Hot Times in Antarctica

From the “I told you Angry Penguins were the new icon” department

From Time

Adelie penguin, Antarctic Peninsula, courtesy Oscar Schofield

The world’s polar regions are warming up faster than the global average, but the western edge of the Antarctic Peninsula is especially steamy. Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost unbelievable 6°C—more than five times the global average, according to a paper just published in Science.

The new study, part of a special report on oceans and climate, focuses on the Antarctic Peninsula not only because it represents an extreme, but because it gives scientists a chance to look at a marine ecosystem under rapid climate change (the other polar hotspots, in Siberia and western North America, are well inland).

Rapidly rising temperatures—mostly driven by warmer ocean currents–have transformed the West Antarctic Peninsula’s landscape. The massive ice shelves that sit just offshore at the peninsula’s southern end have begun collapsing en masse . Overall, say the authors, 87% of the region’s glaciers are in retreat, the ice season has shortened by 90 days and, they write ominously, “These changes are accelerating.”

That being the case, it’s not surprising that the creatures who live here are under enormous stress. Adélie penguin populations, which need ice and cold weather to survive, have plummeted by 90% in the northern part of the peninsula over the past three decades, says lead author Oscar Schofield, a marine scientist at Rutgers University, while chinstrap penguins, which prefer more temperate climates, have increased. “The penguin populations near Palmer Station [the largest U.S. base in that part of the continent] have flipflopped,” says Schofield. “The area will probably be completely devoid of Adélies in five or ten years.”

Read the rest here

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117 thoughts on “Hot Times in Antarctica

  1. Right, and the growth of sea ice around the continent is also due to warming in the winter.

  2. Amazing.
    The penguins left because it was way too hot! Went from -65°C to -60°C. What an intolerable hot spell!

  3. Now get this .Over the past 50 years the temperature has shot up by almost 6 degrees.How is this possible you may ask.There are no people,no homes ,no roads no car trucks or the awful suv’s that ruin our planet.But here on earth the temperature has hardly changed at all.Yet all we hear is were killing the enviroment it all our fault everything that happens that is bad is due to us.The only conclusion can be that underwater volcanos are causing any temperature change in the Antarctica.

  4. Is it time to panic?
    What’s really happening.
    And it should be pointed out how small the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is. The WAIS is in red, and it’s warming not because of the climate, but because it is over a geologic hot spot.
    Other than that, fine article.☺

  5. “Adélie penguin populations, which need ice and cold weather to survive, have plummeted by 90% in the northern part of the peninsula over the past three decades, says lead author Oscar Schofield, a marine scientist at Rutgers University, while chinstrap penguins, which prefer more temperate climates, have increased. ‘The penguin populations near Palmer Station [the largest U.S. base in that part of the continent] have flipflopped,’ says Schofield. ”
    This is dripping with irony. Oscillations anyone? Salmon records (which also demonstrated flipflopping) recorded by fisherman from Alaska to the tip of California revealed a new understanding of oceanic system. What was discovered was the PDO.

  6. “I see the Antarctic sea ice has gone just outside the 2 stnd deviations. ”
    And that means it’ll drag the average up and we can all be alarmed about ever smaller drops when the occur in the future. 🙂

  7. Not sure how to interpret this graph: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png which shows at least sea ice well above the 1979 average and this one: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png showing a positive anomaly of 1.125 million sq. km.
    Maybe global warming is causing an increase in the sea ice but I cannot understand why like Hansen, Mann et. all. they are focusing on “Rapidly rising temperatures—mostly driven by warmer ocean currents–have transformed the West Antarctic Peninsula’s landscape.”
    Yes, the West Antarctic Peninsula. I would have thought that warmer ocean currents would have diminished sea ice rather increasing same as the charts quoted above would suggest. As a layman I get more and more confused. I have read somewhere else that the increased Antarctic sea ice is caused by cold currents and wind and now they claim it is the opposite causing more sea ice. Help.

  8. Smokey says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:48 am
    The WAIS is… warming not because of the climate, but because it is over a geologic hot spot.
    Uh, no…

  9. I can see the penguins from “Madagascar” (the movie) coming down the power plant access road now. They’re armed and dangerous! Do you think the greens are going to blame coal plants for the Antarctic peninsula warming? Just how many coal plants are there in the southern hemisphere?
    I’ve not seen it brought up much, but just how detrimental an effect do icebreakers have on changing the albedo in the arctic and antarctic waters when they are blowing paths in the solid ice cover? Maybe we should start blaming icebreaker research vessels on endangering narwals and beluga’s by stranding them too far from open waters as they follow the openings deep beyond the ice edge.

  10. Hey Jakers,
    Care to present your evidence that the WAIS is not currently over a geologic hotspot? I know you are a major expert on the subject of the Antarctic and Geological Hotspots, but I personally need a bit more than just “Uhhhh, no” to go on before I believe you. Sorry.

  11. jakers says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:59 am
    Smokey says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:48 am
    The WAIS is… warming not because of the climate, but because it is over a geologic hot spot.
    Uh, no…
    ———–Reply
    So you’re saying this global warming thing isn’t… um…. global?

