Where's the ice for my drink?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I don’t know what to make of this one. I was wandering the web when I came across a Reuters article about a scientific study called “Global Floating Ice In “Constant Retreat”: Study“.

The Reuters article opens with this arresting text (emphasis mine):

LONDON

Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:38pm EDT

(Reuters) – The world’s floating ice is in “constant retreat,” showing an instability which will increase global sea levels, according to a report published in Geophysical Research Letters on Wednesday.

Floating ice had disappeared at a steady rate over the past 10 years, according to the first measurement of its kind.

“Hello,” sez I, “how can the sea ice be in constant retreat?” I knew from my previous research that the global ice was not in any kind of retreat at all.

I was also suspicious because of the next part of the quote:

“It’s a large number,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, lead author of the paper, estimating the net loss of floating sea ice and ice shelves in the last decade at 7,420 cubic kilometers.

I went out to find a graphic to explain how that kind of huge ice loss might have happened, and the best explanation I could find was this one:

Figure 1. Oooops. How the floating ice shelves cracked off and lost 7,420 cubic kilometres.

Next, I went off to find the actual paper, and discovered a curious thing.

So what did I discover … and why is their quote suspicious?

Let me start with why their quote is suspicious. It is their claim that the earth has lost 7,420 cubic kilometres of ice. As I have mentioned elsewhere, when I see numbers I automatically do an “order of magnitude” calculation in my head to see if they are reasonable or not.

I knew from my previous research that there is about twenty million square kilometres (km^2) of floating ice on the planet. I also knew that much of it out towards the edges is only a metre or two thick.

So if the ice averaged say 1.5 metres thick out at the edges where the loss happens, a seven thousand cubic kilometer loss would mean a total loss of ice area of about five million km^2, or a quarter of the area of the world’s floating ice. I think someone would have noticed that before now …

Of course, that made me wonder if the problem was in the study, or in the Reuters quote. However, that same number (7,420 cubic kilometres lost) appeared in no less than 81 other online publications. So I went haring off to find the article.

One of publications reporting the story, NewScientist, 5 May, 2010, gave the “doi:” for the article. The DOI is the “Digital Object Identifier”, and it should link directly to the article, which was supposed to have been published by Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) on Wednesday, April 28th … but the curious thing I discovered was that the DOI didn’t work.

Someone had commented on that, saying “The DOI doesn’t work.” This was replied to by someone called Marshall, from newscientist.com, who said:

Hi Eric, it’s because the article hasn’t been published on GRL’s website yet. The DOI is taken directly from our press copy of the paper, so once the article is published it should work.

OK, fair enough … although the original Reuters article was allegedly published on April 28, and today is May 28, and the DOI still isn’t working. So I went to the GRL web site to see what I could find.

I first did a search for any articles by “Shepherd” in “GRL” for “2010”, and I got this:

Figure 2. Ooooops …

Thinking it might have been misfiled, I searched through all of the May articles for anything by Shepherd. Nil. I looked through the May articles for anything regarding “ice”. Nada. I repeated both searches for April. Once again, zip. Niente. Nothing.

I thought “Well, maybe it appeared in another journal”. So I took a look on Google, but I found nothing. Google did find 32,500 instances of “ice in constant retreat”, of which 7,550 also contained “GRL”.

Google also revealed that the report of the study has been picked up by ABC News, NewsDaily, Yahoo News, New Scientist, Arab News, and ScienceDaily. It was featured on Joe Romm’s global warming blog “ClimateProgress”. It has been referred to in blogs and news reports from India, Australia, Russia, and China. It shows up on TweetMeme, Huffington Post, and Facebook. Even Scientific American has an article on it.

So at this point, it has gone round and round the world. It has been illustrated with all kinds of pictures of melting ice, and of global ice extent, and (inevitably) of polar bears. It has been discussed and debated and dissected around the web.

And with all of that publicity, with all those news reports, with all that discussion and debate … as near as I can determine, despite Reuters saying it was published a month ago, the study has never been published anywhere.

