NSIDC still pushing "ice-free Arctic summers"

This is the press release sent out by NSIDC today (sans image below). Instead of celebrating a two year recovery, they push the “ice free” theme started last year by Marc Serreze. There’s no joy in mudville apparently. My prediction for 2010 is a third year of increase in the September minimum to perhaps 5.7 to 5.9 million square kilometers. Readers should have a look again at how the experts did this year on short term forecasts. – Anthony

NOAA computer model output depicting the trend for the next 30 years

NOAA computer model output depicting the trend for the next 30 years

Image source: NOAA News

Arctic sea ice reaches minimum extent for 2009, third lowest ever recorded

CU-Boulder’s Snow and Ice Data Center analysis shows negative summertime ice trend continues

The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the third-lowest recorded since satellites began measuring sea ice extent in 1979, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center.

While this year’s September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, said NSIDC Research Scientist Walt Meier. Most scientists believe the shrinking Arctic sea ice is tied to warming temperatures caused by an increase in human-produced greenhouse gases being pumped into Earth’s atmosphere.

Atmospheric circulation patterns helped the Arctic sea ice spread out in August to prevent another record-setting minimum, said Meier. But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.

The minimum 2009 sea-ice extent is still about 620,000 square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 — an area nearly equal to the size of Alaska, said Meier. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.

CU-Boulder’s NSIDC will provide more detailed information in early October with a full analysis of the 2009 Arctic ice conditions, including aspects of the melt season and conditions heading into the winter ice-growth season. The report will include graphics comparing 2009 to the long-term Arctic sea-ice record.

###

NSIDC is part of CU-Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and is funded primarily by NASA.

For more information visit http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/, contact NSIDC’s Katherine Leitzell at 303-492-1497 or leitzell@nsidc.org or Jim Scott in the CU-Boulder news office at 303-492-3114 or jim.scott@colorado.edu.

247 thoughts on “NSIDC still pushing "ice-free Arctic summers"

  1. “ice-free Arctic summers”
    The interesting thing would be if it happened for natural reasons. (I’m certainly not trying to suggest current models have a handle on natural climate variation.)

  2. Anthony,
    I too am trying to work out my prediction for minimum sea-ice extent in 2010. Would you mind disclosing how you arrived at 5.7 to 5.9 million square kilometers for 2010?
    thanks
    REPLY: By simply applying the oldest forecasting technique – persistence, combined with a knowledge now that we have more multi-year ice than last year. – Anthony

  3. All things being equal, surly they have also extrapolated the antarctic sea ice trends… showing irrefutably that the SH is going to be an ice cube and the NH is going to be a sauna. So im thinking o importing polar bears and starting up the first polar bear farm in the SH! Surly this will be a wise investment. Trends are forever after all;-)

  4. “third lowest” I could have predicted they would say that. I’m sick of it. what a bunch of blowhards.

  5. “…….. it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability……..”
    Outside the range of natural climate variability??? How the hell can they make a statement like that!?
    There is no science anymore… just politics.

  6. J.Hansford (18:34:30) :
    Outside the range of natural climate variability??? How the hell can they make a statement like that!?
    Thanks, this stuff isn’t my ken so I was wondering about that. Do you understand him to be inferring that the range of natural climate variability is represented by the satellite records?
    Oh, and also that those records represent a long term average?

  7. “Atmospheric circulation patterns helped the Arctic sea ice spread out in August to prevent another record-setting minimum, said Meier. But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.”
    What Dr Meier conveniently forget to say is that the same atmospheric circulation was responsible for the 2007 minimum…

  8. The real story –
    After record breaking ice growth in the fall of 2008 and ice extent a near normal levels last March, the central argument advanced by NSIDC and many other ice scientists was that the ice was younger and thinner and would not survive.
    They were wrong.
    The ice did not behave in any way remotely close to what the scientists and agencies predicted. And the predictions last June for SEARCH underscore this point. Only one group predicted a value above 5 million sq km (5.2 million) – and they stated in their discussion that they were being intentionally contrary.
    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2009_outlook/report_july.php
    So the real question is –
    “To what extent did expectations and/or biases affect the views of these scientists?”
    I have argued for some time now that most AGW scientists – especially in the field of Arctic ice – have allowed their views to inform their science. There is only 30 years of satellite data for the Arctic – hardly a comprehensive record for studying conditions that take decades and centuries to play out. Why have so few of these scientists at least postulated that the 2007 event was an outlier?
    The past two years of ice behavior suggest that 2007 may have, indeed, been an outlier. An outlier on a upwardly sloped line – but not definitive. As a “lukewarmer” I do not argue that there has been warming and that it has had Arctic impacts, but the “Death Spiral” statements of agency heads goes far beyond the scientific method.

  9. They only have 30 years of Satellite data so it’s the third lowest in 30 years. When one of these government paid scientists such as Walt Miers finally gets the open mind and courage to test a few model runs that just might match a cooling orb that scientist is going to be very very famous. We will just have to wait and see.

  10. This is the greatest danger posed by the Global Warming crowd, to wit:
    Obviously, something odd happened in the Arctic over the past 2 or 3 years and, obviously, CO2 had little (if anything) to do with it. Was it natural variability? Was it particulates from China? We don’t know.
    But as long as the Alarmists refuse to deviate from their mantra of “evil American capitalist CO2” as being the cause, we may never know what really happened and therefore what to make of it next time.

  11. Jim Watson,
    Of course we may never know. If it wasn’t blamable on mankind, then there is no real reason for massive government tax and cap, but on natural variations which cannot be taxed because clouds cannot be held liable in court.

  12. Changes in southern hemisphere sea ice: click. Can you see the difference? I can’t.
    Another global point of view: click.[Notice the top chart: global sea ice. Global is what matters.]
    As J. Hansford says above, it’s all politics. Everything we see today is well within the bounds of natural climate variability: click
    Now that that’s settled, remember that September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! [Evan Jones’ favorite holiday].
    In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, allow me to shout out a pirate phrase:
    R!” [<–click]
    .
    [the full version w/lyrics]
    .
    Stan Rogers, RIP

  13. The key factor, one well known to Mr. Meier, is that the “long term average” is not long term, at all. It’s short term, barely 30 years, a micromicrosecond in the history of the earth. Calling it “long term” is deceptive.
    “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.
    Mr. Meier’s statement is like taking a car driving west at 60 miles an hour in Albuquerque, and saying “We’re still seeing an east-bound vehicle that appears to be heading for St. Louis,” just because the car was once in Tucumcari.

  14. > mantra of “evil American capitalist CO2” as being the cause
    The GOSAT images posted here a few days ago show Asia (mainly China) and Africa as the primary CO2 “hot-spots”. Of course, it will not matter to the True Believers.

  15. When I read the NSIDC report on 8 September, it struck me that it was far more balanced and scientific than previous reports. It would seem that someone else must have spotted this, so the 17 September report seems to have gone back to being less scientific, and more warmaholic propoganda.

  16. My money is on the meteorologist as opposed to the GCMologist.
    That’s means I’m going with your forecast, Mr. Anthony Watts.

  17. It will be interesting to see in the coming years what the reaction will be to the data collected if it continues to go against what the AGW people believe should be happening. They can only spin it so long and have any credibility. If in fact the ice starts building again then let them try to refute it. The more they try, the more foolish they will appear. We need to have faith in the American people. Thirty years ago we would not have had a chance. There was only one source of media and people just believed what they were told. Today there are sources for both sides of issues. The biggest problem we still have is politics. Once it becomes a political issue then all objectivity goes out the window and we have to live with what the government decides whether it is right or wrong. That is why it is so important that we keep our representatives informed of our side of the argument and demand accountability. DON’T GIVE UP !!!!!!

  18. Sept. 17, 2010
    “Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year or third year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region,”
    “…the fourth-lowest recorded since satellites…”
    Sept. 17, 2111
    blah, blah, blah

  19. No. It is how they shift all the time. They really do make it up as they go along.
    Nobody doubts, well certainly not me, that ice thickness in the Arctic has been declining over the last thirty years.
    Quite likely it does every so often and grows back again: who knows?
    There are no reliable records to tell us. But we do have reliable records of ice extent.
    Yet suddenly we were told that the ice extent had retreated and this was evidence of AGW. Well we do have records that show it has retreated and expanded before over decades for hundreds of years.
    Now the retreat at peak summer melt has stopped we are told that the volume of ice is still shrinking, although how that is known baffles me. The only measurements we have apart from buoys and a flypast is a totally unreliable satellite survey whose error, even excepting its instrument failure, is far larger than the precision of its measurement.
    Nevertheless we are told that since it is only two year old ice it is vulnerable to melting next year: but they said the same last year it only back then it was one year old ice.
    What is it going to be next year? only three year old ice?
    And how they tell the difference bemuses me, more or less sea ice is sea ice as it were. It is not ice built up on land over decades and centuries where you can see the compression and perhaps deduce the age.
    If the theory don’t fit the facts well change the theory says I.
    And stop trying to make the observations fit the theory with cynical refinements.
    Too much to hope for.
    Kindest Regards

  20. As I have pointed out in previous posts, the NSIDC were pushing scare stories in the MSM about a “record low” ice extent for 2009 a mere month and a half ago! And when it didn’t come true, they (particularly Mark “the arctic is screaming” Serreze) did everything they could to spin the truth, culminating in this press release today. It is clear to me that it is no longer about science with these people, but about funding dollars and politics…truly pathetic!

  21. Interesting Mr. Watts that you should predict a 3rd year of growth in ice extent. In the modern records this would be rather unique. If it did happen it would probably lend credence to the argument that 2007 was an anomalous year, way below what would normally happen.
    REPLY: I thought about that when I weighed my thoughts. In the short sat record, we see several instances where we’ve had two years of upticks, followed by a down year. I see some momentum here and believe that 2007 was indeed anomalous. Further I think wind patterns have more to do with sea ice loss than anything else. There’s a lot of focus on temperature being the driver, but as we’ve seen from the DMI animation that while there have been some changes in winter temps, they remain well below freezing and summer temps have not made any significant divergences from the 30 year average. My prediction is certainly a risk, but I’ve done so before, live and on-air in making some bold forecasts that no others have done. In that framework, and weighing some other factors, this seems like a forecast worth taking a risk on. – Anthony

  22. a jones (19:54:35) : Instead of if the theory doesn’t fit the facts change the theory, it’s now if the facts don’t fit the model the facts are wrong not the model.
    The lack of prognostication ability seems to be pandemic. Sunspots predicted to rise haven’t so we don’t understand the sun as well as some think they do. Temps predicted to rise are not, sealevel rise slowing or flat, hurricanes predicted to increase in number or intensity haven’t, and arctic sea ice predicted to catastrophically fall hasn’t. What are the odds that all of these symptoms of AGW would not track the predictions at the same time?

  23. COI is showing a nice slide down into freezing temperatures (about 14F as of today), arctic roos is showing more than a half million sk more this year than last and NSIDC can still talk about an ice-free arctic? Of course, maybe I’, the one that’s disconnected from reality and can’t see things as they really are…

  24. Regulars here will remember that Dr. Meier has posted here and been receptive to our questions and concerns. I’d really like to hear from him now. Can’t be that much fun working for Serreze….

  25. “ice-free Arctic summers”
    Well, you wouldn’t want the wine to freeze, so it should be ice-free year-round. So the NSIDC can move on to other things now that it’s happened.

  26. So if 2007 was a bottom, would it not make since that 2009 was one of the lowest?
    Will they have hysteria next year, when it is the 4th lowest?

  27. “While this year’s September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, said NSIDC Research Scientist Walt Meier.”
    How can this Walt Meier make such an audacious claim? Isn’t an ice-free north pole in fact part of “natural climate variability”? Doesn’t this guy know anything about geologic history and time scales? Why didn’t he mention that the extent is returning to the mean? And the very next sentence links it all to CO2. Is this guy a “scientist” or a PR guy reading from a politician-supplied script? What an embarrassment!

  28. Is there any actual science on how the ice acts as an insulator for the water? Much of the AGW hype focuses on a feedback loop where open water absorbs more energy from the sun and further promotes ice melting.
    However, I wonder if the opposite is in fact true, that open water allows for heat loss – on a regional scale – and that the ice cap actually acts as an insulator to keep the water warm.
    It seems like some of the buoy data might reveal some sort of longer term relationship between ice cover and water temperature.

  29. I think it is clear that 1st year ice doesn’t stand up as well as mature ice. August 15-September 15 2008 proved that to my satisfaction. Tho it is also clear that the ice scientists overestimated that factor, and still are. It appears to me that 2nd year ice stood up much better. I would expect third year ice to perhaps gain a bit on that as well. We’ll see.
    I am awaiting eagerly my honorary doctorate in artic ice science to be awarded by Real Climate any moment now. I predicted 5.1M km2 on their thread in July when the 15 other degreed experts all picked no higher than 5.0M (and many much lower). NSIDC has called the low at 5.1M now. So, having displayed my superiority and hit it right on the button when all the other experts were low, I’m sure the certificate of my doctorate, suitable for framing, must be on the way by now.

  30. I’m more a believer in Arctic Sea Ice “flush” rather than “melt”. While some melting does occur, I think it’s pretty clear that wind and currents “flush” a larger percentage of the “lost ice” out the Atlantic side where it melts in more open waters.
    I’m sticking with the prediction I made a few days ago here of between 6.0 and 6.3 million sqkm for the 2010 Arctic Sea Ice minimum.
    Not entirely a WAG.
    For most of the record, the PDO and other major ocean occillations were positive and wind and ocean currents favored breaking up the ice in the summer. For now that has changed.
    So, I’m betting on a larger maximum this winter due to a colder winter and a smaller “melt” during the summer because there’s more ice (and it’s thicker), augmented by negative major oceanic occillations resulting in reduced “flushing” out the Atlantic side due to ice buildup in the channels that will cause more ice to pile up.

  31. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.
    I thought you were a better man than this Walt.

  32. I reckon that the Catlin Expedition should fire up again and go back too repeat their “research” from last year, especially now that’s there so much more ice to measure…

  33. “But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.”
    So according to Dr. Meier, second-year ice is not multi year ice. In 2010 if Anthony’s predicition of a higher minimum than 2009 is realized, will third-year ice not count as multi-year ice? Perhaps it will be “…thin first- or second- or third-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice…”

  34. BarryW (20:34:29) :
    Temps predicted to rise are not, sealevel rise slowing or flat, hurricanes predicted to increase in number or intensity haven’t, and arctic sea ice predicted to catastrophically fall hasn’t.
    Nail => => Head

  35. Anthony, is NSIDC taking the Arctic Oscillation into account? Google for example piece from ScienceDaily 29 December 2004, title ‘Winds, Ice Motion Root Cause In Decline Of Sea Ice, Not Warmer Temperatures’.

    REPLY:
    we’ve covered the topic here several times. – A

  36. I don’t see how wind patterns would “spread out” the ice, leading to less melt but also thinner ice. This does not make physical sense. I followed wind patterns every day through out this melt season. If anything, the ice was compacted and thus thickened, not spread out. I am keenly interested in the ice thickness measures that should start here soon. Remember, the buoys that measure ice thickness don’t do this kind of measure during the melt season. I am predicting that the ice thickness will be surprisingly (for some but not for me) similar to multi-year ice thickness.

  37. “well outside the range of natural climate variability”
    [snip] Natural climate variability has had a very great range throughout history and they know it.

  38. What about a prediction for the upcoming maximum extent? If I am looking at the data correctly, the 2007 max was the greatest since 2002 and 2008 ws only a small decrease. I say we hit 14.5 million km2 again next year.

  39. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.
    Walt Meier,
    At what point in time in the data did you start with to base your prediction on? It appears from 1979, when satellites ‘began measuring sea ice extent’ (actually began before that).
    Would you be able to come to the same conclusion if you started at 1000 A.D.? Or 300 B.C. ? Or 2007? (I wish we had satellite data going back to 1000 A.D.)
    It all depends on perspective. You can make the glass half full. Or, you can make it half empty. Which do you think is the more ethical half to side with?
    ———–
    Global warming seems to be a Rorschach Test. People’s view of global warming reveals more about them than they realize.
    ———–
    Rorschach Inkblot Test, for those that don’t know what it is :
    http://www.rorschachinkblottest.com/inktest.php

  40. Ben (23:15:13) : The debate deniers at the BBC have described this 23% increase in Arctic summer ice compared with 2007 as a “pause”.
    If trends continue as they are in a couple of years I will describe it as “blowing up in their face”.

  41. “square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 —”
    However it is very comfortably above the average between 979 and 1000 AD.
    Following a linear trend and meteorology/climatology have no intersection, there are no linear trends in sciences built on loops and feedbacks. Unfortunately I find this so obvious that I find it difficult to explain and prove.

  42. I posted this comment yesterday, but it didn’t seem to get much notice so I will try again. I really think the paper and accompanying animation provide the most reasonable and sensible discussion of the what and why of Arctic sea ice over the last couple of decades I’ve ever encountered. The most compelling insight is that the seed of the minimum of 2007 was planted in 1989 by profound changes in the Beaufort gyre and the Trans Polar Drift which caused the percent of old ice to decline from 80% to 30% in a little over a year. Everything that has developed in the Arctic since then has been dominated by those changes. I include my entire comment below because I’m quite tired and I ain’t up to an edit.
    Anthony;
    I was just revisiting the website of the International Arctic Buoy Programme, which I came across some time ago but hadn’t been back to since an equipment problem wiped out most of my bookmarks file a couple of months ago. In browsing around I came across this paper
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/research_seaiceageextent.html
    which is from 2004, but includes this updated animation thru 2007
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/animations/Rigor&Wallace2004_AgeOfIce1979to2007.mpg. The description of the animation includes the following
    This animation of the age of sea ice shows:
    1.) A large Beaufort Gyre which covers most of the Arctic Ocean during the 1980s, and a transpolar drift stream shifted towards the Eurasian Arctic. Older, thicker sea ice (white ice) covers about 80% of the Arctic Ocean up to 1988. The date is shown in the upper left corner.
    2.) With the step to high-AO conditions in 1989, the Beaufort Gyre shrinks and is confined to the corner between Alaska and Canada. The Transpolar Drift Stream now sweeps across most of the Arctic Ocean, carrying most of the older, thicker sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait (lower right). By 1990, only about 30% of the Arctic Ocean is covered by older thicker sea ice.
    3.) During the high-AO years that follow (1991 and on), this younger thinner sea ice is shown to recirculated back to the Alaskan coast where extensive open water has been observed during summer.
    The age of sea ice drifting towards the coast explains over 50% of the variance in summer sea ice extent (compared to less than 15% of the variance explained by the seasonal redistribution of sea ice, and advection of heat by summer winds).
    I generally don’t like to jump to wild conclusions, but to me this appears to be almost “smoking gun” evidence that the dramatic decline in summer ice in the Arctic is unrelated to temperature trends. I don’t recall coming upon any references to this elsewhere and it is not featured prominently on the IABP site, so I wonder if you might consider doing a post on it here. I really think it deserves wider circulation.
    REPLY: I’ll give it a look – Anthony

  43. Gene: there was a paper recently showing from proxies that the Arctic ice was on the rise for the last 2000 years and then started decreasing in the beginning of the 20th century.

  44. BTW, in regard to the paper I linked in the above post, I would note that it was originally published more than five years ago and though there doesn’t seem to be a direct operational link between NSIDC and IABP, I would find it hard to imagine that Serreze et al are unaware of it. To me this makes it hard to put any but the most negative possible construction on their persistent efforts to blame declining sea ice on CO2 and AGW, unless they have magically discovered a link between CO2 and the state of the Beaufort Gyre that I haven’t heard about.

  45. But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.
    September 2010, press release:
    But most of the 2010 September Arctic sea ice is thin second- or third-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961:
    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

  46. A quick question for somebody if anyone feels like doing the math.
    At the moment the amount of ice left at the end of each Arctic summer year on year is increasing rather than decreasing. At the current rate of increase, how long will it be before the amount of summer ice exceeds the 1979-2000 mean?

  47. “While the ice extent this year is higher than the last two years, scientists do not consider this to be a recovery. Despite conditions less favorable to ice loss, the 2009 minimum extent is still 24% below the 1979-2000 average, and 20% below the thirty-year 1979-2008 average minimum. In addition, the Arctic is still dominated by younger, thinner ice, which is more vulnerable to seasonal melt. The long-term decline in summer extent is expected to continue in future years.”
    How can this be considered a valid analysis of the facts?
    “scientists do not consider this to be a recovery”
    What scientists? NSIDC ones? all of them? WHO? What would constitute a recovery? a mile of Ice over Manhattan?
    Up nearly 20% off the lows of 2007 (which they seem to think is a noteworthy number when looking from the other direction) what a bunch of biased nonsense the text and language could have been lifted from any “Green” group website written by a volunteer.
    I expect more from a group of scientists, like some objectivity, a framing of the analysis as to what they are looking for to determine a recovery or loss and perhaps a comparison from their projections?
    Finally the Canadian Ice Service seems to be a much more reliable source for Ice Conditions and actual extents and thickness. I will not be referencing NSIDC any longer because they are obviously compromised from within politically.

