Arctic sea ice continues to rise past the normal peak date

I’ve been watching this NSIDC graph for a few days, figuring it was just noise. Now, it looks like “something worth blogging about“. The Arctic sea ice extent is continuing to grow past the normal historical peak which occurs typically in late February/early March. [Note: I added the following sentences since at least one commenter was confused by “peak point” in the headline above, which I’ve now changed to “peak date” to clarify what I was referring to.  -A] Of course it has not exceeded the “normal” sea ice extent magnitude line, but is within – 2 STD. The point being made is that growth continues past the time when sea ice magnitude normally peaks, and historically (by the satellite record) is headed downward, as indicated by the dashed line.

Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center – link

To be fair though, the Earth seems to be suffering from “bipolar disorder” as we have a similar but opposite trend in the Antarctic:

Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center – link

If we look at Cryosphere Today’s dandy sea ice comparator tool, and choose a standard 30 year climatology period span, it looks like we may actually be ahead this year, compared to 30 years ago. Certainly the arctic sea ice today looks a lot more solid than in 1980. I wish CT offered comparisons without the snow cover added (which was added in 2008) so as to not be visually distracting.

click for a larger image

We live in interesting times.

h/t to WUWT commenter “Tommy” for the “tipping point”.

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267 thoughts on “Arctic sea ice continues to rise past the normal peak date

  1. I have the ice graphs as a gadget on my home page so see them every morning. Have been observing the split personalities between the poles as well.
    When you say however, Anthony, that the Arctic sea ice is growing beyond its normal historical peak, I am confused. Is it not approaching the average from below?
    REPLY: Maybe I should clarify that, I’m talking about the timing of the peak growth curve, not the magnitude. I’ll make a note. -A

  2. my bet is that you will not see that statement in Newsweek or Time— much less in NYT or WashPost

  3. You have to be careful with these extent figures because this graph is 15% ice extent. In other words, it includes areas that are 85% water as “ice”. If you look at a graph of more consolidated ice such as this one which shows 30% concentration, you see that the ice is actually declining. What is happening is that the ice edge is breaking up as the ablation season begins and the wind and storms spread it about. This decreases the 30% concentration number but can increase the 15% concentration as the ice is less consolidated around the edges.
    I personally see the 15% concentration number as practically useless. It is more of a storm proxy than anything else and the number can vary considerably as ice is broken up and dispersed. The 30% number gives a better indication of ice pack in my opinion.
    You will notice in that 30% number that this year was higher than any of the previous 5 years and higher than last year. The 15% number peaked lower than last year. That just means that the storms were farther South this year and didn’t tear up the ice edge as much.
    My prediction is that this year’s ablation season will be 2006-ish at minimum.
    REPLY: You know, that’s an excellent point, worthy of its own post, and passing on to NSIDC. -Anthony

  4. I’m sure the Antarctic ice extent will be commented on shortly if it continues down a low path.

  5. I am disappointed in both the title for this post, as well as the interpretation of the data. In no way is the arctic sea ice “rising past the normal peak point”, as it has not had a positive anomaly since 2004. To make glaringly wrong statement, shows disregard for honest dialog and reporting.
    A quick look at this graph:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png
    Shows how wrong such a headline in a post is. Arctic sea ice continues below the normal for this time of year, with the normal being defined by the last 30 years of data. A quick look at this graph shows the entire 30 year trend, and it is plain to see by any honest objective observer that arctic sea ice continues to be below the year-to-year norm, and has been since 2004.
    In regard to Antarctic sea ice, you did get that part right, as it now has ALSO slipped into a negative anomaly range (and has repeatedly for the past several years. If you look at the Global sea ice chart:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png
    You see that beginning in about 2001 or so, we started seeing more negative anomalies (related no doubt to the arctic sea ice going lower), but now, if you look at the very end of the chart, the last few years in particular, you see that globally, sea ice is spending more time in a negative anomaly range than positive. If Antarctic sea ice, over the next few years, should start to decrease, as arctic ice has done, you could see the global sea ice really start to spend nearly all of its time in the negative range.
    Again, I’m very disappointed in the inaccurate reporting of the data…as currently negative anomalies exist for BOTH the arctic and antarctic sea ice, and any statement about “rising past” the normal peak is simply inaccurate. For a last look at another chart that ilustrates the inaccuracy of your comment, see:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    REPLY: You know, jumping all over me and calling it “dishonest” when you misinterpret the headline and the point I’m making isn’t cool. I’ve added a note above for people like yourself that imagined I’m saying something else. My point is about the normal time of the peak, not the magnitude, as anybody can clearly see. I made no claim whatsoever about the magnitude. – A

  6. @dbleader61 – I think what he meant was that usually, by this point in the season, the ice growth has “peaked” and started to trend down. That doesn’t appear to be happening so far this year. If we extrapolate out, the entire northern hemisphere could be covered in ice within a year! (Yes, the last part is ludicrous, but no more so than some of the AGW extrapolations that have occurred.)

  7. @ dbleader61 (10:46:30) :
    “REPLY: Maybe I should clarify that, I’m talking about the timing of the peak growth curve, not the magnitude. I’ll make a note. -A”
    Yes, I see that, the peak, although still below the average, is coming at a later date.

  8. Oh my, such robust results!
    Is there some sort of extra North/South Hemisphere two-way heat channel that is evening things out?

  9. This will call for Joe Romm to make significant adjustments to the narrative. Have to make the story more compelling since the facts hamper the agenda.

  10. The JAXA data show that the peak was on 8th March:
    Date…………Extent
    03,01,2010,14037500
    03,02,2010,14092344
    03,03,2010,14159531
    03,04,2010,14215000
    03,05,2010,14314375
    03,06,2010,14350938
    03,07,2010,14358281
    03,08,2010,14375000 <- Max
    03,09,2010,14353438
    03,10,2010,14330156
    03,11,2010,14307969
    03,12,2010,14316250
    03,13,2010,14316563
    03,14,2010,14290938
    03,15,2010,14250156
    03,16,2010,14300000
    03,17,2010,14296563
    03,18,2010,14299844
    03,19,2010,14262031
    03,20,2010,14242500
    03,21,2010,14241094
    03,22,2010,14214531
    03,23,2010,14185469
    03,24,2010,14242813
    REPLY: see the point made above by “crosspatch”, which bears consideration. – Anthony

  11. “R. Gates”
    No, ice is not “below normal”. It is within one standard deviation of average … which means that it is in the “normal” range.

  12. ” kadaka (10:59:10) :
    Oh my, such robust results!
    Is there some sort of extra North/South Hemisphere two-way heat channel that is evening things out?”
    Hollow Earth theory with openings at the poles would fit the bill. There are issues with this theory, though – the holes haven’t been observed.

  13. R. Gates (10:54:21) :
    Actually, if you start at 1999, you can see the bottom of the signal dipping down over the years and coming back up.
    And the topic headline is correct, the ice is increasing past the point where it traditionally has already started it’s decline.
    I would’ve thought you’d be stoked, as this is a discussion of trends.
    Now, what do you suppose is the probability of the sea-ice extent running flat and going right through the 1979-2000 +-2 STD come May?

  14. @R. Gates (10:52:25) : Yes, you are right sir but Anthony was very quick to clarify.
    While I do watch the ice fairly closely, I do so because of the alarmist claims that the Arctic/Antarctic ice is disappaering at an alarming rate. It is decidedly not doing so, although Arctic ice extent is certainly at a low point for the satellite record era.
    But anecdotal evidence clearly indicates periods of reduced sea ice at the poles many times in the past prior to 1979 (will leave others to provide the links – 1922 newspaper articles and 1959 North pole sub surfacings) We could be in one of those variations.
    With the .5 to 1 degree per century global warming that is the record, however, we can expect to see reduced sea ice at both poles over time – that is until and unless the cyclical glaciation period begins anew.

  15. Oops, they changed that graph on me. It now says 2 std deviations. Wonder if they mean one in each direction. The graph from that location used to show +- 1 std. deviation.

  16. this may become the new trend.
    with the PDO shifting into a cold mode, might we see northern cooling and southern warming?
    if this is true, it may explain the divergence in the 2 hemispheres over the last 30 years in which the north has significantly outwarmed the south.

  17. It should also be noted that WUWT hit stats keep rising and should hit 40 million sometime tonight (the next 12 hours) US Pacific time.
    REPLY: Probably around 4-8AM tomorrow PST – A

  18. Anthony said (to me):
    “You know, jumping all over me and calling it “dishonest” when you misinterpret the headline and the point I’m making isn’t cool.”
    I agree, and I apologize. Your point was about timing, not about magnitude, and I appreciate the note you added. You run a great site, and I admire your efforts for honest discourse…
    R. Gates
    REPLY: Thanks, no harm done. I should have been clearer in the first place. – Anthony

  19. A quick glance at the CT comparison posted shows that the added snow cover greatly increases the area of Greenland, which, in turn, makes the sea ice appear to be less in later years.
    Also, the new earth shadow minimizes the impact of the recent record snow covers.

  20. @ R Gates:
    So a quick translation of your post is…
    “The fact that Arctic sea ice extent (15%) has been continuously increasing since the anomalous, wind/sea current driven low of summer 2007 is totally irrelevant in my opinion as it contradicts my worldview.
    I don’t like your headline because it could possibly be misinterpreted. Therefore, I have purposely misinterpreted it in a public post, even though it has already been updated to be more clear, in an effort to show how it might possibly have been previously misinterpreted before you updated it.
    Because the Antarctic chart currently supports my views on AGW and polar ice loss (even though it is a well known FACT that Antarctic polar ice has been increasing in overall extent and volume for decades) I will incorporate it into my post as ipso facto proof that you got the Arctic Ice headline wrong in my opinion. Therefore, please accept my backhanded comment that you actually got something right, although I certainly wouldn’t want to ever imply that fact.
    Below are some links to the University of Illinois that, while not actually being relevant to the main point of your article, I feel somehow substantiates my views.
    Blah, Blah, Blah…
    Hugs, Kisses, Sweetness & light,
    R. Gates”
    That sound about right?
    Doc

  21. @ R Gates:
    And the final translation:
    “Crap!… Ok you WERE right, I was wrong. Next time I will read farther than the Headline. Sorry.”
    Sugar and spice,
    Doc

  22. Just for perspective, what is the standard deviation of Arctic sea ice extent at its maximum based on 1979-2000 data?

  23. The AGW community’s Arctic ice obsession is fading away, since the ice is simply not paying attention.
    It does not help that those pesky denialists keep pointing out the historical context of the ice, and the Antarctic ice pack which contimues to grow.
    But selling a climate crisis is tough work.

  24. There is normally two peaks in the Arctic sea ice area and extent – one on day 58, February 28th and another on day 70, March 11th – not sure why there are two, could just be the lack of data – The Cryosphere Today has the same two peaks if you look closely.
    March 24th is usually 150,000 km2 below the peak for ice extent.

  25. Woah, so were you working on that, or did I remind you?
    REPLY: I had been watching it over the past few days, your comment made a “tipping point” for me to blog about it. Perhaps I should have provided a hat tip but is was already on my radar. So I’ll say “thanks for the tipping point” 😉 . – Anthony

  26. Regarding Crosspatch’s comment on concentration –
    Here is the most recent NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice Concentration map.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_concentration_hires.png
    As I have stated all winter, the major areas with ice decline are the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Sea of Okhotsk – neither of which is directly linked with the Arctic Basin. Within the Arctic Basin proper, sea ice concentrations are well above 30%.

  27. rbateman said:
    “Now, what do you suppose is the probability of the sea-ice extent running flat and going right through the 1979-2000 +-2 STD come May?”
    ________
    I would say the probability is less than 20% – honestly…so it’s not impossible, but unlikely. I actually thought we’d might get a positive sea ice anomaly this winter, but that chance is decreasing. Based on trends (and partially on AGW models) I would say that more than likely we’ll see arctic sea ice continue in a negative anomaly range, with a summer low that is certainly less than 2009, and probably less than 2008, but not less than 2007. I think between now and 2015 we’ll see a new modern record low summer minimum.
    In regards to the arctic, I’ve been waiting to it’s slow year-to-year rise in sea ice extent to flatten and then begin a decline similar to the arctic. This still may be years off, and it really has to do with the strong winds that are keeping warmer air from penetrating all but the most northern areas of the region. But there are early signs that the winds are starting to taper off a bit (related to the ozone layer thickening up a bit down there?). If AGWT is correct, eventually we’ll see the antarctic follow the slow downward trend of the arctic.
    Finally, much has been made about arctic sea ice recovering since 2007. And certainly there has been some recovery, especially in the multi-year ice, and the negative anomaly for the region has not been quite as negative. This years very negative AO index helped that as well. I think however, that even this older ice ice still subject to rapid decline, as it may be older, but not necessarily as thick as “traditional” mult-year ice has been. When looking at mulit-year ice, and sea ice in general, it is not just age, but total mass that matters. Total mass of arctic sea ice is still below the long term year-to-year normal. Despite the apparent trend that shows arctic sea ice continuing to grow past it’s normal peak TIME, this is referring to areas of at least 15% sea ice, and so when it starts to melt in the spring (about now) you can get this little “blip” upward, as the ice starts to break up and the 15% sea ice area makes an apparent last expansion, when really it is breaking up. The regions of N. Canada and Greenland saw very warm temps in Jan & Feb, and early March, and these areas are prone to higher melt this spring and summer, so I’m confident in my prediction for lower summer sea ice than last year, thougt not a record low year…maybe 2011 for that. (unless one of these Iceland volanoes decides to really do something major)

  28. The satellite record only goes back to 1979. That’s hardly the blink of an eye in the geological record. Even the last 10,000 years is very short term: click
    The reason for all the arm-waving over the current minor fluctuation in one of the hemispheres is because it’s all that the purveyors of the catastrophic AGW conjecture have.
    It will also be debunked in turn, as were the many other CAGW scares, such as ocean acidification, coral bleaching, increased hurricanes, disappearing islands, frog extinctions, Australian droughts, and every other local change blamed on a rise in CO2 — less than one thirty-fourth of which is due to human activity, the rest being natural emissions, and which have happened repeatedly in the past, and at much higher concentrations.
    The planet is in an interglacial, and we should be happy at the prospect of any warming at all. The current local ice fluctuation in the Arctic is not due to increasing CO2, or to human activity in any measurable way, or it would be occurring the same way in the Antarctic. Rather, it is a function of changing winds, currents and precipitation.
    But as stated, it’s all the climate alarmists have, so they zero in on the Arctic, ignoring the fact that the planet has gone through these same natural cycles, which have repeated many times since well before the first SUV came off the assembly line: click
    It is a strange quirk of human nature that some folks have an innate need to believe the end of the world is nigh: click
    Fortunately, most folks here have more sense than that, and understand that natural cycles – not a minor trace gas – explain the climate, and they understand Dr Trenberth’s exasperation when he says it a travesty that the planet refuses to cooperate with the his pre-conceived expectations.

  29. Doc_Navy (11:29:24) :
    R Gates has graciously conceded misinterpreted intent and indeed complemented Anthony on a well run & honest site.
    Anthony has conceded that he could have been clearer.
    Comments often cross over & do not always contain the most complete information. I hope I just missed your apology.
    DaveE.

  30. @ Smokey
    Wait… are you implying that it’s not TEOTWAWKI??
    What am I supposed to do with a 10 year supply of MRE’s?
    Curse you!
    Does anyone know if Skull Island has a wherehouse?
    Doc

  31. Concerning the bipolar poles..
    Svensmark covers the interesting polar sea-saw effect in The Chilling Stars, and notes that the phenomenon is to be expected if the galactic cosmic ray-climate relationship is valid.

  32. Doc Navy said:
    “Crap!… Ok you WERE right, I was wrong. Next time I will read farther than the Headline. Sorry.”
    ———
    Yep, i jumped the gun, and quickly fessed up, and Anthony was gracious enough to also have made some helpful changes to the post based on my “jump”.
    More importantly, as has been discussed, the graph is looking at areas with at least 15% sea ice, and this time of year, when the ice starts to break up, you get a spreading out of the ice and can get this little bump upward in total ice extent. Other posters have spoken to this as well, and if anything, the larger bump up than normal might actually indicate that more areas than normal are spreading out (i.e. melting). Bottom line: The arctic sea ice has passed its winter growth period for this season. Now it will be interesting to see if the greater quantity of multi-year ice can hold on and we get a higher summer minimum, as some posters here suspect, or if we’ll actually see a lower summer minimum than last year, as I suspect. We’ll know by mid-September…

  33. Um … R. Gates… It is rising past the time of year when it normally peaks. This is obvious to anyone looking at the graph and was to me without Anthony clarifying. Your pretending anything else is, some might say, dishonest.
    Were you this exercised during 2007 when everyone was trying to panic us about sea ice loss while the Antarctic estent was at record highs? Or is your fury only directed at people who blaspheme as Anthony does?
    I am also not impressed with your ” since 2004″ thing, I don’t know how representative of “normal” the supposed normal extent line is. Maybe it is just as “good” as using the coldest stretch or the 20th century as the “normal” for temperature anomally? Of course no one would do something that ridiculous would they?
    REPLY: OK let’s cut some slack, he could have been less quick to jump to a conclusion, I could have been clearer initially. Clarified -problem solved, lets move on. – Anthony

  34. R. Gates,
    One thing that is important to remember is that summer temperatures near the pole show almost no year over year variation. The mass of ice and constant low angle sunshine fixes them at close to 1C.
    If the summer melt season starts with thicker ice (like this year) it isn’t going to decline as much as years which started with thinner ice.

  35. R Gates and the traditional “multiyear ice argument”… Tell us where is the 100 years old Arctic sea-ice? The 50 y old? The 20 y old?

  36. Oops Mr Gates already caught his mistake. Therefore my abuse was totally uncalled for Please snip
    REPLY: we could all do well by backing away from “abuse”. – Anthony

  37. Don B,
    It does seem very unlikely that the fairly constant global sea ice anomaly is coincidental. Warmers love to claim that Antarctic trends are driven by different mechanisms, but those explanations seem extremely contrived.

  38. Wondering:
    Sorry you’re not impressed with the 2004 “thing” as that anomaly data (based on a 30 year trend) represents the best solid data that we have for the arctic. The 2004 “thing” is the last year that arctic sea ice showed a postive anomaly (again, based on 30 years of solid data). When speaking about climate change, I don’t care about one snowstorm, one winter, or one year. I care about the long term trends, and the 30 year of data with the last 6 showing continuous negative anomalies are the most important we have on the condition of the arctic sea ice. Discount it if you want, as you are likely an AGW skeptic, and this kind of data certainly must cause a fair amount of cognitive dissonance.

  39. @ David A Evans:
    1. My first post was written and submitted before the aformentioned apology and compliment got through moderation.. thus my second post.
    2. I admit that my posts might have come off more snarky than satirical (as it was ment), and for that I offer my whole-hearted apology to anyone who might have had their sensibilities bruised.
    3. If you are gonna post publicly claiming that someone is “Dishonest” when all it takes is a bit more than a passing glance to confirm the main point of the article, and that your post comes to an *obviously* incorrect conclusion… expect flak or even flames. (My post is of the first, not second)
    4. I suppose you are right that I should also apologize as we of the skeptical bent should hold ourselves above the manner in which we are treated by those of a consensus mind. To that end…
    I’m sorry.
    (next time read past the headline) 🙂
    Peace be unto you,
    Doc

  40. If this upward trend continues, the world will be covered by ice in approximately two years.
    The preceding was a satirical comment.

  41. My point is that the natural cycles involved here appear to be at least 60 years in length so even if true, 6 years is nothing. In fact I would expect the bottom of the dip to last a lot longer, wouldn’t you? Couple this with the way they measure ice extent with varying instruments and based on 15% coverage and it just doesn’t look anywhere near as significant as we pretend. Natural variation is still mighty big compared to any trend.

  42. By definition, scientific skeptics are pretty much immune from cognitive dissonance, as we have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend. Skeptics simply question. We can be convinced, but it takes solid empirical evidence, not “Trust us,” or “the models say…”
    Testable, reproducible evidence. That’s what it takes. And that is what is missing from the CO2=CAGW hypothesis/conjecture.

  43. Mr. Watts, yes it does appear the sea ice extent is increasing to previously observed levels. Please remember that the “normal” average is taken from 1979-2000 and is assumed to be the absolute reference for posterity. This is a completely arbitrary selection of data with NO STATISTICAL BASIS for its use.
    If I were cynical, I would suggest that this “normal” average (with SD) was selected in anticipation of the expected decline – making it all the more dramatic.
    Keep up the good work. It keeps me sane!

  44. Wondering aloud,
    It seems a bit convenient for the AGW believers to now say that the 15% issue is significant, when it is the same data that has been used the entire satellite period.
    It is sort of like coming up with ice volume- which is not at all well measured- as the new stat.
    The bottom line is that the ice is pretty much in line with where it ever has been, in the Arctic, and has increased a bit in the Antarctic.
    The fuss is due to AGW hysterics conflating these variations, which seem to well within historical data, actually means a doom is at hand.

  45. OT but interesting…
    There is an interesting (almost real-time) discussion over at:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comments
    Here’s a quote from Tom Fuller (you know, the guy who co-wrote that book up there on your upper right of the screen, right under the twitter link.) about the discussion:
    “And what’s going on on his website is one of the most signficant and unexpected happenings in all the debate on global warming. For three weeks now, a discussion on something as unlikely as statistics is coming close to rewriting climate change history. Because for just about the first time, scientists from all parts of the spectrum are engaging in almost real time on an issue of substance that can actually be resolved in front of the viewing audience. It has engaged the attention of physicists, statisticians, webloggers and an army of viewers. If you read through it you will never think of the term ‘unit root’ in the same way again” (ref: http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m3d24-Global-warming-Bigger-than-Climategate-more-important-than-Copenhagenits-statistical-analysis )
    Enjoy.
    Doc

  46. The 15% ice thing may not be useful for us armchair folks, but when you are in a transport vessel, it is VERY important. The use of 15% ice extent is intended for sailors and seamen, not the rest of us all warm and comfy sitting next to a cracklin fire.

  47. Wondering said:
    “Natural variation is still mighty big compared to any trend…”
    Normally, yes. But AGWT is not about what is normal, but about looking for the signal within the natural variation. And for those who think that AGW might be correct are always looking toward the arctic for proof, that’s only partially true. The arctic region is one of the first to be affected by the warming according to all models, and so it should be the “canary in the coal mine.” But other evidence comes from warming oceans, cooling stratosphere, glacial melting, accelerated hydrological cycle, etc.

  48. If the Danes are right ..
    http://www.spacecenter.dk/research/sun-climate/Scientific%20work%20and%20publications/resolveuid/86c49eb9229b3a7478e8d12407643bed
    .. then as the planet continues to cool, brace yourselves for a new onslaught from the pro-AGWers using the Antarctic instead of the Arctic.
    The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis
    therefore predicts that temperature changes in
    Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes
    in temperature in the rest of the world
    . This is
    exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon
    that some geophysicists have called the
    polar see-saw, but for which “the Antarctic climate
    anomaly” seems a better name (Svensmark
    2007). To account for evidence spanning many
    thousands of years from drilling sites in Antarctica
    and Greenland, which show many episodes
    of climate change going in opposite directions,
    ad hoc hypotheses on offer involve major reorganization
    of ocean currents. While they might
    be possible explanations for low-resolution climate
    records, with error-bars of centuries, they
    cannot begin to explain the rapid operation of
    the Antarctic climate anomaly from decade to
    decade as seen in the 20th century (figure 6).
    Cloud forcing is by far the most economical
    explanation of the anomaly on all timescales.
    Indeed, absence of the anomaly would have
    been a decisive argument against cloud forcing
    – which introduces a much-needed element of
    refutability into climate science.

    [my emphasis]

  49. Anthony:
    “I wish CT offered comparisons without the snow cover added…”
    Perhaps, the general snow cover of the northern hemisphere has a cooling albedo influence upon the later peaking of Arctic ice extent. Better to continue to show snow cover?

  50. As Anthony points out there is something of a see-saw between North and South. To put things in persepctive I’ve plotted the total Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice and the northern hemisphere snow cover (there’s is relatively little snow cover in the southern hemisphere.) This shows a very slow declining trend in area since 1979. For the graph see:
    http://www.climatedata.info/Impacts/Impacts/snow_assets/Global%20snow%20and%20ice.gif
    and for the explanatory text se:
    http://www.climatedata.info/Impacts/Impacts/snow.html

  51. I take a daily trip to IARC-JAXA to watch Arctic ice grow/decline. Was enjoying the approach of Spring, seeing open spaces that had been solid white. Then I could not get the site. When it favored my computer again, the open spaces were mostly filled in. Now I know — it is slush that is spreading out into open water creating the appearance — only the appearance — of more Winter.
    Smokey, thanks for setting the record straight over and over (and over) again. Always great graphs.

  52. I agree with crosspatch concerning the 15% vs. 30%. I would much rather see the 30% graphs. They seem a more accurate depiction to me.