Not only that, but nobody seems to have noticed that the study has never been published.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Scientific American must have noticed, because they quietly removed the page where they had published the report … but it is still in Google’s cache.

One last thing. In all of that, in the frenzy to get out tomorrow’s news today, in the rush to report the latest scientific rumour, people seem to have forgotten to ask … how is the global sea ice actually doing?

Glad you asked. Here’s today’s information, from Cryosphere Today:

Figure 3. Daily global sea ice anomaly (red line) compared to 1979-2008 average. Link contains full sized image.

As you can see, as of today, the global sea ice is exactly on the line representing the 1979-2008 average. So over the last ten years, instead of a loss of 7,420 cubic kilometres, the loss has been … somewhere around zero. Go figure.

You know, when I was a kid I liked stories with morals, you know, like “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”, that kind of thing.

But what is the moral of this story?

Perhaps the moral is what my Grandma said, which was, “Kids, you can believe half of what you read, a quarter of what you hear … and an eighth of what you say.”

Of course, Grandma didn’t live to see the Internet. If she had, the percentage for believing what you read would have been much, much lower.

Oh, yeah, one final note … did I mention how much I dislike the current practice of “science by press release”? I suppose you gotta do it, it’ a competitive world, but my goodness …

So I guess the moral of this story is, “Never laugh at a climate science press release … you’ll have plenty of opportunity when (and if) the study is published.”

w.

[UPDATE] I just got a copy of the actual paper, see my initial comments on it here.
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Richard M

It must be that rotten ice again. It gets filled with holes and the scientists measured to see how big the holes were. Based on at least 3 or 4 tests they extrapolated the total loss of ice. 😉

Doug S

Oh the sweet irony. I guess Al should never have invented the internet. It is just too easy to debunk these con games. Well, too easy for brilliant people like Willis. Great job.

Jeef

Looks like MSM did their usual order of 10 magnitude correction based on the headline-generator computer model. There’s an article in Leeds University’s own website regarding this unpublished “research” (fairytale?).
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/793/melting_icebergs_causing_sea_level_rise

Joe Spencer

I am surprised you did not pick up on, “which will increase global sea levels”

Al Gored

Excellent detective work! You must have had fun seeing this unravel.
The LAST time I bothered reading demonsblog (sp?) about two years ago they had a scary article about polar bears in which two of their cited references did NOT say what they said they said!
But at least they were actually published. This case is that much worse.
Question. I don’t suppose the IPCC used this impeccable imaginary reference in anything?

Sun Spot

Science meme, meme . . . meme, meme . . . MSM meme, meme . . . meme, meme
Say no more, say no more

Phil.

The loss of thickness over the whole Arctic is ~0.6m over the last 5 years (Sea Ice Cover, D. Perovich, R. Kwok, W. Meier, S. Nghiem, J. Richter-Menge). In the summer that would be 1,800 m^3 and in winter 9,000 m^3 which seems to match the figure Willis read. So the value looks right!

Joe Lalonde

Love your Ice Age cartoons.
Excellent eye!

Jeff L

Seeing that no facts ever seem to slow down the AGW crowd, why wait until an article is published to start crowing about yet another catastrophe?? And they wonder why they are loosing credibility all the time & public opinion is turning against them …. even if the article facts were spot on, they still have no credibility because of how all this came to light. They are their own worst enemy – we just need to point out the facts, sit back & watch them implode!

Leon Brozyna

Hmph …
This business of science by press release is pushing me uncomfortably towards cynicism. How are these high priests — I mean scientists — arriving at their results? A careful study of the entrails of sacrificial animals?
So, giving these — whatever they are — the benefit of the doubt, they send out a press release announcing that a study was submitted to a journal. How many months before it’s finally published? By then the press release will have passed into popular folklore as solid science and it will take months or even years before it might be critiqued and refuted. Just look at that shameful piece of work called the hockey stick.

mike sphar

Its worse than we thought…

Richard Henry Lee

It is supposedly in press:
http://www.agu.org/contents/journals/ViewPapersInPress.do?journalCode=GL
and the link to the paper is here
http://www.agu.org/journals/pip/gl/2010GL042496-pip.pdf
but a subscription is required.

so has everyone heard how you catch a polar bear?
1. You dig a hole in the ice.
2. You put peas all around the outside of the hole.
3. You let him sniff and grunt for a little bit.
4. You wait for him to take a pea then Bang, quick as you please, you kick him in the ice hole.
Now that’s some real science for ye!