  48. But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.
    We have heard nothing about the effect of the wind on the extent of the ice melt.
    The ice circulates within the Arctic. If the wind direction favours the Iceland/Norway gap then ice loss will be greater.
    The NSIDC also fails to mention the open water at the north pole in 1959,62,67.

  49. What we have here is “a failure to communicate”. You guys just don’t understand “AGW Speak”! Let me translate:
    “…the third-lowest recorded since satellites began measuring sea ice extent in 1979….” means “The arctic sea ice is rebuilding like a house afire!”
    When you see an announcement that “Global average temperature was the 95th highest in 100 years”, you may assume we have entered a second “Little Ice Age”.
    Gotta’ bend your mind just a bit to understand “AGW Speak”.
    I just noticed my California State taxes are the tenth lowest in the last ten years! Any lower and I may just have to get out of here!
    CH

  50. I disagree that multi year ice is stronger than one year ice. 1 year ice may even be stronger. If a lake freezes up in a couple of days and it is 20cm thick and it is from one laye you have a nice solid peace. If you have periods of melting and re freezing you probally have the same 20cm but know it excist with 3layers. and one of the layers can break in a instant wich makes it weaker.

  51. “September minimum extent …is still …well outside the range of natural climate variability.” (620.000 square miles)
    this natural variability added about 1.000.000 square miles in the last two years alone, so this statement is complete rubbish.

  52. jeroen (00:50:00) :
    “I disagree that multi year ice is stronger than one year ice. 1 year ice may even be stronger.”
    I agree. I was many times told at school, army etc. that new solid ice is much stronger than weak spring ice which can break easily although being thick. Per cm new ice is much stronger.
    So does refreezing of old sea ice make it somehow stronger than solid new ice?
    I’ve also read that sea ice don’t get any thicker after three years. So after that it doesn’t matter if its 3 or 1000 years old.

  53. what are the effects of snow(depth) on the ice growth dynamics
    since snow slows down thickning of the ice (in september), but also slows down melt (april)
    i can imagine cold(er) temps in september/october and little precipitation followed by massive snowfall would have a positive effect aswell?
    the same goes for glaciers, this year in the alps got 2 major snowdumps during the summer. It protected the ice and slowed down the melt.

  54. The Norwegian Prof. Ole Humlum’s site “Climate4you” is one of the best sites I have come across for information on northern hemisphere weather and climate both in the scientific sense and in the historical sense.
    The section on Climate and History has a large amount of information on how the Arctic ice has varied over the decades and centuries and the history of a number of ships that have made the trip across the Arctic ocean.
    The decades through the 20th century are particularly revealing as Prof. Prof. Humlum has used the reports and the the media of the times to trace the history of travel and ship movements in the Arctic.
    For instance, few people would know that the German auxiliary cruiser , the Komet traversed the North East passage with the help of a Russian ice breaker in 1940 / 41 to go raiding in the Pacific.
    Or the warming of the Arctic around Spitzbergen in 1922 or the sinking of the MV Hedtoft with the loss of all 95 of her passengers and crew on her maiden voyage in 1959 when she was hit by a severe storm south of Greenland as the ice spread southward after a warm period in Greenland from 1925 to 1947.
    Much of the historical information Prof. Humlum has placed on his site gives the lie to the current fashionable attitude that the Arctic had a non changing and stable ice situation until mankind came along with his CO2 and warmed things up somewhat.
    He has documented large changes over many decades and centuries.
    and most of all, he has documented all of this from a north European perspective.
    With apologies to our American friends, he has done a service in this in that we can see another climate viewpoint rather than just the American perspective which is all we seem to ever get.
    There is an enormous amount of historical and technical information in Prof. Humlum’s site in an easily readable form and many hours can be spent going through his site.
    Ole Humlum’s biography; Professor of Physical Geography at the Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, since 2003.
    Adjunct Professor of Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), since 2003.
    Web site ; Climate4you; http://www.climate4you.com/

  55. What a sad, sad, statement. Look at it.
    “”The minimum 2009 sea-ice extent is still about 620,000 square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 — an area nearly equal to the size of Alaska, said Meier. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.”
    An arbitrary 21 years of satellite surveillance is held up as the paradigm by which humans measure and judge millions of years of Arctic ice cover. Mr Meier seems to be counting numbers in the same style as a one time acquaintance I knew, who had married an unfaithful wife. She slept with 20 other men in the first year, 27 in the second year, 31 in the third, but only 18 in the fourth year and then 12 in the fifth year.
    To cheer him up, I said that in the approaching sixth year, she’d probably be unfaithful only 4-5 times, but he had somehow become convinced that she was heading towards more infidelity, not less. My prediction for the sixth year was uncannily accurate. The figure was 4, but the cuckold killed himself at the beginning of the seventh year, as it seemed that his wife had reduced her wayward behaviour to zero. She wanted a divorce in order to marry a real man.
    So it is in Boulder. NSIDC is going to have to divorce itself from the AGWarmists in its ranks as Global Cooling continues and desperately hope its paymasters do not question whether NSDIC is value for money. After all, is it really sensible to employ staff who read graphs upside down? Underlying downward trend! Huh! That’s political speak, not science.
    The presence or absence of Arctic ice is as natural as is the inevitable and forthcoming extinction of the human race, especially if the US aids our self destruction with statements about CO2 being a pollutant. That’s barmy!!
    Flanagan (23:34:59) :
    References please, not hearsay.

  56. ” Ben (23:15:13) :
    I’d like to coin a new term – “Debate Deniers”
    The debate deniers at the BBC have described this 23% increase in Arctic summer ice compared with 2007 as a “pause”.
    …Yes, amazing isn’t it? On the same page as reporting the Arctic is expanding and that temperatures have fallen two or three degrees in two years, they are also declaring that ” The UK ‘must plan’ for warmer future” and “Climate scenarios ‘being realised” and “Changes ‘amplify Arctic warming”.

  57. The NSIDC seem reluctant to accept the concept of natural cycles of cooling and warming. The start of Satellite measuring in 1979 coincided with peak ice, which is why they always speak of subsequent decline;
    Link 1
    http://geology.com/articles/northwest-passage.shtml
    Ice extent maximum- Depends if you are talking winter or summer but ‘decline’ starts around 1979 from a high point.
    Link 2 This also shows the same;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg
    link 3
    The IPCC report confirms this p351/2 figures 4.8 4.9 4.10
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter4.pdf
    Link 4
    The concerns over global cooling in the 70’s did have some basis in fact. There were a series of low temperatures in many arctic areas during the 70’s which ice would have corresponded to by growing.
    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/Arctic.htm
    As the IPCC show, the start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice-so it is not at all surprising that as part of its natural cycle it should subsequently decline.
    link 5
    The IPCC are not very good at their historic reconstructions and generally view actual observations as ‘anecdotal.’ They seem to believe that history did not start before 1979.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#comments
    This article examines the arctic melting in the period 1810-1860 -see notes at bottom of article with additional references.
    Link 6
    These are two good studies showing the arctic melting from the 1920’s to 1940’s posted elsewhere;
    “I will cite two of these studies, which show (a) a warm period during the 1930s and 1940s with temperatures as high as those of today and (b) reduced sea ice extent during this period, which only later returned to the high levels measured at the start of the latest retreating cycle in 1979 (when satellite measurements started), i.e. your point.
    ftp://ftp.whoi.edu/pub/users/mtimmermans/ArcticSymposiumTalks/Smolyanitsky.pdf
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html
    link 7 The melting in the period 1920-1940 is very well documented. I have posted various articles on it including newspaper stories.
    Expeditions to the arctic to view the melting ice became the equivalent of todays celebrity jaunts to the area. The most famous were those mounted by Bob Bartlett on the Morrissey. I have carried extracts from his diary before-remember the observation of the mile wide face of a glacier falling in to the sea?
    There are pathe news reels of his voyages which your parents may have watched in their youth, and books on the subject. Here is a bibliography of material relating to him.
    http://www.nlpubliclibraries.ca/nlcollection/pdf/guides/NL_Collection_Guide_11.pdf
    Certain of us seem reluctant to learn the lessons of history-in this case that there are periods of melting and refreeze that appear to follow a roughly 60/70 year cycle. We may or may not be at the low point in the cycle-that will become clearer over the next five years.
    Whatever the alarmists may believe, at present our modern era is not displaying any climate characteristics that have not been experienced in past ages of humanity.
    tonyb

  58. The minimum 2009 sea-ice extent is still about 620,000 square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 — an area nearly equal to the size of Alaska, said Meier. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.
    Following on from Cassandra King’s comments & one or two others, firstly this is an “average”, therefore there are always highs & lows to get an “average” & any result could be below the “average” & still be meaningless. However, as opposed to goal-post shifting as I am, shouldn’t they shift this 1979-2000 nonsense as we’re fast approaching 2010, some 50% of the aforementioned time period, & perhaps ditto for global temperatures from 1961-1990, etc. It’s just best-fit curve exercise after all!
    Oh & could someone please define precisely what on Earth the natural climate variability is, (no grey areas please, no “liklies” or “unliklies” thrown in), over what time scale it is measured & why that particular time frame, & what evidence there is to support the such a definition? To my knowledge nobody has been able to do so to date.

  59. Anyone!
    I have previously posted here about the findings of the Royal Society sponsored expeditions to the Arctic from 1820 to investigate previous melting. A considerable number of observations were made about the causes of melting, which, apart from direct warmth on the surface ice, revolved round wind patterns winds, and undersea temperatures warmed by currents (which they took to be a branch of the gulf stream as coconuts were found in it).
    Most of the ice is under water so it is particularly vulnerable to melt by warmer water under the ice pack and around it.
    I have tried to obtain modern sources of actual temperatures in the arctic at various levels at the sea surface and under it (measurements of old were taken to five fathoms and more) so I can compare. However there seems to be very litle information in order to make a fair comparision.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction-I am not after a homogenised version that coivers a vast area but rather specfic locations.
    tonyb

  60. “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said. O.K.!!!!! I get it now. Assuming I understand this correctly, regardless of the fact that artic ice is growing again, we should still see the artic as warming because of man. I’m guessing that artic ice scientists (like Miers) got together and postulated that, if in one year the artic ice didn’t rebound to pre 2k levels, spells doom. Guys like this need to have their doctorates stripped from them for deceiving the American people and the world at large. What a joke these men will be . Mudd ring a bell? If there is any trend, it will take time. Artic ice growth, will take time. Cooling temperatures, will take time. What Meirs should have said was that artic see ice, despite concerns of man-made global warming, is rebounding. Just how about once, someone on the Al Gore/James Hanson payroll, break rank and tell the damn truth. Expose these frauds. So what you lose funding. So what you lose your job. In the end you would think that integrity would matter to scientists and engineers and law makers. If Einstien was alive, these men would hide from shame for discrediting the scientific community. Enuf said. -David Alan-

  61. “…each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years…”
    So this year was actually an near-near-record setting low year.
    “…it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability…”
    Significantly below and well outside. Not inside the strike zone, eh? Sounds like Mother Nature is throwing us a curve ball…

  62. “Most scientists believe the shrinking Arctic sea ice is tied to warming temperatures caused by an increase in human-produced greenhouse gases being pumped into Earth’s atmosphere”
    Wonder what the assertion of “most scientists” is based upon? Anyone get the poll?

  63. Anthony,
    “a two year recovery”?
    How do you combine that with
    “While this year’s September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, said NSIDC Research Scientist Walt Meier. ”
    Even including the last two years, the downward trend in sea ice extent has accelerated! How is that a recovery?

  64. Spin – spin – spin. I feel really sorry when a respected scientist like Walt Meier is forced to spout such a load of hogwash to keep the money comng in from those in power – it must really hurt.
    This is yet another example of ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune.’ and is a good proxy for how science has been rail-roaded into providing the results the powers that be want to see. Should the climate fail to cooperate, then Spin – spin – spin.
    “We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,” Meier said.
    I’m sure Walt is fully aware that the amount of sea ice at the poles is driven by many interlinked and unpredictable chaotic climate factors. This means that the amount of ice at any one time is not forecastable, as evidenced by the poor estimates made by many ‘experts’ for the ice extent at the end of the 2009 melt season.
    There are no linear trends in the outputs from a chaotic system, so no surprise that the models get it wrong (unless by lchance). It’s a great pity Walt couldn’t state this simple truth.

  65. >>>“We are still seeing a downward trend that appears
    >>>to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers,”
    >>>Meier said.
    I am not great with stats, but surely even if the ice extent had recovered to normal levels, the ‘trend’ would still be downwards, until the 2007 downwards blip had been overcome by further years’ data.
    .

  66. Smokey,
    for you
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ay7YirF9_M&hl=en&fs=1&]
    Thanks for the heads up on ITLAPD.
    If the embed doesn’t work, here’s the link.

    BTW, why doesn’t anyone say, “after spending much of the year at or above multi-year average extents, sea ice appears to have bottomed well above the record low in 2007”?
    Just wondering.

  67. Most climate scientist now believe the NSIDC is permanantly out to lunch, but they won’t call them on it.

  68. Alright, I’m not the greatest with math, and don’t take this question as rhetorical, I really wan’t an answer.
    Unless you are keeping a running total of the Anomaly values. How does the data come up -accelerate- the downward trend in any circumstance. I thought acceleration was the delta of the delta. That is to say, if the Arctic lost half a million square feet every single year, the trend would be downward but the acceleration would be zero. If the Arctic lost half a million one year and each year it lost an additional 100,000 square feet to that half million, 600,000 then 700,000, then 800,000 the year after, wouldn’t that be an acceleration of 100,000 square feet? How in the world do you get a positive acceleration out of an increase in ice as opposed to a loss, unless you are adding the previous years ice delta from your arbitrary norm to this one? Why does last years delta have anything to do with this years delta? If next year the ice were normal wouldnt the totall trend be zero and the acceleration of the ice loss be highly negative?
    Thanks

  69. Bart Verheggen:
    “Even including the last two years, the downward trend in sea ice extent has accelerated! How is that a recovery?”
    You’ re kidding, right? Or have you found a new meaning for the word “acceleration” ?

  70. “By simply applying the oldest forecasting technique – persistence, combined with a knowledge now that we have more multi-year ice than last year. – Anthony”
    So – if you had been using this method to make a prediction in October 2007, what would your prediction have been?
    In general, we have a 30 year trend, with noise around that trend. The trend itself is statistically significant over that time period (eg, the noise is not as large as the trend). Attribution of that trend to rising temperatures seems likely, though I suppose some might want to attribute it to the phase of the PDO – that argument should be resolved within a couple of years – and we can attribute the noise (eg, strong excursions like 2007) to weather events.
    I’d be willing to bet that the average over the next 3 years of minima will be less than the 2009 extent, based on the trends, though I haven’t actually done a statistical analysis to determine likelihood.

  71. Ugh, I used trend where i should have used anomaly , and i’ll likely not get this clarification in before several people point that out to me.

  72. According to NSIDC’s own website, multi-year ice is defined as ice that has survived ONE or more melt seasons. They don’t make a distinction between the strength of say three and six year old ice, and it seems that the maximum thickness is reached after 2 or 3 years. The entire life cycle of the ice ranges from 3 to 4 years to 7 to 10 years (depending on the current it gets caught up in). So, given that they have admitted to a short “pause” in global warming, how many more years to we have to listen to the “younger, thinner, weaker” ice argument?
    Also, very interesting quote from a somewhat dated article on their website:
    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_untersteiner.html
    “Both the shrinking and thinning of the arctic sea ice cover appear to be in keeping with the poleward amplification of the global warming induced by increased greenhouse loading of the atmosphere and predicted by interactive climate models. Recent computations (e.g. Vinnikov, 1999) closely duplicate the observed reduction of the mean annual ice extent. However, closer inspection reveals a disturbing discrepancy: models show impacts in winter and observations show ice retreat in summer. As we expect from basic physical reasoning, the largest effects of greenhouse warming should be seen in the absence of solar radiation when thermal infrared radiation dominates the surface energy balance, i.e. in winter. The calculations by Vinnikov et al. (1999) and Manabe et al. (1992) indeed show the largest sea ice signal in winter. An explanation of this summer/winter discrepancy has not been offered so far. The absence and presence of sea ice, and its thickness, depend on very small differences between large fluxes of energy. Minor changes of the assumptions about surface albedo, snow cover, cloudiness and cloud radiative properties, ocean heat flux, and other factors, may have large effects on the computed ice cover and require a model precision that remains to be attained.”
    So, somethings aren’t consistent with model predictions. 🙂

  73. The worst, most non-scientific comment by the NSIDC is
    “and well outside the range of natural variability. ”
    Based on a thirty year record there is no way to make that claim. It is irresponsible.

  74. Once again, the group-think on this site just baffles me.
    2009 was the third lowest year on record, for minimum ice extent, with the other two lowest years being 2008 and 2007.
    According to the ICESat data, this corresponds to record low ice volume, as well, at least up until 2008, as the thick multiyear ice continues to decline.
    This data is outside two standard deviations from the mean of the 1978 to 2000 data.
    It’s really just baffling.
    Looking for any data to support a pre-determined conclusion is not science, regardless of the pretensions to scientific method and jargon affected by people on this site.
    Ice extent is declining, and so is ice volume, at the same time CO2 is increasing. The reality agrees with the physics. The current rates of change are huge, as well.
    Can’t we just look at the graphs, like the ones displayed by other articles on ths site, showing that the last three years are the lowest in the past few decades, and just see what is there?

  75. At the start of the year I was reading comments from a French ski resort manager in a Pyrennean ski centre.
    It went something like this;
    “yes we had great snow this winter, the pistes were excellent earlier and for longer, than in recent years, its all down to global warming”.

  76. So, what are we going to do about it?
    People who have signed up for their RSS service get similar information.
    Only bad news from the Arctic, the ice is melting.
    NSIDC has turned into one big “Thermogeddon Propaganda Machine”.
    Why don’t we sign a petition and present it to Government.
    This petition could include all alarmist propaganda institution that are financed with taxpayer money.
    We don’t pay for spin.

  77. Mike B,
    (I like your name by the way…) I’ve got a better idea – for those congressmen and leaders that won’t listen to reason – fire them next election. We, after all are their employers and they serve at our direction…at least that’s how I read the constitution. (US that is…)
    Another Mike B

  78. Why do they set the “average” dates for the satelite data at 1979 to 2000 instead of 1979 to 2009? This doesn’t make much sense to me as it is leaving out almost a decade of data.
    BTW awesome site, always informative and educational, I never miss a day reading.
    Regards,

  79. What people may not be aware of is that, according to the Japanese data, the minimum ice area in 2005 was 5,315,156 sq kms, which occurred on 22 Sep. Currently, 2009 stands at 5,326,094 sq kms, which is clearly more than the 2005 minimum. Assuming we have, indeed, past the minimum for this year, it is obvious that in the very near future, 2009 will be the fourth smallest ice extrent, by calendar date; not the third.

  80. “jorgekafkazar (19:16:38) : ”
    “Mr. Meier’s statement is like taking a car driving west at 60 miles an hour in Albuquerque, and saying “We’re still seeing an east-bound vehicle that appears to be heading for St. Louis,” just because the car was once in Tucumcari”
    This reference keyed me onto the best anology that covers the use of short term averages. It plays on a joke Stephen Wright said,
    I got pulled over by a cop, and he said, ‘do you know the speed limit here is 50 miles per hour?’. So I said, ‘oh, that’s OK, I’m not going that far.’.
    I have always remembered the punchline incorrectly as “I wasn’t going to be out that long.”
    30 years of weather = climate? We have not been out that long.

  81. Oh my God, it’s worse than we thought! (The NSIDC, that is.)
    What happens when next year’s ice minimum is higher than this year’s?
    Will this mean ice free minimums are even closer?
    Are they joking?

  82. If you take lowest ice extent data from 1979 through 2009 and do an I-MR chart, 2009 was still below the lower control limit (5.167) for the data set. Really close, but you’d still consider it as outside the range.
    While the overall trend was/is down, something unusual clearly hit in 2007. My opinion, but what it’s worth, is that the system appears to be trying to recover its past range. A minimum somewhere around 6-5.3 for 2010 could happen.
    On a positive note, the Mar09 data was within the population control limits (14.8-16.3). If we’re making predictions, I’ll take 15.5 for Mar10.