  53. Over two THOUSAND hits on WUWT while I was reading this thread!
    Mr. Watts, very well done indeed! It is a result which is most well deserved.

  54. Here’s another chart showing arctic sea ice. Note how it shows we’ve passed the peak:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    But also, look at 2003, and the extra “blip” late in the season. I trust this data less than the previous links I posted because it has a shorter history, though in general it is fine. it does measure sea ice extent a bit differently.

  55. Earliest ice-out ever recorded (since 1851) on Lake Winipesaukee, New Hampshire:
    http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Lake+Winnipesaukee+ice-out+is+earliest+on+record&articleId=2242ab22-323d-4c3e-8753-8f8549617a30
    Ice-out was declared yesterday (the 24th) afternoon, four days ahead of the previous record of March 28th, in 1921.
    The lake iced in fine, and on schedule, and was black, and sturdy enough to support the usual winter activities. However, the winter storms went south in February, with a big mostly-rain with high winds event in mid-Feb., doing a number on the protective snow cover. The sun was then able to work freely on the ice. March was warmer than usual, with still no further snow, and had another rain event, as well as more high winds.
    The Warmists will no doubt try to blame this on global warming.

  56. “Doc_Navy (12:54:35) :
    OT but interesting…
    There is an interesting (almost real-time) discussion over at:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comments

    Ah well the CO2 believers won’t have anything of that statistical analysis, they just don’t wanna see that there can’t be a simple causality between CO2 LEVEL and temperature LEVEL…. repeating again and again that statistics is unphysical… really i didn’t find it that fruitful. And the repetitive comments by Eli Rabbett (he really pastes exactly the same text again and again as if he were a spam bot) really go on your nerves.

  57. The sea ice comes and goes and sometimes it goes far, carried and melted by warm currents to oblivion. And as the sea ice comes and goes and comes again, cyclically and historically going back 100 years, a great many frightened folks tear their hair out, ignoring historic observations, proclaiming that if the trends continue, precious fragile Gaia will die screaming with a C02 knife in her heaving bosom…
    Empirical evidence cannot sway a Green/religious viewpoint because Green people have their minds closed to alternative viewpoints that come from, of course, Mother Earth hating skeptics. I first noted the existence of this religious fervor when I pointed out to a “believer” that millions of acres of land where I grew up had certain so-called “endangered” species that were no more “endangered” than, say, pine trees or grass. The “believer” I spoke with wasn’t interested in the obvious falseness of an “endangered” species that was in vast abundance around him and, in fact, in all of eastern Oregon, Washington and Idaho – he DEFENDED the scientists’ position with this chestnut: “They are the experts – they’ve figured these things out and you are foolish to question them.” He may as well have called them, ‘the anointed ones” and called me a heretic.

  58. R. Gates still ducks the question about the multi year ice… Where is the 100y old, 50 y old, 20y old ice?

  59. Natural variability. Sadly not strong enough, or in the right direction, to knock the eejits off their hobby horses.
    We are in for a rough ride. The world is going to warm up for a couple of years before it cools down appreciably. The re-invigorated screeching of the hysterical clerics will be painful to listen to. Almost as painful as watching smug return to their physogs.
    Sorry to break this news. It is written in the stars(read planets). I wish I could place a sarcasm off sign here but I have seen the forecast and have no reason to disbelieve that which has provided proof sufficient for this sceptic to be amazed.
    We should be thankful that Earth based “forcings” are mostly of opposite sign to extra-terrestrial influences right now (for the next 3-4 years) as the signals would be very strong without this offset.

  60. @DirkH
    “Is there some sort of extra North/South Hemisphere two-way heat channel that is evening things out?”
    Hollow Earth theory with openings at the poles would fit the bill. There are issues with this theory, though – the holes haven’t been observed….”
    Ah, but they wouldn’t be, would they? They would be under the ice. The only people who would find out about them would be nuclear submarine crews, who, as we all know, are sworn to secrecy……

  61. Antonio San said:
    “Where is the 100y old, 50 y old, 20y old ice?”
    Answer: There is no arctic sea ice that old (or if there somehow is, it is such as small amount as to be too to measure…
    And, what exactly is the “old multi-year ice” argument? More multi-year ice built up this past year because less melted last summer (relative to the extreme melt of 2007)
    BTW: For a bit of trivia: Multi-year (older ice) has been the source of drinking water for arctic expeditions because of its lower brine levels.

  62. R. Gates (12:03:49) :
    I would agree the probability is low, and leave the trends to themselves.
    It is much better to assign a probability to a trend changing course than to try to project them, and even then things can go any which way they want to.
    Iceland, however, I would give a greater than even probability of popping off the bigger volcano, as low solar activity corresponds to increased volcanic activity for the last 210 years.
    I am not the least bit impressed with CO2 driving anything but Soda Pop sales and plant growth.

  63. He he….what’s the saying, even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time. I figured you were aware of it, but thanks anyways

  64. Just above gcb (10:52:40) Anthony responds to R. Gates’ disappointments. In the sense that gcb and A indicate, ice on the Arctic Ocean this spring appears to continue to grow beyond an unspecified date when it usually has an inflection point. At (10:50:00) crosspatch provides perspective that all should read.
    Many of us have been watching these diagrams since this time last year and I knew exactly what Anthony was talking about the second I saw the headline. It is not a new topic. For example, see here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/tips-notes-to-wuwt/ 2010-03-05
    The AMSR-E sea ice chart took a leap this week. If it doesn’t hit an inflection point in the next week it will exceed all but 2003 on the chart. 2003 didn’t tip (finally) until late March so we have to wait about 20 days to possibly have some fun with this issue. I think this is a developing story worth watching.
    So, I find crosspatch’s comment useful and timely. My regret is that I didn’t think to write it. In contrast I find R. Gates’ comment(s) off-putting. I’m beginning to think she/he is not interested in contributing anything positive. Most mom’s have a reprimand for their children when they behave in this manner. Perhaps R. should visit mom for a refresher course.

  65. From elsewhere:
    For the period covered by the satellite 2002 to 2010 the change in extent on a particular day of the year is plotted as a linear trend.
    It is interesting that just before the summer melt (May) the area increases by 5000sqkm over the 9 years.
    There is then a sharp fall to 20,000 sqkm loss per year in october.
    The area change over the remaining year seems to be about 5000sqkm/year
    Is the rise from April to may due to delayed melt? or is it spreading of melting ice?
    http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/3148/deltaseaiceaveragearea.png
    In other word the melt seems to be starting later but diving deeper
    /Harry

  66. Re R. Gates (13:18:01) :
    Wondering said:
    “Natural variation is still mighty big compared to any trend…”
    Normally, yes. But AGWT is not about what is normal, but about looking for the signal within the natural variation. And for those who think that AGW might be correct are always looking toward the arctic for proof, that’s only partially true. The arctic region is one of the first to be affected by the warming according to all models, and so it should be the “canary in the coal mine.” But other evidence comes from warming oceans, cooling stratosphere, glacial melting, accelerated hydrological cycle, etc.
    Mr Gates you once again for the global in AGW. Your sentance should read the polar regions should be….canary in the coal mine.” Warming oceans are not happening sense argos as far as we know, other then very short term same with cooling stratosphere, we got at least 300 years left in the Himalayan mountains, no sign (that I am aware of) of the accelerated hydrological cycle outside on normal range. Finding the signal, “within” the normal variation, is probably beyond our current ability. If AGW science is about finding the signal “within” the natural variation, then it is a field worthy of a developing science, not world wide panic, or policy.
    But more then all of this, even if we get one too three degrees of warming, are you convinced the benefits, which are manifesting, will not outweigh the “possible harm” which is not yet manifesting?
    Sincerely

  67. It is interesting to speculate what reaction and conclusions may be drawn from potential changes in sea ice.
    I don’t think AGW is properly scientific. There is no core thesis statement. If you ask different climatologists what it is, you get different answers. While you’ll get some indication of a link between CO2 and warming, the very nature of how much does what in what time scales, magnified by what feedbacks, is, well, very debateable. Because there is no core thesis, falsification is absolutely and completely impossible.
    What you have instead of hypotheses inferences and conclusions, is a single conclusion (calamity) and a set of totems. What is important is that the conclusion remains constant and the totems change to accommodate it.
    Climatologists have reluctance about making meaningful predictions about how climate is going to change. The reason for this is simple, climate prediction over tens or hundreds of years is utterly impossible. You have to hedge your bets.
    A really meaningful prediction is about what isn’t going to happen, not what is. Any fool can say that the climate is going to get warmer. If things heat up more than expected, you can always claim that your models were too conservative. If things don’t heat up quickly enough you can make up some excuse and say that it’ll heat up later on … worse, worse than you said originally!!!
    What you won’t find people doing, is putting their reputations on the line by saying what absolutely can’t happen (because they don’t know what’s going to happen). If you don’t believe me take a look, in all those pages in AR4 (The Physical Science Basis) there are no statements about how …if the climate does this … they’re absolutely and completely wrong. They don’t even say succincly what AGW is.
    What this means, ultimately, is that sea ice has nothing to do with AGW. It’s just a symbol to be used while pertinent.
    In the Antarctic, if sea ice extent increases, it isn’t statistically significant
    If the increase becomes statistically significant it’ll be the thickness
    If the thickness is the same, split the continent into East and West and make some statement about how one is growing while the other is receding.
    And if that’s not compelling … it’s the Arctic that’s really important not the Antarctic.
    I guarantee that if this year’s Arctic minimum were to return to the 1979-2000 average or close to, it won’t make a blind bit of difference.
    The response will probably be something about long term trend … or thickness … or perhaps something about the bigger picture. It’s just a convenient symbol after all, no thesis, no possible falsification.

  68. arctic ocean heat content
    http://i31.tinypic.com/23u23cz.png
    As pointed out many times before on this site, The satellite record began in 1978 when the arctic ocean heat content was lowest. It is now headed that direction again. I suspect that if we know the true sea ice mean from 1956 untill now we might even currently exceed it.

  69. John F. Hultquist (said)
    “Most mom’s have a reprimand for their children when they behave in this manner. Perhaps R. should visit mom for a refresher course.”
    ——-
    John,
    This, and your other personal comments about me I find offensive. I apologized to Anthony quickly and directly, and he even graciously edited his post to reflect some of my concerns. I’m actually surprized your post about this issue made it through as I thought Anthony had pretty much said for everyone to move on. So I would ask you: What kind of person makes such a comment once an apology has already been issued and the everyone else has moved on?
    Be that at it may, I’m not here about the politics or the personal stuff (except to defend myself), I’m here about a dialog on the issues, as I think this is a great forum (perhaps the best) for intelligent dialog on AGW and other issues.
    Back to the science now…several posters including myself have cautioned about reading too much into a short term extention of the “peak” arctic sea ice, as the charts in question show areas with at least 15% sea ice, and these kind of areas can show a brief blip upward as the spring melt begins. Also, other charts that follow areas with more than 15% sea ice show that we’ve passed the peak a week or so ago. That may or may not be the case, but caution is warranted. The issue does merit watching, and I look forward to following the course of the summer melt. The most important thing however is the long term trend, and we’ve still not seen a positive arctic sea ice anomaly since 2004, depite the long and deep solar minimum, increased GCR’s, etc. This is exactly the condition that AGWT would suggest, as the GH gases overwhelm the other natural variations.

  70. Journal of climate 2002:
    Long-Term Ice Variability in Arctic Marginal SeasV. POLYAKOV,* GENRIKH V. ALEKSEEV,1 ROMAN V. BEKRYAEV,*1 UMA S. BHATT,* ROGER COLONY,*
    MARK A. JOHNSON,# VALERII P. KARKLIN,1 DAVID WALSH,* AND ALEXANDER V. YULIN1
    5. Conclusions
    In recent decades, large-scale changes have been observed
    throughout the Arctic atmosphere–ice–ocean
    system, sparking discussion as to whether these changes
    are episodic events, or long-term shifts in the Arctic
    environment. The lack of long-term observations in the
    Arctic makes it impossible to reach a definitive conclusion.
    Long-term records are now available due to recently
    released Russian ice observations from the Siberian
    marginal-ice zone.
    Examination of records of fast ice thickness and ice
    extent from four Arctic marginal seas (Kara, Laptev,
    East Siberian, and Chukchi) indicates that long-term
    trends are small and generally statistically insignificant

  71. Nickname (16:20:42) : Nail => Head.
    The Arctic was a guessable variable. That is why their models said it will warm up up there.
    FergalR (16:29:51) : From the site:
    “Bith curves are standardized using 1950-2000 base period statistics.”
    I have seen agnostic paperwork dismissed for much less obvious spelling mistakes – notably John Nicol’s paper on CO2 lasers showing that the first, and most important “doubling” took place at 22ppmv..
    http://www.ruralsoft.com.au/ClimateChange.doc

  72. From time to time I wonder, why does anyone really care whether the Arctic melts? It wouldn’t hurt to have nice clear sea lanes year round—now would it?
    I understand, as R. Gates (13:18:01) says, that “The arctic region is one of the first to be affected by the warming according to all models, and so it should be the ‘canary in the coal mine’.” Is the Arctic thus a test of the AGW hypothesis? If so, it is not a very cooperative one, as not much seems to be happening very fast, if at all, and not always in the predicted direction.
    The press and the general public appear to be unaware of the evidentiary question. They seem to be mostly fearful of a change, as if losing the polar ice caps would be a dire event, a loss greatly to be regretted. Why this emotional attachment to regions of full of nothing but snow and ice? It is hard to fathom, but every report of the slightest melting is trumpeted as if the world were on the brink of disaster.
    I suppose you could argue that the polar caps should be maintained for the benefit of the fuzzy polar bears, and of course the comical penguins.
    I also understand that the extreme alarmists, like the Goracle, are fond of predicting the imminent melting of both ice caps, which would (at least for the Antarctic—and Greenland, if the latter is considered part of the polar ice region) raise the world’s sea levels and force millions of people to relocate away from the coasts.
    But how likely is this scenario, even if the extreme AGW conjecture (thanks, Smokey!) were true? And more to the point, would that be a bad thing? Lose a little coastline, but gain vast regions—maybe even a whole continent!—of arable and livable space, where once there was only a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland—not a bad tradeoff, if you ask me.
    /Mr Lynn

  73. The ASMR-E sea ice extent graph, linked by the graphic on this web site, shows a current decrease in extent (with a tiny uptick at the end) – while the above article shows a sustained climb for all of March. WUWT?

  74. Nickname (16:20:42),
    Excellent analysis of the catastrophic global warming conjecture. As you point out, “a really meaningful prediction is about what isn’t going to happen, not what is.”
    Karl Popper gives the reasons why AGW is pseudo-science in #2 below [emphasis is mine]. Popper says:

    It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations. [Such confirmations include variability in Arctic ice, disappearing islands, frog extinctions, etc.]
    1. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.
    2. Every “good” scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory, but a vice.
    3. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
    4. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory.
    5. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers — for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status.
    One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.

    Popper wrote this when scientists were generally willing to share their data and methods with other scientists, in an effort to arrive at an accepted theory. But current AGW proponents refuse to even discuss working with skeptical scientists to formulate tests of AGW, and they routinely refuse to share their raw data and methods with scientific skeptics.
    AGW is not a theory. Neither is it a real hypothesis, because those promoting it routinely stonewall requests for their data, algorithms and methodologies. Thus, AGW is simply a conjecture; an opinion. It is not science, because its proponents, by their secrecy and unwillingness to cooperate with other scientists, make it impossible to move beyond conjecture.
    The scientific method has been abandoned in the case of AGW for clearly self-serving motivations: money, professional status and political aggrandizement. But those are not ethical or legitimate reasons to jettison the scientific method, therefore their conclusions carry no scientific weight; they are used for public relations purposes only, in order to advance their agenda.
    As you point out, what is obvious throughout the AGW scare is that the conclusion always remains constant, and the ad hoc auxiliary assumptions, thought up on the spur of the moment, change over time to accommodate the conclusion.
    The chameleons who argue here on behalf of a non-existent AGW “theory” are fooling no one. AGW is simply a story designed to transfer wealth, and to reassign and expand political power. It is intended to benefit the few at the expense of the many who will be saddled with the enormously increased costs and additional new taxes under the guise of fighting “carbon.” And it will make no perceptible difference in the global climate.
    If its proponents want to elevate AGW into a genuine hypothesis, which it is currently not, then they must “open the books” by providing all their data, code and methods, and by answering all questions raised by skeptical scientists fully, completely, and without reservation, rather than treating them like enemies. They have not even begun to take the first steps in that regard.

  75. Phil. (11:06:24) :
    The JAXA data show that the peak was on 8th March:
    REPLY: see the point made above by “crosspatch”, which bears consideration. – Anthony

    I assume you mean this:
    crosspatch (10:50:00) :
    You have to be careful with these extent figures because this graph is 15% ice extent. In other words, it includes areas that are 85% water as “ice”. If you look at a graph of more consolidated ice such as this one which shows 30% concentration, you see that the ice is actually declining.

    I considered it but I don’t think it has any merit for the following reasons:
    firstly that data is pretty much the same as the JAXA data, they both show a decline from about 8th March.
    What is happening is that the ice edge is breaking up as the ablation season begins and the wind and storms spread it about. This decreases the 30% concentration number but can increase the 15% concentration as the ice is less consolidated around the edges.
    Yes but to a very much smaller extent than implied, look at the JAXA data for instance, there’s virtually no area between 30% and 15%, yet the DMI data used by Crosspatch would appear to imply about 2 million km^2 in that range. Clearly that difference has another source!
    The MODIS images support the JAXA view that there is very little low coverage at the edge of the sea ice, look north of Svalbard on this image:
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?2010084/crefl1_143.A2010084125000-2010084125500.500m.jpg
    and here in the Bering sea:
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?T100842250
    Like the JAXA and DMI data the NSIDC also shows a maximum at about 8th March and declines slightly since, so unless there is an upwards spike in extent soon the arctic sea ice is not continuing to grow.

  76. http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/03/25/polar-bears-on-thin-ice/?test=latestnews
    At the San Diego Zoo polar bears are now on thin ice, at least that’s the word from the zoo as a new million dollar expansion to its polar bear experience opens this week. The zoo has spent considerable time and money to make the exhibit interactive, but some critics complain with this interaction comes politics and they argue the zoo should stay out of a policy debate.

  77. OT: Lots of mentions of Anthony and WUWT by Bob Zimmerman on John Batchelor’s excellent radio program tonight (the John Batchelor Show, 9 PM – 1 AM on WABC, NYC, streamed if it’s not in your area). Zimmerman and Batchelor pretty much ran through the latest bunch of posts, including Joe Bastardi, the fragrance-depleted flowers, and the British Museum backdown off the AGW bandwagon. Fun to hear—”Hey, I read that!” Good recognition for WUWT.
    /Mr Lynn

  78. Thank you R. Gates:
    “R. Gates (15:11:42) :
    Antonio San said:
    “Where is the 100y old, 50 y old, 20y old ice?”
    Answer: There is no arctic sea ice that old (or if there somehow is, it is such as small amount as to be too to measure…”
    Indeed and this is proof that multiyear ice is basically 10 years old max (more or less) and that Arctic sea-ice never gets really old and is permanently rejuvenated, sometimes dramatically sometimes less dramatically. Only modern observation techniques allow such precise mapping of the detail workings of this rejuvenation cycle. As for the decline since the 1970 inflexion point, it is dynamic and due to atmospheric circulation as discussed by Leroux back in 2005. So the recent paper does confirm his findings.

  79. 30 year time lines to determine climate trends is the work of fools. It has been known for over 200 years that climate changes over 60+ year cycles. The amount of ice in the arctic ocean is well within the norms of the last 100years.
    I have been paying attention to climate for near 60 years, warmer is better then cooler and hot is much better then cold.
    Just why do AGW people want the arctic ocean frozen over all the time. Don’t they know that Greenland ice fields are fed by evaporation off the Arctic Ocean.
    Cold means dry, warm means damp. Warm and damp means MORE FOOD. Cold and dry means starvation and DEATH.
    Your food does not come from Safeway, It grows out in open fields and needs heat, water and CO2, in that order. Any shortage means disaster.
    Wake up people, warming, more CO2 is very good for people. Cooling is the road to death and disaster.

  80. Phil.
    … so unless there is an upwards spike in extent soon the arctic sea ice is not continuing to grow.

    Still, if it just holds on, or shrinks more slowly than normal, it might reach the black line in the center of the 1979-2000 average. That would be a nice landmark to hit.

  81. To R. Gates: I came back at 16:09:16 with
    Late to the party, again. Sorry.
    I responded before I read all the comments. The other comments you have made here today are well received by me.

  82. I think similar happened last year also – the melt started in the Arctic about 3/4 weeks later than normal.
    So will the warmers now start focussing on Antarctic melt?

  83. I don’t buy into Crosspatch’s “breaking up edges” of ice in Spring. There’s no grand collapse, and the 15% and 30% graphs track eachother well enough. They are both rising at the mo — Jack Frost’s last hurrah.

  84. Hi Smokey,
    Karl Popper gets a mention in the AR4 The Physical Science Basis, but no clear grounds for falsification are described at all. He’s there to add some weight by association, as if describing the scientific method is the same as using it. Don’t get me wrong I know that a lot of clever people have done a lot of work, but if that work is only there to back-up the political agenda it counts for little.
    AGW is what it is. It is a conjecture for political ends. The need for calamity leads to the ‘science’ not the other way round.
    The way to defeat this conjecture is to reveal it for what it is, and prediction is a key tool in the skeptics arsenal. Let me make it clear, I have no ability to predict which way the climate will move, that is completely impossible. What can be predicted very accurately is the response of the climate community(political and ‘scientific’) to future deviations from the calamitous AGW story.
    IF ocean temperatures fall IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    IF sea level rise does not accelerate IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    IF Antarctic temperatures fall dramatically IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    IF the US has five bad winters in a row IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    IF the start of Spring gets later in Europe IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    IF it starts snowing every June in Florida IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    I choose the term ‘counter indicate’ with care. There is no AGW thesis, so falsification is impossible. The best that you can hope for, is the introduction of doubt, but even this is far too much. No eventuality can undermine the AGW, because all eventualities are there to support it, never to undermine it. In a world of wonderful ever changing climate if one of your totems isn’t useful any more, you discard it for another.
    I missed one … and this one is so important, because for most members of the general public it is seen as the absolute acid test, even though it is nothing of the sort. It is just another disposable totem ..
    IF Arctic sea ice extent returns to ‘normal’ (1979-2000 average) IT DOES NOT COUNTER INDICATE
    Please … do as I do … tell people what is going to happen before it does, then they’ll see it for themselves, the nature of the lie.

  85. The “Watts Effect” ensures the melt off will be huge next week!!
    The amazing story about the Arctic is that there is no amazing story. It’s been pretty normal for the last three years. No big melt, no big anything, just slowing regaining since 2007.

  86. Antonio San said:
    “As for the decline since the 1970 inflexion point, it is dynamic and due to atmospheric circulation as discussed by Leroux back in 2005. So the recent paper does confirm his findings.”
    __________
    Nope. Any models that don’t take into account the increased tropospheric temperatures and warm currents flowing into the arctic regions are incomplete at best, and based on chaos theory, bound to be wildly wrong at the end (in regards to whatever state the arctic is headed for if AGWT is correct. (i.e. ice free summers). There is no doubt that changes in wind patterns affect arctic ice, but all the other variables also affect the ice. Also, while SOME changes in wind patterns are undoubtedly part of natural cycles, some changes may indeed also be part of AGW, so even the argument by AGW skeptics that “it’s all the wind”, are incorrect due to lack of being the whole story and may also not allow for the fact that some of the changes in wind patterns could also be part of AGW.

  87. NZ Willy (02:33:01) :
    I don’t buy into Crosspatch’s “breaking up edges” of ice in Spring. There’s no grand collapse, and the 15% and 30% graphs track eachother well enough.

    Agreed as I said above there’s no evidence of such a break up and dispersal.
    They are both rising at the mo — Jack Frost’s last hurrah.
    Actually they’re both going down, slowly.

  88. Nickname,
    You are mistaken on several points, but the one in particular is that a warming arctic and lower sea-ice on a year-to-year basis is not an “acid test” for AGWT. Indeed it is, and if somehow the arctic sea ice begins to show a long term recovery (i.e. consistently back to showing positive anomalies), then it would be major blow for AGWT, and I’m am sure that the majority of climate scientists would agree. The arctic has been touted as the “canary in the coal mine” for a long time by AGWT and I think all eyes are on this region. So far, the predicitons are pretty much holding true, if not even happening earlier than predicted, but I well understand that AGW skeptics refuse to accept that these changes, who doubt the science data, despite first hand direct impacts and reports by the people who actually live in arctic region.