This has already been covered in WUWT.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/30/climate-craziness-of-the-week-msm-jumps-on-alarming-headline/
The author also claimed that the difference in density and temperature of ice and sea water would cause and increase in sea level of “49 micrometers per year spread across the global oceans”.
The link provided by Jeef to the University of Leeds web site also has a working link to the papers pending section of the GRL.

Willis Eschenbach

Phil. says:
May 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

The loss of thickness over the whole Arctic is ~0.6m over the last 5 years (Sea Ice Cover, D. Perovich, R. Kwok, W. Meier, S. Nghiem, J. Richter-Menge). In the summer that would be 1,800 m^3 and in winter 9,000 m^3 which seems to match the figure Willis read. So the value looks right!

Phil, thanks for the link. You say “the value looks right!” as if that contradicted something I said. But remember that I got run off the road after I had said “Of course, that made me wonder if the problem was in the study, or in the Reuters quote. However, that same number (7,420 cubic kilometres lost) appeared in no less than 81 other online publications. So I went haring off to find the article.” I never could determine if their number made sense. (While they may be citing ice thickness as you claim, we don’t have ten years of ice thickness data, so that seems kinda doubtful … but hey, this is climate science, anything’s possible …)
If the study actually were published, we could easily determine whether the numbers are right. But it’s not published … which was the point, not the numbers.
However, back to your cited paper. If you note the error bars, which presumably are one standard error wide, you will see that there is no statistically significant trend shown at all. In fact, the “trend” is only slightly wider than one standard error.
In addition, contrary to your calculations, the data does not cover the winter and the summer. It only covers the winter. But wait, as they say on TV, there’s more. It doesn’t cover the entire winter ice area. It only covers 38% of the Arctic Ocean.
So what you have cited is a statistically non-significant study of 38% of the winter Arctic Ocean ice … color me unimpressed.
That’s why it is important to see the actual study, because (as with your claims) many times what people say about a study may not be what the study actually says.

On a more serious note.
Well Maybe not.
You can probably put this in the same category as Hannsen, Mann and Gore saying the floating ice is melting so it can’t hold up the land based ice any more so we’re losing thousands of sq. kilometers of ice more than before into the ocean.
Ok I know I’m new to this game and all… but I’ve been scratching my head over this for weeks. Have you ever used your finger to poke an ice cube floating in your glass?
It bobs up and down, goes under the water and bobs back up again. I’m sure there is some scientific principle there, at least one or two. So I’m trying to figure out how floating ice fields keep land ice from retreating? I’m pretty big 5’11 and about 280 lbs. You can put me in the water floating and throw a 12 ft by 12 foot brick wall at me that was standing up originally and I can guarantee you I aint gonna be holding it up.
Is it just me or has anyone else scratched their heads over this whole issue as well?

Ian L. McQueen

“Not only that, but nobody seems to have noticed that the study has never been published.”
This is an excellent example of the Prester John Effect in action. For those weak in early history, Prester John was supposedly an eastern Christian king who was going to help the Europeans in the crusades. Letters were sent to him and belief in his existence persistecd for the following . Similarly with so many AGW stories, like the “vast majority” of scientists who supposedly support the AGW hypothesis (no one has ever taken a survey and the “majority” appears to be an invention of the warmists). No one ever checks the underlying story to verify that it is true. And so it is with so many AGW stories that we know are not true but which get repeated endlessly by enthusiasts, by the media, etc., etc.
IanM

Stephen Singer

It’s on this page
http://www.agu.org/contents/journals/ViewPapersInPress.do?journalCode=GL
Nineth from the bottom, published on april 16, 2010

David Davidovics

The really sad thing about this is that most of the world will never even know what happened here like countless other scientific misprints. After all, climate gate was a non issue to many (most?) of those publishers. If this isn’t fraud and some sick league between the gate keepers of inner scienctific circles and global mass media, I don’t know what is.
Good work Anthony, but somehow I don’t feel much better. This is going to be a long fight and I’m not sure it can be won.

