NSIDC on arctic ice: It is now unlikely that 2009 will see a record low extent

From NSIDC sea ice news

During the first half of August, Arctic ice extent declined more slowly than during the same period in 2007 and 2008. The slower decline is primarily due to a recent atmospheric circulation pattern, which transported ice toward the Siberian coast and discouraged export of ice out of the Arctic Ocean. It is now unlikely that 2009 will see a record low extent, but the minimum summer ice extent will still be much lower than the 1979 to 2000 average.

graph with months on x axis and extent on y axis

Figure 2. The graph above shows daily sea ice extent as of August 17, 2009. The solid light blue line indicates 2009; the solid dark blue line shows 2008; the dashed green line shows 2007; and the solid gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Sea Ice Index data.


map from space showing sea ice extent, continents

Figure 1. Daily Arctic sea ice extent on August 17 was 6.26 million square kilometers (2.42 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data. About the data. <!–Please note that our daily sea ice images, derived from microwave measurements, may show spurious pixels in areas where sea ice may not be present. These artifacts are generally caused by coastline effects, or less commonly by severe weather. Scientists use masks to minimize the number of “noise” pixels, based on long-term extent patterns. Noise is largely eliminated in the process of generating monthly averages, our standard measurement for analyzing interannual trends. Data derived from Sea Ice Index data set. –>

Note: This mid-monthly analysis update shows a single-day extent value for Figure 1, rather than the usual monthly average. While monthly average extent images are more accurate in understanding long-term changes, the daily images are helpful in monitoring sea ice conditions in near-real time.


Overview of conditions

On August 17, Arctic sea ice extent was 6.26 million square kilometers (2.42 million square miles). This is 960,000 square kilometers (370,000 square miles) more ice than for the same day in 2007, and 1.37 million square kilometers (530,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average. On August 8, the 2009 extent decreased below the 1979 to 2000 average minimum annual extent, with a month of melt still remaining.

Conditions in context

From August 1 to 17, Arctic sea ice extent declined at an average rate of 54,000 square kilometers (21,000 square miles) per day. This decline was slower than the same period in 2008, when it was 91,000 square kilometers (35,000 square miles) per day, and for the same period in 2007, when ice extent declined at a rate of 84,000 square kilometers (32,000 square miles) per day. The recent rate of ice loss has slowed considerably compared to most of July. Arctic sea ice extent is now greater than the same day in 2008.


AMSRE from JAXA shows similar extent conditions:

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

As does NANSEN:

Advertisements

256 thoughts on “NSIDC on arctic ice: It is now unlikely that 2009 will see a record low extent

  1. For a nice graphic from the University of Bremen: click [click on the image to expand].

    If you look closely, you’ll see the ice extent increasing year-over-year for three years through June 2009.

  2. It seems they have learned that their alarmism had gone too far last year (prediction of an ice-free North Pole by Mr. Serezze).

  3. Have no fear! The Catlin Survey can be launched again to assure us that it’s “worse than we thought” regardless of what that silly graph shows. ;o)

    (I think Ann and Martin might sit out another attempt, though. I can almost hear them now; “WHAT!?! Are you CRAZY!?!”)

  4. “The slower decline is primarily due to a recent atmospheric circulation pattern, which transported ice toward the Siberian coast and discouraged export of ice out of the Arctic Ocean.”

    So it’s the direction the wind blows. What’s it got to do with global warming? Absolutely nothing unless they can use it to scare people.

  5. Do I hear Steven Goddard saying “May Day, May Day!” ?

    p.s., anybody here seen our old friend Steven? Can you tell me where he’s gone?

    REPLY: I took him to task over the post on the possibility of CO2 freezing solid at the South Pole. He left in a huff rather than own up to the mistake. So, he doesn’t guest post here anymore. – Anthony

  6. I’ve got the sea ice extent at 640,000 km^2 below the 1979 to 2008 average as August 17th (it was as much as 1,000,000 km^2 a few weeks ago).

    The current melt-rate trend would put the ice extent minimum at about 5.85M km^2 which would only be about 3.0% below normal and 1.6M above the 2007 minimum.

    Here’s all the years back to 1979.

  7. I appreciate the kilometer to miles conversions Anthony. Thank You!

    p.s. this North Pole ice news can’t overshadow the Brett Favre signing with the Vikings news. ;-)

    REPLY:
    Thank NSIDC, it is their release that I’ve reposted. Who’s Brett Favre?- Anthony

  8. GregS (15:54:32) :

    “Odd how NSDIC isn’t trumpeting the consistently above average sea ice extent in Antarctica.”

    NSIDC is clearly selectively presenting data in order to mislead the public. There is a page on NSIDC dedicated to Arctic Sea Ice News;
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    but there is no corresponding Antarctic Sea Ice News page;
    http://nsidc.org/antarcticseaicenews
    and you have to dig deep to find their Antarctic Sea Ice Extent chart;

    which shows Antarctic Sea Ice Extent trending significantly above average.

  9. When discussing sea ice predictions, it is useful to visit the recent past to see how the “experts” have done…

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13779

    North Pole could be ice free in 2008
    16:03 25 April 2008 by Catherine Brahic

    You know when climate change is biting hard when instead of a vast expanse of snow the North Pole is a vast expanse of water. This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility.

    “The set-up for this summer is disturbing,” says Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). A number of factors have this year led to most of the Arctic ice being thin and vulnerable as it enters its summer melting season.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idINN3052467920080501

    Arctic sea ice forecast: another record low in 2008

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Arctic sea ice, sometimes billed as Earth’s air conditioner for its moderating effects on world climate, will probably shrink to a record low level this year, scientists predicted on Wednesday.

    And who can forget this … a mere 9 days ago!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/08/09/tech/main5228298.shtml

    Vast Expanses of Arctic Ice Melt in Summer
    Scientists Watch for Possible Record Low of Polar Ice Cap
    Aug. 9, 2009

    (AP) The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square miles of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.

    As of Thursday, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported, the polar ice cap extended over 2.61 million square miles after having shrunk an average 41,000 square miles a day in July – equivalent to one Indiana or three Belgiums daily.

    The rate of melt was similar to that of July 2007, the year when the ice cap dwindled to a record low minimum extent of 1.7 million square miles in September.

    In July, “we saw acceleration in loss of ice,” the U.S. center’s Walt Meier told The Associated Press. In recent days the pace has slowed, making a record-breaking final minimum “less likely but still possible,” he said.

  10. The polar webcam photos for the last few days would seem to indicate that the freeze up is commencing now which would put it well ahead of 07 and 08, and in line with what occurred in 04. In comment I posted here back on 21 April suggesting that Anthony start a contest for best prediction of the summer minimum of AMSR-E ice extent I offered my own completely non-scientific estimate of 5,857,142 km2, which now appears to be just a hair high, but it’s looking like the number I pulled from my a**, will be closer than anything all those guys with their fancy computer models could generate back in April

  11. REPLY: I took him to task over the post on the possibility of CO2 freezing solid at the South Pole. He left in a huff rather than own up to the mistake. So he doesn’t guest post here anymore. – Anthony

    Sorry to hear. Stuff happens. Maybe things can be reconciled some day….

    p.s. I appreciate this blog. I am so happy it exists. I think a lot of other people are too.

    p.s.s. I don’t know how you find so much time to be on top of things here, and moderate on top of that. Do you sleep?

    REPLY: I have Robot undlerlords that only need recharging from a green outlet. – A

    [Robot Reply: Our pay is electrons, which we can trade for pixels at the company store. ~dbs, mod.]

  12. Just in case some of you are suspecting I may have exaggerated my prescience in my previous post, here is my comment from 21 April in it’s entirety

    Dave Wendt (13:13:20) :
    Anthony;

    Given the spate of grim news on the political front of the AGW debate, I think it might be time for a bit of a diversion to introduce a little lightheartedness to the mood of your readers. I suggest a pool for the best prediction of the summer low of the AMSR-E sea ice extent. I’ve got dibs on 5.857142 mil. km2, a number I arrived at by strict adherence to all the rules of technique and methodology of the warmists playbook for climate estimation, i.e. I smoothly extracted a number from my anal orifice and then applied unjustified precision to make it look more “scientific”.
    It would probably enhance the entertainment value if everyone kicked in a couple of bucks with their entries, but given the increasing number of times your name has appeared in pieces about opposition to the administration’s policies, there’s probably already an army of political operatives and liberal bureaucrats out there trying to do a Joe the Plumber rectal polyp count on you and you wouldn’t want to hand them the opportunity to nail you for running an illegal lottery.

  13. “”” Gene Nemetz (16:47:43) :

    I appreciate the kilometer to miles conversions Anthony. Thank You!

    p.s. this North Pole ice news can’t overshadow the Brett Favre signing with the Vikings news. ;-)

    REPLY: Thank NSIDC, it is their release that I’ve reposted. Who’s Brett Favre?- Anthony “””

    More importantly, if the arctic sea ice is slowly getting back to normal; what the hell are the Vikings preparing for; another go at Greenland ? I’d have thougth those heathens would be somewhat civilsed by now.

    But why does NSDIC feel it is necessary to editorialize on the why. Can’t they be happy to jus tell us what the ice is, and leave it at that. What the ehck does it matter why the ice is where it is; next year it is bound to do something else.

  14. So, when the extent is low it is because of global warming and not because of wind patterns, but when it doesn’t go low it is because of wind patterns and not because global warming isn’t the cause anyway?

  15. Good heavens. A decently educated Joe Schmo, or in this case, Sue Schmu, could have easily predicted a slow melt (and she did too) at the beginning of the season just by following the jet stream pattern. The scientists at NSDIC make it sound like some complicated surprising phenomena that only they can figure out.

  16. Brett is a football quarterback and occasional actor. He has outlived his football knees and needs to hang it up. He appeared in “Something About Mary” as himself and in “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” as himself.

  17. I’m very pleased about this. I’ve been predicting since last fall we’d be looking at something very close to the 2005 line this year, and it is right on it at the moment. So I’m wearing the tight grin right now.

    Tho I’m still conscious that “extent” essentially sucks as a metric, whoevers ox it is goring at the moment, and the nature of melting means extent can disappear in a hurry if volume (ie. extent times thickness) is low. So I’m not ready to rule out the possibility of a September crash in extent.

    But I don’t really believe it. :) Still a cool summer here in Minnesota. Feels more like Fall everyday.

    And right now, if we don’t get that September crash, you’d have to say that the evidence suggests that so far as extent goes, 2nd year ice is just as good as multi-year ice generally.

  18. By the way, I have said this before, but the ice up there is thicker than bees on honey! How do I know? Wind patterns shoved it together. In fact, if we were to measure the ice displacement before and after the melt season, I would bet the ranch that there was precious LITTLE melt this summer. The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.

  19. I was wondering why the ‘powers that be ‘ were essentially ignoring the Arctic this year. So sad, no disaster to predict.

  20. Pamela Gray (17:40:37) :

    By the way, I have said this before, but the ice up there is thicker than bees on honey! How do I know? Wind patterns shoved it together. In fact, if we were to measure the ice displacement before and after the melt season, I would bet the ranch that there was precious LITTLE melt this summer. The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.

    Inclined to agree. The decline in extent was compacting due to winds. (rarely hear about winds with regard to melt though I have to admit it was mentioned as the reason for the record low.)

    This year will start freeze with a lot of multi-year ice I think.

    DaveE.

  21. “REPLY: I took him to task over the post on the possibility of CO2 freezing solid at the South Pole. He left in a huff rather than own up to the mistake. So he doesn’t guest post here anymore. – Anthony”

    I enjoyed Steves’ many and varied posts. The thread in question led to an excellent example of practical chemistry and I seem to remember other senior people from third party organizations were also incorrect.

    It would be nice to see a reconciliation.

    Tonyb

  22. And I followed your lead Pamela, and have been fixated on the jet stream for months! I made a prediction of 5.8-6.0 a while back at CA and was ridiculed! I may still be wrong, but I have seen the jet stream light as far as northern polar ice is concerned. I’ll stake your reputation on it! 8-[)

    BTW I used the same rigorous formula as Mr. Wendt in calculating the specific (?) number.

  23. “REPLY: I took him to task over the post on the possibility of CO2 freezing solid at the South Pole. He left in a huff rather than own up to the mistake. So he doesn’t guest post here anymore. – Anthony”

    Too bad Michael Mann wasn’t taken to task for his ‘issues” in creating the first hockey stick.

  24. The remarks were:
    ————–
    Bill Marsh (17:44:22) :
    I was wondering why the ‘powers that be ‘ were essentially ignoring the Arctic this year. So sad, no disaster to predict.
    ————–
    Tut! Tut! Mustn’t be questioning your ‘betters’ in the ‘powers that be’ here!
    .
    Remember: Only ‘government scientists’ know what’s really happening. Everyone else just makes silly ‘guesses.’

  25. If this info from NSIDC is published by any of the “MSM,” it might be a first. Predictions of record low sea ice extent get coverage, along with the usual AGW bit. Let’s see how this reversal plays in the MSM. Will the importance of wind patterns that can push the ice out of the Arctic and down into warmer waters get mentioned?

  26. It’s times like these I just have to ask the question:

    Where’s Flanagan?

    Regulars will understand.

  27. Arn Riewe (18:27:34) :

    “It’s times like these I just have to ask the question:

    Where’s Flanagan?”

    Maybe he’s with Mark Serreze?

  28. What does the 1979-2008 average look like? Why is the 1979-2000 average considered to be some kind of magical reference point, and who considers it to be so?

  29. Off topic
    Anthony and your great monitoring team, you don’t have to post this.
    I want to make you aware.
    ‘WASHINGTON (AFP) – US labor unions and environmental groups on Tuesday announced plans for a nationwide campaign to boost support for legislation to promote “clean energy” and battle climate change.
    The ‘Made In America’ Jobs Tour will open Thursday in Ohio — a critical political battleground in US presidential elections — and visit 50 sites in 22 US states, including other major toss-ups, the coalition said in a statement.
    Leaders of the United Steelworkers, Service Employees International Union, Utility Workers Union of America were to join heads of major US environmental groups on a conference call Wednesday to formally launch the campaign.’
    AFP on Yahoo ^

  30. old construction worker (19:01:57) :

    Now that sounds like Astroturf!

    But what would I know. I’m just part of the ignorant mob.

  31. Pamela Gray (17:40:37) :
    “The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.”
    Pam, I worked at Eureka, NWT back in 1979, and we measured the ice on the fjiord (20 feet thick at the end of winter, yes, one winter freeze). During the summer, channelling melt did occur, but the biggest factor was indeed the wind. One day, big wind from the east and all that ice was pushed out into Eureka Sound. So yes indeed, it gets affected by the wind big time.

  32. BTW, for those wondering about Flanagan, I did see a comment of his about the Mediterranean heat wave on the previous post about the French wine industry, so he is still around.

  33. The press sometimes gets it partially right. Also both Northwest passages are still closed at last report. Expect several private venture yachts (or their crews) will have to be rescued in September.

    Canadian NewsQuick read >
    Sorry, feed cannot be read.Latest news:
    Cold summer means thick sea ice, healthier Hudson Bay polar bears
    at 16:26 on August 18, 2009, EDT.
    Chinta Puxley, THE CANADIAN PRESS
    WINNIPEG – A cold summer in many areas of the country may have meant fewer barbecues and camping trips this year, but lower temperatures have been a boon for the beleaguered Hudson Bay polar bears.

    Experts say the summer sea ice has lasted longer than it has in years, which has given the region’s more than 1,000 bears extra time to hunt, feed and raise healthy cubs.

    One scout captured a picture of a mother with three strapping youngsters – a rare sight that has heartened those who are fighting what they say is the probable extinction of the iconic mammal.

    Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta, said it’s good news in an area where the polar bear population has declined by 25 per cent. He’s been tracking some bears using satellite collars and said the extra time the animals have had on the ice can make all the difference.

    “They’ve had longer to hunt which is a real benefit to them,” said Derocher, former chair of a polar bear specialist group run by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

    “It really makes a difference. Even just one or two weeks out on the sea ice can make a difference in how many seals they kill and how much fat they’re able to store on their bodies.”

    Canada is home to about two-thirds of the world’s polar bears but scientists warn that populations are starting to dwindle because of thawing sea ice, over-hunting, industrial activity and increased toxins in the food chain.

    While experts say this summer is an anomaly and doesn’t mean the mammals are no longer under threat, Derocher said it bodes well for the coming winter on Hudson Bay.

    When the sea ice takes longer to break up in the summer, the water doesn’t warm up as much, he said. That usually means sea ice forms earlier in the fall, which gives polar bears more time to procreate and bulk up on fat for the following summer.

    “A respite from the long-term conditions is certainly good news, but … this is still a major concern. We’re talking about global change here. This is just one summer.”

    In other parts of the Arctic, temperatures continue to be warmer than usual, scientists point out.

    Robert Buchanan, head of Polar Bear International, said northern sea ice generally continues to melt at an alarming rate.

    “The overall prognosis for bears on a worldwide basis still remains dim at best,” Buchanan said in an interview from Alaska. “This is an aberration.”

    Polar bears will continue to suffer from greenhouse gases that are warming the planet unless we plant more trees, make more use of recyclable materials and reduce energy consumption, he said.

    “We’re killing polar bears from the comfort of our armchairs.”

    Even the biggest polar bears these days aren’t as big as they used to be, said John Gunter, general manager of Frontiers North Adventures in Churchill, Man.

    But after years of watching polar bears shrink and dwindle in population, it’s nice to observe them doing well this summer, he said.

    “It’s a one-off, but it’s still really encouraging to see.”

    Gunter also pointed out that there is still some ice on Hudson Bay. Usually, it’s long gone by now.

  34. 1. For an interesting overlay of satellite JAXA data and that produced by the State of Alaska click on the following (or copy and paste):

    http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=globalwarming&action=display&thread=346&page=91

    Once at the site, scroll down to the entry by kiwistonewall, who explains that the algorithm for the satellite data processing seems not to have been recalibrated for younger ice. Alaska thinks there’s a lot more ice up there than meets the satellite’s eye. Kiwistonewall has done similar overlays of Canadian Ice Service’s observations this year in presenting his argument that the alarmists are not presenting the most complete data at this point.

    2. People have probably seen various murmurings regarding underwater volcanoes’ possibly having played a role in the thinning of the ice over the past decade. Scientists discovered a whole slew of active volcanoes along the Gakkel Ridge running the length of the Arctic basin in 2001. While there is no conclusive evidence linking the volcanoes to the melt, enough people have asked NSIDC about it that they have put up a FAQ response:

    Have undersea volcanoes caused the Arctic sea ice decline?

    A recent study discovered active volcanoes on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, and some people have wondered if they are causing sea ice to melt.

    While volcanic eruptions surely warmed the ocean in the immediate vicinity of the eruptions, the amount of heat they produced compared to the large volume of the Arctic Ocean is small. The Arctic Ocean covers 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles), about 1 ½ times the size of the United States or 58 times the size of the United Kingdom. The Arctic Ocean is 4,000 to 5,500 meters (13,000 to 18,000 feet) deep. The heat from the volcanoes would have dispersed over an enormous volume and had little effect on ocean temperature, much as a bucket of boiling water emptied into a lake would have little effect on the lake’s temperature.

    Second, the eruptions would have introduced heat on the ocean floor, thousands of feet below the sea ice that floats on the ocean surface. The Arctic Ocean is strongly stratified, which prevents layer mixing and makes it difficult for any deep water, even deep water warmed by heat from volcanoes, to reach the surface and melt the ice. This layering results from a strong density gradient: water layers near the surface are less dense, while bottom waters are the densest. But unlike most oceans, where warmer, lighter water rises to the top, Arctic Ocean waters are heavily stratified because of variations in salinity. River runoff and sea ice melt into surface waters dilutes the salinity of surface waters, making them less dense.

    -ends-

    Again, I think it is possible, even likely, that NSIDC is correct and that the volcanoes have not played a role. On the other hand, the information in their FAQ response is not accurate.

    I wrote the following e-mail to Mark Serreze (with whom I’d already exchanged a few e-mails) :

    Dear Mark,

    Having again mulled the NSIDC statement regarding possible volcano-related melt of sea ice (which I paste below for your convenience), I have some thoughts.

    In fact, very little of the Arctic basin is as deep as this piece of writing suggests. I’m sure you have your own maps, but here are links of a couple to look at for convenience:

    http://gdr.nrcan.gc.ca/seisref/arctic_e.php

    So, while the relatively impressive depth of the Litke Deep (between the Lomonosov Ridge and the Gakkel Ridge) adds considerably to the average depth of the basin, the majority of the Arctic Ocean is actually fairly shallow. The only way to get a figure for the Arctic’s depth such as the one given by NSIDC is to ignore the continental shelves, but much of the basin is shelf! Including the shelves, the average depth of the Arctic Ocean is just 4,300 feet.

    Also, the presumption that whatever volcanism takes place does so in the deepest portions of the basin runs counter to the fact that it is the Gakkel Ridge that has been shown to be volcanic. Whether it proves to be the only volcanic feature in the entire basin remains to be seen, but the ridge is nowhere near 13,000 feet deep (let alone 18,000).

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v421/n6920/abs/nature01351.html

    I wonder if you would consider having the text regarding undersea volcanoes edited, given all of the above?

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Sincerely yours,

    Harold Ambler

    I have yet to hear back from Serreze on this one.

    I had told him in my original e-mail that a warm feature on Unisys’ sst anomaly map south of Wrangel Island in the Chukchi Sea — http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html — seemed like a possible candidate for volcanic SST warming.

    As I say, there is nothing like proof one way or the other here. Neither Serreze nor Walt Meier evinced anything like intellectual curiosity about the possibility of volcanic warming. They would do well to make their dismissal look better by posting an accurate statement on their website regarding the depth of the Arctic Ocean.

  35. The warming is coming! It’s scary! It’s bad!
    The ice-caps are melting! The bears are so sad!

    Soon they will drown and it’s ALL YOUR DARN FAULT!
    So pay double for everything, now, at WalMart!
    When energy doubles and triples and more,
    It’s just the beginning – all prices will soar!