  12. …..Over the past 14 years the annual average air temperatures recorded at Station
    Comm Ferraz Brazilian Antarctic showed a declining trend, about -0.6 º C / decade….

  13. “Adélie penguin populations, which need ice and cold weather to survive…”
    And all the krill they eat helps too.

  14. Funny, but other populations of superior mammals will emigrate from their usual places of living if mad green policies are applied.

  15. Bah! It’s just as likely that the penguins are being impacted by the huge amount of industrial trawling going on around Antarctica:
    http://www.grist.org/article/overfishing-antarctic-krill
    The Chinese, Russians, Koreans etc. treat Antarctic krill as if it were a gift that keeps giving, and they are scraping the oceans clean of anything that swims. An inconvenient truth for ya!
    However, if it is trendy to blame global warming, well, then, who doesn’t want to be trendy?

  16. jakers says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:48 am
    I see the Antarctic sea ice has gone just outside the 2 stnd deviations.
    Houston, we have found the missing Arctic Ice…

  17. Penguins??
    What about Variola Major and Variola Minor?
    Wiped out! Deliberately! Extinct!
    Is there no end to the wickedness of Mankind (or should that be Personkind?)
    Send more grant money, quickly!

  18. This is terrible news about Antarctic ice; it’s much, much worse than we thought. :o(

    NSIDC – 3 March, 2010
    Sea ice extent in the Antarctic has been unusually high in recent years, both in summer and winter. Overall, the Antarctic is showing small positive trends in total extent. For example, the trend in February extent is now +3.1% per decade. However, the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas show a strong negative trend in extent. These overall positive trends may seem counterintuitive in light of what is happening in the Arctic. Our Frequently Asked Questions section briefly explains the general differences between the two polar environments. A recent report (Turner, et. al., 2009) suggests that the ozone hole has resulted in changes in atmospheric circulation leading to cooling and increasing sea ice extents over much of the Antarctic region.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html
    It get even worse, much, much to much worse than we could ever have believed!!!
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

  19. Cherrypicking season has arrived!!! They talk of Antarctic Peninsula I say look at the whole of Antarctica. Global ice hasn’t changed much in donkey’s years either.

  20. Wow, help! At this rate, by 2300 Antarctic sea ice will cover the world’s entire ocean surface. Time to panic.

  21. mpaul says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:51 am (Edit)
    I imagine this comes from only a single station. Anyone know which one?
    I can figure it out if nobody else steps forward

  22. I was at the tip of the WAIS in February. We spoke with locals in Port Stanley, Falklands, before heading down to Elephant Island and Paradise Bay. First, the residents of Port Stanley said the penguins there have been doing great, with slight population increases at all the rookeries.
    Cruising down through the Gerlache and over the next several days, we saw many chinstraps and gentoos…all happy campers.
    As for albedo, there is significant concern, and once again, the law of unintended consequences strikes. After 2011, ships carrying more than 500 passengers will not be allowed to cruise to Antarctica. The ship we were on carried 2200 passengers, and used gas turbines to power the ship at speeds up to 22knots. There were no “shore excursions” as those are allowed on ships carrying more than 900 passengers. So 2011 is the last year the big ships will get down there.
    So instead, people will cruise down there on russian ice breakers and other smaller vessels. Our friend is going down in November. The small ice breaker he’ll be on will be making helicopter flights to the “mainland” and is also equipped with several zodiacs for shore excursions as well.
    My bet is that the small icebreaker will PROBABLY have more of an impact than our large cruise ship did, and certainly had more impact per person than we did.
    JimB

  23. I thought things like ice, climate, etc had something called natural variability.
    Where do they get that “average” line from anyway?
    None of it really matters, we’re not smart enough to do anything about it one way or the other.

  24. A lot of people seem to be missing a key point, which is sadly because the reporter chose not to put much emphasis on it: Even though it is an article about a large change in climate, and about it’s “negative effects”, they are actually NOT blaming AGW!
    The warming is “mostly driven by warmer ocean currents”-last time I checked, Ocean Heat Transport was a natural phenomena, and there is no obvious reason to attribute a recent shift in ocean current behavior in a small part of the global to climate forcing by well mixed greenhouse gases.
    The reality is that the behavior of the Peninsula is quite anomalous, there is simply no way that the forcing from CO2 etc could cause-or would cause-such an extremely localized and large warming.

  25. Not to worry. Penguins are tough old birds, having been around for 50 million or more years. They’ve seen many, many climate changes, and far warmer ones at that.
    So have polar bears of course. But, this faux concern for the “endangered” species for them is of course just a pretext, useful for swaying people’s emotions.
    “the changes going on in the Antarctic may well be a preview for what’s on the way, in a rough sense, for the rest of the world’s marine ecosystems.”
    Since there aren’t any real changes in the Antarctic besides in the West Antarctic Peninsula, which is just a tiny portion of it, then yes, that (i.e. climate stasis) could well be a harbinger of things to come closer to home. But we’re actually more likely to see cooling in the coming decades.

  26. I still don’t understand what the warming Antarctic peninsula has to do with man-made global warming? They found warm currents affecting temps there, so what? Please someone help me to understand because I must be missing something.