Well, there is such a person as Professor Andrew Shepherd of the University of Leeds, so that part is true. And according to the University of Leeds press office on Thursday 29th April 2010:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/793/melting_icebergs_causing_sea_level_rise

Melting icebergs causing sea level rise
Scientists have discovered that changes in the amount of ice floating in the polar oceans are causing sea levels to rise.
The research, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, is the first assessment of how quickly floating ice is being lost today. …
According to lead author Professor Andrew Shepherd, of the University of Leeds, … and his team … the overall signal amounts to a 742 cubic kilometres per year reduction in the volume of floating [ice].

The U of Leeds press release goes on to say:

… For more information
To arrange an interview with Prof Andy Shepherd, contact Hannah Isom in the University of Leeds press office on [phone number and email]
Notes to editors
“Recent loss of floating ice and the consequent sea level contribution” by Andrew Shepherd, Duncan Wingham, David Wallis, Katharine Giles, Seymour Laxon, and Aud Venke Sundal is published this week in Geophysical Research Letters (doi:10.1029/2010GL042496). …
This study was funded by the UK National Centre for Earth Observation and the Philip Leverhulme Trust.

So, you might email Prof Shepard directly and ask him for the mysterious paper. You could also ask him:
1. Why it has never appeared in GRL?
2. How did he derive his questionable conclusions?
3. Why is this particular study funded by the Lever Bros/Unilever soap fortune? Don’t they have better things to fund with their capitalist gleanings?
That would not solve the worldwide Alarmist propaganda conspiracy issue, but it might get at the nuts and bolts of the allegedly disappearing floating ice issue.

Willis Eschenbach

Richard Henry Lee says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm

It is supposedly in press:
http://www.agu.org/contents/journals/ViewPapersInPress.do?journalCode=GL
and the link to the paper is here
http://www.agu.org/journals/pip/gl/2010GL042496-pip.pdf
but a subscription is required.

Whoa, we have a winner! Not published yet, but “In Press”. No limit to to the power of the climatarians at WUWT.
Many thanks,
w.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Floating ice had disappeared at a steady rate over the past 10 years, according to the first measurement of its kind…..estimating the net loss of floating sea ice and ice shelves in the last decade at 7,420 cubic kilometers.
Did they say anything about the net gain over the last 10 years? Is it sort of like talking about net loss of snow in the summer time but not mentioning the net gain in the winter?

Since I’m new to this game, Willis can you fill me in on something please?
Haven’t I heard that when the Arctic Ice is declining the Antarctic ice in inclining or growing and typically when the West side of Anarctic ice is declining the East in inclining or growing and has done so for eons?
The Arctic ice shelf has had some pretty large numbers of growth from what I’ve been seeing in several publications and stories. And the East side of Antarctic is also having some rather large ice growth and that the West is only receding on about 1/4 of it’s ice territory so where is all the “catastrophy” in ACGW?
Can you help me wrap my braing around this???
There was an article published by a senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist who works with Polar Bear herds. He said that of the 7 major herds in Canada the only two that are struggling are in the upper reaches of Hudson’s Bay where it’s been so cold and icey that the seals they eat are scarce because they don’t like it so cold.
So where is all this melting ice and woe is the world stuff coming from anyway?

sorry that should have been wrap my brain around it not my braing
I don’t have one of those currently.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Another nice little “trick”. So now it’s “standard practice” to call an unpublished study a published study.

timetochooseagain

Willis, I’m a little concerned. If you keep buying copies of all the nonsense these guys shovel out, just to figure out it’s garbage, at nearly twenty bucks a pop, you could go broke, fast. Consider yourself lucky this paper turned out to not exist.