  89. PG Sharrow said:
    “Just why do AGW people want the arctic ocean frozen over all the time.”
    ———
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they wanted the arctic ocean frozen over all the time. I think you are confusing people (like myself) being interested in knowing what is happening versus the merits of a warmer world. We are currently in an interglacial period in the middle of an ice age. Based on natural cycles, we’ll be in the next glacial sooner than later. If AGW is happening, how might that affect the onset of the next glacial? Could it actually tip us into the next glacial period sooner (via a shutdown of ocean currents etc.)
    Personally, I’d take a bit of warmth over cold any day, but there are other ramifications to global warming besides heat..much bigger ones, like the acidifiication of the oceans, etc. and this could negatively impact food supply, but who knows, this could be counter balanced by increased crop yields. If it becomes increasingly obvious (even to AGW skeptics) that AGWT is likely correct, I’m sure the next big battleground will be, “So what now? Prove to me that it is a bad thing!” But that is NOT what the debate is about right now, or at least what I’m interested in…

  90. Mr Gates
    ‘Acid test’ is a term that comes from testing gold. In modern times, it is used as a metaphor for describing processes that are absolutely conclusive.
    Are you saying
    1) A thesis exists for AGW (if so, please state it)
    2) The nature of Arctic sea ice is at the core of the theory
    3) The thesis is falsified by Arctic sea ice extent returning to 1979-2000 averages

  91. Low level clouds will cool the Arctic and warm the Antarctic. Is there any measure of these? A small change in low level clouds would result in the effects we are seeing. Svensmark covers this in The Chilling Stars.

  92. We start our measures of Arctic sea ice in 1979. 1979 was a relative high in sea ice and a relative low in global temperatures. It is not a great place to start graphs about what is happening. If you graph temperatures starting at midnight, at noon you will all be sure we will be dead in 24 more hours.

  93. Nickname,
    Thanks for history of the term “acid test”…very interesting.
    To answer your questions:
    1) Do you mean hypo-thesis? If so, then yes, there is…and you know exactly what it is. If there’s not, then what’s the meaning of this post right here on WUWT?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/06/the-global-warming-hypothesis-and-ocean-heat/
    2) No, the “nature” (whatever you mean by that) of arctic sea ice is not at the core of the AGW “hypothesis”. Rather, the decline of year-to-year arctic sea ice, and the eventual ice free arctic in the summer it is one of the predicted effects. But you know that as well.
    3) If Arctic sea ice returns to some long term average or even goes higher for a long period of time…it would indeed pose a big problem for AGWT, and I’m sure any climate expert would not disagree. Currently, arctic sea ice has been in a negative anomaly range since 2004, and shows no sign of going into a positive anomaly range for any extended period of time.

  94. “”” crosspatch (10:50:00) :
    You have to be careful with these extent figures because this graph is 15% ice extent. In other words, it includes areas that are 85% water as “ice”. e is less consolidated around the edges……
    …..
    I personally see the 15% concentration number as practically useless. “””
    Well Crosspatch, if you are in a racing sailboat; say doing the Volvo Round the World race, and it is a dark moonless night while you are racing around in the southern ocean, heading for the Horn; you would likely not have clean underwear to change into; if you got a report saying not to worry, because the sea ice was only 15% of coverage, and 85% was good open water.
    These ice reports, are not generated for the curiosity of bored climate science students; who somehow think it has somthing to do with earth’s climate, and might lead to some taxpayer funded grant money.
    There’s money involved in shipping and shipping safety; and 15% of sea ice coverage, is not safe boating conditions.

  95. At this time, Arctic ice extent according to ASMR-E is at its highest level for the day since 2003. 2nd and 3rd place belong to 2008 and 2009. According to Arctic Roos, the 2010 area is almost equal to the 1979-2006 mean — well within one std. deviation. (I wonder what would happen if the mean included 2007?) Of course, this proves nothing, except to suggest that any concerns about alarming Arctic ice developments are premature.

  96. As someone who has followed this site from when it emerged from Surface Stations, I have seen so many commentators post their experiences of the time they changed their minds, due to the rational arguments and facts presented here, that it fascinates me when a few cling to their belief system in the face of voluminous evidence to the contrary. A six year anomaly at one of the Poles, from 2004, is cited as some sort of proof of …what, exactly?
    We have seen the progression of those claiming an imminent ice age [when I was a young buck in Viet Nam], to the approaching global warming debacle that never happened, and which then morphed into anthropogenic global warming [AGW], and from there to “climate change” [as if it doesn’t always change]; runaway global warming and climate catastrophe, in which the seas will rise eighty feet — complete with maps of the future showing submerged cities. The fact that the rise in sea level is moderating is ignored, as is all other contrary evidence.
    Most people begin by accepting what the media tells them, and those with an interest [and especially those with a background] in science look more closely, and find that nothing unusual is occurring, and so become skeptical of the claims of impending doom.
    We see the accounts here regularly from those who accepted the CAGW scare, and gradually became scientific skeptics. What fascinates me is the few who see the evidence that the climate is fluctuating as usual within its historical parameters, and then assume Orwell’s doublethink as expressed by his character Winston Smith, who wonders if everyone believes that 2 + 2 = 5, does that make it true? There are actually some people like that. As Spock would say: “Fascinating.”
    In response to Antonio San, R. Gates says that changes in wind patterns could also be due to AGW. It’s all AGW, all the time. And all in the Arctic. It can never be admitted that natural variability is sufficient to explain the current climate.
    Wind, currents and precipitation all have a much more significant effect on ice extent than a 0.7 increase in temperature over the past century. If not, then the Antarctic charts would be very similar to the Arctic charts, not ‘polar’ opposites.
    A hallmark of the subset of climate alarmists who ignore all evidence contrary to their belief is cognitive dissonance, and everything is seen through the lens of certainty — while skeptics simply ask for testable evidence of their hypothesis. Such evidence is, of course, never provided.
    As those who are only asking for testable, verifiable evidence of CAGW, scientific skeptics are generally immune from cognitive dissonance [CD], because they are simply asking for reproducible raw data and methods used to construct the new CAGW conjecture. Skeptics didn’t invent CAGW, and they have no hypothesis of their own to prove [despite the psychological projection of a few alarmists who wrongly claim that any statement of skeptics constitutes a hypothesis].
    The famous psychologist Leon Festinger pointed out the cognitive dissonance of Mrs Marian Keech and her followers when the flying saucers didn’t arrive as predicted. The failure of her prophecy did not, as expected, cause the group to disband. Instead, they became even more convinced that the flying saucers were coming — an irrational response following the disconfirmation of their belief.
    Dr Festinger shows that unlike the average person, those afflicted with CD become even stronger in their beliefs when shown they are wrong: “Show [the CD afflicted person] facts or figures, and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic, and he fails to see your point… Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief… finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.”
    Despite the linking of dozens of charts showing that the planet has gone through identical cycles many times in the past, and despite the fact that with a one-third increase in CO2, the planet has only warmed but a fraction of what is predicted for a CO2 increase of that magnitude [and the fact that the CO2 rises as an effect of warming, not as a cause], some individuals become even more convinced of their belief in an imminent tipping point, runaway global warming, and climate catastrophe than ever before. Contrary evidence has no effect on the CD afflicted. It is simply ignored.
    A similar group afflicted by CD was the Watchtower International Bible Students [Jehova’s Witnesses], who repeatedly predicted the end of the world in 1874, 1878, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1918, 1920 and 1925. Following every disconfirmation of their predictions, like Mrs Keech’s flying saucer group, the Watchtower followers became even more convinced in their beliefs.
    The catastrophic CAGW conjecture is blamed on CO2 — a minor trace gas that is pretty well mixed globally — which would mean, if CAGW had any validity, that the Antarctic would be affected by carbon dioxide very similarly to the Arctic. In fact, there is no evidence that is happening. As harmless and beneficial CO2 steadily rises, the global climate warms and cools just as it always has: click1, click2.
    There is zero empirical evidence that CO2 has anything to do with the natural cycles evident. But a subset of those, who have made up their minds otherwise, will never be convinced even if sea ice advanced to the equator. People are evil, and the approaching climate doom must be blamed for the one CO2 molecule out of every 34 that is emitted by humans.
    PG sharrow also makes a good point. As has been repeatedly pointed out, the Arctic at the very North Pole has been completely ice free in 1958, 2000, and a few other times over the past century. Yet today it is frozen solid. Did CO2 take a breather? A union negotiated break from overheating the planet? A time out from its warming duties? Never fear, an ad hoc explanation will be provided.
    The true believers in catastrophic AGW will invent ad hoc explanations fro the re-freezing of the North Pole, like medieval astrologers attempting to explain the retrograde movements of the planets as being attached to crystal spheres within spheres. That’s how silly their arguments have become. Even Dr Trenberth expresses astonished disillusionment that the data is not conforming to the alarmist conclusions.
    All Trenberth needs to do is accept the null hypothesis, because everything now occurring is fully explained by natural climate variability. It has all happened many times before, and it is currently well within the same parameters.
    Occam’s Razor states that additional entities such as CO2 should not be included in any explanation unless it is necessary. But the CAGW debate is not about science at all. If it were, it would have already been settled by the normal response of the planet.

  97. R. Gates (10:43:14) :
    [….]
    Currently, arctic sea ice has been in a negative anomaly range since 2004, and shows no sign of going into a positive anomaly range for any extended period of time.

    Arctic sea ice is and has been in a positive anomaly since long before humans inhabited the Earth. So, your claim of a negative anomaly is cherrypicking of the data. In other words, you are selecting only the data which you believe will support your argument of permanent declines, whereas most other selections of data for shorter and longer time periods will depict no such negative anomaly.

  98. D. Patterson,
    Show me the credible, peer-reviewed arctic sea ice data for the past 2 million years, and I’d be glad (and very interested) to look at it. The arctic sea has not been 100% ice free in recorded human history, and if you have data (not photographs of submarines coming up in an area of open arctic water!) to show that the arctic ocean has been 100% ice free in the past 20,000 years, please let me see it!
    AGW models show the arctic will be ice free in the summer by the end of this century. That’s a very specific prediction. I like specfic predictions from models based on theories…that’s some of my favorite aspects of science. Much better than the mud-slinging garbage of the political world!

  99. Smokey (11:36:34)
    . . .Occam’s Razor states that additional entities such as CO2 should not be included in any explanation unless it is necessary. But the CAGW debate is not about science at all. If it were, it would have already been settled by the normal response of the planet.

    Right on. And ditto to Juraj V: That comment deserves its own top-level post, not just buried in this thread: “Cognitive Dissonance and AGW.”

    D. Patterson (11:43:25)
    Arctic sea ice is and has been in a positive anomaly since long before humans inhabited the Earth. So, your claim of a negative anomaly is cherrypicking of the data. . .

    Yep, this severely time-limited perspective was what bugged me about the ‘global warming’ alarmists from the very beginning. But that, of course, was the reason for the Hockey Stick. It was all about pretending that modern man was ‘polluting’ the atmosphere and endangering the Earth.
    A commenter on this board a few days ago posted a link to an article explaining where it started: with a conference in 1975 (!), organized by Margaret Mead. From the article: “Mead’s leading recruits at the 1975 conference were climate scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak biologist George Woodwell, and the current AAAS president John Holdren [now Science Advisor to Barack Obama]—all three of them disciples of Malthusian fanatic Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb.. See here: http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202007/GWHoaxBorn.pdf
    /Mr Lynn

  100. Smokey (11:36:34) :
    As has been repeatedly pointed out, the Arctic at the very North Pole has been completely ice free in 1958, 2000, and a few other times over the past century.

    For the sake of accuracy, it is necessary to correct one statement. The photographs of the nuclear submarines surfaced in open water at the North Pole do not represent “the very North Pole has been completely ice free….” The icecap remained “at the very North Pole” was interrupted by a sea ice feature known as leads. Submarines like to surface in the location of leads because there is a temporary area of open water or the temporary area of open water is refrozen with only a much thinner covering of ice which is non-damaging to a surfacing submarine.
    Leads of open water and thin ice do not represent an ice free North Pole, because they are a fracture in the surrounding ice cap. Leads exist in the icecap due to pressures acting upon the sheets of ice by winds and Arctic Sea currents. Leads exist in any icecap without regard for changes in the climate. Icebreakers use the major leads (fractues in the icecap) to navigate their lengths for distances up to hundreds and thousands of kilometers in different locations and seasons. The Russian nuclear powered icebreakers used leads to make passages through the icecap and reach the North Pole with scientific researchers and tourists as passengers.
    When looking at NASA satellite photographs of the Arctic Sea, you can see vast networks of leads and large polynya throughout much of the Arctic Sea, in all seasons, and in warmer and colder climates.
    The pictures of submarines and Russian icebreakers in patches of open water at the North Pole are interesting, but they really don’t indicate an ice free North Pole or any changes in Climate in one direction or another.
    Only the retreat of the outer margins of the icecap past the location of the North Pole will indicate an ice free North Pole.

  101. ********
    25 03 2010
    Mr Lynn (18:03:48) :
    From time to time I wonder, why does anyone really care whether the Arctic melts? It wouldn’t hurt to have nice clear sea lanes year round—now would it?
    I understand, as R. Gates (13:18:01) says, that “The arctic region is one of the first to be affected by the warming according to all models, and so it should be the ‘canary in the coal mine’.” Is the Arctic thus a test of the AGW hypothesis? If so, it is not a very cooperative one, as not much seems to be happening very fast, if at all, and not always in the predicted direction.
    The press and the general public appear to be unaware of the evidentiary question. They seem to be mostly fearful of a change, as if losing the polar ice caps would be a dire event, a loss greatly to be regretted. Why this emotional attachment to regions of full of nothing but snow and ice? It is hard to fathom, but every report of the slightest melting is trumpeted as if the world were on the brink of disaster.
    I suppose you could argue that the polar caps should be maintained for the benefit of the fuzzy polar bears, and of course the comical penguins.
    I also understand that the extreme alarmists, like the Goracle, are fond of predicting the imminent melting of both ice caps, which would (at least for the Antarctic—and Greenland, if the latter is considered part of the polar ice region) raise the world’s sea levels and force millions of people to relocate away from the coasts.
    But how likely is this scenario, even if the extreme AGW conjecture (thanks, Smokey!) were true? And more to the point, would that be a bad thing? Lose a little coastline, but gain vast regions—maybe even a whole continent!—of arable and livable space, where once there was only a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland—not a bad tradeoff, if you ask me.
    /Mr Lynn

    ********
    Thanks — my thoughts are similar.
    There’s quite a bit of evidence that polar sea-ice was significantly reduced during Holocene warm periods (boreal forests grew to the Arctic Ocean shorelines in Siberia & Canada) compared to today. Given that the Holocene has seen such cyclic cool/warm periods for its entire duration, why would it surprise anyone that such a period could happen anytime, including now? There’s plenty of precedent, and it’s completely “normal”.
    Polar sea-ice will do what it will do. And if it disappeared in the summer, I can’t think of any serious effects, other than new shipping routes opening up, greater plankton growth (and whales having longer feeding times), black & white spruces, and tamarack growing northward into tundra, and polar bears eating seals on shorelines instead of sea-ice in the summer and fall.
    Given that it already happened just a few thousand yrs ago, how could anyone prove such an occurrence wasn’t natural? They couldn’t, unless there was some breakthrough in nascent climate-science. AFA I can see, the science is stuck right now at the basic GHG understanding, and beyond that there isn’t nearly enough certainty. “Climate-models” don’t come close yet.
    Tho it’s interesting, I don’t worry about natural-until-proven-otherwise sea-ice changes.

  102. Smokey said:
    “PG sharrow also makes a good point. As has been repeatedly pointed out, the Arctic at the very North Pole has been completely ice free in 1958, 2000, and a few other times over the past century.”
    ———-
    As I pointed out many times before, If this is true, it is also proves nothing. The exact condition of the ice at the N. Pole is not necessarily indicative of the extent, depth, mass, etc. of the entire arctic sea ice pack. There is nothing magical about the N. Pole, and open areas of ocean can open up virutually anywhere in the ice pack. Even pointing this out as a bit of evidence for anything scientific is no different than talking about your spring snowstorm as proof that there can’t be global warming…both are quite unimportant to the debate on AGW.
    You’re one of my favorite posters here on WUWT…I just want you to know that, as you provide some interesting, albeit lengthy, commentary.

  103. Phil. (08:05:09) :
    >>NZ Willy: the 15% and 30% graphs… are both rising at the mo — Jack Frost’s last hurrah.
    >Actually they’re both going down, slowly.
    If you look right now, you’ll see they are both upticking for the past 1-2 days.

  104. Doc_Navy (12:54:35) :
    There is an interesting (almost real-time) discussion over at:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comments

    I read through some of the posts here and agree this is very interesting. It highlights exactly what Smokey (11:36:34) quoted:
    “Show [the CD afflicted person] facts or figures, and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic, and he fails to see your point… Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief… finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.”
    You can see this happening in real time on this blog. When believers are presented with factual evidence that the temperature record does not support the AGW conjecture, they start rambling on. They completely fail to accept the truth. It’s like the Wizard of Oz after the curtain is pulled back. They just want the curtain to be pulled over again so they can continue their old behavior.

  105. Has R.Gates had a paper peer reviewed?
    If not, all opinions are worthless according to his AGW masters.
    I have never written a paper, but I ran a company for 30 years by making the right calls based on available evidence.
    If I was running a shipping company, no way would I be banking on the North west or east passage being open this summer even if it were a peer reviewed forecast.
    All the graphs show the ice extent and area increasing since 2007 – it’s time he got over it.
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

  106. Anthony- I think CT actually added snow cover fall of 2005, Oct. 20th has it. I did a pixel count of the two seas, with/without snow and found about a 500K sq km difference. It is interesting that the above discussion brought forth the negative anomaly since 2004, coincident with the addition of snow cover.

  107. I vaguely remember something about seasons shifting in a changing climate. Does this shifting ice peak have anything to do with that?
    PS Anthony made an excellent general point further up when he said that “jumping all over [xxx] and calling it “dishonest” when you misinterpret the headline and the point [xxx is] making isn’t cool”. Good for us all to remember that one.

  108. Roger said:
    “I have never written a paper, but I ran a company for 30 years by making the right calls based on available evidence.”
    ——–
    That’s fantastic Roger, and it sounds like you were very successful–congratulations. However, AGW is one the “calls” we can’t afford to get wrong, and no amount of political maneuvering or hot air from the pundits on either side of the issue should dissuade everyone who is truly concerned to get it right.
    In regards to the arctic sea ice, and changes in the arctic and antarctic in general, this is such a huge issue because it is one the earliest signs where AGW models predict warming will show up. If, over the next few years, we see the arctic sea ice recover to pre-2000 levels (when it really started to fall off), and hits positive anomalies on a consistent basis, and the permafrost begins to recover, etc. then I personally will begin to have serious doubts about the validity of AGW models. Right now though, we’ve not had a positive anomaly since 2004, and that is a big deal, as the sea ice couldn’t even recover during the longest deepest solar minimum in a century. All the “everything is caused by the sun” crowd were sure we were headed for some real cooling period from this, but the global temps have held their own, and signs are strong that 2010 could be warmest year on instrument record. All this is predicted by AGW models–and though I’m only 75% convinced that AGWT is probably right, I’ve seen no evidence to reduce that amount or increase my amount of skepticism. Any increase in my skepticism, or in my belief in AGWT, will come most likely from trends in the arctic and antarctic.

  109. The NSIDC plot peaks about March 8th too. The upward sloping line is visually misleading. Look very closely and count pixels.

  110. D. Patterson (12:44:10),
    When we write, we know exactly what we mean. I knew just what I meant… but it didn’t come across accurately. Thank you for pointing that out.
    What I meant was that there have been recent times when the North Pole was open water. Now it is frozen over, indicating that ice forming conditions are again present.
    This article by the late, great John Daly gives a much better overview of the polar ice situation than I ever could. There are also some excellent pictures and graphs: click
    [Note the last sentence, which sums up the entire situation.]

  111. Mr. Gates, try this expirement for me, if possible. Turn the heat on in your house to get it to say 22*C. Check the outdoor temp. When the house has gotten to 22*C, turn your heat off and see how long it takes for your home to get to the noted outside temp.
    Then do this again, but this time set your temp to say 30*C. Again allow your home to go to the same value as previously. Please report back the time it takes for the 2 scenarios to reach equalibrium.

  112. Mr. Gates, I should have added to try to do the exact same expirement, when the outside temps are say 15-20*C cooler, again notice the time. You may have to wait til next winter, unless of course you are in the SH.

  113. OK Mr. Gates, just thought of an easier and cheaper expirement.
    Get 2 ice trays, 2 temp probes and a data logger. Fill one tray with 50*C water. Fill the other with 100*C water, put probes in and start data logger. Deposit trays into your freezer and do not open the door until BOTH trays read -1*C.
    Check data logger as to times from freezer insertion until tray cold/hot temp hit -1*C.
    Report back with your findings.

  114. Let’s not jump to conclusions about weather phenomena, people. We’ve seen a study come out recently, posted here, that winds in the Arctic may account for a third of the overall decline. A paper by the same lead author from 2008 postulated that Arctic winds account for about 30% of the year-to-year variability.
    The late peak this year says nothing about trends. For that you need much more data.
    For the Arctic, the time of year of both the maximum and minimum ice coverage is occurring slightly earlier (i.e., negative slopes) but neither trend is significant at the 2 sigma level although the slope for the time of occurrence of the ice maximum is almost significant at the 1 sigma level (p-value=0.66).
    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/temporal-trends-in-arctic-and-antarctic-sea-ice-maximum-and-minimum-areal-extents/
    This is by no means a rebuttal to Anthony’s post, which doesn’t make any diagnosis of timing trends. However, the door has been left open for less cautious people to make all sorts of wild assumptions about climate trends in the Arctic. and not just in the comments here. It would help relieve ignorance if some care was taken with purely observational posts here (and anywhere in the climate wars), to caveat them assiduously. Without caveats, as we can see from the comments above, a simple observation can easily become distorted into evidence for a given agenda. Feeding people’s confirmation bias, however innocently, is not the way to enlighten them. And it should be very clear to readers here that readers jump to all sorts of erroneous conclusions.
    Steve Goddard (12:25:19) :
    If the summer melt season starts with thicker ice (like this year) it isn’t going to decline as much as years which started with thinner ice.
    I refer you to the comment above re winds. There have been numerous posts and comments at WUWT regarding sea ice extent (the topic of this thread) being largely or partly a product of wind influence. I dimly remember you aligning with that view in the past ( I could be wrong). Do you believe that wind patterns are not much of an influence on year-to-year sea ice extent?

  115. Smokey (17:06:12) :
    That’s a good article. When we were overflying the Arctic Sea and Greenland in the 1970s, the ice extent was greater than now; but even then you could always find good sized patches of open water at the polynya and the leads going out past the horizons. It is remarkable how the margin of the icecap bordering Asia-Alaska came amazingly close to the North Pole in 2007. Even more amazing and laughable are the statements by NASA scientists claiming it was the lowest extent in 5,000 to 7,000 years. They seem to lead sheltered lives despite any of their trips to the ice.

  116. R. Gates
    The position you take on the Popperian falsifiability of AGW – and the defining of an ice-free Arctic as a testable / falsifiable prediction, is to be commended – such honesty and directness is refreshing. I am also impressed with your well-informed engaging with posters on various questions. In marked contrast to hit-and-run tactics from some AGW-ers here. However I find some inconsistencies and problems with some of your arguments.
    In order to reference a falsifiable AGW claim, you quoted the WUWT post by William DiPuccio, whose chief conclusion was that the oceans have been cooling since 2004. But earlier you cite “warming oceans” as a proof of AGW.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/06/the-global-warming-hypothesis-and-ocean-heat/
    WUWT?
    Further, you hold on to the AGW claim that Arctic ice is undergoing sustained decrease, and yet at the same time in answers to questions about absence of multi-decade ice and periodic recent episodes of an ice-free North Pole, acknowledge and even assert that the polar ice rapidly fluctuates – such that multi-decade ice cannot be expected. So your position on Arctic ice is far from clear. If it is so variable how can one talk about sustained change indicative of climate warming?
    Earlier still you state:
    “The most important thing however is the long term trend, and we’ve still not seen a positive arctic sea ice anomaly since 2004, depite the long and deep solar minimum, increased GCR’s, etc. This is exactly the condition that AGWT would suggest, as the GH gases overwhelm the other natural variations.”
    The AGW position on the solar minimum is something of an about-face – prior to 2006, the AGW community uniformly ridiculed the suggestion of solar forcing of climate. Now however any signs of warming-related phenomena are “remarkable in the face of the solar minimum.” Its standard sporting psycology to present oneself as the underdog – has solar cycling transitioned from being irrelevant to climate to now being the Goliath against AGW’s herioc David? (BTW I dont believe in direct solar forcing of climate, but it must have some entraining influence.)
    You refer in another posting to ocean acidification:
    “Personally, I’d take a bit of warmth over cold any day, but there are other ramifications to global warming besides heat..much bigger ones, like the acidifiication of the oceans”
    However this is also highly problematic as an AGW predicted outcome. Continuing the sporting analogy, ocean acidification is a reserve disaster on the subs bench for C-AGW should global temperatures fail to rise as promised. However for a start, the oceans are alkaline – so the discussion should be of neutralisation, not acidification. But the biggest problem is the palaeoclimate record. We are led to believe that CO2-related decrease in oceanic pH will quickly harm the sensitive and soluble corals, which are already suffering and will soon fizz away like an Alka Seltzer if CO2 emission goes unchecked. But how does that fact correspond with the history of, for example, the Ordovician era around the mid 400 million years ago, when (a) atmospheric CO2 was 8-20 times higher than at present, but (b) corals did the opposite of going extinct – they evolved and appeared – in exuberant abundance – in the fossil record for the first time?
    It is clear from more recent climate records over the last millenium that oscillations of natural cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, while not sticking to a 60 year period as sometimes claimed, show continuous multi-decadal oscillation of substantial amplitude. This post by Bob Tisdale is informative on this:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/
    Resolving an AGW signal in the face of such steep natural cycles is a tall order indeed. This is one of DiPuccio’s main points.
    The figures in Bob Tisdale’s post point to the period around 1960 as an exceptional low in ocean driven climatic cycles. This makes it less remarkable that the period of intensive recent climate monitoring since the 60s-70s shows rising temperatures. However it looks increasingly like we are over the top of the rollercoaster and slowing ready for a downward plunge.
    The article by DiPuccio that you helpfully cite indeed concludes that if climatic temperature and in particular ocean heat contine to decline for a few years then AGW will be completely refuted.