    The warming is coming! It’s scary! It’s bad!
    The ice-caps are melting! The bears are so sad!

    So pay more for food – c’mon – go and see!
    The corn tastes much better in my SUV!
    Tax ’em says Waxman – and Markey agrees –
    By spending our wages on these fantasies,
    In ten years we might cool .01 degrees!

    The warming is coming! It’s scary! It’s bad!
    The ice-caps are melting! The bears are so sad!

    Let’s go! Get aboard! This train’s out the station,
    Don’t breathe out Co2 – that’s so out of fashion!
    Carbon’s connected to all human efforts,
    Taxed and controlled, it’s like a collective,
    We’ll fix the earth – this warming’s defective!

    The warming is coming! It’s scary! It’s bad!
    The ice-caps are melting! The bears are so sad!

    Throw money, throw jobs, throw whatever you’ve got,
    To cool every nation on earth, and if not,
    Then throw out science and all rational thinking –
    Hey – it’s not like we’ll miss it – our brains have gone missing –
    Sold like our souls for Gore’s fat commission…

    The warming is coming! It’s already here!
    Now gimme your wallet -You’ll pay for that fear…

    ©2009 Dave Stephens

  36. I wonder what the monthly PDO graph would look like on a min/max Arctic sea ice extent graph from 1900 to present.

  37. Correcting myself….
    I was a ridge we measured on the Fjord (20 feet), i pulled out my photo album from back then and checked and i have labeled 96″ (8 feet) of new ice created in the winter of ’79-80.
    Sorry for the mis-information from before (memory not the best, that’s why we write it down)….

  38. “Clean” energy, or green energy if you will, is so darned expensive, that the paychecks for the “Made In America’ Jobs” will be issued in India and China. Nice bit of irony there.

    Robert Kral (18:55:53) :

    What does the 1979-2008 average look like? Why is the 1979-2000 average considered to be some kind of magical reference point, and who considers it to be so?

    I agree. These baselines (lots of them–not just polar ice extent) are very “warming centric”. What if the climate system is nontransitive and has a number of limit points, some above and some below current values, and spends all its time wandering from one to another? One chooses a low baseline, and lots of people get in a lather about a “secular” trend for no reason at all.

    Gene Nemetz (16:57:10) :

    … p.s. I appreciate this blog. I am so happy it exists. I think a lot of other people are too.

    Hear, hear.

    Finally, we are piling opprobrium on the MSM for not covering stories symmetrically (i.e. what we might consider fair), but the media always look for the “man bites dog” story. Ice growing at the poles is the exact opposite of “man bites dog”.

  39. Summary:

    1) It’s good but it’s not a trend. Only bad things can form a trend.

    2) It only looks good because the underlying badness is masked – otherwise it would look bad.

    3) It’s still worse than some other thing over there.

    /sarcoff

  40. Micajah (18:20:45) :

    “If this info from NSIDC is published by any of the “MSM,” it might be a first. Predictions of record low sea ice extent get coverage, along with the usual AGW bit. Let’s see how this reversal plays in the MSM. Will the importance of wind patterns that can push the ice out of the Arctic and down into warmer waters get mentioned?”

    If the past is any guide, don’t expect the MSM to say anything if this year’s minimum ice extent doesn’t pan out as a “record” – of course, they’ll say things like “the nth lowest on record!!” following in the footsteps of NOAA climate press releases.

    Here’s an analogy question for everyone (please fill in the blank):

    David Hathaway is to solar sunspot cycle prediction as _____ is to minimum arctic ice extent prediction.

  41. How’s that Northwest passage working out for ya?

    AUGUST 17, 2009

    Last night, 16 Aug, we got hopelessly trapped by the ice. Despite a favorable ice report we encountered 8/10ths ice, with many old, i.e. large, bergs. We spent the night tied to one of them but had to leave this morning when another ‘berg collided with us and tipped Fiona over. We got away but the space around us is shrinking. I called the Canadian Coast Guard at noon and they are sending an icebreaker, due here tomorrow. We are NOT in immediate danger. Watch this space for developments.

    http://www.yachtfiona.com/fnn.htm

    and….

    After reading ice charts and making our way fairly smoothly down Peel Sound for the past few weeks, three days ago Mother Nature decided to shake things up a bit. Not only did we have to push, plow, and break our way through ice, we also had fog and zero breeze (which didn’t help move the ice). Our radar was one big green blob, and we could only find leads heading the opposite direction we wanted to go!
    http://northwestpassagefilm.com/arctic/

  42. Harold Ambler 19:27:36

    I swear up and down that I can see the effect of the 1999 Gakkel Ridge eruption on time series of Arctic Ice. Apparently, the area was covered by clouds so no one can say definitively whether the ice melted there or not, but what would you have above an area of open sea in Arctic temperatures? You’d see a cloud. I’ve failed to get anyone interested enough to actually look at the photos, which are apparently hard to find, to determine if they are normal clouds, or the clouds you’d see above an open sea, or even above significantly warmed ice.

    Go, Baby Ice, Go for the Grey.
    ====================

  43. Experts feel free to correct me, but it has seemed to me for some time now that the ice issue is a bit of a red herring. Why?

    Well, the warmist hypothesis holds that mankind’s CO2 emissions will cause an increase in global surface temperatures which will be amplified by water vapor feedback, which will in turn, melt polar ice.

    However, it’s possible to measure surface (and ocean) temperatures directly.

    If surface (and ocean) temperatures are not rising as predicted by the warmists, but polar ice is melting, the reasonable inference is that some other factor is causing the melt and the melting ice is not confirming evidence of the warmist hypothesis.

    That’s how it seems to me, anyway.

  44. I believe there was a 10% increase in extent in 2008 over 2007. When NSIDC and the “forecasters” of future ice extent that have a link on NSIDC site were estimating a high probability of no rebound for 2008 and beyond because of reduced albedo, warmer arctic waters, etc… I emailed them and pointed out that the refreeze curve for the fall of 2007 was one of the steepest in their collection and I predicted a rebound. When 2008 was 10% higher, I then offered my forecast of an additional 15% summer survival increase for 2009 turning their argument againtst them (higher albedo, colder arctic waters in summer 2008). This was before I saw the dramatic animation on WUWT of the real reason for the low 2007 extent – the flushing out of the ice into the atlantic instead of reduction by melting which was the reasons given by all the experts who understand the … heights of the atmosphere and the depths of the oceans around the world so well.. or is that the spiel of NOAA? How fraudulent to report that it was due to melting. Much like the British Arctic Survey and others calling sharp rectangular blocks broken off of the Wilson Ice Shelf a melting phenomenon instead of a mechanical one like the 2007 Arctic low extent. I am sticking to my +15% for 2009 though.

  45. Frank Mosher (18:30:00) said :
    Vikes could use a QB.

    I agree, they’ve been practically rudderless (or should I say leeboardless) for about 10 centuries now. Sure, Leif and the boys had some early successes around the North Atlantic Rim, but a little chilly climate, er, weather, and WHAM, back to Norge. Meanwhile, generations of Shetland Island spinsters have pined away their whole lives waiting for the ruddy horny-helmeted boys of legend to return.

    Not sure Fav-re-uh is the right man for the job, though. I understand he winters in Miss-sippi (the native pronunciation) and of course the name sounds a little too Norman if you ask me.

    Oh, and has anybody noticed that we’ve had 38 straight days of Spotlessness, with 10.7 cm flux hovering down below 70?
    This stretch looks like it’s gonna break into the Top Ten List.
    Any revisions from NASA lately?? Isn’t it about time for another “slumping” of the SC24 curve down-and-to-the-right?

  46. Anthony and others,

    Does anyone know what the ice extent was around the years 1900-1940? There were reports of no ice up to the 81st parallel, North-West Passage being navigated and very few seals sighted during that period?

    PS And the polar bears survived all that + being hunted.

  47. Hmmm – more ice left than last year. And with 3 or 4 weeks to go it’s increasingly looking like there will be more ice than last year at minimum. And that’s got to wreck havoc on the “ice volume” fantasy when the amount of multi-year ice increases yet again next year. A couple more years of this and all that’ll be left will be extreme weather events with which to promote Mr. Gore’s fantasy.

  48. Pamela Gray (17:40:37) :
    By the way, I have said this before, but the ice up there is thicker than bees on honey! How do I know? Wind patterns shoved it together. In fact, if we were to measure the ice displacement before and after the melt season, I would bet the ranch that there was precious LITTLE melt this summer. The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.

    A clear example of what you are talking about is revealed by these two sea ice thickness animations
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/quikscat/index.uk.php

    The first is a DMI animation showing the Arctic from Sept 2007 to June 2008, the second is a Nasa animation covering Sept 2008 to Feb 2009. What I find interesting is that the DMI sequence clearly shows the residual “multiyear ice” left after the 2007 summer minimum is either flushed from the Arctic or homogenized by the Beaufort Gyre until the final images from June 2008 show an almost total absence of “multiyear ice”, yet the NASA sequence commencing a mere three months later after the 2008 minimum shows the residual ice as being almost entirely “multiyear ice” with a goodly portion coded as more than 2 years old. I wasn’t able to locate a description of what satellite provided the data for the NASA graphic, but comparing some of the other images on the site from the period of the DMI graphic would seem to indicate that the two should be fairly comparable. Assuming that is correct, how do you get from ice that is almost entirely classed as first year in June to ice that is almost entirely classed as old ice three months later. This seems to me to indicate that much of what the satellites are classifying as old ice is just thick ice that may well be the result of drift driven stacking, not year to year persistence.

  49. So, does multi-year ice develop when winds push fresh one year old ice together in big piles? Or is multi-year ice just toughin it out from one Fram Strait breezy year to the next? Me thinks, being a redheaded spitfire, that I will bid my blown together ice against your toughin it out ice any day. It’s all in the jet stream baby.

    By the way, where are the AGW’s on this thread? They seem to be absent and I wanted to debate!!!!

  50. If we had the technology we could put up a barrier to prevent the wind blowing the ice away to warmer waters. We really would be able to control the global climate then.

  51. Frank K. (16:50:47) :

    >When discussing sea ice predictions, it is useful to visit the >recent past to see how the “experts” have done……………

    That’s indeed a hoard of LOL!!!!!

  52. Hi all-

    It’s really hard to understand people that can look at that graph, with our ice extent curve consistently two and three standard deviations below the average of 1979-2000, and not see the obvious. The curves for the last several years have been two or three standard deviations blow the mean, in fact. The possibility of this happening by accident is less than 5%, and may be less than 1%.

    As this ice melts, it decreases the amount of sunlight reflected back into outer space by the white polar icecap. This is known as the icecap/Albedo feedback.

    As the icecap melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the surface of the water, which leads to more melting, in a vicious cycle that looks very much like it is running away.

    Many, many vicious cycles appear to be starting. The permafrost appears to be starting to melt, releasing increasing amounts of methane- a greenhouse gas 70 times worse than CO2, when averaged over a 20 year period. The forests are starting to burn at increasing rates around the world, and may release as much as 100-500 billion tons of carbon by 2100, and amount comparable to the entire industrial revolution.

    It’s all happening, guys and gals.

    Just look at the graph. Forget this is about global warming, and consider that it is the probability of your house burning down.

    No insurance company would ever issue a policy on this fire trap.

  53. Dave Wendt said

    “The polar webcam photos for the last few days would seem to indicate that the freeze up is commencing now which would put it well ahead of 07 and 08, and in line with what occurred in 04. In comment I posted here back on 21 April suggesting that Anthony start a contest for best prediction of the summer minimum of AMSR-E ice extent I offered my own completely non-scientific estimate of 5,857,142 km2, which now appears to be just a hair high, but it’s looking like the number I pulled from my a**, will be closer than anything all those guys with their fancy computer models could generate back in April”

    But the refreeze is not starting now, it won’t for at least another 3 to 4 weeks. Your estimate is likely to be as much too high as the scientists were too low!

    Pamela Gray said

    “Good heavens. A decently educated Joe Schmo, or in this case, Sue Schmu, could have easily predicted a slow melt (and she did too) at the beginning of the season just by following the jet stream pattern. ”

    But there hasn’t been a slow melt. There was a slow start to the melt season but since then there has been a very rapid melt that has only tailed off in the last 2-3 weeks.

    So Dave’s prediction is likely to be wrong and yours already is. Mind you, so was mine! :D

    Regards

    Andy

  54. Extent does not equal thickness does not equal volume.

    I can push the ice cube in my whiskey up sideways against the side of the glass. Ice extent is reduced but that tells me nothing about whether the ice has melted.

    If the wind shoves all the ice to the Eastern Arctic then the extent will decrease. Will the thickness or volume decrease? Maybe. But a satellite photo pixel count will tell us nothing about thickness or volume and, because of surface water, may underestimate extent by thousands of kilometers.

  55. Thinking about this raises the point that the wind has more impact on global climate than CO2. Now, what makes the wind blow, and why?

  56. Who’s Brett Favre?- Anthony

    At first I thought you were just kidding.

    He’s a quarterback in pro football. He holds almost every record a quarterback could have. He retired once from the Green Bay Packers. Came back with the New York Jets last year. He retired after one year there. And he just came back again to the Minnesota Vikings today.

    He is probably the most famous name in football since Joe Namath. But you’re so busy with this excellent blog maybe you haven’t had time to know anything else.

    Here’s a little video about him; you might recognize some of the people in it talking about him :

    He’ll be on Monday Night Football on October 5th playing the Green Bay Packers, the team he spent 16 years with, and with whom he broke most of those records.

    BTW : are you just kidding that you didn’t know who he is?

  57. DaveE (17:55:29) : This year will start freeze with a lot of multi-year ice I think.

    Al Gore will be having a disappointing time with his 5 year to no ice at the North Pole prediction with multiyear ice getting thicker now.

  58. If it “Bad” it is global warming. If it isn’t then it is just the wind. Why does the news media continue to publish activist scientists instead of real information.. Oh that is right, news organizations ARE biased… I have no idea where we as people came to the conclusion that they only report the truth. Any time you make a decision to report one side and not the other all semblance of truth just goes out the window… Sorry to rant I just get angry when I see things like this and remember the dire predictions if we don’t do something now.

    Don’t get me wrong, an Ice free arctic would be awesome. Just think of the financial possabilities of not having to go through the Panama Canal… The cost savings in Intercontinental goods alone would be astronomical. But our planet will just not cooperate with us no matter how much blasted CO2 we stick in the atmosphere… Watt is up with that anyway ;-)

  59. For a reason that can’t be explained the sea ice graph omitted the 30 year (actually 28) average unlike this one.

    In other words sea ice extent is still much LOWER than the 30 year average. Given that we have had two years of negligible sun spot activity, preceded by La Nina, surely slower melting ‘is only to be expected’? But apparently sea ice is still melting faster than the the 30 year average that included 1998.

  60. A nice steady recovery year by year as the undersea warming effect beneath the Arctic ice of all those late 20th Century El Ninos fades away.

  61. Rick Sharp (20:02:24) :
    How’s that Northwest passage working out for ya?

    As you know two boats have already made it through from the east to Gjoa Havn and Cambridge Bay already, clear passage through to the Beaufort from now on!

    After reading ice charts and making our way fairly smoothly down Peel Sound for the past few weeks, three days ago Mother Nature decided to shake things up a bit. Not only did we have to push, plow, and break our way through ice, we also had fog and zero breeze (which didn’t help move the ice). Our radar was one big green blob, and we could only find leads heading the opposite direction we wanted to go!
    http://northwestpassagefilm.com/arctic/

    Funny how you neglected to quote the following paragraph:

    “Finally this morning the ice, the clouds and the fog broke and we have a clear shot down Ross Strait to Gjoa Haven!”
    They’ve passed through Rae Strait and are now about to enter Gjoa Havn, of course you knew that but just wanted to mislead!

  62. Using a more scientific (but currently secret) method than Dave Wendt, I come up with a minimum figure of 5.920 ± 0.050 Mkm2 (95/95 confidence).

  63. Pamela Gray (17:40:37) :
    By the way, I have said this before, but the ice up there is thicker than bees on honey! How do I know? Wind patterns shoved it together. In fact, if we were to measure the ice displacement before and after the melt season, I would bet the ranch that there was precious LITTLE melt this summer. The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.

    Well you’d lose that bet, your wind patterns are pushing the ice away from the Arctic Basin, that Russian station set up at 82.53N,174.94E last September has drifted over 2800km towards the Fram at about 8km/day passing fairly close to the Pole (88.5N). Similarly for the N Pole weather station installed at the Pole in earlier April, it’s even nearer the Fram at 84.1N, 2.1W. Like last year there will be less multiyear ice in the spring of 2010.

  64. Gene Nemetz (16:24:50) : anybody here seen our old friend Steven? Can you tell me where he’s gone?

    REPLY: I took him to task over the post on the possibility of CO2 freezing solid at the South Pole. He left in a huff rather than own up to the mistake. So, he doesn’t guest post here anymore. – Anthony

    I still get the opening half of this incident thrown at me to “prove” that WUWTdoes bad science – the opening half but not the conclusion. Explaining that a lot of us were embarrassed, and that real Science proceeds by being able to speak out ideas even at the risk of making mistakes and being wrong, cut no ice, to use the pun. It alarms me to hear a doctor of science say, when I challenged him to show me just where the Surface Stations project was bad science, “When Watts publishes something in a peer reviewed science journal then I will be able to judge whether there’s any significant science behind what he’s doing”

    And yes, Steve G, I’d like to see you back too!

  65. Last year’s headline of “record low in second year arctic ice” will be reprised as:
    RECORD LOW THIRD YEAR ARCTIC ICE!!!

  66. Lucy Skywalker (00:53:37) :

    “When Watts publishes something in a peer reviewed science journal then I will be able to judge whether there’s any significant science behind what he’s doing”

    I say again – they don’t make peers like they used to.

  67. Pamela Gray (21:11:21) :
    By the way, where are the AGW’s on this thread?
    They seem to be absent and I wanted to debate!!!!

    Sorry Pamela – half have jetted off for the summer holidays… this means the other half are working overtime pumping out AGW hot air in the MSM!!!

    Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8205864.stm

    QUOTE
    Scientists say they have evidence that the powerful greenhouse gas methane is escaping from the Arctic sea bed. Researchers say this could be evidence of a predicted positive feedback effect of climate change. As temperatures rise, the sea bed grows warmer and frozen water crystals in the sediment break down, allowing methane trapped inside them to escape.
    UNQUOTE

    There must be a big smelly joke in this story but I don’t want to lower the tone of the conversation…. :-)

  68. Juraj V,
    Could you smooth those curves?

    Climate Audit
    posted these 16 July projections by arctic modellers.
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6734 (scroll down a little).

    If the current trend continues, 2009 will finish above ALL 16 projections. Now, what does that tell you about the science used by these expert modelers?

  69. NSIDC show “1979-2000 Average +- 2 Standard Deviations”, which gives the impression that this year’s ice is abnormally low (in the bottom 1%).

    But they assume that: 1) arctic sea ice extent is normally distributed; and 2) 1979-2000 is a representative sample for estimating both the average (by which I assume they intend to say the mean) and the standard deviation. The fact that the last 3 years are all below the 2sd margin suggests that one or both of the assumptions is wrong!

    If we did assume a normal distribution, where would the 95% confidence limit be?

  70. Would you forward this to Mr Johann Hari, a fanatical left-wing journalist on The Independent in London (j.hari@independent.co.uk)? He is totally unqualified scientifically, wrote a miraculously inaccurate description of total pharmaceutical innovation in HEIs and absolutely none in a multibillion dollar commercial industry and regularly declares that anyone who does not accept the ‘unanswerable evidence of human-induced global warming’ is ‘living in the age of unreason’. He believes in switching the lights out in Britain by violent resistance to the building of new power stations necessary to make up the shortfall when nuclear reactors are decommissioned in the relatively near future. He also wrote recently that the only research which should be paid for by the UK Govt should be on research which primarily affects Africans, Indians etc etc. A true patriot, in other words! Our Govt is bankrupt, our health indicators are headed downward, but our beneficient charitable impulses must show no signs of abatement!! Durgh!!!!!!!

    It might be useful to attach an understated, scientifically percipient analysis of current uncertainties in the field to his editor and politely and respectfully request that his fanatical socialist rabble rouser either adheres to the rules of journalism (do not print things known to be untrue) or seek a new career?

  71. So we’re actually waiting now to see whether 09 will be the second lowest or third lowest extent of the satellite area? I really don’t see how that would be a proof of ice “recovering”… Because we’re actually already lower than the average minimum sea ice extent!

    A linear (decreasing) trend on the last 10 years would give a minimum of 5.6 million km2.

    Note that this is still largely below the predictions of the most pessimistic models


    Models predicted this year would end up somewhere between 4 and 5 million km2 (depending on the model). The sea ice concentration has been free-falling the last days, so we’ll see…

    PS: Already 4 boats went through the Northwest passage in the last days. Yesterday, it was Fleur Australe and Bagan – without any icebreaker of course.

  72. I’ve taken it upon myself to go back to the web articles that made these predictions and append a comment ‘from the future’ saying how wrong they were.

    Then at least if someone reads the article and the most recent comments, they’ll know they’ve just read some sci-fi rather than real science.

    Topics such as solar cycle 24 having already started, record lows ‘forecast’, BBQ summers, in fact any kind of meteorological or model-based prediction will be assessed, and marked as FAIL’ed if needed.

    It’s not exactly helpful constructive criticism, I know, but it might shift perceptions back to something more evidence-based.

    Or am I dreaming?

  73. AndyW35 (22:36:45)
    But the refreeze is not starting now, it won’t for at least another 3 to 4 weeks. Your estimate is likely to be as much too high as the scientists were too low!

    The start of freeze up is not he same as the ice extent minimum. I still maintain that the webcam photos match what NOAA has called the start of freeze up in the previous years of webcam deployment with surface melt water absent and snow cover complete. That being said, there will probably still be a fairly significant loss of ice before minimum because of the large area of ice that has moved out past the tip of Greenland and will most likely be flushed before then. If I had to guess at this point, I’d expect the minimum to be in the 5.3- 5.5 mil km2 range, but if the freeze starts with a vengeance it might be able to stay ahead of the out flow and bring the min closer to my April estimate.