u.k.(us)

From the post:
” The world’s floating ice is in “constant retreat,” ”
============
The world– not just the arctic.
constant retreat–sounds scary

timetochooseagain

Okay, correction, I see that it does exist, just not available.

rbateman

Current Artic/Antarctic (read Global) Sea Ice Anomaly is positive, according to Cyrosphere Today, to the tune of 0.058 km2.
-1.005(A) + 1.063(An) = 0.058
Statistical dead heat in the unihabitable Polar Regions.

great post. I guess it could be near that we cannot already make ice ourselves. The Arctic ice is already melting faster than ever. The ice caps are already thinning and the sea level is rising through the years. I just hope there is still hope to save our planet’s ice.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Willis Eschenbach says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm
So what you have cited is a statistically non-significant study of 38% of the winter Arctic Ocean ice …
How unbelievably lame of them!
Oh, wait a second… I mean, that’s more standard practice. 😉

JAE

LOL. I await a response from the warmers on this one, but I suppose I will never hear it.

Moondawggie

Willis, there you go again: using facts and logic to support your position. Don’t you realize that employing the scientific method is so yesterday when it comes to AGW and the potential money that it at stake?

Amino Acids in Meteorites

rbateman says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm
Current Artic/Antarctic (read Global) Sea Ice Anomaly is positive
What is the starting point for that data?

DJ Meredith

“The world’s floating ice is in “constant retreat,” showing an instability which will increase global sea levels,…..
The floating ice is retreating to land? It’s melting? What??
Neither of those will result in the sea level rising. Unless I’m using a Pasco ice cube in the glass experiment, maybe.

Here’s the abstract…perhaps a fat finger problem with the decimal point?
Abstract
We combine new and published satellite observations (Comiso et al., 2008; Cook and Vaughan, 2009) and the results of a coupled ice-ocean model (Zhang, 2007) to provide the first estimate of changes in the quantity of ice floating in the global oceans and the consequent sea level contribution. Rapid losses of Arctic sea ice and small Antarctic ice shelves are partially offset by thickening of Antarctic sea ice and large Antarctic ice shelves. Altogether, 746±127 km3 yr-1 of floating ice was lost between 1994 and 2004, a value that exceeds considerably the reduction in grounded ice over the same period. Although the losses are equivalent to a small (49±8 μm yr-1) rise in mean sea level, there may be large regional variations in the degree of ocean freshening and mixing. Ice shelves at the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Amundsen Sea, for example, have lost 481±38 km3 yr-1

gilbert

Phil. says:
May 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm
The loss of thickness over the whole Arctic is ~0.6m over the last 5 years (Sea Ice Cover, D. Perovich, R. Kwok, W. Meier, S. Nghiem, J. Richter-Menge). In the summer that would be 1,800 m^3 and in winter 9,000 m^3 which seems to match the figure Willis read. So the value looks right!
Willis discusses a paper that doesn’t yet exist, which appears to discuss global sea ice in cubic kilometers. You respond with a different paper discussing arctic ice in cubic meters. It seems to me if you’re going to go trolling, you need to get some part of your response right.

Heres a link to the original press release. Perhaps the alarmist side of the media thought the amount quoted was too small and added the zero?
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/793/melting_icebergs_causing_sea_level_rise
The following paragraph is relevant…
“Professor Shepherd and his team used a combination of satellite observations and a computer model to make their assessment. They looked at changes in the area and thickness of sea ice and ice shelves, and found that the overall signal amounts to a 742 cubic kilometres per year reduction in the volume of floating. “

geo

“constant retreat”
“disappeared at a steady rate”
And they wonder why skeptics exist. We exist because statements like that just offend our sense of accuracy, that’s why.
Then they tell us that multiple years in a row of contraindicating evidence don’t show anything. Well, they show that statements like that are horsefeathers.

