Icy consensus: least ice "at least the last few thousand years"

From Ohio State, alarming news about ice, sediments, proxy algae, and other worrisome stuff. It has a familiar ring to it, plus some luck.

ARCTIC ICE AT LOW POINT COMPARED TO RECENT GEOLOGIC HISTORY

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Less ice covers the Arctic today than at any time in recent geologic history.

That’s the conclusion of an international group of researchers, who have compiled the first comprehensive history of Arctic ice.

For decades, scientists have strived to collect sediment cores from the difficult-to-access Arctic Ocean floor, to discover what the Arctic was like in the past. Their most recent goal: to bring a long-term perspective to the ice loss we see today.

Now, in an upcoming issue of Quarternary Science Reviews, a team led by Ohio State University has re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies — nearly 300 in all — and combined them to form a big-picture view of the pole’s climate history stretching back millions of years.

Leonid Polyak

“The ice loss that we see today — the ice loss that started in the early 20th Century and sped up during the last 30 years — appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years,” said Leonid Polyak, a research scientist at Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Polyak is lead author of the paper and a preceding report that he and his coauthors prepared for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

Satellites can provide detailed measures of how much ice is covering the pole right now, but sediment cores are like fossils of the ocean’s history, he explained.

“Sediment cores are essentially a record of sediments that settled at the sea floor, layer by layer, and they record the conditions of the ocean system during the time they settled. When we look carefully at various chemical and biological components of the sediment, and how the sediment is distributed — then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”

For example, scientists can search for a biochemical marker that is tied to certain species of algae that live only in ice. If that marker is present in the sediment, then that location was likely covered in ice at the time. Scientists call such markers “proxies” for the thing they actually want to measure — in this case, the geographic extent of the ice in the past.

While knowing the loss of surface area of the ice is important, Polyak says that this work can’t yet reveal an even more important fact: how the total volume of ice — thickness as well as surface area — has changed over time.

“When we look carefully at various chemical and biological components of the seafloor sediment, and how the sediment is distributed — then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”

“Underneath the surface, the ice can be thick or thin. The newest satellite techniques and field observations allow us to see that the volume of ice is shrinking much faster than its area today. The picture is very troubling. We are losing ice very fast,” he said.

“Maybe sometime down the road we’ll develop proxies for the ice thickness. Right now, just looking at ice extent is very difficult.”

To review and combine the data from hundreds of studies, he and his cohorts had to combine information on many different proxies as well as modern observations. They searched for patterns in the proxy data that fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Their conclusion: the current extent of Arctic ice is at its lowest point for at least the last few thousand years.

As scientists pull more sediment cores from the Arctic, Polyak and his collaborators want to understand more details of the past ice extent and to push this knowledge further back in time.

During the summer of 2011, they hope to draw cores from beneath the Chukchi Sea, just north of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia. The currents emanating from the northern Pacific Ocean bring heat that may play an important role in melting the ice across the Arctic, so Polyak expects that the history of this location will prove very important. He hopes to drill cores that date back thousands of years at the Chukchi Sea margin, providing a detailed history of interaction between oceanic currents and ice.

“Later on in this cruise, when we venture into the more central Arctic Ocean, we will aim at harvesting cores that go back even farther,” he said. “If we could go as far back as a million years, that would be perfect.”

Polyak’s coauthors on the report hailed from Penn State University, University of Colorado, University of Massachusetts, the U.S. Geological Survey, Old Dominion University, the Geological Survey of Canada, University of Copenhagen, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Stockholm University, McGill University, James Madison University, and the British Antarctic Survey.

This research was funded by the US Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation.

#

Contact: Leonid Polyak, (614) 292-2602; Polyak.1@osu.edu

Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu

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173 thoughts on “Icy consensus: least ice "at least the last few thousand years"

  1. How will they distinguish between ice extent and southward dispersion of icebergs?

  2. Ok. Let’s say, just for arguments sake, that the doomsayers are all correct and that we’re heading for an ice-free Arctic at a fast pace.
    Has anyone actually explained exactly WHY and HOW an ice-free Arctic is such a disaster? And for whom would it be a disaster? And in what way it would be a disaster?
    My enquiring mind would like to know, because when I read all these ARCTIC IS MELTING! stories all I see is an implication that This Is A Bad Thing. I have never seen “An ice-free Arctic is bad because….”.

  3. It is ridiculous, sheer, utter nonsense to claim that they can detect the September minimum from ancient sediments. Junk science reigns supreme in the Arctic.

  4. Oh goodie. More proxies.
    “with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”
    Yes. Certain undefined skills, and luck. The basis of all rigorous science.

  5. Hmm, I tried to find an abstract by clicking on the Quarternary Science Reviews link, but that seems to link to the current issue. Which has some interesting stuff: “Thousand years of climate change reconstructed from chironomid subfossils preserved in varved lake Silvaplana, Engadine, Switzerland”, which confirms the Medieval Warm Period (or “Climate Anomaly”, as they like to say now): “The inferred July temperatures were in the same range as the inferred temperatures during the last part of the MCA suggesting that during the 20th century, at Lake Silvaplana, the chironomid-inferred temperatures do not exceed the natural climate variability of the past millennium.”

  6. “…then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited”
    This is like the “science of evolution” they teach my kids in public school? The one where life began from nothing and in one organized step of chaos, created all the machinery necessary for minimal life to exist?
    Excuse me for being apprehensive at more of anything which appears to be a search for proof of AGW (AGWC). We haven’t flushed the liars from the system yet, nor their corruptive influence (“scientific” or political.)

  7. What he should have said was, “..then, with certain skills tricks and luck…”
    lol… what an ass-hat…

  8. OT: Al and Tipper Gore are separating after 40 years of marriage, after four children and three grandchildren, after just buying a $9 million house in Montecito, California, two weeks after celebrating their anniversary. I shouldn’t be delighted but I am. I wonder what the rows were about? Climategate perhaps?

  9. >Polyak’s coauthors on the report hailed from Penn State University, University of Colorado, University of Massachusetts
    Hmmm…..
    REPLY: yeah, I’m, thinking the same thing, Penn State, proxy, press release prior to publication, worst in thousands of years…who do we know that talks like that? – Anthony

  10. They “had to combine information on many different proxies as well as modern observations. They searched for patterns in the proxy data that fit together like pieces of a puzzle.”
    I’m not at this point going to claim that they took the scissors and sandpaper to the pieces to make them fit together the way they wanted, but it all begs for very close review.
    Especially since they’ve seen fit to put out this scary funding-troll press release.

  11. How do you compensate for the ocean currents when you are pulling sediments from the sea floor? Aren’t they studying the sediment that settled after being kicked up elsewhere, perhaps the Pacific or some other ocean?

  12. So???
    A few thousand years. Big ****ing deal!
    Recovery during the interglacial from the last Ice Age.
    Its not the findings…but the “tone” of the findings that gets my hackles up with press releases like that.
    It’s not what is said, but what is left unsaid by what is said: “The world is melting and we are all gonna die.”
    To quote a brilliant British Comedy from the 1990s:
    “Cheer up. It may never happen.” LOL
    [from Jennifer Saunders…the most brilliant comedienne the world has ever known].
    A few thousand years. Big bl**dy deal!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  13. Also on that note, what evidence is there that ocean currents have remained constant over these time periods?

  14. Hmmm. Funny how this article first states that they already have “combined them to form a big-picture view of the pole’s climate history stretching back millions of years,” but then at the end quotes this researcher who states that “If we could go as far back as a million years, that would be perfect.”
    Even funnier is that their actual conclusion so far appears to be “the current extent of Arctic ice is at its lowest point for at least the last few thousand years.”
    What’s a “few”? In any case, no big deal even if it actually was true given where were are in ice age history.
    But I can already see the scary headlines about “lowest in millions of years” promoted round the world.

  15. “For example, scientists can search for a biochemical marker that is tied to certain species of algae that live only in ice. If that marker is present in the sediment, then that location was likely covered in ice at the time. Scientists call such markers “proxies” for the thing they actually want to measure — in this case, the geographic extent of the ice in the past.”
    “When we look carefully at various chemical and biological components of the seafloor sediment, and how the sediment is distributed — then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”
    Who could possibly dispute such rock solid logic?

  16. “When we look carefully at various chemical and biological components of the seafloor sediment, and how the sediment is distributed — then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”
    They are lucky, what can I say?

  17. “then, with certain skills and luck,” doesn’t sound very scientific to me.
    I wonder if they’d bet their lives on their findings?

  18. “Polyak’s coauthors on the report hailed from Penn State University”…….
    I wish that line had been at the beginning of the post, I could have saved myself 5 minutes to take the dog out!

  19. Pete Hayes says:
    June 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm
    “Polyak’s coauthors on the report hailed from Penn State University”…….

    Yep…. my thoughts as well. Home of Mann and the sham review of his antics.
    Having Penn State on there is like having “reviewed and approved by Al Gore” on it !!

  20. And who exactly did the team pick from Penn State? Any guesses?
    There was not a paper listed at QR that I could find. I suppose it has just been submitted. The claims in the press release cannot be refuted until it is published, but the AGW elite will cite this as proof just the same.
    Also you will note that this submission was sponsored by US tax payers through the Climate Change Program.

  21. These guys must have built another expert model to tell them how far & in what direction the algae drifted as it settled to the sea bottom. Or maybe they just assumed it dropped like a lead balloon straight to the bottom. End result – their paper ain’t worth the cost of the ink used to print it!

  22. So…when folks were ice-skating on the Thames, the Arctic ice extent was smaller than it is today? (Eyes roll)
    Do these guys ever d0 a sanity check?

  23. They are very ambiguous (i.e., weasely) about the 20s-30s warming. They also do not address causes (CO2, soot or what?).

  24. If they can prove that the Arctic is more ice free than ever before, does this mean that all the history of traversing the north west passage was reconstructed from proxy data found in polar bear gizzards?