  83. I guess the AGW folks are right… when you post here, you always see this…
    George (07:29:20) : Your comment is awaiting moderation
    Must be an extremist or a denier…. 🙂
    It is a joke… I know it is pending (as this one will be when I push Submit Comment)…

  84. Flanagan (23:34:59) : “. . . there was a paper recently showing from proxies that the Arctic ice was on the rise for the last 2000 years and then started decreasing in the beginning of the 20th century.”
    Flanagan, apparently you are referring to the Darrell S. Kaufman study. To be blunt and short: That study is rubbish. To the extent that it was peer-reviewed speaks volumes of how broken the peer review process is.
    I often find it worthwhile to consider your comments, but if you refer people to such garbage, you are undermining the credibility of your other comments.

  85. Flanagan (23:34:59) :
    Gene: there was a paper recently showing from proxies that the Arctic ice was on the rise for the last 2000 years and then started decreasing in the beginning of the 20th century.
    Actually, the proxy study says the arctic warming is the highest in 2000 years. And as has been noted several times…winds cause more melt than temperatures. Not that I believe another “hokey” stick graph.

  86. MikeE (18:27:52) :
    All things being equal, surly they have also extrapolated the antarctic sea ice trends…….

    Shouldn’t that read, surly they are

  87. Hi, inquirer
    to my knowledge, no publication refuted the work by Kaufman so far. Are you actually an expert on proxies? The fact that some “blogs” declare the have “debunked” something has absolutely no face value until this refutation is itself published, and confirmed by others.
    You might not like the way science works, but that’s the way it is. Are your negative comments on the peer-reviewing process based on a personal experience of scientific publishing, or just on some idea you just made up about how it works?

  88. Bart Verheggen (03:00:23) said:
    “Even including the last two years, the downward trend in sea ice extent has accelerated! How is that a recovery?”
    I don’t know how you arrive at such a conclusion. Perhaps you can explain?
    Can I refer you to my 1 54 45? There is ample evidence that the current melting is part of a natural oscillation that we can pick up in 1810-1860 and 1929-1940.
    You seem to be relying too much on satelite data since 1979 from which I would assume you have no particular interest in arctic history and historic climatology in general prior to 1979. The world has warmed and cooled before and no doubt will do so again without any help from us.
    I read your guest post on Real Ckimate but was particularly interested in this comment from your web site:
    “The problem with CO2 is that a large part of our emissions stays in the atmosphere for centuries or even millennia”
    Please cite your references, then you might like to discuss this with ferdinand who often drops by here. He will be most interested in your theory. He is Dutch as well.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/the-origin-of-increasing-atmospheric-co2-a-response-from-ferdinand-engelbeen/
    best regards
    tonyb

  89. You would not believe this, until you read the article.
    lead scientist on California air board study justifying costly new diesel rules got his degree. UPS, USC, UCLA — what’s the diff?
    A San Diego businessman (Bryan Bloom) who is part of a group that worries the California Air Resources Board’s rules on diesel emissions will devastate parts of the state’s economy for no scientifically valid reasons passed along this photo from New York City. This is what’s at the address that the web site of “Thornhill University” lists for its U.S. campus. Thornhill U, remember, is where the lead scientist on the air board’s controversial study recommending sweeping new diesel emission rules got his Ph.D. by mail for $1,000.
    Hien Tran admitted Dec. 10 to CARB that he lied about having a Ph.D. in statistics from UC Davis. Instead, Tran said, his Ph.D. was from “Thornhill.” Nevertheless, the air board still voted unanimously to adopt the rules based on his research Dec. 12 — without acknowledging Tran’s deception. Months and months later, Tran was demoted, but he still has a key role. Academic fraud, you see, is no big deal. The air board is on a mission. The normal concerns about making huge decisions based on tainted/flawed/untrustworthy/suspect research? The board couldn’t be bothered.
    So what if its lead scientist got his degree at the “campus” above. UPS, USC, UCLA, UCSD — really, who can tell the difference?
    Posted by Chris Reed at September 16, 2009 04:38 PM
    Comments
    This guy is a fraud and Ron Roberts is being led down the path by the nose by him. How embarassing is that. Look, everyone wants cleaner air, but putting overpriced 1970’s style smog equipment on diesels is a step backward. The 2009 Natural Gas Act, co-sponsored by Brian Bilbray And Mary Bono Mack, would allow Diesel fleet owners to convert their existing equipment to run on 100% pure American Natural Gas and actually decrease business costs while decreasing our dependence on Foreign Oil. Conversions of this type are NOT EVEN CONSIDERED by CARB as an emissions solution. eMail your Assemblymen and let them know CARB is out of control, behind the times and being led by a fraudulent “scientist” …
    http://weblog.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/afb/archives/036157.html

  90. This is a perfect example of someone pulling the political funding string to get the spin on the story they want. I’m very dissapointed that Dr. Meier would allow his integrity to be tarnished like this. Any reasonable person, as I hope any scientist would be, knows that when we are researching something with geological time scales, 30 years would just be the start of the observational and data collection period; much to early to start making swag theories.

  91. What are the sophisticated computer models that Meier and Serreze use to prognosticate ice extent? As one can read here
    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2009_outlook/august_report/downloads/pdf/panarctic/10_Meier_etal_AugReport_JulyData.pdf
    they basically do (with the help of a computer) the same as we all do: They eyeball the curves from the last few years and guesstimate which one will be followed by reality. That’s it. Simple as that. Nothing more. No wonder their August-prognosis of 4.69 million square kilometers was rather bad. That is state-of-the-art?

  92. “… minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, …”
    Has it even been mentioned that this year’s extent will likely surpass that of 2005 by the end of this weekend? Had to get that press release out before the argument got weaker!

  93. Bart Verheggen (03:00:23) : “How is that a recovery?”
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 9500+ although it had been down to 6500 earlier this year. Still, it is well below its range and average from 1999 to 2007. Would you therefore reject that the Dow Jones has had a reovery.
    One potentially misleading part of Meier’s statement is that current ice levels are “well outside the range of natural climate variability.” Dr. Meir is referring to the variability experience from 1979 to 2000. We do not have comprehensive data before that, but we do have enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that variability over the centuries has been much more than that experienced from 1979 to 2000. That group of years does not even consist of a statistically valid sample size for elementary statistics. And statistics get much more complicated when we are dealing with oscillations of various lengths. It may take hundreds of years to see a repeat of the status of variation oscillations experienced in the early 2000s. Just a start of the potential list: PDO, AMO, NAO, solar cycles, position of Jupiter relative to earth . . . .

  94. I have such a huge problem with scientific publications starting out their articles this way:
    “CU-Boulder’s Snow and Ice Data Center analysis shows negative summertime ice trend continues.”
    It’s not defensible as objective at all when they say a couple of paragraphs down “this year’s September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years…” Does the data they’re presenting not show that their supposed summertime ice trend is NOT continuuing — yet saying the trend continues is not fallacious? Do they know how much BS this is? These are smart people, right?
    It reaks of political manipulation. These “scientists” — er, I mean party-liners — are destroying the public’s trust with science, do they know this? Do they care?
    It’s their grant money at stake. Come 2015, when these climate scientists are fulfilling their destinies as Starbucks baristas and servers at the Olive Garden, they’ll wonder where they went wrong.

  95. Press release from a tomato plant acting as AGW climate modeler:
    “We still see an upward trend in sunlight hours per day if I fit a linear trend line to the whole record from March to July.
    Therefore our models predict that by May or June next year there will be no nighttime hours.”

  96. The article states “Outside the range of natural climate variability”.
    Nonsense. The Arctic ocean was certainly mostly ice-free in the summer during the Holocene Optimum — a mere 8k – 6k yrs ago. The boreal forest grow right up to the northern arctic coast in Canada/Alaska. There is tundra for hundreds of miles south now.
    Civilization just happened to blossom into organized agricultural societies during this time.

  97. Marcus (06:06:47) :
    You do not simply have a 30 year trend with “noise about it”. The first half of your record is flat, with all decrease in the latter portion of the second half. Thus, by artificially attaching your trend line to 1979, you are diminishing the slope of the actual decrease that occurred.
    You are also artificially creating a situation where the value of the slope from 1979-2009 has a greater negative value than the slope from 1979-2008, because 2009 is still below the “trend line”. This, then, is your artificially induced “acceleration” and is IMHO a severe abuse of statistics. Unfortunately, such misrepresentations seem very common on the AGW side of things.

  98. Mitchel44… Mmm, let me think… Maybe they didn’t use the data they reported in 2004 because their 2009 study is on the last 2000 years while the previous paper is on the Holocene optimum (somwhere between 5k and 9k years ago)?
    Or because the mentioned heating of the North Pole was due to a shift in the Milankovitch cycle, a phenomenon that did not take place again since then?

  99. The experts will have to show me that ice flowing out of Fram Strait versus ice staying in the Arctic and getting thrown together in jumbled thick layers produces the same amount of melt. My hypothesis is that when Arctic ice is driven inwards instead of outwards, both area and extent overestimate melt.

  100. “Atmospheric circulation patterns helped the Arctic sea ice spread out in August to prevent another record-setting minimum, said Meier. But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice, rather than thicker, multi-year ice that used to dominate the region, said Meier.”
    Last time I checked my dictionary, second-year ice would BE multi-year ice. What will they say next year when the ice recovery continues again, that they’re now looking for fourth year ice?
    However, I do feel that my expectations for an ice recovery of an even larger extent were somewhat shattered as the ice extent shrank during the early summer. So what Meier and Serreze said about younger ice being thinner must hold some validity. It does seem to shrink rapidly. Yet the final extent of the yearly shrinkage at last stabilized at a level relatively far above the previous year’s level. So the surprize for me was to see both the level continuing to decline in early summer and then pull out of its nose dive to a relatively hefty overall gain compared to last year’s. This must mean that there is validity to the overall recovery, and by implication there may indeed be something to this sunspot minimum that is not being fully accounted for in our weather predictions. It will be very interesting to see whether and how much overall gains there are in the polar ice extent over this present sunspot cycle.

  101. Vanguard (12:11:08) :
    Last time I checked my dictionary, second-year ice would BE multi-year ice.
    The ‘official’ use of “multi-year ice” is in regards to ice 3 or more years old. Defies common definition of the term, but, it is how they do it.

  102. Leland Palmer (06:52:31) :

    Once again, the group-think on this site just baffles me. 2009 was the third lowest year on record, for minimum ice extent, with the other two lowest years being 2008 and 2007.

    Wrong again, trickster. The record goes a lot farther back than the tiny slice of time you’re picking: click.
    Here’s another record of past temperatures: click.
    I have plenty more pre-SUV graphs showing the same natural oscillations. They all show natural climate variability; nothing is static. Today’s climate is completely normal.

  103. Well from the JAXA data site, it appears that the ice hit bottom at about 5,249,844 on 9/13, nad the 2005 minimum, was 5,315,156 on 9/22, and we are already today above that 2005 minimum at 5,326,094.
    So the refreeze started a full week or more earlier than in 2005, nad here we are still four days from the 2005 minimum, and we are growing back rapidly.
    And despite what they say about the ice being thinner; it is surface water coverage, that produces albedo instead of near BB absorption; so the greater coverage of otherwise open water, would seem to be more important, than just piling on more snow from the extra precipitation from warmer years.
    And the latest data sho that the trend is upwards from historic lows, so the case for ice free Arctic waters would seem to be overstated.
    George

  104. “But most of the 2009 September Arctic sea ice is thin first- or second-year ice”.
    This is made to sound like an dire warning of more drastic melting to come in the future. In fact it is a direct consequence of the large increase in this year’s minimum extent. If the minimum increased from 4.7 million to 5.2 million sq. km. then there must be AT LEAST 500,000 sq km of first-year ice – 10 per cent of the total.
    An increase next year to 6 million would be accompanied by the ominous presence of even more first-year ice.

  105. Mike B (19:22:15) :
    It will be interesting to see in the coming years what the reaction will be to the data collected if it continues to go against what the AGW people believe should be happening. They can only spin it so long and have any credibility.

    Just have to spin it out until Copenhagen – after that who cares what happens – free money for all.
    Slightly OT: How do JAXA calculate Arctic SSTanomalies? I noticed that the SST’s on the edge of the ice sheet are always top of the range but in 2007 at least none of that SST data had previously been available (having been Ice) so I asked myself how it was calculated. That led to asking how any of it was calculated. (Bob Tisdale… anyone?)

  106. Cassandra King (22:37:50) :
    I wonder what a graph of ice levels from 1979-2009 would look like?

    Interesting to wonder what satellites would have seen in 1940 (+/-)

  107. Tamara (06:08:51) :
    (….)
    Also, very interesting quote from a somewhat dated article on their website:
    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/essay_untersteiner.html
    (….) However, closer inspection reveals a disturbing discrepancy: models show impacts in winter and observations show ice retreat in summer. As we expect from basic physical reasoning, the largest effects of greenhouse warming should be seen in the absence of solar radiation when thermal infrared radiation dominates the surface energy balance, i.e. in winter. (….)

    Unless of course we stop playing the game and give up on CO2 as a primary driver of global climate. Expectations from “basic physical reasoning” look OK in a static 2D mathematical model on the computer screen in my centrally heated office… but meanwhile back in the real world… “Deadliest Catch”

  108. From my layman’s perspective it appears that 30 years of satellite data for Arctic ice extent is barely enough to establish a climate trend. To represent that 30 years of data is sufficient to establish a base line from which evaluate Arctic sea ice conditions is absurd when thousands of years of data are needed to determine the range of climate variability.
    I hope that Anthony and other contributors to this Blog are making lists (evidence) of the self acclaimed “climate scientists” and their work and press releases. When the public comprehends the scope of the fraud and the costs contained in their “peer reviewed scientific research”, they will demand Nuremberg style trials to defrock and punish the perpetrators. These lists are the source of information needed to obtain accountability.
    I submit that a purge will be necessary to preserve the credibility of ethical scientists whose work uses the scientific method and empirical data.

  109. Smokey (14:21:48) :
    Leland Palmer (06:52:31) :
    (…)
    Here’s another record of past temperatures: click.

    But..but..but… Al said it was different this time.

  110. Reasonable questions for Dr. Meier
    If there were to be a recovery in arctic ice minimums:
    1. What would it look like?
    2. How is that different than what we see in the last few years?
    What percentage of the 30-year low in arctic ice extent was due to wind patterns pushing the into the Atlantic?

  111. Paddy (17:58:08) :
    From my layman’s perspective it appears that 30 years of satellite data for Arctic ice extent is barely enough to establish a climate trend. To represent that 30 years of data is sufficient to establish a base line from which evaluate Arctic sea ice conditions is absurd when thousands of years of data are needed to determine the range of climate variability.

    If you subscribe to 60 year cycles then 30 is perfect so long as it is the ‘up’ 30.
    I hope that Anthony and other contributors to this Blog are making lists (evidence) of the self acclaimed “climate scientists” and their work and press releases. When the public comprehends the scope of the fraud and the costs contained in their “peer reviewed scientific research”, they will demand Nuremberg style trials to defrock and punish the perpetrators. These lists are the source of information needed to obtain accountability.
    It would be like pinning a doctor down for malpractice. Lobotomy was once the ‘cure all’ for what we might now treat with Lithium. They were ‘only using the best available science’. In any case, at the rate the ‘goal posts’ are changed, you wouldn’t know what to charge them with. Warming is cooling, more Ice is less, ‘the dog ate our source data’ …. it would take an army of lawyers the next thousand years to sort out the charges.

  112. Ron de Haan, read the article by Mark Vogan and believe his predictions are correct. There is one small point, ‘those scary winters of the late 1800’s and 1900’s when regular freezing of the Thames…’
    It should realistically say ‘late 1700’s and early 1800’s.’

  113. From my layman’s perspective 30 year of satellite data sets are barely sufficient to measure climate trends once a proper baseline is determined. The baseline requires thousands of years of data to identify the scope of climate variability. The climate-modelers’ representations that satellite data alone is representative of the universe of climate change is absurd. They use rigged data and faux research to promote their alarmist message.
    The AGW advocate-scientists have sold their scientific souls in order to confer political power and wealth upon themselves and their handlers.
    I hope that Anthony and other contributors to this Blog are making lists of the AGW advocates along with their work product of “peer reviewed” research and
    attendant press releases. When the public comes to realize the scope of their fraud they will demand Nuremberg style trials to convict, purge and punish the perpetrators.
    I submit that this process is essential if the credibility of ethical scientists and their work based upon scientific method and empirical data is to be preserved.
    [REPLY – Now, now, let’s not have any talk of Nuremberg. I am also a skeptic (lukewarmer), but I must object to that coming from either side. ~ Evan]

  114. I think it is clear that 1st year ice doesn’t stand up as well as mature ice
    A plausible and in my opinion high likely cause of the rapid reduction in Arctic ice in the few years up to 2007 and the even more rapid increase since. Is that the mature or old ice had accumulated airborne particles at the level of the previous years ice melt. These accumulated particles progressively over years reduced the ice’s albedo causing accelerating melt.
    Of course once the mature ice melts completely the accumulated particles disappear into the ocean and the new ice that forms is free of the multi-year particle accumulation and will be less likely to melt in summer until it accumulates a number of years of particles.
    This explains why the new ice stubbornly refuses to melt as predicted. And I expect the summer ice extent to increase for several more years, until the cycle repeats.
    Note that Antarctic sea ice has nothing like the pre/post 2007 melt/refreeze, which means the cause must be restricted to the NH, which particulate pollution is.

  115. Ugh.
    When did everyone decide to ignore Physics? Given the 2007 minimum, even a trend towards re-freezing will take recovery time. Everything in the last two years is exactly what would be expected in the early stages of ice recovery, and yet otherwise intelligent people just can’t see anything past “third lowest.”
    Anyone who thought we’d jump from 2007 minimums to historical average in one or two years could not have been taken seriously. And given that, to lament about 2008 and 2009 levels being indicative of continued warming likewise cannot be taken seriously.

  116. Re: Dave Wendt (23:22:02) [regarding 1988 Arctic Oscillation (AO) Shift & sea ice]
    Thanks for the notes Dave.
    Looking at their Figure 3 …
    Rigor, I.; & Wallace, J.M. (2004). Variations in the Age of Arctic Sea-ice and Summer Sea-ice Extent. Geophysical Research Letters 31. doi: 10.1029/2004GL019492.
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/pdfs/RigorWallace2004.pdf
    Abstract & links to arctic sea ice videos:
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/research_seaiceageextent.html
    …in conjunction with the following …
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumAO70.png
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumDJFMwinterNAO.png
    …it appears you have pointed out something worthy of further study.
    Natural Hockey Stick Blade? …
    “Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phases. Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.”
    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/patterns/arctic_oscillation.html
    (Clearly UHI & AHI are only part of the story.)

  117. Anecdotal evidence from Hudson Bay suggests it has ‘remained frozen much longer this year than it normally does.’
    It seems ‘due to colder-than-usual subarctic weather this year, healthier polar bears are being spotted along the West Hudson Bay coast.’
    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/
    You won’t hear about this in the msm.

  118. “The climatically sensitive zone of the Arctic Ocean lies squarely within the domain of the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO), one of the most robust recurrent modes of atmospheric behavior. However, the specific response of the Arctic to annual and longer-period changes in the NAO is not well understood. Here that response is investigated […] its most persistent and extreme high index phase in the late 1980s/early 1990s. This long-period shift between contrasting NAO extrema was accompanied, among other changes, by an intensifying storm track through the Nordic Seas, a radical increase in the atmospheric moisture flux convergence and winter precipitation in this sector, an increase in the amount and temperature of the Atlantic water inflow to the Arctic Ocean via both inflow branches (Barents Sea Throughflow and West Spitsbergen Current), a decrease in the late-winter extent of sea ice throughout the European subarctic, and (temporarily at least) an increase in the annual volume flux of ice from the Fram Strait.”
    Dickson, R. R.; Osborn, T.J.; Hurrell, J.W.; Meincke, J.; Blindheim, J.; Adlandsvik, B.; Vinje, T.; Alekseev, G.; & Maslowski, W. (2000). The Arctic Ocean Response to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Climate 13(15), 2671-2696.
    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0442/13/15/pdf/i1520-0442-13-15-2671.pdf
    Suggested: See Figures 4, 9, 12, 15, & 17.