Spector

This sounds like a positive-expectation, rumor avalanche event. I assume these reports spread like a virus outbreak because many in the elite press have been conditioned to expect just such reports confirming their fear that we are now in imminent danger of a great polar meltdown and lowland flooding disaster as depicted in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Willis Eschenbach

Ron Manley says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm (Edit)

This has already been covered in WUWT.
The author also claimed that the difference in density and temperature of ice and sea water would cause and increase in sea level of “49 micrometers per year spread across the global oceans”.
The link provided by Jeef to the University of Leeds web site also has a working link to the papers pending section of the GRL.

Thanks, Ron, I had missed that one entirely. I note that they say:

Professor Shepherd and his team used a combination of satellite observations and a computer model to make their assessment.

Yeah, that makes me feel better …
Also:

They looked at changes in the area and thickness of sea ice and ice shelves, and found that the overall signal amounts to a 742 cubic kilometres per year reduction in the volume of floating ice.

Well, if that number is correct, it would make much more sense than the 7,420 cubic km reported in the popular press. Which re-emphasizes my point about the web – on the web, a falsehood goes around the world three times while the truth is still getting its boots laced up.
In any case, let’s use that number, 742 km^3, and see what it means using the method I explain here. That is to compare it to the total sea ice volume.
The total volume of sea ice is hard to find, but it seems to be about 50,000 km^3. The annual variation is about 16,000 km3. Any pointers to better estimates appreciated.
So an annual loss of 742 km^3 is on the order of 1% of the total volume, and is on the order of 5% of the annual swing. Is that a meaningful number?
Well, it depends on how long it goes on. They claim that it has been going on at that rate for ten years … but then, that’s just what their model says. Me, I don’t buy ice volume model results. See Steve Goddard’s post here for information on ice volumes, and how they are being misrepresented by models and modelers.
So once again, we’re going to have to wait until the article is published to see how much of their results is data and how much is just smoke ‘n models …

Willis Eschenbach

1personofdifference says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Since I’m new to this game, Willis can you fill me in on something please?
Haven’t I heard that when the Arctic Ice is declining the Antarctic ice in inclining or growing and typically when the West side of Anarctic ice is declining the East in inclining or growing and has done so for eons?
The Arctic ice shelf has had some pretty large numbers of growth from what I’ve been seeing in several publications and stories. And the East side of Antarctic is also having some rather large ice growth and that the West is only receding on about 1/4 of it’s ice territory so where is all the “catastrophy” in ACGW?

The short answer is that there has been little change in the global sea ice extent. See here for more information.
w.

John Blake

Having definitively debunked this pending asininity, it’s unfortunate that no automated fly-swatter is available to beat back the inevitable swarm of hysteric references to such a baseless, fatuous, even mendacious pseudo-academic pronunciamento. No doubt Warmists’ “dying Arctic” myth will propagate indefinitely… but in due time, reality will win the day.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

MarcH says:
May 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm
Here’s the abstract…perhaps a fat finger problem with the decimal point?
No, worse than we thought: “between 1994 and 2004”
The 10 years are from 1994 to 2004, if I am reading that correctly. No wonder they don’t want people to see the actual study! It uses data ending 5 1/2 years ago.

John Robertson

Hi Willis,
While I have no clue as to the veracity of Shepherd’s paper (gotta love pay-walls) it appears to state that they found an average of 742 cu. km /year and as the period of time referred to is ten years, then the total would indeed be 7420 cu. km., between the years 1994 and 2004.
I am curious about the intervening years since 2004 – since this report is only submitted for publication now (2010) surely a few more years of data would have been available to include in the report to either support or falsify the implied data slope?
Why did they stop at 2004?
Sign me as Curious…

Ray Boorman

Willis, the paper says the 7420 cubic km’s was lost in 10 (ten) years, not each year.