  25. I note that the data is available online here:
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geosamples/index.jsp
    Choose Byrd Polar Research Center and the Ship, Healy, and you get a set of links to all the data which are extensive. They include the GPS and bathymetry data along with ice core data apparently, although I have only taken a cursory glance. The GPS data is in the form of Shape files (.shp). Some of the data is in .mb41 files which appear to be a database file.

  26. “Later on in this cruise, when we venture into the more central Arctic Ocean…”
    Aha!
    These are the guys who’ve been breaking up the Ice. They are the cause!

  27. Penn State – carving hockey sticks out of tree rings. I want to go back to the Eemian and see what happened in the end. I read somewhere there was a global warming spike, but who knows what to believe these days.

  28. Leonid Polyak pops up in the Climategate email, apparently after requesting and receiving some data back in 2002 from Keith Briffa of CRU:
    http://www.au.agwscam.com/cru/emails.php?eid=281&filename=1036591086.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=278&filename=1034341705.txt
    Seemingly innocent exchanges, though it is amusing that Briffa apologized for a 2 day delay in getting Polyak data, and then spent years stonewalling McIntyre on releasing the Yamal series. It’s also interesting that all these guys seem to know each other…
    Leonid Polyak also appears as Convener of this “Conference on Abrupt Climate Change”:
    http://www.agu.org/meetings/chapman/2009/ccall/
    For those of you who have read Micheal Crichton’s book State of Fear, you may remember that NERF hosted a big conference, by the same name, and likely with a similar purpose.
    Nothing conclusive, but certainly interesting…

  29. How do you compensate for the ocean currents when you are pulling sediments from the sea floor? Aren’t they studying the sediment that settled after being kicked up elsewhere, perhaps the Pacific or some other ocean?
    Dave F @ June 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm
    I was thinking along the same lines. How long does it take a dead algae to sink 5,000 or ten thousand feet to the bottom of the ocean and how far laterally has it moved via currents from horz. coordinates where it died? I suppose it may not matter because the assessment can be made relative to other layers in the same core, but that would require you assume the currents never vary.
    Do the currents vary enough that it would mess up the whole analysis on that basis? How do you assess what amount of variance is significant?

  30. Oh, same o same o, their imagination is slipping lately, let me take a jab at something different for a change….
    –- –- –- –-
    The use of ice breakers has increased dramatically in the last 30 years as we see less ice than over the last many thousands of years and has accelerated rapidly during the last three decades. It’s much worse that we thought. Ice breakers began in the early 20th century and have advanced at a alarming rate. Whole fleets have been put in use for commercial and military use and more are on the way, even nuclear powered ice breakers are on order as this is being written.
    Why this concerns our team is that sheet ice is very resistant to action of the winds and currents unlike the defenseless chunkenized and broken ice. Polar bears have no place to go but to cling onto these fleeting fragments as portrayed by Mr. Gore’s cohorts who photographed and documented it here and has been published worldwide in leading scientific journals.
    This fragmentation of the polar cap allows ice to move freely and to be quickly swept out to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by the winds and currents without deterrence to merely melt in the warmer waters. It’s truly a travesty, and something must happen before all of the ice at the north pole disappears completely this year, or two, maybe.
    We call on Congress and governments of the world….
    –- –- –- –-
    Sounds peculiarly familiar. Well, that’s a beginning… story developing…
    /sarc off

  31. So ice ages and interglacials are no longer relevant. Given past interglacial sea level rises it looks like we may have a long way to go yet. But then warmer atmosphere = more humidity = more precipitation and snow in the northern regions for increased albedo around the arctic and increased cloud albedo around the tropics. Who knows what is going to happen?

  32. Proxies are pretty useless unless the methodology and the proxies themselves can be validated.
    It’s notable that Michael Mann (Penn State) helped pioneer the use of bad proxies.

  33. To paraphrase “The ice loss that we see today — the ice loss that started in the early 20th Century and sped up during the last 30 years — appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years,”
    The ice is at its lowest since the last Ice Age. Is that news?

  34. They should have just got Madame Zenda to read some tea leaves. Results would have been just as meaningful.

  35. As a geologist I can understand how historic temperatures can be determined from examining ocean floor sediments – but historic ice thicknesses?!?
    And to do this you apparently need “certain skills and luck”.
    And someone is funding this?
    I could not see any comments from our regular alarmists, so even they must be embarrassed by this.

  36. Does anyone know where I might obtain the data on ice breakers in service from 1900 to date and preferably by the day? That will ensure there are enough data points to guarantee statistical significance in extrapolating projections into the future. I am beginning to feel that this data will inversely correlate correctly to a very high degree and, of coarse, would want to back it up with publically available data if this developing story is to go anywhere.
    How about a title, “It’s not the CO2 Stupid, It’s the Ice Breakers!” 🙂
    Oh, and the research grant…
    /sarc off

  37. I call bogus on the use of the polar region for sediment cores.
    The reason: Because of the several oceanic currents which carry material from distant places and deposit it there.
    As a result of just that alone, any pretend quantification of ice thickness is without validity.
    It would be quite one thing were the polar region to freeze solid right down to the sea bed, but such hasn’t happened that we know of.

  38. Leonid Polyak is also signer 219 of 320;
    http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/list-of-signers.html
    of this open letter sent to federal agencies on March 13, 2010;
    http://www.openletterfromscientists.com/index.html
    that begins:
    “Many in the popular press and other media, as well as some in the halls of Congress, are seizing on a few errors that have been found in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in an attempt to discredit the entire report. None of the handful of mis-statements (out of hundreds and hundreds of unchallenged statements) remotely undermines the conclusion that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    Other signatories of the letter include:
    170. Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University
    288. Kevin E Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research
    309. Tom Wigley, National Center for Atmospheric Research
    Letter Authors: Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University
    Leonid Polyak seems to have some Warmist credentials…

  39. You would think wouldn’t you that they would ask themselves why the sea ice is less today than when the Danes were able to farm in Greenland.
    I have never been wooed by the intrinsic brilliance of people who go into science for a living, mostly it’s because they don’t want to leave school, but now I am ashamed to say that I’m astonished at the level of stupidity of some of these guys doing climate science.

  40. I love how they state:
    “The ice loss that we see today — the ice loss that started in the early 20th Century and sped up during the last 30 years — appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years,”
    And then go on….
    “…Right now, just looking at ice extent is very difficult.”
    Say again? Conclusions need to be based on science, rather than dogma. What did we do to deserve this never-ending scientific tragedy?

  41. …re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies—nearly 300 in all—and combined them to form a big-picture view of the pole’s climate history stretching back millions of years.

    A meta-analysis and they got the data and methods from those studies from the nearly 300 authors? AFAIK, climate science data and methods are very hard to come by. I wonder who was so generous with their closely guarded proxy data, especially the methods used to extract temperature or, in this instance, the ice extent? Maybe Steve McIntyre should be auditing this and the underlying studies, since the data’s so readily available.

  42. Interesting that this team has re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies.
    Doesn’t that require the data to be published and accessible for others to review? I thought that wasn’t standard practice in climatology these days (Yes, you, Mr Jones).

  43. Well, sometimes it is the EXTENT of the ice and sometimes it is the AGE of the ice and then it might be the VOLUME of the ice or whether or not it is ROTTEN….
    What next? Whether it is the wrong colour or smells bad?
    They are really milking this Arctic ice thing – obviously desperate funding might sink? freeze? evaporate? melt?
    If they want to do something useful for the environment, these guys would be better picking up some litter….

  44. geronimo says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:13 am
    You would think wouldn’t you that they would ask themselves why the sea ice is less today than when the Danes were able to farm in Greenland.
    *
    *
    That should be the other way around: There was less ice in the time of the Norse.
    That had to have been, because the western settlement up the coast of Greenland is now under permafrost.

  45. “with a little skill & luck”? [snip] is that all about? Yes Mr & Mrs Smith, with a “little skill & luck” this steel framed building you & all your family will live in, for which you are paying a hefty fee, should stand up! No, it doesn’t quite stack for me.
    A few problems, a) define a “few thousand years”, is that 1,000? 2,000? 5,000? 10,000? What? Using any of those time frames you can bet your bottom dollar on them being right! (Probably).
    b) This paper would be more interseting if they had rationalised the issue that over the last 600,000 years the previous interglacials were warmer than today by several degrees C. By implication, there would have been a liklihood of less Arctic ice during those times than today. (NOAA ice core data central Greenland, from a guest post on this site some months ago now).

  46. the current extent of Arctic ice is at its lowest point for at least the last few thousand years.

    OK, so if we take this evidence with the Greenland ice core evidence of warmer times, then what does this mean? It might suggest that ice extent is not a function of temperature but dependent on something else – prevailing winds perhaps?
    And here is an indicator of how we all get caught up in the confusion of the spin: When I look back at the article, I was surprised to find that no where does it say that the loss of sea ice is an indicator of warming.
    The statements made in this release just get sucked into the controversy, and both sides affect its controversial status. Kevin Cave (above) is right when he points to the overwhelming presumption that an ice-free Arctic will be catastrophic. In another context it would not be. In fact, in the 1950s an ice free Arctic was widely considered both the historical norm, and a desirable state. And scientist (especially those in chilly Russia) were even trying to work out how to bring it on. This attitude was in a large part extinguished by the beat-up of a scare not of the ill effects of warming but that an ice-free Arctic would bring on the next Ice Age.
    And the spin we are in on this issue gets even giddier when Mike Hulme opens a review of Singer’s book called Unstoppable Global Warming by saying “Climate change is happening.” We all know he is not intending to agree with Singer because he is a founding director of the Tyndall centre for Climate Change – and we know what sort of climate change that is.
    Perhaps right now the key to inhibiting the propagation of the AGW nonsense is to find ways to slow down the spin…sometime we do that, but I wonder if at other time we only serve to speed it up.