  27. Shub Niggurath says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:55 am
    And that means it’ll drag the average up and we can all be alarmed about ever smaller drops when the occur in the future. 🙂
    That’s measured against the 1979-2000 average, so no.

  28. Regarding the notion that warming in the West Antarctic Peninsula is driven by warm currents. I am definitely not an expert in this area, but from what I’ve read the dominant current at work down there is the Antarctic CIRCUMPOLAR Current. By most reports it is the largest and fastest surface current on the planet. Any descending warm currents from the tropical Pacific would be intersected at its northern limit, called the Subtropical Front, then pass through two further transitions in the ACC, the Subantarctic Front and the Polar Front
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctic_Circumpolar_Current.jpg
    to get to the coast of Antarctica. Although the WAP is the tightest choke point on the ACC, it doesn’t seem entirely logical that warmth sufficient to account for the temperature changes supposedly observed there would be dissipated in that relatively small area and completely disappear just east of the WAP.
    BTW, in doing a quick Google to check my recollections on this, I came across this blurb about a study that seems to suggest that intensification of the ACC may be responsible for increased release of CO2 from abyssal upwellling.
    http://sify.com/news/rise-in-greenhouse-gases-linked-to-changes-in-ocean-currents-news-international-kgsn4dbbhjf.html
    I haven’t had time to search out the paper, but it could indicate another aspect of the “settled science” which has been left out of the calculation.

  29. Alarmist BS – nothing more, nothing less.
    We will see lots more of this type of drivel in the months and years ahead.

  30. The arcticle reads, “Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost unbelievable 6°C—more than five times the global average, according to a paper just published in Science,” and “Rapidly rising temperatures—mostly driven by warmer ocean currents–have transformed the West Antarctic Peninsula’s landscape.”
    Southern Ocean SST anomalies east and west of the Antarctic Peninsula have not risen 6 deg C at any time of year.
    http://i48.tinypic.com/29n822c.jpg
    Second problem with the article’s claim: Prior to the satellite era, there was little to no SST data for the area, as is apparent in the graph above.

  31. I seem to remember a picture of the surface station on the peninsula.
    It is located among buildings and very near a runway made from dark colored rocks.
    UHI anyone ?
    Why can’t the measurements be done 1 Km away ? Probably convenience.

  32. Remember this event in 2004? To refresh your memory a very large iceberg (more like an ice island really) grounded at the entrance to McMurdo sound inhibiting summer ice breakup. Large numbers of baby penguins starved because TOO MUCH ICE prevented their parents from reaching the sea. Several failed and/or disastrous breeding seasons followed until the iceberg moved on.
    The point is that Adele penguin colonies live on the edge in an extremely harsh environment. Natural events cause large fluctuations in their population. It isn’t at all clear that colder is better for penguins. Indeed colder kills them in large numbers a lot of the time. You can’t simply say “Its getting warmer and – Oh Look! – the penguin numbers are down”, which seems to be what the article does.

  33. B. Stenni and 14 European co-authors in Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (2010) :
    New high-resolution ice core data from two sites in eastern Antarctica show temperature proxies more than 4 °C higher during the last interglacial (~130,000 years ago) than the present interglacial.

  34. It’s interesting that the near obsession with the polar regions is about all the Alarmists have left in thier bag of tricks. Very rarely do they ever bring up AGW studies of the tropics and subtropics (whatever happened to the Tropical Hotspot?), the mid latitudes, rainfall distribution, the Hadely or Walker Cells, ENSO, the AMO, etc… For the last 3 years thier sole concentration has been at the poles -namely the Artic. But little data exist there. All NASA can do is extraploate (ie guess). Besides, the Artic climate is mainly dependent upon SSTs. Other than that, most researchers can only model and guess.
    And when the resevoir of warmer SSTs are exhausted, they will have to move on to something else, and the Artic begins to cool again they will invent another crisis.

  35. The warming of the WA peninsula is real BUT has nothing to do with “Global Warming” or CO2. The warming is purely dynamical. In the area that includes WAIS:
    1) In the past 50 years, depressions are getting deeper -lower pressures-
    2) Frequency of depressions lower than 980 hPa is climbing
    3) Depressions trajectories are N-S
    4) Temperatures in the depression are higher
    Associated to Mobile Polar Highs that are therefore stronger, intrude further north to advect warmer air.
    None of these points support AGW.
    Anyone who has read “Dynamic Analysis of Weather and Climate” 2ed. by Marcel Leroux knows this already.