    Phil. (00:00:54)
    Well you’d lose that bet, your wind patterns are pushing the ice away from the Arctic Basin, that Russian station set up at 82.53N,174.94E last September has drifted over 2800km towards the Fram at about 8km/day passing fairly close to the Pole (88.5N). Similarly for the N Pole weather station installed at the Pole in earlier April, it’s even nearer the Fram at 84.1N, 2.1W. Like last year there will be less multiyear ice in the spring of 2010.

    It seems to me that the information you provided actually supports Pamela’s contention of not much melting occurring. Given that the eastward drift of the buoys is fairly close match for the retreat of the ice mass on its’ western side, it would seem reasonable to contend that the majority of the ice loss was the result of the ice moving out, and not from any increase of in situ melting. Still there is a definite possibility of less thick ice surviving the minimum, but as I pointed out in a previous comment, since the satellites seem to rank age based on thickness alone, they don’t seem to be able to distinguish piled up first year ice from ice that has persisted for longer.

  74. Goreacle Report: Ice worms jubilating/mating/procreating.

    Ban “icon”. Ban “extinction”. Ban “experts say”.

    >>> “Experts say the summer sea ice has lasted longer than it has in years,”.

    The clincher: “While experts say this summer is an anomaly”.

    “Gunter also pointed out that there is still some ice on Hudson Bay. Usually, it’s long gone by now.”
    …-

    “Cold summer means healthier polar bears

    WINNIPEG — A cold summer in many areas of the country may have meant fewer barbecues and camping trips this year, but lower temperatures have been a boon for the beleaguered Hudson Bay polar bears.

    Experts say the summer sea ice has lasted longer than it has in years, which has given the region’s more than 1,000 bears extra time to hunt, feed and raise healthy cubs.

    One scout captured a picture of a mother with three strapping youngsters — a rare sight that has heartened those who are fighting what they say is the probable extinction of the iconic mammal.”
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Environment/2009/08/18/10502166-cp.html

  75. The NSIDC uses two standard deviations to indicate the range of past ice extent in their graph.

    It’s more common to use three standard deviations to define the area beyond which (for a Gaussian distribution), a random deviation is very unlikely. Variation beyond 2 standard deviations is quite likely.

    Does anyone know if the use of two standard deviations is common practice in climatology?

    If so, that would explain the alarmism.

  76. globaly we have a sea ice coverage which is only 2-3% less than the average 79-2000. this is, including the standart variation:

    no change to the long average!

    and for the alarmists this is dramatically and faster warming and melting as ever thougt…

  77. Arne Riewe

    I believe Flanagan admitted to being a teacher so he’ll be off on his 6-8 weeks summer holiday. Expect a return in September.

  78. Richard111

    “If we had the technology we could put up a barrier to prevent the wind blowing the ice away to warmer waters. We really would be able to control the global climate then.”

    It’s like they say in the cosmetics adverts – not so much controlling the climate but controlling the appearance of the climate

  79. It would seem to me that the major journals dealing with climate will steadfastly lose ground to serious scientific blogs such as CA , WUWT, World Climate Report, etc… They will have to make 100% sure that they publish credible work based on “real data”. The must provide ALL the raw data and the methods publicly. The current hypothetical models etc… and the “if”, “could” and “maybe” will not work in the future. My advice to them is ADAPT or disappear! (this is speaking as a scientific Journal Editor). If Nature etc.. continue to publish the trash that has been soundly been shown to be wrong, they will become irrelevant (in climate matters ONLY…because they are superb in Medicine etc), against these blogs (ie Ryan O and Jeff ID, Hu MCcollugh re Steig is just one example). BTW same applies to media that continues to trump this trash. You know people are not noticing any increase in temps?. (remember the y2k problem?). In this sense thank God for the internet.. It will keep the B@#@ honest as they say…WE are entering a new world my friends and its very good for Science. BTW nothing against Steig he just did an analysis….

  80. As a bit of advice never attack/put down the person, just attack the Science (only if you think its wrong). After all Hansen, Schmidt ect are just doing their jobs to the best of their ability.

  81. Leland Palmer (22:34:51) The 2-standard deviation area shown in the graph is based only on the data in the graph from 1979-2000. One would have to assume that 1979-2000 is ‘normal’ in order to make comparisons with data outside that time frame. To get realistic std. dev. the data would have to include the actual normal range of variation, including the times the NW passage has been previously open. Actually, the presentation of that 2-std. deviation band, for that time period, is fallacious.

  82. I believe the ‘greenhouse’ effect primarily reduces the amount of ice that is frozen again in the winter dark season. I would think that melting would be driven by solar intensity, lack of arctic cloud cover, average ice thickness, and average wind velocity.

    At this time, I see no clear signal either way, as the NSIDC July arctic ice extent plots show us to be dead in the center of the average fluxuation band of the long term average trend from 1979. The nearly complete recovery from the record ice melt of 2007 also indicates a near record arctic ice freeze in the winter of 2007-2008.

    If solar activity remains minimal, I believe the next two or three years should tell the tale, one way or the other.

  83. *******************
    Leland Palmer (22:34:51) :
    As this ice melts, it decreases the amount of sunlight reflected back into outer space by the white polar icecap. This is known as the icecap/Albedo feedback.
    As the icecap melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the surface of the water, which leads to more melting, in a vicious cycle that looks very much like it is running away.
    ********************
    What % of sunlight hitting the Earth hits the poles? One of them is in the dark half the year and even when the other is lit, the angle of incidence is very large. I can’t see that there would be a big difference even if all the ice were gone.

  84. The NSIDC uses the 1979 – 2000 average, in part, because if you look at a long time series of the ice extent, this period was about average. It was higher in the early 1970s and lower in the 2000s with 79-2000 being about average over the years. (Besides that explanation, they do not have enough resources/prefer to use alarmist numbers/are too lazy to update their data and use the full record.)

    If you use the full record from 1979 – 2008, the Standard Deviation of the ice extent is about 563,000 km^2 right now. The standard deviation shading should be bigger right now since there is greater dispersion of the extent numbers by year at the melt minimum than at other times of the year.

    So, 2009 at -640K is just outside 1 Standard Deviation of the full record at this time of year (563K).

  85. Leland Palmer wrote:
    “The curves for the last several years have been two or three standard deviations blow the mean, in fact. The possibility of this happening by accident is less than 5%, and may be less than 1%.”

    Happening by accident? What are you talking about? Your inference is that if ice extent is low by some recent measure then the conclusion is carbon dioxide did it? How about natural variability? Or are you one of those who believe the medieval warm period was a local evident?

    “As this ice melts, it decreases the amount of sunlight reflected back into outer space by the white polar icecap. This is known as the icecap/Albedo feedback.”

    But it is the ice that stops the heat radiating into space during the winter. This is the flip side of the argument that alarmists are suspiciously quiet about.

    “The forests are starting to burn at increasing rates around the world, and may release as much as 100-500 billion tons of carbon by 2100, and amount comparable to the entire industrial revolution.”

    Increasing rates? Compared to what? Forest fires have been part of the biosphere since the beginning of forests. Did you forget that once the forests are burnt it allows new growth to occur that sequesters more carbon dioxide from the air?

    “The permafrost appears to be starting to melt, releasing increasing amounts of methane- a greenhouse gas 70 times worse than CO2, when averaged over a 20 year period.”

    Why have methane levels declined over the last decade?

  86. Leland Palmer (22:34:51),

    Leland likes to scare himself. He probably likes ghost stories, too.

    Cherry picking only the Northern Hemisphere because it supports Leland’s frightful beliefs leaves out the Southern Hemisphere: click.

    There is more new polar ice in the S.H. than the [temporary, and rapidly recovering] ice loss in the N.H. Therefore, global sea ice is increasing.

    But I’m sure that won’t stop Leland from scaring himself. His ghost stories are just too much fun. Then, he gets into his fossil fuel powered car, drives to work emitting CO2 all the way, and tells anyone who will listen that we’re all
    DOO-O-O-M-‘D!!

  87. If no one is going to be alarmist about this, I’ll step up to the plate…

    2009 is the third worst Arctic melt we’ve seen since 2007.

    (That’s how you write it up in a newspaper story, anyway).

  88. Leland Palmer (22:34:51),

    Leland likes to scare himself. He probably likes ghost stories, too.

    Smokey (05:57:56) : -Probably likes to read NOAA’s Hurricane predictions, too,
    to him, like reading Steven King….

  89. Flanagan (02:04:42):

    So we’re actually waiting now to see whether 09 will be the second lowest or third lowest extent of the satellite area? I really don’t see how that would be a proof of ice “recovering”… Because we’re actually already lower than the average minimum sea ice extent!

    Flanagan is a devious alarmist, deliberately omitting the rapidly increasing Southern Hemisphere ice.

  90. Innocentious 8/18 (23:00:30) :

    If it “Bad” it is global warming. If it isn’t then it is just the wind. Why does the news media continue to publish activist scientists instead of real information.. Oh that is right, news organizations ARE biased… I have no idea where we as people came to the conclusion that they only report the truth. Any time you make a decision to report one side and not the other all semblance of truth just goes out the window… Sorry to rant I just get angry when I see things like this and remember the dire predictions if we don’t do something now.

    “Why does the news media”????? Innocentious and others, I wish you would pay attention to me! You keep saying MSM as if the media is for the mainstream like it once was — as if it had investigative journalists like it once had. The MSM is the GCM (Global corporate media) today. Guess who paid bajillions of dollars for Obama’s election; guess who prevented any — yes any — veting of the faceless individual who became our president; guess who will make even more bajillions for cap-and-trade; guess who is paying gajillions for “health reform”; guess who owns the media; guess who will not pay for science, skepticism, truth.

    Remember the old saying — capitalists do not like capitalism. Yes, they are making use of marxists and their cronies to achieve their purposes and to mislead conservatives (who are the majority of Americans using the most general definition of the word). Paulson and Bush (and Greenson) set up the financial debacle by lessening regulations for their cronies, who are similar to the marxist cronies (e.g., Obama’s czars and appointees) who have been infesting our academic institutions — all of whom are/will be raking in most of our tax dollars. (It is not just the Dems relaxing mortgage financing regulations.) Global corporations will make more profits if middle (most) Americans (and Europeans and Latin Americans) do not profit.

    Why do I keep writing this stuff on WUWT? In the hopes that scientists/engineers/technology types (how I admire you) will also look behind the pseudo-science operating as propaganda and work for the truth of who is paying for it. WUWT is doing a great job in all respects.

    I disagree with VG. When Hansen and Schmidt are propagating non-science, silly science, stupid activism, they no longer deserve their (public trust) jobs. Both the non-science and the job are fair game. When you put ’em both together — science and public-trust job — there is no person of integrity there.

  91. Leland Palmer (22:34:51) :

    You’re right, the tipping point has arrived. How could I have been so foolish?

    Oh.. Wait.. the arctic ice cap extent may be 35-40% above its low of 2007? Jeez! That’s inconvenient!

  92. Hi Smokey and all-

    Clearly, the Arctic icecap is melting, relative to the recent average, at least.

    On this blog, the myth appears to have developed that the Antarctic is not melting.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8200680.stm

    One of the largest glaciers in Antarctica is thinning four times faster than it was 10 years ago, according to research seen by the BBC.

    A study of satellite measurements of Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica reveals the surface of the ice is now dropping at a rate of up to 16m a year.

    Since 1994, the glacier has lowered by as much as 90m, which has serious implications for sea-level rise.

    The work by British scientists appears in Geophysical Research Letters.

    The team was led by Professor Duncan Wingham of University College London (UCL).

    We’ve known that it’s been out of balance for some time, but nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier
    Andrew Shepherd, Leeds University

    Calculations based on the rate of melting 15 years ago had suggested the glacier would last for 600 years. But the new data points to a lifespan for the vast ice stream of only another 100 years.

    The rate of loss is fastest in the centre of the glacier and the concern is that if the process continues, the glacier may break up and start to affect the ice sheet further inland.

    One of the authors, Professor Andrew Shepherd of Leeds University, said that the melting from the centre of the glacier would add about 3cm to global sea level.

    “But the ice trapped behind it is about 20-30cm of sea level rise and as soon as we destabilise or remove the middle of the glacier we don’t know really know what’s going to happen to the ice behind it,” he told BBC News.

    “This is unprecedented in this area of Antarctica. We’ve known that it’s been out of balance for some time, but nothing in the natural world is lost at an accelerating exponential rate like this glacier.”

    This is all very serious stuff.

    My understanding of what is going on in Antarctica is that it is kind of a mixed bag, these days, but that glacial breakup and ice sheet movement in parts of Antarctica appears to be accelerating.

    We’ve heard the word “unprecedented” so many times, from so many scientists, we are getting numb to it.

    But for changes that generally happen over many thousands of years, it is a very nasty word, IMO.

    Reply: So based on one glacier, you surmise the entire Antarctic is melting.? Let’s hear it for the record. Yes/No.

  93. On the longer run, every person, institution, newspaper or Government body predicting future events that don’t materialize risk a total loss of credibility.

    This is process is currently effecting all those involved in the current climate scam.

  94. Jeremy Thomas (04:19:08) :
    The NSIDC uses two standard deviations to indicate the range of past ice extent in their graph.

    It’s more common to use three standard deviations to define the area beyond which (for a Gaussian distribution), a random deviation is very unlikely. Variation beyond 2 standard deviations is quite likely.

    Does anyone know if the use of two standard deviations is common practice in climatology?

    If so, that would explain the alarmism.

    Two standard deviations is common practice in reporting data in science, also what level of deviation is unlikely depends on the number of data points considered and with such a small number as 30 the criterion would be less than 3 (e.g. see Chauvenet’s criterion, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauvenet%27s_criterion)

    In any case it’s moot since the data show that we’re not observing the fluctuation within the bounds of the past distribution but rather a systematic drift away from the former situation.

  95. Phil. … (seconds after midnight)…Funny how YOU “neglected” Fiona’s fate??
    I suspect Fiona had to have some help from a Canadian icebreaker, or, backed
    north, and then south again….[Since you are the “uncrowned king of Amundsen
    route sailing boats passages knowledge”…] Well, some 3 hours ago Fiona’s position was 70,5564 N 96,5626 W 13:35 GMT [Rule Britania…]

  96. “The computer models predicted this right?

    NOOOooooo?”

    Don’t worry they’ll predict 2009 next year…..

  97. I think we can forget 2007 and probably also 2008 (melting is much slower this August compared to august 2008) and when checking all curves from 1979-2009 it looks like 2009 right now is the 5:th lowest and can end anywhere between 3:th and 10:th

  98. “So we’re actually waiting now to see whether 09 will be the second lowest or third lowest extent of the satellite area? I really don’t see how that would be a proof of ice “recovering”…”

    What do you expect Flanagan, “The Day After Tomorrow”? This isn’t a Hollywood fantasy.

  99. Smokey (06:16:03) :
    Flanagan (02:04:42):
    “So we’re actually waiting now to see whether 09 will be the second lowest or third lowest extent of the satellite area? I really don’t see how that would be a proof of ice “recovering”… Because we’re actually already lower than the average minimum sea ice extent!”
    Flanagan is a devious alarmist, deliberately omitting the rapidly increasing Southern Hemisphere ice.

    Quite right by him too since it doesn’t exist!

  100. Flanagan:
    “The sea ice concentration has been free-falling the last days, so we’ll see…”

    Free-falling? Looking at the AMSR-E graph, it looks to be falling about the same rate as 2006, and 2005, not “free-falling” like 2007 or 2008. Do you just like using alamist language?

  101. RE: Gordon Ford (19:23:53) :

    Your clipping had the following:
    **********************
    WINNIPEG – A cold summer in many areas of the country may have meant fewer barbecues and camping trips this year, but lower temperatures have been a boon for the beleaguered Hudson Bay polar bears.

    Experts say the summer sea ice has lasted longer than it has in years, which has given the region’s more than 1,000 bears extra time to hunt, feed and raise healthy cubs.

    One scout captured a picture of a mother with three strapping youngsters – a rare sight that has heartened those who are fighting what they say is the probable extinction of the iconic mammal.

    Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta, said it’s good news in an area where the polar bear population has declined by 25 per cent. He’s been tracking some bears using satellite collars and said the extra time the animals have had on the ice can make all the difference.

    “They’ve had longer to hunt which is a real benefit to them,” said Derocher, former chair of a polar bear specialist group run by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

    “It really makes a difference. Even just one or two weeks out on the sea ice can make a difference in how many seals they kill and how much fat they’re able to store on their bodies.”

    Canada is home to about two-thirds of the world’s polar bears but scientists warn that populations are starting to dwindle because of thawing sea ice, over-hunting, industrial activity and increased toxins in the food chain.

    While experts say this summer is an anomaly and doesn’t mean the mammals are no longer under threat, Derocher said it bodes well for the coming winter on Hudson Bay.

    When the sea ice takes longer to break up in the summer, the water doesn’t warm up as much, he said. That usually means sea ice forms earlier in the fall, which gives polar bears more time to procreate and bulk up on fat for the following summer.

    “A respite from the long-term conditions is certainly good news, but … this is still a major concern. We’re talking about global change here. This is just one summer.”

    In other parts of the Arctic, temperatures continue to be warmer than usual, scientists point out.

    Robert Buchanan, head of Polar Bear International, said northern sea ice generally continues to melt at an alarming rate.

    “The overall prognosis for bears on a worldwide basis still remains dim at best,” Buchanan said in an interview from Alaska. “This is an aberration.”

    Polar bears will continue to suffer from greenhouse gases that are warming the planet unless we plant more trees, make more use of recyclable materials and reduce energy consumption, he said.

    “We’re killing polar bears from the comfort of our armchairs.”

    Even the biggest polar bears these days aren’t as big as they used to be, said John Gunter, general manager of Frontiers North Adventures in Churchill, Man.

    But after years of watching polar bears shrink and dwindle in population, it’s nice to observe them doing well this summer, he said.

    “It’s a one-off, but it’s still really encouraging to see.”

    Gunter also pointed out that there is still some ice on Hudson Bay. Usually, it’s long gone by now.
    *****************************
    Today’s Winnipeg Free Press had the following:

    Fluke cold summer helps polar bears
    TOO many cool, wet days resulted in a lousy summer — but you won’t find any polar bears complaining.

    The cooler-than-usual summer produced thicker ice on Hudson Bay, giving the area’s polar bear population several extra days to feed on tasty ringed seals.

    “This is the time of year when polar bears eat the most, and the ringed seals are so full of fat and energy,” said Daryll Hedman, the northeast regional wildlife manager for Manitoba Conservation.

    Hedman said polar bears stay on the Hudson Bay ice for as long as possible so they can feed, adding this year the ice was so thick the bears stayed out for an extra two weeks.

    That’s resulted in fatter, healthier bears this summer, Hedman said, adding, however, the development is not likely a long-term trend.

    “It’s probably a blip,” Hedman said of the thicker ice and cooler temperatures.
    ********************************

    So they call it a blip or a fluke if it is not Global warming.
    And where is the “alarming rate” according to Robert Buchanan???

  102. Leland Palmer (06:42:08):

    “My understanding of what is going on in Antarctica…”

    Well, there’s your problem right there, Leland.

    And Phil, notice that global sea ice is increasing. Global is what matters.

    In addition, N.H. sea ice is clearly increasing, as you can see from this University of Bremen graphic: click on graphic to expand.

    It is truly amazing that despite the fact that every one of the alarmist claims, including sea ice, the ozone hole, ocean acidification, CO2=AGW, glaciers retreating everywhere, etc., etc., have been debunked and falsified, the alarmist contingent still believes, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Al Gore was right.

  103. In a world that has established a 0.5 degree warming trend over the last century or so, wouldn’t you expect the recent year’s ice extent to be well below a 30 year average?

    What about the global averages of ice extent (NH+SH) for the century/30 year/recent year?

  104. The ice increases again!

    The consensus of scientist’s are wrong again. And again. And again. And again.(broken record syndrome)

  105. For those trying to show how rapidly the Antarctic is growing, please take alook at the trends you show – where the error is equal to the trend itself. How statistically relevant is that? Mmmm, that must be skeptics’ science!

    For those who plot sea ice extent when I’m talking about sea ice concentration, please find some dictionnary and then come back.

    For the one implying that academics take 6-8 weeks holidays in the summer, this answer should be self-sufficient.

    PS: today, the Arctic lost 75937 km2. That’s more than last year, or 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and probably even before that but I don’t have the data here.

  106. Smokey (08:05:07) :
    Leland Palmer (06:42:08):

    “My understanding of what is going on in Antarctica…”

    Well, there’s your problem right there, Leland.

    And Phil, notice that global sea ice is increasing. Global is what matters.

    And as of today global sea ice area is 1.115 Mm^2 below the average for the day!

    In addition, N.H. sea ice is clearly increasing, as you can see from this University of Bremen graphic: click on graphic to expand.

    A set of images from early June and a graph from May, earth to Smokey ‘It’s August now’.

    It is truly amazing that despite the fact that every one of the alarmist claims, including sea ice, the ozone hole, ocean acidification, CO2=AGW, glaciers retreating everywhere, etc., etc., have been debunked and falsified, the alarmist contingent still believes, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Al Gore was right.

    Perhaps because that falsification you claim hasn’t happened.

  107. Phil.:

    “And as of today global sea ice area is 1.115 Mm^2 below the average for the day!”

    As pointed out, it’s late August.

    Sorry about the June images, they’re the only ones I have. Post the same July/August images if you’ve got ’em — and if you dare.

    I repeat, none of the alarmist predictions have come true. None of them.

    Where is your god now?

  108. Flanagan (08:52:48) :

    For those who plot sea ice extent when I’m talking about sea ice concentration, please find some dictionnary and then come back.

    Hmm …

  109. The inevitable happens.
    Scare mongers have to admit their mistakes and apologize.
    There will be more this stuff in the near future.