  47. Just The Facts says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:02 am
    Leonid Polyak is also signer 219 of 320; [–snip rest–]
    *
    *
    Well, what were you expecting? Birds of a feather alight together.

  48. How much stimulous money has been spent on so-called “Climate reserch?”
    How much went directly to Mann?
    How much went to Ohio State Univercity?
    I have read the amount is staggering, and that it has created 0.6 job. Is this true?
    Judging from this study, the stimulous money saved at least one fellow from the bother of having to get a real job.
    After the voter backlash next November, we should demand an audit of where every penny of the stimulous slush-fund went.

  49. I’m surprised nobody caught this yet:
    “Underneath the surface, the ice can be thick or thin. The newest satellite techniques and field observations allow us to see that the volume of ice is shrinking much faster than its area today. The picture is very troubling. We are losing ice very fast,”
    Maybe someone should ask him about sources for the volume?

  50. Lets look at the 1961 (pre-AGW hysteria) take on this:
    ” the climatic optimum (of the current interglacial) was between about 5600 and 2500 B.C.’
    ” by 6000 B.C. all western Europe was occupied by a rich mixed forest of oak, alder and elm. This warm Atlantic period continued until about 2500 B.C. with gradually decreasing temperature Judging by the (fossil) flora of Spitsbergen, the Arctic Ocean was free of ice”
    In : Encylopaedia Britannica, 1961 version, Author C.E.P.Brooks, Meteorological Office, UK (so it must be reliable….)
    Its hard to see how there could have been NO ice in winter even then…but leaving that aside, is ice loss earlier this interglacial still accepted?
    If it is, whats the issue now (apart from how do you translate a core record into physical ice area, thickness, and round the year variation) ?
    DM

  51. Here’s a list of publications of the principal author:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=10&q=Leonid+Polyak&hl=en&as_sdt=4000
    An excerpt from one, http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/DanBotkin08-d/ArcticSeaIce_History_review_Darby_2006.pdf :

    Past changes in the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas have been profound, even during the last 10,000 years.

    If relatively recent changes in the Arctic have been ‘profound’, and these must have been taking place without any anthropogenic gases, who is to say the current changes are not simply natural variations?
    In the article’s conclusion:

    The Quaternary history of the Arctic Ocean is marked by dramatic changes in paleoceanographic and climatic regimes related to glaciations of the Arctic periphery and sea-level fluctuations. These changes affected all aspects of the Arctic Ocean system, including hydrography, sedimentation, and biota. The last major revolution
    of arctic environments occurred during the last glacial to Holocene transition circa 10 ka ago. Besides the disappearance of large ice sheets in many parts of the circum-Arctic, the associated climatic warming, the rising sea level, and atmospheric changes affected environmental conditions dramatically in the central Arctic Ocean and its marginal regions. During this transition, the shallow continental shelf became widely flooded, which precipitated a profound reorganization of the circum-Arctic environment, from a dominantly terrestrial-fluvial to a marine environment with a strong fluvial influence over the vast width of the Siberian shelves. Time-transgressive changes in sedimentation together with geochemical and micropaleontological proxy data give clear evidence of the southwardly transgressing sea on the shallow shelves until about 5–6 ka. After that time, the modern sea-ice regime and hydrological patterns were fully developed in the Arctic, including enhanced water-mass exchange with the adjacent sub-polar seas through Fram Strait, Bering Strait, the Canadian
    Archipelago, and across the Barents Sea.
    Centennial- to millennial-scale climate changes are also documented in the Arctic during the Holocene, primarily in sedimentary records from continental margins that have higher sedimentation rates and thus provide better time resolution. These changes include fluctuations in the pattern of ice rafting, the position of the Marginal
    Ice Zone, and temperature and salinity in both surface and subsurface water masses. Interpretation and causes of these changes are still under investigation, but there is little doubt that these Holocene climatic variations are at least as significant as recent warming.

    Did you notice the passage “there is little doubt that these Holocene climatic variations are at least as significant as recent warming.”?
    Clearly, the world has seen variations in the Arctic as significant as recent warming. The world survived, including the polar bear and seals. Also, these changes took place without any influence from mankind.
    What’s the problem again?

  52. “Maybe sometime down the road we’ll develop proxies for the ice thickness. Right now, just looking at ice extent is very difficult.”

    From the PIOMAS page at the Polar Science Center:

    Volume estimates using age of sea ice as a proxy for ice thickness are another useful method…

    Long day, it’s late, brainwave supply down to reserve and near depletion.
    Did I read that right, get the context correct? Polyak is talking about taking new measurements like for extent, as in right now for the current conditions, saying some day they’ll develop proxies for ice thickness that they can use for figuring current readings, as in currently there aren’t any such proxies for ice thickness? Or should I say, there aren’t any useful proxies?

  53. Hey, let’s be fair. Whatever the authors’ track record, we should be focusing on the science. In this instance, the only real question relates to the validity of the proxies as a measure of ice cover and an appropriate definition of ‘ice cover.’ For example, are they talking about mean, median, or mode coverage per year, decade, or century? With respect to Steve Goddard, do the authors really pretend they can tell us anything about seasonal ice coverage? Unfortunately, the article doesn’t tell us – it has the look and feel of a university newsletter with a provocative title.

  54. I have a theory that because polar bears dont smile as often as they used to and look rather sad nowadays they must be upset about dangerous global warming so I propose a mission to the Arctic with an nuclear ice breaker and perhaps a team of fifty social workers and psyschologists and crystal healers and traditional medicine men(persons) to establish a dialogue with the polar bears to ask then why they are so sad about dangerous global warming and the dissapearing ice.
    I will need two million dollars in low demonination bills in an unmarked case which I will collect from the Ohio wallmart lost and found next week and I promise a full report on my progress sometime around 2050ish.

  55. Do these people seriously believe that there was more sea ice when the Vikings colonised Greenland? It seems unlikely to me.

  56. Certain skills and luck? What does that remind me of, hmmm let me think….it has something to do with my childhood…Jr.High journalism class?…eerrrmmm no, that was better written……oh, I remember now! “Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat! GROWR! Oops, must have been a 71/2!”

  57. So if I get this right, again we’re supposed to be very very afraid of something that could be unprecedented if they just get more money to do more research? That about sums it up?
    On a second note, excepting the 2007 ice hysteria, what’s supposed to be unprecedented about less ice 10 000 years after the last big ice age, and a couple of hundred years after the so called little ice age?

  58. I guess we’ll see in September who is right about the current ice situation.
    The least ice for “a few thousand years” ….. but not 8000 years?

  59. AlanG says:
    June 2, 2010 at 10:11 pm
    OT: Al and Tipper Gore are separating after 40 years of marriage, after four children and three grandchildren, after just buying a $9 million house in Montecito, California, two weeks after celebrating their anniversary. I shouldn’t be delighted but I am. I wonder what the rows were about? Climategate perhaps?

    Neighbors reported on numerous occasions hearing Tipper shouting “Nothing is settled, Al, nothing!”

  60. Alan the Brit says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:48 am
    [–snip–]
    b) This paper would be more interseting if they had rationalised the issue that over the last 600,000 years the previous interglacials were warmer than today by several degrees C. By implication, there would have been a liklihood of less Arctic ice during those times than today. (NOAA ice core data central Greenland, from a guest post on this site some months ago now).

    That would be this:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

  61. I was thinking, thats an ingenious notion, algae drifting from ice melt to the sea floor. Two thumbs up for a ‘possible/maybe’ transport mechanism, but add the term ‘proxy’ and we have a good case to doubt the result equates to cryo-temporal-statistico-climatico-mechanica-tistics.
    Saying they can tell, with any certainty, what the extent of Arctic Ice cover was, before the invention of coherent thought, is a novel approach to a pitch for funding.
    Lets see how this rolls, i’ve got a million lunatic fringe ideas, i’d gladly take money for, now if I can just find a popular subject to shamelessly exploit,….

  62. “with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”
    With certain skills (the price of the ticket), and luck, I can win the jackpot. Actually, I lack the skill but with a little funding – who knows?

  63. Interesting qualifications: Skill & Luck.
    But you don’t need skill & luck to unprecedentally beat the AGW video game, just the cheat codes.

  64. M77 says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
    The latest ice thickness techniques would be the Caitlin team in a ‘hurry up mode’, sticking holes in the thinnest, rottenest ice they can find.

  65. I can’t wait for this one. We need a new paper to beat up on. If someone can get this when it comes out, please send to me. It’s a good bet that the A team has their mitts all over it.

  66. Forcing the science to fit the (AGW) agenda. That’s all this paper is about. And they didn’t do a very convincing job of it, either.

  67. Funny enough if i only pick all the blue M&M’s out of a packet and test them for Carbohydrate’s i can prove that its the blue M&M’s that make you gain weight, although to be a true test i would have to lose the data and you’d just have to believe me.
    Now only if someone would give me a big grant so i never have to actually do any work again, just sit behind a computer and make it up as i go along, whats that you’ll only give me a grant if it gives you the results you want about blue M&M’s?

  68. Umm, by such methods, couldn’t the most they hope for is to describe the changes of the spring max extent over time?

  69. This is SSDD(same ****, different day).
    Total waste of funding and time to create whatever outcome they want.

  70. In previous inter-glacials sea levels were 3 to 20 m higher than today and we are now 10,000 years into a longer than average inter-glacial. I realise that melting sea ice does not increase sea levels but on past form a lot more ice will melt before the next ice age.

  71. Pretzels with fudge, just another day at the AGW trough. This is just dressed up to appear real. Does the world explode if the arctic is ice free?
    AGW-Alarmists, It’s like watching grants for daily scare stories, who can make their story the scariest, and who will finally hit on the scary winner. Sheesh … science needs to take a break, before they lose every once of credibility with the public they have left.