Willis Eschenbach

MarcH says:
May 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Here’s the abstract…perhaps a fat finger problem with the decimal point?
Abstract

We combine new and published satellite observations (Comiso et al., 2008; Cook and Vaughan, 2009) and the results of a coupled ice-ocean model (Zhang, 2007) to provide the first estimate of changes in the quantity of ice floating in the global oceans and the consequent sea level contribution. Rapid losses of Arctic sea ice and small Antarctic ice shelves are partially offset by thickening of Antarctic sea ice and large Antarctic ice shelves. Altogether, 746±127 km3 yr-1 of floating ice was lost between 1994 and 2004, a value that exceeds considerably the reduction in grounded ice over the same period. Although the losses are equivalent to a small (49±8 μm yr-1) rise in mean sea level, there may be large regional variations in the degree of ocean freshening and mixing. Ice shelves at the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Amundsen Sea, for example, have lost 481±38 km3 yr-1

Much appreciated, Marc. Thank goodness, finally some real information. From this, my comments would be:
1. The period of study, curiously, was 1994-2004. Given the changes in sea ice in the years since then, this seems very curious. Once again, we see an AGW-supporting study using data that is way past its use-by date.
2. They say that the “Ice shelves at the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Amundsen Sea, for example, have lost 481±38 km3 yr-1”. This means that those two areas have accounted for about 2/3 of the total loss. Likely this relates to a couple of large break-offs of the glacier-fed Antarctic ice shelves. Unlike the Arctic, these land-fed shelves seem to build out over a number of years, and then break off in large chunks. If that is the case, I don’t see that as very significant.
3. If we assume that the remaining 1/3 of the loss is equally divided between the Arctic and the Antarctic, the Arctic loss is about 0.4% per year.
4. I’m still quite chary of their figures. Given the use of models, you can get any number you want. Even a tiny adjustment in the parameters can make a huge change in the outputs.
5. Regarding satellites, the reference (Comiso 2008) is not about ice volume. It is about ice extent and area. My guess? They used satellite ice extent and area figures, and modelled the volume. Remember that the ICESAT laser-measured ice thickness data only started in 2004 … which again makes it odd that they didn’t include the period from then until 2008, soon after which ICESAT died. Since we actually have some real data for that time period, their avoidance of that time is … well … let me call it “in need of explanation” and let it go at that.
However, all of this is provisional, we still await the mystery paper.

anna v

OK, from the Leeds release and doi:
According to Archimedes’ principle, any floating object displaces its own weight of fluid. For example, an ice cube in a glass of water does not cause the glass to overflow as it melts.
But because sea water is warmer and more salty than floating ice, changes in the amount of this ice are having an effect on global sea levels.
The loss of floating ice is equivalent to 1.5 million Titanic-sized icebergs each year. However, the study shows that spread across the global oceans, recent losses of floating ice amount to a sea level rise of just 49 micrometers per year – about a hair’s breadth.

doi goes to http://www.agu.org/contents/journals/ViewPapersInPress.do?journalCode=GL
Shepherd, A., D. Wingham, D. Wallis, K. Giles, S. Laxon, and A. V. Sundal (2010),
Recent loss of floating ice and the consequent sea level contribution,
Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2010GL042496, in press.
[PDF] (accepted 16 April 2010)

purchase option not available, though I would not pay for Archimedes principle and 49 microns per year, particularly in view of the cryosphere plot you showed above.

rbateman

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm
rbateman says:
May 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm
Current Artic/Antarctic (read Global) Sea Ice Anomaly is positive
What is the starting point for that data?

1979. And I should correct that to 0.058M km2 Positive Anomaly….Globally.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
Add them together and you get the Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly as Willis posts:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
The constant loss of Sea Ice frenzy is 100% pure concentrated Cherry Pick.
Not going to shock any new converts with drivel like this, as most folks are already highly suspicious of the strange men behind the curtain of deception.

Feet2theFire

@ Richard M May 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm:

It must be that rotten ice again. It gets filled with holes and the scientists measured to see how big the holes were. Based on at least 3 or 4 tests they extrapolated the total loss of ice. 😉

This made me laugh, because it made me imagine the ice all breaking off because of all the ice cores taken by warmologists, kind of a “tear on the dotted line” kind of thing.
So, Willis, with all your “order of magnitude” exercises you love so well, how many ice cores does it take to break off an ice sheet? Or more specifically 7,240 cubic miles of ice sheets?