive discussion of the failing effect of their science on the public, on the green blogs, by high-level environmentalists, and even by green journalists in the mainstream media. They know that their use of & appeal to science is not working the way they want it to.

    If the photo of Ann at the top of this post is current, then she does not appear to be holding up too badly, physically. She is not gaunt, drawn, or overly ‘chiseled’. On the contrary, the major affect that I see is ‘boredom’ … which is a common condition for folks in their situation, and is a known (serious) hazard of expeditions. She may be bummed, but she does not look like she’s being physically broken down.

    Really, only one thing matters: Does the public perceive credible indications at the end of this summer that, ‘Wow, it really is melting!’ If they don’t, then it’s like the incessant ‘science’-harangue from the Enviros – just water off the duck’s back.

    If the Arctic icepack continues to demonstrate recovery this summer, then subsequent polls will show public acceptance of the global warming alarm-message continue its downward trend.

  67. The Battery Drama

    There is something inexplicably strange about “steaming” batteries for “hours” to get them up to temperature.

    Did we never hear of Alaska, Ontario, Stockholm, or Moscow? Tens of millions of ordinary citizens maintain car-batteries through the sub-arctic winters.

    Smart car-owners in the north buy a rugged little electric heating-mat which fits in the battery-tray. When they plug in the block-heater, it also powers the battery-warmer. (Poorer folks take the battery indoors for the night, etc.)

    Slightly smarter car-owners find a small inexpensive styrofoam cooler into which their battery just fits. The heating-mat goes in the bottom, notches are whittled in the edge of the lid for the cables & wires, and the battery stays warm ‘n ready all the time. Va-room!

    Catlin of course needs to adapt the car-battery solutions to their own equipment, needs, and resources, but the point is that the requirement to keep batteries warm is not news, and the means to achieve the goal is not rocket science.

    Steaming batteries for “hours”?! Nooo …

  68. .
    >>what if that person is convinced/coerced into staying?

    A bit like Shackleton. His escape was a triumph of leadership, fortitude and endurance, but he only got himself into that position because he was short of funding and had to move that season, even though the ice conditions were not favourable.

    There are many pressures to consider in an expedition, but at least finding evidence for a ‘religion’ was not something Shackleton had to worry about.

    .

  69. All of this waiting of the End is becoming quite tiresome. From 2004-2006 it was TCs. Not a day went by when some climate expert wrote about the unprecedented increase in tropical cyclones. Then, well…. nothing. No one writes about TCs anymore(or host Doomsday AGW docs on the Discovery Channel featuring end-of-the-world typhoons) . Funny how the Artic ice issue really didn’t hit stride until after the 2006 Hurricane Season. I suppose next will be sea levels. Once the Artic becomes a non issue we shall see thousands of oceanographers measuring sea levels, writing papers, and like the prophets of old, declare the end of the world is at hand (perhaps they will surf to raise AGW awareness, or spend a year on an atoll). Time to sell that Nantucket Condo.

    Repent ye sinners! You week-end barbecuers, Escalade drivers, and meat eaters will certainly be responsible for something.

    Happy Resurrection Day.

  70. How much is all of that battery heating contributing to the melting of the ice?

    (I’m thinking of not only the CO and CO2, but the soot, etc and so forth and so on.)

    Negligible? Like the incandescent lamp I am using?

  71. I don’t even understand the subject of this post.
    We know it’s “for naught” in terms of any useful information.

    We know it will be a success in terms of the PR campaign, no matter what happens, because no one can prove anything they say wrong.

    Examples:
    “The ice was so thin that it constantly shifted, and we had to cut the mission short. I’ve never seen ice like this before. Climate change is definetly having an impact.”

    Everything in that statement is 100% true, and many more like will appear in the press when they get pulled from the ice, WHICH, incidentally, will happen on Earth Day.

    JimB

  72. Flanagan (02:54:07) :

    “Projections based on actual models estimate an ice-free Arctic in the summer not before 2030-2040.”

    I can’t help asking this question, but where are these actual models? Are they Earth replicas in other star systems or in parallel universes?

    BTW, my understanding is that computer models have failed as they are no better than random walks. I then conclude that the estimate of an ice-free Arctic not before 2030-2040 is no better than a guess. Why do we rely on those over

  73. Steve,
    This post got me thinking about area equivalents of sea ice (a very useful concept, by the way) and when I looked up some other values myself realized that you seem to have used the square mile values rather than square km values in your comparison to the 600,000 km2 increase: Wikipedia lists France, for example, as 632,760 km2 and Spain as 505,992 km2. Mexico alone is 1,964,375 km2.

  74. I finally get it. For people who believe in glogal climate change this is serious science. And I thought serious science involved carefully designed experiments and thoughtful analysis of the results of the experiment.
    Any chance the Catlin insurance company will fun a hike across death valley to prove global cooling.

  75. Hi Mike,

    using your graph, an average sea ice extent below 6.5 million km^2 would mean a confirmation of the downards trend. So we’ll see…

  76. Steven Goddard (05:49:02) :

    “Winter flushing of the ice is affected by thickness. It is more difficult for the wind to blow 8 metre thick ice around than 3 metre thick ice. That is one reason for the large amount of multi-year ice loss during the previous winter.”

    And yet it seems that this has been the primary mechanism for multi-year ice loss over the recent past, not melting in the arctic basin. Last night, Anthony promised a post on this which I think would be an excellent one. My guess is the average person thinks of the actic ice cap as solid ice on a stable ocean – the pond model. My research indicate it’s more like ice on a river – always moving, breaking up, never really stable.

    What I’ve read indicates there is a huge annual outflow of ice through the Fram Strait, averaging 2.9 million km^2 +/- 600k. Yet the arctic basin refreezes to replace the lost ice, except with new ice. Hence the loss of multi-year ice in recent years. If that outflow has been higher in recent years, that’s the source of multi-year ice loss. I haven’t been able to find data on ice outflow on a periodic basis. Does anyone know if it’s being monitored?

  77. Ted Clayton writes “If the Arctic icepack continues to demonstrate recovery this summer, then subsequent polls will show public acceptance of the global warming alarm-message continue its downward trend.”

    I agree with you completely. But I think a more important effect will be on scientists. Not only is sea ice showing that AGW is just plain wrong, but there are many other scientific indicators as well. One of the many PR pluses that the warmaholics have is the fact that many learned scientific societies support AGW. Led, of course, by the Royal Society. As scientists continue to leave the warmaholics, and if the present trickle becomes a flood, we can expect several of these learned societies to change sides. I can always hope.

  78. Flanagan (02:54:07) sez:”…2007 was a very special year with a very special wind pattern, everybody knows that. Projections based on actual models estimate an ice-free Artic in the summer not before 2030-2040.

    actual models? Yeah, right. And
    rap music
    chocolate substitute
    downtown Carpinteria
    military intelligence
    virtuous trollop
    delicious tofu…

  79. I wonder what they need those large batteries for. After all – their scientific equipment has broken down long ago. And in order to keep in contact with their team in UK a satellite phone with some spare batteries would do nicely.
    I guess they only need those large batteries to feed the propaganda machinery back home. And thats why they have those heavy sledges which keep them from getting forward at a reasonable pace. Poor planning!

  80. a specially insulated piece of equipment to capture the steam from boiling water, in order to get the batteries to the correct temperature.

    I thought this was supposed to be a high-tech expedition! If I had to warm up some batteries, I would put them in a bag and put that directly into the hot water, always assuming I didn’t have a direct (and dry) method of transferring the heat from the fuel. Alternatively, they could just be stored in a vacuum flask while charging, which would heat them up as part of the process…

    I am finding it hard to erase my mental picture of the poor woman boiling up batteries in order to make the radio work long enough for their final Mayday message…

  81. Peter (00:03:42) said: “…Also, surely the albedo of the ice depends on it’s [sic] extent and not on it’s [sic] thickness.”