  117. Smokey (12:41:11) :
    By definition, scientific skeptics are pretty much immune from cognitive dissonance, as we have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend. Skeptics simply question.
    Obviously not. Your following comments:
    Testable, reproducible evidence. That’s what it takes. And that is what is missing from the CO2=CAGW hypothesis/conjecture.
    Apart from that being wrong, it is an assertion – an hypothesis you have clearly not tested.
    The central empirical fact of AGW theory is that increasing CO2 in a volume of atmosphere in the lab increasingly absorbs infrared radiation passing through that volume. This has been tested, reproduced thousands of times, and is axiomatic. It takes a feat of cognitive dissonance to be unaware of this foundational, well-tested evidence that has been reproduced countless times, particularly when someone has been engaged in the subject as long as you have.
    One may argue about how this translates to the real-world atmosphere, but to claim that ‘testable reproducible evidence’ is ‘missing’ from AGW theory is just plain wrong.

  118. barry (19:35:56)
    The central empirical fact of AGW theory is that increasing CO2 in a volume of atmosphere in the lab increasingly absorbs infrared radiation passing through that volume. This has been tested, reproduced thousands of times, and is axiomatic. It takes a feat of cognitive dissonance to be unaware of this foundational, well-tested evidence that has been reproduced countless times, particularly when someone has been engaged in the subject as long as you have.

    So, how do you propose to explain the means by which any increased carbon dioxide is supposed to absorb further infra-red energy when the available frequency band of infra-red energy was already absorbed by the first meters of carbon dioxide?

  119. D. Patterson, that is orthogonal to my point, but to answer, Gilbert Plass in 1956 showed that “the available frequency band of infra-red energy” is wider than that part which is saturated, (and that there is only partial overlap between water vapopur absorption and CO2 bands when you resolve to the micron level). This has been confirmed ever since.
    Furthermore, the saturation argument assumes that nothing else goes on after saturation occurs in the first few meters of atmosphere. But the saturated band keeps on emitting in all directions. Infrared radiation doesn’t get swallowed by GHG molecules never to be seen again. In the upper layers of the atmosphere, re-emitted IR eventually escapes to space. Even with complete saturation in the first few meters, if the upper layer gets more CO2 (and it does) then the escape window closes. This is true even if saturation occurs across the CO2 spectrum in the first few meters of atmosphere.
    I think some people have the idea that energy/heat transport stops at the saturation level, that it’s a kind of shield that prevents any more IR going upwards. What they don’t get is that the ‘shield’ is also an emitter.
    This, by the way, is another testable, reproducible conclusion. It requires no global climate models, just obs and calculation. Furthermore, this has been observed by satellites, which have measured spectral darkening of the atmosphere in the bands absorbed by CO2 over time. What was anticipated has been verified.
    (Some of the terminology I used is imprecise here – I’m trying to be economical for clarity)

  120. Smokey (11:36:34) :
    “””As someone who has followed this site from when it emerged from Surface Stations, I have seen so many commentators post their experiences of the time they changed their minds, due to the rational arguments and facts presented here, that it fascinates me when a few cling to their belief system in the face of voluminous evidence to the contrary. A six year anomaly at one of the Poles, from 2004, is cited as some sort of proof of …what, exactly?
    We have seen the progression of those claiming an imminent ice age [when I was a young buck in Viet Nam], to the approaching global warming debacle that never happened, and which then morphed into anthropogenic global warming [AGW], and from there to “climate change” [as if it doesn’t always change]; runaway global warming and climate catastrophe, in which the seas will rise eighty feet — complete with maps of the future showing submerged cities. The fact that the rise in sea level is moderating is ignored, as is all other contrary evidence.
    Most people begin by accepting what the media tells them, and those with an interest [and especially those with a background] in science look more closely, and find that nothing unusual is occurring, and so become skeptical of the claims of impending doom. “””
    ———————————-
    My addition to your astute observation;
    As the grass roots people, who can think clearly, spread the realization of the depths of the AGW back ground scam, it becomes as natural as the turning of the tide, to go from the anger of being scammed, to the realization that only clear truth, and a good fund of well rounded knowledge will save us, from the future scammers that will pray upon the ignorance of our children.
    Richard Feynman was a unique mind as a result of the way he was trained from a child, on how to look at things from many angles, all of the time and to gather depth as well as breath, about the common environment around him, as he took daily nature walks with his dad.
    I grew up in a similar vein, with both parents sharing the training, I have worked at stressing the training of my kids on having a curious open mind, that accepts what they see as the surface, then by critical thinking expand their perspective on to the interactions with all of the other influences in the immediate area, and by extrapolation the rest of the world.
    When they were old enough to hold their head up 3 – 6 months, I would set them on the top of my arm and fly them around to view all sorts of natural things, before every nap /bed time. Lines of ants going up a tree, butter flies on flowers, bees and wasps at work, birds hunting worms, something different all the time. To top off the visual stimulation they got so they would sleep better, and have interesting dreams storing all of the new visual stimuli into memory. 25 years later they know enough to not be fooled by BS and cons, now working on grand children, not programing preset values or ideas, but allowing them to think and question on their own before they learn to walk.
    What I see as the solution to the AGW religion, is to make these cognitive impaired people aware of the import of the process of photosynthesis as the supporting driver of all live on earth, and that having the goal of doing things of a better directed habit, that increase the rate of capture of solar energy to the conversion of food, as a continual landscaping of as much of the earth as possible, to effect a better net environment, as a real direction to take their religious feelings and energies rather than send monies to inefficient corrupt foundations.
    If every one were to contribute to the improvement of the food generating capacity of their local environment, the over all carrying capacity of the earth will increase, along with the quality of life for all.
    If the research funds were to be directed toward solving the real weather forecast problems, and by extension the on going climate, and the disaster mitigation efforts were truly international, instead of each region to itself, we could maybe heal some international conflicts, by working together on real solutions, that are not just hidden agendas, for the ripping off the rest of the world.
    I could see something positive coming out of this, rather than just give all monies to ineffective companies, and governments, run by an elitist self destructive agenda. Reducing the size of useless government, instead of the world’s total population by mindless genocide, seems a much better answer
    The basis of all religions is the placing of focus on the greater good of all by virtue of a right lifestyle, while expanding the support of the common flock, if that could be seen as all of the earth with out political factionalism, we could solve most problems.
    I see an increase in technology, especially communications between diverse individuals, as key to understand the viral nature of human intelligence, and the potential of common growth by sharing ideas that work on real resource problems, I plan on doing more blogging, less complaining, being more open to ideas, while staying critical in my evaluations, searching for honesty.

  121. The denser the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere the more random the exit path of the IR energy, until it coverts to heat of motion, and become the background temperature of the atmosphere, assisting the convective forces that move it, and the water vapor to the tops of precipitation events, where it is lost back to space.
    There is thus a negative feed back the more warming in the lower atmosphere from the absorbed IR changing to heat, the greater turn over of the atmosphere via storm actions, the strength of which is what in numbers of relative increase in convective forcing totals? I would hazard a guess, both too small to be of a measurable difference in the total amount of precipitation in any one storm.
    But overall a bigger turn over of warm air mass regardless of relative humidity, not necessarily affecting an increase or decrease in precipitation as a result, just taking a free ride to the cool zone. To be immediately reabsorbed into the condensing water vapor for return to the surface as acid rain. Placing it in the local area where plants can sequester it away till the seasons change again.

  122. R. Gates (08:08:17) : “[..] a warming arctic and lower sea-ice on a year-to-year basis [is] an “acid test” for AGWT, and if somehow the arctic sea ice begins to show a long term recovery (i.e. consistently back to showing positive anomalies), then it would be major blow for AGWT, and I’m am sure that the majority of climate scientists would agree. The arctic has been touted as the “canary in the coal mine” for a long time by AGWT and I think all eyes are on this region.
    Correction: all eyes were on this region. But now that the polar see-saw has flipped, the attention will miraculously and seamlessly leave the Arctic and concentrate vociferously on the Antarctic. Indeed, the transfer has already started – there was an Antarctic melt story in The Australian today:
    Ice sheet vital sign for rising sea levels
    Antarctica’s ice sheets, once considered to be almost immune to global warming, are now key indicators of change.

    About the polar see-saw :
    http://www.spacecenter.dk/research/sun-climate/Scientific%20work%20and%20publications/resolveuid/86c49eb9229b3a7478e8d12407643bed
    The Antarctic tends to warm while the Arctic cools, and vice versa.
    For evidence that the polar see-saw has flipped : see –
    – Arctic ice recovering rapidly after 2007:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    – Antarctic ice disappearing rapidly after 2007:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
    OK, it has only been 2 years, so maybe more time is needed to be sure, but the flip is expected about then (based on PDO phases).
    There is no escape for sceptics from this nightmare – even in the severest imaginable global cooling there will always be somewhere at some time getting warmer.

  123. barry (21:13:37) :
    It is especially revealing for you to talk about someone else’s supposed cognitive dissonance in one comment and then make the statement, “What was anticipated has been verified,” in another comment. Plass made a model which failed. His illustrious successors made models that failed. To the present day, all of the models relying upon that work are failures. It is very interesting to see you say what was anticipated without inclusion of a multitude of mid-term variables is nonetheless verified without inclusion of those variables. Inclusion of the missing variables appears to indicate what was anticipated and verified was in fact an illusory confirmation bias insofar as they omitted a multitude of factors which can only change the results from what was verified.

  124. David Alan Evans (12:03:55) :
    Wouldn’t it be quite interesting if worldwide data showed that the decade of the 1930’s was warmer than 2000-09? It would be nice to be rich enough to pay a group of scientists who are known to be from both sides of the global warming issue to study that.

  125. Mauibrad (12:44:51) :
    Graham on Global Warming bill
    It appears that whatever Pr. Obama wants to do he is going to do it regardless if the people want it and regardless of any rules that will be violated in the process. So Cap N Trade is on the way.
    But America can rise and change things:
    “…..endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    So maybe a third party will arise in America to do the will of the people.

  126. Mike Jonas,
    I think it is too early to pronounce any long term recovery in arctic sea ice, as it is still not even into a positivie anomaly range based on the last 30 year running averages. I don’t see any lack of attention on the arctic in the professional circles. In regards to the antarctic, it has been long speculated that the ozone depletion over the S. Pole has had an effect on polar winds, specifically making them block the heat from hitting all but the northern most areas of the region (and the data would support this). However, the ozone layer has been recovering and perhaps now the heat can begin to penetrate more deeply into the region.
    Broken down, I would say AGW, the ozone depletion, PDO, ENSO, pacific storms, all play a role in the condition of the antarctic sea ice, but if AGWT is correct, over the next century, we will begin to see the sea ice decline, meaning that AGW will play the biggest role in the condition of the antarctic sea ice and it will join its artic sea ice counter part in a slow spiral down.

  127. Regarding “R. Gates (08:43:50) : I think it is too early to pronounce any long term recovery in arctic sea ice . . .”
    Yes, and also it is way too early to sound any alarms about long term trends in Arctic sea ice. Many believe that there is 60 year PDO cycle that affects Arctic sea ice as well as an AMO and . . . . Not to speak of any consideration we should give to possible century trends driven by recovery from the LIA. (And perhaps we should be more concerned about soot falling on Arctic ice than CO2 effects.)
    Regarding the canary in the mine analogy. A couple of decades ago, I was a bonafide member of the AGW communtiy. Back in the 80s, our canary in the mine was the frequency of strong thunderstorms. Then it was drought — such as in Georgia. Then in 2005 it was hurricances. Then it was the Artic ice. Then it was tornadoes. Now it has become . . . ? Obama has even used floods from melting snow in the Dakotas and Minnesota as proof of AGW.
    It seems that whatever event is noteworthy of media attention — that is the canary du jour.

  128. R. Gates (08:43:50) :
    I think it is too early to pronounce any long term recovery in arctic sea ice, as it is still not even into a positivie anomaly range based on the last 30 year running averages.

    It’s in a positive anomaly based upon the 30 million year running average.

  129. Smokey (12:41:11): “By definition, scientific skeptics are pretty much immune from cognitive dissonance, as we have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend.”
    Yes you do. Here’s one: Smokey (12:06:23): “…natural cycles – not a minor trace gas – explain the climate…”
    This claim definitely counts as a hypothesis, and the burden of proof rests with the claimant. Therefore:
    – The implied claim that the category “scientific skeptics” is synonymous with the category “climate sceptics” is false
    – The implied claim that [climate] sceptics are “by definition” immune from cognitive dissonance is false.

  130. Brendan H (11:56:19) :
    Climate and trace gases in the atomosphere pre-date the existence of humans, hence they are natural occurences by default until and unless an hypothesis can experimentally demonstrate humans have artificially altered the foregoing default natural occurence of climate and trace gases. Consequently, the prior existence of a natural occurence of climate and trace gases requires no hypothesis to be put forward by skeptical humans. It simply is what it already was until and unless demonstrated to be artificially altered by humans to be otherwise.

  131. D. Patterson: “Consequently, the prior existence of a natural occurence of climate and trace gases requires no hypothesis to be put forward by skeptical humans.”
    We’re talking about now, not then. There is a theory on the table: AGW. The assertion that natural cycles explain the climate is a counter-claim to AGW. The burden of proof is on the claimant.

  132. Brendan H (11:56:19),
    Thank you for quoting me concerning the fact that natural cycles explain the climate, but I cannot take credit for that long established theory.
    As climatologist Roy Spencer points out: No one has falsified the theory that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.
    That long-accepted theory states that the climate naturally fluctuates. The alternative claim that runaway global warming and climate catastrophe will result from a rise in a minor trace gas [CO2=CAGW] is the formal hypothesis postulated by the UN/IPCC and its adherents, such as the discredited CRU, Michael Mann and others.
    That hypothesis has been falsified by, among other reasons, the fact that more than a one-third increase in CO2 has not resulted in warming that can not be entirely explained by natural variability, since the same rate of increase in global temperatures has occurred in the past.
    Your attempt at twisting the role of scientific skeptics fails for a number of reasons:
    First, because you would prefer skeptics to remain silent, and not offer any arguments that contradict the CO2=CAGW hypothesis.
    But it is the duty of skeptics to question hypotheses. It is also the duty of those putting forth a hypothesis to question it themselves — something that is rarely if ever done by climate alarmists, because they are true believers in their conclusion, and they adjust their arguments on an ad hoc basis to fit their predetermined conclusions.
    Next, the new hypothesis can be challenged by alternative possibilities and explanations that are equally or more plausible, if the promoters of the CO2=CAGW hypothesis make their methods and raw data fully transparent to all who wish to replicate the hypothetical conclusions. That does not make the challenge or explanation a hypothesis.
    Challenges and arguments are not hypotheses, unless they are specified as a new hypothesis. Put ‘on the table’ as such, in your words. In your example you have it backward: CO2=CAGW is the new hypothesis that challenges the long established theory. Arguing for that long held theory does not make it another new hypothesis. The argument is used because skeptics have been denied the raw data, code and methodologies necessary to deconstruct the new CO2=CAGW hypothesis.
    The data has been “lost.” Or it is kept secret from skeptics based on alleged agreements [but it is shared with like-minded pals]. And the code, paid for by the public, is withheld as being the personal property of the authors. And so on. Transparency is necessary for the scientific method to work. But there is little genuine transparency by climate alarmists, who clearly have an agenda.
    Finally, if any and all statements made by skeptics are to be labeled a “hypothesis,” then the word hypothesis has no meaning, which is plainly ridiculous. That argument is simply dissembling, in an attempt to wiggle out of an uncomfortable situation.
    If a skeptic says, “I hypothesize that…”, then you can assume he is proposing a hypothesis. Otherwise, comments and arguments are made for the specific purpose of falsifying the stated hypothesis.
    If a hypothesis can withstand falsification, it is on its way to becoming an accepted scientific theory. But until the promoters of the repeatedly falsified CO2=CAGW hypothesis refuse to follow the scientific method by openly sharing all of their raw data and methods, it will never become a theory. Instead, CO2=CAGW has become merely a conjecture; an opinion, which is better explained by the theory of natural climate variability — the theory that CO2=CAGW impotently seeks to supplant.
    The fact that the believers in the CO2=CAGW conjecture are so cornered that they feel they must now resort to disingenuous word games in order to support their failed conjecture shows how desperate their position has become.

  133. D. Patterson (12:56:09) :
    Climate and trace gases in the atomosphere pre-date the existence of humans, hence they are natural occurences by default until and unless an hypothesis can experimentally demonstrate humans have artificially altered the foregoing default natural occurence of climate and trace gases. Consequently, the prior existence of a natural occurence of climate and trace gases requires no hypothesis to be put forward by skeptical humans. It simply is what it already was until and unless demonstrated to be artificially altered by humans to be otherwise.

    And since the trace gases have been demonstrated to be artificially altered by humans then the onus is upon you.

  134. Smokey: “Finally, if any statement made by a skeptic is to be labeled a “hypothesis,” then the word hypothesis has no meaning, which is plainly ridiculous.”
    As I said, your claim: natural cycles explain the climate, “sounds” like a hypothesis. If that claim is no better than “any statement”, fine, but I note you elevate the hypothesis in your oft-repeated claim of the “theory” that natural fluctuations can explain the climate.
    So if this theory just amounts to “any statement” then it doesn’t amount to very much.
    By all means make claims about the climate. But don’t then scuttle behind the defence of “just asking questions”. It looks like special pleading.

  135. Phil. (14:23:05),
    I’m a little surprised. You usually don’t employ strawman arguments, in fact your posts are much better than the average warmist’s.
    But no one said human activity has no effect on trace gases: click.
    Out of every ≈34 CO2 molecules emitted annually in total, only one (1) comes from human activity. So we do have an effect, although it is too small to be measurable. It is down in the noise of year-over-year variability.
    But the real question, the money question is: will the addition of one molecule of CO2 out of 34+ cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe? So far, the planet says no.
    If the evidence shows that it will, then we must act. But if not, then we should stop wasting more $Billions every year on a non-problem. Or at the very least, we should hold off on precipitous action for the next decade or two, until a clearer picture emerges. Wouldn’t you agree?
    Brendan: Bad reading comprehension. As I explained in my first two paragraphs, that is not my theory [although I agree with it], that is the accepted climate theory according to Dr Spencer, an eminent climatologist. I note that it is you who labeled AGW a “theory.” It is certainly not a scientific theory: click
    And it can never be a scientific theory — until its promoters follow the scientific method, instead of hiding their raw data, their code and their methodologies.
    If Climatologist Brendan H wishes to be the authority over Dr Spencer, who am I to argue? I’m not a climatologist. If it makes you feel superior to say that natural climate variability is not a theory but a hypothesis, that’s OK with me.
    But when/if you read a real scientist’s explanation of a “conjecture” in the link I provided, you will see that CAGW fits that scientific definition, because without the raw data and methods, the conclusions cannot be replicated.
    And if you want to continue arguing about it for the sake of arguing, first make a note of Dr Glassman’s CV at the end of the article, and post your own CV. Because it is you who are promoting the CO2=CAGW conjecture, not skeptical scientists.

  136. Smokey: “As I explained in my first two paragraphs, that is not my theory [although I agree with it]…”
    Parse it how you wish, but you have several times offered this “theory” of natural climate change.
    Semantics aside, you are dodging the substantive issue, your claim: (1) “we have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend.”
    You have in fact offered not just a hypotheses but a “theory”. So you do indeed have something to “to believe in or to defend”. Therefore, your original claim at (1) is false.
    In that case, you have not justified your desire to claim immunity from questioning. The burden of proof is on the claimant, regardless of the label the claimant might wish to appropriate.

  137. Smokey (15:45:41) :
    Phil. (14:23:05),
    I’m a little surprised. You usually don’t employ strawman arguments, in fact your posts are much better than the average warmist’s.

    And I’m not doing so here.
    But no one said human activity has no effect on trace gases: click.
    Out of every ≈34 CO2 molecules emitted annually in total, only one (1) comes from human activity. So we do have an effect, although it is too small to be measurable. It is down in the noise of year-over-year variability.

    This is absolutely not true, a simple mass/elemental balance shows that ~half of the CO2 produced annually by fossil fuel consumption and emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the biosphere/ocean consequently all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 comes from human activity.

  138. R Gates – You say “I would say AGW, the ozone depletion, PDO, ENSO, pacific storms, all play a role in the condition of the antarctic sea ice, but if AGWT is correct, over the next century, we will begin to see the sea ice decline
    If you look at the graph of Antarctic sea ice
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
    it is clear that the combination of “the ozone depletion, PDO, ENSO, pacific storms” has outweighed AGW over the whole of the satellite era. AGW is GLOBAL. This shouldn’t happen.
    Examination of global sea ice
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    shows the same up to 2004, then a decline to 2007 followed by partial recovery. This bears no correlation at all to atmospheric CO2 (not in itself proof or disproof of anything, but certainly food for thought).
    Arctic sea ice
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    shows decline over the whole of (or most of) the satellite era, followed by partial recovery.
    These patterns suggest very strongly to me that atmospheric CO2 is of no significance wrt polar ice. If it was, then ice at both poles would be showing declining trends by now – the satellite era is 30 years old.
    Rather than wait 100 years to see if your AGWT prediction is correct, wouldn’t it be sensible first to consider the possibility that AGWT is incorrect and that other factors control the polar ice (and hence probably the planet) ? In particular, shouldn’t we be asking why the situation appears to have changed abruptly in 2007? That change may be short term or long term, but we should be trying to know what is going on.
    I’ll go further, and put this in a proper scientific perspective (as others have already) : we should stay with the null hypothesis, that climate is driven by natural forces, until it has been disproved by AGWT.

  139. barry (19:35:56) :
    “The central empirical fact of AGW theory is that increasing CO2 in a volume of atmosphere in the lab increasingly absorbs infrared radiation passing through that volume.”
    And it’s been found that a doubling of CO2 from 280ppm to 560 ppm will result in 1.2 degree warming all other things being equal. This can quite easily be calculated.
    The premise then becomes will 1.2 degrees of warming make a difference, as it’s less then the natural year to year variation observed variation.
    Or possibly, all other things aren’t equal.
    Lindzen and Hansen are in absolute agreement as to what an atmospheric doubling of CO2 all other things being equal will do.
    Lindzen believes
    A) 1.2 degrees won’t make any difference
    B) All other things will remain roughly equal and life won’t change much.
    Hansen believes
    A) 1.2 degrees will make a massive difference
    B) All other things will spin out of control and we will all burst into flames.
    The Ocean Heat content stopped rising and the arctic sea ice began recovering.
    How much do we spend on searching for Hansen’s missing heat? $20,000 per float x 3,000 floats. $60 million for instruments to measure ocean temp.
    Then another $20 million a year to maintain them. SInce they stopped showing ‘warming’ they must be broken.
    How much did we spend on satellites to measure warming? They don’t show as much as warming Hansen predictedeither, so they must be broken too.
    Maybe Lindzen was right, we would get a small warming and everything would roughly stay the same.

  140. There is a major problem with the arguments posed by both Phil AND Brendan H,
    The MWP!
    How do the models cope with this? As a sceptic, I am able to see that I don’t know everything, the alarmists among us had to marginalise the MWP by the use of dodgy statistics.
    Anyone saying the MWP was regional for 400+ years is merely delusional.
    How do they explain the suspension of atmospheric circulation to maintain that for that length of time>
    Why should I trust ANYTHING they say?
    DaveE.

  141. Phil – you say “half of the CO2 produced annually by fossil fuel consumption and emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the biosphere/ocean consequently all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 comes from human activity.
    Although I do think that your conclusion may be approximately correct, your logic is not. There is far more CO2 sloshing around than comes from fossil fuels. You must therefore first eliminate the possibility that it is primarily the natural system which sets the CO2 level. ie. the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned.

