Quote of the week #8 – Monbiot: “looks like I’ve boobed”

qotw_cropped

Image from WUWT reader “Boudu”

The Guardian’s George Monbiot suffers (at his own expense) from excessive zeal in trying to disprove a statement by Telegraph Columnist, Christopher Booker, in his post: How to disprove Christopher Booker in 26 seconds

I set the stopwatch running, pasted “National Snow and Ice Data Center” into Google, found the site, clicked on News and Events > Press room > Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis and discovered that Booker’s claim was nonsense. It took me 26 seconds.

But then a couple of hours later, when commenters on his blog point out Monbiot’s own error in his 26 second rebuttal, he admits he’s “boobed”:

Whoops – looks like I’ve boobed. Sorry folks. As one of the posters on this thread points out, there are in fact two averages in play – 1979-2000 and 1979-2009. It is therefore correct to state that the April 2009 extent exceeds the 1979-2009 average, but not the 1979-2000 average. It remains the case, however, that the data relate to April, not May. Please accept my apologies for my mistake and the confusion it has caused.

He also confused Global and Polar.

Booker’s article said:(underline mine)

“..the world’s polar sea ice is in fact slightly above its average extent for early May since satellite records began in 1979.”

Monbiot’s rebuttal said:

“In other words, Arctic sea ice extent for April is in fact slightly below its average extent since 1979, not slightly above.”

Meanwhile in comments for the Monbiot 26 second rebuttal, some people think the picture of the U.S.S Skate nuclear submarine surfacing at the North Pole in 1959, as reported here. is a fake due to the photo being taken in “twilight”.

One commenter points out the official US Navy record:

Now you are trashing the source of the historical photo of the USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole on 17 March 1959, claiming that such a surfacing could not have occurred on this date.

Check the OFFICIAL U.S. Navy historical archive on site:
http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/datesmar.htm

Click on MARCH.

Scroll down and you will read for March 17:

1959 – USS Skate (SSN-578) surfaces at North Pole

Proof enough for you?

Apparently not.

The problem with that photo is that it was taken in daylight, whereas the Skate surfaced on March 17, before sunrise at the North Pole. That set off a flurry of troofer factoids trying to turn day into night.

I guess some people don’t understand the period of twilight, how much light would be available, and how B&W long exposure photography works.

Indeed, the discussion has become the Twilight Zone.

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171 thoughts on “Quote of the week #8 – Monbiot: “looks like I’ve boobed”

  1. Good publicity for what Booker said.

    Whenever I point out to people that the Arctic ice has largely recovered and that Antarctic Ice has been above average for some time the standard and unsurprised response is that neither politicians nor media are to be trusted.

    A number of recent events have destroyed public confidence in what people have been told on every subject.

    We are probably pushing on an open door and quite soon voter power will cause a U turn in political attitudes.

  2. hey hey hey heck, March 17th, sun still not properly risen (that darn twilight) and no ice at the North Pole… there must’ve been a lot of heat around that year or the one before…

  3. …anyway I’ve used that pic already for my Arctic bumper sticker design… Anthony I’ll be in touch soon, I’ve done 30 designs. That pic has gotta be correct or else!

  4. At least it’s obvious now who the real “deniers” are. Whether they’ll admit it or not, it’s looking less and less like those who ask questions are the ones with their heads stuck in the dirt.

  5. Off topic question: I would like to offer a guest post. How can this be arranged?

  6. History Erasers work much the same as Pencil Erasers: They both leave telltale smudges.
    Twilight in the Arctic and long B&W exposure on March 17th, 4 days before Equinox is highly plausible in the case of the USS Skate photo.
    The Navy said it happened, took photos, and the image speaks for itself.
    It was a first in an era of “Can Do”.
    10 years later we have men walking on the Moon.
    We still have “It was faked” conspiracies, and always will.
    But in those days, when those events were happening, we had real effort, and real journalists.

  7. How Monbiot proved himself to be a prize ass in 26 seconds!

    Is there no end to this man’s obtuse mediocrity?

  8. As with most of this stuff, for ideologues if it doesn’t fit their world view it must be wrong, even if it’s true.

  9. Monbiot should be applauded for admitting his mistake. There are very few in the public eye these days who do the same.
    Mike

  10. Revisionism strikes again. If a historical fact doesn’t match your cherished belief – trash it.

    What will the ‘troofers’ say about the recorded incidences of the North West Passage being navigable (1903-06 Roald Amundsen) way before ‘global warming’ was supposed to exist? Sheesh.

  11. Not only are the AGWers ignorant about the climate, they’re also ignorant about how to use a camera.

  12. the cryosphere site has not been updated for about ten days. Why not?

    REPLY: According to Walt Meier, the server that provides them with raw satellite data is not updating – Anthony

  13. I have just come across this news item on ‘Voice of Russia’. Nothing of this on the BBC, naturally! It rather puts the Catlin Caper in perspective.

    http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=44335&cid=219&p=27.04.2009

    Russian motorists drive to North Pole
    27.04.2009
    Russian motorists have reached the North Pole for the first time in an Arctic expedition. The new record has been set by a team of seven Russians. They set out for the Pole from the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago on two experimental Russian-made YEMELYA cars on the 20th of March, covered over 1,100 kilometres on pack ice, and reached the earth’s northern pole on Sunday, the 26th of April. The jubilant team of seasoned travellers is now receiving congratulations from across Russia.

  14. Mr Monbiot also remarked, in the same article, that Mr Booker was in the habit of quoting unsupported figures and that it was perhaps time for the editor of the Telegraph to take him to one side and have a quiet word with him. Perhaps now Mr Monbiot would like to apologise for that personal attack?

  15. rbateman,

    “But in those days, when those events were happening, we had real effort, and real journalists.”

    Sorry, if you did in depth research on the Vietnam War and how it was reported you would find that your statement does not correlate with reality. You should also check out the reporting on a book called Silent Spring, the issues involved, and how it was reported. Again, little connection.

    Back when the US was created we had something called the Yellow Press. Not much difference between then and now.

    The biggest difference in reporting then and now is who was doing it and what their agendas were/are.

  16. Please`don’t be too hard on The Guardian, at least it does not appear to censor posts such as sites like Real Climate, where debate is not even considered unless our Gav can shoot someone down?

  17. Shock, horror, awe! The Monobot not only makes one mistake, in fact two, but actually admits to one of them. Well I never!

    And we all thought he was an infallible disciple of the Great Goracle himself with the little red bobble on the top: that fount of all wisdom and inventor of t’internet.

    Bet it never appears in the Grauniad itself though: not that I read it.

    Sorry for the British flavoured jokes.

    Kindest Regards

  18. The problem with that photo is that it was taken in daylight, whereas the Skate surfaced on March 17, before sunrise at the North Pole. That set off a flurry of troofer factoids trying to turn day into night.

    I’m not a photographer but If you look at the picture, the light source is from behind the sub and directly in front of the photographer. I don’t think you would try this without special equipment. Who ever took the picture was making the most of the scattered light. What would you expect from a crack team of mariners?

  19. Looks to me like the North Pole is still frozen solid and the temperatures there are back down to around -10C. It has been pretty cloudy and they got a pretty good snowstorm a couple of days ago that covered the camera lens with snow. It did warm up to -1C there for a while, but went back down after the storm passed.

    Looking at the picture, I thought there might have been some open water beyond the wind generator but then realized that those were cloud formations above the horizon. Hard to make things out in that low light.

  20. Certainly contemporary films/ books such as ” Ice Station Zebra” show subs in the 60’s punching through the ice at the North Pole. These were the techno thrillers of the day and would be well researched, and I beleive it was common place for Nuc Subs to punch through the ice in this era. Perhaps some of our submariners from the period could comment? And before we trash them the UK Navy took its top recruits into the Submarine programme, and I would Imagine the US was the same. These sailors would be highly trained committed personnel

  21. If there is contention around how light it is in the North Pole around March then there must be plenty of photos, taken since USS Skate, of around the same time. I think the Catlin expedition started on the ice around the end of Feb.

  22. Hey, Crosspatch.

    NO FAIR CHEATING…and doing a LIVE OBSERVATION WITH A WEB CAM.

    That takes away all the fun of lying.

    Gee, the next thing you know you’ll find some RECORDING of a CIA briefing from 2002 of certain congresspeople.

    NASTY things these modern electronic devices. Making it harder and harder to use HUMAN RECOUNTING as a “sine qua non” source of information.

    (Actually, seriously, very happy several people have found that NP web cam. Keep up the good work group!)

  23. Robert van der Veeke says:

    So was there a nuclear submarine on the grassy knoll? (Spelling corrected, English is a bitch!)

    This is the funniest thing I have ever heard. I think that even Senator Arlen Specter would find that amusing.

  24. Monbiot’s hubris knows no bounds. I have seen many slipshod supposed “rebuttals” or “refutations” he has issued. He is like an arrogant 17 year old who has just discovered wikipedia.

    Good post.

  25. There are several references in the comments to Monbiot’s blog to WUWT, not all entirely complimentary (!) but at least it shows that it’s having an effect. Expect to see your stats keep climbing!

  26. As to the Skate surfacing. Is it just me, or isn’t it obvious that merely surfacing prior to dawn doesn’t in any way mean that the photo was taken at the time of surfacing.

    After all, the photo was taken from an ice floe OUTSIDE the submarine. This would have required the launching of a dinghy etc. etc. Obviously the photo was taken some hours subsequent to the actual surfacing. Why would there be problem with this. Monbiot’s desperate straw-clutching is becoming downright embarrassing.

  27. I posted this in an older blog that was about complete and in the light of the detail here might be considered worth mentioning again as it directly defines the person in question. :)
    —————–
    A. A. Gill is a restaurant critic for the London Times. My attention was drawn to this article due to the title “Environmentalists are just not attractive”. Below is a portion of the statement all forming part of a restaurant critique. Bon appetite. :)

    The truth is, environmentalists are just not attractive. They’re not winning, engaging, amusing or empathetic. They are ranty, repetitive, patronising, demanding, deaf, weirdly bonkers and smelly. Environmentalists are the nutters with degrees in composting who sit next to you on the bus. But that’s not their real impediment. The real killer thing is the schadenfreude: the naked, transparent, hand-rubbing glee with which they pass on every shame, sadness and terror. No disaster is too appalling or imminent that the green movement can’t caper and keen with a messianic glee. Take George Monbiot, the Malvolio of the green movement, who, as I’ve pointed out before, would be a geography teacher if it weren’t for the amazing good fortune of imminent apocalypse. Every week, he sifts the minute details of demise, like a jolly self-congratulatory Scrooge. Most of us would rather drown with the polar bears and Bangladesh than get in a lifeboat steered by Monbiot.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/a_a_gill/article6225761.ece

  28. Just goes to show that all work (and claims) should be checked and checked again. Mr. Monbiot shows us that some folks, with there own preconceived ideas, are just too keen to read things, which just aren’t there!

  29. That could be about 25 seconds more than the usual time spent researching those articles.

  30. I think your are all too respectful when you refer to George as Mr Monbiot. Instead you should address him by the nickname given to him by Christopher Booker, which is Moonbat. You can add Mr if you wish, but etiquette wise it is wasted.

    REPLY: Name calling and labeling does nothing but lower your own level of discourse, when you have no other facts to present, which is why alarmists often resort to name calling and labeling. I choose not to have that here, so please refrain from further remarks along those lines here. – Anthony

  31. Well we are working on the Guardian:
    In this article Juliette Jowit does a full gymnastics routine in order to confuse readers into thinking Arctic Sea Ice is in rapid decline:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/06/arctic-sea-ice-warning
    when in reality Arctic Sea Ice Extent was recovering and is now quite close to average:

    and in this one by David Adam plays the “what if” routine with the “collapse” of the West Antarctic ice sheet:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/18/west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melt
    when Antarctic Sea Ice, which is supposedly holding the whole thing together, is well above average and now potentially verging on record territory:

    Does the Guardian have any environmental journalists or are they all just propagandists?

  32. Lucy Skywalker (09:07:56) :…anyway I’ve used that pic already for my Arctic bumper sticker design… Anthony I’ll be in touch soon, I’ve done 30 designs. That pic has gotta be correct or else!

    I did an ersatz forensic review of the photo on the prior NP Nuke boat thread and find it credible. Arctic sunrise isn’t like tropical sunrise. 3 days before sunrise the sun would be hanging around just under the horizon with plenty of scattered twilight. I estimated the picture was taken with Tri-X, perhaps push processed a stop. I’ve done street scenes at MIDNIGHT with such a set up in the ’70s (not quite contemporaneous but close enough). Also I found a full color picture done of the Skate from the same time frame, that appears to be the same camera, so we know they had color film and needed the extra speed of a fast Black and White (i.e. it was too dark to use their color film).

    Some Excerpts from that prior thread:

    arctic-astronomy (08:54:38) : There’s an awful lot of light in the “17 March 1959? north pole picture, given that the sun is still about 1.5o below the horizon and hasn’t yet risen at the north pole on March 17.