  119. Paul Vaughan (23:32:10) :
    Paul Vaughan (00:41:00)
    Thanks for the links, the CumuSum graphs were especially interesting. What got me obsessing about the Rigor-Wallace paper was actually the animation with ice age and buoy drift paths combined. Some time back when I began to suspect that the Trans Polar Drift might be a serious factor in the ice loss in the Arctic, I went looking for a map of Arctic currents and I kept coming up with seemingly mutually exclusive variants on these two maps
    http://nsidc.org/seaice/processes/circulation.html
    http://www.amap.no/?main=http%3A//www.amap.no/mapsgraphics/%3Fevent%3Dsearch%26q%3DArctic+currents
    When I watched the animation It was almost amazing to watch Beaufort Gyre-TPD shift from one state to the other in a relative blink of the eye and see the ice go through a change of state that was almost a paradigm shift as a result. Undoubtedly, that the shift occurred at a point coincident with the dramatic spikes in the AO and the NAO will mean that CO2 and AGW will still be blamed, but to me the fact that the change has persisted long after the spikes petered out suggests that something else may have contributed to it, though I have no idea what it might be at this point.

  120. Flanagan (08:19:40) : “. . .You might not like the way science works, but that’s the way it is. Are your negative comments on the peer-reviewing process based on a personal experience of scientific publishing . . .?”
    Actually, that is not the way that science works; that is the way that publications work. We need not go back to Galileo to see how publication systems worked against true science. Aryan Physics rejected the work of Jewish scientists. The Soviet publication system advanced the Lysenkoism movement. To examine the credibility of the Kaufman paper, I would no more go to Science Magazine as I would go to The Republican Information Center to examine questions on the wisdom of the 2003 Iraq invasion. (Okay, slight exaggeration, but only slight.)
    The peer review system in Climate Science is dysfunctional. One short example: as a matter of professional courtesy, the Wegman report in places mitigated its criticism of Mann et al, but then Mann et al took a few selected quotes and successively published that it had been vindicated by the Wegman report.
    Since you asked, yes, I do have personal experience of scientific publishing. I was invited to join in a publication of an article. I thought the research was data mining and cherry picking, not advancing scientific knowledge. BTW, the research passed peer review and was published anyway. In another case, a scientist whose integrity I had previously respected was going to publish; and in response to my raised eyebrows, she explained that this publication would help her get a research grant that would enable her to visit a foreign country that she had longed to visit. (She was right.)

  121. Not only the NSIDC is producing “spin”, so is NASA:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=40250&src=eorss-iotd
    All over Europe in the news:
    A combined message from scientists and Greenpeace:
    The Arctic Ice is melting.
    The winter freeze is not sufficient to compensate for the summer melting.
    The only way to stop this process is to adapt legislation to curb CO2 emissions.
    The propaganda machine is pumping out AGW/Climate Change propaganda at a level never seen before.
    You can’t watch any documentary, tv commercial or news program without hearing the words “Green”, CO2, Climate Change, quick action, etc, etc.
    Governments have opened web sites tht provide information about the carbon footprint of food. The basic slogan: “You decide what you eat because you pay for it”.
    Another project to brainwash the people is “Climate Street”, a cometition wich street has come up with the best “Green Idea’s and Solutions to fight Climate Change”.
    Any special interest program, no matter if it is about traveling, cars, inventions, housing, interior design, they are all infested with Green Propaganda.
    WWF and Greenpeace dominate the news which is presented to the public without any journalistic scrutiny.
    For those who believe the AGW/Climate Doctrine is dead, I don’t think so.
    The establishment is continuing their quest until democracy is dead and “total control” is achieved.
    We are truly in the front of this “war” and hopefully the winter of 2009 1010 will hit the US and Europe hard. We will need it.

  122. [snip -ad hom]
    Me thinks that at this time next year the readings will be back to where they were 10 years earlier and they will have absolutely nothing left to try and crow about!

  123. Hi Smokey-

    Wrong again, trickster. The record goes a lot farther back than the tiny slice of time you’re picking: click.
    Here’s another record of past temperatures: click.
    I have plenty more pre-SUV graphs showing the same natural oscillations. They all show natural climate variability; nothing is static. Today’s climate is completely normal.

    Trickster?
    No tricks here.
    Looking at your graphs, neither of them show the extreme rapidity of the changes we are seeing, compared to historical changes in ice extent and volume. The time scales are too long to show the sudden spike apparently caused by our geologically instantaneous addition of 300 billion tons of carbon from fossil fuels to the atmosphere and biosphere.
    Lovelock himself was surprised that the climate system appears to be destabilizing, and appears to be in failure mode. I’m surprised too. But it does appear to be happening.
    We appear to be seeing multiple destabilizations in multiple climate systems, and the increased sunlight absorption due to albedo changes due to loss of the polar icecap will only add to that.
    I don’t really have time to argue with you, and it really is a waste of effort, I think. Arguing with you would be a full time job, and I already have a full time job, and other interests to pursue.
    I urge you and others on this site once again, just to look at the graphs of ice extent, see that clearly ice extent is declining at a really huge rate, and go out on the Internet to other sources beside Watts up With That and other climate skeptic websites.
    Here’s a link to Chris Field, one of the IPCC group leaders, whose work at Stanford is funded at least partially by ExxonMobil, telling it like it is on Democracy Now. This is actually a scientifically conservative position, and I believe that the real situation is much more “out of control” than he says:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/26/member_of_un_environment_panel_warns

  124. Leland Palmer, The danger is projecting one’s belief system onto data. I see you doing this throughout your comments. Many phrases like “apparently caused by” show this clearly.
    You need to open your mind. You speak, for example, of historic changes in ice extent and volume, without understanding. You refer to ice extent declining at a “really huge rate”. Look at the graphs yourself. Even better, use a technique like break point analysis to determine trends rather than the arbitrary starting point of 1979. You’ll find that the answer you get is opposite to what you’re screaming. Let the data speak to you and you’ll find understanding.

  125. Ron de Haan,
    Joe Bastardi is indicating a cold one for Europe. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a cold snap in time for Copenhagen.

  126. Leland Palmer (10:19:07) :
    I don’t really have time to argue with you, and it really is a waste of effort, I think. Arguing with you would be a full time job,…..
    Here’s a link to Chris Field, one of the IPCC group leaders, whose work at Stanford is funded at least partially by ExxonMobil, telling it like it is on Democracy Now.
    I’d have to agree with you. If you’re taking guidance on this matter from the kind of mindless babbling that Mr. Field offered in that interview you definitely need to be filed under the heading of “Hopeless Case”.

  127. Yes Leland, trickster. You pick one tiny slice of time and extrapolate to the moon with it. That may work on the National Enquirer website, but it doesn’t fly here.
    The climate is completely normal. Nothing unusual is going on: click. Stasis is not normal in this universe; cycles are everywhere, including natural climate variability. Every cycle contains the seeds of its own reversal, and the climate is no exception. It will revert to its long term trend line, no matter what people and governments do or don’t do.
    I know your mind is made up and closed tight, but for those who like to think about the situation:
    The proper way to formulate a theory is to start with the minimum number of observable entities, otherwise you could add postal rates to the mix: click. [Or, since today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day: click.]
    The established theory of natural climate variability has done fine in explaining the climate without the extraneous addition of the minor trace gas CO2 to the explanation. Occam’s Razor:
    “Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.”
    ~William of Ockham

    By establishing the theory of natural variability, our climate is completely explained without the necessity of adding another variable such as CO2 or pirates. If CO2 were shown to be necessary to explain the current climate — and the climate could not be explained without the addition of CO2 — then CO2 would have to be considered. But the warm-mongers started with CO2 based on faulty reasoning, and now they’re stuck trying to explain why the planet is cooling as CO2 rises. They started with a faulty premise, so naturally their conclusion is wrong.
    The alarmist crowd has turned Occam’s Razor on its head by adding an unnecessary variable. They did not do it for science, but for money, status and control. The argumentum ad ignoratum that Leland applies is an attempt to show that the climate would be noticeably different if CO2 had not risen over the past century. That is trying to prove a negative, which means, of course, that it is no proof at all. It is baseless and futile speculation.
    If Leland were to stick with empirical facts, he would have to conclude that the effect of CO2 on the planet is so small as to be inconsequential. Its effect can only be found in always-inaccurate computer models — but not in the real world, which is currently contradicting the CO2=AGW conjecture.
    The real world is telling us that CO2 can be disregarded because it obviously has little effect. By starving other scientific priorities in order to shovel $trillions into a non-problem, we are telling non-climate science that all they will get are the left over crumbs. That attitude is bad for everyone.

  128. “We appear to be seeing multiple destabilizations in multiple climate systems, and the increased sunlight absorption due to albedo changes due to loss of the polar icecap will only add to that.”
    It seems to me lack of ice-cap actually increases the heat radiated from the Poles and hence cools the Earth.
    When one considers the amount of heat needed to keep the Arctic ice-free one can see a clear route for a substantial ocean current is required. So if Greenland was to magically disappear I’d guess the Gulf stream would strengthen and keep the Arctic ocean ice-free, maybe even in winter?

  129. Philip_B (20:08:24) :
    Note that Antarctic sea ice has nothing like the pre/post 2007 melt/refreeze, which means the cause must be restricted to the NH, which particulate pollution is.

    But the Antarctic always melts to ~12% of maximum (~2Mm^2) compared with over 20% in the Arctic in 2007.

  130. Smokey (12:53:26) :
    The established theory of natural climate variability has done fine in explaining the climate

    Can you tell me where I can read about this theory?

  131. “The propaganda machine is pumping out AGW/Climate Change propaganda at a level never seen before. You can’t watch any documentary, tv commercial or news program without hearing the words “Green”, CO2, Climate Change, quick action, etc, etc.”
    Of course – media companies, manufacturers, service providers etc. are all trying to produce what their customers want to consume. Companies will claim to be ‘green’ if they think it will improve their image and therefore their profits. TV producers will broadcast whatever they think will grab their audience’s attention (I was already sick of hearing about Michael Jackson 10 minutes after the news of his death came out, for example).
    However, none of that makes any difference to what the climate is actually doing. Everyone acknowledges that the world is getting warmer, that the Arctic ice is declining, and that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are very likely to blame – the fact that the media hype is usually more about profits than any genuine mission to present the truth, is beside the point.
    The data pretty much speaks for itself –
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

  132. Dave Wendt (03:20:12) “[…] but to me the fact that the change has persisted long after the spikes petered out suggests that something else may have contributed to it, though I have no idea what it might be at this point.”
    Have a look at Bob Tisdale’s illustration for some ideas:
    http://i42.tinypic.com/e9b04g.jpg
    “[…] trend toward a stronger, tighter circulation around the North Pole […]” / “Stratosphere cooling in the last few decades has caused the counterclockwise circulation around the North Pole to strengthen in winter. In turn, the belt of westerly winds at the surface along 45 degrees north latitude has shifted farther north, the scientists said, sweeping larger quantities of mild ocean air across Scandinavia and Russia and bringing balmier winters over most of the United States as well.”
    http://www.washington.edu/newsroom/news/1999archive/12-99archive/k121699.html
    More on the 1988 shift:
    http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/CumuSumDJFM_NAM.png
    [NAM = Northern Annular Mode]
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.info.html#nam
    Illuminating notes here:
    “Annular Modes Website”
    http://ao.atmos.colostate.edu/introduction.html
    Chicken-egg logic – & lots of unknowns admitted. They seem be missing out on the importance of Barkin’s work …This is getting interesting.
    “The trend in the NAM is largest during NH winter, is most pronounced from the middle 1960s to the late 1990s […] helps explain the spatial structure of recent trends in NH climate”

  133. Sandy (12:53:49) “It seems to me lack of ice-cap actually increases the heat radiated from the Poles and hence cools the Earth.”
    This makes sense. As for summer insolation at extreme-high-latitude: Even at its peak, the angle of incidence is not that of the equator – and the area between, say, 80N & 90N is a fraction of that between 5S & 5N.

  134. ————-
    Sandy (12:53:49) “It seems to me lack of ice-cap actually increases the heat radiated from the Poles and hence cools the Earth.”
    This makes sense. As for summer insolation at extreme-high-latitude: Even at its peak, the angle of incidence is not that of the equator – and the area between, say, 80N & 90N is a fraction of that between 5S & 5N.
    ————-
    I’m not sure it makes much sense. Why would ice act as an insulator? *How* would it do so? Intuitively I would think that ice would conduct heat just as effectively as water, since it’s the same stuff. If it’s the same stuff then why would it make any difference whether it was in a liquid or solid state? I can see that it would make a large difference to albedo though, which is why scientists argue that open water would absorb more heat than an ice sheet would.

  135. First, any solid ( and ice is only one example of many thousand solids, and an igloo is only a single example of how a solid anything can be used to take advantage of the vast differences between a cold air mass and a cold liquid mass!) is very, very different that a liquid.
    An igloo works because the human’s heat – the only thing important up there! – is actively exchanged with the very cold air going by the body.
    An igloo works by shielding the body (still wrapped in furs and clothing – even in traditional Eskimo settings) FROM the moving cold air mass that is the Arctic wind. So, the human body mass is still exchanging heat with the environment, but very slowly. The air mass is trapped in the igloo by the small entrance and by turning the entrance away from the wind. (The little ice arch doesn’t let the wind, and a wrap (fur ?) closes the inside entrance.) Heat exchange by blowing air is much reduced – but the shielding substance could be anything solid that is available.
    A blowing/flwoing liquid exchanges even more heat even faster: so the comparison between air and liquid with an ice igloo is irrelevant.
    Inside, the igloo “circle” is raised off the ice by a raised ice floor – which is further insulated against direct heat transfer by a fur blanket. Therefore, little heat is conducted down from the body, through the body’s cloting through the fur “carpet” to the raised ice shelf. The gap between the raised ice shelf and igloo walls allows the cold air “falling” down the inside ice walls to get trapped in the low “valley” – thus the valley prevents a continuous exchange of cold air from the wall and the human body heat.
    By “raising” the floor with this air gap, the warm air trapped inside that is warmed by the human body heat and the candles and fat fire “stoves” inside the igloo is conducted back to inside air trapped agaisnt the upper circle of the igloo, then to the bodies inside. (Don’t ask about ventilation or letting the smoke and body odors out. I don’t know how they do it. Then again, trapping body odor is probably less dangerous than letting heated gasses (ANY heated gasses!) outside the igloo…..)
    So, to continue, the human body heat is even “insulated” from the solid ice of the igloo -> the two never touch each other.

  136. Icarus (17:34:50) :
    “I’m not sure it makes much sense. Why would ice act as an insulator? *How* would it do so? Intuitively I would think that ice would conduct heat just as effectively as water, since it’s the same stuff. If it’s the same stuff then why would it make any difference whether it was in a liquid or solid state? I can see that it would make a large difference to albedo though, which is why scientists argue that open water would absorb more heat than an ice sheet would.”

    No. First, the continuing decline in mainstream media rating and prfits BECAUSE of their continued propaganda and exaggerations – about all political subjects and most liberal stories in general, including global warming – shows that they do NOT care about profits, but about the message.
    And that message is to propagate the lies and distortions about global warming that are desired by the large governments and NGO’s in the world who will gain from controlling the world”s energy, and to deny any body else access to the truth about what is happening in the real science.
    The world’s temperature has been gradually increasing since about 1750 -without mankind’s assistance or emissions. In the last century global temperatures increased by 4/10 of one degree in 25 years – from 1973 to 1998.
    Since 1998, for 11 years, CO2 has increased and temperatures have declined. we are now at the same temperatures worldwide as 1995. And temperatures continue to decline.
    Before 1973? CO2 was increasing, but temperatures declined by 3/10 of one degree from 1940 through 1973.
    Before 1940? Co2 was essentially constant, but temperatures were increasing – by 1/2 of one degree. So, what is the relationship between CO2 and temperature?

    You claim that open water will absorb more heat than ice-covered water, but that HAS NOT HAPPENED in the real world.
    Ice coverage increased between 2007 and 2008.
    Increased between 2008 and 2009.
    Increased between 2005 and 2006.
    Your theory is wrong. Dead wrong. April and May 2009 showed the highest cie coverage EVER since 2001 – despite 8 years of lower sea ice extent between 2001 and 2009. Now, we see equal sea ice extents in 2009 as in 2005.
    Your theory – the theory that the socialists want propulgated – is dead wrong in practice. But, what will you listen to?
    The real world? Real numbers? real science?
    Or the people who who are getting 79 billion dollars BECAUSE they are fully capable of spreading lies and exaggerations abut global warming?

  137. Paul Vaughan (17:02:24) :
    Sandy (12:53:49) “It seems to me lack of ice-cap actually increases the heat radiated from the Poles and hence cools the Earth.”
    This makes sense. As for summer insolation at extreme-high-latitude: Even at its peak, the angle of incidence is not that of the equator – and the area between, say, 80N & 90N is a fraction of that between 5S & 5N.
    Though the sun is continuously above the horizon in the high Arctic throughout the summer its maximum angle above the horizon is 23.5 degrees, about the same slant as a line with a 1/2 to 1 rise over run ratio. Since the graphs for ice extent all run fairly close thru the downleg from April to August the only time where there is significantly more open water for the Sun to heat is from mid Aug to now when the Sun is circulating at single digit angles above the horizon. At those kind of angles of incidence, shining light on a water surface is not significantly different than shining it on a mirror. Max open water occurred less than a week ago and the Sun disappears for the Winter in two days. The notion that a lot of extra heat will be dumped in the Arctic Ocean because of declining sea ice is just lame.

  138. “I’m not sure it makes much sense. Why would ice act as an insulator? *How* would it do so? Intuitively I would think that ice would conduct heat just as effectively as water, since it’s the same stuff. If it’s the same stuff then why would it make any difference whether it was in a liquid or solid state? I can see that it would make a large difference to albedo though, which is why scientists argue that open water would absorb more heat than an ice sheet would.

    Low albedo non-ice absorbs more and radiates more. The absorption is from sunlight at a very oblique angle, whereas the radiation is straight up and from a higher ice-free temperature.
    So just as we are used to daytime temperatures dropping as the sun lowers of an evening, the earth can cool even in sunlight.
    So a melted Arctic should not be seen as a new stability, but rather the Earth radiating away a lot of heat. Indeed Anthony found an article where Norwegians in 1920 found no ice up to 81N and mention distinct traces of the Gulf Stream, showing that the Arctic shed its ice-cap to blow off the extra heat.
    Ice’s high albedo reduces radiation for a given temperature which added to the lower temperature above ice means that heat lost from the Earth is greatly reduced.
    The ice-caps really do seem to be a thermostat as DaveE suggested.

  139. Icarus (17:34:50) “Why would ice act as an insulator? *How* would it do so? Intuitively I would think that ice would conduct heat just as effectively as water, since it’s the same stuff. If it’s the same stuff then why would it make any difference whether it was in a liquid or solid state?”
    Say all the Arctic ice melted permanently: Then we could expect a more moderate climate in the NH, since it would be more maritime & less continental.

  140. Hmm, following my own logic, it suggests that since records began at the end of a warm phase, we may see ice spend a whole year above current records by 2015??
    Yup longshot.

  141. Hi all-
    Quoting from Chris Field, a mainstream climate scientist, whose funding comes at least partially from ExxonMobil, a contributing author to several IPCC reports, and elected to be a group leader by the membership of the IPCC:

    The basic risk is that if we reach a certain point in the warming, what we’ll end up with is a vicious cycle, where the warming causes additional permafrost melt, which causes additional CO2 to be released to the atmosphere, which causes additional warming, which creates this vicious cycle.
    We don’t have evidence that it’s a clear tipping point, or we don’t know where there might be a tipping point out there. And one of the things that I’m advocating is that we both advance the science quickly enough to figure out if indeed there is a threshold beyond which this can’t be stopped, but also to take action as a society to ensure that we’re very conservative with respect to how far along this pathway we go.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/26/member_of_un_environment_panel_warns
    I urge readers of Watts up With That to invest the time to go to the link provided and watch the video.
    Surely, the future of the biosphere is worth a few minutes of your time, to watch a video.
    The real danger are these positive feedback events, originating in an Arctic which is warming much faster than the rest of the planet, and the subsequent emission of methane and CO2 from decay of organic material caused by the melting of this permafrost, and the probability that this will trigger a more widespread methane catastrophe similar to the End Permain mass extinction.
    The ice albedo feedback is another mainstream, well established and straightforward application of physics:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_geoengineering
    It’s no wonder that the readers of Watts up With That look upon it as a conspiracy involving thousands of scientists, to deceive them.