  36. So the world’s polar regions are warming up faster than the global average. Given some rational Temperature distribution, I would venture that on average, about half of the global regions are warming up faster than the global average; and it is equally likely that about half of the worlds regions are warming up slower than the global average; so on average, it’s about average.
    So you don’t have to be a damn rocket scientist to understand that that is perfectly normal.
    Ever heard of the Stafan-Boltzmann Law, or the Planck Radiation Law. In lay terms they both say that the total radiation (in or out) varies as the fourth power of the Temperature. That means if you double the Temperature you get 16 times the radiation (in or out); not twice; but SIXTEEN TIMES.
    So if you increase the thermal energy input to ANY REGION by say 1% (of its local value); which is TEN times the complete peak to peak cyclic range of the TSI, a region that has a low temperature, is going to experience a Temperature increase which is very much greater, than a region that has a high Temperature; BOTH regions having only a 1% OF THEIR LOCAL ENERGY INPUT RATE; in increased energy input.
    Do these idiots think they have discovered some Nobel Physics Prize winning breakthrough in knowledge; any 8th grade high school science student can tell you that cold things warm up more with less energy than warm things do, and even more than hot things do.
    So tell us something that we DON’T already know; or better yet, give back the grant money, and get a real job.
    And one other thing; I believe that if you compare the relative ocean warming due to the deeply penetrating solar spectrum surface insolation; to the effect of very localised surface (10 microns) warming that results from LWIR radiation returned from a slightly warmer atmosphere; you will find there simply is no comparison; specially when you consider, that the LWIR is most likely to result in prompt surface evaporation of more water vapor into the air; along with a whole flock of Latent heat energy; so the net contribution to ocean warming; is somewhere between zero and damn little. The latter term being more robust; while the former term is perhaps more scientifically pedantic as far as meaning.
    Yeah; so I am sure some things are changing on the Antarctic Peninsula and I have as much concern for the Adele penguins as for the chinstraps. Maybe we need an open hunting season for Leopard seals on the west Antarctic Peninsula to help Mother Gaia; with her animal husbandry.

  37. a small success:
    17 June: Global warming book withdrawn
    By Joe Dejka
    WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
    Millard Public Schools will stop using a children’s book about global warming — but only until the district can obtain copies with a factual error corrected.
    A review committee, convened after parents complained, concluded that author Laurie David’s book, “The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming,” contained “a major factual error” in a graphic about rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels…
    Corrected versions will continue to be used in Millard’s sixth-grade language arts curriculum, he wrote.
    However, the district will cease to use a companion video about global warming, narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, he wrote.
    The committee found the video “without merit” and recommended that it not be used.
    Robyn Terry, the congressman’s wife, had described the video as a “political commercial.”…
    http://www.omaha.com/article/20100617/NEWS01/100619733

  38. +6C should mean more penguins, not less. Not much else can live there ergo not much competition.
    A warmer ocean means more time between freezes, so more time to feed and grow baby penguins.
    But, if the paper is to be believed, during the other even warmer Warm Periods, the penguins must have gone extinct.

  39. You know what this means, don’t you? Someone finally realized that penguins are cuter than those scary polar bears.
    Remember, “You can’t hug your penguins with SUV arms”.
    Or something like that.

  40. Adelie penguin:
    ‘Threats: none. Population in slight increase (1% a year) almost everywhere, but colonies near bases tend to be stable or decrease.’
    ‘World population: estimated to 2 million breeding pairs. See here for more info.
    Archipelago’s population: 29 182 breeding pairs in 1984, 30 369 in 1990 ‘
    ‘There are tens of thousands of them in the vicinity of Dumont d’Urville, even under the buildings of the station !’
    http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/Penguins.html
    Perhaps these turkeys had been only counting the ones under their building !

  41. mpaul says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:51 am
    I imagine this comes from only a single station. Anyone know which one?

    WKRP in Cincinnati.

  42. What I see when I look at that cuddly cute little linux dude dancing in that picture: Boogie Nights by Heatwave.

  43. Steven Mosher
    The world’s polar regions are warming up faster than the global average, but the western edge of the Antarctic Peninsula is especially steamy.
    This is not a particular surprise. Decline in GMF Z-component is a good proxy of the temperature increasing trend. Here is shown GMFz at western peninsula and at the opposite side of the Antarctic circle:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC8.htm

  44. The Antarctic peninsular lines up rather well with Patagonia South America. The similar geologies scream out: tectonics!

  45. Why not declare Antarctica a place of refuge for the important species and build a replica of the United Nations building there with its own eco-power supply system. Then perhaps those members of its many organizations can travel to that wonderful place and take up residences all subsidized by one final contribution by a formerly very rich nation.

  46. Here’s another view of Antarctic Sea Ice Extent;
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_s.png
    which uses AMSR-E data, generated by the University of Bremenpart as part of the GMES project Polar View and the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (Arctic ROOS):
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/
    Here’s their Antarctic Sea Ice concentration map;
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/antarctic_AMSRE_nic.png
    here is an animation Antarctic sea ice concentration for the last 21 days in AVI format:
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/Icefilm_Antarctic_21days.avi
    and here is an animation of Antarctic sea ice concentration for Jan 2003 to date also in AVI format:
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/Icefilm_Antarctic.avi
    I’ve got to go for a bike ride, as it’s a beautiful day, but later I am going to take a good look at that last animation, as it probably has some interesting stories to tell…

  47. Interesting story on ABC Catalyst linking extreme snow increase at Law Dome over the past 30 years, and correlating this to drought over WA
    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2929759.htm
    It’s atmost certain that the changes in the ocean currents and atmospheric circulation around Antartica caused the Pennisula to warm, along with more snow at Law Dome (and increased ice extent).
    What is all the fuss about ?