    Or fast film and a fast lens. The soft focus foreground and slightly soft at the tail of the boat indicate a very open fast lens. Their seems to be a graininess (though hard to tell through the binary translation) that would indicate a fast B&W film. There appears to be slight motion blur to some of the peoples heads that would indicate a shutter speed of about 1/30 to 1/50 second (though again, access to a better image would let me make a more reliable evaluation). The overall flatness of the image implies fast film, pushed processing, or very flat lighting (such as indirect lighting from could diffusion / reflection) or all three.

    I would speculate that this is a picture taken on about an ASA 400 film, perhaps a 200 ASA pushed to 800 at most, with an f stop of about F2, and a shutter speed of about 1/30 of a second. I would speculate it was 120 format, since 35mm was still relatively new then, but it could be 35mm as Tri-X was introduced in that format in 1954. If 35mm, the photographer had to have a very steady hand or a stable gunwale to brace against. IIRC, a 2 stop push was well known then and Kodak Tri-X was introduced in the ’40s with an ASA of 200. I don’t remember the 1959 speed. Given that I’ve taken street pictures at night with such settings, diffuse over the horizon sunlight from cloud bounce ought to provide more than enough light. I see nothing in the picture to indicate it is fraudulent.

    Compare it with the second picture of the Skate. Much higher contrast with hot spots, sharp edges, greater depth of field, even what looks like a small quantity of cloud detail near the conning tower. Much more light, lens stopped down, shutter faster, less / no push processing, and though the figures are smaller making it harder to determine – they do not seem to show motion blur (even though there is what might be an expectation of motion given the bent posture of the bodies).

    Finally, though they are color pictures, the more recent photos such as the Hawkbill show a hard crisp sharpness with great detail and depth of field of a full daylight snow scene consistent with a full sun environment. That is what is missing from the Skate pictures and what you would expect to see if the pictures had been taken in full sun with the sun above the horizon.

    Again, access to better copies of the image would allow a more definitive analysis, but these pictures are all consistent with their asserted context.
    […]

    Looking at the original here:

    It’s a bit better image, but not by much. Less flat contrast, but not by enough to change my opinion. Sharpness is better, so I’m less critical of the lens quality. If the image format reflects the film format, it’s closest to 122 film size (also called ‘postcard’) though it doesn’t exactly match anything. Aspect ratio of about 1.66 : 1 where 35mm is 1.5 : 1 and 120 format 6×9 is also 1.5:1 and some odd 120 frame sizes are 1.5x : 1 with postcard at 1.69:1 so I’d guess at this point it was a ‘postcard’ camera in 122 film format or 1.5:1 image with the foreground cropped to remove excess water and raft to fit on a postcard. It is possible it’s a 35mm rangefinder camera (they were around then and would fit easier on a small sub) and if this image is as sharp as it gets, well, even old poor 120 in 6 x 9 had better sharpness than this image. I’d expected the original to be much larger than this and with better resolution. My error of assumption / guessing.

    So at this point the only change I’d make is to say I think it’s a 35mm rangefinder with Tri-X in ASA 200, possibly push processed a stop or two, stabilized by resting on the raft gunwale and with the image cropped to remove excess foreground from that ersatz ‘tripod’.

    and

    Given what GIStemp does with rewriting historical temperatures 100 years in the past and 1500 km away from a station, I would count this picture as a solid gold standard of accuracy in comparison. So toss GIStemp, keep the photo.

    FWIW:

    Shows a full color full sun picture of the Skate from the same period (the wiki story says the surfaced 10 times on their polar run). Notice that it is full color and high resolution.

    This tells me that they had nice color film that needed lots of light but could not use it for their polar picture (i.e. it was dark and they needed more than ASA 100 to get any picture at all). Assuming it’s the same camera (reasonable assumption on a small boat, consistent with pictures) we know the lens when stopped down gives very good depth of field and reasonable edge sharpness (confirming prior estimates of camera settings for polar picture as opposed to it just being a bad camera). There is an interesting fuzzy cloud at the stern again. I suspect now that there is a purging of the air systems going on and that is vapor condensation in both pictures. In this picture you can see the open water behind the boat where it surfaced before butting up to the ice to let off a ‘shore party’. This picture IMHO, confirms that the polar picture was taken before significant sun was above the horizon (i.e. indirect light from high cloud) and puts the date at 17, 18, 19th interval. After that, you had sun above the horizon and would have had significantly more light with a harsher side lighting effect.

    is the same picture as in the WUWT article, but includes a bit of legal reference to the provider and cites the taker of the photo as a navy employee for purposes of public domain copyright (i.e. it’s isn’t photoshopped or someone is on the hook for a copyright violation…)

    and the article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Skate_(SSN-578)

    Sites multiple subs making multiple trips to the arctic and pole with multiple surfacings including:

    In early March 1959 , she again headed for the Arctic to pioneer operations during the period of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. The submarine steamed 3,900 miles (6,300 km) under pack ice while surfacing through it ten times. On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating “… for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter….” In the fall of 1959 and in 1960, Skate participated in exercises designed to strengthen American antisubmarine defenses.

    So you can argue with the Navy about wether or not they awarded a Bronze Star and Unit Commendation based on the truth, or not. Me, I’m of the opinion that Bronze Stars and Unit Commendations are a bit hard to come by and not handed out willy nilly. Might even take some photo documentation…

  33. re:Twilight
    Here’s a plug for the free planetarium software – Stellarium. Plug in the north pole location, the date mentioned, select ocean for the background, press play and you can get a feel for what the light conditions were.

  34. The sun is not a point source of light. It has a diameter which covers about 0.5 degrees of the sky. Between the equinox and solstice, the sun’s position moves 23.5 degrees in 90 days, for an average of 1/4 degree per day. Thus is takes about two days for the sun to fully rise at the North Pole.

    The point being that the North Pole starts to receive direct sunshine a couple of days ahead of the equinox. Monboit demonstrates a failure to grasp both the science and the math.

  35. MartinGAtkins (10:12:47) : I’m not a photographer but If you look at the picture, the light source is from behind the sub and directly in front of the photographer.

    I’m sorry, but I’m a rabid photographer and I don’t get that from the picture. It has generally even and flat lighting over the whole scene. Consistent with diffuse twilight from heavily overcast skies. The only darkening is the corner darkening of the picture which is more consistent with the falloff of lens speed in the corners than with a lighting artifact. I would be hard pressed to pick a direction from which I thought the light was coming, based on the picture, other than “all the overcast everywhere”.

    I don’t think you would try this without special equipment.

    I’ve taken many pictures into the light source using ordinary equipment. A filter or three can help, but would not be used under these circumstances as they would cut down the light available for the exposure. All you would really need to do is expose for the people and let the background wash out a bit. That is, open the aperture or use a slower shutter speed by about 1 stop (two if higher contrast and strongly backlit).

    Who ever took the picture was making the most of the scattered light. What would you expect from a crack team of mariners?

    Exactly so. My take on it (especially given the contemporaneous color image from a different surfacing) is that the photographer definitely knew his stuff, but was dealing with a difficult low light flat lighting situation and STILL got a decent picture. Near the limits of the technology of the day, but still ‘good enough’ and something that I could replicate with equipment and materials that I have that are nearly “period correct”. ( I have a couple of 1960’s era mechanical cameras and some “old formula” Tri-X from about 1980? carefully wrapped in lead foil and stored in a freezer… “Why, don’t ask why. Down that path lies insanity and ruin… – emsmith” …)

    Addressing why: Kodak changed the film thickness with thinner coating. One of my favorite developers was a two step process where you soaked “part a” into the film, then put it in “part b” and did not need to do any timing (that being set by the amount of “a” that could be held by the coating). It was not clear this would work with the “new formula” so I froze 50 feet? 100 feet? of it (whatever came on a reloading roll…) “Just In Case”.

    Well, between using up all the individual rolls I also packed away, and finding other films that worked just fine with my Favorite Developer and figuring out how to use New Tri-X and finding out that I kind of liked the then new Kodac developers too… my archives still sits in the freezer…

    So if you know anyone who wants a well preserved roll of “thick emulsion” Tri-X … just send them over to chiefio.worpress.com …

  36. Steven Goddard
    Touche
    But I’ll go the last step further and say 26 seconds more than usual.

  37. Monbiot is the co-founder of the UK political party Respect which is now widely known now for being a far left alliance of Marxists and Islamists. The other co-founder was Saddam’s friend and buddy to all Islamists George Galloway, who remains active as the party’s unofficial leader. Monbiot is also an open advocate for a world government. Monbiot’s interest in environmentalism is purely political.

  38. On March 17, there should be enough twilight at the North Pole to take a picture like that of USS Skate. The warmers don’t like facts, of course, and will do anything to put facts into question. By the way, because of the refraction of the atmosphere, the Sun will actually rise at the North Pole slightly before the spring equinox.

  39. MartinGAtkins (10:12:47) : I’m not a photographer but If you look at the picture, the light source is from behind the sub and directly in front of the photographer.

    I’m sorry, but I’m a rabid photographer and I don’t get that from the picture. It has generally even and flat lighting over the whole scene. Consistent with diffuse twilight from heavily overcast skies. The only darkening is the corner darkening of the picture which is more consistent with the falloff of lens speed in the corners than with a lighting artifact. I would be hard pressed to pick a direction from which I thought the light was coming, based on the picture, other than “all the overcast everywhere”.

    I don’t think you would try this without special equipment.

    I’ve taken many pictures into the light source using ordinary equipment. A filter or three can help, but would not be used under these circumstances as they would cut down the light available for the exposure. All you would really need to do is expose for the people and let the background wash out a bit. That is, open the aperture or use a slower shutter speed by about 1 stop (two if higher contrast and strongly backlit).

    Who ever took the picture was making the most of the scattered light. What would you expect from a crack team of mariners?

    Exactly so. My take on it (especially given the contemporaneous color image from a different surfacing) is that the photographer definitely knew his stuff, but was dealing with a difficult low light flat lighting situation and STILL got a decent picture. Near the limits of the technology of the day, but still ‘good enough’ and something that I could replicate with equipment and materials that I have that are nearly “period correct”. ( I have a couple of 1960’s era mechanical cameras and some “old formula” Tri-X from about 1980? carefully wrapped in lead foil and stored in a freezer… “Why, don’t ask why. Down that path lies insanity and ruin… – emsmith” …)

    Addressing why: Kodak changed the film thickness with thinner coating. One of my favorite developers was a two step process where you soaked “part a” into the film, then put it in “part b” and did not need to do any timing (that being set by the amount of “a” that could be held by the coating). It was not clear this would work with the “new formula” so I froze 50 feet? 100 feet? of it (whatever came on a reloading roll…) “Just In Case”.

    Well, between using up all the individual rolls I also packed away, and finding other films that worked just fine with my Favorite Developer and figuring out how to use New Tri-X and finding out that I kind of liked the then new Kodac developers too… my archives still sits in the freezer…

    So if you know anyone who wants a well preserved roll of “thick emulsion” Tri-X …

  40. Meanwhile, here we are a full 2 weeks past May 4th’s NSIDC update on arctic sea-ice and STILL no link for it on their news column on the right side of their homepage.

    Every other sea-ice update which gave forth food for alarmist fodder was posted there the day the update was released and immediately picked up by MSM outlets as more proof that we’re headed for an imminent state of inferno. Now that their headline reads “A slow start to the spring melt season” no spot on the front page and no coverage by any media outlet. Simply amazing….

  41. Stephen Wilde (09:02:03) :

    Whenever I point out to people that the Arctic ice has largely recovered and that Antarctic Ice has been above average for some time the standard and unsurprised response is that neither politicians nor media are to be trusted.

    But the Antarctic is going to cause problems so we need to blow it up with nuclear bombs.

    Will Polar Waves Swamp America?

    Excerpts…

    In other words, according to Brown’s forecast, the weight of ice at the South Pole is going to pull the “wobbling” earth off its present axis. After the globe tilts the North Pole may be found somewhere in the equatorial Pacific, with the South Pole in Africa.

    With the shift in the earth’s axis, Brown contends, much of the world will be flooded. Perhaps the only survivors will be the Eskimos” if they can adapt themselves to a sudden switch to the tropics.

    Mechanix Illustrated
    Jan, 1949
    (LINK)

    I think Mr. Brown is a relative of Al Gore and James Hansen. :)

  42. I suppose when he was creating the internet, Gore didn’t realize that data resource would become the undoing of his masterpiece creation that followed…

    :-)

  43. Some background info for non-Brits. Monbiot is the foremost catastrophic AGW journalist in Britain. Booker is the foremost climate sceptic (or, as Monbiot prefers, denialist) journalist. Monbiot writes in the liberal (i.e. socialist) Guardian. Booker writes in the conservative (i.e. socialist) Telegraph. Both would be considered far left in the US. Monbiot recently instituted the Booker Bullshit Award for false (i.e. sceptical) climate journalism. The current favourite to win is the Flint, Michigan journalist John Tomlinson. Monbiot recently claimed to have worked several hundred hours on an article demolishing Tomlinson’s arguments (he failed). Monbiot is bound by the terms of his award to go on crying bullshit to sceptics every week until December, in a newspaper with a proud record of radical journalism going back nearly two centuries. Some of us marxist / watermelon / sceptic / denialists find this somewhat irritating. Hope that’s not too confusing, or ad hominem.