    Albedo is a physical property of materials and, as such, is independent of extent. Average albedo of the entire polar cap is related to ice extent, but is a complex parameter depending on ice percentage, wind velocities, solar zenith angle, ice history, ice temperature, and ice surface type, plus seawater solids.

  82. Question pertaining to the AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent graph – this has bugged me for a while so I am asking…there is a positive ‘adjustment’ to the ice graph every June. I seriously do not think the ice is actually increasing a small bit at exactly the same time every year so…what is it since, from my point of view, it is corrupting the actual data which is supposed to be there.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  83. “Skeptic Tank (06:17:35) :

    Never assume what you’re trying to prove unless you’re trying to prove you’re an idiot.
    Did the global warmers prove any other thing?

  84. In order to power the different technical components of the kit, the team use large batteries, which need to be heated to a certain temperature in order to extract the maximum amount of power.

    OMG….How will they power the FDG (fake data generator)?

  85. Ron de Haan (04:16:25) :

    “This is the future of America. In winter we will be boiling the batteries “

    If things keep going as expected you´ll be like in the Charlie Chaplin´s movie, boiling a shoe sole in a pot.

  86. I wondered why the Catlin survey start point at a westerly point on the Arctic Circle in the middle of the Arctic Ocean somewhere N of Alaska, when it would surely have been simpler to start from Spitzbergen.

    But you only need to look at the ice thickness map. The route chosen will neatly avoids the older ice, most of which is further east. If the aim was to calibrate the satellite measurements, surely it would have been better to log as much as possible of the range of ice thicknesses present. However if the real aim is to produce ice thinning propaganda, the route is well chosen.

    The other thing that is still unclear is how can the expedition be picked up or re-supplied if the Arctic really does turn out to be an ocean of ice floes?. Surely in this case it will not be safe to continue very far into May and it will not be possible at current rates of progress to get anywhere near the pole.

  87. “Flanagan (08:17:03) :
    Hi Mike,

    “using your graph, an average sea ice extent below 6.5 million km^2 would mean a confirmation of the downards trend. So we’ll see…”

    Not my graph… was from work by Dewitt Payne…

    If CT had maintened the same proportions as the other agencies, 2008 NH Sea Ice Extent would have been about 6.7 million sq km.

    Now CT is the outliar.

  88. I haven’t checked out the Caitlin website, only read the updates here. The impression I am left with: energy is necessary for life, without it you die.

  89. From the ice update:
    Pen, Ann and Martin had a rather sleepless night last night, as the ice around the tent suddenly became very active. It was a situation similar to that at the start of the expedition, when the team had to break camp very quickly in the middle of the night and move to a more stable area.

    This time, the team felt that the grinding ice was just far enough away for them to stay put. However, on waking this morning, they found a huge wall of ice rubble had formed overnight, approximately 30ft from their tent.

    Today the team covered 12.2km, which is particularly impressive, given that they were forced to spend roughly 3 hours walking in a north-westerly direction. Early in the first sledging session of the day, they came to an enormous pressure ridge, impossible to scale with heavy laden sledges. The only way forward was to walk alongside it until a suitable crossing point could be found. This means, the actual distance covered today is far greater.

    So, as the team camp down again, they will be keeping everything crossed for a more peaceful rest tonight, so that they can recharge their energy levels in preparation for the trek tomorrow.

  90. They are waiting for the ice to break and to be conveniently rescued of a sure death by drowning, however they will have to wait much more than expected…

  91. >>Steam-powered batteries?

    Yes indeed, a strange choice because the energy density of batteries is very poor – that is why we don’t use them in cars as yet. What they should have used is a micro petrol/diesel generator (especially as they have to burn fuel to heat the batteries anyway). This example is a bit small, but there are a few micro-generators on the market.

    http://gleez.com/articles/did-you-know/smallest-petrol-engine

    Presumably they chose batteries to increase their Green credentials – so I do hope they did not use fossil fuels or nuclear power to charge up those batteries in the first place….

    .

  92. I’m beginning to think the Catlin crew prepared for their arctic expedition by watching re-runs of Gilligan’s Island.

  93. Check:

    Note that the main gap between the current sea ice and the 1979-2000 average is in the Sea of Okhotsk, which is separate from the main body of arctic sea ice. This means that, as spring progresses, this part of the shortfall will disappear and not contribute to the ultimate melting (or not) of the main body.

    Thus, all else being equal, the gap between the current arctic sea ice and the 1979-2000 average should close even further.

  94. large batteries, which need to be heated to a certain temperature in order to extract the maximum amount of power.

    Doesn’t just using them warm them up? My laptop is warming my knees right now…

  95. Jim Cripwell (08:28:37) notes that even more telling than a growing public disinterest in the climate-alarmism message, will be an awakening of professional scientists & institutions.

    For sure! This is an awesomely pregnant consideration.

    None of us want to see science itself damaged, its confidence broken and the vision sullied. But that is a possibility. Aside from the benefit of a more objective stance on climate-change, there could be substantial social fallout within the ranks & halls of science.
    =====

    Lobotomy was a similarly unscientific red herring. But while practitioners had free reign, the premise never achieved consensus.

    Lysenkoism achieved consensus, but it was defined & directed by a single individual … backed by Stalinism at its prime.

  96. Steven,

    “You might note too that the Arctic Basin has normal ice extent
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent.png

    Of course it does – it’s always been completely frozen at this time of year.

    “And that ice in the Bering sea is 30% above normal.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.ht

    Catlin are not in the Bering Sea – and the other Arctic regions show overall greater ice loss that more than compensates leading to a current loss of 341,000 square kilometres for the Arctic.

    I’m sure you don’t to give the impression you’re cherry picking data!

  97. “Ann felt warm enough to take off her sledging jacket when getting into her sleeping bag for the night.”

    I lived in a tent for six weeks in the Alaska in the middle of winter for survival training. This was 49 years ago during global cooling. Temperatures were typically -40 degrees F. We had low tech equipment; double mummy sleeping bags. The bag’s insulation was far more efficient if you stripped down and put your jacket on top of the bag. I slept in my underwear. These folks need some basic arctic training.

  98. “I’m sure you don’t [want] to give the impression you’re cherry picking data!”

    Aren’t you doing the same thing, when you leave out the entire southern hemisphere? The issue is about global cooling, isn’t it?

  99. David Watt (09:23:17) :
    I wondered why the Catlin survey start point at a westerly point on the Arctic Circle in the middle of the Arctic Ocean somewhere N of Alaska, when it would surely have been simpler to start from Spitzbergen.

    You might think that but it would require going straight into the ice drift which would mean going 10km/day just to maintain position a lot of the time! At least with their current direction most of the time the drift will be with them (it wasn’t for a while early).

    But you only need to look at the ice thickness map. The route chosen will neatly avoids the older ice, most of which is further east. If the aim was to calibrate the satellite measurements, surely it would have been better to log as much as possible of the range of ice thicknesses present. However if the real aim is to produce ice thinning propaganda, the route is well chosen.

    They would encounter enough older ice on this route, starting from the coast would put them over some of the thickest ice but it would be almost unpassable.

    The other thing that is still unclear is how can the expedition be picked up or re-supplied if the Arctic really does turn out to be an ocean of ice floes?. Surely in this case it will not be safe to continue very far into May and it will not be possible at current rates of progress to get anywhere near the pole.

    Well they could always visit the Russian station. ;)
    Their recent rate of progress has been about 15km/day when they’re not waiting for supplies, it all depends whether any big leads open up en route. Recent imagery shows that they may encounter some big ones perpendicular to their route so that might be tricky.

  100. Robert Wykoff (22:32:23) :
    OT…Its official…600 spotless days!!! And going on 36 since the last official NOAA sunspeck. Though, I don’t want to jinx it by having Anthony the bringer of spots and the destroyer of spots commenting on it…lol

    Peter Jones on solarcycle24.com has a nice graphic that Kevin VE3EN posted.

    The Caitlin Team isn’t the only one with a dead battery.