  72. The Kelly and Lowell 2009 paper in QSR seems to contradict noted trends in the Watts cited study out of Ohio, this (at length from p. 2104, vol. 28) in reference to terrestrial glaciation in Greenland…
    As can be seen from the data discussed above, there were
    significant changes in local glacier extents in Greenland during
    latest Pleistocene and Holocene time. In most cases, these local
    glacier fluctuations reflect changes in paleoclimate. In general, local
    glaciers were smaller than at present or nonexistent during earlyto-
    mid Holocene time and grew to their maximum Holocene
    extents during Historical time. This pattern of local glacier change is
    consistent with borehole temperature data from the GRIP ice core
    (Dahl-Jensen et al., 1998) (Fig. 6) and was likely influenced by
    precession-driven summer insolation which peaked in the
    Northern Hemisphere at 10–12 ka and decreased throughout the
    Holocene. In some locations in Greenland, there is evidence for
    millennial-scale fluctuations of local glaciers. For example, local
    glaciers near Tasiilaq (Hasholt, 2000; Knudsen et al., 2008) and in
    the Scoresby Sund region (Lowell et al., 2008) experienced recession
    and advance approximately during the MedievalWarm Period
    (w800–1170 AD) and Little Ice Age (w1300–1850 AD), respectively.
    This late Holocene millennial-scale change is consistent with
    borehole temperature data from the GRIP ice core (Dahl-Jensen
    et al., 1998) (Fig. 6), but cannot be attributed to insolation driven by
    longer-term orbital changes.
    The last sentence is important, as it implies that secular time-scale solar variation MIGHT be at work. You will note also that the Middle Holocene situation is an ice minimum.
    Bruce M. ALbert, Ph.D., Leverhulme PDRA U. Durham, UK and U. Texas Austin (USA) Research Fellow, D. Geography and Environment

  73. Yet another paper published before completion? One of the bad outcomes of IPCC deadlines is that we see many Work in Progress papers rather than fully considered, completed work papers.
    Question from Antarctica. If the bottom of the Vostok core, 700,000 years ago, is now just above basement, does that mean that there was a quite small thickness of Antarctic Ice then? Or did a huge thickness of ice that was once below the bottom point of drilling get squeezed sideways over those 700,000 years, so we conclude that we have a dynamic Antarctic ice thickness? If so, how do we create a datum that shows how thick it was at a nominated time? These so-called proxies can be so loose as to be incredible.

  74. Leonid Polyak should be ashamed for producing this bilge. “Certain skills and luck”? Scientific fraud looks more likely. “Patterns in the proxy data that fit together like pieces of a puzzle”? He “found” what he was being paid to “find”. Quelle suprise.
    Since so little is actually known about it, and temperatures aren’t cooperating, it seems that Arctic Ice may be the Warmists’ Last Hurrah.

  75. Slow down there. I think you are all exaggerating the difficulty of using proxies. Calibration is actually very straightforward when you know in advance what the data will be required to confirm over the full time period of interest! It’s a totally reliable methodology!
    By the way, what is meant by the expression: sarc off?
    [sarc off = sarcasm off; end of sarcastic comment. ~dbs]

  76. ..after a winning weekend in Vegas the giddy Mr. Polyak thought he would try his hand at the science table..
    -craps-

  77. It might be interesting to see the text of the grant that funded this work to see if it was predicated on reaching this conclusion. Once we consider something to be a ‘settled’ issue, it becomes very difficult to see the built-in bias our statements may have on that point. I am not sure it is appropriate to use public funding on work specifically intended to *prove* that we do have a dangerous Global Warming global warming problem or to prove that one political party provides better government than the other.

  78. Just the facts: “It’s also interesting that all these guys seem to know each other… Nothing conclusive, but certainly interesting…”
    And worth keeping on file. I can personally attest to the close relationships among climate scientists, being acquainted with at least two of them. I am pretty sure these two have known each other for many years, at least back to their university days as young radicals, and possibly even longer.
    Since then, when they are not meeting in person, they have exchanged a voluminous correspondence, initially by letter and more latterly by the electronic email. So in that sense they are pretty typical of climate scientists the world over, as we all discovered to our dismay last November.
    Frankly, I am very curious as to the nature of this long-term relationship. One wonders how much help they have been giving each other on the quiet; help that they have conveniently “forgotten” to record in their notebooks to evade a climate audit.
    What I have discovered to my cost is the ruthless nature of the climate crowd. Just a few weeks ago at a party one of these so-called scientists, who I suspect had drunk a little too much of the kool-aid, was boasting of his skill with “tipping points”, while looking at me in a meaningful way.
    This seemingly casual remark was clearly intended to intimidate. It worked, at least on me, and after that party I kept a profile lower than the Arctic ice. Unfortunately, these scientists know where I live, and their reach is long. Ask my wife.
    Right now, though, I am enjoying some welcome breathing space. I hear my two acquaintances are travelling to attend a “conference”, where they will probably meet other like-minded “scientists”.
    Just one more piece of the puzzle.

  79. I can extrapolate better than they can. They can translate extrapolation into superstitution better than I can.

  80. This story is loading with subjective remarks , which by themselves have nothing to do with an objective description of reality . This is appearing to be a study made of studies with the only purpose to find a justification of the agw alarmist stories .
    Gaily they are omitting the period when the vikings grew wheat in greenland …….
    Apparently the alarmists are running out of arguments and under strong pressure to create the state of fear for their own purposes . Search and thou shalt find , but is this also true for a demonic description of reality ?

  81. The ice loss that we see today — the ice loss that started in the early 20th Century and sped up during the last 30 years — appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years,”
    Is the resolution that good to accurately compare losses, especially the faster loss over 30 years.

  82. #
    #
    geronimo says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:13 am
    “You would think wouldn’t you that they would ask themselves why the sea ice is less today than when the Danes were able to farm in Greenland.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Not only farm but explore the area:
    “…A stone inscribed with runes has been found telling that in 1333, three Greenlanders wintered on the island of Kingigtorssuaq just below 73 degrees north. There is also evidence of voyages to the Canadian arctic. Two cairns have been discovered in Jones Sound above 76 degrees North and two more have been found on Washington Irving Island at 79 degrees north….” http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/vikings/Greenland.html
    Washington Irving Island is at the entrance to Dobbin Bay, eastern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Ellesmere Island is well within the arctic circle and not that far from the north pole (about 600 miles)
    An interesting description of Norse habitation of North America plus a Norse map of the arctic area, north pole islands and all: http://www.heritage.nf.ca/exploration/norse.html
    Norse Map: http://www.heritage.nf.ca/exploration/vmap.html
    Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data. The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    geronimo says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:13 am
    “…..I have never been wooed by the intrinsic brilliance of people who go into science for a living, mostly it’s because they don’t want to leave school, but now I am ashamed to say that I’m astonished at the level of stupidity of some of these guys doing climate science.”
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Not stupid just greedy. Al Gore and Maurice Strong (father of Global Warming) were engaged in a scheme (Molten Metal Inc) to fleece the American public while Gore held the office of VP. Al Gore hyped the company on the first US earth day and Maurice Strong made a killing before the company went belly up.
    As a chemist I want to know why the heck they built a full size facility, funded by taxpayer grants BEFORE doing the pilot plant work???? Pilot plants are the first step in scale up from lab bench to full size plants. I have seen skipping this step cause some bad accidents (equipment blown up)
    The story: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/04/us/panel-to-quiz-clinton-s-96-campaign-chief-on-stock-gift.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all%5D
    Lawsuits: http://securities.stanford.edu/1008/AxlervMoltenMeta/001.html
    House Committee Investigation: http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20040830154236-07181.pdf
    Follow the money: google Maurice Strong and David Rockefeller, his mentor.

  83. The problem with trying to compare any old proxy with present actual measured data is they are not the same. The older the proxy, the less accurate the time resolution. The proxy, thus, is an average over a longer period of time. Also, physical averaging occurs over time. A 100 year average is not comparable to a one year average. I f there were no change in climate, at least half of the one year averages would be greater than the 100 year average. When you go back a million years, the time resolution is around 10,000 years. It takes a lot of statistical skill to compensate for this bias in the analysis.

  84. I did this calculation once and it is lost on my hard disc somewhere, but I calculated the total heat generated by humans and compared it to the absorption by the sun and concluded that it was insignificant. Does anyone have that calculation? It is 3 or 4 computers back for me so I will have a bit of trouble finding it and i don’t want to do the crunching again.
    PW

  85. I don’t know how this jives with anecdotal evidence of say, ships on the NW passage 100 years ago … or kayakers reaching so far north in the 19th century. Or how they reconcile this with the Holocene maximum ….
    – seems to be a bizarre claim.

  86. Caleb says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
    “How much stimulous money has been spent on so-called Climate reserch?”
    Here’s your answer…
    Final Stimulus Bill Provides $21.5 Billion for Federal R&D…
    And remember that this was taxpayer-funded “stimulus” ca$h- over and above the normal annual federal appropriations!! Meanwhile, my friends were being laid off in 2009 as the economy tanked and the unemployment rate shot to 10%.
    As long as tons of our money keeps flowing to the AGW crowd, they will continue to publish reports like this one. After all, it’s what they’re paid to do…

  87. I feel compelled to defend my fellow Ohio State alum, Dr. Polyak. This loss of Arctic sea ice is certainly alarming. I think the Earth will not be completely “healed” of the affliction of global warming until it has been safely returned to a full-blown ice age. Truthfully, I won’t be able to rest comfortably until Ohio–and the biggest part of the Northern Hemisphere–is once again glaciated in pure, clean ice. That reminds me….I need to turn off the lights in the kitchen….

  88. This has to be one of the biggest stinking crocks passing for science to come by in a while. So many good issues raised above.