  44. David Porter (11:23:41) :

    I will inform Christopher Booker, probably one of your greatest admirers, of your distaste for so called name calling. I am sure that Mr Gore would be pleased also now that he will no longer be referred to as the “goreacle” or similar names. All of course are in jest.

  45. The problem with Monbiot is that he is God. How else can one explain that he knows everything about anything? (Look at his writing in general and you know what I mean).

    And God, as is widely accepted, is always right.

  46. Lee Kington (12:12:22) :

    Earth axis shift? That sounds like the Hab Theory, a novel from the mid-70’s. Amusing, but totally ignorant of simple laws of motion. The amount of ice at the poles, while impressive from our puny point of view isn’t a tiny pimple on the … of the Earth. Reduced to the size of a pool ball, our little rock would roll around very nicely.

    We should not be so hard on poor George. He filters everything he sees or reads through his system of beliefs. He wants to save (or at least rule) the planet. Anything outside his views must be rejected. At least he admitted that he went a bit too far. A certain ex-VP hasn’t reached that level.

    So much for nice: I think he’s a boob.

  47. Since this is a man who has made the mistake, he should have said, “I’ve dicked”. “Boobed” is what I do when I screw up.

  48. I believe the saying is “If you find yourself in a hole then you should stop digging”. Oh my, yes they are digging, yep all the way to China. Anyway, i finished reading the comments on the Guardian article, its almost on par with you-tube commenters by the looks of it.

    This photo of the Skate at the northpole is the equivalent of tossing a grenade into a pack of demons in “Doom”, so much carnage, so much fun.

    @ Richard Sharpe (10:50:35) :
    Thanks for the correction.

  49. I think Monbiot should be commended for having the integrity and good grace to admit when he is wrong, a quality we see so little of among the Hockey Team and their cult followers. Now if we can get him to publish a comfirmation that the USS Skate was in open water at the north pole in 1958, that the north pole was warmer then than it is now, we can announce that hell hath frozen over.

  50. Re Geoff Chambers

    I’ll take issue with you on the Telegraph. It may have a one apparently left leaning Assistant Editor but otherwise it is mainstream conservative and certainly I would put it in between the Democrats (who are only really left wing when trying to get elected) and the Republicans. However, despite playing host to Christopher Booker whom I would describe as libertarian rather than left wing, it now swallows the AGW junk mostly hook, line and sinker. For more about Booker, see his book Scared to Death or just read his column where you will find trenchant criticism of say the EU and our general loss of democracy in the UK.

    He is a regular supporter of this Blog and for that, respect.

    Cheers

    Paul

  51. David Porter (12:44:16) :
    David Porter (11:23:41) :

    We are not going to win this by name calling or by belittling others, we are going to win this because the facts are on our side. Anything that distracts attention from the clear and unbiased communication of the facts is counter to our objectives.

  52. geoffchambers (12:39:02) :

    Geoff perhaps the personal description of Monbiot would be best conveyed without the vulgarity?

    With that… I apologize to Anthony for the question if it is deemed inappropriate that I made it.

  53. Excellent analysis by EM Smith. In the early 1960s, we were still using a standard U.S. Navy camera (K-20 as I recall) that used 4 x 5 format negatives and manual cocking. The primary airborne hand-held camera was the Hulcher, a slow sequence 70mm movie camera (5 or 10 frames per second selectable) with 4″, 7″ and 11″ lens and Tri-X film. We could take an identifiable night photograph with a 70-million candlepower searchlight starting the camera at a mile and a half; without Tri-X that would not have been possible. Certainly the technology existed to take the photo of the Skate. As others have noted, the sun is at least partly visible prior to the Equinox at the North Pole and twilight is several hours long prior to that.

    I have a personal affinity for the U.S.S. Skate. I was on-scene commander (in an aircraft) during the attempt to rescue the crew of Balsa 24, a freighter sinking in the Atlantic. Skate popped up to the surface and despite the atrocious conditions did manage to take aboard the sole survivor. The rest is a long story involving the Canadian CP-140 (and me), a USN P-3, a USCG C-130, a Russian freighter, Skate, both Halifax and New York Rescue Centres (Centers y’all) and the unfortunate Balsa 24. A sad night and I talked to the captain right up to the moment he knew his ship was sinking under him and went over the side in a dinghy, only to perish from exposure.

  54. Monbiot flew to the US this week for a little jolly. Which is a little hypocritical as he has been preaching to us for years not to fly anywhere, not to go abroad on holiday, not to use filament lightbulbs or use Aga’ amongst thousands of other requests of deprivation. This does not apply to Monbiot himself though. He can fly where he wants, when he wants and thinks that planting a few lettuces in his vegetable patch will make up for his own indulgences.

    As I posted on the Guardian site this week if the AGW bandwagon was communism Monbiot would be in the Politburo driving his Zil limo along lanes reserved exclusively for him, laughing at the peasants toiling the earth.

    Of course my comment was swiftly removed.

    With his double cock-up this weekend though (and he has not yet apologised to Booker for responding about Arctic sea ice when Booker was referring to Global sea ice) I am beginning to think Monbiot is in fact a double agent. He was planted many years ago by The Skeptics and was only activated a few years ago to try to bring the whole Alarmist Brigade into disrepute. That grand plan seems to be working nicely.

  55. Retired Engineer (13:12:15) :

    Earth axis shift? That sounds like the Hab Theory, a novel from the mid-70’s.

    Perhaps the novel was inspired by the 1949 article.

    There is a bit of line in the article that makes me think of Gore and his “Inconvenient Truth” movie.

    It sounds utterly fantastic. Yet the theory has received serious attention in the press and certain scientific circles.

    That same line is applicable to the Catlin Expedition and doomsday stories regarding the melting North Pole. Aside from the intentional inaccuracies conveyed by some there are others who mean well, who intend to be completely candid that simply say things in the wrong way. Often it is a matter of opting for simplicity rather than clarity. I fully understand how such occurs. It gets tiresome having to go through all of the related factors to a complex topic each time a statement is made.

    This summer we will once again here the Arctic ice is melting. “Seasonal Melt” will be left out of the stories. Also, rarely is what actually occurs conveyed. As a result a large number of people think that in the summer, due to global warming, the Arctic sea ice just sits there and melts like an ice cube in a bowl.

    A portion of the science community and, with greatest certainty, the media are doing a huge disservice to the public, to man, and even to our educational structure.

  56. the more appropriate picture is this one of HMS Superb, USS Billfish and USS Sea Devil ALL at the north pole on 18 May 1987.

  57. Janama,
    The 22nd anniversary of that polar meeting is tomorrow! I wonder what the north pole will look like Monday?
    Mike

  58. I guess some people don’t understand the period of twilight, how much light would be available, and how B&W long exposure photography works.

    Actually, you don’t even have to go THAT far on this. The “troofers” are betting on the official notation that the sub surfaced during twilight. The photos could have been taken at ANY point after the surfacing. Given that crewmen are standing around all over the hull, this seems to be the case. At least I HOPE they weren’t riding the hull when the Skate was down below under the ice– and then the aliens who happened to be waiting there snapped the picture when the sub surfaced with the crew on the hull! :)

    Yes, there IS a short period of daylight in the Arctic in mid-March! They obviously waited until there WAS enough light to get some pictures. The “twilight” time the sub surfaced is irrelevant… it only refers to the actual time the sub broke surface.

  59. One of the activities undertaken by the crew of the Skate after surfacing at the Pole on March 17, 1959 was the commitment of Sir George Hubert Wilkins’ ashes to the sea. Here is a photograph taken of the ceremony:

    This would seem to confirm that sufficient light for photography was present at some point during Skate’s time on the surface that day, but also suggest that the surface was iced over during at least for part of the time.

    I will say that the photo in question does not agree with Commander Calvert’s description of the conditions upon surfacing on March 17th, but I do not know how long the Skate remained on the surface.

  60. The Guardian won’t let me post, tho they claim they’re only “pre-moderating” in case I break their rules. May I post here the comment I can’t address directly to Monbiot? (I’ve been plugging your site, plus ClimateAudit Climate Resistance et al on Guardian Climate for months). Thanks.

    peterdtm s suggestion back at 3.26pm that the US Russian and British navies may have half a century of useful data on Arctic climate is surely one of the more useful ideas to emerge on a Guardian climate blog for a long time. Or do you all prefer to discuss photo captions till hell freezes over?

    Meanwhile Mr Monbiot still hasn’t acknowledged his second error. Two errors in 26 seconds is surely a record of some kind. He’s got eight months and counting until he presents the Booker BS award. Guardian Environment has taken to calling it the Booker Climate Rubbish Award, but we know its real name, because there’s a photo (6 Feb 2009) taken in daylight by G Monbiot himself. Dont mess with the BS George. You’ll only put your foot in it.

  61. Anyone who has ever lived in the high Arctic also knows that the sun doesn’t need to be “up” in order for it to be light. There will be many days in February and early March when the sun is not visible on the southern horizon, but there is lots of light around.

    By mid March there are many hours every day of “light”. Hell, by mid-February there’s lotsa light.

  62. “Tony (09:33:06) :

    the cryosphere site has not been updated for about ten days. Why not?

    REPLY: According to Walt Meier, the server that provides them with raw satellite data is not updating – Anthony”

    I haven’t been able to get on to ROOS in some days too.

  63. AKD (11:28:39) :

    Website of the successful Russian expedition can be found here:

    http://www.yemelya.ru/index.php

    I think it would be great if WUWT could give this team’s accomplishment some more publicity in the West.

    I bet Clarkson wishes he’d had one of those! Clearly the Russians weren’t too worried about the ice thickness – does anyone know if they took any measurements, or are they simply not playing the silly AGW game?

    During the cold war I remember hearing someone remark that he thought it significant that while the Americans’ national game was baseball, the Russians’ was chess…

  64. O/T

    I look at the pictures of the ‘orange’ sun as seen on the right margin every day. About 5 days ago the ‘dead pixel’ that has been there for a long while at the 4:30 position is now gone, but now there is a dead pixel at the 10:30 position that seems to have shown up the next day I looked.

    It’s as if the image of the sun was somehow flipped 180 degrees and the pixel moved to the mirror opposite side.

    Can anyone confirm if it is just coincidence that the 4:30 pixel was fixed and immediately a new 10:30 pixel went black? Or was there an image alteration that occurred? Or something else that I am unaware of?

    Thanks for any information that anyone may offer.

    Jim

  65. [snip – sorry, Andy, but this sort of labeling and name calling is not what I want to see here on WUWT – Anthony]

  66. Graeme Rodaughan at (15:58:48) says: “At least Monbiot apologised..”
    For the first mistake, about the comparison period, yes, but not for the second, about confounding Arctic with global ice extent.
    This might not matter, except that Monbiot has been accusing Booker of being a bullshitter (his word, not mine) for the past 3 months, in a campaign designed to last until December. Monbiot has promised to use his position in the Guardian, an internationally respected newspaper, to promote the Booker Bullshit Award, to be attributed to the “best” “denialist” article.
    Note that Monbiot calls us climate sceptics denialists, and says we’re worse than paedophiles. Note that his first attempt to counter Booker”s arguments head-on resulted in two stupid mistakes in 26 seconds. Note that he intends to use his position in a major (and formerly serious) British newspaper to accuse us sceptics of bullshitting right up to December, when he attributes his Bullshitter Award.
    Please excuse this rant. I’ve been banned from commenting at the Guardian, ostensibly for “insulting readers”. I don’t normally use Monbiot’s vocabulary.
    And by the way, the ice is doing fine.

  67. I’m curious if a nuclear submarine would carry flares that could light the area.

    REPLY: Yes, they are called ICBM’s – Anthony

  68. So lying on their grassy knoll, the AGW troofers reckon, in the same bizarre tradition as the fake moon landings, that the USS Skate’s Arctic photo’s are fake!

    …. Well after observing the Caitlin farce..err, Expedition. No lie or exaggeration is too big for AGW activists.

    As for Monbiot. 26 seconds before he abused the truth?….. It’s amazing he lasted that long.

  69. If I understand the arguments at play here, or rather THERE, amongst the Moonbat’s comments:

    The broad daylight of the photos proves that in 1954, Big Tobacco had a moon base set up to discredit global warming.

    Have I got it right?

    Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. File under “flacid humor”.

  70. Non-Brits may be wondering why so many people (Brits) refer to “The Grauniad”.

    The satirical magazine Private Eye used this anagram for the rag to highlight its poor spelling and editing.

  71. I submitted the comment below and it seems to have evaporated, but when I try to resubmit it, wordpress says that I already submitted it, wuwt?