  48. It was clear after Climategate that the Warmists would have to increase their propaganda: more papers of increasingly dubious worth, more bizarre statements, more trolls on skeptic blogs, more media activism, and so on. At the same time, socialist politicians are paying less and less attention to the wishes of their constituents. The money involved here is beyond gigantic. Where is this going to end?

  49. So the Arctic is losing ice and the Antarctic is gaining? hmm… sound bi-polar to me.
    Just for curiosity’s sake, from what temperature reading did the temp climb by 6 degrees? Is it, for instance, from -1 C to +5? Or – I think more likely – from around -40 C to -34?

  50. 18 June: ABC Australia: One carbon footprint in the grave
    It appears that even death will not release us from the problem of our carbon footprint, with the Sydney Catholic Church opening an environmentally friendly burial ground…
    The natural burial park in Sydney’s west will not have headstones, but people can find their family members using GPS technology.
    A GPS stick will be buried with the bodies and an electronic organiser is lent to visiting family members who want to find the exact location of the grave…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/18/2931241.htm?section=justin

  51. And that 5 degree mystery warmth from -67F to -62F is killing off the peguins?
    Please just shoot me now.

  52. The Atlantic is on a carbon roll….with dolls this time:
    18 June: The Atlantic: Derek Thompson: Why Carbon Pricing Matters
    At the current rate, global carbon dioxide emissions will triple by the year 2100. Many scientists project a five-to-six degree increase in temperatures over the next century, which would trigger unknowable shifts in sea levels, air quality and natural resources. If we want to slow global warming, we have to slow carbon emissions…
    The Debate
    There are basically three arguments against carbon pricing that enclose each other like Russian nesting dolls. The Big Doll objection is that global warming is not real. The Medium Doll objection is that global warming is real, but we’re exaggerating its negative consequences — or we’re not sure emissions are to blame. The Small Doll objection is that global warming is real, and we’re not exaggerating its negative consequences, but we should focus on less ambitious solutions, like targeted subsidies for low-carbon technologies (e.g., cash for wind farms, sun panels, grassy roofs…).
    The Big Doll objection is almost certainly wrong. The Medium Doll objection is serious, but at the very least, climate change policy should be considered as social insurance against the likelihood of global climate catastrophe. The Small Doll objection is misguided because it assumes the government knows which technologies to fund…
    But an appropriate carbon price can achieve two goals. First, we nudge the private economy toward green tech in anticipation of rabid (sic) worldwide demand for clean energy in the next century. Second, government can use any profits from carbon prices to pay down the deficit and even reduce other taxes on Americans
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/why-carbon-pricing-matters/58386/

  53. The increased number of researchers in West Antarctica has lead to the warming. This request for more research and human presence would probably increase the temperatures there by another 6C within the next 30 years if granted. The obvious solution would be to remove the researchers from this endangered environment and allow it to recover. The temperatures would probably decline 6C within 2 years.

  54. “he Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is the most common of all penguins in Antarctica. They nest near the shore in groups of 6 to 100s called rookeries. There are tens of thousands of them in the vicinity of Dumont d’Urville, even under the buildings of the station ! They get used to humans pretty quickly.
    World population: estimated to 2 million breeding pairs. See here for more info.
    Archipelago’s population: 29 182 breeding pairs in 1984, 30 369 in 1990.
    Threats: none. Population in slight increase (1% a year) almost everywhere, but colonies near bases tend to be stable or decrease (McMurdo).

  55. Pat @4:48 pm:
    “…government can use any profits from carbon prices to pay down the deficit and even reduce other taxes on Americans…”
    Question. What color is the sky on your planet?☺

  56. “Joe Lalonde says:
    June 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm
    And that 5 degree mystery warmth from -67F to -62F is killing off the peguins?
    Please just shoot me now.”
    Joe Lalonde says:
    June 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm
    And that 5 degree mystery warmth from -67F to -62F is killing off the peguins?
    Please just shoot me now.

  57. “”” pat says:
    June 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    ………………
    But an appropriate carbon price can achieve two goals. First, we nudge the private economy toward green tech in anticipation of rabid (sic) worldwide demand for clean energy in the next century. Second, government can use any profits from carbon prices to pay down the deficit and even reduce other taxes on Americans. “””
    Ahem ! what happened to our need for energy THIS century ? Who is the WE that is going to nudge “the private economy” toward Green Tech.
    The Private Economy will go where it makes business sense to go; and in this case the “GO” can be to some other place with more common sense that the USA.
    When will it dawn on these Marxists, that “The Private Economy” pays for itself; plus paying for the “public economy” and if Government decides to do in the “private economy” with do nothing, achieve nothing taxes, there will be nothing to tax.
    Where did you get the idea that Americans give a hoot about WHAT the Governmnet taxes; what we care about is how much they tax; and WHAT THEY SPEND IT ON. And some of us would like them to spend it on what the Constitution tells them they are supposed to do; and stay the hell out of stuff that is none of their business.