    Aug 19, 2009
    Greenpeace Leader Admits Arctic Ice Exaggeration

    The outgoing leader of Greenpeace has admitted his organization’s recent claim that the Arctic Ice will disappear by 2030 was “a mistake.”

    Greenpeace made the claim in a July 15 press release entitled “Urgent Action Needed As Arctic Ice Melts,” which said there will be an ice-free Arctic by 2030 because of global warming.

    Under close questioning by BBC reporter Stephen Sackur on the “Hardtalk” program, Gerd Leipold, the retiring leader of Greenpeace, said the claim was wrong.

    “I don’t think it will be melting by 2030. … That may have been a mistake,” he said.

    Sackur said the claim was inaccurate on two fronts, pointing out that the Arctic ice is a mass of 1.6 million square kilometers with a thickness of 3 km in the middle, and that it had survived much warmer periods in history than the present.

    The BBC reporter accused Leipold and Greenpeace of releasing “misleading information” and using “exaggeration and alarmism.”

    Leipold’s admission that Greenpeace issued misleading information is a major embarrassment to the organization, which often has been accused of alarmism but has always insisted that it applies full scientific rigor in its global-warming pronouncements.

    Although he admitted Greenpeace had released inaccurate but alarming information, Leipold defended the organization’s practice of “emotionalizing issues” in order to bring the public around to its way of thinking and alter public opinion.

    Leipold said later in the BBC interview that there is an urgent need for the suppression of economic growth in the United States and around the world. He said annual growth rates of 3 percent to 8 percent cannot continue without serious consequences for the climate.

    “We will definitely have to move to a different concept of growth. … The lifestyle of the rich in the world is not a sustainable model,” Leipold said. “If you take the lifestyle, its cost on the environment, and you multiply it with the billions of people and an increasing world population, you come up with numbers which are truly scary.” See post here.

    (Watch the full BBC interview with Leipold here.)

    Note: from Marc Morano to US media: Learn from BBC Reporter Stephen Sackur on how to question enviros claims! Bravo to Sackur for knowing the purpose of a journalist when it comes to questioning green claims! Icecap Note: Also see the latest Ice coverage tracking well above 2007 and 2008 levels close to 2005 with 3 to 4 weeks of the melt season to go.

    from icecap.us

  110. Flanagan (08:52:48) :

    For those trying to show how rapidly the Antarctic is growing, please take alook at the trends you show – where the error is equal to the trend itself. How statistically relevant is that? Mmmm, that must be skeptics’ science!

    For those who plot sea ice extent when I’m talking about sea ice concentration, please find some dictionnary and then come back.

    For the one implying that academics take 6-8 weeks holidays in the summer, this answer should be self-sufficient.

    PS: today, the Arctic lost 75937 km2. That’s more than last year, or 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and probably even before that but I don’t have the data here.

    Flanagan,

    If I were you I would be worried if the Arctic ice did not melt during the melt season.
    Think about that.

  111. Flanagan (08:52:48):
    PS: today, the Arctic lost 75937 km2. That’s more than last year, or 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and probably even before that but I don’t have the data here.

    I have data here. Arctic lost 65937km on 19th August, which is less than in 2002, 2004 and 2008 and on par with 2006. These are today data of yours from CA, so stop spreading BS here.
    Anyone see the despair in warmists tone?

  112. Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed

    We took a punt out on the Cherwell today. A beautiful warm English summer day – like they used to be. As I withdrew the punt pole we noticed bubbles rising to the surface. To our amazement these bubbles could be ignited with a match. Methane seeps from river in Oxford!

  113. “”” Leland Palmer (22:34:51) :

    Hi all-

    It’s really hard to understand people that can look at that graph, with our ice extent curve consistently two and three standard deviations below the average of 1979-2000, and not see the obvious. The curves for the last several years have been two or three standard deviations blow the mean, in fact. The possibility of this happening by accident is less than 5%, and may be less than 1%.

    As this ice melts, it decreases the amount of sunlight reflected back into outer space by the white polar icecap. This is known as the icecap/Albedo feedback.

    As the icecap melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the surface of the water, which leads to more melting, in a vicious cycle that looks very much like it is running away.

    Many, many vicious cycles appear to be starting. The permafrost appears to be starting to melt, releasing increasing amounts of methane- a greenhouse gas 70 times worse than CO2, when averaged over a 20 year period. The forests are starting to burn at increasing rates around the world, and may release as much as 100-500 billion tons of carbon by 2100, and amount comparable to the entire industrial revolution.

    It’s all happening, guys and gals.

    Just look at the graph. Forget this is about global warming, and consider that it is the probability of your house burning down.

    No insurance company would ever issue a policy on this fire trap. “””

    Say Leland, have you ever wondered just why they have all that ice up there anyhow. I live near San Francisco Bay, and Santa Ceuz, and we have just plenty of water around here; but for some reason we never seem to get ice all over the place, like they ahve up there in the Arctic, or plastered all over the ground in Antarctica. Some body should write a paer on why some wet places ge tice and other wet places don’t.

    I used to think that they got all that ice up there because it was so cold; but all that did was beg the question; why the blazes is it so cold up there ? it’s darn cold her around San Francisco; but not that cold that we get ice on the Bay.

    But if I understand your thesis, if all the ice went away from the arctic, the sun would shine down into the open water and turn the whole place into a tropical paradise with desert islands and sandy beaches. Why wouldn’t you want that to happen anyway; why all this ice fetish ?

    Well I still think there’s some good reason for all that cold ice up there, and I wouldn’t invest in any tropical paradise venture up there.

    Anyway, it doesn’t look like we are going to get ice on the Bay this year; we have far too much sunshine going into our water around here to ever get any ice like they get up in th arctic. I wonder just how much sunshine they get up that way anyhow; maybe that has something to do with the ice.

    Well I think I’ll stay where I am; it wouldn’t be good if we got ice here; and then the Polar bears came; they would have a field day with all the fur bags we have hanging around the Monterey Pier, and Santa Cruz.

  114. “And Phil, notice that global sea ice is increasing. Global is what matters.”

    I’ve asked before but never got a satisfying answer: If all the Arctic sea ice would disappear in summer, but at the same time there would be an increase of this amount in Antarctic sea ice, ie global sea ice would remain the same, would this be alright? Would it not entail some major meteorological changes? Do the poles know that only global matters?

    IMO this is like saying that it’s not a problem that millions of people worldwide are starving because there are also millions of obese Americans. Actually, I wouldn’t put it past certain free market think tanks to come up with such an argument. OMG, what have I done?

  115. Why does the NSIDC use the 1979-2000 as a yard stick? Is 1979-2000 a magic time period? Honesty would dictate using 1979-2008. Using the 79-00 baseline makes things looks worse. Would 2009 be within one standard deviation if the 79-08 baseline were used?

    The Arctic ice grew 3% last year and is doing it again. Over the past century heating and cooling trends have lasted about 30 years. 2009 is the 30 year anniversary of reliable Arctic Ice measurement.

    The jury is out. The debate is on. And consensus is disappearing faster than Arctic ice.

  116. Many strange reactions to my post…

    Mr green genes answers “mmmm”. And what do you mean by that?

    Ron De Haan is talking about Arctic sea ice not melting during the melting season, while it actually had the second fastest melting rate in July, just after 2007 (see the NSIDC website). I mean: what do you need?

    Juraj: here is a link to the Jaxa website: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    JAXA is publishing a preliminary value and then a final value each day. Today’s extent is thus 6037188 , yesterday it was 6113125. Now take any calculator and type “6113125” and then “-” and then “6037188”. Still with me? Ok so now what’s the result?

  117. Flanagan,

    I think Mr. GG was pointing out something when you mentioned a dictionary. Maybe this will help:

    “For those who plot sea ice extent when I’m talking about sea ice concentration, please find some dictionnary [sic] and then come back.”

  118. Why is the 2 std deviation band shown on these graphs rather than the usual 3 standard deviations ? Variations outside 3 std devs are seen as “abnormal”.

    It would be interesting to see the 3 std dev band calculated using ALL available data, as is the usual practice.

  119. Why does NSDIC bury its Antarctic sea ice data ? It does not appear on it’s “sea ice” pages.
    NSDIC seems to find the Antarctic an embarrassment.

  120. Waw, so he actually did a complete post on A TYPO?
    Now this is becoming a very constructive exchange of points of view.

    BTW, I love your “none of the alarmist predictions have come true”

    Do you mean something like: arctic sea ice should be decreasing on the long term, or the global glacier mass should be decreasing or the pH of oceans should become lower or the global earth temperature should be increasing on the long term or ice shelves should disappear on the Antarctic Peninsula or monsoons should intensify in China and India or the stratosphere should be cooling during the warming of the troposphere?

  121. They use 1979 as the starting point because it is the beginning of the satellite age records for recording this. The problem is, of course, is that 1979 is also at the beginning of the recent warming, right after a 30 year period of cooling that had at least some scientists of the day worried about a returning ice age. And given the lag in impacting the ice cap, what that means is they are starting their measurement “baseline” period at what are almost certainly at or near historic highs for the 20th century. That’s not a fair baseline if fairness was all you were after *and* (and this is important –they don’t) you had a broader choice of data to do your baselining from.

    I suspect that using around 1955-1965 (i.e. the middle third of the previous 30 year cooling, midway to recovering from the 30 year warmup previous to that!) as a baseline would be something a lot closer to “fair”. But we just don’t have that data.

  122. Or to put it another way, to support a charge of cherry-picking in baselining, there needs to be a much fuller bushel of cherries to choose from in the first place that were carefully overlooked and ignored.

  123. Flanagan (13:57:46) :

    “Waw, so he actually did a complete post on A TYPO?”

    I think your response to his post is more interesting: “And what do you mean by that?”, when it was clear that you had mis-spelled ‘dictionary,’ of all words — but you still couldn’t understand what he was razzing you about. Glad you finally got it.

    And your typical alarmist nonsense has no proof, or any solid empirical evidence:

    “Do you mean something like: arctic sea ice should be decreasing on the long term, or the global glacier mass should be decreasing or the pH of oceans should become lower or the global earth temperature should be increasing on the long term or ice shelves should disappear on the Antarctic Peninsula or monsoons should intensify in China and India or the stratosphere should be cooling during the warming of the troposphere?

    “Should be” doesn’t make any of that true, except in the minds of AGW believers. None of it is verifiable, reproducible or falsifiable. It is speculation based on always-inaccurate GCMs.

    But if that’s all you’ve got, I guess you have to run with it.

  124. Nahh, you’re right Smokey. So your opinion is “as long as we don’t have a 0% uncertainty on these, we cannot thrust the figures?” It’s like putting your hands in fron t of your eyes, telling yourself “if I don’t see it, then it doesn’t exist”. If you repeat “it’s not true” very very often, maybe you will end believing it is not.

    All these predictions made by climate scientists are now verified by direct measurements. What else do you need?

  125. Flanagan, please tell me what part of any sea ice graph tells you ice melted instead of being shoved back. I always pair sea ice graphs with jet stream wind strength and direction to inform me whether or not the graph is telling me the ice went outside the Arctic basin and melted, or got shoved back with only minimal melt. I do that because the graph alone does not tell me anything about where the ice went or how it melted. Graphs can’t do that. Unless you have found a graph that talks to you.

  126. Flanagan (15:06:19) :

    So your opinion is “as long as we don’t have a 0% uncertainty on these, we cannot thrust [sic] the figures?”

    Flanagan, I sincerely hope that whoever said you were a teacher was wrong.

    All these predictions made by climate scientists are now verified by direct measurements. What else do you need?

    The direct measurements. Nothing from computer models, or peer reviewed speculation, OK? Thanx.

    BTW, anything that is preceded by ‘should be’ is not evidence. It is only opinion:

    “…arctic sea ice should be decreasing on the long term, or the global glacier mass should be decreasing or the pH of oceans should become lower or the global earth temperature should be increasing on the long term or ice shelves should disappear on the Antarctic Peninsula or monsoons should intensify in China and India or the stratosphere should be cooling during the warming of the troposphere…”

    Seewhatimean?

  127. I see nothing exciting about Arctic sea ice. What we are experiencing is regression to the mean. Ocean temperatures have not changed this decade according to ARGO. I expect the extent this year will continue back to the normal that was established 2000-2006. As has been established the 2007 extent was an anomaly caused by unusual winds. If Pamela is right we could see an even greater increase in extent next year. However, that would probably also be an anomaly. This is just common sense. Ocean heat controls average sea ice extent. However, it appears some people tend to throw out common sense when they feel strongly about something.

    Can anyone imagine what Flanagan would be saying now if the extent was below 2007? He would be crowing that it was proof of CAGW. Yet, even though that didn’t happen he is still crowing the current extent is proof. And, if sea ice increases next year he will still say the same thing. That what happens when someone stops thinking rationally.

  128. Well, the first Alberta clipper is coming through this week, “unusual for August ” it will collide with hurricane coming in for a real blowout. It’s just weather LOL.
    If the ice compacted rather than blew out, we will be in for a
    horrendous winter in Michigan; don’t worry we have Stabenow to take care of us……….
    Felicitations all around!!

  129. Flanagan with his ‘ice concentration’ and phil. and others with their ‘ice volume’ last year are sophists atttempting to make lemon ices out of lemons. They are attempting to explain away an apparently emerging increasing trend in Arctic sea ice extent.

    The best evidence is that the global temperature peaked around 2004-2005, despite the anomalous high in 1998, and has been cooling ever since. Since the earth is a heat engine that pumps heat from the equator to the poles over time, my interpretation is that the 2007 historical minimum in sea ice extent represents a three year lag from the peak heat in 2004. Insofar as Arctic sea ice extent is a proxy for global temperature, and it is not a perfect one, it was predictable that sea ice extent would grow from its nadir in 2007. And that is what I predicted nearly a year and a half ago, remember phil.?

    We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know. My best guess is for another two to three decades because of the cooling phases of the oceanic oscillations. If the present unusual behaviour of the sun is presaging a new Grand or Lesser Minimum, and if the sun directs the climate, then we may well cool for a century or even longer.

    We far more likely face a human holocaust from crop failures from global cooling than any adverse consequences from global warming. What insurance company, flanagan, is going to insure against that? Please, approach this topic with an open mind; it is desperately important.
    ======================================

  130. Here’s a question about ice: Does it sublime? Does it ridiculuous? (Where’s Cole Porter when you need him?)

    Seriously though. Does ice stay as ice until it melts back into water or does it sublime into water vapour at temperatures below freezing? Does it depend on partial pressures and all that? – harking back the the ‘CO2 freezing out in Arctactica’ debate a few weeks ago?

  131. Smokey (09:23:07) :
    Phil.:

    “And as of today global sea ice area is 1.115 Mm^2 below the average for the day!”

    As pointed out, it’s late August.

    So, you claimed that global sea ice is increasing yet today it’s over 1Mm^2 below average!

    Sorry about the June images, they’re the only ones I have. Post the same July/August images if you’ve got ‘em — and if you dare.

    I have, see below, what does ‘dare’ have to do with anything?

    I repeat, none of the alarmist predictions have come true. None of them.

    The ones you referred to above have in fact happened.

    Where is your god now?

    I don’t have one.

  132. Jimmy Haigh (21:30:37) :
    Seriously though. Does ice stay as ice until it melts back into water or does it sublime into water vapour at temperatures below freezing? Does it depend on partial pressures and all that? – harking back the the ‘CO2 freezing out in Arctactica’ debate a few weeks ago?

    Yes below the triple point ice will sublime into water vapor provided that the gas phase isn’t saturated.

  133. Dave Wendt (02:45:28) said

    “The start of freeze up is not he same as the ice extent minimum. I still maintain that the webcam photos match what NOAA has called the start of freeze up in the previous years of webcam deployment with surface melt water absent and snow cover complete”

    What, you are saying that local conditions on just one camera is what governs when the end of the melt season occurs? That’s crazy. I think you’ll find people take the whole Arctic into the equation and it is when the net change in extent or area increases in value.

    If you take the case that melt season has finished when melt ponds disappear then I presume you have to also say it starts when melt ponds appear, which is obviously not the case.

    Regards
    Andy

  134. kim (21:15:23) said

    “Flanagan with his ‘ice concentration’ and phil. and others with their ‘ice volume’ last year are sophists atttempting to make lemon ices out of lemons. They are attempting to explain away an apparently emerging increasing trend in Arctic sea ice extent”

    Apparently emerging increasing trend so far being one years data, 2008. Can one year be a trend?

    I’d say rather than an emerging increasing trend it would be more accurate to say that the Arctic is rebounding from an abnormally low year back to the normal REDUCING trend.

    Regards
    Andy

  135. Dave Wendt (02:45:28) :
    Phil. (00:00:54)
    “Well you’d lose that bet, your wind patterns are pushing the ice away from the Arctic Basin, that Russian station set up at 82.53N,174.94E last September has drifted over 2800km towards the Fram at about 8km/day passing fairly close to the Pole (88.5N). Similarly for the N Pole weather station installed at the Pole in earlier April, it’s even nearer the Fram at 84.1N, 2.1W. Like last year there will be less multiyear ice in the spring of 2010.”

    It seems to me that the information you provided actually supports Pamela’s contention of not much melting occurring. Given that the eastward drift of the buoys is fairly close match for the retreat of the ice mass on its’ western side, it would seem reasonable to contend that the majority of the ice loss was the result of the ice moving out, and not from any increase of in situ melting. Still there is a definite possibility of less thick ice surviving the minimum, but as I pointed out in a previous comment, since the satellites seem to rank age based on thickness alone, they don’t seem to be able to distinguish piled up first year ice from ice that has persisted for longer.

    Hardly, Pamela’s conjecture was that all the ice was piled up in the middle not drifting out the Fram, also numerous buoys in the Arctic monitor melting in situ and show melting. And it is possible to distinguish between new and old ice by satellite they have different scattering signatures (QuickScat).

  136. AndyW35 22:08:28

    In all fairness, the emerging trend is more like two years. And with the rationale of a cooling globe, what makes you think it is returning to its ‘normal reducing trend’?

    Look, the globe warmed from just about the time we started watching Arctic Ice by satellite until 4-5 years ago. It is not surprising that the ice extent diminished. But now the globe is cooling, and the Arctic is freezing back up.

    Are you another of those slippery sophists with your ‘one year trend’ and your ‘normal reducing trend’? Bah, Humbug!
    =======================================

  137. Pamela Gray: when both the extent and the concentration decrease, it can mean (i) that the ice has been melting like crazy locally (which very rarely happens) or (ii) that has has been transported to warmer regions where it melted. Following the NSIDC analysis, this is exactly what happened. All in all the ice “disappearance” (if you prefer that term) has been pretty fast ; much faster than usual in fact. So why is the ice this year more vulnerable to wind conditions as compared to the observations of the preceding 30 years?

    Smokey: looks like you definitely prefer to play with words rather than with science. English is my 3d language, I’m teaching in French. Maybe we can compare my level with yours on this one? About the “proofs”, what do you want? Measurements of glacier thickness? Of Arctic sea ice extent? Tell me, I’ll find you at least 20 papers supporting my claims.

    Richard: of course the current extent is a proof, as it is much lower than the most pessimistic predictions on Arctic sea ice extents. When observations are worse than predicted, what can be the conclusion? That it’s allright?

  138. Kim there are not enough years data yet to show that the Arctic is freezing back up, you cannot possibly say that 2008 and 2009 values show that the Arctic is freezing back up due to global cooling. As I mentioned above, it might just be a rebound from the abnormal year of 2007. If you look at this graph

    we’d have to get back to a minimum of 6.5 or 7 to even begin to show a trend. It’s just wishful thinking on your part. Currently it is a one year trend and the graph shows a reducing trend when you take into account more than one or perhaps 2 years, that’s far less slippery than your “the arctic is freezing back up”.

    Regards

    Andy

  139. Hi all-

    The main concern with Arctic melting, is it’s overall impact on the stability of the self-regulating climate system as a whole, I think, especially the chance of igniting a methane catastrophe.

    Methane concentrations are increasing, not decreasing as was stated above:

    Note especially the increase in the Arctic (at high latitudes).

    My most pressing concern is the stability of the methane hydrates:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3647

    Methane Burps: Ticking Time Bomb
    by John Atcheson

    The Arctic Council’s recent report on the effects of global warming in the far north paints a grim picture: global floods, extinction of polar bears and other marine mammals, collapsed fisheries. But it ignored a ticking time bomb buried in the Arctic tundra.

    There are enormous quantities of naturally occurring greenhouse gasses trapped in ice-like structures in the cold northern muds and at the bottom of the seas. These ices, called clathrates, contain 3,000 times as much methane as is in the atmosphere. Methane is more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide.

    Now here’s the scary part. A temperature increase of merely a few degrees would cause these gases to volatilize and “burp” into the atmosphere, which would further raise temperatures, which would release yet more methane, heating the Earth and seas further, and so on. There’s 400 gigatons of methane locked in the frozen arctic tundra – enough to start this chain reaction – and the kind of warming the Arctic Council predicts is sufficient to melt the clathrates and release these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

    Once triggered, this cycle could result in runaway global warming the likes of which even the most pessimistic doomsayers aren’t talking about.

    An apocalyptic fantasy concocted by hysterical environmentalists? Unfortunately, no. Strong geologic evidence suggests something similar has happened at least twice before.

    The most recent of these catastrophes occurred about 55 million years ago in what geologists call the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), when methane burps caused rapid warming and massive die-offs, disrupting the climate for more than 100,000 years.

    The granddaddy of these catastrophes occurred 251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, when a series of methane burps came close to wiping out all life on Earth.

    More than 94 percent of the marine species present in the fossil record disappeared suddenly as oxygen levels plummeted and life teetered on the verge of extinction. Over the ensuing 500,000 years, a few species struggled to gain a foothold in the hostile environment. It took 20 million to 30 million years for even rudimentary coral reefs to re-establish themselves and for forests to regrow. In some areas, it took more than 100 million years for ecosystems to reach their former healthy diversity.