    Here is the Guardian’s “Climate change scepticism” page:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-change-scepticism
    I was particularly amused by “Monbiot’s royal flush”:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/mar/09/climate-change-deniers-monbiot-cards?picture=344343776
    which is one of today’s “Editors’ picks”.

    I was surprised that Anthony didn’t make the cut, but I suspect that after the last couple days there will be plenty more cards to go around…

  72. Regarding the assertionists, or believers, as opposed to the denialists, I am finding myself more and more stating to those who just follow the propaganda:

    “But they are lying; the Arctic is not melting; the planet is not warming; the seas are not warming; the Polar bears are not dying (any more than usual)”

    What is interesting in this development is that I am reduced to telling people that they are being lied to, as the facts are stark.

    I am growing frustrated with this obnoxious and dangerous Lysenkoism. I think I might stop the traffic on the Gardener Expressway. (Note to Ed: Canadian joke)

  73. Jim (16:08:02) : regarding the “dead pixel”:

    I look for the “SW” dead pixel often toi calibrate my vision, but could not find it, while the “sunspeck” you talk of could be a diagonal reflection.

  74. The punters in the UK are pretty antsy about their elected politicians at the moment regardless of which mob got their votes. The expenses report has no political affilation.

    To preach gorebull warming policies that will destroy the economy will be one of those nail things that get whacked into coffins for most of the expense whores. George will fade too.

    Same in Australia. Gorebull warming, the greatest threat to life on earth, is now not as important as, err, other political thingies. Kev wants to save the world from other things now.

  75. “The problem with that photo is that it was taken in daylight, whereas the Skate surfaced on March 17, before sunrise at the North Pole. That set off a flurry of troofer factoids trying to turn day into night.”

    There was ample light. First sunrise in 1959 according to NOAA was March 21st: “apparent sunrise: 3:04AM 21Mar”
    http://www.srrb.noaa.gov/highlights/sunrise/sunrise.html

    The picture of the Skate appears to show a *reflection* of the sub in varying water/mixed ice, not an actual shadow. Look closely for places the “shadow” is missing from the picture, as in the bottom middle area. Also consider why much of the sub doesn’t cast a shadow or a vague one, yet should were the “shadow” a result of a direct sun at such an angle behind the sub (besides, it’s really foggy).

    This is of course a well known phenomena, for example


  76. Rod Smith (17:10:03) :

    I’m curious if a nuclear submarine would carry flares that could light the area.

    REPLY: Yes, they are called ICBM’s – Anthony

    LOL, but just fyi, Skate was not a boomer.

  77. It is therefore correct to state that the April 2009 extent exceeds the 1979-2009 average, but not the 1979-2000 average.

    This is another confirmation of my gridded ice area post.

  78. As everyone well knows, the USS Skate photo was part of the rollout of the much bigger hoax of man walking on the moon. This was actually a picture of the conning tower of a sub that was made of cardboard and placed on the white sands of New Mexico to look like ice. Once they perfected that technique it made the moon landing hoax pictures much easier to pull off!

    /sarc off

    It’s quite enjoyable to watch this ediface crumble.

  79. From my earlier claim “The picture of the Skate appears to show a *reflection* of the sub in varying water/mixed ice, not an actual shadow.”

    The smoking gun: Look along the water line to see details of the sub reflected in the water/ice mix. The ice on the forward section of the sub just above the water line is reflected (not a shadow). The vertical line of ice below the “7” is reflected. The conning tower reflection is distorted, the outline is mostly blurred and distorted. There are many other give-aways in this picture that reveal the “shadow” to be but a poor reflection in ice slush.

  80. True USS Skate did not carry ICBMs but even back then might well have had other nuclear warheads on board.

    As indeed her modern replacements probably do: and as the Royal Navy also probably does on its own hunter/killer nuclear boats.

    Not that either navy will confirm or deny that.

    And of course a nuclear warhead detonated underwater does not illuminate the sky. But it certainly throws a lot of water into the air: along with any hapless surface vessels which happen to be about.

    Kindest Regards

  81. The blog on that article was very funny,there was no changing that posters mind,and the funny thing was,his ID was on the fence.He tried to discredit Anthony by saying he published a fake photo,but a couple of readers were on to him,probably posters from here.I followed a link to the photo from a poster in that blog,and on the navy site it had next to the picture thanks to tripod,or something like that,so I don’t know where the photo came from,maybe the photographer kept some for himself. I don’t know why the guy kept arguing,the photo definitely came from the navy site,but he insisted it wasn’t taken on that day because it would have been dark at that time of the year(somehow that made Anthony non credible).There was no argument about what year it was taken.He may have been right about the day,but it was a trivial argument,just to throw dirt at this site.

  82. Just plug the date into google earth and show sunlight. It shows that the terminator was ~16deg south of the north pole.

  83. From national geographic on the Russian expedition which planted a flag on the north pole in August 2007.
    “”It took us seven days and seven nights to reach the North Pole,” he says. “The ice was heavy. It was not a simple task.” Near the Pole, Chilingarov’s ships found an opening in the ice, and in went two submersibles, Mir I and Mir II. Chilingarov was in the first one. His goal, the true North Pole, was 14,000 feet below.”
    Two interesting statements, first “the ice was heavy” at the time when we were told that the ice was its lowest level in history. Second the fact that there was an opening in the ice near the north pole, same as every year so “an ice free north pole” is just a question of chance.
    interesting article but they could not resist and finish on this image.
    “Out of the fog, a ten-foot-wide chunk of ice appears—a flash of white, visible for maybe 15 seconds. On it: a polar bear, drifting wherever the ocean wants to take it.” 

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2009/05/healy/funk-text

  84. How to make a prat of yourself in 26 seconds.

    You can see the quality of [Monbiots] research ooze from every line…

  85. An Australian story sort of relevant to ice and earth wobbles

    Deep thinking bloke at bar to barman

    “Mate, I’m worried”

    “Why?”

    “Well, all this iron ore we’re shipping to Japan”

    “Yes?”

    “Well its heavy and what if it causes the earth to wobble”

    “Don’t worry mate. It’s balanced by all the Toyotas and Nissans and things we’re bringing back”

    (From Funny B’s I’ve Met)

  86. My brother took a wonderful photograph of a cemetery that looked like it was a brilliant sunny day. He took it about around midnight under a full moon with a long exposure.

    Monbiot has taken to deliberately twisting facts, mixing global with Arctic and wilfully misrepresenting or ignoring empirical evidence to push his increasingly disproven mindset in direct opposition to the observable and provable facts.

    He is suffering from an increasing level of cognitive dissonance which is spiralling into outright delusion.

    AGW supporters are now making themselves look utterly foolish.

  87. ” Jeff Id (19:09:03) :

    It is therefore correct to state that the April 2009 extent exceeds the 1979-2009 average, but not the 1979-2000 average.

    This is another confirmation of my gridded ice area post.”
    —————————-

    How nice of Monbiot to confirm your hypothesis. [sarc]I am sure he will be thrilled[/sarc]

  88. I have said before that we are losing the propaganda war-witness the silly hero worship of Pen Hadow-who brave man that he is-did not accomplish any scientific aims. Monbiot consistently boobs with his green science but is very influential.

    As he is so disparaging of Monckton (see link to the deck of cards mentioned by Justthefacts)
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/mar/09/climate-change-deniers-monbiot-cards?picture=344343776

    it would look very odd if he refused an open debate with him. Monbiots profile might mean it could get some tv, radio, or press coverage. Possible venue the Royal Society-as their motto is ‘Nobodys word is final’ they could hardly refuse to stage it on any scientific grounds.

    Anyone think it a good idea? If so the first step is to find if Monckton is up for it. We could issue a challenge a la the Diet of Worms by pinning a proclamation to a tree outside the Met office (and publicise the action on the net!)

    http://www.peacemakers.net/unity/foxbookofmartyrs.htm#9

    It would be a modern day duel which, if Monbiot refuses to participate, will diminish him. If he accepts it would be played out most approriately at the warmist Royal Society by invoking the Met office through a proclamation rooted in religion. A scenario which has certain parallels with the new religion of AGW and the new authorities of the Met office/Guardian/Monbiot and the allegories may appeal to a classic scholar such as Monckton.

    tonyb

  89. According to his own blog, George Monbiot has cerebral malaria. Draw your own conclusions……

  90. TonyB

    The Monckton / Monbiot open debate is a great idea, but I believe that Monbiot is certainly aware of Monckton’s higher IQ and greater degree of awareness of all the many scientific uncertainties surrounding the premise that AGW is a real and serious threat.

    So it can only be a “lose/lose” situation for Monbiot.

    Monckton, on the other hand, would need to be enticed somehow to engage with an obviously inferior debate partner like Monbiot. Yes, he could make mincemeat out of Monbiot (in less than 36 seconds BTW), but it would almost look like a school bully beating up on a smaller boy.

    In other words, even if he “won” the debate, he might “lose” some points to poor Monbiot, just out of sympathy for the underdog.

    A delicate situation.

    But an open debate between the two would be very entertaining and educational, I agree.

    Max

  91. For an excellent article including many photos of the Skate at the North Pole, please see the National Geographic of July 1959 “Up Through the Ice of the North Pole” by Comdr. James F. Calvert, USN. It explains the search for Polynas through which to surface and has photos which clearly show the low angle of the sun.

  92. Should “Cap and Trade” be more accurately be called “Pork and Beans”?

    This global warming scam is a great opportunity for Obama to steal from his opponents and reward his friends, all under the phony guise of “the environment”.

  93. While Wikipedia is often a good source of information, or of leads to real information, its open editing means that it should always be used with caution. Thus, anyone could edit the USS Skate page to say that the photo in question depicts the Skate surfacing on the moon, and that is what it would say until someone took to the trouble to change it back.

    However, according to Wikipedia’s own source, http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm, the Skate photo in question depicts

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

    The positioning of the commas implies that it is a photo of the Skate surfaced at the N. Pole on 17 March, and not just not a file photo of the Skate, which surfaced at the N Pole on 17 March, but which was taken at some other time and place.

    Navsource sounds like a pretty official site, so the burden of proof is now on those who would question the date of the photo (if not the surfacing).

    But personally, I’m still skeptical — where’s the ice that would be expected during the last week of winter? The photo AKD links above (5/17, 14:54:28) is more like what I would expect. Navsource got the photo from “tripod.com”, and not directly from Navy archives. Someone (not me) needs to go in person to the Navy Archives and get the straight source on this photo. (The National Military Achives are in Alexandria VA, where the staff is very helpful. But maybe this is still to recent to be there, and so may be at some Navy site. A few phone calls would turn up someone eager to help.)

    The light doesn’t bother me, even though this is 4 days before “sunrise”. As the sun approaches the horizon, the sky lights up enough to take a photo with a long exposure. And when does the sun actually break the horizon? The moment of the equinox must be when the sun is half way above the horizon. At the poles, how many days does it take to get there from first light?

    I’m reminded here of Sen. Peter Dominick’s blooper (boober?) at the 1964 Republican convention, when he triumphantly quoted a 1776 NY Times editorial denoucing the rebels for their “extremism in defense of liberty”. It turned out the NY Times hadn’t been founded yet, and the original source was just a satire piece that had first appeared in the YAF magazine and then got passed around enough to sound real. It always pays to check your sources before going too far out on a limb!

    REPLY: Hugh, see this navy.mil URL:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/datesmar.htm

    Note the 17th, and what is printed. It matches the photo caption exactly. – Anthony

  94. RE a reader, 5/18, 06:27:24,
    Thanks for the reference, but unfortunately my NGs don’t go back quite to 1959.
    Does this article have the “Skate, surfaced at the N Pole” photo? If so, how does it explain it? If it has other photos, are they equally ice free?

  95. I live in Britain, but I don’t generally read the Guardian, and this hasn’t given me any reason to start. However I have now read the Monbiot article and the comments below it about the Skate.

    “a reader” above draws attention to a more trustworthy source, Commander Calvert’s own account of the arctic journey.

    The main discrepancy seems to be in his account of the ice conditions, where he writes

    “Both sides of the lead were piled with the heaviest and ruggedest hummocks I had yet seen in the Arctic. It was a wild and forbidding scene.”

    This seems to be what the Guardian forum has now latched onto. Does anyone know anything about this?

  96. This may help:

    “http://passporttoknowledge.com/antarctica/researchers/katymcnitt/katymcnitt_jnl18.html”

    From the South Pole, Civil Twilight begins two weeks before the equinox. The NH equivalent would be March 6. After that, sky brightness doubles every two days until the equinox. That indicates plenty of light to be found at 4 days before the equinox, on March 17.

  97. As one commenter pointed out on the Guardian blog, we know of several formerly pro-AGW scientists who have now crossed over into the skeptical camp, but do you know of any who have gone the other way?

  98. manacker (05:30:59) : said

    “TonyB

    The Monckton / Monbiot open debate is a great idea, but I believe that Monbiot is certainly aware of Monckton’s higher IQ and greater degree of awareness of all the many scientific uncertainties surrounding the premise that AGW is a real and serious threat. So it can only be a “lose/lose” situation for Monbiot.