  142. Mike Jonas (18:20:08) :
    Phil – you say “half of the CO2 produced annually by fossil fuel consumption and emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the biosphere/ocean consequently all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 comes from human activity.”
    Although I do think that your conclusion may be approximately correct, your logic is not. There is far more CO2 sloshing around than comes from fossil fuels. You must therefore first eliminate the possibility that it is primarily the natural system which sets the CO2 level. ie. the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned.

    Do the mass balance, this is nonsense!

  143. David Alan Evans (17:58:30) :
    “There is a major problem with the arguments posed by both Phil AND Brendan H…”
    Apparently, more than one problem.
    When I commented:

    Out of every ≈34 CO2 molecules emitted annually in total, only one (1) comes from human activity. So we do have an effect, although it is too small to be measurable. It is down in the noise of year-over-year variability.

    Phil replied:
    “This is absolutely not true…”
    “Absolutely” is a big word for Phil. Too big. He’s not providing empirical evidence, he’s describing a correlation. Here’s another temperature/CO2 correlation: click
    Mike Jonas (18:20:08) understands the situation better than Phil.
    And Brendan H is still saying that black is white, down is up, evil is good… and skeptics emit unintended hypotheses with every CO2-laden breath.
    By definition, skeptics do not make hypotheses; their job is to falsify a specific hypothesis.
    When a skeptic simply refers to a long held theory such as natural climate variability, in response to a defender’s claim that their new hypothesis – CAGW – explains reality better, the skeptic is not creating a new hypothesis by citing the original theory. But Brendan doesn’t understand that concept.
    This isn’t the “Daily Astrologer” blog. This is the “Best Science” site: we’re discussing scientific definitions, not some colloquial use of “theory,” such as, “I have a theory that the moon is made of green cheese.”
    In scientific terms, when someone proposes a hypothesis, it follows after observation, which is followed by conjecture, then by a stated hypothesis. Unless it is made clear that a comment is specifically intended to be a scientific hypothesis, then it is only meant to be part of a skeptical argument, intended to falsify the hypothesis under attack. If the hypothesis under attack survives the assault, it becomes stronger.
    That is the scientific method at work, and it is nothing but a rhetorical trick to complain that anything said by a skeptic to falsify the CAGW hypothesis becomes its own hypothesis to be defended — at the sole option of the promoter of the CAGW hypothesis.
    For the umpteenth time: scientific skeptics have nothing to prove. The onus is on the purveyors of the new CO2=CAGW hypothesis, to show that it explains reality better than the theory of natural climate variability.
    They have failed, so now the dissembling word games begin, and the false claim is made that every point raised, every comment made, every fact cited, every question asked, every analogy compared, every deduction presented, is automatically its own new hypothesis that must be endlessly defended by the skeptical scientist.
    Wrong.

  144. That has been eliminated, Mike. Fossil fuel CO2 has a different isotopic ratio to naturally occurring. The measured change in ratio in the atmosphere is exactly in line with what is expected from the estimated amount that has been burned. It’s also indicated by ocean CO2 changes. This is one of the things that is ‘settled’.

  145. Smokey (19:33:22) :
    David Alan Evans (17:58:30) :
    “There is a major problem with the arguments posed by both Phil AND Brendan H…”
    Apparently, more than one problem.
    When I commented:
    Out of every ≈34 CO2 molecules emitted annually in total, only one (1) comes from human activity. So we do have an effect, although it is too small to be measurable. It is down in the noise of year-over-year variability.
    Phil replied:
    “This is absolutely not true…”
    “Absolutely” is a big word for Phil. Too big. He’s not providing empirical evidence, he’s describing a correlation. Here’s another temperature/CO2 correlation: click
    Mike Jonas (18:20:08) understands the situation better than Phil.

    I’m not describing a correlation it’s a mass balance and Jonas doesn’t understand how they work. The 1 in 34 argument is rubbish.

  146. It is especially revealing for you to talk about someone else’s supposed cognitive dissonance in one comment and then make the statement, “What was anticipated has been verified,” in another comment.
    That only holds true if what I have some knowledge that what I’m saying is false and I believe it regardless. If you think I’m mistaken that satellites have observed spectral changes in the atmosphere concordant with absorption from increased CO2, then demonstrate it. There are a slew of studies confirming this, so I’m intrigued to know how you will proceed.
    It is very interesting to see you say what was anticipated without inclusion of a multitude of mid-term variables is nonetheless verified without inclusion of those variables.
    What ‘mid-term variables’ are you talking about?
    Plass made a model which failed. His illustrious successors made models that failed.
    Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned Plass, who is largely famed for his model work. The preliminary work for his models – what I’m talking about – was better resolution of absorption bands in gases. Prior to the fifties there was poorer resolution on absorption properties of gases. It was thought, for example, that CO2 and H2O absorption overlapped. As instruments allowed scientists to drill down toward the micron level, it was discovered that there was not much overlap, and that CO2 had many bands of absorption outside the saturated zone. This is not in question – and is more empirical evidence that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere would lead to increased temperatures.
    This all, of course, goes far beyond my original rebuttal – that there is empirical evidence for AGW. To suggest that there is none is entirely ignorant. To say that this evidence is not enough is a different matter – and is the context in which you are arguing about satellite obs.

  147. And it’s been found that a doubling of CO2 from 280ppm to 560 ppm will result in 1.2 degree warming all other things being equal. This can quite easily be calculated.
    I completely agree with that statement. And it shores up my rebuttal that there is repeatable, testable evidence for AGW. Thanks for the comment.

  148. There is a major problem with the arguments posed by both Phil AND Brendan H,
    The MWP!

    Let’s say the MWP was warmer than current temps. This does not prove that natural variability is responsible for current warming.
    The MWP issue is a political, not a scientific argument.

  149. harrywr2 (17:57:33),
    Yes, Prof Lindzen is correct. Al Gore has been proven wrong so consistently that he is now a contraindicator. A somewhat warmer planet is better for everyone — except those personally profiting from the global warming scare.
    And Phil, ‘rubbish’ isn’t as big a word as ‘absolutely.’ More wiggle room, too. But the natural warming of the planet has been followed by a rise in CO2, not vice-versa. The “greenhouse” effect is motivated by grant money. Do you get paid with any public money, Phil? University? Government? I have the feeling your ox is being Gored.
    Also, the claim that carbon dioxide can increase the air temperature by “trapping” infrared radiation [IR] like a blanket traps heat ignores the fact that physicist R.W. Wood falsified the hypothesis that a greenhouse stays warm by trapping IR.
    Unfortunately, the general public is unaware of Wood’s published experiment.
    Wood was an infrared expert. His accomplishments included inventing both IR and UV photography.
    Wood conducted an experiment by constructing two identical greenhouses. Wood’s experiment indicates the type of structures that gardeners refer to as a coldframe; a small greenhouse.
    He lined the interior with black cardboard, which absorbed IR radiation and converted it to heat, which then heated the air through conduction and convection.
    Wood covered one greenhouse with a sheet of transparent rock salt, and the other greenhouse with a sheet of glass. The glass blocked the IR, and the rock salt allowed the IR to pass through.
    During the first experiment, the rock salt greenhouse heated faster, due to IR from the sun entering it. The glass greenhouse stayed cooler, because glass does not pass IR.
    Wood then set up another pane of glass over the salt pane to filter the IR from the sun before it reached the interior of the greenhouse.
    The result from this experiment was that the greenhouses both heated to 50° C, with less than one degree difference between the two. A slight difference in the amount of heat transferred through the sheets by conduction explains the minor difference in temperature; also the doubled sheets did not conduct heat at exactly the same rate.
    Wood’s experiment demonstrated conclusively that greenhouses heat up and stay warm by confining air heated by conduction and convection, rather than by trapping IR. If trapping IR in an enclosed space doesn’t cause higher air temperature, then CO2 in the atmosphere cannot cause higher air temperatures; the atmosphere doesn’t have a heat trapping pane at the top.
    The glass/rock salt experiment has been replicated by skeptics and shows the same results. However, perception is the driver in society, not experiments. The false perception that the Earth’s atmosphere is an enclosed greenhouse has remained in the public’s consciousness, primarily due to the incessant 24/7/365 drumbeat of “global warming.”
    It is only recently that the public has started to awaken to the fact that the climate is well within its normal, long term parameters, and that nothing unusual, such as runaway global warming, is happening.

  150. Smokey (21:13:16) :
    And Phil, ‘rubbish’ isn’t as big a word as ‘absolutely.’ More wiggle room, too. But the natural warming of the planet has been followed by a rise in CO2, not vice-versa. The “greenhouse” effect is motivated by grant money. Do you get paid with any public money, Phil? University? Government? I have the feeling your ox is being Gored.

    Reverting to ad hominem is a sure sign that you’ve lost your argument, plus of course the lack of any attempt at rebuttal! Try sticking to the science.
    Also, the claim that carbon dioxide can increase the air temperature by “trapping” infrared radiation [IR] like a blanket traps heat ignores the fact that physicist R.W. Wood falsified the hypothesis that a greenhouse stays warm by trapping IR.
    Argument by false analogy doesn’t get you anywhere either!

  151. David Alan Evans: “There is a major problem with the arguments posed by both Phil AND Brendan H,
    The MWP!”
    Temperatures, MWP or otherwise, have no relevance to my arguments.

  152. Smokey, the MWP is a red herring. It’s not the foundation-stone for AGW theory. People bicker over a graph in one of the reports and whether or not a team of scientists used data appropriately. Over a dozen studies since that graph have roughly borne out the conclusions. Discard Mann et al and nothing much changes. Discard the rest of the studies and nothing much changes. Whether it was warmer or not in the MWP simply doesn’t undercut AGW theory. The world has been warmer and cooler before now. All that tells us is that there is natural variability. It says nothing of attribution. The central period of reference for the theory is the 20th century.
    And despite there being many corroborative studies to Mann et al, which should render the argument moot, and despite it not mattering if it was half a degree warmer for some time in the last millennium, this issue gets trotted out as if it’s the lynch pin to the whole shebang.
    The reason it’s political is that, where skeptics should be assessing the wide body of literature on millennial reconstructions to arrive at informed opinion (applying vigorous skepticism to the notion of a big fat conspiracy amongst paleoclimatologists), they instead home in on a couple of twelve year old studies – not so much to assess its validity, as to provide ammunition for charges of fraud in order to besmirch the reputation of people who have has senior participation in the IPCC.
    Some politicians in Canada brandished the Mann et al 1998 graph, which appeared prominently in the TAR. It appeared in schools and the media in that country, and Canadian Steve McIntyre got suspicious, audited the paper, and has been rattling on about it ever since, while science has continued to shore up the basic conclusions, and when it is not central to AGW theory. The graph has been used politically, and the response has been, at heart, political ever since. Which is why there was a government investigation, for goodness sake.
    Now, let me just stop there. A government investigation of a scientific paper because it may contain flaws? Why is the government involved? Because the science is not sound? No, because the paper has political significance, obviously. That is the heart of the matter, not science.
    12 years and more than a dozen studies later, anyone banging on about Mann et al’s hockey stick and ignoring or waving away the reconstructions that have emerged since, is demonstrating neither skepticism nor interest in science. It’s pure point-scoring. And that’s politics.
    Mann et al isn’t central anymore but it remains a passionate obsession for point-scoring types. If Mann et al retracted now, it wouldn’t make a damned bit of difference to scientific understanding of millennial temps. But it might make a difference on the political front.

  153. Those claiming natural climate change is a hypothesis are being silly. It is a theory. It graduated from hypothesis to theory long ago and supported by literally millions of pieces of evidence.
    Naturally, as scientific skeptics we should all continue to consider evidence that might falsify this theory, but I don’t think anyone would get much money for such work. The theory is probably more solid than just about any theory you can name.
    Now, along comes a couple of new “hypotheses”. One of those (1) is that CO2 emissions by man will lead to about 1C warming per doubling of CO2. Another (2) is that CO2 will lead to catastrophic global warming. As Smokey has correctly illustrated, it is now correct scientific procedure to consider these hypotheses in light of the ACCEPTED theory of natural climate change.
    To date there is some scientific evidence to support (1) and almost nothing to support (2). In both cases the evidence is not yet sufficient to dismiss the current ACCEPTED theory. In fact, thanks to recent statistical analysis of the GISS temperature series (thanks VS), we now know that even GISS (the largest indicator of warming) is not outside the bounds of natural climate changes. So, the proper scientific approach should be to continue to study these new hypotheses, but understand that they have not reached any kind of scientific status where they should be considered correct.

  154. barry, you misunderestimate badly the degree to which subsequent millenial reconstructions are corrupted by the same or similarly bogus data as that of the Piltdown’s Mann. Sure the statistics improved marginally, but the cherry-picking continued.
    And heh, the presence or absence of the MWP is the important point. Almost everyone agrees with some sort of blade or another. We have a temperature record after all. Or thought we did.
    ===========

  155. barry (07:08:21):

    Let’s say the MWP was warmer than current temps. This does not prove that natural variability is responsible for current warming.
    The MWP issue is a political, not a scientific argument.

    You may believe that natural climate variability has nothing to do with the current climate, but I have to agree with you that the MWP is a political football.
    The peer reviewed paper [click2] from Harvard that I linked to above begins:

    Cambridge, MA – A review of more than 200 climate studies led by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has determined that the 20th century is neither the warmest century nor the century with the most extreme weather of the past 1000 years. The review also confirmed that the Medieval Warm Period of 800 to 1300 A.D. and the Little Ice Age of 1300 to 1900 A.D. were worldwide phenomena not limited to the European and North American continents.

    But now the widely accepted warmer MWP and cooler LIA are political, made so by the IPCC’s widespread and repeated use of Michael Mann’s falsified Hokey Stick chart, which attempted to delete those repeatedly verified events. Mann is either incompetent or dishonest, possibly both. And since the IPCC is composed of 100% political appointees pushing an AGW agenda, of course the MWP has been made political.
    But we disagree when you say that the MWP doesn’t undercut the AGW theory hypothesis. It certainly does, or it wouldn’t be repeatedly cited by the entirely political IPCC [which, BTW, can no longer use Mann’s repeatedly falsified chart].
    Also, since you apparently did not read Dr Glassman’s definition of a scientific theory vs a hypothesis, I’ll post it for you again: click
    Glassman shows why CAGW can not qualify as a scientific theory, and in fact, why it is actually more conjecture than a hypothesis. I usually refer to CAGW as a hypothesis in order to avoid the tedious wild-eyed, spittle flecked arm waving by those whose arguments are deconstructed by using proper scientific definitions.
    Should you wish to dispute Dr Glassman, please also post your CV, as Dr Glassman was good enough to post his at the end of his paper.
    Finally, you are correct about Michael Mann’s increasing irrelevance. In addition to the debunking of his MWP-erasing Hokey Stick chart, and the political shenanigans that were exposed in his Climategate emails, his status has taken a nose dive.
    Phil. (22:33:40),
    Still dodging the question of who pays you, I see. Does any of it come from the public purse? Enquiring minds want to know.
    My question is not intended to be an ad hom attack; rather, it goes to credibility. If any of our tax money is in your pockets, then you have a motive to keep the CAGW scare alive.
    And the “false analogy” is actually the warmists’ claim that CO2 acts like a covered greenhouse blanketing the Earth and trapping radiant heat. As Wood’s experiments show, that analogy is false.

  156. barry, you misunderestimate badly the degree to which subsequent millenial reconstructions are corrupted by the same or similarly bogus data as that of the Piltdown’s Mann.
    Subsequent millennial reconstructions use varying data, some not even tree-rings. Is there a hockey stick in borehole reconstructions? Yes. Is there an MWP? Yes, as there is in all paleoreconstructions, including Mann et al (he discusses its magnitude, after all). In ice-cores? Yes. Throw out tree-ring proxies altogether – nothing much changes.
    There is proxy overlap between various studies, and there are reconstructions with completely independent data.
    Some of these studies have been picked over on blogs, but there has not been a corresponding bunch of serious papers addressing them. McIntyre and others have gone looking for problems – not because of any curiosity about the science, but because it is necessary now to take these papers down and imply that the scientists are incompetent, or victims of groupthink, or involved in a conspiracy, and for what? To try and say that the MWP was warmer? It doesn’t dent AGW. To call into question the honesty of the scientists? Well, that’s why you analogise with the Piltdown hoax, isn’t it? You are casting the scientists – all of them – as deliberate fraudsters, so AGW can be attacked. This is the point of the exercise, not fixing the science.
    Hop many millennial reconstructions have you done?
    Why do so many people who have no idea how to centre principal components take a couple of outlying studies on faith against the great majority that speak against their views. Why do skeptics emphasise outliers on any topic over the full body of literature? Because the science doesn’t interest them. It’s enough for them to read on some blog a rebuttal to a formal study that supports the mainstream conclusions, and hey presto! Without the qualifications to assess for themselves, they accord this paper a high standard against which the others must be measured. A real skeptic would simply not do this. They would say, “I’m not qualified to judge.”
    Proving alleged dishonesty isn’t possible. Yet it’s the meme-de-decade. Because insinuation gets the job done. There’s no effort to redeem paleoclimate science here, but to tarnish it and its practitioners. Since M&M 05, skeptics have largely abandoned trying to reconstruct Northern Hemispheric millennial temps. It’s a similar story for the global instrumental record. Years of talk about bias and no skeptic bothered to get all the freely available online raw data and off their own bat and properly plot a global temp profile. Anthony Watts still hasn’t plotted a US profile from his nominated good weather stations. This quantitative work just hasn’t been done. The exercise has become one of tearing down, not advancing science. So if skeptics have abandoned advancing science? What are they doing? Politics.
    A warmer MWP doesn’t scotch AGW. AGW is not built on the premise that the medieval warm period was cooler than today.

  157. Smokey: “And Brendan H is still saying that black is white, down is up, evil is good… and skeptics emit unintended hypotheses with every CO2-laden breath.”
    By no means. My argument is easy enough to follow: the burden of proof lies with the claimant.
    Where you claim that the current climate is operating within natural climate variability, or make any other claim, you have chosen to bear the burden of proof. This holds regardless of the label you choose to attach to the claim.
    “Unless it is made clear that a comment is specifically intended to be a scientific hypothesis…”
    Smokey, you have already made a specific claim about the “long-accepted theory [which] states that the climate naturally fluctuates.” Presumably your inclusion of the phrase “long-accepted theory” was a genuine reference to a scientific claim. But perhaps it was merely a rhetorical flourish.
    “…the false claim is made that every point raised, every comment made, every fact cited, every question asked, every analogy compared, every deduction presented, is automatically its own new hypothesis that must be endlessly defended by the skeptical scientist.”
    You would need to support this claim with some evidence. You are also assuming that every claim is a hypothesis. Not so. Some are, some are not. But, whatever the nature of the claim, the burden of proof lies with the claimant.

  158. Brendan H (10:46:39) :
    Where you claim that the current climate is operating within natural climate variability, or make any other claim, you have chosen to bear the burden of proof. This holds regardless of the label you choose to attach to the claim.
    Like it or not, you’re wrong from a scientific point-of-view but the argument is now moot. The GISS temperature series has been shown to be statistically consistent with natural climate variation.
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comments
    Next.

  159. Smokey (08:34:36) :
    Phil. (22:33:40),
    Still dodging the question of who pays you, I see. Does any of it come from the public purse? Enquiring minds want to know.

    Well it’s none of your business, and it isn’t relevant to the discussion.
    My question is not intended to be an ad hom attack; rather, it goes to credibility. If any of our tax money is in your pockets, then you have a motive to keep the CAGW scare alive.
    Actually it is quite clearly an ad hominem, if you think it isn’t then you don’t know what that term means. Not only is it insulting but it impugns my professional integrity, regrettably a common form of attack these days.
    And the “false analogy” is actually the warmists’ claim that CO2 acts like a covered greenhouse blanketing the Earth and trapping radiant heat. As Wood’s experiments show, that analogy is false.
    Another term you don’t understand, the false analogy fallacy in logic is to create a false analogy and use a falsification of the analogy in an attempt to falsify the original position. Similar to a strawman argument.
    The merits of Wood’s cold frame experiment have absolutely nothing to do with the effect of CO2 on near surface temperatures. As you describe it the experiment doesn’t even show what you think it does.

  160. Richard M (07:26:21) :
    Those claiming natural climate change is a hypothesis are being silly. It is a theory. It graduated from hypothesis to theory long ago and supported by literally millions of pieces of evidence.

    No it doesn’t, it certainly doesn’t meet the requirements of a theory since it’s not able to make falsifiable predictions. Perhaps you’d like to cite a source for this ‘theory’?

  161. DirkH (10:58:56),
    Thanks for the link to one of the more interesting WUWT articles on Michael Mann. It is astonishing that someone so incompetent could be taken seriously by anyone. Maybe the handful of escapees here from realclimate, tamino, and climate progress will learn something.
    Richard M (11:12:48),
    The chart in your link shows what many other charts show: that temperatures have increased at the same rate in the past, well before the first SUV rolled off the assembly line.
    But no evidence, no matter how strong, will convince cognitive dissonance-afflicted alarmists that climate fluctuations, including the recent small, 0.7° rise are largely, if not completely of natural origin.
    And exactly as I predicted, Brendan H takes any and all statements skeptical of CAGW, and preposterously claims they are new scientific hypotheses that must be defended.
    They are not; they are arguments and refutations of the new CO2=CAGW hypothesis. No honest scientist would claim that citing natural climate variability as a rebuttal of the hypothesis that a minor trace gas drives the climate is itself a new hypothesis.
    Brendan ignores the hundreds of peer reviewed scientists cited in the Harvard study showing that the MWP and the LIA were worldwide events, and now claims it is a new hypothesis that must be defended. Going one step further, Brendan designates himself as the umpire who picks and chooses which statements are new scientific hypotheses that must be defended by skeptical scientists.
    That is simply a tactic; a circular argument intended to take the spotlight off of the falsification of the CAGW hypothesis. So Brendan designates himself as the sole arbiter of which skeptical statements are a new scientific hypothesis to be defended, and which ones he is magnanimous enough to let slide. As if.
    To Brendan’s preposterous doublethink regarding the scientific method, in which Mann’s peer reviewed and ultimately falsified hypothesis that CO2 drives the climate [which was — according to Mann — stable and unchanging for a thousand years], we can now add barry (08:54:32), who appears to confuse the blade of the Hokey Stick with the shaft.
    No one is arguing that temperatures have not risen over the past century. That is Mann’s “blade.” There have been the same recurring “blades,” both up and down, for millennia.
    Global temperatures always oscillate, in fits and starts and on a multi-decadal time scale, above and below a gradually rising trend line going back to the LIA, and to the last great Ice Age before that. That is the blade of Mann’s chart, and it is based on the instrumental record.
    But the shaft of the hockey stick is what has been repeatedly falsified. Mann shows a very steady, unchanging climate for a thousand years — based on falsified proxy data. But as scientific skeptics, Vikings and Thames ice skaters know, the climate has always changed.
    The CAGW conjecture is over the primary cause of the rise. Alarmists blame it on the minor trace gas CO2 — which follows temperature rises on all time scales.
    Skeptics simply ask, where is your empirical evidence? Show us your raw data, your algorithms and other code, and your methodology. Make it transparent and testable.
    But to this day, Michael Mann and his pals at the CRU refuse to show scientific skeptics — the only honest kind of scientists — their data and methods, which were paid for by taxpayers.
    That tells us all we need to know about their CAGW conclusions: their conclusions can not withstand scrutiny, and they would be promptly falsified upon disclosure. So they stonewall, rather than admitting to being incompetent con men.

  162. {It’s a similar story for the global instrumental record. Years of talk about bias and no skeptic bothered to get all the freely available online raw data and off their own bat and properly plot a global temp profile.}
    Barry, try the air vent, you’ll find it in the blog roll above.
    Interesting things happening on sceptic and non-sceptic sites right now.
    Roman and Jeff may have found a better way to analyze the GISS temp. Of course VS has shown that statistically, the recent warming is not out of bounds from natural variations (and Eduardo has said that he would gladly accept help from a statistician, which may be a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH finally!!!!).
    Anthony and Steve are showing that the arctic is still creating more ice as of TODAY, going past the historic date of the usual downturn in ice production. Drs. Spencer and Christy may have found spurious trends in temp rise from UHI, Zeke and Nick Stokes (niether of whom are sceptics) are engaged in discussions at Lucia’s, Bishop has some facinating thoughts.
    These are interesting times to be alive. In this month’s Discovery there are features on differing perspectives of physics. Two of the options discussed are that the laws of the universe may evolve just like biological life forms. Or that future events can and do alter present experiences.
    Just because right now at this time, a majority of scientists hold that CO2 is driving the upward temp trend, is not all that unique. Think of Darwin, stomach ulcers (not tension, but bacteria), Tectonic plate theory, Einstien, dino’s versus cruros, on and on it goes.
    Science is being done on the sceptic side. A lot of it in blog form, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view. But it is being done. So this meme that sceptics are there to only disparage credible scientists, needs to be layed down, and it is time for the sides to get together and really get to the truth of the matter.