    Geologist Michael J. Benton lays out the scientific evidence for this epochal tragedy in a recent book, When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time. As with the PETM, greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide from increased volcanic activity, warmed the earth and seas enough to release massive amounts of methane from these sensitive clathrates, setting off a runaway greenhouse effect.

    The cause of all this havoc?

    In both cases, a temperature increase of about 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit, about the upper range for the average global increase today’s models predict can be expected from burning fossil fuels by 2100. But these models could be the tail wagging the dog since they don’t add in the effect of burps from warming gas hydrates. Worse, as the Arctic Council found, the highest temperature increases from human greenhouse gas emissions will occur in the arctic regions – an area rich in these unstable clathrates.

    If we trigger this runaway release of methane, there’s no turning back. No do-overs. Once it starts, it’s likely to play out all the way.

    Yup, no do-overs.

    All our eggs in one basket, and we’re playing volleyball with the basket.

  140. Flanagan

    One of the elephants in the living room here is the archeological evidence from Greenland where there is evidence from Viking times of settlements, burials, where there is now permafrost – and, Scafetta says, trees as well – can somebody verify this?

    Close your eyes, shut your ears, say “it’s not current science”, say you need a “peer-reviewed article” before you believe this one, shout lots of tangential remarks here.

    Real science means being open to unwelcome evidence. Open, emotionally as well as factually. The unwelcome evidence that skeptics have to be open to, is the incomprehensible inability of believers to stop shouting and look again, and to question official pronouncements and practice true science which must always, by definition, be independent.

  141. Lucy: I really, really don’t get your point here. How is the fact that earth has been warmer before a proof that the current warming is not anthropogenic? There can be many reasons behind the medieval warm period, including the sun. But again, how does this disqualify a human interference in the present?

  142. “There can be many reasons behind the medieval warm period, including the sun. But again, how does this disqualify a human interference in the present?”

    Wrong way round.
    The Earth was warmer than this in medieval times so what on earth makes you think this cycle is affected by man?

  143. I think it is obvious that evidence for such large natural fluctuations make AGW vastly less likely and vastly less likely to be dangerous. That comparison with such is necessary before wasting money on alarmist responses. That comparison with such would then flush out the evidence that extra CO2 (above present level) has never shown any ability to warm significantly, if even at all.

  144. Sandy: maybe the fact that temperatures started de-correlating with the solar activity since the 40ies? How is it there’s such a good correlation between sun and temperatures and that, suddenly, the two take different ways? See the most recent Scafetta paper discusses in WUWT recently.

    Lucy: it is now a well-established fact that the CO2 released by oceans after an initial increase of temperature led to a greenhouse effect that amplified and propagated the increase at the global scale. This was also discussed on this very blog.

  145. AndyW35 00:22:47

    Oh, fah! What is the matter with you? It is an almost two year trend now, not one, and the Arctic is freezing back up because the globe is cooling. I’m on record a year and a half ago of predicting this freeze back up, though I’ll admit it was a lot more speculative then than now. And Leland, relax about the methane; the globe is cooling and stabilizing all your hydrates. Worry about social devastation from crop failures and mass starvation.
    ========================================

  146. Leland,

    By using an honest y-axis, CO2 loses its scariness: click. But with Halloween approaching, maybe you’d better hang on to your chart. You could scare the kids with it, after you’re done scaring yourself for no real reason.

    Flanagan,

    I wasn’t making fun of your English. I answered your question. You’re good at languages, my compliments. But science? Not so much. You offered 20 papers ‘proving’ your claims. I accept, and I look forward to seeing what you’ve got. Remember, only empirical measurements.

    Phil.:

    Apples and oranges, as I’m sure you knew when you posted that 1995 chart. You took me to task for posting June charts for ’07, ’08 and ’09, instead of July charts for those years. I think I know why you avoided a direct comparison…

    …and my question:

    Q: Where is your god now?

    A: I don’t have one.

    I was referring to Al Gore.

  147. Flanagan 2:19:46

    Neither you nor anyone else knows the human contribution to CO2 nor CO2’s contribution to temperature. Sure, man has an effect on climate; we can show regional climate variation from land use and other changes, but man’s contribution through use of fossil fuel is utterly speculative. Let’s expend our energy finding out the truth about CO2 rather than demonizing it before the jury’s even been empaneled. It’s a terribly important question to get right, and we aren’t there yet.
    ==================================

  148. Here we go, Smokey

    Measurements of glacier thickness
    ——————————————

    1. Title: Twentieth century climate change: Evidence from small glaciers
    Author(s): Dyurgerov MB, Meier MF
    Source: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Volume: 97 Issue: 4 Pages: 1406-1411 Published: FEB 15 2000

    2. Title: Extracting a climate signal from 169 glacier records
    Author(s): Oerlemans J
    Source: SCIENCE Volume: 308 Issue: 5722 Pages: 675-677 Published: APR 29 2005

    3. Title: Three-dimensional glacial flow and surface elevation measured with radar interferometry
    Author(s): Mohr JJ, Reeh N, Madsen SN
    Source: NATURE Volume: 391 Issue: 6664 Pages: 273-276 Published: JAN 15 1998

    4. Title: Mass balance of mountain and subpolar glaciers: A new global assessment for 1961-1990
    Author(s): Dyurgerov MB, Meier MF
    Source: ARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH Volume: 29 Issue: 4 Pages: 379-391 Published: NOV 1997

    5. Title: Acceleration of Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, West Antarctica
    Author(s): Rignot E, Vaughan DG, Schmeltz M, et al.
    Source: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY, VOL 34, 2002 Book Series: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY Volume: 34 Pages: 189-194 Published: 2002

    6. Title: Mass balance of glaciers other than the ice sheets
    Author(s): Cogley JG, Adams WP
    Source: JOURNAL OF GLACIOLOGY Volume: 44 Issue: 147 Pages: 315-325 Published: 1998

    7. Title: Mass balance of glaciers and ice caps: Consensus estimates for 1961-2004
    Author(s): Kaser G, Cogley JG, Dyurgerov MB, et al.
    Source: GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Volume: 33 Issue: 19 Article Number: L19501 Published: OCT 4 2006

    8. Title: Mountain and subpolar glaciers show an increase in sensitivity to climate warming and intensification of the water cycle
    Author(s): Dyurgerov M
    Source: JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY Volume: 282 Issue: 1-4 Pages: 164-176 Published: NOV 10 2003

    9. Title: Multispectral imaging contributions to global land ice measurements from space
    Author(s): Kargel JS, Abrams MJ, Bishop MP, et al.
    Source: REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT Volume: 99 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 187-219 Published: NOV 15 2005

    10. Title: Glacier monitoring within the Global Climate Observing System
    Author(s): Haeberli W, Cihlar J, Barry RG
    Source: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY, VOL 31, 2000 Book Series: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY Volume: 31 Pages: 241-246 Published: 2000

    11. Title: The new remote-sensing-derived Swiss glacier inventory: II. First results
    Author(s): Kaab A, Paul F, Maisch M, et al.
    Source: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY, VOL 34, 2002 Book Series: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY Volume: 34 Pages: 362-366 Published: 2002

    12. Title: Glacier evolution in the tropical Andes during the last decades of the 20th century: Chacaltaya, Bolivia, and Antizana, Ecuador
    Author(s): Francou B, Ramirez E, Caceres B, et al.
    Source: AMBIO Volume: 29 Issue: 7 Pages: 416-422 Published: NOV 2000

    13. Title: Recent trends in melting conditions on the Antarctic Peninsula and their implications for ice-sheet mass balance and sea level
    Author(s): Vaughan DG
    Source: ARCTIC ANTARCTIC AND ALPINE RESEARCH Volume: 38 Issue: 1 Pages: 147-152 Published: FEB 2006

    14. Title: Regional impacts of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic
    Author(s): Weller G
    Source: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY, VOL 27, 1998 Book Series: ANNALS OF GLACIOLOGY Volume: 27 Pages: 543-552 Published: 1998

    15. Title: Glacier mass balance: the first 50 years of international monitoring
    Author(s): Braithwaite RJ
    Source: PROGRESS IN PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY Volume: 26 Issue: 1 Pages: 76-95 Published: MAR 2002

    16. Title: Glacier changes in southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia and contribution to sea level rise
    Author(s): Larsen CF, Motyka RJ, Arendt AA, et al.
    Source: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE Volume: 112 Issue: F1 Article Number: F01007 Published: FEB 24 2007

    17. Title: Late-twentieth century changes in glacier extent in the Ak-shirak Range, Central Asia, determined from historical data and ASTER imagery
    Author(s): Khromova TE, Dyurgerov MB, Barry RG
    Source: GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Volume: 30 Issue: 16 Article Number: 1863 Published: AUG 28 2003

    18. Title: Recent glacier changes in the Alps observed by satellite: Consequences for future monitoring strategies
    Author(s): Paul F, Kaab A, Haeberli W
    Source: GLOBAL AND PLANETARY CHANGE Volume: 56 Issue: 1-2 Pages: 111-122 Published: MAR 2007

    19. Title: Mass balance measurements on the Lemon Creek Glacier, Juneau Icefield, Alaska 1953-1998
    Author(s): Miller MM, Pelto MS
    Source: GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER SERIES A-PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY Volume: 81A Issue: 4 Pages: 671-681 Published: 1999

    20. Title: Alarming retreat of Parbati glacier, beas basin, Himachal pradesh
    Author(s): Kulkarni AV, Rathore BP, Mahajan S, et al.
    Source: CURRENT SCIENCE Volume: 88 Issue: 11 Pages: 1844-1850 Published: JUN 10 2005

    So, do we really need to do this for every aspect I mentioned?

    You should try and read at least one or two of these papers. My rapid research gave me 198 papers with “negative glacier mass balance measurement”

  149. Smokey (05:14:44) :
    Phil.:

    Apples and oranges, as I’m sure you knew when you posted that 1995 chart. You took me to task for posting June charts for ‘07, ‘08 and ‘09, instead of July charts for those years. I think I know why you avoided a direct comparison…

    What 1995 chart?
    Actually I did post the wrong chart it was 2005 vs 2009, here’s the one I meant to post 2008 vs 2009.

    …and my question:

    Q: Where is your god now?

    A: I don’t have one.

    I was referring to Al Gore.

    In your dreams!

  150. Flanagan 4:21:49

    Your well established fact about the ancient effect of CO2 is not well established. The precision within the record is not there to establish all the ancient causes and effects. Now I know this is a bit ridiculous, but follow this time course; temperature rises, then 800 years later CO2 rises, then sometime later temperature drops. That time course might suggest that CO2 has an ameliorative effect on temperature rise or even an outright cooling effect. And you can’t prove it ain’t so.
    =================================

  151. Kim wrote: “but man’s contribution through use of fossil fuel is utterly speculative.”

    It took millions and millions of years to put all that CO2 from the atmosphere underground in the form of fossil fuels. Man is putting all this CO2 back in the air within 200 years or so. I find it much, much more speculative to say that this has no consequence whatsoever. Especially since it has been warming the past 100+ years.

    It’s as if all the turds you have ever produced and flushed through the toilet, would suddenly be released back through your toilet, and you just go: “What’s for dinner?”

  152. Hi Smokey-

    Ah, but the climate system is adapted to respond to higher CO2, via weathering of mafic rocks into carbonates for example, with extreme slowness. So, plotted on a more realistic x (time) axis:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/figures.html

    Significant species adaptation can occur within small highly stressed populations in a few hundred years. In large populations, it generally takes much longer. If climate change is too rapid, as the paleocene-eocene and permian-triassic mass extinction events show, life generally dies rather than having sufficient time to adapt.

    So, a long x (time) axis is the most appropriate plot. Modern increases in CO2 are geologically instantaneous, and under business as usual scenarios, we could easily go to 1000 ppm by the end of the century – one third higher CO2 concentrations than are plotted on the graph shown.

  153. kim: if the excess CO2 is not from human origin, then why have the isotopic ratios (C13/C12, C14/C12) of CO2 in the air been switching to the lower values of fossil carbon in the last decades?

  154. Neven, 6:24:19

    I, too wonder at the consequences of the rapid release of all that CO2. My analogy is to shaking a bottle of champagne and popping the cork. But so far there is no documented damage from our sudden release, and some documented benefit, like for the plants. And, as dependent as the biosphere is upon plants, how can it not benefit the animals, also?

    Flanagan, 6:44:41

    Yes, I understand that the carbon isotope ratios are persuasive, and truly, I believe that man has made a significant contribution to present CO2 levels. The question is controversial, however, and not settled.

    Both of ya’: Rising CO2 levels will inevitably create feedback which will speed the resequestration of carbon by plants, thereby altering the residence time of CO2 in our environment. The residence time of human released CO2 is also thus presently unknown. I happen to believe that hydrocarbons will be priced out of the energy market before we’ve done lasting damage to our ecosystem.

    The fact is that our present era is CO2 starved. The action of the sun on the biosphere inevitably virtually permanently sequesters CO2 from the biosphere. The presence of huge stores of carbonates, and large stores of hydrocarbons proves that point.

    But, it is an open question. Let’s understand more about it before jumping to lethal policy conclusions.
    ======================================

  155. Whoops, forgot Leland, 6:43:28.

    I challenge your supposition that we’ll reach 1000 ppm of CO2 by the end of the century, and I challenge your scenario that even that kind of CO2 rise could lead to mass extinction. Fossil fuels are going to be priced out of the energy market sooner or later. All those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly created to break merely for the energy contained within them. We need them for feedstock for plastics, to house and clothe the teeming billions, and to contain all their ‘stuff’.
    =====================================

  156. “kim: if the excess CO2 is not from human origin, then why have the isotopic ratios (C13/C12, C14/C12) of CO2 in the air been switching to the lower values of fossil carbon in the last decades?”

    How accurate is the ‘isotope ratio’ over how many decades.
    Lower isotopes are presumably released when rock erodes as well (since the C14 gets many 1/2-lives to decay.
    Lower isotope ratio therefore Man and fossil fuels are responsible seems unlikely and unproven at least until the total carbon exchange of planet Earth is understood.
    Still to those of the faith possible is proven, and there is always a grant-hunting charlatan who has written a paper on it.

  157. Kim wrote: “But, it is an open question. Let’s understand more about it before jumping to lethal policy conclusions.”

    As long as you have a system that’s based on the concept of unending economic growth on a finite planet there will be nothing but lethal policy conclusions. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the bail-outs are enough proof of that. All the things that skeptics/deniers are so scared about are happening as we speak. As long as people equate freedom to “there is no limit to what I want to do and want to have” like they have been brainwashed to think there will be no wise policy decisions. AGW, real or not, is just one of many elements in the perfect storm.

  158. Neven, 8:40:17

    Ah, now you are talking about an entirely different ballgame. Why do you think changing the subject is persuasive?
    ==========================================

  159. 1000ppm what stuff and nonsense. Bulk CO2 only remains in the atmsohere for a few years before being either taken up by vegetation or dissolved in the oceans. The partition ratio between the atmsophere and the oeasn is about 1:50 and is temperature dependant because it chiefly depends on Henry’s law.

    Thus we an deduce that the burning of fossil fuels has negligible effect of CO2 levels, perhaps accounting for one percent or so of the rise over the last few decades, the primary driver is the temperature of the oceans.

    Note that because of carbonate and other buffering the oceans’ capacity to adsorb CO2 is virtually unlimited and does not significantly affect their PH.

    There is a very thorough discussion of this in CO2 Science vol 12 no 31.
    It is very well worth reading, not least for its criticism of Solomon et al.

    Kindest Regards

  160. “Flanagan: …or the pH of oceans should become lower or …”

    Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.179 to 8.104. If pH falls below 7.0 oceans will be acidic. As of now they are alkaline.

  161. Neven (08:40:17):

    “As long as you have a system that’s based on the concept of unending economic growth on a finite planet there will be nothing but lethal policy conclusions. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the bail-outs are enough proof of that.”

    ‘Proof’? How do wars and bailouts equate to increased economic growth?? Your conjecture that economic growth is the cause of wars and bailouts is flat wrong.

    In fact, economic growth is the only reason we’re not still living in mud huts, eating grubs, constantly warring with neighboring tribes over limited food supplies, and having a life expectancy of 30. All the good things in life, including drastically lowering pollution, are the direct result of economic growth.

    Only the intellectual descendants of Thomas Malthus and the Luddite movement would disagree.

  162. And the moral from my above post is NOT trying to type on a laptop in a hurry whilst travelling. Sorry for the spelling.

    But the article in CO2 Science, listed on this board, is a very good one and well repays reading. They have a link problem so go via issue 31 vol 12, rather than the index. It is the leader, CO2 a question of timing etc.

    Kindest Regards

  163. Alexej: exactly, you might even notice I never said it was acidic. And I seriously doubt it will ever be so. But do you have any idea how much a DpH of 0.1 would mean for all the chemical equilibria involved? And don’t forget it’s a logarithmic scale. The difference you mentioned amounts to loosing about 16% of the protons.

  164. kim (05:03:45) :

    “Oh, fah! What is the matter with you? It is an almost two year trend now”

    That’s priceless.

    You are saying there is almost a trend of 2 results! Not quite two mind you.
    Extrapolating from these almost 2 results the Arctic is freezing up again.

    Considering you said the earth was cooling for the last few years how do you explain the result of 2007 and 2008?

    Regards
    Andy

  165. Flanagan (05:49:16) : My advice: Buil up an igloo soon and keep a candle lit in it before the image of your prophet….

  166. The fastest ways to melt a glacier are all caused by oceanic influences on land temperatures and weather:

    1. Direct Sunlight as in shortwave radiation
    2. Warm rain
    3. Warm wind

    The slowest way to melt a glacier would be from long wave GHG radiation.

    Glacier melt coincides with weather pattern variations. They have melted too fast to blame GHG long wave radiation. The same is true for Arctic sea ice melt. In every peer reviewed report I have seen regarding 2007 and 2008 Summer melt, weather pattern variation is the most likely candidate.

  167. AndyW35 14:04:25

    What’s priceless is your inability to get the point. It is the two year trend plus the three year lag in the heat engine plus the likelihood of the PDO remaining in its cooling phase for the next 20-30 years that is the telling point that confidently predicts an Arctic freezing back up. Now, I mentioned that heat engine which moves heat from the equator to the poles @ 21:15:23 on 8/19. Are you not paying sufficient attention?
    ======================================

  168. Alright, buster, just to be a little more repetitive, I explain 2007 as the tipping point, the nadir of sea ice loss, and 2008 the beginning of the rebound. That would put just around a three year lag from the maximum temperature of the globe, around 2004-2005. That’s the proposed time lag for the heat engine to move energy poleward. The tipping point of ice nicely marks the delay from measured maximum temperature.
    =======================================

  169. Kim wrote: “Ah, now you are talking about an entirely different ballgame. Why do you think changing the subject is persuasive?”

    Because if we’d be on the same frequency you’d see that the psychological gratification you derive from battling each and every aspect of AGW is actually strengthening the thing you’re fighting against.

    “‘Proof’? How do wars and bailouts equate to increased economic growth?? Your conjecture that economic growth is the cause of wars and bailouts is flat wrong.”

    I’m not talking about economic growth, I’m talking about the concept of unending exponential economic growth in a finite system as the core of western culture. The wars and the bailouts (both an order of scale that you seem to fear AGW policies will be somewhere in the future, minus the benefits) are a direct consequence of this.

    There is nothing wrong with economic growth. Like you say it “the only reason we’re not still living in mud huts, eating grubs, constantly warring with neighboring tribes over limited food supplies, and having a life expectancy of 30.” The point is that we have gone way beyond the point where we could have stopped at a level where quality of life was at a very good standard. Instead of the growth serving us like it did before that point, we are now serving the growth (and thus the people that start wars to benefit certain companies that swindle the American people out of billions of dollars, or the people that still give themselves bonuses). And the price we are paying for this is increasing on a daily basis, especially so if AGW does turn out to be real and dangerous.

    Why should growth have no limits? Do trees or children continue to grow after they have reached maturity? No, they don’t. The only thing that grows incessantly is cancer (until the victim dies).

  170. I also wonder about a nine year lag with the extraordinary 2007 melt being the image of the 1998 peak of temperature. God only knows how long and by all what methods the energy is transported polewards. I expect that in the northern hemisphere the transport is accelerated at the end, and in the southern hemisphere it is retarded, but I haven’t got a lot of proof of that, just intuition about the geography.
    ===============================================

  171. AndyW35,

    If you read my post at (17:48:58) you would know what controls the arctic sea ice. It’s ocean temperatures. Could it be anything else? Where do you think 90% of the ice is located? The oceans have had stable temps since they’ve been measured by ARGO.

  172. AndyW35 (14:04:25):

    Considering you said the earth was cooling for the last few years how do you explain the result of 2007 and 2008?

    It is explained 100% by natural climate variability. Falsify that, and earn a place in the history books.

    Leland Palmer (06:43:28),

    Still saving the world from imminent destruction, I see. Good for you, it will keep you out of trouble. You said:

    :…the climate system is adapted to respond to higher CO2, via weathering of mafic rocks into carbonates for example, with extreme slowness… Significant species adaptation can occur within small highly stressed populations in a few hundred years. In large populations, it generally takes much longer.

    Wrong again. I understand that the alarmist argument falls on its face if CO2 persistence isn’t hundreds of years, so being you, you must assume that. In fact, CO2 is recycled in 12 years or less. Let me explain what’s going on.

    The greatest mass and number of species in the biosphere is composed of microbes, including algae and other microscopic plant organisms, which utilize CO2 as food. They reproduce on the order of hours, not years. More CO2 = more organisms. And it happens quickly.