    Monckton, on the other hand, would need to be enticed somehow to engage with an obviously inferior debate partner like Monbiot. Yes, he could make mincemeat out of Monbiot (in less than 36 seconds BTW), but it would almost look like a school bully beating up on a smaller boy.

    In other words, even if he “won” the debate, he might “lose” some points to poor Monbiot, just out of sympathy for the underdog.”

    Good point Max as regards Mockton likely to be so superior he might appear to bully Monbiot-I think thats something the majority of us Brits could easily accept though :)

    Seriously, Monbiot is considered probably the UK’s leading environmentalist, he has a regular column in a national newspaper, a large following and the ear of the govt. He rebukes people like Monckton so regularly as being wrong, that the environmentalists probably believe their own propaganda. I think Monckton (a relative unknown) has the capability of running rings round Monbiot-but Monckton would be seen as the underdog.

    Could others here please see my 03 04 58 as I would appreciate additional comments on the idea of promoting a debate between Monckton and Monbiot at a national venue such as The Royal Society.

    Tonyb.

  99. Anthony, take a look at the first link within this Google News search):
    http://news.google.com/news?um=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=monbiot
    So if PrisonPlanet.com reprints an article from WUWT, its Google News worthy, but WUWT on its own isn’t?

    If you haven’t already, perhaps you should submit your site to Google News directly: http://www.google.com/support/news_pub/bin/request.py?page=&extra.CustomerType=publisher&contact_type=suggest&extra.Language=+%3Ecs+var%3ACGI.convertedLang+%3F%3E+&master=suggest&Action.Search=Continue

    What makes WUWT such a reliable news source is its combination of expert writers and rigorous peer review from a diverse group of commentators. Reading a full thread on WUWT provides more fact checking, alternative view points, incisive analyses and valuable information on Earth’s climate, than any MSM news source I have seen, heard or read.

  100. To expand on the National Geographic article and pics–the Skate made 2 cruises to the arctic. The first was in August 1958 and was to try out an inertial navigational device that would allow them to find open water through which to surface. In 11 days they surfaced 9 times, went 2405 nautical miles, and took 652,000 soundings to map the seafloor. Many of the ice lakes are “good sized”. The next voyage was in March 1959 to test the feasibility of surfacing during the greatest ice extent. They surfaced 10 times on this voyage, but all were through leads frozen over with thin ice they called “skylights”. About this March trip, they said “Our 5th surfacing was noteworthy for the fact that on the way up, we saw a 2 foot puddle of open water, the first and last open water we saw on the entire cruise.” The picture from Navsource doesn’t appear in the article, but many from the August voyage look much like it. The pictures from the March voyage show a low angle sun on March 22, 300 miles from the Pole. The March 17 photo at the North Pole shows a ceremony illuminated artificially. The ceremony was to leave the ashes of Sir Hubert Wilkins who had tried to go to the Pole in a conventional sub in 1931. The story says the” winter sun still hid below the horizon” during the ceremony. There are 40 pages of info and pics in the article–a great read and not easy to find. I couldn’t find the article online, so I finally just bought an old copy.

  101. BTW, does anyone know why the comments on the Grauniad blogs take so long to appear/refresh? Just clunky arts-graduate web design, or a deliberate ploy to slow down posters? The ones on here are instant by comparison!

  102. FYI, I have attempted to add the Skate photo to the various arctic ice related articles on wikipedia and they’ve all been deleted by warmists demanding references etc. I’d appreciate getting more folks on the job of helping to put the photos back and helping to keep them there. Were’ in a war against skilled propagandists and revisionists, folks…

  103. Sorry to come late to this rather enjoyable party, but one of the many things most of us admire about WUWT (and Climate Audit) is the civilised tone of its discourse, free of gratuitous abuse and name-calling. That is why I plead guilty to occasionally referring to Mr Monbiot in my Sunday Telegraph column as ‘Moonbat’, but it is always prefaced by the respectful epithet ‘Great’, as in ‘the Great Moonbat’. I agree that it was good of the old fruit (affectionate British term) to do his ‘woops’ number so promptly, when a reader pointed out of the various errors in his latest attack on me. I might also point out in this context that it was me in very much younger days, when I was editor of the British satirical magazine Private Eye, who first coined the term Grauniad for the newspaper which Mr M now adorns (in those days it was known for its multiple misprints, a form of Tourette’s syndrome – these days it leaves its writers to make the mistakes). It was also typically modest of Anthony not to mention the fact that the Great Moonbat’s attack also included some rather disparaging references to WUWT, because I am often cite it in y column. It is an honour to share the firing line with the Great Watts (this time no irony). i
    ,

  104. Hu McCulloch (08:08:11) :

    “Navsource sounds like a pretty official site, so the burden of proof is now on those who would question the date of the photo (if not the surfacing). ”

    I have to disagree, you should stick with your skepticism. Navsourse is not an official site, they do not provide specific documentation of their source, and the Navy site does not include the picture.
    The burden of proof is on the one that uses the picture to make a specific claim, not on those that question the claim.

    Throwing some cold water on the Wiki/Navsource photo,
    http://gallery.pictopia.com/usni/gallery/S622834/photo/6925612/?o=1

    From the archives of the USNI. While the caption is very suggestive is does not explicitly state the picture is from March 17th 1959. You’ll notice that there is plenty of light in this picture as well. This seems to be a picture from a 1959 surfacing, but there appears real shadows in this one, which would mean that picture is *not* from March 17.
    What strikes me about this picture though is the angle and distance of the sub in the picture from the camera, and what appears to be thin ice/slush, at most a thickness of around a foot when the sub surfaced. Also, the ice lines on the front of the sub coincide with the same on the Wiki picture. There were likely more than one picture taken at that surfacing, and a lot could change in a 24 hour period of time. It may be the Wiki picture is of the same day, perhaps when the lead opened up or the sub wandered into more open water, but this is only conjecture.

  105. Mike Lorrey (13:42:23) :

    “FYI, I have attempted to add the Skate photo to the various arctic ice related articles on wikipedia and they’ve all been deleted by warmists demanding references etc. I’d appreciate getting more folks on the job of helping to put the photos back and helping to keep them there. Were’ in a war against skilled propagandists and revisionists, folks…”

    You do skeptics no favor here, Mike. Demanding references is not propaganda or revisionism. Attempting to enter undocumented photos as evidence of some event is. Wiki has made a correction to their Skate page and picture, with the addition of “date and location unclear” and “incomplete address” on the author source on their picture page.
    That was the *right* thing to do. If you think Wiki is hiding a real and verifiable reference to this photo, provide it. Claiming that “tripod” has a picture taken by a “sailor” doesn’t cut it, especially when you can’t go to “tripod” or the Navy to find the “sailor” or the picture.

  106. From my earlier “This seems to be a picture from a 1959 surfacing”,

    http://www.csp.navy.mil/asl/Timeline.htm
    “1959 USS SKATE (SSN 578), CDR James F. Calvert, conducted first through-ice surfacing at the North Pole (Dr. W.K. Lyon)”

    Skate hyperlinked to:

    IF this is the first ice surfacing, it may have been in March of 1959.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Skate_(SSN-578)
    “In early March 1959 , she again headed for the Arctic to pioneer operations during the period of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. The submarine steamed 3,900 miles (6,300 km) under pack ice while surfacing through it ten times. On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste.”

  107. a reader (11:57:12) :

    “To expand on the National Geographic article and pics–the Skate made 2 cruises to the arctic. The first was in August 1958 and was to try out an inertial navigational device that would allow them to find open water through which to surface. In 11 days they surfaced 9 times, went 2405 nautical miles, and took 652,000 soundings to map the seafloor. Many of the ice lakes are “good sized”. The next voyage was in March 1959 ”

    Is there any reference in the article about when the first cruise left the Arctic? Perhaps this is innacurate or a typo, it seems to contradict Wiki and other claims (which is why I ask):

    “Skate surfaced at the North Pole in February 1959.”
    http://www.navy.mil/navydata/cno/n87/history/pioneers4.html#James%20F.%20Calvert

  108. Glenn

    On the August 1958 voyage Skate goes under the ice pack on 8-10-58, 600 miles from the pole. Upward beam ice detector shows most ice about 7 ft. thick with no pressure ridges deeper than 60 ft. At 70 miles from the pole she surfaces for the first time in an ice lake. Air temp. 32 degrees

    On 8-12-58 she surfaces again at 89 degrees 20 min. N. in small ice lake next to a pressure ridge. Air temp. 30 degrees F. ripples on water, no sign of wildlife, stays 19 hrs.

    On 8-13-58 she surfaces again looking for IGY Drifting Station Alpha, radios them and they boat around in an ice lake so Skate can follow the noise to the station and surface again. They stay 24 hrs. and leave when the ice begins to shift.

    On 8-15-58 they surface again. On 8-17-58 they surface again in a small lake 50 miles from the pole. Again on the 17th they surface 44 nautical miles from the pole in the largest ice lake they found in the arctic and boated around it in their rubber raft.

    On 8-18-58 they surface for the 8th time; they surface again at 250 miles from the pole; on 8-20-58 they leave the pack for the 1st time in 11 days. On 8-23-58 they arrive in Bergen Norway.

    The 2nd Skate polar cruise was to test the ability to surface in winter. They left New London on March 3, 1959; go under the pack on March 14, and surface through a frozen polynya 400 miles from the pole. Air temp. -20 F. Water temp. 30 degrees F. Surface again 220 miles from pole.

    On March 17 they break through a lead on the North Pole; have their service for Wilkins; stay from 4:30 PM-8:30 PM and leave.

    They surface again on the 20th and the 22nd always through frozen leads. On March 27 they leave the pack. They had a much more harrowing time on this cruise. From the descriptions I would guess that the picture in the Navsource was not taken on March 17 1959, but may have been on the August 1958 cruise on one of the near pole surfacings.

  109. Thanks, Reader. The Navsource pic seems authentic, and it’s frustrating not being able to track down it’s origin. Wish you could share the pics in that NatGeo article. The one showing the burial ceremony appears to be the only documented pic of the sub being in that location at that time. I may get a copy of Calvert’s book and see if there is any help there.

  110. To: “a reader” can you provide a link to the passage above?

    To everyone just an FYI.

    March 18th is when the sun comes above the horizon on the pole. At the pole, It preceeds the vernal equinox due to refraction of light through the atmosphere.

    While at the pole, technically you can exist in two days standing in the same space.

    At the pole, you can literally step across the international dateline. You can even take a photo where part of the photo exists in our arbitrary designation “March 17th” while another part of the picture is “March 18th”.

    The sun and earth don’t care, all that matters is the position of those bodies relative to linear time. Since we don’t know the GMT time the photo was taken, we can’t say what proportions exist of sun above /below the horizon.

    As westhoustongeo points out:

    “http://passporttoknowledge.com/antarctica/researchers/katymcnitt/katymcnitt_jnl18.html”

    From the South Pole, Civil Twilight begins two weeks before the equinox. The NH equivalent would be March 6. After that, sky brightness doubles every two days until the equinox. That indicates plenty of light to be found at 4 days before the equinox, on March 17.

    Once thing is certain though, there’s enough light for a photo. Lot’s of quality film photos have been taken at twilight. It is quite easy to take photographs at twilight, all you need is a good fast lens and proper speed film.

    Since this was an historic event for the NAVY, I can’t imagine they’d send an amateur photographer along who might miss the shot or be unfamiliar with taking photos in low light conditions. Most likely they came well prepared to get the photo and had a variety of lens, film, and equipment to do so.

    Similarly, I can’t imagine a captain, with his career hinging on this event, surfacing at a time when there would not be enough light for a photograph. They had this all well planned I’m sure. The photographer had the “no” vote. If the photographer knew there would not be enough light, he’d certainly tell the captain. The captain not wanting to jeopardize getting arguably the most important photo of his career, would defer to the judgment of the photographer.

    There doesn’t seem to me to be much reason to fake a photo date. If they actually took it at another time, why not just say so? The risk to the captains career when logs and figures are compared later is just too great for any sorts of shenanigans.

  111. Re Anthony, 5/18, 08:08:11,

    REPLY: Hugh, see this navy.mil URL:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/datesmar.htm

    Note the 17th, and what is printed. It matches the photo caption exactly. – Anthony

    I have no doubt that the Skate broke through the ice to surface at the N Pole on 3/17/59, and spread Wilkins’ ashes. I just have a hard time believing that the Navsource photo depicts that event.

    Your 4/26 post, “Ice at the N Pole in 1958 and 1959 — not so thick” has a more credible photo of the Skate and Seadragon in open water at the Pole in August of 1962.

    REPLY:
    You are one of the last people that I would expect to see doubting a photo like this, what is your basis for doubt? – Anthony

  112. christopher booker (14:14:10) :

    ..it was me in very much younger days, when I was editor of the British satirical magazine Private Eye, who first coined the term Grauniad

    Respect! I didn’t realise it went back so far.. :-)

    The curious thing (apart from the Moonbat) is that the typos still appear, years after the abandonment of hot-metal and the invention of spell-checking! Perhaps it’s just to make the readers feel at home.