  101. Global Cooling: It’s what happened to the Red Planet.
    The Caitlin Team is up there trying to score political points to bolster the effort at getting the “Green Light” for Global Climate Rapid Alteration Program.
    One rusted Red Planet is quite enough.

  102. Frederick Michael (10:08:00) :

    “Note that the main gap between the current sea ice and the 1979-2000 average is in the Sea of Okhotsk, which is separate from the main body of arctic sea ice.”

    Your right. I’m surprised that the Sea of Okhotsk qualifies to be in the arctic sea ice total since it’s really subpolar with the majority of it being below 60 latitude. This area is more than 300K km^2 below the anamoly.

    Tom P (10:17:16) :
    “Catlin are not in the Bering Sea…”

    Nor are the in the Sea of Okhotsk. Speaking of cherry picking.

  103. “Global Climate Rapid Alteration Program”

    That’s a good one. It’s a load of it alright.

  104. Don E (10:23:21) : The bag’s insulation was far more efficient if you stripped down and put your jacket on top of the bag. I slept in my underwear. These folks need some basic arctic training.

    I agree. You also don’t want to be squashing the insulation in your jacket by sleeping on it. Fluff it up, all on top, with a really good water proof insulating pad that won’t squash under the bag. When you climb out in the morning, you have a very fluffy jacket that’s had the whole night to recover it’s ‘fluff’ instead of a dead squashed damp thing… And don’t pull your face into the bag. Breathing into the bag is the same as dumping a quart of water into it. Use something else over your face. (Preferably purpose designed heat exchanger, but other stuff works too…)

    That they reported icy bags at one point indicates a severe failure to “get it” about moisture / vapor management.

    Smokey (10:26:07) :
    “I’m sure you don’t [want] to give the impression you’re cherry picking data!”
    Aren’t you doing the same thing, when you leave out the entire southern hemisphere? The issue is about global cooling, isn’t it?

    That isn’t cherry picking! It’s more like Plum Picking! (Or maybe it’s “James (Hansen) and The Giant Peach” ;-)

  105. Smokey,

    “Aren’t you doing the same thing, when you leave out the entire southern hemisphere? The issue is about global cooling, isn’t it?”

    The title of this article is “…Arctic Ice Survey…”, so it’s not unreasonable to present the data from the appropriate hemisphere.

    But I quite accept the Antarctic has shown no long-term indication of ice loss:

    You would not expect the two regions to respond in the same way to climate change – most of the Antarctic ice is on rock rather than water and this has stabilised the surrounding sea ice. Similarly only the Arctic ice round Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Achipeligo has remained relatively impervious to the warming trend there.

    Looking at the ice areas of the Arctic and Antarctic separately is therefore the best way of sorting out these two very different responses.

  106. Frederick Michael (10:08:00) :
    Check:

    Note that the main gap between the current sea ice and the 1979-2000 average is in the Sea of Okhotsk, which is separate from the main body of arctic sea ice. This means that, as spring progresses, this part of the shortfall will disappear and not contribute to the ultimate melting (or not) of the main body.

    Thus, all else being equal, the gap between the current arctic sea ice and the 1979-2000 average should close even further.

    Except that in the next week or so all that new ice (2 weeks old) in the Bering will start to melt and be the main contributor followed by the Baffin Sea.

  107. Arn,

    The inclusion of the Sea of Okhotsk might be debatable, but the most important indicator of Arctic ice loss is the summer melt when the Sea of Okhotsk has always been ice free.

    Much of this discussion on the extent of the ice should really wait for another six months.

  108. ralph ellis (10:41:36) :
    Or how about a micro fuel-cell? You might have to hold the day’s fuel in a bum-bag to keep it liquid, but I imagine these would work in low temperatures.

    http://me.queensu.ca/courses/MECH430/Assets/Files/Recommended%20Reading/Micro%20Technical%20Fuel%20Cells.pdf

    Perhaps that’s why they took one with them, the waste heat from which was used to warm the batteries.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Perran_on_Power_Supplies_for_the_expedition

    ” The expedition has access to two sources of electrical power. The first is a fuel cell powered by Methanol. This early production unit is packaged in an insulated case together with 4 litres of Methanol and a number of Military grade Lithium rechargeable batteries.The latter actually provide the electrical power to the scientific equipment. The fuel cell runs continuously supplying the average power whilst the batteries supply the peak power. Waste heat from the fuel cell keeps the batteries warm so they will accept a charge as Lithium batteries will not charge properly at temperatures below zero centigrade. The byproduct of the conversion process of methanol to electricity is water vapour (steam) and carbon dioxide.”

    “The second available power souce is from Lithium Thionyl Chloride (non rechargeable) batteries. Each battery is an array of 16 D cells from SAFT with a total weight of 1.6 Kg. It is necessary to preheat the batteries before use and to then maintain their temperature during use if their remarkable capacity is to be realised. A special battery heating ‘cooker’ has been made which avoids any contamination of the water that is used to heat the battery. This allows the water to be used for food preparation or drinking which minimises fuel usage”

  109. Insulting Gilligan’s Island

    April E. Coggins (10:06:28);

    I think The Professor would have seen to far more suitable science protocol under The Skipper than the Catlin group are practicing!

    … And, they filmed all their procedures and broadcast them to the nation each week!

    No, no: obviously, the Catlin crew failed to watch those invaluable Gilligan’s Island reruns! ;-)

  110. Ron: When they run out of animals to glue & strap gps to, they’ll start looking around for more. Tag, we’re it.

  111. Jon Jewett (06:20:31) : But didn’t Darwin say that stupid people were supposed to die young before they had stupid children?

    Only to the extent that ‘stupid’ is not a survival advantage for their genes. “Smart” is not always better from a Darwinian point of view (in fact, in the modern age it is a definite negative for Darwinian survival).

    OK, I’ll walk you through it…

    Darwinian ‘fitness’ is only about the number of viable offspring. Not happiness nor number of toes not frozen, nor dying before childbearing. Just number that go on to have children. THE single thing that correlates most strongly with reduced childbearing on a population dynamics basis is a higher education for women. To the extent genetically smarter people get more education, it is a negative selector for Darwinian survival of their genes.

    In the modern era, having a below average I.Q. and octuplets then going on the dole (and / or doing a book deal) is ‘better’ from a Darwinian survival point of view. Similarly, being a bit daft and losing some toes on the ice might result in more ‘sack time’ back home later along with the book deal. Where having a ChemE or EE degree will, on average, result in fewer offspring. Even the well educated ghost writer may have few children compared to the subject.

    But it’s even more subtile that that. The High School drop out who has 4 kids and dies at age 30 from stupidity has better Darwinian Survival than the very smart kid that delays childbearing until 30 getting a PhD or M.D. then only gets one born before an infertility problem hits (or before being killed in the same stupid car accident caused by our HS dropout). There is a subtile timing based impact thanks to advanced education delaying childbirth and the constant risk of accident or health problems that favors the “stupid but fast to birth”.

    So while Darwinian Fitness will select against the incredibly daft by having them die off before child bearing, in the modern age it mostly selects for the somewhat daft who can’t figure out how to use a tiny little rain coat on Mr. Happy, or who can’t do a boring but safe trip to the N. Pole with no notoriety and no book deal…

    (Have I mentioned lately that Economics, and especially the population dynamics part of Economics, is not called The Dismal Science for nothing? Sigh. Sad, but all true and presented without political bias nor agenda. But at least now you know why we aren’t all geniuses… because it isn’t a ‘feature’ in most cases… )

  112. Caitlin Crew, a typical case of Cognitive Dissonance:

    “The End Of The World Is/Is Not Nigh!”
    Throughout history, many competing cults have attempted to predict dire catastrophes for the Earth. With respect to these cults, the key psychological and sociological question is: “What happens when the predictions fail?” Following on from yesterday’s post [see: ‘Cognitive Dissonance’, August 19], in which I analysed the growing gap between a hot media obsessed with ‘global warming’ disasters and a world in which the climate is currently cooling, I thought it might be helpful to explore the phenomenon of ‘cognitive dissonance’ further.