  58. What can be said about these poor penguins? The West Antarctic ice sheet is prone to collapse. It has done so repeatedly since the Pleistocene, most recently 1500 years ago. Its weakness is that it is surrounded by water on three sides which leaves it open to vagaries of warm ocean currents. Near the Amundsen Sea there are land winds that blow away the cold surface water. Deep Antarctic bottom water rises to take its place but it is warmer and starts to melt the ice from below. Anybody here know how to control that wind?

  59. There is concern in the Antarctic Convergence of Russian factory ship catching up tremendous amounts of krill. Do you suppose a decline in the penguins might have more to do with that than any (assumed, but not documented ) warming?

  60. “The penguin populations near Palmer Station [the largest U.S. base in that part of the continent] have flipflopped,” says Schofield. “The area will probably be completely devoid of Adélies in five or ten years.”
    ============
    Any “flipflop”, of course, has never been recorded in the history of competing species until…. we messed it all up.
    Leave the poor penquins alone, they don’t want/need your “help”.

  61. Pamela Gray says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:51 am
    “Adélie penguin populations, which need ice and cold weather to survive, have plummeted by 90% in the northern part of the peninsula over the past three decades, says lead author Oscar Schofield, a marine scientist at Rutgers University, while chinstrap penguins, which prefer more temperate climates, have increased. ‘The penguin populations near Palmer Station [the largest U.S. base in that part of the continent] have flipflopped,’ says Schofield. ”
    This is dripping with irony. Oscillations anyone? Salmon records (which also demonstrated flipflopping) recorded by fisherman from Alaska to the tip of California revealed a new understanding of oceanic system. What was discovered was the PDO.
    Agreed. And here’s another irony: http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm
    Excerpt:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. The northern coastline of Antarctica is perfectly detailed. The most puzzling however is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, but that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.
    The official science has been saying all along that the ice-cap which covers the Antarctic is million years old.
    The Piri Reis map shows that the northern part of that continent has been mapped before the ice did cover it. That should make think it has been mapped million years ago, but that’s impossible since mankind did not exist at that time.
    Further and more accurate studies have proven that the last period of ice-free condition in the Antarctic ended about 6000 years ago. There are still doubts about the beginning of this ice-free period, which has been put by different researchers everything between year 13000 and 9000 BC.
    The question is: Who mapped the Queen Maud Land of Antarctic 6000 years ago? Which unknown civilization had the technology or the need to do that?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Aside from the ‘weird’ aspect, what happened to the penguins when it was ice-free?

  62. Pamela Gray says:
    June 18, 2010 at 10:51 am
    “Adélie penguin populations, which need ice and cold weather to survive, have plummeted by 90% in the northern part of the peninsula over the past three decades, says lead author Oscar Schofield, a marine scientist at Rutgers University, while chinstrap penguins, which prefer more temperate climates, have increased. ‘The penguin populations near Palmer Station [the largest U.S. base in that part of the continent] have flipflopped,’ says Schofield. ”
    This is dripping with irony. Oscillations anyone? Salmon records (which also demonstrated flipflopping) recorded by fisherman from Alaska to the tip of California revealed a new understanding of oceanic system. What was discovered was the PDO.
    Try this for ‘irony’: http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. The northern coastline of Antarctica is perfectly detailed. The most puzzling however is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, but that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.
    The official science has been saying all along that the ice-cap which covers the Antarctic is million years old.
    The Piri Reis map shows that the northern part of that continent has been mapped before the ice did cover it. That should make think it has been mapped million years ago, but that’s impossible since mankind did not exist at that time.
    Further and more accurate studies have proven that the last period of ice-free condition in the Antarctic ended about 6000 years ago. There are still doubts about the beginning of this ice-free period, which has been put by different researchers everything between year 13000 and 9000 BC.
    The question is: Who mapped the Queen Maud Land of Antarctic 6000 years ago? Which unknown civilization had the technology or the need to do that?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Now, aside from the ‘weird,’ where did the penguins go when Antarctica was that warm, i.e., ice-free?

  63. George E. Smith
    Surely you can’t be opposed to the “stimulus” money being used for these worthy projects?
    http://libertypundits.net/article/top-ten-stimulus-projects-from-radioactive-rabbit-droppings-to-the-sex-lives-of-female-college-freshmen/
    Wouldn’t it be more prudent to have a shovel ready job every week to put Americans back to work?
    Week 1) HUD (or create a new dept) would instruct 30 million Americans via PSA on PBS (that would assure a minimum of 1000 would see the PSA vs 200-300 if on NPR), preferably unemployed home owners, to break all windows in their homes. A mass workforce would be required to repair those windows, including injuries resulting from breaking said windows which would stimulate the healthcare industry. Imagine the trickle down effect!
    Week 2) Employ the 23% of unemployed construction workers to fill in the Grand Canyon. There are only so many roads and bridges anyway.
    Week 3) Require General Motors and Chrysler to hire all remaining displaced workers. After all, aren’t corporations in business to provide jobs? Since the government owns GM & Chrysler, this could become reality if we’d just stop bickering about who’s going to pay for it. As Ed Shultz recently opined, we need a dictator to call the shots.
    Week 4) Appoint a green jobs czar (isn’t there one now?) to hire the millions needed for this important booming segment of the economic engine in America.
    Week 5) Confiscate all profits from corporations and give to the unemployed and low income (under $250,000). This would only be allowed one week per year, except during national emergencies such as when employment exceeds 8%. The 47% of the working population who don’t pay income taxes would also qualify, means tested of course.
    And so on and so forth. Basically, just print more money, grow government and create a nation of dependents. Simple!