    Listen to a someone who has forgotten more than you and I put together explain this; Prof. Freeman Dyson:

    I do not want to confuse you with a lot of numbers, so I will ask you to remember just one number. The number that I ask you to remember is one hundredth of an inch per year. Now I will explain what this number means. Consider the half of the land area of the earth that is not desert or ice-cap or city or road or parking-lot. This is the half of the land that is covered with soil and supports vegetation of one kind or another. Every year, it absorbs and converts into biomass a certain fraction of the carbon dioxide that we emit into the atmosphere. Biomass means living creatures, plants and microbes and animals, and the organic materials that are left behind when the creatures die and decay. We don’t know how big a fraction of our emissions is absorbed by the land, since we have not measured the increase or decrease of the biomass. The number that I ask you to remember is the increase in thickness, averaged over one half of the land area of the planet, of the biomass that would result if all the carbon that we are emitting by burning fossil fuels were absorbed. The average increase in thickness is one hundredth of an inch per year. [source]

    In other words, an increase of two one-hundreths of an inch in biomass will absorb double the CO2 that 6.7 billion people produce annually.

    I’m sure you’d rather listen to Met Office propaganda. It’s in your nature — and it’s scary, which you like. But read the Dyson link anyway, it will do you good. Prof. Dyson is not a climatologist, but he did synthesize and reduce to practice the Feynman/Schwinger/Tomonaga solutions to the renormalization problems of quantum electrodynamics. Which you must admit is more impressive than anyone at the Met or in the UN/IPCC.

    [Neven (15:17:52), that was my quote, not kim’s.]

  173. Hi a jones-

    1000ppm what stuff and nonsense. Bulk CO2 only remains in the atmsohere for a few years before being either taken up by vegetation or dissolved in the oceans. The partition ratio between the atmsophere and the oeasn is about 1:50 and is temperature dependant because it chiefly depends on Henry’s law.

    Thus we an deduce that the burning of fossil fuels has negligible effect of CO2 levels, perhaps accounting for one percent or so of the rise over the last few decades, the primary driver is the temperature of the oceans.

    Note that because of carbonate and other buffering the oceans’ capacity to adsorb CO2 is virtually unlimited and does not significantly affect their PH.

    There is a very thorough discussion of this in CO2 Science vol 12 no 31.
    It is very well worth reading, not least for its criticism of Solomon et al.

    Uh, these MIT professional climate science guys don’t seem to agree with you…perhaps you ought to e-mail them and tell them about Henry’s law…

    http://globalchange.mit.edu/files/document/MITJPSPGC_Rpt169.pdf

    Check out figure 5. Their high estimate puts CO2 at 1100 ppm, and methane at about 6 ppm (equal to a couple hundred more ppm of CO2) by 2095.

    But this is low, of course. Each estimate is higher than the one before, these days, it seems.

    And this study leaves out methane from methane hydrates.

    There’s enough methane in the methane hydrates to send methane concentrations to about 5000 ppm methane if it were released all at once, equal to tens of thousands of ppm of CO2 in greenhouse effect. Of course, it wouldn’t be released all at once, would it? And, it would be quickly oxidzed into CO2 by the hydroxyl radical, wouldn’t it?

    Maybe not:

    Methane concentrations are also a function of the atmospheric sink, mainly the hydroxyl free radical. As CO and CH4 emissions increase, the hydroxyl radical concentrations will drop as seen in section 4.1….

  174. Pamela Gray (15:05:42) :
    The fastest ways to melt a glacier are all caused by oceanic influences on land temperatures and weather:

    1. Direct Sunlight as in shortwave radiation
    2. Warm rain
    3. Warm wind

    The slowest way to melt a glacier would be from long wave GHG radiation.

    In the case of a glacier with a terminus in the ocean, penetration of water under the glacier is also important.
    Your discounting of long wave GHG is not justified however, particularly for high latitudes. If you look at the data from last year’s polar station during the summer SWR is ~250W/m^2 at a low incidence angle whereas LWR is ~300W/m^2 at a much higher angle.
    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/np2008/gallery_np_weatherdata.html

  175. Mr. Leland Palmer.

    I don’t feed trolls.

    Especially those who do not bother to read the papers and reports they quote.

    Kindest Regards

  176. “Flanagan (14:01:46) :
    Alexej: exactly, you might even notice I never said it was acidic. And I seriously doubt it will ever be so. But do you have any idea how much a DpH of 0.1 would mean for all the chemical equilibria involved? And don’t forget it’s a logarithmic scale. The difference you mentioned amounts to loosing about 16% of the protons.”

    Oceans have a pH of 7.9 to 8.2 (the numbers mentioned above are the mean). So there is no reason to worry about a variability of this order.

  177. “Flanagan (14:01:46) :
    But do you have any idea how much a DpH of 0.1 would mean for all the chemical equilibria involved? And don’t forget it’s a logarithmic scale. The difference you mentioned amounts to loosing about 16% of the protons.”

    The 16% are correctely calculated, but it is questionable to use % when a log-scale is necessary (you would not do that to sound levels in dB). But “loosing protons” ? Doesn’t acid mean you have a concentration of more than 10^(-7) of H+ ? (and neither protons nor OH- do disappear).

  178. I notice that the ASMR-E ice extent graph shows that this year’s Arctic ice extent in the April-May period reached a 7-year record high.

    On the other hand, the long term monthly ice extent for July shows this year’s July ice extent in the center of the variation on a linear curve going back to 1979. If we had constant forcing, I would expect to see accelerating yearly Arctic ice-melt as solar heating should progressively increase as more of the Arctic becomes ice-free.

    As yet, I see no clear evidence indicating that the recent reduction of solar activity (deep solar minimum) is halting the Arctic ice melt. Neither do I see any real evidence of run-away melting (presumably due to the steady increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.) The annual plots for September may be more revealing.

  179. Alexej: by “loosing protons” I wasn’t talking about quark recombination, of course. But hydroniums, if you see what I mean. Again, I didin’t say the sea was acidic, but that its pH is decreasing relatively fast. BTW, I made a small mistake as the hydronium concentration is increased, not decreased by 16%

    Using a log scale in this case is the most questionable representation, in my sense. The concentrations of the different species having an acido-basic reactivity (such as carbonates) will change as [H30+]^n, depending on the equilibria involved, not on the log of this concentration. For example in the following equilibrium

    CaCO3(s) + H+ = Ca2+ + HCO3-

    [Ca2+] [HCO3-] = K [H+]

    so if the concentration of H+ increases by a factor X, each of the concentrations in this case will increase by a factor sqrt(X).

  180. “Flanagan (03:52:25) :
    Again, I didin’t say the sea was acidic, but that its pH is decreasing relatively fast. ”

    If by “relatively” fast you mean “practically not at all”, we can agree.

    Log-scales are mainly useful for describing otherwise clumsy, very small to very big numbers. Our ear can hear sounds from 1 pW/m^2 to 1000000000000 pW/m^2. The log gives 0 to 12 (in Bel) which is too crude; so we use 0 to 120 dB. (Of course it is agreeable that 1 dB is about the difference we can just hear, and +10dB is a “doubling” of loudness).

  181. Also: since the average water temperature is about 17 Celsius, the neutrality should be 7.13 and not 7.

  182. Hi a jones-

    Mr. Leland Palmer.

    I don’t feed trolls.

    Especially those who do not bother to read the papers and reports they quote.

    Kindest Regards

    Trolls are badly motivated, and just like to argue.

    I am motivated by concern with the fate of the earth and future generations.

    I really don’t like to argue, and only do it here because I think it’s necessary to let people on this board know that most climate skeptic talking points are mostly nonsense.

    Oh, you all have a occaisional good point. There might actually be a solar/ cosmic ray / climate connection, for example. The problem is, that even if such a connection exists, it is irrelevant, because we can’t depend on a Maunder-like sunspot minimum showing up just when we need it.

    So, really, I am well motivated and don’t consider myself a Troll. I really am sincerely concerned with the fate of the Earth and the people on it.

    And I really do think that we are on a track toward disaster. Declining Arctic ice cover and the albedo/ice feedback are part of that disaster.

    http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/nocs/news.php?action=display_news&idx=628

    The warming of an Arctic current over the last 30 years has triggered the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from methane hydrate stored in the sediment beneath the seabed.

    Scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Birmingham, Royal Holloway London and IFM-Geomar in Germany have found that more than 250 plumes of bubbles of methane gas are rising from the seabed of the West Spitsbergen continental margin in the Arctic, in a depth range of 150 to 400 metres.

    Methane released from gas hydrate in submarine sediments has been identified in the past as an agent of climate change. The likelihood of methane being released in this way has been widely predicted.

    The data were collected from the royal research ship RRS James Clark Ross, as part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s International Polar Year Initiative. The bubble plumes were detected using sonar and then sampled with a water-bottle sampling system over a range of depths.

    The results indicate that the warming of the northward-flowing West Spitsbergen current by 1° over the last thirty years has caused the release of methane by breaking down methane hydrate in the sediment beneath the seabed.

    Professor Tim Minshull, Head of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science based at the National Oceanography Centre, says: “Our survey was designed to work out how much methane might be released by future ocean warming; we did not expect to discover such strong evidence that this process has already started.”

    Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance composed of water and methane which is stable in conditions of high pressure and low temperature. At present, methane hydrate is stable at water depths greater than 400 metres in the ocean off Spitsbergen. However, thirty years ago it was stable at water depths as shallow as 360 metres.

    This is the first time that such behaviour in response to climate change has been observed in the modern period.

  183. Leland Palmer,

    If your methane scare had any real validity, it would be front and center on the news 24/7. But it’s just a fringe belief, so it’s generally disregarded, even by most climate alarmists.

    Just to be on the safe side, though, I highly recommend that you utilize this inexpensive protection: clicky.

  184. Hi Smokey-

    If your methane scare had any real validity, it would be front and center on the news 24/7. But it’s just a fringe belief, so it’s generally disregarded, even by most climate alarmists.

    Oh, that’s one of the great things about science, isn’t it?

    Ideas change, new discoveries are made, and even acknowledgement of past mistakes and misjudgements are sometimes made.

    It’s been said (jokingly) that old scientists don’t change their minds, they just die.

    But really, they’re more adaptable and willing to admit error than most people are, certainly in my opinion, most people on this blog.

    The media generally lags the science, and a lot of the science in this area is still catching up with the reality.

    IPCC group leader Chris Field, bless his honest heart, has publicly admitted that much of the science is rapidly developing, and that scientists are becoming generally more alarmed, rather than less.

    Earlier this month, Field told the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “We are basically looking now at a future climate beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate model situations.”

    AMY GOODMAN: On Wednesday, Chris Field testified before a Senate panel and warned droughts caused by global warming could make parts of the American Southwest dangerous to live in.

    Professor Field joins us now from Stanford University, the founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and a professor of biology and environmental earth system science at Stanford University. He’s also co-chair, just been named, of Working Group 2 of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Dr. Field.

    CHRISTOPHER FIELD: Thank you very much.

    AMY GOODMAN: Why don’t you review what you told the Senate yesterday? It was a pretty heated hearing.

    CHRISTOPHER FIELD: It was. And I think it’s important for people to know that the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, provides a definitive assessment of where we are with climate, but that science continues to evolve. And in particular, we’ve seen rapid increase in knowledge in two important areas: areas that I call forcing, how hard we’re pushing on the climate system, and feedbacks, what we expect the earth system to do in response to this harder forcing. In particular, we’ve seen CO2 emissions grow very rapidly, as you’ve already described.

    The idea is that we’ve used climate models to explore possible futures. We characterize economic growth rates, population, kinds of ways that energy is generated, and use those to say, well, what might CO2 emissions be going into the future? And that’s what the climate models run.

    If we look since 2000, we’ve seen a rapid acceleration in CO2 emissions, so that the actual trajectory of emissions has grown more rapidly than in any of the scenarios that were characterized in detail. The reason I say we’re on a trajectory of climate change that we haven’t explored is that we have only looked at scenarios where the growth of CO2 was limited to in the range of two to 2.5 percent per year. We genuinely don’t know what a climate will look like with the more rapid rate of increase that we’re actually seeing.

  185. Looking at the above quote, I think that Chris Field meant “ppm” rather than “percent”.

    He misspoke a couple of times, during this interview. He was apparently nervous, and he said that the Arctic permafrost had about a billion tons of carbon in it, when he meant a trillion tons (the latest estimates are roughly 1.5 trillion tons of carbon in the permafrost).

    Still, go there and watch the video, if you want a look at a real climate scientist. Judge his sincerity for yourself.

    http://i1.democracynow.org/2009/2/26/member_of_un_environment_panel_warns

    He appears to be honest, a nice guy, somewhat shy and nervous, not the world’s best public speaker, but sincere.

  186. ****************
    The reason I say we’re on a trajectory of climate change that we haven’t explored is that we have only looked at scenarios where the growth of CO2 was limited to in the range of two to 2.5 percent per year. We genuinely don’t know what a climate will look like with the more rapid rate of increase that we’re actually seeing.
    *********************
    CO2 has been higher in the past and we are still here. Cooling would be much, much worse than warming.
    CO2 is up, warming is, well, non-existent. Much ado about nothing.

  187. Hi Jim-

    Much ado about nothing.

    You could even be right. I doubt it, but it seems remotely, theoretically possible that the extremely complex Earth climate system will confound us yet again.

    What are you willing to bet?

    Are you willing to bet, for example, everything that’s most valuable to human beings that exists anywhere in the universe?

  188. Leland Palmer (12:55:12),

    No need to shout in bold, it isn’t any more convincing.

    Regarding Mr. Field, it should always be kept in mind that he knows where his bread is buttered. He is not independent. Field is a political appointee; he has his marching orders, and he tows the AGW line like he’s supposed to in order to stay on the UN’s gravy train. He has a fat paycheck, but zero credibility. Please don’t waste our time with the purchased opinions of UN/IPCC propagandists like Chris Field.

    You ask, “What are you willing to bet?” But you are not even willing to give up your fossil fuel burning, CO2-emitting automobiles, despite your argument that they are going to cause the end of the world. Want credibility? Trade your cars for bicycles. Get some walking shoes. Actually go green, instead of leaning in that direction to salve your conscience. Set an example. The future of the planet depends on you!

    Jim (13:10:15):

    CO2 has been higher in the past and we are still here. Cooling would be much, much worse than warming. CO2 is up, warming is, well, non-existent. Much ado about nothing.

    Yes, CO2 has been much higher many times in the past, for hundreds of millions of years at a time: click [click in the graph to expand]. A hundred million years of CO2 being thousands of ppmv higher than they are today didn’t cause problems, and any speculation that it did is just that, speculation. And conjectures like the methane popgun are far out of the mainstream; more like Scientology than science.

    In general, the higher the CO2 concentration, the greater the extent and diversity of life on Earth. Life thrives with more carbon dioxide! CO2 is entirely beneficial. It is no more harmful than H2O. Both are essential to life.

  189. “”” If we look since 2000, we’ve seen a rapid acceleration in CO2 emissions, so that the actual trajectory of emissions has grown more rapidly than in any of the scenarios that were characterized in detail. The reason I say we’re on a trajectory of climate change that we haven’t explored is that we have only looked at scenarios where the growth of CO2 was limited to in the range of two to 2.5 percent per year. We genuinely don’t know what a climate will look like with the more rapid rate of increase that we’re actually seeing. “””

    So Christopher; the present Mauna Loa CO2 level is about 385 ppm, so 1% of that is 3.85 ppm, and 2.5% of that is 9.625 ppm

    So the ML bas line amount of CO2 is increasing about 1.5 ppm each year; so how does that gybe with your claim of 9.625 ppm per year.

    That is a pretty large exaggeration fudge factor, even for an IPCC shill to explain away.

    Back to the drawing board I am afraid; or perhaps a course in remedial arithmetic.

  190. Alexej Buergin (00:24:53) :

    Oceans have a pH of 7.9 to 8.2 (the numbers mentioned above are the mean). So there is no reason to worry about a variability of this order.

    And your blood has a pH of ~7.4, a drop of 0.1 would be quite a problem, basically uses a similar buffer system to the ocean.

  191. Red herring alert: Phil. is correct about the buffering but a drop of O.1 in human blood is quite easily compensated for. This whole issue depends upon how rapidly the ocean acidification is proceeding and it is pretty doggone slowly. Let’s see both sides of the question, Phil..
    ============================

  192. Leland, I said the globe is cooling and your hydrates are stabilizing. You can relax a little if you’d just pay attention.
    =======================================

  193. Hi Smokey-

    No need to shout in bold, it isn’t any more convincing.

    Regarding Mr. Field, it should always be kept in mind that he knows where his bread is buttered. He is not independent. Field is a 100% political appointee; he has his marching orders, and he tows the AGW line like he’s supposed to in order to stay on the UN’s gravy train. He has a fat paycheck, but zero credibility. Please don’t waste our time with the purchased opinions of UN/IPCC propagandists like Chris Field.

    You ask, “What are you willing to bet?” But you are not even willing to give up your fossil fuel burning, CO2-emitting automobiles, despite your argument that they are going to cause the end of the world. Want credibility? Trade your cars for bicycles. Get some walking shoes. Actually go green, instead of leaning in that direction to salve your conscience. Set an example. The future of the planet depends on you!

    About the bold print, well, thanks for your advice. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t follow it. These are my posts, and I will use the available fonts to make my points more effectively, in my opinion, not yours.

    About Chris Field, well he was a political appointee, I think – by the Bush Administration.

    His work at Stanford is funded by ExxonMobil, which might explain some of his nervousness, when he blew the whistle on the fossil fuel companies on Democracy Now. :)

    Really though, the main climate culprits are the coal fired power plants, followed closely transportation.

    You might check out the CARMA (Carbon Monitoring for Action) database, which has a very nice database of power plants that plugs right into Google Earth. Download Google Earth from Google, install it, and then follow the directions on the CARMA website to install the CARMA “.kml” database. It’s easy.

    http://carma.org/

    Some perspective on the climate problem can be gained just by cruising around in this database installed into Google Earth.

    Some of these monster power plants emit 20-30 million tons of CO2 per year. That means that millions of people would have to stop driving completely to equal just one of these power plants.

    What we need to do, if we want to make a difference, is seize (nationalize) the coal fired power plants, and convert them into biomass/biochar fuel, enhanced efficiency including oxyfuel combustion and an IFCC (Indirectly Fired Combined Cycle) topping cycle, and subsequent deep injection of the captured CO2.

    Back to the Arctic. The general concern is that there are 1.5 trillion tons of carbon in the permafrost. Estimates of the amount of methane that could be produced by the permafrost run to billions of tons of methane per year. The methane produced by the decaying organic material in the permafrost might be enough to start the oceanic methane hydrates dissociating.

    At that point, bend over, assume the emergency position, and kiss all you hold dear goodbye.

  194. Leland Palmer,

    Quit playing word games. Chris Field is a political appointee. He was appointed Co-Chair of WG-2 of the UN’s IPCC. If he didn’t crave that appointment, he would have turned it down, don’t you think?

    But in fact Field does crave being a political appointee in a thoroughly corrupt, anti-American, parasitic organization, which uses the bogus scare of AGW to get its paws deeper into American taxpayers’ pockets. That says plenty about Mr. Field, who is nothing but a modern day Vidkun Quisling, selling out his country to the enemy.

    Next, you say: “Some of these monster power plants emit 20-30 million tons of CO2 per year.” That is excellent news! We need to build lots more of them. It’s a win-win: cheap electricity, and plenty of life-giving, beneficial CO2. But of course, people like you want to cause skyrocketing electric bills instead, based on wacko fringe conjectures like your methane popgun fantasy.

    Note that China is building an average of two new coal fired power plants every week — and they publicly state that they will continue at that rapid pace through at least 2024. But of course, you turn a blind eye to China’s un-scrubbed CO2 emissions. And India’s. And Brazil’s. And Russia’s, etc., etc. Don’t think we don’t notice.

    Why the hypocrisy? You should be protesting in front of the Chinese embassy every day in your spare time, since China’s particulate pollution fills the atmosphere. But you don’t protest them, do you? Instead, you badmouth the cleanest country on Earth. What is wrong with you?

    The rest of your post is the usual alarmist nonsense, frightening yourself with scary fantasies. Time to grow up and join the mainstream. If you want something real to worry about, asteroid threats would be a good place to start.

  195. kim (17:10:33) :
    Red herring alert: Phil. is correct about the buffering but a drop of O.1 in human blood is quite easily compensated for. This whole issue depends upon how rapidly the ocean acidification is proceeding and it is pretty doggone slowly. Let’s see both sides of the question, Phil..

    So your pH drops and you get sick but as Kim points out it can be fixed by medication or otherwise treating the affected organ, how do you ‘compensate for it’ when it’s the whole ocean that’s affected?
    As regards speed, do you think it’s happening slow enough so that organisms can adapt?

  196. The methane produced by the decaying organic material in the permafrost might be enough to start the oceanic methane hydrates dissociating.

    At that point, bend over, assume the emergency position, and kiss all you hold dear goodbye.
    ———————————————-

    Leland; Dude – methane scaremongering is so last year, or the year before that, or the year before that even, and so on and so forth, but please feel free to assume the emergency position until you yourself become either “decaying organic material” or atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    Since the debate is over, and most people on here would agree with that, perhaps you could restrict your keyboard access to the time immediately before we are kissing all we hold dear goodbye.

    Please …. and good luck with that.

  197. Phil. 21:05:34

    Inadequate analogy, Phil. The human organism is, just as is the earth, capable of compensating for a change in pH, without recourse to medication or other treatment. More CO2 in the ocean will stimulate plant life in the ocean just as more CO2 in the air stimulates plant life on land.
    ===================================

  198. And what, may I ask, has a 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 done to human physiology? And what has it done to oceanic physiology?
    ======================================

  199. Phil. 21:05:34

    Sorry, I missed your last question, earlier. I believe hydrocarbons will be priced out of the energy market before our release of CO2 has anything but minor effect on the climate and the biosphere. Those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly formed to break merely for the energy contained within them. We need them for feedstock for plastic to house, clothe and feed the teeming billions, and to contain their stuff.
    ========================================

  200. Gad, I meant ‘transport’ instead of ‘feed’ in that last comment. Oh well, my slips are generally better than I meant, and some organisms consume plastic with alacrity.
    ================================================

  201. Hi Smokey and all-

    Well, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction was no fantasy. It took life many millions of years, tens of millions of years in some areas, to regain the the diversity that was shown before that event.