    Failed Predictions

    During World War I, the official publication of the Assemblies of God, The Weekly Evangel, made a classic doomsday prediction: “We are not yet in the Armageddon struggle proper, but at its commencement, and it may be, if students of prophecy read the signs aright, that Christ will come before the present war closes, and before Armageddon … The war preliminary to Armageddon, it seems, has commenced.” Specific dates were mentioned, declaring that ‘The End’ would come no later than 1934 or 1935. Interestingly, there are parallels here with belief in ‘global warming’, in that it too is seen as being “at its commencement”, and that it is either too late already, or that it will come in its full force within, as some claim, ten years or less.

    Such failed predictions comprise the core of the work of New York social psychologist, Leon Festinger (1919 – 1989) [pictured], who wrote a classic book, When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of A Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World (University of Minnesota Press, 1956), with Henry W. Riecken, and Stanley Schachter.

    This was about a UFO cult who believed that the end of the world was imminent. A Chicago housewife, Marion Keech, received messages in her house in the form of ‘automatic writing’ from alien beings on the planet Clarion. These revealed that the Earth would end in a mighty flood before dawn on December 21. A group of believers, headed by Keech, then exhibited strong behavioural adaptations to demonstrate their degree of commitment. They abandoned jobs, college, and spouses, and they gave away their money and possessions in order to prepare for their departure on the flying saucer, which would come to rescue all true believers.

    For Festinger and his colleagues, the failure of Keech’s prediction became a classic ‘disconfirmed expectancy’, which increased ‘dissonance’ between ‘cognitions’, thereby causing many members of the cult to lessen the ‘dissonance’ by accepting a new prophecy, namely that the aliens had decided to spare the planet for the sake of them, the believers.

    Festinger then built on this famous study to produce his masterpiece, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (Stanford University Press, 1957).

    Cognitive Dissonance

    In this important theory, ‘cognitions’ embrace ‘knowledge’, attitude, emotion (or ‘ambivalence’), belief, and behaviour. Cognitions that contradict each other are termed ‘dissonant,’ while cognitions that agree with each other are ‘consonant.’ Cognitions which neither agree nor disagree are ‘irrelevant.’ The sudden arrival of a new cognition that is dissonant with a currently-held cognition creates a ‘state of dissonance.’ The important issue then becomes how can this disruptive dissonance be reduced, or eased, for the believer.

    Amelioration may be achieved by trying either to eliminate one of the cognitions altogether or to create a new, consonant cognition between the two competing cognitions. We should also note that there can be significant degrees of dissonance. The maximum possible dissonance is equal to the resistance to change of the less ‘resistant cognition’. Thus, once dissonance attains a level that overcomes the resistance of one of the cognitions, that cognition will be amended, or eliminated, and dissonance will be reduced for the believer.

    In terms of social behaviour, this will cause people who suffer the pain of dissonance either to seek out actively ‘knowledge’ that will reduce the dissonance for them personally, or to avoid/ignore the competing ‘knowledge’ completely. If the latter, then people who are involuntarily exposed to such ‘knowledge’ will do their level-best to discount that ‘knowledge’, either by deliberately misinterpreting it or by denying it vigorously, at least to themselves.

    A Hot Media In A Cooling World

    As I pointed out yesterday, this is precisely what is happening to our media with respect to the increasingly unequivocal ‘knowledge’ that we have now entered a cooling period in climate. They are starting to experience a powerful dissonance because of their strong promulgation over the last 20 years of the doomsday, catastrophic view of ‘global warming’.

    Media reaction to the new ‘cognition’ is thus classic. It involves, above all, ignoring the cooling, but also mis-reporting the cooling, denying the cooling, or trying to create a new consonant cognition, one in which the cooling actually becomes a part of the catastrophic ‘global warming’ belief.

    For some media, the dissonance is especially high, not because of the science of climate change, but because they have involuntarily invested so much air time, print, and uncritical emotion in hyping the more doomsday, cult-like elements of the ‘global warming’ trope, with dramatic images of drowning polar bears, collapsing ice sheets, flooded lands, and hard-baked deserts.

    What Is Likely To Happen?

    If the cooling phase in climate continues, media and political dissonance will increase to stress point. This will have one of two effects.

    First, some media may become even more rabid in their presentation of ‘global warming’ disasters, showing yet more drowning polar bears, plunging ice sheets, dangerous mosquitoes, flooded cities, and barren lands. For this to happen, Festinger states that two conditions must be met:

    1.

    (1)The belief must be held with very deep conviction, and it must have relevance to promoted actions, that is, to what the believer does, or how they want people to behave. For the ‘global warming’ cult, and for those in the media who have uncritically adopted editorial positions as champions of the ‘Green’ agenda, this is precisely the case, ranging from changing light bulbs to recycling, from abandoning SUVs to wearing hemp undies, from wind farms to solar panels; and,
    2.

    (2) The person holding the belief must have committed to it. Such is worryingly true of some media that have abandoned their normal critical stance as journalists in favour of preaching.

    Alternatively, however, – and I think that this may be the increasing likely outcome – the media will ultimately turn against those whom they have finally come to believe have duped them, so that they will begin to vent all their journalistic spleen against the ‘believers’. Above all, they will regret their folly in falling for a ‘science’ which focuses on only one factor out of thousands, and, by contrast, to revel in their new-found grasp of complex science, economics, and politics. The process will be facilitated by journalistic boredom with the old trope, and by the search for the novel in ‘News’. For this to happen:

    1.

    (1)Strong disconfirmatory evidence must occur (e.g. continued cooling); and,
    2.

    (2)This evidence must actually be recognized and acknowledged by the person holding the original belief.

    In either of the above two cases, there must also be a fifth factor, especially for strong believers, in that such a person must have social support for ‘change’ or for ‘no change’. In other words, if an increasing number of media outlets start to question ‘the belief’, it will be much easier for a formerly strong believer to begin to follow suit. In this, there will be a classic cascade effect. Until recently, the cascade effect has been working in the direction of supporting a belief in catastrophic ‘global warming’, with both the media and scientists frightened of seeming to be heretics and out-of-step. Increasingly, however, there are signs that the cascade is reversing direction.

    Historians, long hence, will surely have a fascinating time analysing the rise and fall of the cult of catastrophic ‘global warming’. Even now it is possible to detect close parallels with the pattern of many traditional doomsday cults. And, it is particularly interesting to note that scientists are just as susceptible to such cults as non-scientists.

    As a mere academic, I shall observe the progress of this particular cognitive dissonance with enthusiasm.
    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/8/20_More_On_Cognitive_Dissonance.html

  113. Susan,

    “Since 2007, the global sea ice area anomaly has increased by more than 3,000,000 km2 and is now more than 600,000 km2 above the 1979-2000 mean. You could fit England, Spain, France and Mexico inside the recovered ice area.”

    The recovered ice area is well in excess of 3Mkm2. That is a different measure from the excess ice area.

  114. The kicker for me is that over my lifetime, the sea has risen less than 7″.
    That’s <7″ that is totally lost in the noise of high & low tides.
    I cannot walk down to the ocean and tell you that change is occuring.

  115. Phil. (11:31:31) :

    Except that in the next week or so all that new ice (2 weeks old) in the Bering will start to melt and be the main contributor followed by the Baffin Sea.

    Ah, yes. Murphy’s law says that all else won’t be equal.

    However, I can tell you from watching that map (which is updated daily) that the ice in the Bering sea is more than 2 weeks old. It’s obviously not multi-year ice, but it formed months ago and has been consistently greater than the 1979-2000 avg all this winter. While the melt in the Bering and Baffin may be greater than that in the Okhotsk, the Okhotsk still always melts completely and so the delta there will go to zero and, since it’s separate, will not affect the melt rate of the main body.