  64. *yawn*
    *blink blink*
    …. (did somebody say something about unprecidented warming, penguins, and ice melting)…. ?
    *yawn*
    *blink blink*

  65. maybe the penguins swamp to the northpole to party with the polar bears. I mean I hear the aliens, Santa and the Mrs., and Yoda throw a mean party at Christmas.
    Sigh, I guess the really frustrating thing is my wallet and my nations soverignty is at risk because of these morons and they pat us on the head and tells us we’re too stupid to understand. However most of us in here at least are far more intelligent than the majority of the politicians I’ve been listening to since I’ve been unemployed for the last year and a half.

  66. Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost unbelievable 6°C—more than five times the global average, according to a paper just published in Science.
    has any one got the data to support this. All 50 years of it?.

  67. @899: I’m sceptical about claims made about global warming. I’m extremely sceptical about the claims made about the Piri Reis map.
    Global warming at least has some evidence to support it and a halfway rational theory to back it up. There isn’t enough evidence to convince me, but there is enough to make it a plausible conjecture which needs looking into.
    The Piri Reis map thing on the other hand is just way out there in lala land with the homeopathists, the Atlantis theorists, and the the new age cosmic wonderdust sniffers. I invite you all to have a look at that thing for yourself.
    To me clearly the bit which the crystal gazers claim is Antarctica is nothing but a mislocated and distorted piece of South America drawn in completely the wrong place because the proportions or the rest of the map are so wrong there was nowhere else to put it. As a map of the world it is utterly hopeless. It beats me how anyone can think this map accurately shows the coastline of Antarctica when it doesn’t manage to accurately map anything else!
    It beats me how you can think theories about the Piri Reis map will get a warm reception here on a website full of confirmed sceptics.

  68. Slightly OT, but is the weather for World Cup in South Africa colder than usual? I know it is winter, but South Africa latitude ranges from about 25° to 35°S. In a game today, a coach had a heavy jacket.

  69. I like penguins. Just like dolphins, they taste like chicken.
    Since when has any animal needed inhospitable icy conditions to survive? None of their food sources are frozen. As the seasons change, so too their environments from ice to rock. I bet polar bears are happier on tundra as seals usually come ashore to bask, and penguin chicks are far less likely to freeze on rocks or ground rather than ice.

  70. It beats me how you can think theories about the Piri Reis map will get a warm reception here on a website full of confirmed sceptics.
    Agree totally.
    One thing the sceptic camp should avoid is looking like nuts on anything. The fringe allows the warmists to paint us all as incapable of reason. That means no Piri Reis looniness, but also less of the “we should try the warmists for treason” nuttiness too.
    While I’m at it, this isn’t the place to discuss tax policy. I appreciate that some of you don’t want carbon taxes. I don’t either, but I keep my political beliefs out of it. I just say “they don’t achieve what they set out to achieve, and are therefore bad taxes”.

  71. MSM buttcovers the “AGW experts”.
    …-
    “Nunavut’s claim polar bears are fine ignores science, environmentalists say
    Government will no longer back attempt to have species listed as threatened”
    “Part of the Nunavut government’s position is that polar bears can and have adapted to changes in climate in the past, according to Inuit traditional knowledge and modern science. Some experts say that is not the case.”
    “Environmentalists are reacting with dismay to a Nunavut government decision to no longer back attempts to list polar bears as threatened.
    Dan Shewchuk, Nunavut’s environment minister, says the territory’s polar bear population is healthy, with the exception of a couple of populations, and action is being taken to help those.
    “We live in polar bear country. We understand the polar bears, and we do actually think our polar bear population is very, very healthy,” Shewchuk said in justifying the reversal.”
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Nunavut+claim+polar+bears+fine+ignores+science+environmentalists/3174753/story.html

  72. From the Atlantic post earlier:
    ” Second, government can use any profits from carbon prices to pay down the deficit and even reduce other taxes on Americans
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/06/why-carbon-pricing-matters/58386/
    What a great example of how irrational and disconnected from reality these people are.
    They actually believe that if we paid a carbon tax…other taxes would go DOWN?
    Someone please show me when that’s ever happend? At best, my overall taxes will go UP by something like 10%, and one individual tax will go down 1%, and they’ll claim victory.
    Amazing.
    JimB

  73. Sigh
    Do these people ever bother to read the relevant literature? It is pure nonsense that the Adelie Penguins can’t change breeding sites when climate changes, they can and they do, all the time. Steve Emslie has researched this very subject extensively, and shown that the changes in breeding sites can actually be used as a proxy for changes in ice conditions (and incidentally he has found that almost all Adelie colonies are rather recent, less than 2000 years old):
    http://people.uncw.edu/emslies/research/Emslie%20et%20al%20Geology%202007.pdf
    http://people.uncw.edu/emslies/research/Emslie%20and%20Woehler%202005.pdf
    And here is a letter to Science (from 2003!) where he points out the fallacies in the catastrophy prophecies about Adelie pengunis:
    http://people.uncw.edu/emslies/research/Ainley%20et%20al%20science%20letter%202003.pdf