  142. The physics of igloos is interesting but as RACookPE points out, the insulation effect comes mainly from the trapped air, not the ice, so it’s not really relevant in this context.
    However I have been reading some more about this and I can see that I was wrong – i.e. there *is* an insulating effect of ice floating on water.
    Sandy (22:46:36): “So a melted Arctic should not be seen as a new stability, but rather the Earth radiating away a lot of heat.”
    I think we would all agree that the Arctic is warming because the world as a whole is warming, and that the reduction of Arctic sea ice is a consequence of that warming. If you’re arguing that melting represents a negative feedback, rather than being neutral or a positive feedback, do you have any studies to back that up? The things I’ve read suggest otherwise (i.e. that we can expect ‘polar amplification’ due to the net effect of declining Arctic sea ice being a positive feedback).

  143. Icarus (17:34:50) :
    I’m not sure it makes much sense. Why would ice act as an insulator? *How* would it do so? Intuitively I would think that ice would conduct heat just as effectively as water, since it’s the same stuff. If it’s the same stuff then why would it make any difference whether it was in a liquid or solid state?

    Just because it’s the same stuff (i.e. h20) doesn’t mean that it has to have the same properties in its various states (solid, liquid, gas). One obvious thought experiment to negate your proposition is as follows: Let us assume you are correct, ergo _any_ property of the substance should be the same regardless of its state (as there is nothing special about conductivity as opposed to say resistivity…) now, here is the experiment on a hot, humid day, go to the top of a 20 foot diving platform above a swimming pool and jump in – feel how easy you go through the water-vapour, feel how the entry to the swimming pool feels a bit more abrupt.
    Now repeat in the winter with two feet of ice on the top of the pool…
    Whilst your legs are mending, ponder that if one physical property of a substance can change radically between states, maybe others can as well.
    I can see that it would make a large difference to albedo though, which is why scientists argue that open water would absorb more heat than an ice sheet would.
    You have just counteracted your own initial statement – physical properties do change between states (e.g. albedo) therefore it is not unreasonable to assume that properties do also.
    Ice acts as an insulator, period.
    Cheers
    Mark

  144. Anthony,
    This may belong in tips, but is very applicable to this NSIDC “zero ice” story.
    When talking about Arctic Ice, why does everyone focus on the Minimum? We all know many variables affect ice formation, thickness, extent, etc. (winds, weather patterns, cloud formation…).
    If we focused on minimums when it comes to “global temperature,” we would track some place like International Falls or Yellowstone in the US and use that as our basis for overall climate. It’s as useless as focusing on daily local temperature records and calling it “climate.”
    I think everybody has been drawn into this ice minimum attention because that’s what some folks want to talk about. It suits them. It leads to great headlines or stunts like swimming at the N Pole.
    Regarding Arctic Ice, we were told “young ice” would deteriorate faster each year, leading to none. It hasn’t. Then the young ice definition changes (year 2 ice “disappeared” as you’ve pointed out). Did it matter? No.
    If you think about it, in effect, all this means the minimum doesn’t matter, the the average does.
    I took the AMSR-E data (sitting here in my pjs and bunny slippers) and plotted average Calendar year 2003-2009 (where 09 was TTM) and average Season year Sep 15-Sep14 ending 03-09. The results?
    For Season data:
    – 2009 is the highest since 2003 by 1-5%; 2003 was 5%> than 2009; 2006 was actually the min. (reminds me of how 2005 did not have the highest hurricane ACE score)
    For Calendar data:
    – 2009 is virtually at an average of 03, 04, 08, and 09; 05, 06 07 are the below average years with 07 the min as you’d expect; Completely blowing away the “young ice” theory, 08 was a complete, total recovery back to 03-04 levels, and 09 (again TTM for calendar) is not extraordinary different from 08. As you’d expect also, a plot of annual maximum follows the same pattern.
    I wonder what this looks like going back to 1979? I don’t have that data. I’d be happy to send you my SS and graphs for AMSR-E.
    So, now that we know “young ice” is, ummm…ice, why not start tracking on your site what matters, the average. It’s not some trick to sway people, it’s just consistent with the focus on global average temperature and everything else climate related.
    Thanks.

  145. It continually amazes me, that in this era of modern communication the readers of WUWT keep coming to conclusions that are simply not supported by the facts.
    Ice area is declining, but so is ice volume, as measured by ICESat:

    PASADENA, Calif. – Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record. The new results, based on data from a NASA Earth-orbiting spacecraft, provide further evidence for the rapid, ongoing transformation of the Arctic’s ice cover.
    Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington in Seattle conducted the most comprehensive survey to date using observations from NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite, known as ICESat, to make the first basin-wide estimate of the thickness and volume of the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover. Ron Kwok of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., led the research team, which published its findings July 7 in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.
    The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and intense cold ensues. In the summer, wind and ocean currents cause some of the ice naturally to flow out of the Arctic, while much of it melts in place. But not all of the Arctic ice melts each summer; the thicker, older ice is more likely to survive. Seasonal sea ice usually reaches about 2 meters (6 feet) in thickness, while multi-year ice averages 3 meters (9 feet).
    Using ICESat measurements, scientists found that overall Arctic sea ice thinned about 0.17 meters (7 inches) a year, for a total of 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) over four winters. The total area covered by the thicker, older “multi-year” ice that has survived one or more summers shrank by 42 percent.

    If we can’t agree on anything else, we should be able to agree that ice volume declined from 2004 to 2008. That fact, taken along with thousands of other indicators from most branches of science that warming is occurring, the potential runaway positive feedbacks we are seeing, plus the fossil evidence of past methane catastrophes, should be enough to convince rational people that a conservative policy toward climate change is necessary.
    This is the place we all live.
    Wouldn’t it be better to err on the side of caution (if there is any error, and it’s approaching absolute certainty that there is not), and take a conservative approach to this issue?

  146. Leland Palmer (09:55:14) :
    Wouldn’t it be better to err on the side of caution (if there is any error, and it’s approaching absolute certainty that there is not), and take a conservative approach to this issue?

    I couldn’t agree more. Let us indeed err on the side of caution. Let’s not go down the road of massive tax rises (it seems that the US Treasury Department is looking at $300bn p.a.) to combat a natural phenomenon. What could possibly be more conservative than that?

  147. Icarus (07:05:50) “The physics of igloos is interesting but as RACookPE points out, the insulation effect comes mainly from the trapped air, not the ice, so it’s not really relevant in this context.
    I get the impression you haven’t spent much time on ice. If it suddenly gets very cold and it does _not snow ice will freeze rapidly & become very strong. Once the snow falls on the ice, it acts as an insulator. Ice comes in a lot of different forms. A wise & respected oldtimer used to warn me of “rotten” ice and instruct me on how to look out for it. Ice contains visible air bubbles, but it is snow on top of ice that traps a substantial amount of insulating air.

    Re: Leland Palmer (06:34:34)
    3 points:
    1) Your assumptions about WUWT readers/commenters are flawed. For example, I’m an ecologist who has only used 8 tanks of gas in the past 2 years in a small car. I don’t even like buses because they pollute way too much. I cycle-commuted for years, even in humid -25C when I lived way out of town and had to freeze in the sweat while crossing a ferry. Now I walk or paddle a kayak over 90% of the time when I travel. I have been an advocate of natural forests & pollution-reduction all my life.
    2) Tipping points occur naturally. They can go both ways. Natural warming may lead to permafrost-methane release. Sometime in the future nature may tip in a different direction. Linear extrapolation is not the best way to predict the future on all timescales.
    3) We have good reasons to avoid polluting and provide more space for natural forests without resorting to mythology, fear-mongering, & false-stereotyping.

  148. RACookPE (22:08:42): “The world’s temperature has been gradually
    increasing since about 1750 -without mankind’s assistance or
    emissions.”

    So it’s just an amazing coincidence that this period coincides exactly
    with the Industrial Revolution and the resultant exponential growth in
    atmospheric CO2?
    “Since 1998, for 11 years, CO2 has increased and temperatures have
    declined. we are now at the same temperatures worldwide as 1995. And
    temperatures continue to decline.”

    Not so. The world is still warming at 0.2°C per decade –
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/global-jan-dec-error-bar-
    pg.gif
    “Before 1973? CO2 was increasing, but temperatures declined by 3/10 of
    one degree from 1940 through 1973.”

    Well, only about 0.1°C… but that’s in the context of 100 years of
    rising temperatures, and I’ve read that this is accounted for fairly well
    by trends in anthropogenic aerosols. It doesn’t contradict the long-term
    forcing of anthropogenic CO2… unless you know otherwise?
    “Before 1940? Co2 was essentially constant, but temperatures were
    increasing – by 1/2 of one degree.”

    By the 1940s, atmospheric CO2 had been rising for about 150 years, and
    was accelerating. Hardly ‘constant’. Is it not possible that the 150
    years of rising CO2 was beginning to have a significant effect on global
    climate?
    “You claim that open water will absorb more heat than ice-covered
    water, but that HAS NOT HAPPENED in the real world.
    Ice coverage increased between 2007 and 2008.
    Increased between 2008 and 2009.
    Increased between 2005 and 2006.”

    … and decreased between 2006 and 2007, decreased between 2004 and 2005,
    decreased between 2001 and 2002… and the decreases outweigh the
    increases, which is why there is a clear downward trend in ice coverage –
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png
    If the open water is not absorbing more heat, then where is the heat
    coming from? It could be coming just from the fact that the entire world
    is warming by 0.2°C per decade, but the Arctic is warming faster than the
    world as a whole, so that does suggest an amplifying mechanism going on
    there. What could it be?
    “Now, we see equal sea ice extents in 2009 as in 2005.”
    Yes, and the trend is clearly downwards, despite interannual variability. Why is that?

  149. RACookPE (22:08:42): “The world’s temperature has been gradually increasing since about 1750 – without mankind’s assistance or emissions.”
    So it’s just a coincidence that this period coincides exactly with the Industrial Revolution and the resultant exponential growth in atmospheric CO2?
    “Since 1998, for 11 years, CO2 has increased and temperatures have declined. we are now at the same temperatures worldwide as 1995. And temperatures continue to decline.”
    Not so. The world is still warming at 0.2°C per decade –
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/global-jan-dec-error-bar-pg.gif
    “Before 1973? CO2 was increasing, but temperatures declined by 3/10 of one degree from 1940 through 1973.”
    Well, only about 0.1°C… but that’s in the context of 100 years of rising temperatures, and I’ve read that this is accounted for fairly well by trends in anthropogenic aerosols. It doesn’t contradict the long-term forcing of anthropogenic CO2… unless you know otherwise?
    “Before 1940? Co2 was essentially constant, but temperatures were increasing – by 1/2 of one degree.”
    By the 1940s, atmospheric CO2 had been rising for about 150 years, and was accelerating. Hardly ‘constant’. Is it not possible that the 150 years of rising CO2 was beginning to have a significant effect on global climate?
    “You claim that open water will absorb more heat than ice-covered water, but that HAS NOT HAPPENED in the real world.
    Ice coverage increased between 2007 and 2008.
    Increased between 2008 and 2009.
    Increased between 2005 and 2006.”

    … and decreased between 2006 and 2007, decreased between 2004 and 2005, decreased between 2001 and 2002… and the decreases outweigh the increases, which is why there is a clear downward trend in ice coverage –
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png
    If the open water is not absorbing more heat, then where is the heat coming from? It could be coming just from the fact that the entire world is warming by 0.2°C per decade, but the Arctic is warming faster than the world as a whole, so that does suggest an amplifying mechanism going on there. What could it be?
    “Now, we see equal sea ice extents in 2009 as in 2005.”
    Yes, and the trend is clearly downwards, despite interannual variability. Why is that?

  150. Re: Icarus (12:45:37)
    Are you trying to suggest that the majority of energy input to the Arctic is happening in the Arctic (as opposed to being a result of transport from warmer latitudes)?

  151. Paul Vaughan (11:34:06): “I get the impression you haven’t spent much time on ice. If it suddenly gets very cold and it does _not snow ice will freeze rapidly & become very strong. Once the snow falls on the ice, it acts as an insulator. Ice comes in a lot of different forms. A wise & respected oldtimer used to warn me of “rotten” ice and instruct me on how to look out for it. Ice contains visible air bubbles, but it is snow on top of ice that traps a substantial amount of insulating air.”
    Thanks for the explanation Paul. I didn’t know that, and it makes a lot of sense. It must work the other way too, though, when the atmosphere is warmer than the water – i.e. the absence of insulating sea ice would allow surface water to warm up faster. That, combined with lower albedo, would presumably tip the balance towards a positive feedback (‘polar amplification’).

  152. Paul Vaughan (14:09:40): “Are you trying to suggest that the majority of energy input to the Arctic is happening in the Arctic (as opposed to being a result of transport from warmer latitudes)?”
    I don’t know enough about it to claim that, but the maps of global temperature anomalies do show the Arctic warming even faster than the rest of the planet, so there must be some kind of amplification effect going on there, almost by definition. It seems reasonable to me that warmer atmosphere and oceans are causing the ice to decline, which in turn is causing greater warming because of this positive feedback effect. Is that not the case? It’s what the data suggests –
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

  153. Re: Icarus (15:08:31)
    Have you spent much time in cold maritime climates? My impression is that your comments are based on speculation-from-afar rather than upon first-hand experience with ice & icy-water. Understand that ice & icy water pose very serious threats to human life. That is why the wise & respected oldtimer I mentioned upthread spent so many hours conveying to me all that he knew about safety on & around ice.

  154. Re: Icarus (15:21:50)
    3 questions – Are you:
    1) familiar with the Northern Annular Mode (NAM)?
    2) aware of the 1976 climate shift?
    3) aware of the step-changes in northern hemisphere sea surface temperatures following the major El Ninos of 1987 & 1998?

  155. Icarus said:
    “Is that not the case? It’s what the data suggests –
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png
    ***
    The data suggests you should look at a much longer time scale than thirty years.
    The NSIDC seem reluctant to accept the concept of natural cycles of cooling and warming. The start of Satellite measuring in 1979 coincided with peak ice, which is why they always speak of subsequent decline;
    Link 1
    http://geology.com/articles/northwest-passage.shtml
    Ice extent maximum- Depends if you are talking winter or summer but ‘decline’ starts around 1979 from a high point.
    Link 2 This also shows the same;
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg
    link 3
    The IPCC report confirms this p351/2 figures 4.8 4.9 4.10
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter4.pdf
    Link 4
    The concerns over global cooling in the 70’s did have some basis in fact. There were a series of low temperatures in many arctic areas during the 70’s which ice would have corresponded to by growing.
    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/Arctic.htm
    As the IPCC show, the start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice-so it is not at all surprising that as part of its natural cycle it should subsequently decline.
    link 5
    The IPCC are not very good at their historic reconstructions and generally view actual observations as ‘anecdotal.’ They seem to believe that history did not start before 1979.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#comments
    This article examines the arctic melting in the period 1810-1860 -see notes at bottom of article with additional references.
    Link 6
    These are two good studies showing the arctic melting from the 1920’s to 1940’s posted elsewhere;
    “I will cite two of these studies, which show (a) a warm period during the 1930s and 1940s with temperatures as high as those of today and (b) reduced sea ice extent during this period, which only later returned to the high levels measured at the start of the latest retreating cycle in 1979 (when satellite measurements started), i.e. your point.
    ftp://ftp.whoi.edu/pub/users/mtimmermans/ArcticSymposiumTalks/Smolyanitsky.pdf
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html
    link 7 The melting in the period 1920-1940 is very well documented. I have posted various articles on it including newspaper stories.
    Expeditions to the arctic to view the melting ice became the equivalent of todays celebrity jaunts to the area. The most famous were those mounted by Bob Bartlett on the Morrissey. I have carried extracts from his diary before-remember the observation of the mile wide face of a glacier falling in to the sea?
    There are pathe news reels of his voyages which your parents may have watched in their youth, and books on the subject. Here is a bibliography of material relating to him.
    http://www.nlpubliclibraries.ca/nlcollection/pdf/guides/NL_Collection_Guide_11.pdf
    We have got this far citing instances of warming and not even mentioned the Vikings 1000 years ago or the Ipiatuk from 2000 years ago.
    Certain of us seem reluctant to learn the lessons of history-in this case that there are periods of melting and refreeze that appear to follow a roughly 60/70 year cycle. We may or may not be at the low point in the cycle-that will become clearer over the next five years.
    Whatever the alarmists may believe, at present our modern era is not displaying any climate characteristics that have not been experienced in past ages of humanity.
    tonyb

  156. bill (16:37:28) :
    Many here blame the melt on ice flowing south via the Fram Staight.
    But just how much actually does?
    This animation from Jaxa:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e
    shows 2008 and 2009 up to 19th Sept. Most melt seems to be the other side o the Fram.
    http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/3709/seaice0809i.gif
    As one who has offered and attempted to support the hypothesis that the flow of sea ice through the Fram is a significant contributor to declining summer minimums in the Arctic, including several times in this thread, I would say the suggestion that many here support the idea is overstated, since I’ve often felt like a lonesome kitten far out on limb when trying to press the discussion here. I also seldom use the word melt when discussing the ebb and flow of Arctic ice extent, at least within the confines of the Arctic Ocean itself, since I tend to think the relative contributions of melting and movement out of the area to loss of ice extent is still an open question.
    The links you provided do indicate contracting ice with little accompanying flow out the Fram, but I have some problems accepting them as contradictory evidence of my hypothesis. In attempting to locate some analyses that provide quantitative data on the volume ice flowing out the Fram what I’ve been able to find suggests that such analysis has been scant, sporadic and inconsistent. However, the studies I have been able find do have one thing in common, they all show the flow bottoming out in the month leading up to the annual minimum, then rebounding robustly once freeze up commences. I would point out that each of the graphics that you linked are of that month.
    You also seem to want to characterize the contraction of the ice fields that those graphics show as melting, but since a number of other similar graphics of the same time period indicate that the contracting ice was also thickening significantly, I would suggest that the contribution of actual melting is still not established and consolidation of the ice may be as much responsible.
    I don’t claim to have proof for any of my amateurish guesses about any of this, but as I’ve stated here on quite a number of occasions, I’ve seen very little to suggest that the pros in this are any better situated in that regard, for their much better compensated SWAGs.

  157. Hi Mr. Green Genes:

    I couldn’t agree more. Let us indeed err on the side of caution. Let’s not go down the road of massive tax rises (it seems that the US Treasury Department is looking at $300bn p.a.) to combat a natural phenomenon. What could possibly be more conservative than that?

    You’ve met my pet methane catastophe? I call him Ralph. I keep him around because it’s always possible that I might want to feed him a biosphere. 🙂
    Seriously, we get trillions of dollars of free goods and services from our self regulating biosphere. In that sense, we are already rich and are born rich.
    The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event appear to be due to runaway positive feedback greenhouse events. The C12/C13 ratio signatures left in the sediments and seashells laid down at those times are best explained by trillions of tons of “isotopically light” methane from the methane hydrates entering the atmosphere geologically instantaneously, causing a huge discontinuity in the isotope ratios.
    The Permain- Triassic mass extinction killed something like 95% of marine species, and 80% of land species. It is the only known mass extinction of insects. Some scientists have speculated that this event came very close to tipping the entire self-regulating climate system over, killing all life on earth. Most people do not know that the real equilibrium state of the earth’s atmosphere, in the absence of life, would resemble the surface of Venus, with temperatures of hundreds of degrees, no free oxygen, and such a huge heavy atmosphere that surface pressures would resemble those found now at the bottoms of our oceans.
    Certainly, it took almost 100 million years for life to slowly regain its former complexity, after the End-Permian event, and hundreds of thousands of years for the oceans to become oxygenated again.
    Our huge rate of change of greenhouse gases could easily destabilize the Arctic permafrost, and the greenhouse gases from the permafrost and from the burning a good portion of the tropical and boreal forests could reasonably set off just such a methane catastrophe, by releasing some fraction of the several trillion tons of methane known to be contained in the methane hydrates.
    Methane is a greenhouse gas currently 23 times or so worse than CO2, but which could become more long lasting in the atmosphere (and a worse greenhouse gas), if current concentrations of the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere become overwhelmed, as is almost inevitable during an methane catastrophe.
    Do you really think that such an event would be good for our economy?