    By the way, to those who think the Okhotsk sea ice should not be included, the rule is all salt water sea ice and that seems fair to me. Any other rule would be hard to defend.

  116. Ted Clayton (06:59:01) : The Battery Drama

    There is something inexplicably strange about “steaming” batteries for “hours” to get them up to temperature.

    My solution would be a thermistor on the battery, a styrofoam container, and a thermostat circuit that cuts down current flow as the battery warms. Apply to battery (with battery providing current). This would use the battery power to maintain it’s temperature. You use more batteries, but a lot less fuel and have no vapor issue to deal with. (If you use enough batteries, it becomes weight efficient to take along a dinky generator like the Honda 600 w job and use it to charge and thus warm the batteries… and perhaps power some of the equipment avoiding cold batteries all together… oh, and ether in the fuel works way cold…)

    FWIW the 600 w unit weighs 26 lbs; but I have the 1000w unit that uses the same engine at 29 lbs.

    Then again, if they just took a snowmobile they could have used it as a battery charger… but I digress toward a discussion of Darwin …

  117. Steven Goddard (12:30:20) :
    Susan,

    “Since 2007, the global sea ice area anomaly has increased by more than 3,000,000 km2 and is now more than 600,000 km2 above the 1979-2000 mean. You could fit England, Spain, France and Mexico inside the recovered ice area.”

    The recovered ice area is well in excess of 3Mkm2. That is a different measure from the excess ice area.

    And this is another example of the absolute nonsense you continue to spout! Can we expect to see a post by you around September announcing the dramatic loss of 3-4Mm^2 in the same metric since April?

    Steven Goddard (12:32:46) :
    “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

    We’d noticed that you’d adopted this practice, however to paraphase Senator Bentsen: you’re no Albert Einstein!

  118. Skeptic Tank (06:17:35) : “Never assume what you’re trying to prove unless you’re trying to prove you’re an idiot.”

    Or unless you work for the main stream media.

  119. Tom P (11:33:51) :

    Arn,

    “Much of this discussion on the extent of the ice should really wait for another six months.”

    On this, we can agree.

  120. Robert Bateman (12:05:26) :

    “Ron: When they run out of animals to glue & strap gps to, they’ll start looking around for more. Tag, we’re it.”

    Yes Robert, in order to estimate our carbon footprint.

    Time to stop this nonsense.

  121. Above all, they will regret their folly in falling for a ‘science’

    From which it will take ‘science’ a long time to recover, I fear, whereas it is practitioners like Hansen, politicians like Gore and an uncritical media that should carry the can. They’re not going to report that though, are they?

  122. James P (10:11:53) :

    large batteries, which need to be heated to a certain temperature in order to extract the maximum amount of power.

    Doesn’t just using them warm them up? My laptop is warming my knees right now…

    I’ll field this one: No, the heat you feel is from CPU and some support circuitry ICs using up the energy from the battery. Depending on battery chemistry, some battery self-heating can be when charging, notably past the full-charge state, but this is highly dependent on the battery chemistry like I say …

    Of note: List of CPU power dissipations. This page covers from the early CPUs through the later Intel and AMD processors including dual core and quad core.

  123. Phil.

    Since you have started writing in the third person “we” – I’m curious who you are writing for other than yourself and the mouse in your pocket.

    BTW – If you don’t consider sea ice anomaly to be a valid quantitative measure, you probably shouldn’t waste everybody’s time commenting on a thread about Arctic ice.

  124. Phil,

    Here is some basic information about the term “sea ice anomaly,” and how it is used by NASA and NSIDC. Perhaps you and your mouse friend can read it before posting further.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=4887

    It is interesting how alarmists like yourself loved to discuss the anomaly decline in 2007, and now consider it much less interesting. \

    That year, the loss in ice extent equaled an area roughly twice the size of Texas. The false colors in the maps above show the loss of sea ice cover in September for each of the last three years. The colors represent a value known as “sea ice concentration anomaly.”

  125. Leon Brozyna (20:53:16) :

    Sadly, it won’t be for naught. If nothing else, the proponents of this belief system are skilled propagandists. They will point to the ’success’ of this effort and show how thin the ice is, even if the extent increases.

    Expect the effort to be cut short because of the amount of ice that opens up; proof of how fast the ice is melting. I bet it was planned this way.

    No science, just a great propaganda coup.

    And the implication of a slow start to the summer melt is that they will have too stay out on the ice for a longer time… with consequent health effects.

  126. Peter (00:03:42) :

    Whatever happens, the consequences of its meltdown will be of global significance in terms of sea level rise(due to thermal expansion of the oceans)

    Haven’t they got this the wrong way round? Isn’t the so-called meltdown because of ocean temperature rise?
    Also, surely the albedo of the ice depends on it’s extent and not on it’s thickness.

    Young grasshopper – do not be mystified by the presence of “Circular Reasoning” in the sacred green texts. For while much of the world is truly mysterious, the holy scibblings of the faithful of Gaia hold portents of great things. Patience is justified – eradicate all doubt from your mind and believe as we all do.

  127. Flanagan (02:54:07) :

    About the recovery:

    2007 was a very special year with a very special wind pattern, everybody knows that. Projections based on actual models estimate an ice-free Artic in the summer not before 2030-2040.

    The question one really needs to answer is: will 2009 confirm the multi-decennal declining trend or not? For the moment, 2009 is below 2008. Looking at the seasonal sea ice extent evolution

    a confirmation of the actual decline trend would place a summer average extent of about 7 million km^2. If it is above that, then we could speak of a recovery.

    Flanagan – Lets consider a real long term trend appropriate to the actual time periods that might begin to matter to the ecosystems operating on a planet – as opposed to the time periods noticable to the “Mayfly” humans that live on it.

    From the Conclusions: Ref: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/11/making-holocene-spaghetti-sauce-by-proxy/

    – Besides the MWP discussion: 80-90% of the Holocene period (last 10-12.000 years) has been warmer than today. The last 6000 years, the general temperature trend has been steady cooling. The temperature levels in the Little Ice Age were the lowest in the Holocene period.

    The key thing that the Pro AGW Camp needs to do is show that “Natural Variation” of the climate has stopped, and that “Man Made Variation” of the climate has taken over.

    The behaviour of the Arctic Ice over the last few years could well be noise – how can you tell that it is not noise.

  128. BTW – If you don’t consider sea ice anomaly to be a valid quantitative measure, you probably shouldn’t waste everybody’s time commenting on a thread about Arctic ice.

    It’s certainly not valid to attach significance to a comparison of global sea ice anomaly in the way you have done. During 2008 your metric of choice went down from ~1.1Mm^2 to -2.6Mm^2 and back up to 0Mm^2! How can you possibly attach significance to that, and if you do why weren’t you posting here about the drop in the anomaly by ~3.7Mm^2?

  129. E.M.Smith (14:11:46);

    Phil. (11:39:24) provided a link into Catlin’s website, describing their power supplies in some detail. His comment included the meat of their discussion.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/Perran_on_Power_Supplies_for_the_expedition

    First, they have (or had/intended to have) a methanol fuel cell, in an insulated pack with its fuel and batteries. The waste-heat keeps all the components warm. This is a steady-state generator, with the batteries providing surge.

    Second, they have a pair of ‘superperformance’ non-rechargable batteries (tho they only weigh 1.6 Kg – I was picturing something much bigger) which are the ‘steamed’ units. An interesting passage about these batteries that Phil. did not quote is:

    “To maintain temperature after heating, a ‘super’ insulated tube is used that holds two batteries. The insulation is used in satellites and is so good that the only heat loss from the tube is down the electrical leads that bring the battey connections out.”

    Ah-ha. That’s more like it. With that kind of insulation efficiency, your thermistor/thermostat system sounds like a shoo-in. (This very thing has gotten close attention with the prospect of molten salt fuel cells for cars – the rub being they’re yellow-hot and cannot be allowed to solidify – so they’re discharged back through themselves for standby heat.)