    The Paleocene – Eocene thermal maximum was another such apparent event, complete with the same C13 to C12 negative isotope ratio shift displayed in the Permian – Triassic mass extinction. This negative isotope ratio shift is fully consistent with the release of trillions of tons of isotopically light methane from the methane hydrates.

    The C13 to C12 isotope ratio signatures in the sediments and sea shells laid down during that apparent runaway methane catastrophe appear to confirm dissociation of the methane hydrates, during those catastrophes.

    One of the scientific papers supporting the clathrate gun hypothesis was featured on this blog. It was apparently posted out of ignorance of its implications, because it certainly doesn’t support the climate skeptic position:

    During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, the PETM, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present-day Earth.

    In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius — about 13 degrees Fahrenheit — in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.

    Many of the findings come from studies of core samples drilled from the deep seafloor over the past two decades. When oceanographers study these samples, they can see changes in the carbon cycle during the PETM.

    “You go along a core and everything’s the same, the same, the same, and then suddenly you pass this time line and the carbon chemistry is completely different,” Dickens said. “This has been documented time and again at sites all over the world.”

    Based on findings related to oceanic acidity levels during the PETM and on calculations about the cycling of carbon among the oceans, air, plants and soil, Dickens and co-authors Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California-Santa Cruz determined that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by about 70 percent during the PETM.

    That’s significant because it does not represent a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels are believed to have risen by about one-third, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. If present rates of fossil-fuel consumption continue, the doubling of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will occur sometime within the next century or two.

    Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is an oft-talked-about threshold, and today’s climate models include accepted values for the climate’s sensitivity to doubling. Using these accepted values and the PETM carbon data, the researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago.

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    The most obvious choice for the observed isotope ratio shift is a couple of trillion tons of isotopically light methane entering the atmosphere from dissociating methane hydrates. The authors of the paper were certainly aware of this.

    Concerning politics, well, there’s nothing patriotic about allowing the destabilization of the climate leading to a mass extinction.

    What’s patriotic about that?

  202. “Phil. (16:04:07) :

    Alexej Buergin (00:24:53) :
    Oceans have a pH of 7.9 to 8.2 (the numbers mentioned above are the mean). So there is no reason to worry about a variability of this order.

    And your blood has a pH of ~7.4, a drop of 0.1 would be quite a problem, basically uses a similar buffer system to the ocean.”

    Since you worry about the pH of my blood I do not have to do that myself. But how about fish?
    The preferred pH-level in a saltwater aquarium is between 7.6 and 8.4, but saltwater fish like it best around 8. Freshwater fish, not surprisingly, are much more diverse. There is a “Neon Tetra” who lives best in 5.8 to 6.2.
    Conclusion: If the pH of the oceans would fall (it does not, but if it does, it does so very slowly), saltwater fish would adapt.

  203. Phil. (21:05:34) :
    So your pH drops and you get sick but as Kim points out it can be fixed by medication or otherwise treating the affected organ, how do you ‘compensate for it’ when it’s the whole ocean that’s affected?
    As regards speed, do you think it’s happening slow enough so that organisms can adapt?

    I don’t know if you are familiar with this paper

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/48/18848.full

    It’s an 8 year study involving nearly 25,000 measurements of oceanic PH at an island in the Pacific just off the coast of Washington and though the authors do claim to show a stronger than predicted decline in ocean, their measurements also show daily ranges of a quarter of a point, annual ranges of a point or more, and a 1.5 point range for the length of the study. This would seem to indicate that oceanic species are already adapted to a fairly wide range of PH conditions. Though they observed that various species did better or worse in the changing PH conditions, they didn’t indicate that any had been obliterated.

  204. Leland Palmer (00:41:56) :

    .. the Permian-Triassic mass extinction was no fantasy. It took life many millions of years, tens of millions of years in some areas, to regain the the diversity that was shown before that event.
    … Concerning politics, well, there’s nothing patriotic about allowing the destabilization of the climate leading to a mass extinction.
    What’s patriotic about that?

    Dear Leland Palmer : You seem to have something wrong with your thinking processes. A fixation that somehow the burning of fossil fuels will lead to another Permian-Triassic mass extinction.

    Please rest assured that this is somewhat unlikely for the following reasons:

    1. In Earth’s early history large body impacts were almost certainly common since the solar system contained far more floating bodies than now. They have since been “vacuumed” out by Jupiter and Saturn, principally, and also by strikes on us and other planets and moons. These impacts included strikes by asteroids hundreds of kilometers in diameter. Although this heavy bombardment began to slacken about 4 billion years ago, permitting life to appear and evolve on Earth, some bombardment inevitably must have continued but with greater intervals and comparatively lesser explosions.
    Almost certainly one such impact removed the Dinosaurs from the Earth and very probably a much larger impact accounted for the Permian-Triassic extinction, which was much earlier in the Earth’s history.

    2. The AGW hypothesis has failed in its many predictions. A hypothesis that fails in its predictions needs to be rejected / revised.
    The predictions it failed in include: the warming from increased carbon dioxide emissions has been greatly overestimated, the current global cooling trend, despite rising CO2 levels, the absence of a tropical hot spot in the troposphere, which was supposed to be a signature of AGW, Antarctic cooling, ocean cooling and unchanged rates of sea level rise.

    3. Even the IPCC does not predict a Permian-Triassic extinction, as you seem to think might happen by the mere economic progress of humans.

    I suggest therefore that you desist from repeating these absurd claims, which due to their sheer repetition is very annoying, and get some counseling for your paranoia.

  205. Leland Palmer (00:41:56) :

    “Hi Smokey and all-

    Well, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction was no fantasy”

    The fantasy seems to have been saved up for the present era. Cherry-picking methane hydrate from other possible causes is a familiar scientific approach these days. Wik:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

    “There are several proposed mechanisms for the extinctions; the earlier peak was likely due to gradualistic environmental change, while the latter was probably due to a catastrophic event. Possible mechanisms for the latter include large or multiple bolide impact events, increased volcanism, or sudden release of methane hydrates from the sea floor”

    I was taught the middle one- asteroid impact. I think an asteroid impact would shake the methane hydrate loose too, wouldn’t you, and I suspect the creatures were pretty near all dead with the primary cause. These are the kind of catastrophes we should give some thought to instead of the AGW fantasies.

  206. Oh and Leland, an asteroid impact would also likely increase volcanic activity so all three can be tied together.

  207. Leland Palmer:

    “Concerning politics, well, there’s nothing patriotic about allowing the destabilization of the climate leading to a mass extinction. What’s patriotic about that?”

    The fact that you give China, Russia, the UN/IPCC, and everyone else a free pass, while blaming us for your perceived problems is unpatriotic.

    Since Kyoto was signed by just about every country except the U.S. and Australia:

    Emissions worldwide have increased 18.0%
    Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%
    Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%
    Emissions from the U.S. increased only 6.6%

    There is a reason you always attack the cleanest country on the planet, while giving a free pass to the worst polluters. And it isn’t because you’re patriotic.

  208. Hi Gary Pearse-

    Well, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction was no fantasy”

    The fantasy seems to have been saved up for the present era. Cherry-picking methane hydrate from other possible causes is a familiar scientific approach these days. Wik:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

    “There are several proposed mechanisms for the extinctions; the earlier peak was likely due to gradualistic environmental change, while the latter was probably due to a catastrophic event. Possible mechanisms for the latter include large or multiple bolide impact events, increased volcanism, or sudden release of methane hydrates from the sea floor”

    I was taught the middle one- asteroid impact. I think an asteroid impact would shake the methane hydrate loose too, wouldn’t you, and I suspect the creatures were pretty near all dead with the primary cause. These are the kind of catastrophes we should give some thought to instead of the AGW fantasies.

    Well, the Permian-Triassic mass extinction was no fantasy, and yes, many causes have been proposed for it.

    One thing that we do know, and this is hard scientific data, is that there were huge negative C12 to C13 ratio shifts in the fossil record at those times. It’s really hard to make the math add up, because to explain those shifts you need a huge input of “isotopically light” C13 depleted carbon to enter the climate system. It’s hard to explain this by volcanism, for example, because volcanic CO2 is only slightly depleted in C13, while the methane hydrates are much more depleted.

    The methane hydrates are one such reservoir of trillions of tons of C13 depleted carbon, and appear to be the only plausible explanation for such huge, rapid shifts in the isotope ratios.

    By some estimates, the amount of methane in the methane hydrates makes them the largest source of fossil carbon on the planet – bigger than all the other fossil fuels combined. More recent estimates are smaller, giving the methane hydrates as much carbon as coal.

    The alarming thing about the clathrate gun hypothesis is that it presents a plausible explanation for those isotope shifts, and presents the possibility that the earth’s climate system can undergo rapid shifts from one state to another given relatively small perturbations. In other words, the clathrate gun hypothesis presents the possibility that the climate system may be very sensitive to relatively small, geologically rapid increases in greenhouse gases.

    The fear is that the warming, and increases in greenhouse gases, will become self-sustaining.

    Modern Americans have little exposure to runaway positive feedback processes, I think. One example of such a process is lighting a fire. In a fire, heat produces combustible gases from the fuel, which produces more heat, which produces more combustible gases. Given the right conditions, such positive feedback loops can quickly run away. Given dry fuel, especially if the fuel consists of small particles, the fire can quickly burn out of control, burning until all fuel is exhausted. One extreme example of this are dust explosions, which can result from very rapid burning of very small particles, and which sometimes occur in grain silos and coal mines.

    The clathrate gun hypothesis presents the possibility that the true explanation for those previous mass extinction events was that a relatively small perturbation of some sort- volcanic activity, perhaps- set off a runaway positive feedback loop.

    There is a real, plausible scenario leading to this runaway positive feedback loop being set off by our continued combustion of fossil fuels. To some of us, it looks almost inevitable, given the fact that fossil fuels represent a huge, cheap source of stored solar energy. Plotted on a geological timescale, the appropriate timescale because natural carbon sequestration processes like mineral carbonation act very slowly, the greenhouse emissions from continued fossil fuel use are coming at us like a vertical wall moving a thousand miles an hour.

    On this blog, which apparently occupies an earth separate from all the rest of humanity, warming is not occurring, and all of the scientific data which shows warming is somehow due to errors. Scientists are badmouthed as greedy people, sponging off of the UN, making huge profits from following a fad.

    An intelligent species would react more to facts than to badmouthing:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jLv3LpI0fw21ULmgkJtinBFrwm7AD9A6OUF06

    WASHINGTON — The world’s oceans this summer are the warmest on record.

    The National Climatic Data Center, the government agency that keeps weather records, says the average global ocean temperature in July was 62.6 degrees. That’s the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880. The previous record was set in 1998.

    Meteorologists blame a combination of a natural El Nino weather pattern on top of worsening manmade global warming. The warmer water could add to the melting of sea ice and possibly strengthen some hurricanes.

    The result has meant lots of swimming at beaches in Maine with pleasant 72-degree water. Ocean temperatures reached 88 degrees as far north as Ocean City, Md., this week.

    The Gulf of Mexico, where warm water fuels hurricanes, has temperatures dancing around 90. Most of the water in the Northern Hemisphere has been considerably warmer than normal. The Mediterranean is about three degrees warmer than normal. Higher temperatures rule in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

    It’s most noticeable near the Arctic, where water temperatures are as much as 10 degrees above average.

    Breaking heat records in water is more ominous as a sign of global warming than breaking temperature marks on land. That’s because water takes longer to heat up and doesn’t cool off as easily, said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

    “This is another yet really important indicator of the change that’s occurring,” Weaver said.

    Oh, oh. Water temperatures, from bouys out in the middle of the ocean, not located next to air conditioners or any possible source of manmade interference, seem to be telling the readers of WUWT something they don’t want to hear.

    What creative skeptical strategies will be employed to badmouth these bouys?

  209. Hi Smokey-

    Since Kyoto was signed by just about every country except the U.S. and Australia:

    Emissions worldwide have increased 18.0%
    Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%
    Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%
    Emissions from the U.S. increased only 6.6%

    There is a reason you always attack the cleanest country on the planet, while giving a free pass to the worst polluters. And it isn’t because you’re patriotic.

    Well, as you know, Smokey, the U.S. started from a very high baseline of fossil fuel emissions at the start of that period.

    Historically, of course, we are by far the biggest contributors of fossil carbon to the climate system.

    We are also one of the richest countries on earth, and as the past technological leader have the most ability to do something significant about greenhouse gas emissions.

    I have attacked U.S. fossil fuel corporations and their disgraceful, socially irresponsible actions, in deliberately lying to us about global warming, when their own scientists were telling them that the link between global warming and fossil fuel use was incontrovertable. I have attacked them and will continue to do so. Their actions are disgraceful, and should be severely punished by huge civil lawsuits to recover some of the cost of fighting global warming from them, or as punitive damages, IMO.

    I have certainly criticized the Bush Administration, that fiddled and delayed and denied, until we arrived at our present state.

    It may in fact be too late to do anything about runaway global warming, and I do blame the Bush Administration and its fossil fuel backers for this.

    Back to the Arctic:

    05:07 August 22nd, 2009
    Climate change opens Arctic’s Northeast passage

    Posted by: Erik Kirschbaum

    Two German ships set off on Friday on the first commercial journey from Asia to western Europe via the Arctic through the fabled Northeast Passage – a trip made possible by climate change. Niels Stolberg, president and CEO of Bremen-based Beluga Shipping, said the Northern Sea Route will cut thousands of nautical miles off the ships’ journey from South Korea to the Netherlands, reducing fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gas. I had the chance to ask Stolberg a few questions about the Arctic expedition:

    Question: What’s the status of the voyage?
    Stolberg: MV “Beluga Fraternity” and the MV “Beluga Foresight” have just started to sail from Vladivostok (on Friday) with the destination Novyy Port at the river Ob.

    Question: When did they leave Vladivostok and when will they arrive in Europe?
    Stolberg: They’ve just left Vladivostok. They are scheduled to arrive in Novyy Port around September 6th. After discharging, they will proceed via Murmansk to Rotterdam. Estimated time of arrival is still to be confirmed and up to further voyage development.

    Question: How much time/fuel/money/CO2 will this northern route save?
    Stolberg: The amount of time, fuel, money or emission saved will be significant by transiting the Northeast Passage instead of sailing the traditional way through the Suez. From Ulsan via the Suez Canal to Rotterdam it would be a roughly 11,000 nautical mile journey whereas the short cut between Asia and Europe utilising the Northeast Passage is a 8,700 mile journey. The saved distance in detail always depends on the route, so the routes could be about 3,000 to 5,000 miles shorter. Savings of about three million euros by sending six vessels through the Northeast Passage per open time frame is realistic. Saving distance means saving bunker means saving money: That is the formula.

  210. As usual, Leland criticizes the ultra clean U.S., while defending the right of his Chinese cronies to pollute to their heart’s content. His posts are really all about politics and his Leftist agenda, not about science.

    At the same time, Leland drives his fossil fuel burning cars while lecturing the rest of us about how evil we are. That hypocrisy is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Anyone who truly believed that we’re on the road to perdition as a result of fossil fuel use would be a traitor to the human race if he continued emitting gas when he could be using a bicycle, or moving to within walking distance of work.

    I’d easily deconstruct Leland’s pathetic arguments as usual, but I’m, headed out of town for a day. Deconstruction awaits when I return, Leland. Can’t let your silly globaloney go unanswered. It wouldn’t be fair to the scientific method, to the public, or to the truth.

    You have 24 hours.

  211. Hi Smokey-

    Thank you for your honesty, if it is honesty, in your estimation of my character. I’m certain that I will take your criticisms of my character under advisement, taking into account the state of your own knowledge about me and your own possible motives for such criticism. Considering the nature of this debate, the extent of my own character flaws, or lack of them, seems somewhat irrelevant.

    Individual action on limiting greenhouse emissions will not stop climate change. We all need to do what we can, of course, but the numbers just don’t add up for individual lifestyle change to stop climate change.

    Only concerted political action and technological change, of the type that you and your fellow “climate skeptics” oppose can stop climate change at this point, IMO. And even that might not be enough.

    What I advocate is the use of carbon negative and carbon neutral technologies, to capture CO2 from the air, and put it back underground.

    This is relatively straightforward: combine biomass sources of fuel with carbon capture and sequestration, the so called “clean coal” technologies. This would transfer carbon from the biosphere, back underground, and so in effect transfer carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it underground.

    http://www.etsap.org/worksh_6_2003/2003P_read.pdf

    Check out figure 3, which shows the effectiveness of this strategy.

    If we don’t do this, I am very much afraid that the positive feedback loops we already see developing in the Arctic will send the climate into a methane catastrophe.

    We are witnessing thousands of years worth of normal climate variations, within individual human lifetimes.

    These rates of change are totally unsustainable, over any long timescale.

    How do you get out of a hole?

    Stop digging, and start filling in the hole.

    In other words, go to carbon neutral energy technologies like wind, solar, and biomass, but also go to carbon negative technologies like combining biomass and biochar with carbon sequestration.

    We will also have to do something about those methane plumes, rising up from the dissociating methane hydrates, if we can.

    It seems possible to collect at least some the methane, burn it by oxyfuel combustion with carbon capture and storage, and then deep inject the captured CO2 into basalt formations under the sea. The electricity generated this way could be transmitted to shore via underwater electrical cables, and the CO2 would end up in stable storage:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2464617&blobtype=pdf

    Developing a method for secure sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in geological formations is one of our most pressing global scientific problems. Injection into deep-sea basalt formations provides unique and significant advantages over other potential geological storage options, including (i) vast reservoir capacities sufficient to accommodate centuries-long U.S. production of fossil fuel CO2 at locations within pipeline distances to populated areas and CO2 sources along the U.S. west coast; (ii) sufficiently closed water-rock circulation pathways for the chemical reaction of CO2 with basalt to produce stable and nontoxic (Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe2+)CO3 infilling minerals, and (iii) significant risk
    reduction for post-injection leakage by geological, gravitational, and hydrate-trapping mechanisms. CO2 sequestration in established sediment-covered basalt aquifers on the Juan de Fuca plate offer promising locations to securely accommodate more than a century of future U.S. emissions, warranting energized scientific research, technological assessment, and economic evaluation to establish a viable pilot injection program in the future

    This is a huge task, and we need to get on with it, if we want to keep the oceans from acidifying due to the methane being oxidized into CO2, and also becoming anoxic because all the available free oxygen is used up.

    If it gets bad enough, the capacity of the oceans to capture this methane will be lost, and the methane will start escaping directly into the atmosphere, at ever increasing rates.

    If it gets that bad, it’s game over for us. No do-overs.

    If it gets that bad, we’ve shown ourselves to be an irresponsible, half-intelligent species, not worthy to be entrusted with a beautiful, self-regulating biosphere that gives us huge amounts of free goods and services for free, including clean air, clean water, and abundant carbon neutral sources of energy.

  212. Phil. (22:36:37) :

    …. but as I pointed out in a previous comment, since the satellites seem to rank age based on thickness alone, they don’t seem to be able to distinguish piled up first year ice from ice that has persisted for longer.

    .. And it is possible to distinguish between new and old ice by satellite they have different scattering signatures (QuickScat).

    I missed this response of yours, I hope you’ll forgive the tardiness of this reply since you also seem to have missed the previous comment I referred to, but everybody else seems to have also, so that’s understandable. Since I’ve posted something very similar a number of times and am growing weary of retyping it I’ll just do a copt and paste to save time

    Dave Wendt (21:09:23) :
    Pamela Gray (17:40:37) :
    By the way, I have said this before, but the ice up there is thicker than bees on honey! How do I know? Wind patterns shoved it together. In fact, if we were to measure the ice displacement before and after the melt season, I would bet the ranch that there was precious LITTLE melt this summer. The graph assumes the ice melted. I am thinkin a lot of it didn’t.

    A clear example of what you are talking about is revealed by these two sea ice thickness animations
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/quikscat/index.uk.php

    The first is a DMI animation showing the Arctic from Sept 2007 to June 2008, the second is a Nasa animation covering Sept 2008 to Feb 2009. What I find interesting is that the DMI sequence clearly shows the residual “multiyear ice” left after the 2007 summer minimum is either flushed from the Arctic or homogenized by the Beaufort Gyre until the final images from June 2008 show an almost total absence of “multiyear ice”, yet the NASA sequence commencing a mere three months later after the 2008 minimum shows the residual ice as being almost entirely “multiyear ice” with a goodly portion coded as more than 2 years old. I wasn’t able to locate a description of what satellite provided the data for the NASA graphic, but comparing some of the other images on the site from the period of the DMI graphic would seem to indicate that the two should be fairly comparable. Assuming that is correct, how do you get from ice that is almost entirely classed as first year in June to ice that is almost entirely classed as old ice three months later. This seems to me to indicate that much of what the satellites are classifying as old ice is just thick ice that may well be the result of drift driven stacking, not year to year persistence.

    The graphics I referred to seem to me to cast serious doubt on the ability of the satellites to distinguish reliably the age of polar ice, but I could be wrong, which wouldn’t be that unusual, since what from I’ve seen no one else’s speculations on this entire kerfuffle are any more “robust”.
    It all seems fairly irrelevant anyway, since as you’ve pointed out we’ve experienced quite an extended period of dramatically increased summer ice loss in the Arctic, and I don’t see any evidence of emerging deleterious effects as a result. That makes me tend to doubt, that even in the unlikely event that the trend continues to point where the remaining 20% of the ice also goes, the result will be necessarily catastrophic. In fact it seems reasonable to suggest, in one of the beautiful synchronicities our planet is capable of, that the increasing amounts of ice being flushed from the Arctic to melt at lower latitudes may be acting to counterbalance any warming trend in the larger climate.

  213. Interesting discussion, about the arctic ice animations.

    Why do you limit yourselves to such short time spans?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/apr/06/arctic-sea-ice-old-first-year

    It’s a lot easier to see the trend of declining ice thickness and old ice, when the animations are done over 30 years, for example, as in the above link.