  89. “Frank K. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:45 am
    Caleb says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
    “How much stimulous money has been spent on so-called Climate reserch?”
    Here’s your answer…
    Final Stimulus Bill Provides $21.5 Billion for Federal R&D…
    And remember that this was taxpayer-funded “stimulus” ca$h- over and above the normal annual federal appropriations!! Meanwhile, my friends were being laid off in 2009 as the economy tanked and the unemployment rate shot to 10%.
    As long as tons of our money keeps flowing to the AGW crowd, they will continue to publish reports like this one. After all, it’s what they’re paid to do…”
    This is scary! If there is seriously reduced economic activity, there will be seriously reduced tax revenue. Where do these people think all the money comes from? Oh yeah, that’s right. It’s plucked right out of the air we breathe, and our wallets, just to be sure.

  90. Caleb says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
    How much stimulus money has been spent on so-called “Climate research?”
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Here is some of the follow the money info:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/03/the-climate-industry-wall-of-money/
    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/05/the-smell-of-money/
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/climate-money/#more-3097
    The Stimulus Plan: How to Spend $787 Billion: http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/stimulus
    Science and Research: $9.33 billion
    additional financing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration $830 million
    additional financing National Aeronautics and Space Administration $1.0 billion
    additional financing National Science Foundation $3.0 billion
    energy efficiency renewable energy research $2.5 billion
    additional $$ research at the Dept of Energy $2.0 billion
    Other CAGW type money $41.154 billion
    Finance research, focusing on the environment and global competitiveness. $3.0 billion
    Energy Provide grants to increase energy efficiency $6.3 billion
    Energy Provide r Innovative Energy Loan – renewable energy…. $6.0 billion
    Energy Increase energy efficiency in federal buildings $4.5 billion
    Infrastructure Make military facilities more energy efficient $4.2 billion
    Energy; Infrastructure; Housing modernize public housing units $4.0 billion
    Energy; Increase tax credits residential energy efficiency $2.0 billion
    Energy; Incentive for alternative vehicle $2.0 billion
    Energy Support battery manufacturing $2.0 billion
    Tax Cuts for Individuals: Incentive for car buyers $1.7 billion
    Tax Cuts for Businesses; Energy Incentive for advanced energy investment $1.6 billion
    Authorize more state and local bonds for energy-related purpose $1.4 billion
    School technology upgrades computer & science labs & teacher tech training $650 mill
    Train workers for careers in energy efficiency & renewable energy fields $500 million
    Provide grants to states for energy-efficient vehicles and infrastructure $400 million
    Provide consumers rebates for energy-efficient appliances $300 million
    Replace older vehicles owned by the fed gov’t with hybrid & electric cars $300 million
    Improve energy efficiency in government-subsidized apartment buildings $250 million
    Incentive for alternative fuel pumps $54 million
    (Increase tax credits for gas stations and other businesses that install non-hydrogen, alternative fuel pumps to 50 percent through 2010, for up to $50,000.)
    So How did this one get into the mix??
    Transportation: Invest in air transportation $1.3 billion
    OHhhh I see
    “Make grants to airports to improve safety or increase capacity; repair Federal Aviation Administration equipment and facilities”
    That would be more up to date airport weather stations of course./sarc

  91. Ah, yes, science by press release. I imagine the IPCC has already included it in it’s next report.

  92. The article appears to be #38 in the list of forthcoming QSR articles at
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=PublicationURL&_tockey=%23TOC%235923%239999%23999999999%2399999%23FLA%23&_cdi=5923&_pubType=J&_auth=y&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=c826a32bf8f782638a5a32988054c75e.
    It was accepted 3/12/10, but no date is scheduled yet for publication. A PDF is available for $31.50. Mann is not a co-author, but Richard Alley of PSU is.

    stevengoddard says:
    June 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm
    It is ridiculous, sheer, utter nonsense to claim that they can detect the September minimum from ancient sediments. Junk science reigns supreme in the Arctic.

    From his posts on WUWT, we know that Steven has a deep knowledge of the arctic sea ice data. However, this claim doesn’t seem so preposterous to me — If open sea generates certain planktons or whatever that do not appear when the surface is frozen, years (or at least centuries) with September thaws might be easily spottable in the sediment record.
    Let’s take a look at the paper first.

  93. The arctic sea ice volume is a much better metric of climate change than extent. The same models that PIOMAS uses to project diminishing sea ice volume since 1980 have been used to hindcast the arctic sea ice volume back to 1948. The hindcast can be viewed on the PSC site as a plot againist the NAO index.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/retro.html#Satellite_ice
    The hincast shows that 1955 likely had as little sea ice volume as today. A JGR article published in 2007 concluded from a hindcast that there was no trend in arctic sea ice volume during the twentieth century.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006JC003616.shtml
    This why this report does not want to take on sea ice volume.

  94. Even though he is wrong I would suppose he and his team are putting food on the table anyway.

  95. Ceri Phipps says:
    June 3, 2010 at 2:29 am
    Do these people seriously believe that there was more sea ice when the Vikings colonised Greenland. It seems unlikely to me.
    Yes, it is highly unlikely. But if they say that the funding will end.

  96. the first comprehensive history of Arctic ice
    The word comprehensive clearly should not have been used.

  97. Is it me, or does the statement: “a team led by Ohio State University has re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies — nearly 300 in all — and combined them to form a big-picture view of the pole’s climate history stretching back millions of years”, tell us nothing at all that is new or different than what they AND we already think we know? Do more bore fillings reveal anything until they’re drilled, and filled, and analyzed in a dozen or so years?
    This is like analyzing everything that has ever been written about American General Elections and then doing another analysis of all the raw data to put on top of all the other material to determine something –as yet unknown, but about which they already have a good idea what the analysis will show– about the voting patterns of the past 240 years. And, they’re NOT going to tell us anything NEW.
    Is this a Federally Funded AND “Managed” Program? Like The Current Greatest Oil Spill in US History?

  98. Brace yourselves Guys!
    I think we’re in for a steady stream of government-sponsored reports intended to show us all just how bad things are. The only way out is for Congress to quicly pass the pending “energy” legislation!!
    G.

  99. What bothers me is how anyone can fail to see that this is total rubbish. Unless the authors are just fools, then the only conclusion I can make is that it is yet another study deliberately designed for public consumption to deceive and alarm. How depressing.

  100. Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:29 am
    Excellent list Gail! I think Anthony should consider creating a link to these resources so that people can see how awash in (tax) money the Global Warming research community is these days. I’ve also recently discovered that many of our climate luminaries like Hansen, Schmidt, Karl etc. are pulling down six figure base salaries as government employees…

  101. I’m a graduate of OSU’s geology department but ever since they (especially the Byrd Polar Institute) jumped on the global warming bandwagon my respect for my old school has dropped enormously. I think its not insignificant that one member of the Polar Institute’s faculty is BS artist Lonnie Thompson who is (was?) a powerful advisor to Al Gore and I believe had significant input in the making of the Sci Fi thriller “An Inconvenient Truth”

  102. The article says the researchers hope to eventually obtain cores from Chukchi Sea and central Arctic Ocean so they can offer a more complete picture of the geologic history of Arctic ice. Yet, they are confident to say Arctic ice extent is at its lowest in the past “few thousand years.”
    I am curious to discover where the available data came from, upon which the authors conclusions were drawn. I’m guessing their conclusions are based on modelling of missing data (i.e. skills and luck).

  103. It is good to see this one come out because the extent of BS involved makes the results easy for a 10 year old to find the problems. I want to see more research like this!

  104. Geoff Sherrington:
    “Question from Antarctica. If the bottom of the Vostok core, 700,000 years ago, is now just above basement, does that mean that there was a quite small thickness of Antarctic Ice then? Or did a huge thickness of ice that was once below the bottom point of drilling get squeezed sideways over those 700,000 years, so we conclude that we have a dynamic Antarctic ice thickness? If so, how do we create a datum that shows how thick it was at a nominated time? These so-called proxies can be so loose as to be incredible.”
    The ice of course gets squeezed sideways. If you drill exactly on the ice-divide you could theoretically find almost infinitely old ice (with almost infinitely thin annual layers) at the bottom. In practice this does not work, since the ice-divide is not completely static, and there is also often some basal melting from geothermic heat. And, no there is no good way to reconstruct the thickness of the ice directly from an ice core. In the case of Greenland it can be done very approximately because there is a core from the small Renland icecap whose altitude cannot have varied much for topographic reasons. If you derive the temperature changes from Renland and compare them to contemporary values a nearby core from on the main icecap, you can estimate very approximately changes in relative altitude from the temperature differences, it is very approximate though.
    Incidentally the paper is out, it must be this one:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBC-4YKFMY0-2&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F12%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=74058b1ad94658ced1aaf5ea8c598906
    I remember reading it when it came out in March and being very unimpressed. It is essentialy a write-up of carefully selected older papers plus some unwarranted conclusions based on computer modelling. No new data whatsoever. Neither luck nor skill really needed.

  105. Right after it was announced that Michael Mann was being investigated by the state AG, Mann was given a grant of $1,800,000 to study mosquito vectors. That gift was a bribe, intended to hold the “team” together; they can not afford to have anyone go weak-kneed on them when the public is beginning to understand the CAGW scam. Thus, the payola.
    Had Mann’s new benefactors actually wanted a study done on mosquitoes, they would have gone straight to a biologist or an epidemiologist, not a geologist. And they would have received a much better study for about one-tenth the cost.
    Money has corrupted science. Leonid Polyak is hammering his selected, cherry-picked facts into the CAGW scare to obtain money. Anywhere else, that would be known as lying for money. There are two problems in particular with this in climate science:
    First, public tax money is being paid for scientific misrepresentation. And second, even though these pampered and tenured university propagandists are already extremely well paid, outside organizations with a climate alarmist agenda, such as the Joyce Foundation, numerous Soros foundations, the Grantham Foundation, the Heinz Foundation, and many others pay big money in order to influence corrupt scientists to produce these misleading studies — while skeptical scientists [the only honest kind] have to get by on approximately one one-thousandth of the amount the alarmists get.
    Someone always gets cheated when others lie for money. In this case, it is the taxpaying public. Maybe Cuccinelli will take a close look at Polyak, et al. while he’s investigating Mann.