  74. Doug in Seattle,
    sea ice has been lost extensively on the antarctic peninsula unlike other places in antarctca. Have a bit of intellectual honesty there when making statements.
    bubbagyro,
    The temperatures on the antarctic peninsula are not -60… MAATs in the regions range from near 0 to – 10… Please fact check yourself before making ridiculous statements.
    To everyone, why don’t people fact check skeptics (as above) when they make ridiculous statements that have no scientific merit? Double standard much?

  75. Every service and any goods we purchase has a hidden, but quite large energy cost included. Not only would a carbon tax increase the taxes we directly pay, but would saubstantially increase the prices we pay for anything at all. It would be a double whammy from an economic standpoint. Governments can improve economies only by having less involvement. More involvement by government always results in a worse economy than before the involvement, and the opposite is true.
    If you want less of anything, tax and/or regulate it. If you want more, do the opposite.
    Socialism/communism has attempeted to negate the natural basic laws of economics, and has always failed miserably at this impossible task.

  76. Steven Mosher says:
    June 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm
    “Palmer station and a few others in the area. ”
    So do I understand correctly that if a few stations in one area are cherry-picked, then and only then is a 6 degree rise evident? If this is true, it would be worth updating the article, perhaps comparing the trend for these few stations vs. for all remaining stations.

  77. IanH
    Having been exposed as a child to the nonsenses of Eric Von Daniken and others, I take the map-and other proofs of ancient civilisations predating those already known- with an enormous pinch of salt.
    The introduction to the article says the following;
    “Research showed that it was a genuine document drawn in 1513 by Piri Reis, a famous admiral of the Turkish fleet in the sixteenth century.
    His passion was cartography. His high rank within the Turkish navy allowed him to have a privileged access to the Imperial Library of Constantinople.
    The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to
    the fourth century BC or earlier.”
    It is worth pointing out that the Imperial Library was the source of all knowledge of the Roman Empire which split into two around 380AD. The western Empire collapsed within 100 years but the Eastern Empire from Constantinople continued until 1452. We have many climate references from both empires which stretch back to around 400BC. The Romans are now thought to have sailed at least a day past Iceland where they met ice. They certainly collected maps from societies they conquered and drew many of their own.
    I by no means believe they mapped South America or the Antarctic and think it extremely unlikely that anyone else did. Reis would have access to lots of material though and maybe for political puropses (funding to find new lands?) might have done an imaginative composite of the material available to him.
    As a sceptic I remain open minded as to what else comes to light in the years ahead but certainly if the raw basics for such a map existed it would have been stored in the Imperial Library.
    tonyb

  78. “”” Robert says:
    June 19, 2010 at 11:35 am
    Doug in Seattle,
    sea ice has been lost extensively on the antarctic peninsula unlike other places in antarctca. Have a bit of intellectual honesty there when making statements.
    bubbagyro,
    The temperatures on the antarctic peninsula are not -60… MAATs in the regions range from near 0 to – 10… Please fact check yourself before making ridiculous statements. “””
    A very good piece of advice Robert; and one that I urge you to follow. The story printed above; that ius the one about the pengiuins; specifically says:- “”” Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost unbelievable 6°C—more than five times the global average, “””
    From which one would take note of the following:- “”” winter temperatures “””
    Now of course bubbagyro was being facetious when he talked about -65 to -60; to simply make the point that the relevence of a 6 deg C rise does depend on from where to where.
    But as to your own robust information; do you stand by your assertion that winter temperatures on the Antarctic peninsual only vary from zero to -10 deg C; that is as almost unbelievable as the rapidity of that 6 deg C rise by the original story’s authors.
    And as to that Antarctic peninsula; have you noticed that is is largely OUTSIDE of the Antarctic Circle, and that the whole southern ocean goes sloshing by back and forth twice a day, through that narrow gap to south America.
    So applying a little “intellectual honesty” would anybody smarter than a fifth grader expect the weather conditions there, to be substantially different from the rest of Antarctica which is ALL inside the Antarctic circle.
    Meanwhile, back here:- “”” Over the past 50 years, winter temperatures have shot up by an almost unbelievable 6°C—more than five times the global average, “””
    You don’t happen to have a robust, maybe even peer reviewed value, or maybe a graph of, the “Global Average Winter Temperatures” do you. Those authors wouldn’t be comparing Antarctic Peninsula Winter Temperatures to all year round global average temperatures would they ? How do you get a global average winter temperature when it isn’t winter all over the globe at any time ?
    But I wouldn’t worry about the Antarctic winter temperature rate of rise being five times the rate of increase of global average winter temperatrures; it is stll a far slower rate of change, than the recent rise and fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average; which I am sure is linked to Antarctic peninsula Winter Temperatures just like global average winter temperatures are.

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