  158. What I find truely amazing about NSIDC and others is the contridictions they spout and refuse to see. They state the Sun-Earth connection is complex and not well understood on how it all effects the climate. Yet that continue to run models based trying to predict the future, even when those models must be incompleted and incorrect due to this lack of Sun-Earth understanding. One need only look at their short-term forecasts based on all of this modeling, compared to real results, to see they are way off. And this is just the short term modeling. Any errors in those get magnified over time, with the net result is long term models aren’t worth the electricity used to generate them. Yet they stand by these models, obssesively, defending them and the data they produce.
    I would have thought that as scientists they would be jumping up and down for joy given the current unusual solar activity. A careful and detailed study of what is going on could yield immense amounts of information which, while only scratching the sun-earth connection, could yield great insights into enhancing existing models. But I have yet to hear anything like this. Oh sure they may be studying the sun. But for them to admit they are doing so and that this might change their models (which would then produce, very likely, less dire effects on earth) goes against the message of doom beat into them every day for the last 20 years. Quite frankly, all I want is one of the major scientists in the field to step up, say “We admit the models are wrong so far but we are working on correcting them”. But they can’t do that as it would destroy the entire warming arguement in one swoop, and maybe put many of them out of a job. Sigh….

  159. Re: TonyB (16:55:48)
    Thanks for the notes — they led me to this:
    Chylek, P.; Dubey, M.K.; & Lesins, G. (2006). Greenland warming of 1920-1930 and 1995-2005. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L11707. doi:10.1029/2006GL026510.
    “We provide an analysis of Greenland temperature records to compare the current (1995-2005) warming period with the previous (1920-1930) Greenland warming. We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995 – 2005.

  160. Leland Palmer said;
    “Methane is a greenhouse gas currently 23 times or so worse than CO2, but which could become more long lasting in the atmosphere (and a worse greenhouse gas), if current concentrations of the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere become overwhelmed, as is almost inevitable during an methane catastrophe.”
    What percentage would methane need to increase in order to overwhelm the hydroxyl radical and over what timescale would the catastrophe unfold?
    tonyb

  161. Leland Palmer, look on the bright side. Methane is intrinsically less powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2 but has a greater effect at present because it is present in such low concentrations that its absorption frequencies are not saturated. So the more that is released into the atmosphere the less powerful it will become.

  162. Fridtjof, TonyB
    The downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent has accelerated indeed. The data from the past three years are all below the long term trend (1978 – 2006) of declining Arctic sea ice extent (though the 2009 minimum not by much). The downward trend from 1978 to 2009 ice minima is steeper than that from 1978 to 2006. Whether this signifies a real change in the long term trend, or whether these were just 3 anomalous years, is hard to tell for sure.
    An Inquirer,
    The fact that much larger variations of ice extent existed in the history of the Earth than we have witnessed in the past 30 years is not particularly comforting to me. It means that if the system is pushed hard enough, even much more ice can melt than we have witnessed in recent years.

  163. TonyB,
    I wrote: “The problem with CO2 is that a large part of our emissions stays in the atmosphere for centuries or even millennia”
    References:
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2005.fate_co2.pdf
    The most important processes governing the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere are:
    (1) Anthropogenic CO2 will equilibrate with seawater in the global ocean, on a timescale
    less than a millennium.
    (2) Acidifying the ocean by adding CO2 perturbs the CaCO3 cycle by decreasing the global burial
    rate of CaCO3. This perturbation acts to restore the pH of the ocean back toward its initial pre-anthropogenic value, on a timescale of _10 kyr.
    (3) A silicate weathering feedback acts to restore pCO2 to some equilibrium value on timescales of _100 kyr, setting the ultimate maximum duration of an anthropogenic carbon cycle perturbation.
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2008.tail_implications.pdf
    “Abstract. The notion is pervasive in the climate science community and in the public at
    large that the climate impacts of fossil fuel CO2 release will only persist for a few centuries.
    This conclusion has no basis in theory or models of the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle,
    which we review here. The largest fraction of the CO2 recovery will take place on time
    scales of centuries, as CO2 invades the ocean, but a significant fraction of the fossil fuel
    CO2, ranging in published models in the literature from 20–60%, remains airborne for a
    thousand years or longer.”
    And
    “The notion that global warming will last only a few centuries is widespread in the
    popular and even in the scientific literature on global warming. This misconception
    may have its roots in an oversimplification of the carbon cycle. The atmosphere today
    contains about 200 Gton C in excess of the natural 1,750 value. The ocean takes up
    2 Gton C per year, while the land surface, including deforestation, is currently in near
    balance. If the ocean were going to take up all of the CO2 following a simple first-order
    kinetics rate law, the CO2 drawdown would follow a decaying exponential trajectory, and
    the e-folding time for the uptake would be determined by dividing 200 Gton C by 2 Gton
    C/year, to yield about 100 years. The fallacy of this reasoning is that the real carbon
    uptake follows a sum of exponentials, rather than a single exponential decay. After the
    fastest exponential decay is finished, there is still CO2 left in the atmosphere awaiting
    slower uptake mechanisms.”
    And this graph:
    http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0812/fig_tab/climate.2008.122_F1.html

  164. Bart Verheggen (02:11:23),
    Your conjecture is false. Above ground nuclear tests in the South Pacific emitted carbon isotopes that showed conclusively that carbon dioxide persistence in the atmosphere is very short. Ferdinand Englebeen gives a figure of 5.2 years. Prof Freeman Dyson gives a figure of around 12 years.
    If CO2 had persistence of even a hundred years, there would be a long delay before we noticed any decline in CO2 due to the recession. But that is not what’s happening: click. CO2’s very short persistence means that if less is emitted, the atmospheric CO2 level will quickly begin to decline. That is exactly what we are seeing.
    To promote the canard that CO2 persistence is thousands of years is preposterous. But the rationale for the deception is clear: with a short persistence, the climate is not sensitive to CO2. So the alarmists must lie about it. They have no choice.
    The planet is verifying that CO2 persistence is short. As CO2 rises, the climate continues to cool. Listen to what the planet is saying, instead of those mendaciously promoting the runaway global warming myth.

  165. Smokey,
    “The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is often incorrectly stated to be only a few years because that is the average time for any CO2 molecule to stay in the atmosphere before being removed by mixing into the ocean, photosynthesis, or other processes. However, this ignores the balancing fluxes of CO2 into the atmosphere from the other reservoirs. It is the net concentration changes of the various greenhouse gases by all sources and sinks that determines atmospheric lifetime, not just the removal processes.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas)
    “begin to decline” is something very different than getting back to their original level. And even then, concentrations are not yet visibly affected: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

  166. Bart Verheggen (02:08:29) :
    Fridtjof, TonyB
    The downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent has accelerated indeed. The data from the past three years are all below the long term trend (1978 – 2006) of declining Arctic sea ice extent (though the 2009 minimum not by much). The downward trend from 1978 to 2009 ice minima is steeper than that from 1978 to 2006. Whether this signifies a real change in the long term trend, or whether these were just 3 anomalous years, is hard to tell for sure.
    Bart, don’t you think that this reply is a trifle disingenuous? I haven’t checked, but I suspect that 1978-2009 trend is not steeper than the 1978-2007 trend. If I wanted to cherry-pick, I could state that the past three years have seen an unprecedented growth in both Arctic and Global Sea Ice and that if this trend continues we could see the start of an Ice Age. Stuff and nonsense.

  167. Bart Verheggen and Smokey,
    There are several half life times of interest in the case of what happens with the surplus CO2 humans have emitted to the atmosphere.
    Smokey shows the 5.3 years which is the average residence time for any individual molecule that is emitted. That is important for the fate of (atomic bomb) 14C and (human/fossil and plant) 13C in the atmosphere, as that is governed by the 150 GtC circulation through the atmosphere (which contains about 800 GtC currently).
    But that is not important for what happens with the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere. The 2 GtC yearly absorbed by the oceans (+ about 1.4 GtC by vegetation) is the only value of importance, as that is what is reducing the total amount of CO2 (regardless of the origin) in the atmosphere, back to the pre-industrial average, modulated somewhat by temperature.
    Simple direct calculation shows that this leads to a half life time of about 40 years for the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, if we stop all emissions today. Thus after 40 years the current 380 ppmv would be 330 ppmv, after 80 years 305 ppmv and after 120 years 292.5 ppmv (again, modulated by temperature at about 8 ppmv/degr.C). See the work of Peter Dietze at: http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm
    Now this is quite accurate if the amounts emitted by humans are not extremely high, which is the case until now. Most of the reduction in the atmosphere will be stored in the deep oceans, where there is such a massive storage of CO2 (as -bi-carbonate) present that the small addition by humans doesn’t play a role.
    But once we use near all available oil and a lot more coal, that will lead to even an increase in the deep oceans, which will return to the atmosphere sooner or later, thus increasing the basic amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Then several other, slower, processes are involved to reduce the levels to the old equilibrium.
    The IPCC models use the Bern and ISAM models (but other models are in use too), see for the Bern model: http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~joos/model_description/model_description.html
    The Bern model uses a mix of half life times, depending of the type of sink and as the longest gives a remainder of thousands of years for the last 10% of excess CO2 in the atmosphere, that gives extremely long average half life times. Even if that is so, what the IPCC does forget to tell you is that the extreme long life times are only for the last 10% and that 80% of the excess CO2 is already gone in less than 150 years (except with extreme large amounts of emissions).
    For the current conditions: if we stop the emissions today, the 380 ppmv today will be about 315 ppmv according to the Bern model by the year 2150. The impact of that on temperature is completely negligible, even in the “hottest” models. See the work by Hans Erren (in Dutch, but the last graph gives the difference between the models). Bart Verheggen knows that, as he already commented…
    To make a comparison: the total of human emissions were about 200 GtC until today. If we stop the emissions, these 200 GtC will be absorbed by the oceans and ultimately mixed with the deep ocean reservoir of 26,000 GtC. That means that the concentration will increase from 26,000 to 26,200 or roughly 1%. The return ocean flow thus contains 1% more CO2, leading to a 1% increase of CO2 in the atmosphere when everything is in equilibrium. That is about 3 ppmv on a 280 ppmv level…

  168. Hi Tony B:

    What percentage would methane need to increase in order to overwhelm the hydroxyl radical and over what timescale would the catastrophe unfold?

    The best completely worked out scenario for this that I have seen is at http://www.killerinourmidst.com.
    How quickly this could happen is a good question, and how fast this could occur is something I have tried to understand myself. The changes, in the past have occurred “geologically instantaneously”, in other words, in less than a thousand years. Some authorities have made claims that this can happen in less than one hundred years, and there have even been claims that these events can happen in less than twenty years.
    One distinction that has to be drawn is between the ongoing consequences of passing the tipping point, and passing the tipping point itself, after which the consequences are preordained and cannot be stopped. The consequences could resemble a slow motion train wreck, with plenty of time for humanity to watch the unfolding events in horror, but with no way to stop them. The tipping point could occur with little advance warning, and could be happening now, or might have already happened.
    Chris Field talks about the release of several hundred billion tons of carbon by the burning of the tropical forests by the end of the current century, and talks about over a trillion tons of carbon contained in the melting permafrost. Lovelock estimates 6 billion people dead by the end of the century, and while he does mention methane, I get the idea that it is not the central part of his scenario.
    This paper on the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum ( a smaller, later event than the Permian-Triassic mass extinction) measures isotope ratios in individual sea shells, and seems to indicate that the onset of the warming event and methane release from the hydrates occurred within a single centimeter of sediment, with individual shells of the two populations of planktonic foraminifers mixed in that layer.
    http://ethomas.web.wesleyan.edu/debbieetal.pdf

    Specimens of surface- and thermocline dwelling
    planktonic foraminifera record only
    preexcursion or excursion d13C values across
    the onset of the event…
    ….The onset of excursion
    d13C values within specimens of both groups
    occurs within a span of 1 cm, and coincides
    with individuals that still record pre–carbon
    isotope excursion values. …
    …In contrast to the bimodal
    planktonic carbon isotope distribution,
    both the surface- and thermocline-dwelling foraminiferal
    d18O records contain intermediate
    values, marking a more gradual transition
    from pre–Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum
    to Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum
    d18O values…..
    …Transitional d18O values are expressed
    by the same individual specimens that
    contain pre–Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum
    d13C values.

    So significant warming, as shown by the Oxygen 18 isotope ratios, was occurring in individuals which got their carbon from pre-release sources, for the bottom dwellers. It would take a while for the carbon from the methane hydrate release to enter the carbon cycle as CO2, I guess. But the surface dwelling plankton got the isotope change right away, and for the surface dwellers the layer shows only before and after C13 isotope ratios, with no transitional values, suggesting a very abrupt release of methane from the methane hydrates.
    About the hydroxyl radical a recent MIT modeling study shows something like a 20 percent decline by the end of the century, but whether this is accurate hard to say, of course, and would depend on the scale and rapidity of the methane release.
    Here’s a news story about methane release, from the Anchorage daily news:
    http://www.adn.com/269/story/916689.html

    Climate trouble brewing in lakes of the far north
    METHANE: Release of greenhouse gas increasing as permafrost melts.
    By CHARLES J. HANLEY
    The Associated Press
    Published: August 30th, 2009 10:10 PM
    MACKENZIE RIVER DELTA, Northwest Territories — Only a squawk from a sandhill crane broke the Arctic silence — and a low gurgle of bubbles, a watery whisper of trouble repeated in countless spots around the polar world.
    “On a calm day, you can see 20 or more ‘seeps’ out across this lake,” said Canadian researcher Rob Bowen, sidling his small rubber boat up beside one of them. A tossed match would have set it ablaze.

    How fast this is occurring is hard to say. NOAA is flying aircraft in the area to monitor methane and CO2 concentrations. Methane plumes in the oceans from hydrate release have been detected by sonar, off Norway.
    Such methane plumes exist all the time – the question is, are the flows increasing?
    Certainly, as the oceans warm, the methane hydrate stability zone will likely contract (whether and how fast this occurs is a complicated function of both water pressure from increased sea levels and temperature) and methane flows will likely increase.
    And, it appears that the fossil record does show methane catastrophes.
    Whether it is possible for humans to set one off is a good question, but do we really want to risk it?

  169. Ferdinand Englebeen,
    Thank you for the clarification. I couldn’t find an English translation link on Hans Erren’s site. So could you please explain, for example, where the white cliffs of Dover came from, and how long it will be before the CO2 contained in the chalk reverts to the atmosphere? As you stated above, it will return to the atmosphere sooner or later, thus increasing the basic amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, even though CO2 has ramped up recently, it has been up to twenty times higher in the past — at times during major ice ages. And when the climate was warm and CO2 was high, the Earth was lush and life thrived.
    Next, what is the probability that we will use nearly all the available oil and a lot more coal, as you posit? Drilling, and even exploration, is completely forbidden in the red areas: click. Thus, using all the oil won’t come near to happening, and the use of coal will be even more curtailed. Yes, Saudi Arabia will continue producing oil, which makes a farce out of the entire debate.
    Due to the logarithmic decline in the effect of CO2, even doubling the concentration, which is highly unlikely even with no restrictive action taken, would add very little to the temperature, and surely a small additional warming would be much more beneficial than any continued cooling. And whether or not there is any change in CO2, the climate will continue to change: click.
    The IPCC/Al Gore claim is that an atmosphere that is 99.9613% non-CO2 results in the normal climate we have now, but a change to 99.9226% will cause catastrophic runaway global warming. This is based almost exclusively on computer models that are programmed by people who have at least some sort of outcome in mind. Compared to the real world, their conclusions do not hold up.
    The proposed gross misallocation of truly enormous capital resources, from actually beneficial science redirected into the putative mitigation of what is probably a non-problem, is a real human tragedy. The entire debate has been hijacked by people who are salivating at the prospect of collecting those $trillions, and in the process destroying the healthy and sustained civilization we’ve built.
    China will do exactly what we have done over the past two centuries, while privately screaming with laughter at our insanity as we wreck what we’ve built, creating a huge and unnecessary new bureaucracy in the process, empowering the totally corrupt and opaque UN to rule all individual countries, and implementing their proposed “World Tax” in addition to the massive new taxes that will result from current proposals.
    If I come across as a strong advocate of delaying these actions at least until we learn much more about the new science of climatology, it is because of the direct threat to Western civilization and living standards by truly evil people, most of them in the West, who want these very things to happen. They will not debate because they lose the debates. Rather, they work behind the scenes to greatly reduce our living standards and increase our taxes far beyond what they will admit. The UN’s Maurice Strong has stated that industrial societies must be destroyed, and the means they have decided on is to falsely demonize a harmless, beneficial and minor trace gas.

  170. Hi Alan Wilkinson

    Leland Palmer, look on the bright side. Methane is intrinsically less powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2 but has a greater effect at present because it is present in such low concentrations that its absorption frequencies are not saturated. So the more that is released into the atmosphere the less powerful it will become.

    Sorry, Alan, but I don’t see a bright side, here.
    Proponents of the business as usual approach to global warming generally assume linear models, and generally assume no synergy between warming mechanisms.
    As the synergy between warming and wildfires and warming and bark bettle infestations shows us, though, synergistic effects abound in nature, and huge economic consequences can flow from very minor climate variations.
    In the case of methane and CO2, a spike in methane concentrations could easily set off increased CO2 release from the oceans, which are a huge carbon reservoir. Increased warming will also lead to higher water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere, another greenhouse gas. If the conditions get so extreme as to remove the stabilizing effect of life itself on the climate, thermodynamic equilibrium of the earth’s climate would resemble the surface of Venus.
    Nature is full of hard to model, nonlinear effects. What would be the effect of dumping a couple of trillion tons of methane into our atmosphere? Would it really lead to tipping the whole climate system over, and extinction of all life on earth?
    No one knows, and I don’t want to find out.
    We do know that release of methane from the hydrates has been catastrophic in the past, and could condemn both ourselves and future generations to a hellish future, which may or may not include extinction of ourselves or even all life on earth.
    What we do know is that we can vastly increase the probability of continuing to receive the trillions of dollars per year in free services we receive from the biosphere by relatively minor and relatively inexpensive changes in our technology.
    Nature is full of examples of extinction, as a penalty for not being adaptive and pragmatic.

  171. Leland Palmer (20:42:30)
    You illustrate my point rather well. You gave us 10 paragraphs of history of naturally occurring events. However, your last sentence was, in my opinion, a non sequitur. You are asking whether a natural disaster would be good for the economy and the answer is, of course, probably not.
    However, my point was that we would cause enormous damage to the economy by spending a mind boggling sum of money every year in a doomed attempt to fix something which, in all probability, will never happen. Your argument appears to be along the lines of “we had to destroy the economy in order to save it” which does not strike me as being particularly sensible.

  172. Leland Palmer:

    Whether it is possible for humans to set one off is a good question, but do we really want to risk it?

    Do you really want to risk getting injured or killed in your car? The odds of your getting killed in an automobile accident are astronomically greater than a completely speculative event that maybe, might possibly, have occurred some 250 million years ago.
    But you still drive your car every day. Emitting tons of [harmless] CO2, driving everywhere even when you could bike it or hoof it. And as you’ve stated before, you have a rather large fossil fuel-using house where you could keep the temperature at 60° F in the winter by wearing a couple of sweaters. But I bet you don’t. Lecturing us is more fun.
    You can not do anything about natural methane seeps except worry, like a kid worrying about the monster under the bed. Yet you could immediately stop driving your fossil fuel burning cars, but you won’t; in other comments you’ve said you’re not willing to do that. How do you rationalize that? I’m sure you’ll find a way, and that’s fine. But scolding us at the same time makes you a h[snip].
    You can take a decisive personal action to [as you see it] actually benefit the environment. Instead, you refuse to give up your CO2 emitters [and don’t give us any of your “I’m doing a little bit, but that’s all I’m willing to do, I recycle, etc.”]. Then, you demand that the whole world must drop what they’re doing and pay attention to your frantic arm-waving over what is pure speculation about something that could have [but probably didn’t] happen a quarter of a billion years ago. More recently, the climate has been much, much warmer at times, with vastly more CO2… and no natural gas catastrophe occurred. Yet you want to do what? Increase spending by $trillions on an unprovable conjecture? While you are not even willing to trade your cars for bicycles??
    Maybe your fantastic natural gas catastrophe will happen next Thursday — or in a quarter of a billion years. Or most probably, never. But you still drive your car, which could get you injured or killed at any time, and which [as you see it, anyway] is destroying Mother Earth. Those are some strange priorities, my friend.

  173. Leland Palmer (20:42:30) :
    Leland Palmer (08:45:11) :
    I believe I’m beginning to see the light. You’re eloquent and closely reasoned descriptions of the incredible hazards facing the world as a consequence of the looming methane catastrophe have convinced me of the need for immediate action. To that end I have decided to commit all my efforts toward organizing a massive rally in Washington D.C., timed to coincide with the UN’s Copenhagen conference, where I and the assembled masses will stand united before the steps of the Capitol to demand that the politicians abandon their plans to spend hundreds of billions of our scarce dollars creating worthless pieces of paper, i.e. carbon credits, and almost equally worthless windmills and instead invest those resources in a massive Apollo- Manhattan project scale R&D program to develop with all possible speed the means to harvest those dangerous methane hydrates and convert them to much less hazardous CO2 by running the methane through dual cycle gas turbine generators to provide for the burgeoning demand for electricity in the developing world.
    Of course, organizing such an event on such a short time scale will be quite expensive and, since my own economic circumstances are seriously reduced due to recent events in the economy, I was hoping I could count on you for a contribution of say, $10.000 to get the ball rolling. I know that seems like a lot of money, but hey, the fate of the planet is hanging in the balance it’s no time to be squeamish about costs.