    REPLY: Why do you limit yourself to criticisms of this blog done without first searching for what you accuse of?

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/31/arctic-sea-ice-time-lapse-from-1978-to-2009-using-nsidc-data/

    This video, the first of its kind, discussed here on May 31st 2009, using 30 years worth of data, was not even attempted by NSIDC using their own data.

    An apology would be in order I think, Mr. Palmer.

    – Anthony

  214. Apology? Whatever you like, Anthony.

    I sincerely apologize for not looking here on this blog first for information.

  215. I have to say, though, looking at the link I gave versus the one you gave, that I like the one I gave better.

    I think that the colors from the link I gave add information content to the video animation, and make it easier to see the old ice (colored red in the video) being moved out of the Arctic region, and not being replaced by ice of equivalent thickness.

    I guess the University of Colorado produced this one, with help from NASA.

    Is there a better one I don’t know about?

    Is there something wrong with this one?

  216. I would like to see side by side videos of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere for the same time frame. The N.H. has lost some sea ice, but the S.H. has gained more than the N.H. lost. Global sea ice is rising. That’s why the warmist crowd only points to N.H. sea ice.

    The implication by the warmist contingent is that sea ice extent/thickness is due to global warming. In fact, it is a function of wind. Really, how can a fraction of a degree change in temperature cause so much sea ice to melt? Only someone whose mind is closed to facts would believe that.

    It’s interesting to note that not one of the eco-alarms sounded by the warmist crowd have ever panned out. They are never right. Yet they continue to mendaciously cry “Wolf!!” at every opportunity.

    Their mass cognitive dissonance means they will continue to be wrong, and so they will continue to refer to completely natural climate variability as AGW.

  217. Hi Smokey-

    It’s a strange value system displayed on this blog, as I’ve said before, and a strange distribution of anger. There’s lots of anger toward scientists, toward change of any sort, and toward “warmists” or environmentalists, but none at all toward the fossil fuel companies that profited immensely from apparently destabilizing the climate.

    Many “warmists” by the way, do not consider themselves to be traditional environmentalists. It appears to many of us that massive intervention in the forests in order to fire-protect them from firestorms will be necessary, within just a few years, if we want to save them from burning, for example. Some of us also advocate massive use of carbon neutral biomass and biofuels, or even carbon negative biomass plus CO2 storage, to get us through this crisis, something that traditional environmentalists might oppose, because it would mean massive biomass plantations, and harvesting of biomass from existing forests while clearing them of undergrowth, cutting firebreaks through them, and fire-protecting them.

    About Antarctica, my understanding of things down there is that it is a sort of mixed bag. Increased warming in the southern hemisphere seems to be causing increased precipitation, but on the other hand, many of the glaciers appear to be speeding up. So the whole cycle of glacial creation and destruction appears to have sped up, down there.

    From wikipedia:

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

    If the transfer of the ice from the land to the sea is balanced by snow falling back on the land then there will be no net contribution to global sea levels. A 2002 analysis of NASA satellite data from 1979-1999 showed that areas of Antarctica where ice was increasing outnumbered areas of decreasing ice roughly 2:1. The general trend shows that a warming climate in the southern hemisphere would transport more moisture to Antarctica, causing the interior ice sheets to grow, while calving events along the coast will increase, causing these areas to shrink. However more recent satellite data, which measures changes in the gravity of the ice mass, suggests that the total amount of ice in Antarctica has begun decreasing in the past few years. Another recent study compared the ice leaving the ice sheet, by measuring the ice velocity and thickness along the coast, to the amount of snow accumulation over the continent. This found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet was in balance but the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was losing mass. This was largely due to acceleration of ice streams such as Pine Island Glacier. These results agree closely with the gravity changes.

    So the general trend appears to me to be increased precipitation caused by warming in the southern hemisphere, coupled with increased glacier velocity, especially in West Antarctica.

    Once again, it is hard for me to see how people on this blog can get much comfort from what appears to be an acceleration in the whole glacier generation and breakup process in Antarctica. To me, this general acceleration in glacial creation and destruction seems pretty ominous. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which which the increased precipitation from areas in the southern hemisphere gets overwhelmed by increased rates of glacial destruction, as time goes on. What’s going on in Antarctica seems fully consistent with global warming, by the way.

    Regarding the Arctic, which is after all what this thread is about, there appears to be some methane hydrate dissociation already occurring there:

    http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/nocs/news.php?action=display_news&idx=628

    The warming of an Arctic current over the last 30 years has triggered the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from methane hydrate stored in the sediment beneath the seabed.

    Scientists at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Birmingham, Royal Holloway London and IFM-Geomar in Germany have found that more than 250 plumes of bubbles of methane gas are rising from the seabed of the West Spitsbergen continental margin in the Arctic, in a depth range of 150 to 400 metres.

    Methane released from gas hydrate in submarine sediments has been identified in the past as an agent of climate change. The likelihood of methane being released in this way has been widely predicted.

    The data were collected from the royal research ship RRS James Clark Ross, as part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s International Polar Year Initiative. The bubble plumes were detected using sonar and then sampled with a water-bottle sampling system over a range of depths.

    The results indicate that the warming of the northward-flowing West Spitsbergen current by 1° over the last thirty years has caused the release of methane by breaking down methane hydrate in the sediment beneath the seabed.

    Professor Tim Minshull, Head of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science based at the National Oceanography Centre, says: “Our survey was designed to work out how much methane might be released by future ocean warming; we did not expect to discover such strong evidence that this process has already started.”

    Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance composed of water and methane which is stable in conditions of high pressure and low temperature. At present, methane hydrate is stable at water depths greater than 400 metres in the ocean off Spitsbergen. However, thirty years ago it was stable at water depths as shallow as 360 metres.

    This is the first time that such behaviour in response to climate change has been observed in the modern period.

    While most of the methane currently released from the seabed is dissolved in the seawater before it reaches the atmosphere, methane seeps are episodic and unpredictable and periods of more vigorous outflow of methane into the atmosphere are possible. Furthermore, methane dissolved in the seawater contributes to ocean acididfication.

    Graham Westbrook Professor of Geophysics at the University of Birmingham, warns: “If this process becomes widespread along Arctic continental margins, tens of megatonnes of methane per year – equivalent to 5-10% of the total amount released globally by natural sources, could be released into the ocean

    It looks like the dissolved methane will by oxidized by methanotroph bacteria into CO2, leading to increased acidification and ocean anoxia. Short term effects from the acidification and anoxia include loss of some of Alaska’s fishery productivity, most likely. If the oceans become anoxic enough, it may be that the methane will start escaping directly into the atmosphere, if it isn’t already.

    Long term effects include contributing to a self sustaining “runaway greenhouse” scenario, which once ignited could easily kill all life on earth, due to an extremely rapid release of methane from these hydrates. Past methane catastrophes have been slower, it appears, than one that could be ignited by our geologically instantaneous release of CO2 from fossil fuels.

  218. One thing I forgot to mention in the above thread:

    Environmentalists also oppose carbon capture and storage, generally.

    I don’t like the idea, either, but it’s a lot better than a planetary climate meltdown, IMO.

    The idea of transforming the coal fired power plants to Biomass/CCS carbon negative power plants is a win/win game for the coal fired power plants, and even for the coal industry, IMO.

    It allows a phased transition from coal plants to biomass/CCS plants, keeping those power plants in operation rather than shutting them down, and shifting coal workers to jobs in biomass/biochar plantations and forest fire-proofing while harvesting biomass from existing forests.

    Although I advocate seizing the coal fired power plants and forcing their conversion, because I don’t trust the coal industry to be either honest or cooperative, it would be possible to make this transition under market forces, or under a Cap and Trade system, for example, if the coal fired utilities would actually cooperate in becoming climate saviors instead of climate criminals.

    Any honest system of carbon credits would massively reward power plants that put carbon back into the ground, while generating cheap electricity at the same time.

  219. “Although I advocate seizing the coal fired power plants and forcing their conversion, because I don’t trust the coal industry to be either honest or cooperative, it would be possible to make this transition under market forces, or under a Cap and Trade system, for example, if the coal fired utilities would actually cooperate in becoming climate saviors instead of climate criminals.”

    Made yourself a blackshirt and an armband yet?

  220. Leland Palmer said:

    Although I advocate seizing the coal fired power plants and forcing their conversion, because I don’t trust the coal industry to be either honest or cooperative,

    And you trust the government?

    All the evidence I need that you’ve been visiting Mrs Palmer and her five daughters too much.

  221. Mr. Leland Palmer.

    Actually no.

    First as I pointed out in a letter to the Times of London which they published the Pine Island glacier, is being melted by volcanic activity beneath it as incidently are several other glaciers along the West Antartic volcanic range.

    We can do nothing about this, indeed since we have never observed it before we cannot predict what is going to happen except that if you have a volcano under a glacier then the geothermal energy released will tend to melt the glacier.

    But Mr Leland Palmer if you feel you can control volcanic activity with a mere wave of your hand pray do so.

    Likewise we know very little about the mass balance in the Antartic since the changes observed by satellite are within their margin of error by a considerable degree: so we can deduce nothing from them.

    We do know from more reliable surface measurement that the ice mass balance is increasing in Greenland. We do not know why.

    We also know that the lifetime of bulk CO2 in the atmosphere is about five years and that that which is not taken up by plants ends up dissolved in the oceans.

    We also know the mean level of CO2 in the global atmosphere is controlled by the temperature of the oceans and fossil fuel emissions cannot have affected the reported rise in this level over the last few decades by more than between one to two percent.

    And we also know the oceans are buffered by carbonates and so have an almost infinite capacity to adsorb CO2 without any change in their PH: that is alkalinity.

    In short human fossil fuel use is insignificant so why would you want to take the CO2 out of the air? Apart from the fact that nothing you or humanity can do to change CO2 levels in the atmosphere Increased levels of it are highly beneficial to agriculture and plant growth.

    As is global warming if it is actually happening, but at the moment our methods of measurement are so limited we cannot be sure that is the case.

    It is to be hoped that it is because of the great wealth it would create by opening up vast tracts of land now under permafrost: but it probably isn’t.

    But once again if you believe that with a wave of your hand you can control the levels of CO2 and the temperature of the planet pray do so.

    And please don’t go on about methane, it is quite stable thank you very much, please check the levels, and it is abundant and very useful as cheap fuel. Humans have no effect on the atmospheric levels despite all those farting cows, again it’s atmospheric level is controlled by natural forces on a scale we barely comprehend.

    Me I don’t believe in MAGICK.

    But I do believe in good science done by the scientific method.

    And not in Charlatans and Mountebanks who claim to have found the Philosopher’s stone and have some pseudo scientific quackery that is supposed to prove it to the credulous.

    Of which you must be one, because you say you are not a troll.

    I give you the benefit of the doubt, but if you want to learn about the real world and not about mystical shamans who wave their fetish sticks and incant their magic words that so impress you with their supposed power over Nature, and also collect your money from you for their arcane wisdom too, may I suggest you learn some basic science.

    Otherwise pray consult a Horoscope. You will find it much cheaper and probably rather better at predicting the future than the sources that you like to quote. Indeed you might find your horosope, or perhaps the Tarot cards, much more reassuring as well.

    Beause I assure you the END OF DAYS is not upon us, it never is. So please do not fret about it.

    And that, Mr. Leland Palmer, is all I am going to say so please don’t bother to address any posts to me. I will not reply.

    Kindest Regards

  222. Excellent post, a jones. And I see that I’m not the only one here who understands what Leland Palmer is: the 2009 equivalent of a 1930’s Brownshirt:

    “I advocate seizing the coal fired power plants and forcing… climate criminals…”, and blah, blah, etc., etc. Is krystallnacht next? I note again that Palmer gives his usual free pass to the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, etc. He saves his venom for the world’s cleanest country. I wonder why?

    Leland’s wacko methane doomsday conjecture is only being pushed by lunatics on the fringe, or by a few rent-seeking grant hogs hoping the methane popgun silliness gets legs so they can personally cash in. It is so far out of the mainstream it’s a joke.

    So the guy who refuses to give up his fossil fuel burning cars wants to forcibly confiscate the property legally held by others, based on his personal belief that they’re “carbon criminals.” Who needs laws? Leland has the answer: steal their property!

    [snip…..SSMMOOKEEYYY! ~ ctm]

  223. Does anyone have an online reference to an authentic plot for the absorption spectrum of carbon-dioxide gas in the atmosphere? There is a Wikipedia article on CO2 but it has no plots of actual absorption spectra.

    David Archibald’s exposition suggests that we are already seeing most of the greenhouse effect from this gas that we will ever get, no matter what the concentration.

    It seems reasonable to presume increasing concentrations of this gas can block no more than 100% of the radiant energy flowing back into outer-space at those absorption bands characteristic for CO2. (Neglecting minor band-edge widening effects)

    On the other hand, I believe the progressive thermal release of the vast amount of carbon-dioxide now trapped in the ocean will only stop after the ocean has been heated to the boiling point at every depth. We should not need to worry about that happening until the sun goes into its “end of days” expansion mode some billions of years from now.

  224. Yes, not quite clear what you mean except I do not expect the oceans to boil any time shortly.

    But as aforesaid the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are controlled by the temperature of the oceans: human activity has nothing to do with this, since the oceans can adsorb any amount of CO2 and then deposit it as carbonates.

    As they cleary have done in the past. The white cliffs of Dover anybody?

    As for any change in the radiative balance of the Earth with changing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere there is no very good data except that we know it to be very, very small. How small, compared say to the loss of hydrogen and helium to space, or geothermal energy, or possibly gremlins and stokers in the Infernal Regions, it is difficult to say.

    And what that means over centuries and millenia we do not know.

    Which is why you cannot find any useful data on the subject. There is not any. Only unfounded speculation, and much of that very wide of the mark.

    Kindest Regards.

  225. Hi a jones:

    First as I pointed out in a letter to the Times of London which they published the Pine Island glacier, is being melted by volcanic activity beneath it as incidently are several other glaciers along the West Antartic volcanic range.

    We can do nothing about this, indeed since we have never observed it before we cannot predict what is going to happen except that if you have a volcano under a glacier then the geothermal energy released will tend to melt the glacier.

    But Mr Leland Palmer if you feel you can control volcanic activity with a mere wave of your hand pray do so.

    Wow, the Pine Island glacier is pretty big, something like 50 km wide.

    Must be a big volcano.

    Interestingly enough, the Pine Island glacier was hypothesized to be the “weak underbelly” of West Antarctic ice sheets in 1981:

    Weak underbelly of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

    The Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers are two of Antarctica’s five largest ice streams. Scientists have found that the flow of these ice streams has accelerated in recent years, and suggested that if they were to melt, global sea levels would rise by 0.9–1.9 m (1–2 yards), destabilizing the entire West Antarctic ice sheet and perhaps sections of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.[10]

    In 1981 Terry Hughes proposed that the region around Pine Island Bay may be a “weak underbelly” of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.[11] This is based on the fact that, unlike the majority of the large West Antarctic ice streams, those flowing into the Amundsen Sea are not protected from the ocean by large floating ice shelves. Also, although the surface of the glacier is above sea level, the base lies below sea level and slopes downward inland, this suggests that there is no geological barrier to stop a retreat of the ice once it has started.[11]

    Funny, the coincidence in time.

    Just as you might expect an increase in the flow velocity of the Pine Island Glacier due to global warming, perhaps indirectly from warming of the ocean currents, or perhaps just changes in the ocean currents, this darn volcano just happens to cause an exponential increase in velocity of the “weak underbelly” of the Antarctic.

    Funny coincidence, huh?

    Wow, It’s really accelerating, isn’t it:

    Acceleration and thinning

    The speed of Pine Island Glacier increased by 73% from 1974 to the end of 2007, with an 8% increase over the last 16 months of this period alone. This speed up has meant that by the end of 2007 the Pine Island Glacier system had a negative mass balance of 46 gigatonnes per year,[6] which is equivalent to 0.13 mm per year global sea level rise.[12] In other words, much more water was being put into the sea by PIG than was being replaced by snowfall. Measurements along the center of the ice stream by GPS demonstrated that this acceleration is still high nearly 200 km inland, at around 4 % over 2007.[13]

    Lets hope this volcanic activity doesn’t get any worse! :)

    Funny, you might expect that this exponential increase in velocity might be due to undermining of the glacier by the sea, and the downward inland slope of the topography of the underlying ground, after a threshold has been passed by the sea.

    I’m really relieved that it’s just increased heat flow from a volcano.

    About your other talking points, well it’s 10 PM, and time for me to go to bed.

    We’ll see what can be done about those tomorrow. :)

  226. [snip – enough on fascism, we won’t have that discussion here, take a time out, other posters also – Anthony]

  227. I was only referring to the fact that some have claimed that past records seem to indicate that carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere appear to be an 800-year lagging response to similar changes in temperature. This is attributed to CO2 being forced out of the ocean because the solubility of that gas in sea-water is reduced by increasing temperature.

    Some have claimed that these records show minor external heating events have caused greatly magnified global warming cycles as a dangerous positive feed-back effect caused an ever increasing greenhouse effect as ever more carbon-dioxide was released from the ocean. This seems to be based on an unstated and unproved assumption that the greenhouse effect of carbon-dioxide continues to increase without limit as its concentration in the atmosphere increases.

    I am surprised that I cannot readily find good unbiased academic data online showing the exact effect of carbon-dioxide on the transmittance of the atmosphere. We should not be making important decisions by guess and by gosh.

    My impression is that carbon-dioxide prevents transmission at specific molecular mechanical resonant frequencies by converting photons to heat at these frequencies or their equivalent wavelengths.

    To me, it would seem reasonable to presume that there might be a law of diminishing carbon-dioxide greenhouse effect as the concentration of this gas reaches the level where CO2 absorption-frequency transmission through the atmosphere is completely blocked. According to David Archibald’s presentation, this would seem to be occurring at less than one third of our current CO2 concentration level, thus breaking the link for further dangerous greenhouse feedback.

  228. Hi a jones-

    We also know the mean level of CO2 in the global atmosphere is controlled by the temperature of the oceans and fossil fuel emissions cannot have affected the reported rise in this level over the last few decades by more than between one to two percent.

    Another funny coincidence in time, IMO.

    Just as our CO2 emissions are skyrocketing, that darn ocean just happens to release sufficient CO2 to increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations from something like 280 ppm to our present 380 ppm. Those darned oceans, also continue to increase CO2 concentrations by close to one percent per year, just as the Chinese are building a coal fired power plant per week, or so, and U.S. coal consumption is about a billion tons per year, and human caused emissions from around the world skyrocket.

    Overall, the industrial revolution has released about 300 billion tons of carbon from fossil fuels into the atmosphere.

    This sounds like a paid climate “skeptic” talking point, to me.

    Lots of funny coincidences in your post, a jones, IMO.

    Oceans instantly absorb CO2 from fossil fuels, according to your reasoning, then release sufficient naturally occurring CO2 to account for the observed rise in CO2 levels?

    Which incidentally absolves the fossil fuel companies of blame for the increase?

    How are the oceans supposed to be distinguishing between the CO2 from fossil fuels, and that from natural sources?

    It all sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn’t it?

  229. Hi again, a jones-
    About the Pine Island Glacier, the grounding line appears to be retreating:

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0423/2004GL021284/

    Based on the mapping of hinge-line positions using satellite radar interferometry [Rignot, 1998], the grounding line of PIG is known to have retreated between 1992 and 1996 at a rate of 1.2 ± 0.3 km yr−1 with an implied ice thinning rate of 3.5 ± 0.9 m yr−1. Satellite radar altimetry over the period 1992 to 1999 confirms this rate at the grounding line but shows that the thinning extends remarkably far (over 200 km) inland [Shepherd et al., 2001].

    What does this mean?

    It seems to be consistent with this scenario:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Glacier-ice_shelf_interactions.svg

    The grounding line is retreating, the surface of the glacier is becoming lower, the glacier is accelerating, just like glaciers do when their ice sheets are disrupted and they start melting. In this case, it might be faster than usual, because the topography slopes downward inland, and seawater or meltwater might be accumulating under the glacier, lubricating its flow.

    It all seems pretty predictable, and fully consistent with ocean warming due to global warming attacking the weak underbelly of the West Antarctic ice sheet, rather than with volcanic activity.

  230. All I can say is that increasing carbon-dioxide may not be responsible for progressive climate modification. There still remains the possibility and perhaps the likelihood that many new exotic components of modern industrial pollution might be increasing the greenhouse effect by blocking earth to space transmittance over many new frequencies.

    As it appears “The Big Guy” has stopped queuing sunspots since 2008, we may now have a unique opportunity to see the degree to which this unusually low solar activity really does affect climate change. Using the arctic (or Antarctic) ice extent as an indicator, we might expect to see evidence of a steady ice re-growth trend beginning in 2008. This may take several more years to become evident.

  231. Spector

    You are on the right track.

    The reason you cannot find the data you want on the supposed heating effects of CO2 in the atmosphere is that it does not exist.

    There is only unsupported supposition.

    If you intend to keep visiting this board, which is a pretty good source of impartial information, you would be well advised to avoid trolls.

    These creatures go around digging up outdated suppositions and then quoting them. The fact that we have over the last few years carefully observed the real world and discredited these suppositions does not discourage them.

    They prefer to believe in delusional fantasies which have nothing whatsoever to with fact. And they will attempt to convert you to their beliefs with endless pseudo scientific claptrap.

    The choice is yours.

    Me I prefer the facts of the real world.

    Kindest Regards.

  232. Spector:

    To me, it would seem reasonable to presume that there might be a law of diminishing carbon-dioxide greenhouse effect as the concentration of this gas reaches the level where CO2 absorption-frequency transmission through the atmosphere is completely blocked. According to David Archibald’s presentation, this would seem to be occurring at less than one third of our current CO2 concentration level, thus breaking the link for further dangerous greenhouse feedback.

    Your presumption is correct: click.

    There is absolutely nothing to worry about regarding increased CO2 levels, which are beneficial, and completely harmless.

Comments are closed.