  113. There doesn’t seem to me to be much reason to fake a photo date

    I agree, especially considering the rather limited likely distribution. Perhaps we’ve all been absorbing too much Catlin disinformation!

    Having said that, of course it hasn’t stopped the warmists on Monbiot’s blog from making hay with it, so I guess we still have to be careful…

  114. It is clear from Commander Calvert’s account of the voyage that the crew of the USS Skate performed very courageous, very difficult maneouvers requiring the highest seamanship skills.

    It would be disrespectful to the crew of the Skate to leave any confusion about those events. I see that as the most important issue here.

    For me, that’s the reason why we have to get to the bottom of this.

  115. Hi folks,

    Not sure about copyright, but it would settle this debate fairly, I think, if the full article by Capt. Calvert in the 1959 National Geographic were made available as a PDF. Apart from anything else, I’m sure it will be a fascinating read of a difficult mission undertaken in a very challenging environment.

    Cheers – John

  116. John Mason wrote: “…but it would settle this debate fairly, I think,”

    For rational people yes, for some of the irrational ones, such as some commenters on Monbiot’s blog, no amount of evidence would be sufficient.

    That being said, I agree with allister duncan. – Anthony

  117. Anthony

    This was an article printed by the Guardian in 2000.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2000/aug/23/g2.weather

    “….Arctic specialists read fearful media accounts of the icebreaker tour with mixed feelings. On one hand, they knew that open water at the North Pole is not, in fact, unusual – as the repeated submarine surfacings there show. Even in winter, the winds which keep the ice constantly moving across the sea of the Arctic basin cause cracks, ridges and large polynyas to appear. The Skate surfaced in 1959 through a lead of open water which had recently frozen over….”

    Surely the point is that as the Guardian itself says, open water is not unusual. We have numerous reports of it from the 1920/30’s

    This refers to a warmer arctic 75 years ago recorded on Pathe newsreel by Bob Bartlett on the Morrisey during his journeys there in the 1920’s and 1930’s and reported in all the media.
    http://boothbayharborshipyard.blogspot.com/2008/08/arctic-explorer-on-ways.html

    “Wednesday, 10th August 1932
    The ship rolled heavily all night and continues to do so….
    The glacier continues its disturbances. No real bergs break off but great sheets of ice slide down into the water and cause heavy seas. About noon, the entire face of the glacier, almost a mile in length and six or eight feet deep slid off with a roar and a rumble that must have been heard at some distance. We were on deck at the time for a preliminary report like a pistol shot had warned us what was coming. The Morrissey rolled until her boats at the davits almost scooped up the water and everything on board that was not firmly anchored in place crashed loose. But this was nothing to the pandemonium on shore. I watched it all through the glasses. The water receded leaving yards of beach bare and then returned with a terrific rush, bringing great chunks of ice with it. Up the beach it raced further and further, with the Eskimos fleeing before it. It covered all the carefully cherished piles of walrus meat, flowed across two of the tents with their contents, put out the fire over which the noonday meal for the sled drivers was being prepared, and stopped a matter of inches before it reached the pile of cement waiting to be taken up the mountain. Fortunately, in spite of heavy sea, which was running, the Captain had managed to be set shore this morning so he was there with them to help straighten out things and calm them down.”

    We can follow melting ice back throuigh to the 1790’s when whalers reported unprecedented arctic ice melt to the Royal Society who eventually sent an expedition twenty years later (they were busy fighting the French earlier) only to find it had refrozen

    Back through the Hudson Bay Co records who regularly reported wildly variable arctic ice conditions

    Through the Viking era 1000 years ago

    This refers to the Vikings living in a warmer arctic culture. THere is a very interesting book about them called ‘The Viking world’. It is a very scholarly and highly referenced book running to some 700 pages and deals with all aspects of the Vikings. It is good because it does not have an axe to grind, but deals matter of factly with all aspects of Viking culture and exploration.
    There is a large section on their initial exploration of Greenland, the subsequent establishment of their farms there, everyday life, how they gradually lost access to the outside world as the sea lanes closed through ice, a record of the last wedding held In Greenland and how trade dried up. It also deals with Vinland/Newfoundland and it seems that it was wild grapes that helped give the area its name, it being somewhat warmer than today.
    The book ‘The Viking World’ is Edited by Stefan Brink with Neil Price Published by Routledge ISBN 978 0 415 33315-3

    This is one of a number of similar books that record our warmer and cooler past. Al Gore wrote a good book in 1992 called ‘Earth in the Balance’ in which he explored the changing climate that devastated the civilisations in the Southern Hemishpere.

    WE can then travel back through the Arctic Ipiatuk culture 2000 years ago. This link leads to the Academy of science report
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1078291

    Prior to that a land bridge from Russia to Alaska was flooded when the ice melted and sea level rose.

    It is by no means unusual or unprecedented for the arctic ice to melt.

    If the matter of the photo is considered important I will offer to buy it in the name of ‘getting to the truth’ then see what it says and make a post here. In the interests of fairness I will also post on the Guardian blog as they seem very exercised by the matter. The irony that the Guardian reported open water in 1959 some 9 years ago will no doubt be appreciated by them

    Tonyb.

  118. I have now searched for further archive photographs of the USS Skate.

    My primary source is the Naval History and Heritage Command. I would find it inconceivable that they would get it wrong.

    This is the USS Skate (SSN-578) page:
    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s13/skate-ii.htm

    It shows an image of the USS Skate in ice. The text formatting is confusing, but the line that I believe is the caption (at the very bottom) reads

    “On 17 March 1959, the nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578) surfaced through Arctic ice at the North Pole. She had visited the Pole the previous year, becoming the second ship to do so.”

    My second source is The Byrd Polar Research Center archive, which shows the photograph of Wilkins ashes being scattered:

    The caption is

    “Crew of the USS Skate during the memorial ceremony for Wilkins on March 17, 1959. Wilkins’ ashes were scattered over the Arctic ice”

    The boat looks lower in the water in the Byrd archive photograph, but the two photographs seem to be consistent with each other.

    They both seem to be inconsistent with the Navsource photograph, which shows much more water around the boat. Navsource is a volunteer site, and I am sure they are very competent and conscientious, but they do not have the formal authentication procedures that an official archive will have. I am increasingly concerned that the Navsource photograph has been incorrectly identified.

  119. Re Anthony’s reply to my 5/18 20:58:30:

    REPLY: You are one of the last people that I would expect to see doubting a photo like this, what is your basis for doubt? – Anthony

    I just like to make sure my facts are straight before going out on a limb. As I pointed out in my post of 5/18 08:08:11, it seems suspicious that there is no evidence of the ice that the Skate had to break through to do a winter surfacing, according to the written accounts, and the following photograph, identified by http://library.osu.edu/sites/exhibits/nautilus/afterwards.html as “USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole, March 17, 1959. Wilkins 35-5-1″:


    The water is clearly freshly frozen by the winter temperatures, and the sub has clearly just broken through the thinish (1-2 foot) ice. There is a lot of light, but not unreasonable for just 4 days before daybreak. (Click on photo for full size)

    I suggest we go with this photo instead of the earlier one as the iconic image of the Skate surfacing at (or near) the NP on 3/17/59. We don’t have this direct from the Navy, but the OSU Libraries have staked their reputation on the accuracy of the caption. This ought to be plenty good for Wikipedia. Mike Lorrey, go to it!

    The same page also has the following photo, mentioned already above by AKD 5/17 14:54:28, of “Crew of the USS Skate during the memorial ceremony for Wilkins on March 17, 1959. Wilkins’ ashes were scattered over the Arctic ice. Wilkins 35-5-4″:

    Any real historians out there might still want to triple check this through Laura Kissel (kissel.4@osu.edu), the OSU library contact given on the exhibit website, and/or the US Navy via http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/nhcorg11.htm, but I for one have no doubt about the accuracy of these captions, even aside from this being an OSU site.

    These photos make me even less confident in the caption on the one in the 4/26 post, because of its open water and lack of broken ice. But perhaps it can be tracked down through the Navy site as well.

  120. The direct photo links in my 07:50:10 post don’t seem to have worked. But meanwhile, Allister Duncan (06:42:12) has found an even better URL to the same photos. The one I gave was just an OSU Library exhibition site. Allister’s is actually an OSU Library/Byrd Polar Research Center URL. In other words, the accuracy of the caption is now vouched for by Lonnie Thompson’s own outfit, in addition to OSU Libraries!

    Exhibit URL (Byrd Center version): http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/nautilus/afterwards.html

    Exhibit Photo # Wilkins 35-5-1, identified as “USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole, March 17, 1959.” http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/nautilus/images/wilkins35_5_1.jpg

    Exhibit Photo #Wilkins 35-5-4, identified as “Crew of the USS Skate during the memorial ceremony for Wilkins on March 17, 1959. Wilkins’ ashes were scattered over the Arctic ice.” http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/nautilus/images/wilkins35_5_4.jpg.

  121. I believe that “onthefence” of the Guardian has provided the correct answer to the photo question, in spite of him/her/self. Below is posted my comment to “onthefence”
    =========comment follows=================
    Onthefence, I’ve been trying to follow your arguments and I’ve gotten confused. Please enlighten me! What I understand from your arguments as expressed in your various posts thus far:
    1. Anthony Watts is a liar or an otherwise untrustworthy fellow because in an article about what the North Pole actually looked like in the past, he posted a photo from Navsource. The source of Navsource’s photo was “tripod.com”. Navsource’s other source of photos was the US Navy. Therefore, Anthony Watts is a liar because he used a picture with no provenance even though it matched others on the site that were sourced to the US Navy.
    2. There is no way the Watts/Navsource/tripod.com picture could have been taken at the stated time (March 17, 1959) because it was dark. The sun wasn’t due to rise until March 18.
    3. There is no way the Watts/Navsource/tripod.com picture could have been taken at the stated time (March 17, 1959) because it was twilight. Hmm. I thought you said it was dark.
    4. This picture http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/nautilus/images/wilkins35_5_4.jpg (OSU 35_5_4) is a properly sourced picture which shows “what a long exposure in twilight really looks like, for the photography “experts” out there”. Hmm. I thought you said it was too dark that day to take pictures. Oh. Too dark to take “clear” pictures. And the ice was right up to the submarine. No open water.

    I hope I have correctly stated your arguments. I will assume until you state otherwise that your answer is yes.

    If OSU 35_5_4 is a properly sourced picture, then what about any other picture in this catalog? If I post any other picture from this catalog, am I a liar like Anthony Watts? Well, how about this picture which according to the caption was also taken on March 17, 1959? http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/nautilus/images/wilkins35_5_1.jpg (OSU 35_5_1)

    Onthefence, comparing the Watts/Navsource/tripod.com pictures with OSU 35_5_1, I don’t see any radical differences in what the pictures show. Other than the OSU 35_5_1 picture seems to be much brighter and clearer than the Watts/Navsource/tripod.com picture, which could be just the difference in angle and possibly a relatively short time had elapsed as three of the personnel on the “deck” seem to be in about the same positions in both pictures.

    But, but, but I thought you said ti was too dark to take “clear” pictures? I thought that the ice was right up to the sub’s hull?

    It is, it seems, but only on one side.

    Meanwhile, back at the Anthony Watts https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/ article. The argument of that article, unlike yours, was relatively straightforward.

    Here it is, clearly stated, in case you missed it worrying about the provenance of ONE picture that clearly matches the provenance of ANOTHER picture (OSU 35_5_1):
    “The point illustrated here: the North Pole is not static, ice varies significantly. The Arctic is not static either. Variance is the norm.”

    In 1959, 1962 and 1987, the North Pole was covered with ice mixed with leads of open water, as shown by NAVY and the OSU photographs that YOU say are the real McCoy.

    The ice was “less than 2 feet thick” in March 1959 when at the point when ice at the Pole should have been its thickest.

    That’s “first year ice” in modern parlance. In 1999, the ice was more solid as shown by the 1999 sub picture, although probably still “first year ice”.

    The current AGW wailing is that “first year ice” will melt during the summer.

    Therefore, IF the MSM saw all this “first year ice” on March 17 of THIS year, what would have been the reaction? Much the same, I’ll wager, as the Catlin Survey’s hype from its supporters.

    By the way, better have your suntan lotion ready if you’re going to visit the North Pole today: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/latest/noaa1.jpg NOT!
    ============Guardian comment ends=============
    So, as far as I can discern, the OSU 35_5_1 picture is the icebreaker.

    No pun intended.

    The similarities between it and the Navsource/tripod.com photo are marked. If you want, throw out the Navsource/tripod.com photo. The OSU 35_5_1 and 35_5_4 photos more than adequately makes the case for what conditions were like on March 17, 1959 – changeable, just in the course of one day!

    Regards to all with particular thanks to Anthony for this site – my first post but my zillionth visit.