  163. Phil – you said “Do the mass balance, this is nonsense!” in reply to my assertion that “There is far more CO2 sloshing around than comes from fossil fuels.” and “the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned“(I assume you weren’t referring to the part where I was agreeing with you : “I do think that your conclusion may be approximately correct“).
    I would have appreciated a more reasoned argument, but no matter …..
    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the ocean surface layer (usually put at about 150m), which is where most of the sloshing around occurs, is a lot greater than total fossil fuel emissions. On top of that, there are transfers between the surface layer and the depths (eg. THC, bio activity, etc) so my “sloshing around” statement is substantiated. And it is also the case that CO2 measured at Mauna Loa goes up and down each year by a lot more than the annual emission, so there’s quite a lot going on.
    As an aside, I don’t think anyone has yet explained the 800-year delay from temperature increase to CO2 increase shown in Al Gore’s film. The most likely solution maybe involves the THC. If anyone knows of an explanation, I am interested!
    But there is a simpler way of looking at this issue. The oceans release CO2 when they warm up, and absorb it when they cool. With the oceans having warmed, especially during the last PDO warming phase, the atmospheric CO2 content would have risen anyway. So AGW cannot be responsible for all of the observed increase (even AGWT doesn’t claim that all temperature increase is A).
    It so happens that I do think that fossil fuel emissions are responsible for much of the recent atmospheric CO2 increase, but I might be wrong. I would like to see better analyses before committing to that and to any particular proportion.
    Barry – you say “Fossil fuel CO2 has a different isotopic ratio to naturally occurring. The measured change in ratio in the atmosphere is exactly in line with what is expected from the estimated amount that has been burned. It’s also indicated by ocean CO2 changes. This is one of the things that is ’settled’.“.
    I have seen that claim, but I have seen papers (plural) that say the opposite. eg. Roy Spencer on WUWT in Jan 2008
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/
    So I do not agree that it is ‘settled’. Like Roy Spencer’s isotope analysis, every analysis I have seen or done on temperature vs CO2 fails to show any deviation for the 1998 El Nino, and they should do so if your view is correct. There is more to this than we know yet.

  164. I have seen that claim, but I have seen papers (plural) that say the opposite. eg. Roy Spencer on WUWT in Jan 2008
    Spencer is not saying the ‘opposite’. Quoting his second post:

    Of course, some portion of the Mauna Loa increase must be anthropogenic, but it is not clear that it is entirely so.

    That link is not to a paper but to a post on a blog. Let’s describe out sources accurately. Spencer mentioned in the comments that he might publish a paper on the topic, but 2 years on he hasn’t yet done so.
    Semantically, you have see-sawed the credibility of your sources, elevating Spencer’s post by calling it a ‘paper’, and reducing the body of scientific literature on the subject to a ‘claim’. Perhaps you are unaware the subject has been intensely studied in the scientific literature?
    There is a fine rebuttal to Spencer in the comments section by someone with more expertise in the subject (Ferdinand Engelbeen). It’s a good conversation in that thread. I wouldn’t suggest it is conclusive, but it is edifying.
    I’ve mentioned skeptics brandishing outlying papers as if they somehow have cornered the market on *the truth*. Brandishing outlying conclusions from blog posts cuts even less mustard, surely? Particularly when the author is not expert in the subject and has been looking at the subject for ‘only a year’, as Spencer put it.
    I’m not an expert, for sure, but if Spencer is right and the isotope ratio change is partly a product of natural processes, then where has that part that can be explained by anthro CO2 gone? If the oceans (or vegetation or whatever) are responsible for some of the rise, Spencer needs to explain why the isotope change expected from CO2 humankind has definitely emitted, concordant with the measured isotopic changes, is not all from anthro CO2. Spencer provides an alternative explanation, but doesn’t suggest a mechanism by which the biosphere somehow manages to single out the anthro CO2 contribution and store it away, leaving the remainder of isotope change due to natural processes. If he gets around to publishing a study, I’d be intrigued to learn how he deals with that.
    This recent post on the human fingerprint in global warming begins with a look at CO2 levels. The first graph makes the rather strong point (Engelbeen also makes it in the comments section) that pre-industrial, holocene CO2 levels were in relative equilibrium at ~280ppm. If natural processes are responsible for the post-industrial rise, we should see similar behaviour during the pre-industrial holocene. But we don’t. Not even during the MWP. Spencer doesn’t deal with that at all. If he has subsequently, I’d be interested to read of it – even in a blog post. 🙂

  165. Having read again, that Spencer needs to detrend the data to find a correlation, suggests to me that we’re now looking at interannual small-scale modulations rather than long-term trend. Spencer is only looking at ‘the last few decades’, too. I also would be interested to know how he gets around the fact that the oceans have been, and are currently, a net sink, not source of CO2. There was an article here a while back on a paper showing the airborne fraction of emitted CO2 hasn’t changed – that the oceans are a net sink of CO2. A post from an AGW skeptic rebutting Spencer’s thesis along those lines was also posted at WUWT.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/22/a-look-at-human-co2-emissions-vs-ocean-absorption/
    I doubt Spencer will publish his thesis.

  166. DeNihilist (14:32:58),
    Very interesting post, thanks. I enjoyed being reminded of the hypothesis that future events can and do alter the present. Harvard physicist Brian Greene has written a couple of books explaining how it works in detail.
    Prof Greene also explains the astonishing fact that even using conservative inflaton [inflation] math, if the universe were as large as the Earth, our visible 13 billion light year horizon would be smaller than a grain of sand!
    And Greene’s simple proof that any 3 spatial dimension universe must use an inverse square law was itself worth the price of the book [The Fabric Of The Cosmos, IIRC]. Universes with different spatial dimensions use an inverse cube law, etc.
    I’m reading Michio Kaku’s Parallel Worlds right now, but just recalling Green’s books make me want to start on them again.
    Phil. (12:48:41),
    To make you happy [but probably nothing really will], I’ll make a falsifiable prediction regarding natural climate variability for you: the climate will remain within its Holocene parameters, and it will not go into runaway global warming regardless of CO2 levels. Put whatever time limits you want on it.
    And that prediction is surely going to be more accurate than Hansen’s Texas Sharpshooter predictions A, B and C [at least one of them had to be right, didn’t it? Alas, they were all wrong].
    Regarding my statement that I did not intend my comment as an ad hom attack, what part of “intend” do you not understand?
    You’re like the guy who takes someone’s hat off a hat rack, puts it on, and says, “Hey, this hat fits me perfectly! So it must be my hat.”
    I think you’re overly sensitive because I’ve zeroed in on the reason you’re so protective of the continuing global warming scam. That’s OK. Lots of people have their hands in my pockets, one more won’t make any difference.
    You say: “…the false analogy fallacy in logic is to create a false analogy and use a falsification of the analogy in an attempt to falsify the original position. Similar to a strawman argument.” If you haven’t noticed, there are a huge number of false arguments, subdivided into ever smaller categories. Your fallacy is like the one claiming that every response to CAGW is a new hypothesis which, at the option of the defender of the original, actual hypothesis, must be first defended – which turns the scientific method on its head, and stops all possibility of falsification. In fact, that is a strawman argument, combined with a red herring argument. Cool.
    Finally, regarding R.W. Wood’s experiments, you say: “As you describe it the experiment doesn’t even show what you think it does.”
    You should really quit digging. Here is the 1909 account, in Prof Wood’s own words:

    XXIV. Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse
    By Professor R. W. Wood (Communicated by the Author)
    THERE appears to be a widespread belief that the comparatively high temperature produced within a closed space covered with glass, and exposed to solar radiation, results from a transformation of wave-length, that is, that the heat waves from the sun, which are able to penetrate the glass, fall upon the walls of the enclosure and raise its temperature: the heat energy is re-emitted by the walls in the form of much longer waves, which are unable to penetrate the glass, the greenhouse acting as a radiation trap.
    I have always felt some doubt as to whether this action played any very large part in the elevation of temperature. It appeared much more probable that the part played by the glass was the prevention of the escape of the warm air heated by the ground within the enclosure. If we open the doors of a greenhouse on a cold and windy day, the trapping of radiation appears to lose much of its efficacy.
    As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that a greenhouse made of a glass transparent to waves of every possible length would show a temperature nearly, if not quite, as high as that observed in a glass house. The transparent screen allows the solar radiation to warm the ground, and the ground in turn warms the air, but only the limited amount within the enclosure. In the “open,” the ground is continually brought into contact with cold air by convection currents.
    To test the matter I constructed two enclosures of dead black cardboard, one covered with a glass plate, the other with a plate of rock-salt of equal thickness. The bulb of a themometer was inserted in each enclosure and the whole packed in cotton, with the exception of the transparent plates which were exposed. When exposed to sunlight the temperature rose gradually to 65° C., the enclosure covered with the salt plate keeping a little ahead of the other, owing to the fact that it transmitted the longer waves from the sun, which were stopped by the glass. In order to eliminate this action the sunlight was first passed through a glass plate.
    There was now scarcely a difference of one degree between the temperatures of the two enclosures. The maximum temperature reached was about 55° C. From what we know about the distribution of energy in the spectrum of the radiation emitted by a body at 55°, it is clear that the rock-salt plate is capable of transmitting practically all of it, while the glass plate stops it entirely.
    This shows us that the loss of temperature of the ground by radiation is very small in comparison to the loss by convection, in other words that we gain very little from the circumstance that the radiation is trapped.
    Is it therefore necessary to pay attention to trapped radiation in deducing the temperature of a planet as affected by its atmosphere? The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.
    I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.

    I wrote my account from memory [and thus said 50 degrees instead of 55], but I understand what Prof Wood was saying: trapped radiation is insignificant.
    But you can not agree with Prof Wood’s experimental results, because they blow the whole CO2=CAGW conjecture out of the water.
    And Mike Jonas (16:10:16) is right.

  167. Yo, barry (18:39:03),
    You state that “pre-industrial, holocene CO2 levels were in relative equilibrium at ~280ppm. If natural processes are responsible for the post-industrial rise, we should see similar behaviour during the pre-industrial holocene. But we don’t. Not even during the MWP.”
    Thank you for mentioning the MWP, which was ≈800 years ago. Perhaps we are witnessing a rise in CO2 as a result of that warming?
    We do know that CO2 follows warming. It does not cause measurable global warming [prove me wrong, if you can – using empirical, testable, reproducible evidence, please].
    Furthermore, if a rise in CO2 from 280 ppmv to almost 400 ppmv has caused only a mere 0.7° increase in global temperature… then what, exactly, are we supposed to be alarmed about?

  168. Mike Jonas (18:20:08) :
    Phil – you say “half of the CO2 produced annually by fossil fuel consumption and emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the biosphere/ocean consequently all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 comes from human activity.”
    Although I do think that your conclusion may be approximately correct, your logic is not. There is far more CO2 sloshing around than comes from fossil fuels. You must therefore first eliminate the possibility that it is primarily the natural system which sets the CO2 level. ie. the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned.

    d[CO2]/dt=Source-Sink+Fossil fuel
    where Source and Sink refer to the ‘natural CO2’
    and Fossil fuel the emissions of man by combustion.
    Observations give us that d[CO2]/dt≅0.5*Fossil fuel
    ∴ d[CO2]/dt=Source-Sink+2*d[CO2]/dt
    -d[CO2]/dt=Source-Sink
    ∴ Source is less than Sink
    So how do you arrive at “the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned”?

  169. Smokey, a couple of posts I made appear to have vanished. Here’s a brief response if they don’t emerge.
    You are referring to the ~800 year CO2 to temps from glacial record.
    Last interglacial: global warming of 5 – 6C was accompanied by a rise in CO2 concentrations of ~100ppm over 5000 years
    Since MWP: global warming of 2C (hi-figure) is followed by a rise of about 100ppm over 150 years
    The two rates are different by orders of magnitude.
    If we use the glacial record as a template, CO2 concentrations should be only a little bit above 280ppm at this time, and should not reach 400ppm for quite some time. Further, the amplitude of the MWP, even at the highest values out there should give a rise of considerably less than 100ppm, especially within 100 years.
    The lag/lead argument has been done to death. The fallacy is that if temps cause CO2 rise, CO2 rise can’t cause increased temps. There’s no logic to this. In any case, if CO2 plays no part in the warming, then only one hemisphere should get warmer according to orbital dynamics. The ice core record shows, however, that interglacial warming is a global phenomenon.

  170. We do know that CO2 follows warming. It does not cause measurable global warming [prove me wrong, if you can – using empirical, testable, reproducible evidence, please].

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo
    These tests are repeatable. There have been thousands like them, as well as calculations done from spectral analysis in the lab. The correlation of temps to CO2 for the 20th century (as well as interglacials) is a pretty good (using 2nd or 3rd order polynomial fits – better than linear regression for the temp data in this comparison).
    (Yes, I know, correlation doesn’t prove causation. But that rebuttal not only wipes out much of the skeptical literature as well as mainstream, it wipes out a large swathe of science in general (medical studies for example). Correlation is but one piece of the jigsaw puzzle)

  171. Richard M: “Like it or not, you’re wrong from a scientific point-of-view but the argument is now moot.”
    Whether or not that is the case, it is irrelevant to my argument, which is: the burden of proof lies with the claimant.
    You have offered a claim that: “The GISS temperature series has been shown to be statistically consistent with natural climate variation.”
    That’s fine, but that does not negate my argument. Whatever arguments and evidence your source is offering, the claimant still bears the burden of proof.

  172. Smokey: “And exactly as I predicted, Brendan H takes any and all statements skeptical of CAGW, and preposterously claims they are new scientific hypotheses that must be defended.”
    A successful prediction requires evidence. So let’s see your evidence. Remember that you bear the burden of proof for the above claim.

  173. Mods, may I politely enquire?
    Some of my posts have either gone missing in the intertubes or have been disallowed. If the latter, why?
    I notice above that a post of mine has been allowed, while one above it sits in the moderation queue. Is there a reason for not allowing the previous one? This is the text (please delete the following if you allow the original through – and sorry for any inconvenience if it’s just an oversight).
    ————————————————
    Smokey, a couple of posts I made appear to have vanished. Here’s a brief response if they don’t emerge.
    You are referring to the ~800 year CO2 to temps from glacial record.
    Last interglacial: global warming of 5 – 6C was accompanied by a rise in CO2 concentrations of ~100ppm over 5000 years
    Since MWP: global warming of 2C (hi-figure) is followed by a rise of about 100ppm over 150 years
    The two rates are different by orders of magnitude.
    If we use the glacial record as a template, CO2 concentrations should be only a little bit above 280ppm at this time, and should not reach 400ppm for quite some time. Further, the amplitude of the MWP, even at the highest values out there should give a rise of considerably less than 100ppm, especially within 100 years.
    The lag/lead argument has been done to death. The fallacy is that if temps cause CO2 rise, CO2 rise can’t cause increased temps. There’s no logic to this. In any case, if CO2 plays no part in the warming, then only one hemisphere should get warmer according to orbital dynamics. The ice core record shows, however, that interglacial warming is a global phenomenon.

  174. Ah, it’s been allowed. I think it’s to do with the queuing. – please delete this and the previous post, and apologies.

  175. Smokey (19:27:59) :
    Phil. (12:48:41),
    To make you happy [but probably nothing really will], I’ll make a falsifiable prediction regarding natural climate variability for you: the climate will remain within its Holocene parameters, and it will not go into runaway global warming regardless of CO2 levels. Put whatever time limits you want on it.

    Is that a prediction of the ‘natural climate variability theory’, that the climate must remain within the Holocene parameters? If so, on what is it based, was the climate prior to the Holocene not natural too?
    Regarding my statement that I did not intend my comment as an ad hom attack, what part of “intend” do you not understand?
    How can you not have ‘intended’ it to be an ad hominem attack, did it happen by accident?
    You’re like the guy who takes someone’s hat off a hat rack, puts it on, and says, “Hey, this hat fits me perfectly! So it must be my hat.”
    I think you’re overly sensitive because I’ve zeroed in on the reason you’re so protective of the continuing global warming scam. That’s OK. Lots of people have their hands in my pockets, one more won’t make any difference.

    And again more ad hominem didn’t you intend this either?
    You say: “…the false analogy fallacy in logic is to create a false analogy and use a falsification of the analogy in an attempt to falsify the original position. Similar to a strawman argument.” If you haven’t noticed, there are a huge number of false arguments, subdivided into ever smaller categories. Your fallacy is like the one claiming that every response to CAGW is a new hypothesis which, at the option of the defender of the original, actual hypothesis, must be first defended – which turns the scientific method on its head, and stops all possibility of falsification. In fact, that is a strawman argument, combined with a red herring argument. Cool.
    Changing the subject again, why not address the original issue instead of evasion?
    Without Wood’s experimental details and results it’s difficult to be certain but it’s likely that his conclusion is not supported by his data, but as he said: “I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter”. The experiment would be dominated by the properties of the transparent covering and you’d expect a slightly cooler temperature in the one topped by the rocksalt, but the experiment isn’t capable of answering the question that Wood posed.

  176. Phil. (12:48:41) :
    No it doesn’t, it certainly doesn’t meet the requirements of a theory since it’s not able to make falsifiable predictions. Perhaps you’d like to cite a source for this ‘theory’?
    Does the theory of evolution make “falsifiable predictions”? Of course it does. In exactly the same manner that natural climate change makes them. Your logic is certainly strange. We can study history and actually SEE with our own eyes the theories in action. Maybe you just don’t like the word “theory” and would prefer the word “fact”.

  177. Brendan H (22:11:48) :
    Whether or not that is the case, it is irrelevant to my argument, which is: the burden of proof lies with the claimant.
    You have offered a claim that: “The GISS temperature series has been shown to be statistically consistent with natural climate variation.”
    That’s fine, but that does not negate my argument. Whatever arguments and evidence your source is offering, the claimant still bears the burden of proof.,

    Your argument would be fine if the theory of natural climate change hadn’t long ago been PROVEN. But it has. So, we’ve established a BASE in science. It’s now up up any NEW theories that wish to REPLACE the old theory to provide proof.
    According to your logic Young Earth adherents would require the theory of evolution to be proven over and over again rather than them providing proof the Earth is only 6000 years old.

  178. barry:
    “The lag/lead argument has been done to death. The fallacy is that if temps cause CO2 rise, CO2 rise can’t cause increased temps.”
    One does not preclude the other. Rises in temperature result in measurable rises in CO2, as can be seen consistently throughout the geological record.
    Radiative physics shows that rises in CO2 can also have an effect on temperature. But as Prof Wood’s experiments show, the effect is negligible.
    And those YouTube experiments using candles and plastic bottles purporting to show the heating ability of CO2 are bunkum. They have been thoroughly deconstructed here not very long ago. It’s too late here for me to search WUWT for the threads showing that those silly experiments are completely worthless, but feel free to find out for yourself.
    Phil,
    I made my prediction. And I left it up to you to set the time frame. If you want to go back to the Cretaceous, feel free. It won’t make any difference.
    Next, the history of science is filled with accounts of scientists with hurt feelings. If you take an analogy to be an ad hominem attack, fine. Those feelings come from within you, not from me. It was just a hat analogy, see?
    Finally, Prof Wood was right. And at least he did some actual experiments that showed real results, instead of nitpicking others. These days, scientists write papers to get grant money, instead of doing experiments. Sad.

  179. Watching the graphic of the Artic Ice extent, it seems like artic ice acummulation is delayed (comparing the period 1970-2000 with 2006-2007 and 2009-2010; it would be interesting to present 2007-2008 and 2008-2009).
    Is this not consistent with the idea of Artic getting warmer?

  180. Richard M (04:54:45) :
    Phil. (12:48:41) :
    “No it doesn’t, it certainly doesn’t meet the requirements of a theory since it’s not able to make falsifiable predictions. Perhaps you’d like to cite a source for this ‘theory’?”
    Does the theory of evolution make “falsifiable predictions”? Of course it does. In exactly the same manner that natural climate change makes them.

    Really, I’ll ask you again, where can I find this theory and the predictions it makes?
    Your logic is certainly strange. We can study history and actually SEE with our own eyes the theories in action. Maybe you just don’t like the word “theory” and would prefer the word “fact”.
    No we see the physics and chemistry etc. in action and devise theories to explain it. Saying ‘things just happen’ is not a theory and isn’t capable of making falsifiable predictions and isn’t science.

  181. Smokey (05:27:29) :
    Phil,
    Next, the history of science is filled with accounts of scientists with hurt feelings. If you take an analogy to be an ad hominem attack, fine. Those feelings come from within you, not from me. It was just a hat analogy, see?

    You don’t know what an ad hominem is evidently, instead of addressing the argument you attack and insult the man, in this case accuse me of lying to get money from the public purse, that is the definition of an ad hominem!
    Finally, Prof Wood was right. And at least he did some actual experiments that showed real results, instead of nitpicking others.
    He claimed to have done an experiment but gave no experimental conditions or data certainly no ‘real results’ e.g. which frame was hottest? And no analysis just an assertion of his opinion (proven wrong).
    These days, scientists write papers to get grant money, instead of doing experiments. Sad.
    No, scientists have to write proposals to get funding to support their research activities, those proposals are usually based on their experiments and those of others. You have a very strange idea of the way academic research works.

  182. Phil. (07:59:08) :,
    More strange logic. No one has been saying “things just happen”. They have been studying many factors that could lead to changes in climate. Milankovitch cycles are one example, PDO changes are another, long term ocean currents yet another. However, there is NO DOUBT that climate has changed over time without human intervention. That is the basic theory.
    The exact same logic applies to evolution. I’d like to see you go to a biology forum and claim the evolution wasn’t a theory. Tell me what precise predictions evolutionary theory makes. While it predicts mutations will occur, it can’t make exact predictions. The same is true of natural climate change theory. Changes will occur but we don’t yet understand well enough to make exact predictions (and we may never be able to).

  183. But as Prof Wood’s experiments show, the effect is negligible.
    You asked for testable, repeatable evidence for AGW. This is it. Increasing CO2 in a volume of atmosphere increases radiation absorption in that volume. This is the same conclusion arrived at in the WUWT post on the experiments. It is the basic premise of AGW and it’s empirically sound. You even agree with that.
    These simple experiments do not and cannot be used to assess the magnitude of the CO2 effect in the real atmosphere. To imply otherwise is ludicrous. The one done by the WUWT guest poster had starting temps of 21 – 23C. Why that value? I like the single-bottle experiment, with a candle and an infrared camera and no heating. You can see the flame disappear as the bottle is injected with CO2. It’s pretty straightforward.
    Whether or not the effect is negligible, it’s there. Most critics at least accept a doubling of atmospheric CO2 leads to a 1C+ temp rise. The theory of ‘greenhouse’ warming is empirically validated in it’s primary tenet. It’s not evidence that’s missing from this picture.

  184. Phil. (08:24:08):

    No, scientists have to write proposals to get funding to support their research activities, those proposals are usually based on their experiments and those of others. You have a very strange idea of the way academic research works.

    I understand how “climate” research grants work. In the U.S. alone, about $2 billion a year in tax money is handed out, not including NGO money from people in the Grantham and Heinz Foundations, George Soros, and a hundred more like them. And I notice that the recipients don’t report back with findings saying the climate is acting like it always has, and there’s nothing to be concerned about.
    You are either extremely naive, or you’re in on the grant game too.
    Michael Mann was just granted a half million dollars for… what, exactly? For what “experiments”? Sure, these guys write grant applications. But where is the skeptical scientists’ payola? Are you saying they don’t write any grant applications?
    In 2007 alone [the last year the Wayback Machine has archived, since the current on-line record has been sanitized], Keith Briffa was given £106,000 by “Ecochange”. And he was given another £248,789 by various trusts with an AGW agenda. And £226,981 more by NERC to “Estimate climate sensitivity”. And Briffa got various other government grants – these are only some examples from just one year.
    In 2007 Phil Jones was given grants of £53,197 by NERC for “Probabilistic climate scenarios.” And £148,533 by the European Commission for “21st Century climate scenarios”. SCORCHIO, a quango with a heavy AGW agenda, gave Jones another £51,225. Those are just some examples from one year.
    Naturally, these were in addition to Jones, Briffa and Mann’s regular pay and benefits, including their frequent all-expense paid jaunts around the world to vacation hotspots like Bali, to hobnob with like-minded taxsuckers and AGW promoters – no skeptics welcome [maybe a lukewarmer or two for appearances].
    The list is far more extensive than this; I just picked Jones and Briffa. The rest of the usual suspects are there getting granted their payola, too. And they’re not going to derail the gravy train by saying things their benefactors don’t want them to say.
    Entities paying that kind of loot call the tune, and the tune is catastrophic AGW. Even Stevie Wonder could see that.
    The climate grant scheme by governments, NGOs and quangos is a payoff: part of a plan to alarm the public about a harmless and beneficial trace gas, that at most might raise the temperature 1.6° — and half of that has already occurred, with no catastrophe on the horizon.
    The fact that people like Mann are so incompetent that they turn their hokey sticks upside down, and won’t debate skeptics, and hide what is essentially weather information, and corrupt the climate peer review process, and do “experiments” consisting of citing other scientists’ work for a half million bucks [unless you believe that Mann goes out in his galoshes with a chain saw looking at tree rings] shows how the AGW scam operates.
    It’s bunkum done to grow government bureaucracies, promote world agendas, and raise Cap & Trade taxes and prices across the board. Anyone who thinks this is all on the up and up is hopelessly naive.