    With all the wind, I’m surprised we don’t see a little wind-generator.

    Wal Mart is selling a very lightweight and quiet little weed-eater for $70; I’m buying one to cannabalize the engine for a backpacking power supply project.

    The Honda EX 7 you link to looks like … something I bet Ann opts for next time! ;-)

    On that power supplies page is a nice photo of the crew trudging off across the vast white … and they have just marched across a set of visible snowmobile tracks. Presumably, this was during training … ;-)

  130. F Rasmin (03:23:03) :

    What is all this’Someone should save them’, and ‘They should step in and save them’. Apart from who this ’someone’ or ‘Them’ is, the Catlin group are volunteers. The West is a democracy where we can do what we like so long as it does not frighten the horses! Next time these pleaders go trail walking or fishing, ‘Someone’ or ‘Them’ might come along to ‘Save’ them!

    F – I think that I know and appreciate where you are coming from – however the general case is more nuanced.

    SCENARIO 1: (LOW CULPABILITY) You are at a favoured holiday spot near a river, a young family is nearby, the father is setting up the Bar-B-Que, the Mother is tending a noisy 2 year old. You see a 5 year old skip down to the end of the pier, trip on a loose board, and fall in and sink like a stone. You realise that you are the only one who has seen it. What do you do?

    SCENARIO 2: (INCREASED CULPABILITY) You are at a favoured holiday spot near a river, late in the evening drinking beers and whiskey with your mates. One realises his had too much, staggers away to throw up, his staggers get away from him and he falls into the river and sinks like a stone. You realise that you have been drinking “Light Beer” all night and are the only one who has seen it – what do you do?

    In both cases – I’m sure that you like most people would do everything that you could to raise the alarm and attempt to save the child and your friend.

    So what about the Catlin Expedition?

    I would recommend that should a full rescue effort be made, than all associated costs should be tallied up and the expeditioners presented with the bill.

    It’s better to have rescue resources available for everyone – just charge them for it.

  131. Dan Lee (04:33:32) :

    Why do I see lawsuits in the future between members of that expedition? If someone had such a bad day that it has to be discussed on the blog, I wonder what else is going on in that little group?

    What if someone decides they’ve had enough and wants to get off that frozen treadmill and go home? What if, with the lowered decision-making capacity that we’re already seeing hints of in their own accounts, what if that person is convinced/coerced into staying? And what if that results in health problems later?

    I’m just asking. I can’t think of a single valuable thing that will come out of this expedition beyond its central purpose, which is to increase the name-recognition of Catlin Group Limited (Creative Risk Management Solutions and Excellent Financial Security to Clients Worldwide.)

    Perhaps they have all purchased insurance policies from Catlin to cover such lawsuits.

  132. Mike Bryant (05:08:26) :

    F Rasmin said, “What is all this’Someone should save them’, and ‘They should step in and save them’. Apart from who this ’someone’ or ‘Them’ is, the Catlin group are volunteers. The West is a democracy where we can do what we like so long as it does not frighten the horses!”

    That is a very good point. I think that nanny governments take advantage of this very human tendency to want to save everyone who they believe needs saving.

    My daughter decided that she wanted to have her last child at home. I was not consulted in this decision, but knew it was not a foolhardy one since she lived close to the hospital and had employed a very good midwife. When the day came, a well-meaning neighbor came over to the house insisting that my son-in-law and I force her to the hospital for the delivery. The neighbor had to be repeatedly urged to leave the house.
    Our sweet little Grace came into the world very easily and is now three years old.
    My daughter hasn’t spoken to her neighbor since.
    God protect us from well-meaning neighbors.

    This is still a free country despite all indications to the contrary.

    Mike – Their Fear = Your Restriction.

    Well meaning, good intentions, roads to hell, unintended consequences etc, etc.

    There are plenty here who hear you.

  133. FredG (17:09:29) :

    Is it wrong to hope for a tragic failure of this expedition?
    ———

    As long as you are in no position to influence that outcome there is no moral dilemma.
    Dismissing the superstitious notion that your thoughts might exert some effect on the situation, you’re really left with three considerations; socially, what will people think of you for thinking that?, emotionally, does it upset you that you think what you think? and, more interestingly, what are the psychological mechanics of wishing your adversary ill?
    I don’t imagine that many of us here at WUWT hope that this trio will achieve what they want, which is to reinforce, reinvigorate and glorify a cause that we find unworthy.

  134. Frederick Michael (13:38:54) :
    However, I can tell you from watching that map (which is updated daily) that the ice in the Bering sea is more than 2 weeks old. It’s obviously not multi-year ice, but it formed months ago and has been consistently greater than the 1979-2000 avg all this winter.

    The Bering sea ice has grown by ~0.3Mm^2 over the last couple of weeks that will be the first to melt. Typically the Bering ice melts rapidly, likely all gone by the end of May.

  135. RE:

    Steven Goddard (15:22:22) :

    Phil.

    Since you have started writing in the third person “we” – I’m curious who you are writing for other than yourself and the mouse in your pocket.

    I would guess it might be Britspeak or use of the “Royal We,” as in the (supposed) classic from Margaret Thatcher: “We have become a grandmother.”

    (The U.S. and Britain: 2 countries separated by a common language)

    By the way, if the arctic multi-year ice accumulated over a long period were melting, would that not lead to either thermal contraction of the oceans due to lowering of the ocean temperature or a decrease in thermal expansion, thus either tending to lower sea levels or reduce their rise, at least in the short term?

  136. Steven Goddard (15:22:22) :

    Phil.

    Since you have started writing in the third person “we” – I’m curious who you are writing for other than yourself and the mouse in your pocket.

    I would guess it might be Britspeak or use of the “Royal We,” as in the (supposed) classic from Margaret Thatcher: “We have become a grandmother.”

    (The U.S. and Britain: 2 countries separated by a common language)

    I don’t think the use of ‘we’ is exclusively British – didn’t Hilary Clinton say “we are the President” ? I think it is more to do with the political arrogance of the ruling elites, irrespective of which side of the Atlantic they originate. ;)

  137. .
    >> the media will ultimately turn against those whom they
    >>have finally come to believe have duped them

    I think this is likely, for the media are incredibly naive about the real world around them in general and science in particular. They may well believe what they are being ‘sold’ by the Green lobby – especially as it is being backed by government, who they always like to suck up to.

    The BBC’s Hard Talk, which is normally very probing, did an interview with a wind energy proponent, which was almost fawning in character. Had this been a political interview Stephen Sakkur would have had the required knowledge to probe deeper, but he was clearly out of his depth in this interview.

    The interviewee repeated said the wind always blows somewhere, an assertion that was never challenged. Had Sakkur known that all Denmark was without wind for 54 days in 2002 the interview might have taken another tack. Likewise, take a look at this graph, which demonstrates that the whole of the UK is subject to the same wind patterns. (note – a monthly average output of 15% is not going to keep the home-fires burning, let alone the lights on.)

    http://www.ref.org.uk/Files/wind.overview.2007.(ii).pdf

    Shame this graph does not do weekly averages, rather than monthly, as this would show many weeks with no power at all.

    .

  138. jorgekafkazar (08:46:03) :

    Peter (00:03:42) said: “…Also, surely the albedo of the ice depends on it’s [sic] extent and not on it’s [sic] thickness.”

    Albedo is a physical property of materials and, as such, is independent of extent. Average albedo of the entire polar cap is related to ice extent, but is a complex parameter …

    Surely what Peter was talking about was the total albedo of the arctic ice, which is not independent of extent.

    PS: Keep up with the “sics”–we’ll larn ’em yet!

    ==============
    James P (10:11:53) wrote:

    “large batteries, which need to be heated to a certain temperature in order to extract the maximum amount of power. Doesn’t just using them warm them up? My laptop is warming my knees right now…”

    It’s not the battery that gets warm, it’s the micro-processor (CPU).