  122. RE Allister Duncan, 06:42:12,

    I have now searched for further archive photographs of the USS Skate.

    My primary source is the Naval History and Heritage Command. I would find it inconceivable that they would get it wrong.

    This is the USS Skate (SSN-578) page:
    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/s13/skate-ii.htm

    It shows an image of the USS Skate in ice. The text formatting is confusing, but the line that I believe is the caption (at the very bottom) reads

    “On 17 March 1959, the nuclear submarine Skate (SSN-578) surfaced through Arctic ice at the North Pole. She had visited the Pole the previous year, becoming the second ship to do so.”

    I don’t think that that sentence can be taken as a caption for the photo. The photo of the Skate surfacing through winter ice on the OSU Libarary/Byrd Center exhibit site you found is a lot better identified. And if Lonnie Thompson’s own organization vouches for the caption, what warmer could possibly question it?

    Though if you want actual open water at the pole, the August 1962 of the Skate and Seadragon rendezvousing (sp?) is even better.

  123. “I don’t think that that sentence can be taken as a caption for the photo.”

    Hu,

    I found the text formatting confusing. The text is in chronological order all the way to 1974, then there is one short sentence about 1959 at the end. I think this may be intended as the caption for the photograph, but I agree that this is speculative. An inquiry (from a reader in the US) would clear it up. I imagine the Naval History and Heritage Command will be grateful to have this brought to their attention, as the formatting is very unclear as it stands.

    I agree that the captions on the Byrd site are crystal clear and unambiguous.

  124. Something else to consider of course – it’s been missed in the debate so far as I can see – how thick does Winter polar ice have to become for open leads to be prevented from developing?

    We already know from snippets of Calvert’s description that there were pressure-ridges of some size in the area, and we know from the same source that in preparation for surfacing they were carefully seeking open leads through which to do so. The photo shows the sub having come up through ice no more than a few (possibly as little as 1-2) feet thick which might be expected to develop quickly in an open lead once the water surface was exposed to the air.

    We know that open leads are generated by tidal currents/groundswell creating tensile stresses in sea-ice. We also know that mature sea-ice extends below the waterline. So, how thick does it have to get before the tensile fracturing that creates open leads becomes more and more unlikely?

    Cheers – John

  125. I could have done this is less than 26 seconds, without the “boobing” and while simultaneously being entertained.

    Turn on “The Deadliest Catch” sometime on Discovery. It follows the King and Opelio crab fishing that takes place on the Bering Sea from October to March. For someone like me trained to look for such things I get to see the following things, live and in full HD:

    1) the edge of the arctic ice pack, which for the last 3 seasons has reached past the Bering Strait, encroaching on the northern Bering Sea Crab grounds

    2) the cool graphic they drop in after commercial breaks which basically starts with a real time (on the show) satellite photo of the arctic circle. Over the course of a season you can see the ice cap growing. Go grab the whole series on DVD and you can clearly see that the extent of sea ice last winter (’07-08) was the biggest since the show started.

    3) fishermen goofing off by pulling their boats up to the edge of the ice cap, jumping off, and running around and having snowball fights on the ice cap SOUTH OF THE BERING STRAIT IN MARCH.

    And by the way, one thing you never see are wayward polar bears or floating polar bear corpses.

    The truth is ALL AROUND US. When an hour of casual TV watching can dispel some of the major myths about global warming you have to wonder who actually believes it. And sadly this is a testament to how tightly the alarmists have snugged the blinders on, just to validate their bankrupt thinking.

    All the more reason to never give those people the control they want to have over you.

  126. Just some background stuff for the conspiracy theorists:

    Civil twilight is when the center of the Sun is less than 6 degrees below the horizon. You can read a book or play ball games (very important in the UK here!) in those conditions. At the Poles it starts some 2 weeks before the spring Equinox and siilarly ends some 2 weeks after the autumnal one.

    Nautical twilight starts and ends when the Sun is at 12 degrees below the horizon. Up to then the horizon is still discernable (so that you can use a sextant, hence the name).

    But at the Equinox itself the Sun is already over the horizon at the Poles because of the refraction of the light passing through the atmosphere which raises the Suns image by about 50 arcminutes, almost a full degree.

    On the 17th of March, hence, at least part of the Sun was visible from the North Pole.

  127. Here is a video of a debate between Congressmen Jim Moran and Dana Rohrabacher, “moderated” by Chris Matthews of MSNBC.

    The use of petty name calling and insults by Chris Mathews and the reliance upon “scientific consensus” and IPCC conclusions by Jim Moran are indicative of the state of the debate. The alarmists are out of facts so now they are just trying to attack those who disagree with them and muddle their way forward.

  128. Monbiot today:
    Computer models are only as good as the assumptions they contain, which is why those assumptions are constantly tested and updated. No one claims to have a definitive answer; instead the models test hundreds of different likely scenarios, then find the median result. There is no attempt to make the future look either rosier or grimmer than it is.

    So much faith, so gullible…

  129. Hu, Allister, and DA,

    Thanks for the research and support, as well as candid opinions.

    I’m looking into this as well, and have leads on several pieces of background info, including books and additional film/photo footage that will help answer the question of the caption accuracy.

    Certainly there must exist some certifiable provenance for that photo, the NAVY typically doesn’t NOT log such things, nor would a boat captain not log everything he gathered on such an important mission that he knew would get worldwide attention. Be it pro or con, I’ll share what I find. At the same time, anyone who wants to concentrate on finding that photo provenance sans conspiracy theory, personal attacks, or slander is welcome to do so and post it here.

    But as Hu points out: ”

    “Though if you want actual open water at the pole, the August 1962 of the Skate and Seadragon rendezvousing (sp?) is even better.”

    The whole point of my original article – that sea ice at the north pole is quite variable from year to year, sometimes being very thin with open leads, sometimes not – seems to have been lost in the angry tussle over that one NAVSOURCE photo caption while everything else is ignored.

  130. But that photo is the thing that draws people to the article and it is the main draw on every other website that is using your article. Maybe it is only me but that makes the article less valuable as important information in this debate. I also think it allows people to go ‘look, how can you trust the writing when the photo is suspect’. I think you should change it to one of the others that have been found by Hu and DA.

    REPLY: Nice (but failed) attempt at stealth there, “MeFinny2” I presume? We’ll wait and see what the archival footage brings, because we certainly want to base the decision on evidence at hand, not opinion from anonymous posters.- Anthony

  131. Re Anthony (10:39:37) and Borderline (12:43:40), I’ve asked Laura Kissel, the archivist at the OSU Library, to confirm the OSU/Byrd photo caption and see if she can find the Navsource photo in their files as well.

    Meanwhile, a commenter on the Guardian site pointed out that the Newsreel Anthony links (which must be from 1959 despite the 7/30/58 date associated with it) has exactly the OSU/Byrd scene at the end, with the chunks of ice in exactly the same places. However, instead of apparently solid ice everywhere in front of the sub, there appears to be water on the ice near the sub and behind it. Furthermore, on closer examination of the Navsource photo, there is clearly a slab of ice on the fore deck, as if it had just come up through ice.

    Could it be that this is the same scene, shot from different sides of the boat, and that for some reason there were chucks of ice and surface ice on one side, but no chunks and only open water on the other? The only way I could see this happening would be if the sub in fact surfaced twice — once to let off the photographer, and then again for the newreel photo-op — but came up the second time a little to the right of where it was the first time, so as to break dramatically through fresh ice. This would leave chunks on the starboard side, but not on the port side.

    If we’re lucky, Ms. Kissel will come across a copy of the Navsource photo in her files, identified by the Navy as to source.

    As for Borderline’s suggestion that Anthony change the photo, I don’t think he should, since Navsource says it’s from that event, and no one has proven it isn’t. At most, he might add a note indicating that there is further discussion of the photo’ caption on this thread.

  132. Hu,

    Some of the archival film footage I have coming indicates that there is a filmed scene where they have the sub surfacing. That is also in the newsreel. Your theory about letting off the photographer first seems plausible then.

    The other possibility could be that the sub simply drifted about in the lead. It is doubtful they could anchor, and as we know, sea ice moves all the time.

    I’ll know more when all of the research materials I’ve ordered show up next week.

  133. Hu,

    In looking again at the OSU photo March17 photo, it occurred to me that we see the ice stacked on the starboard side of the sub, leaning.

    In the newsreel, we see sailors with ice chippers pushing slabs of ice over what appears to be the starboard side. Perhaps all that we have here is a simple photo timeline.

    1) Original NAVSOURCE photo I cite could be from letting the photographer off and he gets the first shots so as not to risk missing the opportunity if they are forced to leave immediately for some reason..

    2) Sub submerges again, photog walks around the open lead to the other side and sets up.

    3) Sub surfaces, as we see in the newsreel.

    4) Sailors go after the deck ice with chippers, same or different photographer records that on film, seen in the newsreel as ice is pushed over what appears to be starboard side.

    5) The OSU shot you reference (and seen in the newsreel) is made, sans deck ice, showing the handiwork of the sailors with the ice chippers, piled up on the starboard side.

    The NAVY footage I’ve ordered is supposedly more complete than the newsreel, which is edited for best effect and length. So, we’ll see if there is some support for your ideas (and this one) in there. – Anthony

  134. Anthony

    After following the convoluted discussion on the Guardian Blog I had been inclined to think OntheFence was right (is he actually Borderline?) although he missed the purpose of the photo which was to illustrate that the arctic had open water 50 years ago, as it does now.

    Ironically this fact was mentioned in the Guardians own article of 2000

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2000/aug/23/g2.weather

    So you and the Guardian both agree that the event happened and that the Arctic had open water back then. This makes the parsing of the credentials of the photo by Guardian bloggers -illustrating an event you both agree on- seem a little hypocritical unless the Guardan bloggers also take their own newspaper to account for reporting open arctic water on March 17, as they don’t seem to believe this could be possible.

    Anyway, your 14 37 31 sounds plausible so I will hold judgement until you get the material. Which still doesn’t alter the astounding fact that WUWT and the Guardian are in agreement on the purpose of your original article-pointing out that modern arctic ice melt is nothing new.

    Tonyb

  135. Hi Anthony et. al.,

    Apologies if you’ve already done this, I just emailed Michael Mohl at Navsource to ask about the provenance of the tripod.com picture.

    Also, on the newsreel, note the open water seen at three places in the newsreel, including the scene of the crewmen chipping ice which then falls into the water, about 1:10. The surfacing may have broken up the ice, but only because it was thin enough, thin being relative, to be broken.

    Conversely, on some other pictures taken at different times/different subs, it’s clear that the ice is right up to the sub and it’s more likely that any chipped ice, had it been photographed, would have fallen off onto the surrounding ice.

    The final picture on the newsreel at 1:16 looks remarkably like the other pictures we have, minus that the antennas are deployed in the newsreel.

    We really need some artic sub guys to give us the benefit of their experience on the protocol for these surfacings. I’m sure it’s elaborate.

    I sent a second comment to the Guardian pointing out the info from the newsreeel last night, but I cannot access comments on the article. The counter says there’s 475.

    Oh and add to your timeline, pre-#1 is OSU_35_5_4 of the memorial service. It would look like this was done earlier in the day.

    Are we seeing the results of two different cameras? One used for OSU_35_5_4 and Navsource/tripod.com versus OSU_35_5_1 , one perhaps closer to a personal camera, the other a real professional rig and two different types of film?

    If it were me I would certainly have taken multiple cameras and I would assume that there might have been some experimental types of film used to see what would work best in those conditions.

    Also, are we merely looking at changing/improving weather conditions and lighting as the sun continued to “rise” during the Skate’s time at the Pole? Without the log, we don’t know how long the Skate was there. Hours? Days?

    Like I asked in my Guardian comment, why would the Navy go to the effort of getting the sub there, during the Cold War, only to have it surface in darkness and take only one fuzzy (OSU_35_5_4) picture?

    I have a CD set of all National Geographics up to 2000 or so. I’m going to search there for their article on the Skate.

    It’s a forest and the trees problem, I agree, but very well worth resolving.

    Regards,
    DA.

  136. Interesting footage of a sub surfacing in similar ice conditions as the Skate 1959 (starts about 1:05 into video):

  137. I am certainly not OntheFence ! Why would you think that ? Please reconsider.
    I have looked at the Grauniad article now but it doesn’t have any photos and it does say that open water is not unusual. It mentions average thickness of the ice and no ice at all. If open water is not unusual, what is there to argue about ? I’m still not happy with the use of the photo but it seems I’m the minority so I’ll leave it at that.

  138. Borderline

    My apologies. The ironic thing is that I was going to do a post on the Guardian a few days ago saying I thought Onthe fence had a good point. I was unable to access the blog though. However, I decided not to bother having found one of my posts with links had been deleted, my comments taken completely out of context by the cheerleader, and that the bloggers had completely missed (or forgotten) two points.