  185. Smokey (09:30:42) :
    Phil. (08:24:08):
    “No, scientists have to write proposals to get funding to support their research activities, those proposals are usually based on their experiments and those of others. You have a very strange idea of the way academic research works.”
    I understand how “climate” research grants work.

    From what you posted it’s quite clear that you do not!
    You list a number of grant awards to Jones, Briffa and Mann and then say:
    Naturally, these were in addition to Jones, Briffa and Mann’s regular pay and benefits,
    Which they are not, they are to cover costs of their research and are not personal payoffs as you imply, the expenditures are audited and have to match with the itemized proposed expenditures in the proposal. This is done by the university’s Research Grant and Contracts Dept. through which proposals are also submitted (and which have to be co-signed by the appropriate university officer). It is the institution that applies for the grant with a scientist identified as the principal investigator.
    But where is the skeptical scientists’ payola? Are you saying they don’t write any grant applications?
    How do you think Richard Lindzen funds his lab at MIT?

  186. in response to R. Gates (10:54:21) :
    Thanks for that graph. It really puts things in perspective.
    I am looking at the absolute numbers for the global Sea Ice Extent and the “anamolies”. The changes are are very very small compared to the actual sea ice extents ( i am assuming that these numbers are for 15% ice coverage. i wonder what they look like for 30% coverage ). Trying to characterize the direction of “these small changes” and drawing conclusions from it with the level of confidence one requires is quite a foolish errand. you will most probably see various small time frames ( say 10-20 years long time frames) where you WILL GET conflicting conclusions, time frame to time frame. This will make the whole scientific enterprise look ludicrous to anyone with an iota of common sense.
    You will wind up looking like the doctors who go around making all kinds of inane statements about drinking coffee or wine or beer.

  187. Phil. (10:47:22),
    I clearly said those grants were in addition to Mann’s, Jones’ and Briffa’s regular pay and benefits. They’re working on commission, paid to East Anglia, UOP, etc., by Geo. Soros, SCORCHIO, Grantham, etc.
    However, I doubt [as you “imply”, to use your word] that the head of MIT’s Atmospheric Sciences department is an unpaid position, like you “imply” that Jones, Briffa and Mann are [I reject your lame implication, BTW. They are certainly on salary].
    Your example of Prof Lindzen is the exception. He is too big to marginalize or terminate. And he’s honest.
    While on the other side, there’s Climategate…
    OK, Phil, I’m off to the new Mann thread. You can stay here if you want, but it’s old and you’ve not been convincing. If Prof Wood were here, I don’t think you’d convince him, either.
    barry:
    As Prof Wood’s experiments show in the citation I provided, the effect from CO2 is negligible: click Rising CO2 just doesn’t have much of an effect on global temperature: click
    Here’s something to help you get up to speed, if you’re not just trolling around here: click

  188. Can we have a quick bet on when NSIDC fess up to the fact the sea ice is higher at the moment than of late. Their current commentary, 4 weeks out of date states “In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average”
    My guess is Weds when the absence of up to date comment may get embarrasing.

  189. Richard M: “Your argument would be fine if the theory of natural climate change hadn’t long ago been PROVEN.”
    I’m not aware of any such theory. You may be confusing a methodological assumption with a theory.
    It’s certainly true that pre-AGW, theories about specific climate processes assumed a natural cause. But that is not the same thing as positing a theory of “natural climate change”, which would have to be an overarching explanation encompassing all climate phenomena.
    I’m not aware of any such overarching explanation that has attained the status of a theory.
    “According to your logic Young Earth adherents would require the theory of evolution to be proven over and over again rather than them providing proof the Earth is only 6000 years old.”
    Science doesn’t sit still, and theories can be discarded and amended. This has occurred with explanations for the behaviour of the climate.
    Remember that young earth creationism arose in response to evolution. AGW scepticism arose in response to AGW. Further, creationists claim pre-Darwin science and scientists as their own, in much the same way that you retrospectively claim a “theory” of natural climate change.

  190. barry (18:39:03) : You are correct that what I cited from Roy Spencer was not a paper. Apologies, I should have been more careful with the wording However, you have misunderstood my point. The statement that I was referring to when I said that Roy Spencer said “the opposite” was that ALL the increase in CO2 must be Anthropogenic. The opposite of that is that NOT ALL of it is. And Roy Spencer was pointing out that precise possibility.
    I notice that you do not address my simple logic, which demonstrates very simply why not all the CO2 increase is anthropogenic. “The oceans release CO2 when they warm up, and absorb it when they cool. With the oceans having warmed, especially during the last PDO warming phase, the atmospheric CO2 content would have risen anyway. So AGW cannot be responsible for all of the observed increase (even AGWT doesn’t claim that all temperature increase is A).
    Phil. (21:38:18) : “∴ Source is less than Sink
    So how do you arrive at “the atmospheric CO2 content might not be very different now if none of the fossil fuels had been burned”?

    As I have shown, simple logic suggests that not all of the increase is anthropogenic.
    This is what I think happens : Anthropogenic emissions increase atmospheric CO2, thus reducing the rate of release of CO2 from the oceans to the point that source is less than sink. Without those emissions, with the rising temperatures source would have exceeded sink. But I have no proof – in all of the studies that I have seen and done, there are anomalies that have not been explained (such as the 1998 El Nino not having the effect that it should) and which raise doubts.
    My gut feeling is that something else very significant is going on that no-one has worked out yet. The 800-year delay, which I think no-one has been able to explain, could be a symptom of that.
    So until we have better analyses, the possibility (NB possibility not probability) does remain that absent fossil fuel emissions the atmospheric CO2 levels might not be very different.
    FYI I have tried building a model (sic!) of the sources and sinks, and it does suggest that most but not all of the CO2 increase is from anthropogenic emissions. But it is a lousy model and can’t give me anything like a good fit to some of the data. The ways in which it fails to fit suggest that emissions have far too much weight in the model, and I am missing some important factors. If so, then the influence of emissions would be reduced. That’s why I say “It so happens that I do think that fossil fuel emissions are responsible for much of the recent atmospheric CO2 increase, but I might be wrong. I would like to see better analyses before committing to that and to any particular proportion.

  191. Brendan H (13:24:10) :
    Richard M: “Your argument would be fine if the theory of natural climate change hadn’t long ago been PROVEN.”
    I’m not aware of any such theory. You may be confusing a methodological assumption with a theory.
    It’s certainly true that pre-AGW, theories about specific climate processes assumed a natural cause. …

    Just because no one formally sat down and wrote up a theory of the obvious doesn’t mean the theory didn’t exist. Or, if you’d prefer, we can call it a FACT since that’s the way it was treated. There was no need to formalize something that everyone (including you with the phrase “natural cause” accept).
    So, if we follow your lead and call natural climate change a FACT, exactly what is the proper scientific method of dealing with FACTs. Do you believe they need to be proved? Do they need to be falsifiable? You’ve backed yourself into an even worse position.

  192. Richard M: “So, if we follow your lead and call natural climate change a FACT, exactly what is the proper scientific method of dealing with FACTs.”
    What I said was that pre-AGW it was assumed that all climate change could be attributed to natural causes, although this was not a theory in the formal sense.
    But that was then. Over the past couple of decades a new explanation for certain climate phenomena has progressed from hypothesis to theory, so the previous understanding has been modified to take account of new findings.
    This new understanding has sufficient evidence behind it, and is accepted widely enough, that any challenge needs to be supported by evidence.
    One could argue that currently there are two competing explanations for certain climate phenomena. But even on that argument there is no reason to priviledge one explanation over the other, such that one explanation is exempt from having to provide evidence merely on account of tradition.

  193. Richard M (16:56:36),
    Brendan H is trolling. He was absent from WUWT for a long time. Now he’s back.
    He uses false rhetoric, such as “red herring” arguments, in his attempts to divert the subject away from the original stated hypothesis: CO2=CAGW.
    A “Red Herring” argument is one which distracts the audience from the issue in question, through the introduction of some irrelevancy (such as numerous other hypotheses). It is a common debating tactic whereby an argument is avoided, rather than refuted, when one’s own arguments are weak.
    An example of a “red herring” argument, seen upthread, is Brendan H’s unreasonable demand that all opposing comments, at his whim and selection, are themselves individual hypotheses that must be disposed of before continuing. That is a classic red herring argument.
    Other logical fallacies employed by Brendan H include:
    Argumentum ad Nauseam: arguing to the point of disgust; i.e., by endless repetition.
    Failure To State: making peripheral attacks, thus never stating the debater’s specific position on the question being debated.
    Moving The Goalposts: if your opponent successfully addresses some point, then insist that he must also address some further point. If one can make these points more and more difficult (or diverse) then eventually he may wear down his opponent. If each new goal causes a new question, it leads to the Fallacy of Infinite Regression. This is related to Argument By Question: asking questions is easy; answering them is hard.
    The Fallacy of Missing (or Ignoring) The Point: this is a Red Herring Fallacy, intended to create a distraction from the original debate question. If a debater cannot defeat the best stated, most accurate portrayal of his opponent’s position, then he needs to re-examine just how strong his case is against that opponent.
    * * *
    The debate in question specifically asks if an increase in human emitted carbon dioxide will lead to catastrophic runaway global warming.
    Anything that does not directly address that question is a red herring argument.

  194. It surprisingly doesn’t look like anyone has commented on this, but perhaps the original confusion over what was meant by “rising past normal peak” was assisted by the fact that the graph is not a good one to make this point. It does very little to give any indication of the normal (by any measure) range of peak dates.

  195. Smokey: “He uses false rhetoric, such as “red herring” arguments, in his attempts to divert the subject away from the original stated hypothesis: CO2=CAGW.”
    Not at all. Here is my original post:
    “Smokey (12:41:11): ‘By definition, scientific skeptics are pretty much immune from cognitive dissonance, as we have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend.’
    BH: ‘Yes you do. Here’s one: Smokey (12:06:23): “…natural cycles – not a minor trace gas – explain the climate…”
    This claim definitely counts as a hypothesis, and the burden of proof rests with the claimant.’”
    So I was responding to your claim that climate sceptics “have no hypothesis to believe in or to defend”. Come to think of it, I still am contesting that claim. And of course my specific position is: the claimant bears the burden of proof .
    “An example of a “red herring” argument, seen upthread…”
    Which post was that again?

  196. As Prof Wood’s experiments show in the citation I provided, the effect from CO2 is negligible

    From the bit you cited, Prof Wood didn’t even do an experiment with CO2. His argument is not that increasing CO2 causes little warming. His argument is that the entire greenhouse effect (water vapour, CO2, and the other GHGs ) is responsible for hardly any of the warmth on Earth. His argument seems to be, from the bit you cited, that the greenhouse effect itself is entirely negligible. Can you link me to the full version of the paper so that I can check for myself?
    And this is a 1909 paper, the subject of which the author himself tells us he hasn’t gone into very deeply.
    If you are seriously contending that the entire greenhouse effect has practically zero effect on the Earth’s temperature, then I can’t take you seriously any more, and nor should anyone else.

  197. I notice that you do not address my simple logic, which demonstrates very simply why not all the CO2 increase is anthropogenic. “The oceans release CO2 when they warm up, and absorb it when they cool. With the oceans having warmed, especially during the last PDO warming phase, the atmospheric CO2 content would have risen anyway. So AGW cannot be responsible for all of the observed increase (even AGWT doesn’t claim that all temperature increase is A).”

    The oceans do not outgas until they get much warmer. They are still a net sink of CO2, taking up about half of the CO2 emitted by industry. Not only does Spencer seem to be alone making this contention about current outgassing, he is alone on WUWT. I provided a link to a WUWT post specifically rebutting his thesis on the basis I mentioned. I also linked to a WUWT post hailing a paper saying that the percentage of CO2 absorbed by the oceans has not changed. WUWT, in this case, was endorsing a paper that said to the warmies that things aren’t getting worse – the oceans are absorbing as much excess CO2 (percentage-wise) as ever they did.
    Spencer has not measured the CO2 content of the oceans: he’s done a correlation study. Isn’t that an automatic dismissal for AGW skeptics? This is what I mean by skeptics taking outliers and brandishing them as the truth against the entire body of literature against, and, in this case, the rest of the body of ‘literature’ at WUWT! And where ‘correlation does not prove causation’ is a catchcry against AGW, that standard evaporates if a blog post uses it to arrive at conclusions skeptics like.
    There is nothing skeptical or even rational in dismissing 99% of evidence, highlighting 1%, and saying, “look, here’s the real truth.” So there must be another explanation for this conclusion besides skepticism and rationality.

  198. barry (23:18:26) : “The oceans do not outgas until they get much warmer.
    It seems you still have not understood the logic.
    If there had not been any anthropogenic emissions, the rising temperatures – any rising temperatures – would have caused the release of CO2. That is, the CO2 levels would have risen anyway.
    The emissions are only responsible for the difference between observed levels and the levels that would have been observed had there been no emissions. Therefore the emissions are not responsible for all the CO2 increase.
    What we would like to discover is how much of the increase would have occurred anyway. And that is where the odd observations, like Roy Spencer’s, like Frank Lansner’s [*], like the 800-year delay, come in. Until we can explain them, we don’t really know how the system works.
    If you want to argue that rising temperatures would not have caused CO2 to be released, then I think you have some explaining to do. But I will be happy to listen, because, as I said, the system is not understood properly and I am sure that something as yet unexplained is going on.
    [*] – Frank Lansner has been mentioned a few times on WUWT. He alerted us to this unexpected data correlation:
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/deltaco2vstemp.jpg
    (I could probably find FL’s original version if reqd)
    What is unexpected is that delta-CO2 correlates more strongly to temperature (T) – as shown – than it does to delta-T.
    Note : CO2 has been shifted back 6 months to line up visually. The CO2 data is from Mauna Loa, the temperature from UAH. I have done the same comparison for Barrow (in the Arctic) and the South Pole, and the delays there from temperature to CO2 are 7 and 9 months resp. ie, CO2 follows temperature, not v-v.

  199. Phil. (14:23:05) :
    D. Patterson (12:56:09) :
    Climate and trace gases in the atomosphere pre-date the existence of humans, hence they are natural occurences by default until and unless an hypothesis can experimentally demonstrate humans have artificially altered the foregoing default natural occurence of climate and trace gases. Consequently, the prior existence of a natural occurence of climate and trace gases requires no hypothesis to be put forward by skeptical humans. It simply is what it already was until and unless demonstrated to be artificially altered by humans to be otherwise.
    And since the trace gases have been demonstrated to be artificially altered by humans then the onus is upon you.

    The trace gases pre-dating human existence were not “artificially altered by humans to be otherwise.” No credible evidence has been published to demonstrate the carbon dioxide emissions of human civilization, trivial or substantial, have any greater or even substantial influence upon the global climate than any of the concentrations of such gases had before the existence of humans on the planet. Consequently, an AGW alarmist is obligated to demonstrate by repeatable experiment that any human emissions of carbon dioxide have a greater influence towards making the Earth warmer than occurred without any human contributions to the natural levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s past.

  200. Brendan H (13:59:26) :
    D. Patterson: “Consequently, the prior existence of a natural occurence of climate and trace gases requires no hypothesis to be put forward by skeptical humans.”
    We’re talking about now, not then. There is a theory on the table: AGW. The assertion that natural cycles explain the climate is a counter-claim to AGW. The burden of proof is on the claimant.

    Yes, it is quite common to see alarmists deny and refuse to acknowledge the inconvenient evidence found in Earth;s pre-human past. A skeptical scientists does not need to promulgate an hypothesis to simply acknowledge the Earth’s past climate experience which has existed without any influence from humans. Consequently, it is the obligation of the AGW alarmists promulgating their hypothesis of global warming due to anthropgenic emissions of carbon dioxide to demonstrate by repeatable experiment that similar atmospheric changes of carbon dioxide and temperatures in the Earth’s past could not and indeed did not occur without the influence of human emissions.

  201. The emissions are only responsible for the difference between observed levels and the levels that would have been observed had there been no emissions. Therefore the emissions are not responsible for all the CO2 increase.
    You’re operating from the assumption that there just has to be another source?
    As the oceans are a net sink for CO2, what is the mechanism that has caused the release of CO2 in the last 150 years if not fossil fuels? It can’t be the MWP because the 800 year lag has only just begun, and the last rise of 100ppm took ~4200 years. The MWP should only have added a few ppm, if any.
    I’ll ask one more, because this is a point skeptics never answer – what is the putative period of the MWP?
    The amount of estimated CO2 release from fossil fuels since the IR accounts for the amount we now have (minus 60% that the oceans absorb). Also, the isotopic ratio change is just what we expect from the amount of anthro CO2 it’s estimated we’ve burned. Decrease in atmospheric oxygen is also consistent with the amount of fossil CO2 released by industrial activity (from recent, more precise estimates of industrial CO2 release).
    All these numbers add up very well. There is no need to invoke another mechanism. Nevertheless, other mechanisms have been and are being investigated. For recent history, none have been found. Relying on suppositions lacking empirical evidence from non-experts in blog posts, or using this as some basis to claim ‘we don’t know’ demonstrates a profound ignorance of the amount of work examining this issue.
    There’s always a possibility that there’s another long-term source. At the moment, all the empirical evidence to hand powerfully confirms that the rise of CO2 since the IR is almost entirely due to industrial emissions.
    If anyone can lay out two peer-reviewed papers that come up with the same mechanism that explains part/all of recent CO2 rise, then there might be something serious to talk about. That’s when I’ll rejoin the discussion on this subject.

  202. Forgot to add…
    If there had not been any anthropogenic emissions, the rising temperatures – any rising temperatures – would have caused the release of CO2. That is, the CO2 levels would have risen anyway.
    I don’t believe that’s true. There have been temperature fluctuations like the MWP throughout the holocene – unless anyone would like to argue that natural variability like the MWP didn’t occur prior to it. Yet the CO2 holocene record, which is even more well resolved than the late quaternary record, shows that CO2 equilibrium changes little from ~280ppm. Assuming that natural variability is a feature of climate at all times (and I do), where is the concordant CO2 fluctuations over the last 10 000 years? Where are the 100ppm (actually, 200ppm) variances we should see from 800/yr lag of warm and cool periods prior to the MWP?
    (Possibly In a single paper that someone has dug up in the climate wars – which will be brandished to claim that we don’t know very much, I suppose)

  203. D.Patterson: “Yes, it is quite common to see alarmists deny and refuse to acknowledge the inconvenient evidence found in Earth;s pre-human past.”
    Well, I’m not an alarmist, so you’re talking to the wrong person.

  204. D. Patterson (06:22:20), quoting Brendan H, who says:

    There is a theory hypothesis on the table: AGW. The assertion that natural cycles explain the climate is a counter-claim to falsification of AGW. The burden of proof is on the CO2=CAGW claimant. [Brendan’s comment fixed in the interest of scientific accuracy. No charge.]

    I see that Brendan H is still attempting to move the goal-posts with his red herring argument, claiming that anyone making a comment falsifying the specific hypothesis being debated [CO2=CAGW] has the tables turned on him and, at the whim of the person defending CAGW, are themselves accused of putting forth a formal hypothesis.
    Nonsense. Re-framing the argument like that is a tactic. It might be ignored on realclimate, but not here on the “Best Science” site, where dissembling is pointed out.
    I’ve provided chapter and verse above, showing that Brendan’s false assertion is simply a tactic, due to his weak argument for CAGW. But why would someone continue to assert something that is provably a false tactic? No reputable scientist in the world would agree that comments intended to falsify the stated hypothesis themselves become the new hypothesis that must be defended. [In addition to the Red Herring argument, see: Changing The Subject, Digression, Misdirection, and False Emphasis.]
    There are two possible reasons why Brendan persists in his deliberate sidetracking of the CO2=CAGW hypothesis:
    One is the fact that there is no testable, empirical evidence that CAGW exists. None. Unlike the theory of natural climate variability, CAGW is incapable of making predictions. As CO2 steadily rises, the planet has been cooling for most of the past decade. Being falsified by the planet is hard to accept.
    The other reason Brendan has his On/Off switch wired around is explained in my post in this thread, on 3/26 @11:36:34.
    Cognitive dissonance – Orwell’s “Doublethink” – is common among those fearful of imagined climate catastrophes. They know the end is nigh, even though they lack any real, testable evidence. The scare itself thrills them; fright is their own personal opiate, like telling ghost stories around a camp fire. Every story of impending doom is greedily read and repeated ad nauseam.
    But the basic fact remains that the hypothesis being debated is, specifically, runaway global warming caused by human CO2 emissions: CO2=CAGW. That is the hypothesis; the rest is rhetorical nonsense.
    It galls the alarmist contingent that skeptical scientists have nothing to prove. Their job, according to the scientific method, is to try to falsify the hypothesis. Anything left standing, after all attempts at falsification, is considered scientifically valid, and eventually becomes an accepted theory.
    CAGW can never be a theory, until the empirical evidence backing it – the raw temperature data, along with the code, methodologies, and anything else used to arrive at the CAGW hypothesis – is made public. But of course, the raw data has been “lost.” And the rest of the code and methods, paid for by the taxpaying public, is regarded as personal property and kept secret.
    So CAGW is nothing but a baseless conjecture. If it is to be proved, its proponents must start from scratch – or “find” the missing raw data, and open everything to public scrutiny. Meanwhile, skeptics can say whatever they think falsifies the hypothesis, because they have nothing to prove:
    Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit. “The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies; since, by the nature of things, he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof.”
    Thus, the onus lies entirely upon those who believe CO2=CAGW. As to the proposition that there has been an unprecedented 20th century rise in global temperatures caused by human CO2 emissions: the onus lies entirely on those who make that claim – not on scientific skeptics, who say, “OK then, prove it.”
    Prove it.

  205. Mike Jonas (04:18:48) :
    barry (23:18:26) : “The oceans do not outgas until they get much warmer.”
    It seems you still have not understood the logic.
    If there had not been any anthropogenic emissions, the rising temperatures – any rising temperatures – would have caused the release of CO2. That is, the CO2 levels would have risen anyway.
    The emissions are only responsible for the difference between observed levels and the levels that would have been observed had there been no emissions. Therefore the emissions are not responsible for all the CO2 increase.

    Only if the temperature rise wasn’t due to the CO2 in the first place!
    What we would like to discover is how much of the increase would have occurred anyway. And that is where the odd observations, like Roy Spencer’s, like Frank Lansner’s [*], like the 800-year delay, come in. Until we can explain them, we don’t really know how the system works.
    That’s ~8ppm CO2 released / ºC, a very small feedback to the increase in CO2 that caused the T rise in the first place.

  206. Smokey
    Unlike the theory of natural climate variability, CAGW is incapable of making predictions.

    You’re well named, more blowing smoke from you, your ‘theory of natural climate variability’ is incapable of making predictions beyond the level of ‘some fairy waved her wand in 2010 and switched the PDO +ve again’.

  207. Smokey (11:58:24) :
    Good arguments, Smokey. Look at the Ice extent….if it continues like this, there will be a new record very soon…..

  208. barry (07:47:33) : “You’re operating from the assumption that there just has to be another source?
    I’m working from Hoyle’s law.
    It can’t be the MWP because the 800 year lag has only just begun
    The “800” can’t be used to that accuracy. If we knew the mechanism …..
    Phil. (12:57:56) : “Only if the temperature rise wasn’t due to the CO2 in the first place!
    True.
    I did cover that, noting that even the IPCC did not claim that all the temperature rise was due to CO2.
    That’s ~8ppm CO2 released / ºC, a very small feedback to the increase in CO2 that caused the T rise in the first place.
    No, you’re mapping delta-CO2 to delta-T. The graph was delta-CO2 to T. In this context, that means there isn’t a “CO2 released / ºC”, but you could try “CO2 released per annum / ºC” or “CO2 rate of release / ºC” . ie, at an increased temperature, CO2 goes on being released at an increased rate even if the temperature then stays the same.
    It doesn’t make sense (to me anyway), but that’s what the data indicates.
    (Incidentally, the graph I posted the link to was produced from MS Excel and I couldn’t see how to put both scales (delta-CO2 and T) on the one graph, so you need to find a better version to see the scales.)
    CO2 at Mauna Loa is increasing in the order of 2ppm p.a.