  139. Another rich British adventurer who has never lived in the real world is about to embark on a mission to acquire fame and power….sorry, I meant save the planet

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/12/david-de-rothschild-plastiki-pacific

    The plastic water bottle epitomises everything about this throwaway, disposable society,” said de Rothschild

    He should tell that to the billions of people over the last century who have finally had regular clean drinking water, juice and pasteurised milk added to their daily diet because of plastic bottles. Most of our ancestors had neither – a fact that escapes environmentalists.

  140. It’s not the battery that gets warm, it’s the micro-processor (CPU)

    The CPU has a cooling fan, the battery doesn’t, so sometimes this happens:

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/07/28/another_dell_laptop_burns/

    I realise that’s not meant to be normal behaviour, but all batteries have internal resistance, which results in heat when current flows in either direction, so they get warm when charging too. If you don’t believe me, take one out during charging or after a period of active use (e.g. not just on standby)…

  141. Phil,

    OK – I’ll excuse your use of the word “we.” But not your criticism of using normalized data, because normalization is the very reason that “we” are able to compare area trends at different times of year. All fields of science (particularly Arctic ice measurements) use normalized data, and your complaint is absurd.

  142. Pierre:
    Again, why didn’t they use snow machines or dog sleds?

    Just a guess….but too cold.

    E.M.Smith:
    oh, and ether in the fuel works way cold

    What about oil and other lubricants for generators?

  143. Aron:
    The english gentleman worried about plastic bottles ignores that these will not last for ever, sunlight makes it polymerize, break into small parts, etc. these came from nature and will be recycled by nature itself. Once again we think ourselves more important than we really are and we also project this illusion to the objects we manufacture. These and us are but fleeting shadows in geological and astronomical time. Beings of the future will mine our bones out from phosphates deposits.

  144. I don;t think they are going to get to the pole unless the ice doesn’t melt this year.

    From the Catlin site just now.


    Weather Cloudy
    -36°C℃

    Present location

    83°56’09″N
    128° 55’ 43” W

    Total distance travelled 251.13 km

    Average daily distance 5.84 km

    Estimated distance to North Pole 673.39 km

    Time on ICE 43 days ”

    This is the same as yesterday so has not been updated yet.

    They say they did 12.2 km today.

  145. The insulation is used in satellites and is so good that the only heat loss from the tube is down the electrical leads that bring the battey (sic) connections out.

    So why do they have to spend hours steaming them?

  146. Of note: List of CPU power dissipations. This page covers from the early CPUs through the later Intel and AMD processors including dual core and quad core.

    Was there a link? I know CPU’s get warm, but so does any battery charging or discharging, thanks to internal resistance. This is only noticeable when the currents in either direction are significant, but a laptop battery delivering 20-30W will get quite warm, as you will discover if you take it out immediately after use.

    One of my hobbies is flying electric model aircraft, where the wattages are rather higher and battery cooling is a major consideration!

    What puzzles me about the Catlin setup is that simply using their equipment and keeping the batteries well insulated should be sufficient. No wonder things are going so slowly if they have to spend hours steaming them…

  147. Had this been a political interview Stephen Sakkur would have had the required knowledge to probe deeper, but he was clearly out of his depth in this interview.

    That’s the problem. The BBC means well (IMO) but is staffed by Arts graduates whose technical knowledge is abysmal. Science graduates go on to do science in some form, of course, while those without practical qualifications often end up in the ‘meeja’ where they learn all about presentation and nothing about content.

  148. Leon Brozyna (20:53:16) :

    “Sadly, it won’t be for naught. If nothing else, the proponents of this belief system are skilled propagandists. They will point to the ’success’ of this effort and show how thin the ice is, even if the extent increases.

    Expect the effort to be cut short because of the amount of ice that opens up; proof of how fast the ice is melting. I bet it was planned this way.

    No science, just a great propaganda coup.”

    Which is most likely the real battle here. AGWs now pushed to face the precipice of hard science – are increasing the level of hysteria. The reply is a steady drumbeat of level-headed truth. The hand wringing and teeth gnashing will increase, but the drum that beats the steady rhythm of scientific method – overpowers hysteria.

    Or, we’ll make the startling discovery of just why the adventurer’s warm breath does not steam the frigid air.

    Ron de Haan (12:29:40) :

    Thanks for the illuminating discussion of CD.

  149. James P et. al. you are correct

    Stephen Sakkur: He was born in Spilsby, Lincolnshire and studied at Cambridge University and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government

    Bios from Wiki and BBC do not say if he graduated nor in what subjects. I think this is a general problem with the MSM.

  150. “Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

  151. Adolfo Giurfa (06:38:59) :

    Something pertinent from a few years ago. From the comments section, not a news or opinion article

    The Chasm Between Grand and Great
    By Shawn Macomber

    [quote LA Times]
    I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time on my recent honeymoon. I didn’t feel particularly small, or smaller than usual anyway. I had no sudden epiphanies. There was no reinterpreting my life’s joys and sorrows as mere specks of dust in a vast universe. I also failed to come face to face with God, a feat many of my fellow travelers on the discount bus tour assured me they had easily accomplished. I suppose I must have wandered to the wrong viewing station, which is just my luck. A few weeks ago I spent five solid days at the Democratic convention and never once caught sight of Ben Affleck.

    Is the Grand Canyon impressive? Well, yeah. Biggest hole I ever saw. But let’s be reasonable here: It’s nature’s job to be impressive, isn’t it? The Colorado River (conspiring with wind, rain and gravity) has been working on that hole for more than 5 million years. It’s all hypothetical, of course, but give me 5 million years and a garden trough and I’ll carve you a Grand Canyon in New England. I’ll make Vermont an island with relief sculptures of Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders looking out into the world and a drawbridge that goes up when those evil fast-food company execs come knocking.

    Later, listening to the endless New Age meditations and ecstatic gushing of the bus driver and other tourists as we hurtled through hours of desert wasteland, I couldn’t help but see myself as a bit of a killjoy. “When we’re dead and gone, that canyon will still be there,” one woman across the aisle said reverentially. I resisted the urge to add, “Yeah, and so will your Gatorade bottle, but I’m not going to start worshiping that.” My disconnect from the others was as complete as if I had just shown up at the Indy 500 in a Prince T-shirt.

    My mental self-mortification over my confessed bad attitude began to dissipate, however, as we pulled up to Hoover Dam for a quick “photo op,” a stop that lasted a total of five minutes. Most people stayed on the bus, presumably to continue watching the Sandra Bullock witch flick, “Practical Magic,” on the overhead television.

    So I stood looking out at this massive feat of human ingenuity and wondered exactly how our priorities got so screwed up. I was facing more than 6 million tons of concrete restraining the Colorado River (something the Grand Canyon clearly cannot do) Score humans, eh? and creating Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. The Hoover Dam project was one of the only projects undertaken by the federal government to ever come in under budget and ahead of schedule. In addition to supplying water to cities up to 300 miles away, 17 4-million-pound generators in the dam capture 2.8 million kilowatts of electricity and send it along 2,700 miles of transmission lines to Los Angeles and other distant locales. The Hoover Dam project was a truly American effort: Every state provided supplies to the project. Ninety-six of the more than 15,000 workers involved lost their lives during the construction.

    Yet all it takes is Sandra Bullock casting a computer animated spell to reduce the attention to zero.

    Perhaps in 5 million years, when whatever life forms destined to follow us are studying the ruins of our culture, they will find value in Hoover Dam that many of us fail to ascribe to it today. When it comes down to it, the construction in the 1930s of a dam that continues to benefit millions of people to this day is without a doubt more impressive than a river wearing a channel in rock over millions of years. Hoover Dam makes a measurable, positive impact on the people in the Southwest. The Grand Canyon sells T-shirts and postcards and gives mules something to climb in and out of. I’m sure the mules would like to see us get our priorities straight as well.