  106. “Later on in this cruise, when we venture into the more ……dangerously polluted yellow ice and discarded fuel barrels left by the Catlin Expedition.

  107. With the variability in what is in the ice and the variability of the currents moving stuff around, your going to make a couple pinholes in the Arctic and conclude what?!

  108. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:14 am
    Volume is everything, NOT cover.
    +++
    It would be. . . if we had enough volume data. I think we have something close to 3 orders of magnitude more extent data than volume data, however.
    It’s not just the number of years covered that makes that true, it’s mostly the granularity. We have daily extent data for 30 years, and a few piddling volume data points when even in periods when we have them they are months apart in granularity.

  109. My idle thought for today: If you use the last time planet Earth was in its snowball form as the baseline, every temperature at any time since will be warmer.

  110. Sometimes you can tell when a paper is bogus by the reduced number of trolls attempting to validate the thesis. We have none here so far. Maybe it’s because of this passage from the paper (coupled with the number of cores taken in the ocean itself, see above):
    Sediment cores that represent the long-term history of sea ice embracing millions of years are most likely to be found in the deep, central part of the Arctic Ocean, where the seafloor was not eroded during periods of lower sea-level and the passage of large ice sheets. On the other hand, rates of sediment deposition in the central Arctic Ocean are generally low, on the order of centimeters or even millimeters per thousand years ([Backman et al., 2004] and Polyak et al., 2009 L. Polyak, J. Bischof, J. Ortiz, D. Darby, J. Channell, C. Xuan, D. Kaufman, R. Lovlie, D. Schneider and R. Adler, Late Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentation patterns in the western Arctic Ocean. Global Planet, Change 68 (2009), pp. 5–17. Article | PDF (896 K) | View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (5)[Polyak et al., 2009]), so that sedimentary records from these areas may not capture short-term (submillennial or even millennial-scale) variations in paleoenvironments.

  111. Phil. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:47 am
    Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data. The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    A minor detail but the most recent temperature data on that graph is 150 years old so that would be 2ºC warmer than 1855.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    You missed the red line adding in the more recent data just after the Little Ice Age

  112. Frank K. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:17 am
    …… I’ve also recently discovered that many of our climate luminaries like Hansen, Schmidt, Karl etc. are pulling down six figure base salaries as government employees…
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Have any links to that info? I always wonder about those little Swiss bank accounts …..

  113. Elizabeth says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:39 am
    The article says the researchers hope to eventually obtain cores from Chukchi Sea and central Arctic Ocean so they can offer a more complete picture of the geologic history of Arctic ice. Yet, they are confident to say Arctic ice extent is at its lowest in the past “few thousand years.”
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Everyone here will agree that today we have a much lower Arctic ice extent compared to a “few thousand years” ago….. when we were in the middle of an Ice Age.
    Twisting of words, twisting of data, however there is one thing you can be sure of, this is the larges mass transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in world history.

  114. Ceri Phipps says:
    June 3, 2010 at 2:29 am
    Do these people seriously believe that there was more sea ice when the Vikings colonised Greenland? It seems unlikely to me.
    Well, ya see? It’s like this: Way back yonder, in ye olden tymes of yore, there was such a thing a ‘warm ice,’ and it was only because of said ‘Vikings’ that it disappeared because ya know, the Vikings used it all to make fish soup and such.
    So, there you have it.

  115. Pier Revue says:
    June 3, 2010 at 4:26 am
    [–snip–]
    By the way, what is meant by the expression: sarc off?

    Sarc Off is the sister of Knock Off, Pissed Off, Jack Off, and Hacked Off.
    Their parents are Passed Off and Sawn Off.
    Hope that helps … 🙂

  116. Patrick Davis says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:16 am
    “Frank K. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:45 am
    Caleb says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:05 am
    [–snip–]
    This is scary! If there is seriously reduced economic activity, there will be seriously reduced tax revenue. Where do these people think all the money comes from? Oh yeah, that’s right. It’s plucked right out of the air we breathe, and our wallets, just to be sure.

    Well, if you think ~that~ is scary, then consider this: The Dems in the Congress —right along with their fellow traveler Republicans— have it in mind to ‘nationalize,’ i.e., confiscate,’ everyone’s 401k and IRA accounts.
    Yep, that’s right! From thence you’ll get a stipend predicated upon what some bureaucrat ‘thinks’ you need to live on.
    Word has it that both of those accounts will be zeroed-out and you’ll just get the minimum FICA payment to subsist upon.
    Feeling the ‘change’ yet?

  117. Hu McCulloch says:
    June 3, 2010 at 7:18 am
    From his posts on WUWT, we know that Steven has a deep knowledge of the arctic sea ice data. However, this claim doesn’t seem so preposterous to me — If open sea generates certain planktons or whatever that do not appear when the surface is frozen, years (or at least centuries) with September thaws might be easily spottable in the sediment record.
    Let’s take a look at the paper first.

    And of course you’ll be regaling the rest of us with all kinds of tales of how said plankton would never be found under the ice, right?
    That the oceanic currents in the polar region never flow under the ice either, right?
    Oh, and should those currents actually do happen, why they’d never contain materials for sedimentation either, right?
    I can’t wait to read of that!!!

  118. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    June 3, 2010 at 7:30 am
    Even though he is wrong I would suppose he and his team are putting food on the table anyway.
    Food on his is food take out of the mouths of yet other people’s mouths.
    Remember: Government cannot give to one without taking from another.

  119. Phil. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:47 am
    Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data. The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    A minor detail but the most recent temperature data on that graph is 150 years old so that would be 2ºC warmer than 1855.
    And of course you have a problem with that, right?
    Now you’ll begin to ~absolutely~ prove that it wasn’t such, right?
    GOT DATA?
    We await.

  120. mike sphar says:
    June 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm
    Seems like an awfully robust study for such a settled science.
    Well, you see, Mike? In order for the ‘robustness’ to be seen as robust, it needs to be made robustiously robustious!
    Consider it to be the Dolly Parton, the Lonnie Anderson, and the Mae West equivalent of ‘fully developed.’

  121. Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:47 am
    Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data. The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    A minor detail but the most recent temperature data on that graph is 150 years old so that would be 2ºC warmer than 1855.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    You missed the red line adding in the more recent data just after the Little Ice Age

    No, that includes the red line! Which by the way was part of the original Alley data.

  122. This approach may have possibilities. My guess is another 10-20 years to work out all the problems. So, where does that leave this piece of propaganda?
    It’s like claiming a just fertilized egg is ready to graduate from college.
    My guess is this (and probably more yet to come) paper is a response to ClimateGate and the severe blow to credibility that the AGW has seen over the last 6 months. I believe publishing this crap demonstrates desperation for the parties involved.

  123. 899 says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm
    House Committee Investigation: http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20040830154236-07181.pdf
    Follow the money: google Maurice Strong and David Rockefeller, his mentor.
    Would happen to have an alternate URL for the above? Clicking on produces a 404 message: “Not Found
    The requested URL was not found on this server.”
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Sorry it ended up a dead URL, I am surprised… well maybe not given the ties between Obama, Al Gore and Maurice Strong. It is not the first time the US government has disappeared or changed a controversial internet source. It seem many sources have been “disappeared” recently.
    However there is this which gives several story leads.
    http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/DOE-Incinerating-Cash.htm#B.%20Hearings%20on%20OST%27s%20Funding%20of%20Molten%20Metal
    “OPENING STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JOE BARTON, CHAIRMAN Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing on the Department of Energy’s Funding of Molten Metal Technology November 5, 1997, 10:30 a.m.
    Today, this Subcommittee will begin a series of hearings on the Department of Energy’s funding of Molten Metal Technology, a small company that in less than 4 years has received a 33 fold contract expansion on a non-competitive basis.
    The facts surrounding the award of more than 33 million taxpayer dollars to this private company on … “

  124. Gail Combs says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    Frank K. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:17 am
    …… I’ve also recently discovered that many of our climate luminaries like Hansen, Schmidt, Karl etc. are pulling down six figure base salaries as government employees…
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Have any links to that info? I always wonder about those little Swiss bank accounts
    Yes, I do have a link that I came across recently. It’s a publicly available search engine for salaries of individuals working for the government (the data for which are apparently in the public domain). I’ll post it if Anthony says it’s OK, but you may be able to find it yourself…
    My main message, however, is that it is the huge amounts of money flowing to the climate research groups in academia and government that is driving these ridiculous press releases (like the present example) and the countless global warming-related studies we see everyday. If there were no funds, there would be no projects, no papers, and no press releases…

  125. Phil. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm
    No, that includes the red line! Which by the way was part of the original Alley data.
    My gawd! Your arrogance has overtaken your condescension!!
    And YOU are STILL incorrect!

  126. “Underneath the surface, the ice can be thick or thin. The newest satellite techniques and field observations allow us to see that the volume of ice is shrinking much faster than its area today. The picture is very troubling. We are losing ice very fast,”
    Are there some new, raging currents that are eroding away the underside of the ice or something?
    Only a fool would believe this man—and there’s plenty of them.

  127. “a team led by Ohio State University has re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies — nearly 300 in all”
    Anybody want to bet that Briffa’s Yamal and Mann’s Hockey Stick are among them?

  128. Polyak’s coauthors on the report hailed from Penn State University
    Of course Michael Mann with his Stimulus money is involved.
    “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium.”
    ~~ from the NAS report on the Mann Hockey Stick
    So if Leonid Polyak work uses Mann’s work even less confidence can be put into it.