  174. Leland Palmer, Even if we are already past some tipping point (natural, anthropogenic, or whatever), it is not sensible to be alarmed. I encourage everyone to consider the threat an alarmed human race could pose to elements of the biosphere. Serenely & patiently, my focus will remain on understanding natural variation; we are nowhere near where we need to be on that front.

  175. I will answer my own question re mauna loa co2 above where I said
    “Can I repost Smokey’s earlier link which has passed everyone by in the latest flurry of co2 information:
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/carbon-emissions-fall-with-global-downturn-report-20090921-fxqf.html
    Is there an actual decline, or is it a slow down in the rate of increase of co2 as measured ar Mauna Loa?? Any actual figures or a graph anywhere?”
    ***
    ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_mm_mlo.txt
    Shows figures to August 2009. Can’t see anty decline myself just the usual rather too regular uplift. Can anyone else determine a trend?
    ( come on Joel, where are you-you’d be proud of me:) )
    tonyb

  176. Leland Palmer
    That was a very interesting reference re Methane, thank you.
    “Whether it is possible for humans to set one off is a good question, but do we really want to risk it?”
    Yes. The long and the short of it is that in very many years ‘something’ ‘might’ ‘possibly’ happen but it is extremly unlikely.
    I’m afraid as a scare that we need to worry about that comes way down my list (as does AGW)
    If we were talking about abstract natural scares, a repeat of a Carrington event of 1859 would top my list.
    As regards more immediate and concrete concerns, in the third world no doubt freedom from hunger, thirst, illness and poverty would figure highly. As for myself I’m concerned about the lights going off in the UK, so as we are awash with the stuff I would build immediately 10 c*a* fired power stations (sorry to swear in your internet home Anthony)
    As usual history can give us a pointer to the present regarding leaking methane. From your post:
    “On a calm day, you can see 20 or more ’seeps’ out across this lake,” said Canadian researcher Rob Bowen, sidling his small rubber boat up beside one of them. A tossed match would have set it ablaze. ”
    Fires from methane are as old as time and many countries have folk tales of them.The fires go by various names such as will o the wisp.
    “Sightings of anomalous lights are perhaps the most plausibly ‘explained’ of fairy phenomena. Will-o-the-wisps, or corpse candles, are usually attributed to methane. Baron von Reichenbach was curious about lights reported in graveyards. One of his associates, Leopoldina Reichel, was able to see dancing lights which resembled “dwarfish kobolds”. She could swish them about with her skirt. Reichebach thought they were a result of chemicals from the dead. Elf fire, or ignis fatuus (‘foolish fire’), is a flame-like phosphorescence caused by combusting gases from decaying vegetable matter. Those pursuing ignis fatuus are evaded. In Russian folklore these wandering fires are the spirits of stillborn children flitting between heaven and hell.”
    Your researcher needs to be less credulous and look at the history of other cold countries where these events are common.
    tonyb

  177. Bart Verheggen
    Thanks for coming back to me with further information.
    Following the exchange of emails here you will presumably now want to correct your web site regarding residency time of co2? If you follow your own link you will see the author has a book to sell and not even the IPCC agree with him.
    You might also like to carry my 16:55:48 which gave seven links of the historic oscillations of arctic ice, demonstrating the considerable variability and that todays levels are nothing out of the ordinary, declining from a cyclical peak in around 1979.
    In that way your visitors can see the alarmist position you take in a rather more rounded context. Hey! Why not put a link to this web site as well?
    tonyb

  178. Robert E. Phelan,
    You accuse me of cherrypicking, but perhaps you care to check where I entered the conversation: In this post, Anthony mentioned that the Arctic sea ice was on a “two year recovery”, which clearly is a form of cherrypicking. Even more so, since even the data of the past two years are below the long term trend of the past 30 years. That claim is subsequently attacked, so I give my sources. Your accusation should not be directed at me, I’m afraid.

  179. Smokey,
    Guess I’m one of those evil people who wants to lower your standard of living, eh? Thanks for a good laugh.

  180. As I’ve said in the past, it’s a very strange value system displayed by multiple people that read and post on this website.
    Any sort of change, or loss of income for the fossil fuel industries is portrayed as catastrophic, and something that is inconceivable.
    Continuing on our present course, a course that has a very high probability (not a low probability) of disaster, in my opinion, is framed as being a minor risk, when it is actually a huge risk, both in consequences and in probability.
    When a lawyer is employed to get off a client, if one argument fails he will simply switch to another. The bottom line of his arguments is that his client must go free or receive a low sentence. The arguments change, but the final conclusion of all of his arguments is that his client should receive the minimum damage the lawyer can achieve.
    When I respond to the arguments presented on this site, I often get the feeling that I am responding to people who are acting like lawyers, not like scientists. The bottom line of all of these threads is that appropriate adaptation to climate change will doom us to poverty. The arguments change, but the final conclusion is always the same. It is also a wrong conclusion, IMO. Current climate legislation is a small start, but it is a start, and is moving in the right direction.
    Responding to specific points:
    Hi Dave:

    instead invest those resources in a massive Apollo- Manhattan project scale R&D program to develop with all possible speed the means to harvest those dangerous methane hydrates and convert them to much less hazardous CO2 by running the methane through dual cycle gas turbine generators to provide for the burgeoning demand for electricity in the developing world.

    How refreshing. A positive solution!
    Unfortunately, it won’t be all that easy, and release of methane from hydrates will likely kill the oceans by increased acidification. Try as we might, much of the methane from these hydrate deposits will escape, and add to ocean acidification, by being oxidized into CO2. Eventually, if it gets bad enough, it will go directly into the atmosphere, and at this point, might ignite.
    Yes, we should harvest these methane plumes, and burn the methane via oxyfuel combustion to generate electricity, then deep inject the CO2 into deep basalt strata below the floor of the ocean. Below 2.7 km, the CO2, being compressible, becomes denser than water, which is much less compressible. So it would have negative bouyancy, and would tend to sink rather than rise. It would also react chemically with the basalt to form carbonates. And being this deep below the ocean floor, escape of deep injected CO2 would be unlikely in any case, and would tend to form CO2 hydrates, which might delay it getting into the oceans themselves.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/29/9920.full.pdf+html

    Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep-sea basalt
    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.

    The methane hydrate maps are fragmentary, but methane hydrate deposits lie on continental shelves around every continent. One good place to start hydrate remediation might be the hydrate ridge area, off the pacific northwest. Selling the electricity from burning the methane could pay for the scheme, and fund the installation of the deep injection wells, which could also deep inject CO2 from carbon negative biomass/CCS power plants based on land.
    But, we are not going to be able to capture all of the methane. Its like trying to catch soup in a basket, some will dribble through.

  181. [Ps-s-s-st! Leland! That methane monster is still lurking under your bed. And there’s another one with it, a coal monster!]
    I grew up in northeast Ohio. As kids we knew where the natural gas [methane] seeps were. They were all over. You could throw a match in one and the gas would burn for days, until the next rain or until someone called the fire department. These vents didn’t just start recently. I suspect they’ve even been there in pre-SUV times.
    This happens all over the world, all the time. It’s completely natural. Then there’s coal:
    There are unstoppable coal fires burning all over the world. Almost all of them were started by people burning something over an exposed seam.
    The Centralia, Illinois coal fire has burned non-stop for over forty seven years. It can not be extinguished, and it is still growing. Someone ignited an exposed coal seam:

    …The burning trash caught the exposed vein of coal on fire. The fire was thought to be extinguished but it apparently wasn’t when it erupted in the pit a few days later. Again the fire was doused with water for hours and thought to be out. But it wasn’t. The coal then began to burn underground. That was in 1962. For the next two decades, workers battled the fire, flushing the mines with water and fly ash, excavated the burning material, and dug trenches, backfilled, drilling again and again in an attempt to find the boundaries of the fire and plan to put the fire out or at least contain it. All efforts failed… By the early 1980s the fire had affected approximately 200 acres and homes had to be abandoned as carbon monoxide levels reached life threatening levels. An engineering study concluded in 1983 that the fire could burn for another century or even more…[source]

    Coal plants scrub out the ash and other particulates. What is emitted is only clean, beneficial CO2. But these underground coal fires continue to grow, and they put huge amounts of smoke and ash into the atmosphere 24/7/365, all over the world. And they can burn for centuries, growing constantly larger.
    This is a real problem, right now, Leland, not some wild-eyed speculation about an event that probably didn’t even happen a quarter billion years ago, and won’t happen in the next quarter billion years.
    Just thought I’d give you something else to worry about. And you know, for well under one per cent of the proposed $trillions for the climate change silliness, all of these fires could be extinguished around the world. Because with the will, it can be done; in ten years we ramped up and went to the Moon.
    But that won’t happen. Why? Because it’s like roofing a house. You work at it and work at it, and then suddenly you’re done, and the fires are out. But globaloney warming isn’t at all about science, or it would actually be seriously debated. It’s really all about money. Our money, and how they can get their kleptocratic hands deeper into everyone’s pockets.
    Demonizing CO2 is an open-ended gravy train, not simply a challenging job to do and be done with it. That’s why they don’t care about gigatons of raw coal pollution. They want to tax the air you breathe.

  182. Leland Palmer (08:45:11) :
    I guess that’s a no on the ten grand then.
    Once more from the top.
    1] As I’ve said in the past, it’s a very strange value system displayed by multiple people that read and post on this website.
    Any sort of change, or loss of income for the fossil fuel industries is portrayed as catastrophic, and something that is inconceivable.
    I can’t speak for everyone here, but as for me, I see little prospect that the fossil fuel industry will suffer any loss of income from any of this, for the simple reason that corporations don’t pay taxes, they collect them and if history is any indication they will not only collect all new taxes in this boondoogle with enthusiasm, but will use the cover of the changes to slip a little sugar in their pocket for themselves. In all likelihood their profits will increase which is probably why so many of them are touting Waxman-Markey.
    2] Continuing on our present course, a course that has a very high probability (not a low probability) of disaster, in my opinion, is framed as being a minor risk, when it is actually a huge risk, both in consequences and in probability
    Perhaps you’d like to share your work with the class on this calculation.
    3] When I respond to the arguments presented on this site, I often get the feeling that I am responding to people who are acting like lawyers, not like scientists. The bottom line of all of these threads is that appropriate adaptation to climate change will doom us to poverty. The arguments change, but the final conclusion is always the same. It is also a wrong conclusion, IMO. Current climate legislation is a small start, but it is a start, and is moving in the right direction.
    If you want to be responded to in a scientific manner, you might want to consider couching your arguments in scientific terms.
    The bottom line of most of the comments here is that spending vast amounts on programs which will achieve almost nothing for the climate is stupid and if you believe otherwise perhaps you could share a few historic examples where restricting the supply of energy and dramatically raising its cost has had a positive effect on a society. Your final point that this is considered only a small start is not a real positive one for your argument.
    As for the rest, it’s been a while since I read anything on attempts to come up with plans to harvest methane hydrates so I’m working off memory here, but as I recall the plans fell apart not so much because it was impossible to accomplish, but because it wasn’t economically feasible and as I recall the numbers involved, a fraction of what is being proposed to subsidize wind and solar would cover the capital shortfall nicely. Your carbon sequestration schemes seem to be awfully Rube Goldbergish as well, much more complicated than necessary. A more simple plan, if oceanic PH is shown to be a real problem, would be to turn all that captured carbon into Alka-Seltzer, and put a device on all ships to spread it across the oceans as they travel about. Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is.
    You probably think I’m not taking your concerns seriously, you’d probably be right.
    i

  183. Smokey (09:28:13) , 21 September,
    Smokey, the white cliffs of Dover were deposited when CO2 levels in the atmosphere were 10-12 times higher than today, by the same species which lives even today:
    http://www.noc.soton.ac.uk/soes/staff/tt/eh/
    That is the reason why I don’t think that high levels of CO2 have much effect on ocean acidification or calcite deposits. But the return of slightly higher CO2 levels is not from the solution of deposits, it is from the CO2 present in the deep ocean layers. The deposits are only part of the (negative) feedback of higher CO2 levels and are of the slow type.
    I don’t think that we will use all oil and most of coal in a short time, as that will increase in price, while the alternatives between now and 50-100 years will become cheaper in comparison. What I described is what the IPCC uses to “project” the future. But that is based on the worst case scenario’s, which are very unlikely to develop. The effect of these scenario’s is scaring, just because these are so far out of reality. Thus if you hear of “CO2 is forever”, that may be right, but that is only for a small, inconsequent fraction of the emissions.
    The rest is politics, where I have my own opinion, but I am far more interested in the science than in the politics…

  184. Leland Palmer,
    For your interest: despite the increase in temperature, CH4 levels in the atmosphere didn’t increase significantly in the past decade. It seems that the natural increase is compensated by the decline in human emissions (probably due to a conversion to “dry” rice cultivation). See the “carbon tracker” of NOAA and click on Barrow, at the edge of the Alaskan tundra and fill in CH4 to show the trend since the measurements started:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/iadv/
    Further, temperatures during the previous warm period (the Eemian) were globally 1-2 K warmer than today and over 5 K warmer in the Arctic regions, with forest growing up to the Arctic ocean (where now only tundra grows). The methane level then was not more than 600-700 ppbv over a period of 10,000 years… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html
    Thus forget all these alarming scenario’s. These are all based on computer models which fail to even correctly “predict” the current 10-years halt of temperature increase…

  185. Bart Verheggen
    As Ferdinand states;
    “The effect of these scenario’s is scaring, just because these are so far out of reality. Thus if you hear of “CO2 is forever”, that may be right, but that is only for a small, inconsequent fraction of the emissions.”
    As previously mentioned you will no doubt want to change your web site content to reflect this reality so any casual browsers aren’t misled by the paper yor cited which comes from someone with a book to sell.
    tonyb

  186. Paul Vaughan: “I encourage everyone to consider the threat an alarmed human race could pose to elements of the biosphere.”
    The threat is not even hypothetical, it’s already happening: Short-sighted political regulations encouraging the use of biofuels were partly responsible for the skyrocketing of palm oil prices from about 2 years ago, which accelerated the destruction of Indonesian and Malaysian rain forests (the prices plummeted in the wake of the financial crisis, but they’re on the rise again).
    Anyone who has a genuine interest in the ecological well-being of our planet should avoid drinking the AGW Kool Aid and rationally look at what the AGW hysteria may cause: Both the direct consequences of wrong political decisions and the direct humanitarian (and indirect environmental) consequences of halting the development of third world countries. And least but not last, the long-lasting opinion damage this could do, both with regards to environmental issues and the public’s trust in science.

  187. Ferdinand,
    “Further, temperatures during the previous warm period (the Eemian) were globally 1-2 K warmer than today and over 5 K warmer in the Arctic regions, with forest growing up to the Arctic ocean (where now only tundra grows). ”
    And global average sea level was about 6 metres higher than now. Sounds quite alarming to me.

  188. Hi all-
    Most of our “don’t worry, be happy” assumptions and approach to life are about to change, IMO. These are the assumptions and attitudes of creatures who have been freeloading on a stable, self-regulating climate system.
    Now, like a finely tuned machine with a wrench thrown into it, our self-regulating climate system is starting to tear itself apart, in an ever-widening series of vicious cycle positive feedbacks. The human race is in trouble- we have never seen trouble like this, ever before, in my opinion.
    My concerns are not just my concerns. They are the concerns of a growing number of people, and one ominous trend is that the people who are most educated and informed about the subject are the most concerned.
    http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0122-climate.html

    97% of climatologists say global warming is occurring and caused by humans
    A new poll among 3,146 earth scientists found that 90 percent believe global warming is real, while 82 percent agree that human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.
    The survey, conducted among researchers listed in the American Geological Institute’s Directory of Geoscience Departments*, “found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role”. The biggest doubters were petroleum geologists (47 percent) and meteorologists (64 percent). A recent poll suggests that 58 percent of Americans believe that human activity contributes to climate change.

    The “don’t worry, be happy” attitude displayed on this site is actually a minority opinion, at least among those who are informed about the subject.
    like a finely tuned machine with a wrench thrown into it, our climate appears to be destabilizing.
    The human grief and anguish that is going to cause, apparently, unless drastic action is taken, have barely started, I think.
    Here is a link to an interview with James Lovelock, one of the real experts and intellectual leaders in the field of the climate as a self-regulating system.
    Lovelock was right, IMO, except that he isn’t worried enough about the effects of methane release from the hydrates on the climate system:
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/16956300/the_prophet_of_climate_change_james_lovelock

    The Prophet of Climate Change: James Lovelock
    One of the most eminent scientists of our time says that global warming is irreversible — and that more than 6 billion people will perish by the end of the century.
    Until recently, Lovelock thought that global warming would be just like his half-assed forest — something the planet would correct for. Then, in 2004, Lovelock’s friend Richard Betts, a researcher at the Hadley Centre for Climate Change — England’s top climate institute — invited him to stop by and talk with the scientists there. Lovelock went from meeting to meeting, hearing the latest data about melting ice at the poles, shrinking rain forests, the carbon cycle in the oceans. “It was terrifying,” he recalls. “We were shown five separate scenes of positive feedback in regional climates — polar, glacial, boreal forest, tropical forest and oceans — but no one seemed to be working on whole-planet consequences.” Equally chilling, he says, was the tone in which the scientists talked about the changes they were witnessing, “as if they were discussing some distant planet or a model universe, instead of the place where we all live.”
    As Lovelock was driving home that evening, it hit him. The resiliency of the system was gone. The forgiveness had been used up. “The whole system,” he decided, “is in failure mode.”
    A few weeks later, he began work on his latest and gloomiest book, The Revenge of Gaia, which was published in the U.S. in 2006.

    REPLY: But Now Lovelock says “we shouldn’t have fixated on Carbon Dioxide” Even prophets change their minds. -A
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/geoffrey-lean/6207647/Climate-change-campaigners-should-not-have-fixated-on-carbon-dioxide.html

  189. Leland Palmer said:
    “Now, like a finely tuned machine with a wrench thrown into it, our self-regulating climate system is starting to tear itself apart, in an ever-widening series of vicious cycle positive feedbacks. The human race is in trouble- we have never seen trouble like this, ever before, in my opinion.”
    What do you believe these vicious cycle positive feedbacks to be?
    tonyb

  190. Bart Verheggen
    You seem to have accidentally omitted the rest of the quote:
    “Researchers expect to find that much of the ice persisted even when temperatures were 5C higher than today, offering hope that much of it will remain in a world of manmade climate change.”
    tonyb

  191. TonyB,
    Sounds like you take comfort in the remaining ice on Greenland and the Antarctic, even in the Eemian. Perhaps only ~8% of the total amount of land ice melted, but it still caused a 6 meter sea level rise. Very comforting indeed, especially when taking into account that the global average temperature was only about 1-2 K higher than it is now; we will very likely surpass that temperature this century. The question of course is: How long will we remain above that temperature, and will the icesheets remain stable for that time period? I don’t know. Do you? Does not knowing comfort you?

  192. Hi Anthony-

    REPLY: But Now Lovelock says “we shouldn’t have fixated on Carbon Dioxide” Even prophets change their minds. -A

    Well, I didn’t see that quote in the link you provided, but I’ll take your word for it. It seems likely that Lovelock was talking about controlling emissions of black carbon soot, which make a sizable contribution to global warming, and which might be easier to control than CO2.
    I strongly doubt that Lovelock has changed his mind about the role of CO2 in climate change in any fundamental way, which is seen by the experts as the largest contributor to global warming.
    Likely, he just sees the black carbon as easier to control than the CO2, not a bigger contributor to global warming. The article linked to seems to be about going after the “low hanging fruit” when fighting global warming which the article says is black carbon.
    Sure, let’s go after the black carbon.
    But let’s convert the coal fired power plants to enhanced efficiency “carbon negative” biomass plus carbon capture and storage power plants, too, and go after CO2 emissions in a big way.
    We can’t turn the corner on the developing runaway positive feedbacks we are starting to see in the tropical and boreal forests and the polar regions without controlling CO2 emissions, I think.
    Hi Tony B:
    To the best of my knowledge, the positive feedback cycles mentioned most often are wildfires in the tropical and boreal forests, the melting Arctic icecap/ albedo feedback, release of methane and CO2 from melting permafrost, release of dissolved CO2 from warming oceans into the atmosphere, increases of water vapor in the atmosphere, and release of methane from the methane hydrates. A positive feedback sometimes mentioned in relation to the release of methane from the methane hydrates is increased destruction of the hydroxyl radical by oxidation of methane, leading to longer equilibrium lifetimes of methane in the atmosphere.