    Look, God isn’t in the Grand Canyon — a river is. If people are searching for God or for an escape from their problems, I’d wager it’s more likely to be found in the complexities and possibilities of the human mind than inside a geological structure. Now if the Grand Canyon had been a public works project, that might be another story.[/quote]

  152. Thanks, but no thanks. Over thirty years operating battery-powered portable radios (starting with a 60’s vintage Moto HT200 through the HT220 series and onto various Yaesu, Icom and other late-model Motorolas with a variety of battery chemistrys and current-draw profiles (esp. transmit) has given me a first-hand view and an edge on the Johny-come-latelys with their laptop PCs and battery heat production.

    Besides, the Lenovo/IBM T60p thinkpad I have doesn’t ‘warm the battery’ due to dischrge as much as it does by being in contact with the chassis … and this model is equipped with a fan! Running MS Office suite plus LabVIEW development suite and our co’s security software I can assure you the little beast breathes fire out the air/fan exhaust port.

    If you dig deeper into the exploding battery problem, you find a couple things: Cheap battery knock-offs problematic ‘supervision’ circuitry in that ‘battery’ with a few bonafide quality problems from legitimate manufacturers.

    James P (03:05:44) :

    It’s not the battery that gets warm, it’s the micro-processor (CPU)

    The CPU has a cooling fan, the battery doesn’t, so sometimes this happens:

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/07/28/another_dell_laptop_burns/

    I realise that’s not meant to be normal behaviour, but all batteries have internal resistance, which results in heat when current flows in either direction, so they get warm when charging too. If you don’t believe me, take one out during charging or after a period of active use (e.g. not just on standby)…

    In the cases where I’ve drained the battery making long QSOs (talking) on one of those portable radios, it wasn’t the cell-pack that got hot, it was the area where the RF PA (Radio Frequency Power Amplifier) was mounted!

    Reference section:

    o Knock-off batts cited by laptop vendors as issue: http://blogs.computerworld.com/node/3267

    o List of CPU power dissipation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_power_dissipation
    .
    .
    .

  153. James P (08:25:21) :

    One of my hobbies is flying electric model aircraft, where the wattages are rather higher and battery cooling is a major consideration!

    You’re talking discharge of a high-capacity, high-energy density power source in only 10 to 15 minutes of flying; I’ve had plastic battery holders with NiCad (low capacity) cells melted/destoyed when the ‘pack’ terminals came across the same radio’s antenna in my briefcase; ruined both the pack holder and the antenna due to the heat produced in that short-circuit condition!

    but a laptop battery delivering 20-30W will get quite warm, as you will discover if you take it out immediately after use.

    Every morning I haul my T60p from our hour-long morning meeting conference room back to desk or lab; no unusual warmth is felt from the rather large protusion that is the battery pack on the back of that T60p laptop …
    .
    .

  154. Aron (02:11:02) :


    The plastic water bottle epitomises everything about this throwaway, disposable society,” said de Rothschild

    He should tell that to the billions of people over the last century who have finally had regular clean drinking water, juice and pasteurised milk added to their daily diet because of plastic bottles. Most of our ancestors had neither – a fact that escapes environmentalists.

    from the link:

    “The plastic water bottle epitomises everything about this throwaway, disposable society,” said de Rothschild, who trained to be a showjumper in England and who has trekked to both the north and south poles. However, he added that he was not aiming to demonise plastic, but was trying to highlight its alternative uses, as well as focusing global attention on the dangers posed to the ecology in regions such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    I would agree with this. AND it is not about CO2 :).

    Recycling is what people did while I was growing up, nothing was thrown away that might be used again somehow.

    We do not live a million years to see the plastic evaporate.

    Though I agree that plastic is immensely useful, I also do not enjoy swimming in plastic sand, which is what happens when all these start breaking down into smaller parts. A line is left of colorful little bits at the tide line, and is picked up again to float with you if the sea is calm. Yack.

    I spend half my week by the seaside, and on the walks I take I pick up plastic litter ( metal and paper I ignore) and throw it into the bins provided every 500 meters or so. This litter come sin from the open sea from plastics that have been thrown all over the place, from stream beds to boats cruising.

    Sometimes I feel like a bag lady, but my part of the beach, about 2 kilometers, stays tidy, and hopefully without this ubiquitous plastic sand.

    Whcih points to the problem : people should be educated about the disposal of plastic. That is a worthy goal, and the recycling business does a bit of that.

  155. Jim – I was simply querying the expedition’s need to warm batteries that would, at least to some extent, generate their own heat, that could be retained with insulation. All batteries have internal resistance, ergo they produce heat as a by-product of charge or discharge. This isn’t always noticeable in everyday use, but it is nonetheless impossible to avoid. Some chargers even use temperature as part of the feedback process! (I wonder if that was what gave AGW’ers the idea?)

    I used the laptop analogy as what I hoped would be a recognisable illustration. You may ascribe the heat in your Thinkpad’s battery pack to the rest of it, but some will be self-generated, I assure you – the reason is sticks out the back is to help this dissipate, which appears to work.

  156. Well said, Anna v (22:10:25)!

    The plastic in the oceans is causing real environmental problems right now. How many resources are being diverted from actual problems like this by the anti-CO2 movement?

    I too pick up plastic off the beach, but sometimes there’s just too much!

  157. I too pick up plastic off the beach, but sometimes there’s just too much!

    I’m no fan of plastic in the wrong place either, but I think the problem is one of attitude to disposability rather than the material itself. We are constantly exhorted not to put our shopping in thin plastic bags, yet the amount of plastic involved is vastly less than the packaging used to contain the items we have just bought! As a method of transporting stuff, they are very efficient, and if they end up in the oceans, that is unlikely to be the fault of most users. Education, a better attitude towards disposal (of all rubbish) and some effort to simplify over-packaging would largely solve the problem, IMHO. I realise, of course, that that’s easier said than done…

  158. Mike, you’re confusing things here. Just like the rescue crew are the people who will be hurt (or perhaps killed) in the attempt to rescue the Caitlin suicide mission, so you put the life of your granddaughter at risk with a home birth — for what?

    Sweet Grace could easily have been brain damaged, all it takes is a small complication and some bad luck — this happens to thousands of children every year, and it’s a terrible waste that can be avoided if there is the equipment ready to deal with the emergency. Your neighbor did the right thing to try and prevent your daughter from harming her baby, and you’re a fool to hate him for it.

    The Caitlin team, just like your daughter, are entitled to kill themselves if they want to, but when they put others deliberately at risk with their carelessness, they should be stopped.

  159. Your neighbor did the right thing to try and prevent your daughter from harming her baby

    That’s an astonishing thing to say! Are you really saying that the neighbour’s (and your) opinions carry more weight in the matter than the mother’s?

    It’s one thing to offer advice, entirely another to obstruct people exercising their own freedom of choice! Thank God we don’t (yet) live in a society that forces people to have children in hospital, or anywhere they feel happier. The risk of infection in hospitals is often greater than at home where, if you recall, the midwife was happy to perform. As so often in medicine, the risk/benefit analysis is far from clear.

    Much as I am enjoying the general schadenfreude over the Catlin expedition, I admire their fortitude and, however misguided, their spirit of endeavour. Do we really want to discourage that?

  160. I think that the survey is for Naught. According to the update 4/14, they failed one of their primary objectives which was to start the survey on muli-year ice.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/assets/downloads/Ice_Report_14_4_09.pdf

    “The Catlin Arctic Survey’s route was specifically designed so that the team would begin the expedition on multi‐year ice, transit briefly through a region primarily covered with first‐year ice, then enter a region in which second‐year ice now prevails………

    …….The fact that initial ice thickness results indicate that they have been travelling over first year ice, almost right from the start, indicates that the extent of the multi‐year ice is much reduced and is now confined to a narrow swath east of 130W along the northwest Canadian Arctic Archipelago / Greenland coasts.”

    Should’nt they have known this before hand? Can’t they see the same satelite imagery that I can? How much worse could their planning have been.

Comments are closed.