  129. Jeff Id says:
    June 3, 2010 at 3:39 am
    I can’t wait for this one. We need a new paper to beat up on. If someone can get this when it comes out, please send to me.
    May Dresden look like paradise in comparison after all of you are through with it.

  130. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    June 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm
    “a team led by Ohio State University has re-examined the data from past and ongoing studies — nearly 300 in all”
    Anybody want to bet that Briffa’s Yamal and Mann’s Hockey Stick are among them?

    Well, you know? Hockey pucks were originally made from wood, so using a Mann-Gore-Pig hockey stick would be most fitting!!
    Maybe someone will end up using the tree rings to knock the stick around?
    And while I’m on that matter of tree rings, allow me this: It occurs to me that it would behoove a proper researcher in dendrochronology to analyse tree rings in the proper way: Instead of merely counting rings and thicknesses thereof, that they might actually undertake to do a chemical analysis, along a spectrographic analysis of each ring such as to shed light upon the matter more fully.
    I get the drift that they are missing the forest for the trees …

  131. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    June 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm
    “Underneath the surface, the ice can be thick or thin. [–snip rest–]”
    Wow! I missed that line! Thanks for pointing it out.
    Yeah, someone could also say: “Under the surface of a body of the ocean, the water can be shallow or deep.”
    Shhhhhh! Don’t tell the fish!!!
    :o)

  132. “The newest satellite techniques and field observations allow us to see that the volume of ice is shrinking much faster than”… we thought! Run for the hills!

  133. geronimo says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:13 am
    I have never been wooed by the intrinsic brilliance of people who go into science for a living,

    Well, not every scientist wants to marry a muddle headed skeptic. But I’m sure you found someone nice.
    but now I am ashamed to say that I’m astonished at the level of stupidity of some of these guys doing climate science.
    Well, if you’re not a woman, that would explain why most of “these guys” never wooed you. No need to call them stupid.
    Ashamed, astonished – you’re certainly emotional… forget about those climate science guys. Move on.
    You would think wouldn’t you that they would ask themselves why the sea ice is less today than when the Danes were able to farm in Greenland.
    Or, I would wonder if the Danes were once again farming on Greenland.
    Yes, they are:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,434356,00.html
    I would also think that Vikings escaping murder convictions were more likely to locate in marginal farmland (Greenland) than modern Danes, who have quite a few options for making a living these days:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_of_Denmark

  134. About 3 out of the 14 Arctic ice areas are greater than -.1 million sq km from average (eye balling graphs is not easy and you have to watch the scale, they are not the same for each area). Without knowing the SD bars, this seems positively….boringly normal for a positive -and natural- Atlantic warm current melt season.

  135. Pamela Gray says:
    June 4, 2010 at 6:03 am
    About 3 out of the 14 Arctic ice areas are greater than -.1 million sq km from average (eye balling graphs is not easy and you have to watch the scale, they are not the same for each area). Without knowing the SD bars, this seems positively….boringly normal for a positive -and natural- Atlantic warm current melt season.

    And 3 others have less than 0.1Mm^2 remaining.

  136. 899 says:
    June 4, 2010 at 1:27 am
    Yeah, and they’re farming the permafrost areas of the last settlements too, right?
    Right?

    They are farming now in both the old Western Settlement and Eastern Settlement, yes.
    http://www.archaeology.org/image.php?page=online/features/greenland/jpegs/map.jpeg
    Qaqortoq (the town in my last citation) is right in the middle of the old “Eastern Settlement” – I’m sure the Vikings never grew potatoes, radish and broccoli like the current farmers do. Or the potato farmers of Nuuk – located in the old Western Settlement:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1001/p01s02-wogn.html
    Looks like it’s warmer than when Erik the Red started farming there, and it’s getting warmer.
    The Viking settlements were based on grazing sheep, goats and cattle, not farming wheat… The Western and Eastern Settlements, even if directly on permafrost, could use the 2 ft to 13 ft active layer above the permafrost to graze their livestock during the thawed months, and grow some marginal crops.
    http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/
    Trading with Norway, under whose rule they eventually came, the Greenlanders exchanged live falcons, polar bear skins, narwahl tusks, and walrus ivory and hides for timber, iron, tools, and other essentials, as well luxuries such as raisins, nuts, and wine.
    It’s not like they were big wheat farmers. Nor were the “Skraelings” (Inuit), who also managed to survive in Greenland before, during and after the Vikings lived there. The Viking economy was supported mainly by grazing and trading, not farming.
    As the Greenlanders’ isolation from Europe grew, they found themselves victims of a steadily deteriorating environment. Their farmland, exploited to the full, had lost fertility. Erosion followed severe reductions in ground cover. The cutting of dwarf willows and alders for fuel and for the production of charcoal to use in the smelting of bog iron, which yielded soft, inferior metal, deprived the soil of its anchor of roots. Pollen analysis shows a dramatic decline in these species during the Viking years. In addition, livestock probably consumed any regenerating scrub. Overgrazing, trampling, and scuffing by the Norsemen’s sheep, goats and cattle, the core of the island’s livelihood, left the land debased.
    “Skeptics” like to make fun of tree ring temperature proxies, but somehow think that Vikings grazing sheep 1000 years ago on some marginal coastland that they quickly degraded proves there is no global warming.
    Wishful thinking is a powerful force.

  137. Anu says:

    “Skeptics” like to make fun of tree ring temperature proxies, but somehow think that Vikings grazing sheep 1000 years ago on some marginal coastland that they quickly degraded proves there is no global warming.

    You really need to quit deliberately misrepresenting scientific skepticism. Skeptics don’t say ‘there is no global warming.’
    Skeptics are the only honest kind of scientists. Climate alarmists are not skeptics. Since there is no empirical, testable evidence showing that human activity causes any measurable global warming, then skepticism of the computer models that climate alarmists rely on is the proper response. It is alarmists who are engaging in wishful thinking and make-believe.
    The default hypothesis is natural climate variability — which fully and completely explains the current climate, including the entirely natural global warming from the LIA.
    And drop the quotation marks around the word skeptic. It’s just more dishonesty.

  138. stevengoddard said (June 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm): “It is ridiculous, sheer, utter nonsense to claim that they can detect the September minimum from ancient sediments. Junk science reigns supreme in the Arctic.”
    We now have proof that Steve Goddard is not a an open minded skeptic. He has a dogmatic belief that is immune to new evidence. An open minded person would look forward to seeing the published version of the article. Not Steve. His mind is set. Scientists aren’t prefect, but the science establishment, with its many checks and balances, such peer review and review panels, is a far better place to get advise on science policy than a blogger with no relevant training.
    Kudos to Anthony for posting this. I don’t know if all the bloggers here are equally closed minded. I hope some of then will show enough humility to admit when they are wrong and move on to helping find solutions for the problems posed by AGW.

  139. Anu says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:32 am
    ….“Skeptics” like to make fun of tree ring temperature proxies, but somehow think that Vikings grazing sheep 1000 years ago on some marginal coastland that they quickly degraded proves there is no global warming.
    Wishful thinking is a powerful force.

    __________________________________________________________________________
    Well you should know, me I prefer science.
    Soils of Some Norse Settlements in Southwestern Greenland
    G.K. RUTHERFORD1
    CONCLUSIONS

    “With respect to soil erosion as a cause of settlement abandonment, the Danish workers (Jacobsen and Jakobsen, 1986) on experience in the Vatnaverfi area, postulated that aggravated soil erosion was the major cause of general settlement abandonment. This author did not investigate soils in that area, but in the areas examined there was very little pedological evidence such as buried A and Bf horizons to indicate widespread soil degradation or deposition. Further, the chemical and physical evidence confirms the presence of monoperiodic soil formation. At the same time sedimentation in the tarn near Brattahlid appears to have greatly increased during Norse occupation. This deposition could have resulted from normal human activities together with those of hard-hoofed animals rather than from widespread vegetation loss. From the chemical and mineralogical evidence presented, there is no reason to suspect that the soils could not have provided adequate nutrients for the subsistence grade of agriculture practised by the Norse settlers.” http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/arctic48-4-324.pdf
    Actually “grazing sheep” and horses is a very good way to BUILD the soil. THAT is based on buying a worn out leased tobacco farm and building it from no topsoil (analyse showed 98% to 99% pure mineral – clay) to four inches of black top soil in 15 years. It is vegetable farming that is bad for the soil because it leaves the soil open to erosion and wears it out.
    AGW types want to say the Norse left Greenland because they wore out the soil. This allows them to divert attention from the real reason:
    “New research reveals just how bad an idea it was to colonize Greenland and Iceland more than a millennium ago: average temperatures in Iceland plummeted nearly 6 degrees Celsius in the century that followed the island’s Norse settlement in about A.D. 870, a climate record gleaned from mollusk shells shows….
    ….The shells show a large amount of variation both within years and from year to year. For instance, the researchers say, winter temperature variability increased between 990 and 1120, a time when written records suggest that crops occasionally failed. By 1250, things heated up again and summer temperatures reached 10 degrees Celsius, possibly the highest in three centuries. Within decades, though, temperatures began to plunge again.
    While Iceland remained settled through the modern day, Norse settlements in Greenland were abandoned by the early 15th century. Many researchers believe that climate changes played at least a minor role.”
    http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/norse-vikings-iceland-greenland.html
    That agrees with the Greenland Ice cores. http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    How about we go further back?
    “Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free...” http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Less-ice-in-the-Arctic-Ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/
    How about more recently?
    Old DEW Line radars in Greenland, once elevated 20 feet, nearly buried in snow now:
    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2008/12/old-dew-line-radars-in-greenland-once.html
    Glacier Girl is a Lockheed P-38F-1-LO Lightning World War II fighter plane, that was recently restored to operable condition after being buried beneath ice on the remote Greenland Ice Sheet for nearly fifty years. On 15 July 1942, Glacier Girl, along with five other P-38 fighters and two B-17 bombers, was eventually buried beneath 270 feet of ice. Fifty years later, in 1992, the plane was brought to the surface after years of excavation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Girl