  209. Mike Jonas (15:48:37) :
    barry (07:47:33) : “You’re operating from the assumption that there just has to be another source?”
    I’m working from Hoyle’s law.
    “It can’t be the MWP because the 800 year lag has only just begun”
    The “800″ can’t be used to that accuracy. If we knew the mechanism …..
    Phil. (12:57:56) : “Only if the temperature rise wasn’t due to the CO2 in the first place!”
    True.
    I did cover that, noting that even the IPCC did not claim that all the temperature rise was due to CO2.
    “That’s ~8ppm CO2 released / ºC, a very small feedback to the increase in CO2 that caused the T rise in the first place.”
    No, you’re mapping delta-CO2 to delta-T. The graph was delta-CO2 to T. In this context, that means there isn’t a “CO2 released / ºC”, but you could try “CO2 released per annum / ºC” or “CO2 rate of release / ºC” . ie, at an increased temperature, CO2 goes on being released at an increased rate even if the temperature then stays the same.
    It doesn’t make sense (to me anyway), but that’s what the data indicates.
    (Incidentally, the graph I posted the link to was produced from MS Excel and I couldn’t see how to put both scales (delta-CO2 and T) on the one graph, so you need to find a better version to see the scales.

    I don’t know what graph you’re talking about or what you think I’m ‘mapping’, I’m telling you that for the Earth’s oceans a rise 1ºC results in an additional ~8ppm of CO2.

  210. oops – Henry’s law, not Hoyle’s law.
    Phil. (16:23:26) : “I don’t know what graph you’re talking about or what you think I’m ‘mapping’
    The graph I posted a link to
    Mike Jonas (04:18:48) : “[*] – Frank Lansner has been mentioned a few times on WUWT. He alerted us to this unexpected data correlation:
    http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/deltaco2vstemp.jpg
    (I could probably find FL’s original version if reqd)
    What is unexpected is that delta-CO2 correlates more strongly to temperature (T) – as shown – than it does to delta-T.
    Note : CO2 has been shifted back 6 months to line up visually. The CO2 data is from Mauna Loa, the temperature from UAH. I have done the same comparison for Barrow (in the Arctic) and the South Pole, and the delays there from temperature to CO2 are 7 and 9 months resp. ie, CO2 follows temperature, not v-v.

  211. Phil. (13:01:35):

    You’re well named, more blowing smoke from you, your ‘theory of natural climate variability’ is incapable of making predictions beyond the level of ’some fairy waved her wand in 2010 and switched the PDO +ve again’.

    Poor Phil. Flustered again.
    For the umpteenth time, I’ll pass on what a real climatologist says:
    “No one has falsified the theory that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability”
    ~Dr Roy Spencer.
    Phil can’t understand that natural variability predicts that the climate will fluctuate, as it has done so rather predictably, cycling over and under a gradually rising trend line of natural global warming, on a multi-decadal basis: click
    OTOH, the predictions made by GCMs are worse than you would get from flipping a coin. Much worse: click
    The bottom line is this: estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2 have been declining ever since Arrhenius greatly overestimated it in 1896. But he revised his number drastically downward ten years later – which the alarmist folks always seem to forget.
    The IPCC has likewise been periodically reducing [and never increasing] their sensitivity estimates, but because the IPCC is composed entirely of political appointees with their marching orders, they are still forced to keep their estimates too high, in order to promote their wealth-transferring, “carbon” taxing agenda.
    Prof Lindzen gives a climate sensitivity of between 0.5 and <1.0.
    If Dr Lindzen is right about the climate’s low sensitivity to CO2 [and he is not the only one in that ballpark], the conclusion is inescapable: the effect of CO2 on temperature is too insignificant to worry about. It is a non-problem. And the world is waking up to that fact.
    Since the planet isn’t doing the bidding of the increasingly desperate alarmists, but rather, is acting just like it would with only a small sensitivity to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, rational folks will pay attention to what planet Earth is telling us – rather than what the alarmist contingent demands that we believe. The planet has the necessary credibility.

  212. Mike Jonas (17:30:18) :
    oops – Henry’s law, not Hoyle’s law.

    Which doesn’t strictly apply to CO2 in seawater
    Phil. (16:23:26) : “I don’t know what graph you’re talking about or what you think I’m ‘mapping’”
    The graph I posted a link to

    Which as I pointed out I didn’t use, the figure of ~8ppm CO2/ºC is a literature value.

  213. Brendan H (10:18:51) :
    D.Patterson: “Yes, it is quite common to see alarmists deny and refuse to acknowledge the inconvenient evidence found in Earth;s pre-human past.”
    Well, I’m not an alarmist, so you’re talking to the wrong person.

    It does not matter whether or not you claim “I’m not an alarmist, so you’re talking to the wrong person.” I referred to the act whereby a person will “deny and refuse to acknowledge the inconvenient evidence found in Earth”s pre-human past,” and such an act is common among those persons identifying themselves as supporters and/or proponents of the alarmism stemming from the AGW hypothesis. You have clearly indicated you refuse to consider the role of the Earth’s past atmospheric dioxide concentrations in falsifying certain claims about anthropogenic emissions in the present. Thusly, you have embraced a key alarmist debating tactic which denies and evades inconvenient evidence against the AGW alarmism. You thereby associated yourself with the AGW alarmist arguement regardless of whether or not you regard yourself as such an AGW alarmist.

  214. It galls the alarmist contingent that skeptical scientists have nothing to prove.
    It galls me (not an alarmist – I don’t advocate and am not particularly alarmed) that skeptical bloggers think that skeptical scientists are somehow immune from validating their work.
    Their job, according to the scientific method, is to try to falsify the hypothesis. Anything left standing, after all attempts at falsification, is considered scientifically valid, and eventually becomes an accepted theory.
    Some wacko scientists still try to falsify relativity theory and evolution theory. Does this mean they are only ‘hypotheses’?
    Climate change theory, like most other sciences, will always attract outlying papers trying to falsify them. The logical consequence of your argument is that there are no science theories at all.
    CAGW can never be a theory, until the empirical evidence backing it – the raw temperature data, along with the code, methodologies, and anything else used to arrive at the CAGW hypothesis – is made public.
    Once again, this applies to all theories, and the logical consequences of your argument is the same.
    But of course, the raw data has been “lost.” And the rest of the code and methods, paid for by the taxpaying public, is regarded as personal property and kept secret.
    The raw data is available to anyone (minus some data gathered by CRU, which is proprietary – in which case, skeptics can apply to the originating sources – Met Offices – which are listed by CRU). There are numerous links to such, and this canard keeps popping up. If anyone wants to challenge, they can write their own code and apply the raw data to it – if they’re interested in advancing the science instead of looking for ways to tear it down. Falsification is not done by replication, but by alternate analyses using the same or different data.
    So who is doing this work amongst the skeptics?

  215. Smokey: “…claiming that anyone making a comment falsifying the specific hypothesis being debated [CO2=CAGW] has the tables turned on him and, at the whim of the person defending CAGW, are themselves accused of putting forth a formal hypothesis.”
    Hmm. A red herring and a straw man all wrapped up in a bundle of projection. You’ve been working overtime, haven’t you Smokey? I recommend a cooling draught and a long lie-down.
    “I’ve provided chapter and verse above…”
    And yet you fail to supply references to those chapters and verses. I know it’s irksome to be challenged to supply evidence to back up your claims, but that’s how debate works. If you want to play the game, you need to play by the rules.
    The same holds for scientific claims, of course, such as the “theory” of natural climate variability. A theory of natural climate change would explain every conceivable occurrence and therefore would explain nothing.

  216. D.Patterson: “You have clearly indicated you refuse to consider the role of the Earth’s past atmospheric dioxide concentrations in falsifying certain claims about anthropogenic emissions in the present.”
    That’s because I’ve been talking about something else, which seems to have generated very strong resistance. I find that rather strange, since it’s almost a truism that the claimant bears the burden of proof.
    I think this resistance stems from a refusal to accept that the climate issue involves differing explanations for the observed phenomena. Seen that way, climate sceptics would have staked out some positions, and as such would be obliged to defend those positions.

  217. barry (23:00:38):
    “Some wacko scientists still try to falsify relativity theory and evolution theory. Does this mean they are only ‘hypotheses’?”
    Thank you for proving my point. Relativity is subject to falsification, just as is any hypothesis, theory or law. If Relativity were falsified even in part, as Einstein himself said, it would falsify everything.
    And you are simply wrong about the raw data, code and methods backing the CAGW conjecture. Believe that it’s all there publicly archived if you want, but saying so doesn’t make it so.
    Read the Climategate emails, where they conspire to deny other scientists their data and methods – while sharing it with their pals – and strategize about what stories to “hide” behind to avoid sharing their work, such as it is. Their refusal to abide by the scientific method is the central problem. Sorry you can’t see it.
    D. Patterson (20:06:04),
    Brendan H is a crank and a troll. Don’t feed cranks, it only encourages them. He’s using the same crank tactics because his arguments for CAGW are so weak.
    The catastrophic AGW hypothesis has been written about and repeatedly peer reviewed [and 80% of peer reviewed papers are eventually falsified; I suspect the climate ones are closer to 90%]. And we know that the climate peer review process is corrupt; the evidence is overwhelming.
    The empirical [real world] evidence for CAGW is so scanty that its believers are forced to cite as “evidence” their round-robin circle of peer reviewed grant begging papers, which cite each other and play musical chairs with the same small clique of authors, and on their always inaccurate computer climate models, every one of which failed to predict the past decade’s global cooling.
    Brendan is a crank because he has no evidence of catastrophic AGW to argue. CAGW is evidence-free. So he demands that skeptics must prove something, anything will do, and it regularly changes as his goal posts move.
    But it doesn’t matter what cranks demand, because skeptics have nothing to prove. Nothing. The burden is entirely on the believers in CAGW, to show evidence that the current climate is outside its normal historical parameters. It’s not, of course.
    Catastrophic AGW is the formal hypothesis put forth by people with an agenda – and that agenda does not allow for the scientific method to operate.

  218. Brendan H (00:30:40) :
    That’s because I’ve been talking about something else[….]

    That is a false statement, because we are both talking about the AGW hypothesis.

    Brendan H (13:59:26) :
    There is a theory on the table: AGW.

    You refuse to discuss much less support the AGW hypothesis with credible and repeatable experimental evidence demonstrating the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are equal to and greater than the natural changes in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s pre-human past. Instead, you continue to obfuscate and evade the inconvenient evidence such pre-human levels of carbon dioxide demonstrate the anthropogenic emissions levels and temperature changes are not unprecedented in Nature, and the anthropogenic emissions therefore are not necessarily the cause of warming temperatures in the present times.

  219. Smokey (18:48:33) :
    Phil. (13:01:35):
    “You’re well named, more blowing smoke from you, your ‘theory of natural climate variability’ is incapable of making predictions beyond the level of ’some fairy waved her wand in 2010 and switched the PDO +ve again’.”
    Poor Phil. Flustered again.
    For the umpteenth time, I’ll pass on what a real climatologist says:
    “No one has falsified the theory that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability”
    ~Dr Roy Spencer.”

    For the simple reason that it’s incapable of falsification and therefore isn’t a scientific theory. Spencer has a track record of advocating non-scientific theories, he thinks Intelligent Design is a scientific theory!
    Phil can’t understand that natural variability predicts that the climate will fluctuate, as it has done so rather predictably, cycling over and under a gradually rising trend line of natural global warming, on a multi-decadal basis: click
    Cherry picking a handful of weather related headlines from the NY Times is not support for a theory!
    If Dr Lindzen is right about the climate’s low sensitivity to CO2 [and he is not the only one in that ballpark], the conclusion is inescapable: the effect of CO2 on temperature is too insignificant to worry about. It is a non-problem.
    And the Ice ages didn’t happen!

  220. Well today (3/30/10) the 15% concentration has exceeded the previous peak on 3/8/10 and now is at 14,405,781.
    The only 3/30 date above this was in 2003, at 14,533,906.
    In contrast, in 2007, on this date it was only 13,479,063.
    With any luck, the Arctic sea ice will continue to grow for at least one morer day and if so, and if it exceeds the 14,428,281 on 3/31 in 2003, than it will be the highest ice amount for that date in the JAXA record.
    Of course it won’t get mentioned in the MSM.
    Arthur

  221. Phil. (08:12:32)
    Reading comprehension, me boy. You need more.
    “Cherry picking a handful of weather related headlines from the NY Times is not support for a theory!”
    It was an example – that flew right over your head.
    “And the Ice ages didn’t happen!”
    Says you. But as I have repeatedly said, the temperature trend goes back to the LIA. What is predictable is that the multi-decadal fluctuations above and below the trend stay within their historical parameters, while on the other hand, CAGW predicts catastrophic global warming due to human produced CO2, a catastrophe for sure – for those making the prediction.
    The current climate is extremely benign, despite a one-third rise in harmless, beneficial CO2: click

  222. D.Patterson: “That is a false statement, because we are both talking about the AGW hypothesis.”
    Absolutely not. I have been focusing on one issue only. Let’s resolve that, then we can move on to your question.
    The issue is simple:
    1. Do climate sceptics make claims?
    2. Does the claimant bear the burden of proof?

  223. Phil. (09:59:38) :
    Smokey you should stop inhaling before it’s too late!

    You can trot out the evidence, showing the changes in carbon dioxide and temperature have never happened before, anytime now….

  224. Phil. (09:59:38) :

    Smokey you should stop inhaling before it’s too late!

    Phil, you should stop exhaling before it’s too late!

  225. And you are simply wrong about the raw data, code and methods backing the CAGW conjecture. Believe that it’s all there publicly archived if you want, but saying so doesn’t make it so.
    What I’m saying is that all the data and code for many theories is not all in the public domain. Your argument would then encompass any theory which does not have every tittle online or accessible elsewhere. Climate science is one of the more open. Try getting *all* code and data for germ theory – which according to you can only be an hypothesis unless the public has free access to all the science behind it.
    You can get pretty much all the code and data for GISSTemp, for example, as well as methodology.
    This is a good resource for that kind of thing.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/#Climate_data_raw (links to various data sets, raw and adjusted, code etc)
    That was my point
    Your point was that a hypothesis becomes theory after all alternative criticism has been dispensed with. As relativity and evolution theory still attracts rebuttals from out there scientists, and will do for the foreseeable future, they must only be a hypotheses as not every criticism has been dealt with yet – that’s according to your model of the process. You may wish to modify it.

  226. With any luck, the Arctic sea ice will continue to grow for at least one morer day and if so, and if it exceeds the 14,428,281 on 3/31 in 2003, than it will be the highest ice amount for that date in the JAXA record.
    Of course it won’t get mentioned in the MSM.

    The JAXA record is 6.5 years. A fluctuation that takes the extent to record levels for a brief period now will be a result of weather, not climate, so the MSM, which constantly confuses weather anomalies with climate trends (“look at all this snow!!”) might just repeat the error.
    But probably not. I think they’re learning, s-l-o-w-l-y.

  227. You refuse to discuss much less support the AGW hypothesis with credible and repeatable experimental evidence demonstrating the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are equal to and greater than the natural changes in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s pre-human past.
    In the last 10 000 years since deglaciations, CO2 levels have held fairly constant at 280ppm. Natural variability has occurred since that time, but CO2 hasn’t changed much until the post-IR period. Quaternary ice ages are accompanied by global temp changes of 5 – 6C and long-term CO2 changes of ~100ppm.
    If we go back millions of years, we are now dealing with a reconfigured biosphere (different continental configuration, wildly different albedos, ocean heat transport, atmospheric heat transport etc), and straightforward comparisons lose meaning. The Earth has been warmer, CO2 levels have been higher before, but not (CO2) within the current configuration as far as we know, and the rate of change we’re experiencing now has no match in the geological record. Closest rate we know of is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and that resulted in massive changes in the biosphere.

  228. barry,
    You’re losing the argument because the planet is falsifying what you want to believe. CO2CAGW.
    You believe that the CO2 level has held steady at 280 ppm for ten thousand years. If so, then CO2 has no detectable bearing on temperature: click CO2CAGW.
    You pick the past ten thousand years as an example. With CO2 staying flat at 280 ppm for 10,000 years [questionable], then what makes the temperature fluctuate so much, if not natural variability – which is certainly not completely explained: click CO2CAGW.
    You also simply discard the climate of millions of years ago with a hand-wave. But the fact is that you don’t know nearly what the parameters were then. You are speculating. What we do know is that CO2 was up to almost twenty times higher in the geologic past, for millions of years at a time, with a lush, teeming biosphere more diverse than today’s, and CO2 was also very high at times during major Ice Ages. CO2CAGW.
    We know that ΔCO2 follows ΔT on all time frames, and so is not the cause. So let’s pick a middle timeframe, which you avoided commenting on: click1, click2 CO2CAGW.
    We are very fortunate to be living in an interglacial that is more temperate than most. A further rise in temperature would be beneficial, not harmful, and a further rise in CO2 would be beneficial, not harmful. CO2CAGW.
    The wild-eyed, spittle flecked, red faced, arm-waving alarmists shouting about catastrophic AGW are backed by no solid evidence that a climate catastrophe is actually occurring, or even visible on the farthest time horizon, despite the one-third rise in CO2. CO2CAGW.
    We are actually better off now, because plants grow better with a little more fertilizer: click CO2CAGW.
    Planet Earth is falsifying the CAGW hypothesis, and you can’t even see it. But the majority certainly can. So who are we gonna believe? The planet and our lyin’ eyes? Or people with a financial motive, pushing an alarmist agenda?
    I believe Mother Earth.

  229. barry (17:36:38) :
    In the last 10 000 years since deglaciations, CO2 levels have held fairly constant at 280ppm. Natural variability has occurred since that time, but CO2 hasn’t changed much until the post-IR period. Quaternary ice ages are accompanied by global temp changes of 5 – 6C and long-term CO2 changes of ~100ppm.

    That is the questionable data and story Keeling and the other proponents of the AGW hypothesis have been trying to sell by their practice of advocacy science. Unfortunately for them, their data and story simply do not hold carbon dioxide, literally. Like Mann’s proxy tree ring charts, the ice core charts depict a profound hockey stick shape, which also shows little evidence of variability around 280ppm concentrations of carbon dioxide in the centuries and millenia before the early 19th Century. This hockey stick shape and low variability should have been a very striking clue to any observer that something is very amiss with the methodoogies and data used to prepare such a chart. The more you investigate the origins of the data, methodologies, and resulting charts of carbon dioxide measurements, the more problems you find with faulty sampling, cherrypicking of data and improper exclusion of outliers, disregard of confounding factors, and paucity of sampling.
    Ignoring numerous earlier measurements of carbon dioxide reporting 19th Century and 20th Century levels of more than 400ppm, the AGW advocates rely on only a few ice cores analyzed and interpreted by dubious methods. Like the Yamal trees, the bristlecone pines, and so much more in the AGW advocacy science, their reported results simply exclude data and evidence which inconveniently invalidate or at least render their conclusions highly suspect. They make no effort whatsoever to properly account for the variability in deposition of the carbon dioxide, which their results fail to recognize and report. They make no effort whatsoever to properly account for the many processes which deplete carbon dioxide in the snow, firn, and ice. The ~175ppm to 280ppm concentrations they reported are only the residual quantities remaining after depletion by other natural processes and the sampling methods used. The extraordinary low variability around 175ppm to 280ppm represents the lower levels to which higher and more variable levels of carbon dioxide can be depleted by inorganic and organic processes.

    If we go back millions of years, we are now dealing with a reconfigured biosphere (different continental configuration, wildly different albedos, ocean heat transport, atmospheric heat transport etc), and straightforward comparisons lose meaning. The Earth has been warmer, CO2 levels have been higher before, but not (CO2) within the current configuration as far as we know, and the rate of change we’re experiencing now has no match in the geological record. Closest rate we know of is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, and that resulted in massive changes in the biosphere.

    The proponents of the AGW hypothesis keep reminding us that they can omit virtually all other natural factors, including all of the water vapor and clouds in the Earth’s environment, from their calculations, because they claim the physical properties of carbon dioxide trace gas overwhelm all other natural processes to warm the Earth’s climate. Whenever someone comes along and notices how the carbon dioxide levels of Earth’s past did not in fact overwhelm all other natural processes as claimed for the present time period, all we get for an explanation from the AGW proponents is a lot of handwaving denials and insistence upon ignoring the inconvenient evidence of Earth’s past experiences with carbon dioxide and temperatures. It ends up being somewhat like the trials of witches. If the witch remains alive by floating in the pond after being tied hand and foot for drowning, she is a witch and must be burned. If she drowns, she was a witch when convicted of witchcraft, but was saved at the time of her drowning. Here we have you acknowledging the Earth experienced higher levels of carbon dioxide in a natural environment, yet you deny carbon dioxide was higher under the environmental conditons we are presently experiencing, saying “straightforward comparisons lose meaning.”

    If we go back millions of years, we are now dealing with a reconfigured biosphere (different continental configuration

    The continents have undergone only a relatively minor reconfiguration by plate movements during the past 15 to 30 million years of the present ice age. The changes in the biosphere have occurred in response to changes in the planetary climate, because the continental plates are generally located in nearly the same locations today as they were at the beginning of the present ice age.

    the rate of change we’re experiencing now has no match in the geological record

    That’s utter nonsense. Global temperature changes of 10C in only 10 to 30 years are common to the inter-glacial periods. The climate even in the most recent geological period/s are subject to abrupt and very very high rates of change without any human influences whatsoever.

  230. Gareth Phillips (12:04:22) :

    Can we have a quick bet on when NSIDC fess up to the fact the sea ice is higher at the moment than of late. Their current commentary, 4 weeks out of date states “In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average”
    My guess is Weds when the absence of up to date comment may get embarrassing.

    Good call, Gareth: click

  231. The continents have undergone only a relatively minor reconfiguration by plate movements during the past 15 to 30 million years of the present ice age. The changes in the biosphere have occurred in response to changes in the planetary climate, because the continental plates are generally located in nearly the same locations today as they were at the beginning of the present ice age.
    Except for the ‘minor detail’ of closing off the exchange between the Atlantic and Pacific at Panama about 3 million years ago totally changing the global oceanic circulation patterns giving rise to the ice ages!

  232. Phil. (09:38:20) :
    Except for the ‘minor detail’ of closing off the exchange between the Atlantic and Pacific at Panama about 3 million years ago totally changing the global oceanic circulation patterns giving rise to the ice ages!

    Yes, it was a minor detail RELATIVELY speaking, as I said before. There is a MAJOR difference between an exchange of a minor area of top water from peri-continental seas versus the benthic bottom waters of the deep ocean basins. The global ocean circulation patterns change quite often on geologic time scales, yet the global mean temperatures have remained very stable at around 22C-25C. Throughout most of the existence of the Atlantic Ocean basin, equitorial circulation of seawater between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins has been either blocked by the intercontinental isthmus or at least greatly restricted to minor exchanges of topwaters across the continental shelves.
    Nonetheless, the Earth did not enter an ice age or have an icecap in the Arctic during nearly all but the most recent few million years. Consequently, that minor detail could not and did not give rise to the ice ages by its sole influence. Otherwise, ice ages would have been occurring throughout almost all of the last 2 billion years, which quite obviously did not happen.

  233. Phil. (09:38:20),
    Sheesh, if it weren’t for the warmists always moving the goal posts, they wouldn’t even be in the game. Now the goal posts are moved out to 3 million years. So let’s just cover the gamut of the planet’s upper and lower global temperature parameters: click.
    The Earth was usually much warmer than it is today. Life and human civilization thrived during warmer times.
    Anyone who can’t see that the climate is variable on all time scales, and that it cycles within the same upper and lower parameters has blinders on.
    There has been no “runaway global warming” in the geologic past, and there is none occurring now. Nor is there any sign of runaway global warming on the horizon, despite the recent one-third increase in CO2 — almost all of which is of entirely natural origin.
    CO2 is still very low compared with the past. The tiny human fraction of global CO2 emissions during the past century is smaller than the average year over year fluctuations; it’s down in the noise. And since all measurable rises and declines in CO2 lag temperature changes, blaming the entire current natural warming cycle on the small fraction of human CO2 emissions is preposterous. If human activity contributes anything to warming, the effect is so small that it can be disregarded for all practical purposes.
    Even completely eliminating all human produced CO2 would make zero measurable difference, and it would force everyone back into living in mud huts and caves, with over half the population subsistence farming, plowing fields behind teams of oxen, with their barefoot women washing rags on river rocks.
    Furthermore, any fraction of a degree warming due to human CO2 emissions would be entirely beneficial to the environment. Runaway global warming is simply a political scare tactic based on a money and control agenda, and it does not qualify as science.

  234. Smokey (09:01:16) :
    Phil. (09:38:20),
    Sheesh, if it weren’t for the warmists always moving the goal posts, they wouldn’t even be in the game. Now the goal posts are moved out to 3 million years. So let’s just cover the gamut of the planet’s upper and lower global temperature parameters: click.

    The usual lack of reading comprehension by Smokey, Patterson was trying to stretch the period out to 30 million years, I don’t think he’s what you might call a warmist?
    CO2 is still very low compared with the past. The tiny human fraction of global CO2 emissions during the past century is smaller than the average year over year fluctuations; it’s down in the noise.
    You’re making things up again Smokey, every year human emissions are ~double the annual fluctuation.

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