    The first was that it was Mr Monbiot who had got his article entirely wrong (for which he apologised) and in the ensuing smokescreen that the skate photo (taken from a site thought to be reliable and used and captioned elsewhere) was merely to ilustrate the comment that having open water at the Pole was not unusual.

    That this was confirmed by the Guardian article linked above (which I had posted but had been removed-perhaps its back) seems highly ironic.

    It is good to see you over here and I hope you will stick around as the WUWT blog is completely misrepresented over there.

    If you follow the various threads you will see there is much good science and varying viewpoints, and surely that is better than the very closed minds that many on the Guardian blog exhibit. There is also a lot of humour here and courtesy-traits that are largely lacking over there.

    Even if you WERE ‘Onthefence (and I accept your comments) provided that person behaved sensibly here I wouldn’t have a problem.

    Tonyb

  139. No problems, Tonyb.
    As I wrote before, I don’t like the photo because of the way it has been picked up as not having a definite citation or proof of what it is. I looked at the NAVSOURCE site and that photo stands out as the only one without a proper reference. I checked the address given and it is for hosting websites. I just can’t understand why this wasn’t done in the beginning. Maybe it is just me being fussy but for something this important, I would have made sure 100% that nothing could come back to bite me. Maybe it is what it says it is but at the moment all I can see is doubt and an easy thing to criticize this site for, because sources are not checked properly. I suppose the basic point it that I need to believe that something I read is based on facts that I don’t have to check myself. If I have to check everything myself, I will have no time for real life !

    Reply: What is this “real life” thing you speak of? ~ charles the virtual moderator

  140. (What is this “real life” thing you speak of? ~ charles the virtual moderator)

    Ha, ha. Something I’ve heard people talk about !

  141. Borderline

    WUWT -unlike the IPCC and numerous researchers-does not have unlimited budgets. Anthony has to work for a living.

    If Mr Monbiot had incidentally referenced a frequently used photo in all good faith to illustrate one of his diatribes- and it turned out to be wrong- we would all accept it as one of those things, despite him having access to infinitely greater resources.

    It has taken around a week of continual parsing by dedicated activists to get to a point where the photo ‘might’ not have the provenace that has been thought for many years. Do you really expect Anthony to have the resources to do that?

    If this were a three year well resourced intensive study that deliberately used incorrect material to deliberately mislead that would be a different thing, but we are not talking about that level of intensity at all.

    Once again we are getting away fro the main point which is that an incidental photo -one of several-was used to make a general point which the WUWT and Guardian both agree on.

    Have the Guardian bloggers cottoned on to that yet, or has my post still not been released from limbo?

    Ps, as you can see from Charles the moderators comment, we do have a sense of humour AND some good scientists here. It is certainly not a closed mind community.

    Charles-subtle but funny

    Tonyb

  142. I have now looked at the softcopy version of “Up through the Ice of the North Pole” by Comdr. Calvert, which doesn’t seem to be available anywhere on the web – I’m not sure why the National Geographic hasn’t put their archives on line, even if it would require a paid subscription.

    It contains a wealth of detail which deserves to be read and analyzed by WUWT readers. The file is embedded in their proprietary version of Adobe and I don’t think it could be separated. However, I could print it out and rescan it to create a readable file. Could this then be posted at WUWT? Would this be allowed by copyright?

    Some brief observations about the article:
    1. There are three pictures in the article taken during the March 17 surfacing, all in color. The OSU_35_5_4 picture is a fuzzy b/w reproduction of the one in the article or was possibly taken with a different camera. In the article, the “torch” is clearly visible in one individual’s hand. Comdr. Calvert said that the torches were “the same type used by truckers”. Although the actual ceremony picture is somewhat dark, the other pictures are much lighter.

    2. The newsreel footage was shot March 24 and was not shot at the Pole but from somewhere in the ice pack. The voiceover doesn’t specifically say that this is the Skate At the Pole, just that the Skate surfaced at the Pole. The stupid Navy should have realized that people in the next millenium would go over their every word and picture with a fine-tooth comb. And they thought all they had to worry about was the Soviets.

    3. The suppositions about putting out a photography party to film the surfacing are of course correct. Comdr. Calvert had tried to get footage at the spot where the first winter Artic surfacing occured, which was some distance from the Pole around March 13 or so, but the camera equipment froze.

    4. OSU_35_5_1 seems to match the color photography used in the article that was shot during the March trip.

    5. “Our fifth surfacing [occured between 20 March and 22 March] was noteworthy mainly for the fact that on the way up we saw a two foot puddle of open water, the first and last open water we saw on the entire cruise”.

    6. The caption on one picture says “‘Security forbids disclosing the exact thickness [of the ice] that we penetrated’, says the author” but the article contains numerous references to their development of the technique of looking for “skylights”, a stretch of thin [“first year”?] ice through which they surfaced, using their strengthened “sail” to break through.

    7. Comdr. Calvert’s article covers both of Skate’s trips to the Pole, the first surfacing in August 1958 and the second in March 1959. I believe that the August surfacing was in some ways, the more valuable for our study because it seems to be the first time we have a record of conditions at the Pole during the Artic summer. All previous expeditions had been overland and thus had to take place in late winter/early spring.

    8. During the first March surfacing he comments “Once up there we had a breathtaking sight. Contrasted with last summer’s Artic world pale-blue melt ponds atop the ice floes, and almost black lakes of open water, this was a world of stark, frozen whiteness”.

    9. About the August 12, 1958 surfacing 40 miles from the pole (89′ 20″N and 93′ 00″ W) at “Polynya 2” he states “No ship of any kind has ever been at the surface of the sea this far north…a thermometer…shows 30′ F-still not cold”.

    10. During the March voyage, Comdr. Calvert had Aqua-Lung divers in the water, which “tested 30′ above zero”.

    #8, #9, and #10 can help us put some of the AGW articles and AGW “dramatic actions” in perspective. The Guardian article http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2000/aug/23/g2.weather was written in August, while Comdr. Calvert notes that the 1958 air temperature was 30′ F, with ice floes and “black lakes of open water”.

    Lewis Gordon Pugh’s website http://polardefenseproject.org/blog/?page_id=16 states: “On July 15, 2007, he became the first person to complete a long distance swim at the North Pole. While most people can’t imagine swimming in waters of minus 1.7°C (29°F), his swim is the most vivid illustration yet of just how far climate change has progressed.”

    However, Comdr. Calvert recorded water temperature of 30’F above zero in the WINTER, so Pugh’s stunt is only indicative of his extremely short historical perspective.

    Could it be that the extremely recent development of the relative ease of attaining the Artic in the summertime has been used, deliberately or not, to slant “the Artic is melting” argument?

    What is the difference between Comdr. Calvert’s description of an air temperature of -30′ F on March 24, 1958 in the Artic ice pack and present day conditions on the same date?

    Regards,
    DA. Freiberg

  143. D A Freiberg (AKA Sherlock Holmes)

    Great post. Thanks for your time.

    I have been investigating arctic ice through the ages on a casual basis for around two years and have come to the conclusion that arctic ice- even from year to year is highly variable- and over a decadal or century long period even more so.

    This is shown by the physical records of ice melt in the 1920/30’s (newspaper reports and Pathe newsreel,) around the 1800’s (newspaper reports and expedition by the Royal Society), The Hudson Bay co (physical records) from around 1700 onwards, the extensive remains of the Vikings around 1000Ad (with extensive records) and the physical remains of the advanced arctic civilisation left by the Ipiatuk a thousand years prior to that.

    The best records are from Bob Bartlett-Arctic explorer- in the 1920/30 and early 40’s

    http://www.ernestina.org/history/1940.html
    His ship got to 80 degrees 22 minutes North-some 500 miles from the North Pole.

    We do take a very short term historical perspective, such as in the frequent comments by young people that the climate has changed since they were young.

    Tonyb

  144. D A Freiberg

    Before you think about posting anything from the NatGeo CD, Google National Geographic comlete CD Supreme Court. I don’t speak lawyer at all, but I would avoid it.

    Your summary was much better than mine and expresses my thoughts exactly!

  145. Monbiot’s rebuttal said: “In other words, Arctic sea ice extent for April is in fact slightly below its average extent since 1979, not slightly above.”

    Heck, at least he spelt “its” correctly.

  146. Here’s another one from Monbiot:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/may/20/climate-change-denier-mit
    “MIT scientists forecast a global temperature rise of 5.2C by 2100 – but climate change deniers reject models devised by the world’s finest minds. So what do they suggest instead… seaweed?”
    No need for the seaweed. Perhaps a reasoned debate as to why average global temperatures have not increased for the last decade, while anthropogenic CO2 emissions have continued to increase rapidly? You’d think that such a glaring issue with AWG hypothesis might give the “world’s finest minds” a moment’s pause…

  147. TonyB and a reader, thanks for the compliments. TonyB, I think it was you that had posted the Ernestina links on the previous go-around. I read them then. It was, as is all the accounts of exploration, fascinating. onthefence had been the one to mention/quote the Comdr. Calvert’s article, which someone at a John Daly de-bunking site took great glee in quoting from the description of the memorial ceremony. Too bad they didn’t read the whole article but that would’ve upset their apple cart.

    The real shame here is that the navies, US, British, Russian, etc. can’t/won’t release their ice data collected from their submarines and military research. Instead we’re stuck with the comparatively little tidbits collected by private expeditions pre-Cold War, none of whom were there in the summer, and the more recent (1970’s) data. Comdr. Calvert visited a “floating ice station”, obviously already in use for a while in August 1958. What a treasure trove of data that would be.

    Still, some tidbits of facts slip out which can then be compared with the present.
    Summer temperature in August, 1958: 30′ F.
    March 17-25, 1959 air temperature -30’F
    March 17-25, 1959 water temperature 30’F

    Compare that to NOAA’s pole data (2002-present) and what do you get? Not much if any difference.

    Borderline, if you’re still there, I’ll add to what TonyB said. This blog is part of a great and civilization-changing debate. The many proposals (wind, solar, cap and trade) have the potential to radically alter both our economy and our environment (think about the chemicals used in many solar panels!) for the worse. As such, it is the People’s Business (“res publica”) to discuss these issues. It is important that the People have all the information available. But they don’t. Monbiot, Hansen, Gore, et.al. selectively quote, maliciously massage data (hockey sticks, anyone?) to present a picture that suits their interests.

    Shame on the lot of them, whose job it is to tell the truth and who refuse to do so.

    Conversely, if a credentialed scientist doesn’t agree, he or she is immediately slandered as being in the pay of “big oil”, etc., and denied further grant money.

    So that leaves us “common citizens” to do the job in our spare time because our common sense tells us that something is amiss. Monbiot and his fellow travelers bitterly resent being questioned by the lot of us and thus gleefully seize on any error, real or imaginary. Could it be that they are not-so-secretly jealous?

    Rather than griping, Borderline, kindly jump in, as I have done, and help out. The strength of blogs is the network of individuals each attacking the problem from their own experience with the net result being vastly greater than what any one could have done on their own.

  148. DA Freiberg

    Nice thoughtful post. Difficult to disagree with anything you say.

    I think the leading AGW scientists (and Al Gore) have painted themselves into a corner and it wouild be very difficult for them to admit that AGW was a working hypotheses that quickly gained more credence than the science and the resuilts really merited. The time was right.

    I think there are two iconic pieces of IPCC folk lore. The first being Hansens 1987 piece on global temperatures which he masterfully put in front of the world with his famous speech to Congress when he turned the A/c off. I personally find the idea of a single global temperature computed to fractions of a degree extraordinary. I think the idea of basing it on a tiny number of stations -25 or so worldwide in 1850 a few more in Hansens paper from 1880- is REALLY extraordinary, especially when you consider all the changes since in numbers and locations without even getting onto UHI or siting problems. Yet it has been accepted as fact and one of the pillars of AGW.

    Similarly Michael Manns hockey stick always seemed to me to be an interesting work in progress but was catapulted prematurely to world wide attention and became the symbol of AGW. It would very hard for a scientist to turn round and admit it needed a lot more work yet.

    I have suggested on another thread that someone like Joel Shore- who I think is a good debater- should be allowed to post an article putting his point of view on his belief that we are responsible for catastrophic climate change. This gives us the chance to examine his viewpoint after reading a considered narrative. There is very little rational debate going on anywhere else that brings the two sides together.

    As you rightly conclude:

    “The strength of blogs is the network of individuals each attacking the problem from their own experience with the net result being vastly greater than what any one could have done on their own.”

    I will look out for more of your posts and hope Borderline sticks around and keeps his mind open.

    Tonyb

  149. Thanks Tonyb. I looked at the article published in the January 1959 National Geographic, which was written about the Nautilus’s trip in August 1958 (no surfacing).

    Most interesting was the references to the “floating ice station Alpha” which Skate visited in August 1958. The station had been set up for the IGY and had been in operation for a while as of August 1958. Bad storms caused it to close in November 1958. The IGY data would be a worthwhile addition. I had missed Anthony’s post of 5/13 with the data from the Danes (?) going back to 1958.

    Yet all any “journalist” can do is chatter on about data from 1970 onward.

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