  140. Gail Combs says:
    June 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Your soil paper does not address the issue of having felled all the little trees available. The same thing happened on Easter Island – once humans kill all the available trees, there goes the firewood, even if the soil is fine ( http://tinyurl.com/34qfyof ). The Vikings were not that adaptable – they refused to eat seafood like the Inuit – they were determined to force their European lifestyle on a new land. When European trading patterns changed (e.g. elephant ivory replacing walrus ivory), it was harder and harder to trade for timber and food.
    Actually “grazing sheep” and horses is a very good way to BUILD the soil.
    Maybe that’s why the farmers in Qassiarsuk, Greenland are growing tall grass – food for thousands of sheep:
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1001/p01s02-wogn.html
    They could use that new soil to expand their potato, radish and broccoli farms that have recently become possible because of global warming.
    New research reveals just how bad an idea it was to colonize Greenland and Iceland more than a millennium ago: average temperatures in Iceland plummeted nearly 6 degrees Celsius in the century that followed the island’s Norse settlement in about A.D. 870, a climate record gleaned from mollusk shells shows….
    As I said, murder and exile was a big motivation for Europeans settling these marginal lands. Erik the Red arrived at Greenland in about 986 AD:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_the_Red
    Notice that the Inuit survived fine – before, during, and after the Norsemen tried to live their European lifestyles there.
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    You realize that your temperature chart ends in 1898, right ?
    Because the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) drilled that ice core in 1993:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/document/gispinfo.htm
    and the most recent data in that core was 0.095 thousand years ago:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt
    Greenland is now about 2.5° C warmer – hence the new farms.

  141. 899 says:
    June 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm
    “No, that includes the red line! Which by the way was part of the original Alley data.”
    My gawd! Your arrogance has overtaken your condescension!!

    So it’s condescending to point out an error?
    And YOU are STILL incorrect!
    Nope, nor arrogant but I have read the paper and know the data which apparently you haven’t. David Lappi’s graph uses all the data from Alley’s paper up to 95 years before present (-31.59ºC), unfortunately Lappi makes the error of assuming that this referred to before 2000 whereas it actually refers to the conventional ‘before 1950’. Therefore the last data-point on that graph is for 1855.
    So Gail was mistaken when he said: “Here are the Greenland temperatures from Ice Core data. The temperature at that time was 2C warmer than today.” But the graph was rather misleading with a lack of proper annotation on the time axis.

  142. Anu says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:32 am
    *
    *
    In virtually NONE of the references you posted does it say that the PERMAFROST is being farmed.
    NONE.
    So do tell: How is it that you say it is, and they don’t say so?
    Oh, and DO TAKE NOTE: The second reference mentions the “Little Ice Age,” a thing which you AGW/CAGW/CC propagandists declare ~never~ existed, right along with the prior warming spell.
    So tell us: Exactly how is permafrost being farmed?
    You’ll tell tell us all about that, won’t you?

  143. Anu says:
    June 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm
    Gail Combs says:
    June 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    Your soil paper does not address the issue of having felled all the little trees available. The same thing happened on Easter Island – once humans kill all the available trees, there goes the firewood, even if the soil is fine ( http://tinyurl.com/34qfyof ). The Vikings were not that adaptable – they refused to eat seafood like the Inuit – they were determined to force their European lifestyle on a new land. When European trading patterns changed (e.g. elephant ivory replacing walrus ivory), it was harder and harder to trade for timber and food.
    Good Lord! You’re ignorance is becoming legend!
    The Norse DID INDEED eat fish. The fact that no bones are found is simple: The way they cooked their fish softened the bones to make them edible, just as the do today.
    Oh, and another thing: The landscape on Greenland is a close approximation for that which exists in many places Norway.
    And finally, in NO PLACE of the Greenlander’s kept records did they mention trees, for the simple reason that there were none when they arrived. But their recored DO INDEED mention the importation of lumber for buildings.
    Come on back when you might get your act together.

  144. Phil. says:
    June 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm
    [–snip utter nonsense–]
    And YOU are STILL incorrect! Too bad you can’t read a graph properly.
    It must have to do with all that AGW/CAGW/CC propaganda koolaid you’ve imbibed.

  145. Anu says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:32 am
    “Skeptics” like to make fun of tree ring temperature proxies, but somehow think that Vikings grazing sheep 1000 years ago on some marginal coastland that they quickly degraded proves there is no global warming.
    Wishful thinking is a powerful force.

    “Skeptics,” you say?
    Doesn’t that then make you out to be a crass propagandist?
    You keep trying to shove your cheap religion down everyone else’s throats because you realize that’s the only way you can get them to swallow your line of hogwash.

  146. Mike says:
    June 4, 2010 at 11:38 am
    stevengoddard said (June 2, 2010 at 10:01 pm): “It is ridiculous, sheer, utter nonsense to claim that they can detect the September minimum from ancient sediments. Junk science reigns supreme in the Arctic.”
    We now have proof that Steve Goddard is not a an open minded skeptic.

    And of course you’ll now proceed to suggest that we might use tea leaves in the bottom of a cup to forecast the next big weather event, right?
    Do tell: Please explain how the sediments in the arctic region could in any way be used as an indicator of either freezing –or not– of that sea, when there are continual oceanic currents flowing all the time?
    I can’t wait to read of it!!!
    As a corollary, DO TELL where any such other sediments were used to indicate the state of the upper waters in another body of MOVING water?
    You’ll be getting back on that, won’t you? Real soon now?

  147. To comments just above…
    Sediment proxies are sometimes of rather ambiguous indicative value, although I know very little of those of Arctic floor. For the last project I worked-on (in N. Meixo), mostly from alluvial settings, two entirely contradictory modes of interpretation (but both peer reviewed in good journals) exist. In such cases, it is important to introduce other independent proxies (as was my job). It is important also that scientific workers police themselves, as that review process is subject to the usual biped errors. The emotive basis for this self-examination is curiosity. This should be a stronger pull than self-interest or the political setting of study. However, one gets the sense, from the context of glib press releases etc., that these particular bipeds out of Ohio might not be acting with scientific curiosity as an over-riding motive.
    Bruce

  148. 899 says:
    June 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm
    [–snip utter nonsense–]
    And YOU are STILL incorrect! Too bad you can’t read a graph properly.

    Sure I can, unfortunately David Lappi has problems using Excel and messed up the time axis and misread the data file and added 50 years ( the latter may be due to an ‘improvement’ by Joanne Nova)! You on the other hand have no clue, I suggest you read the datafile:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt

  149. Phil. says:
    June 5, 2010 at 8:38 am
    899 says:
    June 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm
    Phil. says:
    June 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm
    [–snip utter nonsense–]
    And YOU are STILL incorrect! Too bad you can’t read a graph properly.
    Sure I can, unfortunately David Lappi has problems using Excel and messed up the time axis and misread the data file and added 50 years ( the latter may be due to an ‘improvement’ by Joanne Nova)! You on the other hand have no clue, I suggest you read the datafile:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt

    But now you’re just trying to finesse your argument, ain’t that right, Phil?

  150. 899 said {June 4, 2010 at 11:37 pm): “Please explain how the sediments in the arctic region could in any way be used as an indicator of either freezing –or not– of that sea, when there are continual oceanic currents flowing all the time? ”
    Sediments reflect conditions above. This has been done in other oceans, seas and lakes for a long time. Google: ocean sediments climate proxies. In the Arctic if there is no light because of ice ocver there will be little plankton. That would be reflected in the sediment. Science really is a candle in the dark! The flow rate of the water is not so great as to distort such markers much. The hard part is getting the samples. See: ARCTIC OCEAN SEDIMENTS: PROCESSES, PROXIES, AND PALEOENVIRONMENT, 2, http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.editor/711754/description .
    You might have even read the original post: “When we look carefully at various chemical and biological components of the seafloor sediment, and how the sediment is distributed — then, with certain skills and luck, we can reconstruct the conditions at the time the sediment was deposited.”
    If you keep asking such easy questions people are going to think you a mole trying to make skeptics look bad. I for one know better than to lump all skeptics together. Unlike you, some are polite and are even known to read a bit before hitting “Post Comment.”

  151. Mike says:
    June 6, 2010 at 6:18 pm
    Sediments reflect conditions above. This has been done in other oceans, seas and lakes for a long time.
    In a fixed body of water, that is largely the truth.
    BUT, in a MOVING body of water –such as ocean– that is NOT the truth.
    If the currents in a large body of water experience a change in current direction, or even become static for whatever reason, then your hypothesis flies out the window.
    All you’re left with is ‘What’s happening now?’
    The Arctic Ocean has so many different currents that any kind of evaluation MUST consider all of the variables, and as soon as you do that, then your theory becomes worthless. You might just as well measure cow farts for content and predicate those on the quality of the grass they consumed, even when you don’t know from which pasture they munched.
    Geez!

  152. Phil. says:
    June 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I think you’re right – Column 1: Age (thousand years before present) should be before 1950.
    Although the Quaternary Science Reviews tried to push a different nomenclature than “BP (before present)”, used for radiocarbon estimations, I think ice cores in general use BP:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_core

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Before_present
    Before Present (BP) years is a time scale used in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the “present” time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the arbitrary origin of the age scale.

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt
    ORIGINAL REFERENCE: Alley, R.B. 2000.
    The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 19:213-226.
    http://tinyurl.com/2czdywm
    I was off by 43 years.
    Thanks.
    ( Anu says: June 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm )
    ——————
    899 says:
    June 6, 2010 at 12:15 am
    And YOU are STILL incorrect! Too bad you can’t read a graph properly.
    But now you’re just trying to finesse your argument, ain’t that right, Phil?

    You just say the first thing that pops into your head, don’t you – that’s so cute.
    In four year olds.

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