  193. Bart Verheggen
    Read the report. 5C higher than today.
    Do you truly believe that the arctic ice levels are at a ‘unprecedented’ low level today?
    tonyb

  194. Bart Verheggen: You write “The downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent has accelerated indeed. “. This is statistical nonsense. The summer sea ice is not something that fluctuates just randomly along a downward trend line. This is very simple: The area of ice in one summer is dependent on the ice area of the previous summer, since the area of melted ice depends on the thickness of the ice, which depends on the amount of multi-year ice, which depends on the previous summer. The increase of the last two summers has been about 11% per year – how do you expect it to recover faster than that?

  195. Leland said
    “Hi Tony B:
    To the best of my knowledge, the positive feedback cycles mentioned most often are wildfires in the tropical and boreal forests, the melting Arctic icecap/ albedo feedback, release of methane and CO2 from melting permafrost, release of dissolved CO2 from warming oceans into the atmosphere, increases of water vapor in the atmosphere, and release of methane from the methane hydrates.”
    You do realise that outgasing of co2 from the oceans is a perfectly natural part of the carbon cycle? Methane has been released from melting permafrost since time immemorial -I cited a link on this. Wildfires are primarily caused by people burning forest for crops, biofuels etc. More people more burning. We have too many people-industrialisation generally reduces population pressures but that is a different-although very interesting-argument.
    Please cite your study of increased water vapour due to man.
    We have already dealt with your comment on hydroxyl. Arctic ice has huge variations that operate in cycles. I cited seven links earlier demonstrating this. Have you read them? The last-very well documented cycle-was 1920-1940
    tonyb

  196. Leland Palmer (07:41:39) :
    When 10,000 years of 5 degr.C higher temperatures in the Arctic (and 1-2 degr.C global) weren’t enough to release catastrophic amounts of methane (hydrates) from the melting of permafrost and/or the ocean shelves, why do you think that 100 years of a few tenths of a degree will lead to a catastrophe?
    This kind of scenario’s is only the result of climate models, which still need to show even the slightest start of skill to “project” the future…

  197. Bart Verheggen (07:11:01) :
    “The question of course is: How long will we remain above that temperature, and will the icesheets remain stable for that time period?”
    If we find economical and abundant alternatives within this century, the CO2 levels will fall back to about pre-industrial levels within 150 years, thus in total about 2.5 century + about 30 years for land+oceans to return to pre-industrial temperatures (if that is a blessing, that is another point: freezing Thames and Schelde in winter? A shorter growing season?). Thus in total 3 centuries of CO2 and temperature luxury. In principle, ice sheets should grow again and sea levels would fall back to the previous period (if CO2 was the cause of the melting/increase!).
    The current sea level change is projected to be about 30 cm this century.
    Compare that to 6 m sea level increase over 10,000 years or 6 cm per century in the Eemian. In both cases: plenty of time to increase the height of the dikes all over the world…

  198. Espen, you are correct that it is not hypothetical …and it can get a lot worse.
    Leland Palmer, you are no friend of nature.
    Paul Vaughan
    Ecologist

  199. Ferdinand,
    You’re talking about “a few tenths of a degree” over the course of hundred years. For the 21st century global warming to be only a few tenths of degrees would require one of two things:
    – Society drastically reduces their GHG emissions very soon. But then really drastically, nothing like is even being discussed these days.
    – Climate sensitivity to be only a few tenths of degrees per doubling of CO2. I’m guessing this is your line of thinking rather than the former. However, this would require for the foundations of climate science to be totally wrong; it’s at odds with what we know about past climate changes (LGM), the response from major volcanic eruptions, with what we know about various feedbacks in the system.
    It seems utterly unlikely that the state of the science is so far off as this would require. If you can quantitatively explain past and current climate changes better than current GCM’s, incorporating all the relevant physics, with such low sensitivity… you would truly be heralded as the new Galileo. Forgive me for being skeptical though.

  200. Bart Verheggen (00:41:04) :
    Bart, according to Modtran, the direct effect of 2xCO2 is 0.9 K, with water vapour feedback about 1.3 K. All the rest is based on (only positive) feedbacks, of which several are very questionable, especially cloud feedback. Thus indeed, based on the current lack of warming, not “projected” by any GCM, and the overblown assumptions of the aerosol effect (even the sign is disputable) I assume that the real sensitivity for 2xCO2 is below 1.5 K.
    My (sorry, Oxford’s) simple climate model (EBM – energy balance model) performs even a little better with 1.5 K/2xCO2 than with 3 K/2xCO2 to retrofit the past century temperatures:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html
    If we will reach 2xCO2 in this or next century, that is another question. Much depends on the price and availability of the alternatives. There is a break-even in CO2 increase at about halve the current emissions and further reductions will lower the CO2 level in the atmosphere.

  201. You do realise that outgasing of co2 from the oceans is a perfectly natural part of the carbon cycle? Methane has been released from melting permafrost since time immemorial -I cited a link on this. Wildfires are primarily caused by people burning forest for crops, biofuels etc. More people more burning. We have too many people-industrialisation generally reduces population pressures but that is a different-although very interesting-argument.
    Please cite your study of increased water vapour due to man.

    I’m glad you’ve got it all cleared up. I’m sure the vast majority of professional climatologists that remain extremely concerned about the climate destabilization we appear to be witnessing will be very glad to hear that. 🙂
    The oceans contain 40,000 gigatons of dissolved inorganic carbon. The atmosphere contains 700 gigatons of carbon.
    Gas solubility decreases as temperature increases.
    So, the oceans, potentially could stop acting as a huge CO2 sink. Would the equilibria shift between bicarbonate and carbonic acid, and between carbonic acid and CO2? The oceans contain 40,000 gigatons of carbon.
    Which means that if the oceans release two percent of their dissolved CO2 and bicarbonate this alone could more than double atmospheric CO2.
    If what we are witnessing was part of the “natural” carbon cycle, the climate system would have many thousands of years to absorb any increase in CO2, and sequester it as carbonates, due to weathering of mafic rocks and formation of carbonate from the absorbed CO2, and precipitation of bicarbonate as carbonate. But we have dumped carbon into the atmosphere so suddenly that rock weathering is being overwhelmed, and increased acidification of the oceans is limiting precipitation of the carbonate, I think.
    According to Chris Field, one of the IPCC group leaders, the tropical forests will release 100 to 500 billion tons of CO2 themselves from wildfires into the atmosphere, on any business as usual scenario, an amount comparable to the entire industrial revolution, potentially increasing CO2 in the atmosphere by on the order of 50%.
    Permafrost has melted before, but not so much of it so suddenly, I think. The northern permafrost contains an estimated 1.6 trillion tons of carbon. If ten percent of that ends up in the atmosphere as methane over the next century, this could increase greenhouse absorption from sunlight sufficient to trigger dissociaiton of the oceanic methane hydrates, which is the main concern.
    And increased hydrate dissociation appears to be occurring, even as we speak, from water temperature increases of only one degree C.:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17625-as-arctic-ocean-warms-megatonnes-of-methane-bubble-up.html

    The region where the team found the plumes is being warmed by the West Spitsbergen current, which has warmed by 1 °C over the past 30 years.

    When 3-4 trillion tons of methane hydrate apparently dissociated during the Permian – Triassic mass extinction, average surface air temperatures increased by 10-40 degrees C:
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/Kiehl-Shields.pdf
    If CO2 increases are due to man, and therefore rising temperatures are due to man, how could water vapor increases in the atmosphere due to rising temperatures not be due to man?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Role_of_water_vapor

    Role of water vapor
    Main article: water vapor
    Increasing water vapor in the stratosphere at Boulder, Colorado.
    Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between 36% and 66% for water vapor alone, and between 66% and 85% when factoring in clouds.[8] Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not significantly affect water vapor concentrations except at local scales, such as near irrigated fields.
    The Clausius-Clapeyron relation establishes that air can hold more water vapor per unit volume when it warms. This and other basic principles indicate that warming associated with increased concentrations of the other greenhouse gases also will increase the concentration of water vapor.

  202. Bart Verheggen: “It seems utterly unlikely that the state of the science is so far off as this would require.”
    Well, that was my position too – until very recently (and after having firmly believed AGW to be a real and imminent danger for almost 30 years!). But I’ve come to the conclusion that much of climate science must indeed be very far off. Having a degree in mathematics and having actually done some semi-relevant statistics (biometry) several years ago, I’m rather disappointed with the statistical ground work being done here. For instance, the “homogenized” GISS data from the arctic seems close to worthless, it appears to include a whole lot of airports that are classified as rural areas, and which (for this reason) is used to correct the data of cities in the arctic the wrong way. My current conjecture is that the data does not support the claim that recent years were any warmer than the 30s and 40s in the arctic. And it does not only apply to the Arctic, Anthony has shown the US data to be flawed, and I think it may be the case for may other parts of the World, including continental Europe. In addition, the number of stations in use is now so low that it doesn’t really cover enough area to give any sensible measure of “world surface temperature”.
    Add to this the highly questionable methods of the Mann hockey stick paper (now repeated in the Kaufman et al. paper), and the strong support for the reality of the Warm Medieval Period from both historical records (e.g. Vikings on Greenlands) and lots of proxy data (very recently the WMP was confirmed in tropical data from Indonesia).

  203. Ferdinand Englebeen:
    “I assume that the real sensitivity for 2xCO2 is below 1.5 K”.
    That is a minor fraction of what the UN/IPCC claims. The planet is demonstrating that you are far closer to reality than the IPCC.
    Leland Palmer,
    You are clearly in the same league as the medieval priests who argued incessantly about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. No doubt if they were here today, they would infest WUWT with posts emulating yours, and based on just as much idle speculation.
    Well over 30,000 physical scientists [just in America — there would be several times as many if the statement was opened to scientists world wide], a large fraction of whom hold advanced degrees, have signed the following statement concerning methane:

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    You might as well be defending Scientology, for all the validity your methane posts have.
    Is “Leland Palmer” the screen name for your real identity, Dr Raygun?

  204. Hi Smokey-
    This 30,000 “scientist” poll has been pretty thoroughly debunked, as you must know:
    Here’s a video link:

    You will no doubt go on using this climate skeptic talking point, anyway.

  205. It’s easier to debunk Leland Palmer than shooting fish in a barrel.
    The whole boring video [Aargh! Eight minutes wasted on bogus drivel!] tried to make one point: that a small percentage [less than a dozen!] dishonest people submitted fake credentials. [If it were more than that, for certain Leland’s propaganda screed would have had the list.]
    That still leaves over thirty thousand legitimate scientists who signed the petition stating unequivocally that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
    Leland pegs the cognitive dissonance meter.

  206. Actually, the video makes several good points.
    Firstly, there was a certain amount of fraud involved in gathering them, with the petition being accompanied by a cover letter from Dr. Seitz, along with a non-peer reviewed article on global warming which was deliberately designed to appear to be from a scientific journal. The National Academy of Science subsequently made clear it had no connection with either the cover letter or the deceptive, non-peer reviewed article.
    Secondly, no attempt was made to verify the identity or the authenticity of the signatures.
    Thirdly, Dr. Seitz was very much involved in the tobacco industry effort to deny a link between cigarette smoking and its health effects,and Dr. Seitz directed at least 45 million dollars worth of studies, none of which ever showed a link between cigarette smoking and cancer or other health effects of smoking.
    Dr. Seitz has been employed by the professional tobacco effect denial industry for years, and has branched out to be employed by the climate skeptic industry, apparently making millions of dollars in doing so. He is quite elderly, and his mental competence has been questioned by his own tobacco industry employers.
    The signatures were gathered in a deceptive manner, accompanied by a cover letter from a professional paid skeptic, and also accompanied by a fake scientific journal article. The gatherer of the signatures is a fringe group, whose other output includes nuclear war survival literature and home schooling literature for parents concerned about avoiding socialist teaching by the public schools.
    Like I said, you will no doubt continue to make this climate skeptic talking point.
    This appears to be more like the behavior of a lawyer, who will continue to make any argument he believes might persuade his audience to adopt a specific viewpoint, than the behavior of a scientist.

  207. Leland Palmer, your mind is made up and closed tight. You can have the last CD-inspired word. But first, I want to point out something:
    The link you gave is dishonest propaganda. They simply fabricated things that are not true. And you believed them, based on nothing but a YouTube video.
    For those who want the citation showing that the video worshipped by Leland has mendaciously fabricated a completely false story, it’s here: click.
    Simply parroting that “no attempt was made to verify the identity or the authenticity of the signatures” is typical Leland. It’s provably untrue, but that doesn’t matter, and the facts be damned.
    Actually believing that highly regarded scientists like Prof Freeman Dyson were tricked into signing the clear and straightforward OISM statement is incredible beyond belief. No doubt those scientists, when they read the language of the statement, thought about what it said and signed it. And it wasn’t an easy internet poll; it required signing the statement, putting a stamp on the letter, and mailing it. Emails are specifically not accepted, and the signers are verified. Tricksters are thrown out.
    Also, there are few scientists who will not do paid research for companies, whether the research is for tobacco companies, or oil companies [or for treacherous anti-American weasels like the convicted felon George Soros, for that matter]. I would like to see Leland turn down $45 million from a tobacco or oil company, based on principle. Ri-i-i-i-i-ght. He would no doubt accept 45¢ from a tin foil company.
    I really resent Leland’s constant ad hominem character assassination against reputable individuals. He does it constantly. No doubt Leland gets cheers and huzzahs at the wacko blogs he usually [I almost said normally] inhabits. But ad hominem attacks like his don’t fly here, where facts matter, not personalities. This isn’t People magazine, or the Weekly World News. This is the world’s “BEST SCIENCE” site. Ad hominem attacks mean only one thing: Leland has zero credible facts, so he personally attacks the scientists by alleging associations with “fringe” groups, the “denial industry,” and “home schooling.” What does that have to do with the language of the Petition??
    What Leland fails to understand is that the specific language of the Petition is the entire issue. Let’s debate that, eh? Impugning the motives and character of 30,000 highly educated individuals is typical Leland Palmer. He is acting exactly like the lawyer types that he projects onto everyone here that he doesn’t agree with.
    Leland’s absurd belief that thirty thousand+ people, holding advanced degrees in the hard sciences, have been ignorantly bamboozled into signing a crystal clear statement is as ridiculous as his silly methane fantasies.
    When Leland gives up his fossil fuel burning cars and starts walking the walk on “carbon,” instead of only talking the talk, he will be taking the first step on the road to credibility.

  208. Hi Smokey-
    I think the shoe is on the other foot, of course, and would apply most of what you have criticized me for to you.
    I think we have established several things on this thread. We have established that catastrophic warming events appear to be linked to methane release from the methane hydrates, in at least two mass extinctions in the past – The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and the Permian-Triassic mass extinction.
    We have established that a clear path to destabilization of the methane hydrates appears to exist, and that there are credible news reports that this might already be happening.
    We have established that this release of methane from the methane hydrates could be triggered first by fossil fuel use and secondly by positive feedback effects of that fossil fuel use, including wildfires, albedo changes, methane and CO2 release from the carbonaceous material in the melting permafrost, CO2 release from the oceans, and increased water vapor in the air from increased average temperatures.
    Logically, considering that these changes have a high probability of catastrophic effects, and also have a high probability of occurring, the reasonable thing to do is cut back on fossil fuel use, and also put carbon back in the ground using a combination of biomass fuel and carbon sequestration.
    But, as I have said, people on this site, for whatever speculative reason, do not appear to be acting logically.

  209. Leland,
    You haven’t established anything. Again, there is no sign of increasing methane emissions from permafrost or clathrates, the increase halted some 5 years ago.
    Temperatures in the Arctic were 5 degr.C higher during the Eemian, the previous warm period some 120,000 years ago, but CO2 levels were 100 ppmv lower and methane levels one third of the current levels.
    Thus we are responsible for the higher levels, but that doesn’t show much relationship with temperature.
    Further, comparing the current much lower CO2 and CH4 levels and (still unsure) cause of a climate optimum tens of millions of years ago, when the geological conditions (place of the continents, mountain ranges) were completely different is not appropriate at all…

  210. Hi Ferdinand-
    It’s the rapidity of the changes we are making that is likely to kill us, IMO.
    The danger is that methane hydrate dissociation can become self-sustaining, like lighting a fire, which burns higher and higher until it is out of control.
    This has apparently happened before, at least twice, and we haven’t even talked about a huge event back in the Precambrian, which apparently freed the earth from its “snowball earth” state and switched it rapidly into a tropical one.
    The changes that happened during the Eemian occurred much more slowly. Methane had time to oxidize into CO2, CO2 had time to become sequestered as carbonate, forests had time to advance or recede over thousands of years instead of burning catastrophically or dying in bark beetle infestations.
    Lovelock used to say “Gaia is a tough bitch” and he didn’t really believe in runaway catastrophic global warming. Now he’s predicting six billion dead by 2100.
    Geologists are also somewhat skeptical about global warming, because the catastrophic events in earth history happen much more seldom than the long periods of stability.
    As Stephen Hawking said in the documentary “The Eleventh Hour” the danger is that methane and CO2 release can become self-sustaining, and run away, due to our geologically instantaneous injection of 300 billion tons of fossil carbon into a self-regulating system.

  211. The criticism that our evaluations are limited to only a few years of satellite observation is nonsense. Humans have attempted to find marine passage across the North Sea for hundred of years and only recently they have met with success due to the decrease in the ice cover.

  212. David (12:30:05) :
    The criticism that our evaluations are limited to only a few years of satellite observation is nonsense. Humans have attempted to find marine passage across the North Sea for hundred of years and only recently they have met with success due to the decrease in the ice cover.
    David,
    I can’t believe your ignorance of your remarks.
    Not only you confuse the North Sea with The Arctic Ocean but you also question
    the facts about our short records of reliable satellite data.
    There have been many well documented passages by ship through history which indicates that variability of the Arctic Sea Ice Extend is a natural event.

  213. Leland Palmer (08:27:54) :
    “Hi Ferdinand-
    It’s the rapidity of the changes we are making that is likely to kill us, IMO.
    The danger is that methane hydrate dissociation can become self-sustaining, like lighting a fire, which burns higher and higher until it is out of control.
    This has apparently happened before, at least twice, and we haven’t even talked about a huge event back in the Precambrian, which apparently freed the earth from its “snowball earth” state and switched it rapidly into a tropical one.
    The changes that happened during the Eemian occurred much more slowly. Methane had time to oxidize into CO2, CO2 had time to become sequestered as carbonate, forests had time to advance or recede over thousands of years instead of burning catastrophically or dying in bark beetle infestations.
    Lovelock used to say “Gaia is a tough bitch” and he didn’t really believe in runaway catastrophic global warming. Now he’s predicting six billion dead by 2100.
    Geologists are also somewhat skeptical about global warming, because the catastrophic events in earth history happen much more seldom than the long periods of stability.
    As Stephen Hawking said in the documentary “The Eleventh Hour” the danger is that methane and CO2 release can become self-sustaining, and run away, due to our geologically instantaneous injection of 300 billion tons of fossil carbon into a self-regulating system”.
    Leland Palmer,
    Stephen Hawking in this case is wrong and so you are wrong to.
    Our contribution to the total CO2 budget currently measured in our atmosphere is only 3% and it’s absorbed by an ever growing biomass.
    Methane is absorbed by bacteria common in the earth’s soil in such an abundence that this will never become a problem.
    The only problem we have today is a bunch of “know nothing scaremongers” that refuse to accept the scientific reports about these subjects because there true aim is to serve a political agenda.
    You are obviously one of them.

  214. It looks like there may be confusion over the terms ‘accelerating’ and ‘continuing.’ It appears to me that the minimum ice-extent this year is within the bounds of a continuing linear trend from 1979. I believe an accelerating trend would contain a term proportional to time squared. Perhaps such a fit would have been possible before 2008 (when we entered an exceptional period of minimum solar activity) but since then we have been seeing a recovery in Arctic sea-ice extent from the all-time record low of 2007.
    At this time, it appears that one can cherry-pick weather data to prove that we are seeing the beginning of a new cooling trend or a continued warming trend. I prefer to wait two or three years until few more cherries ripen before making any decision.

Comments are closed.