GRACE under fire

Guest post by Thomas Fuller

It is hard to understand many of those who are convinced that climate change will destroy civilization. Previous ideas about massive sea level rise or tipping points leading to unending temperature increases have been debunked. Conventional theory on climate change points to moderate temperature and sea level rises that can be dealt with using existing technology, although the sooner we start the easier it will be.

But for some, the need to believe (and to preach) about a coming catastrophe is so strong that they are willing to overturn their own theories to take temporary advantage of ephemeral observations that will support their apocalyptic vision of the future.

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment has been an operational satellite mission since 2002, measuring differences in the Earth’s gravity. Pictures of our planet using GRACE look more like a partially deflated soccer ball than the pristine globe we’re more accustomed to seeing.
As written in Wikipedia:

“GRACE is the first Earth-monitoring mission in the history of space flight whose key measurement is not derived from electromagnetic waves either reflected off, emitted by, or transmitted through Earth’s surface and/or atmosphere. Instead, the mission uses a microwave ranging system to accurately measure changes in the speed and distance between two identical spacecraft flying in a polar orbit about 220 kilometers (137 miles) apart, 500 kilometers (311 miles) above Earth. The ranging system is so sensitive it can detect separation changes as small as 10 microns—about one-tenth the width of a human hair over a distance of 220 kilometers.”

And according to some scientists working with GRACE measurements, Antarctica is losing ice. Not just the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet, which has been predicted to melt and succumb to mechanical pressure since the 1930s, but also the vastly larger ice sheet covering East Antarctica.

And sure enough, the ‘apocaholics’ are all over this, using it to reinforce their unrelenting drumbeat of doom-laden predictions of disastrous sea level rises.
But this is actually quite strange. According to climate change theory, ice should be increasing in Antarctica–the (very slight) increase in temperatures and the natural increase in precipitation should result in more snow over Antarctica which gets compressed into higher levels of ice. The same phenomenon is both predicted and observed in Greenland, by the way.

Instead of using this as proof of global warming, these people should be either wondering about the measurements or re-examining their theories. Because this is observed data working against the principles of their theory… But they cannot pass up the chance for a quick and easy headline that reinforces the ‘all disaster, only disaster, 24 hours a day’ routine.

Certainly all measurements before GRACE showed increasing ice in Antarctica, as they do today.

My guess (I’m not a scientist and do not claim to know) is that there are still a few bugs to work out in how they are doing this. If you recall, when satellites first started being used to measure Earth temperatures, there were a few glitches caused by orbital decay and other mechanical problems.

Certainly their description of how they analyze the data provided by GRACE shows many an opportunity for error to creep in. They use a bit of guess work and inferences from computer models to create base levels for the land that rises and falls under the differing levels of ice. Which is what they have to do at the moment, until they get enough real base data. I’m certainly not blaming the scientists for any of this. They’re proceeding the way they have to proceed. My beef is with those who step in front of the scientists with their interpretations.

So the paper referred to by scare artists like Michael Tobis of Only In It For The Gold says the Eastern Antarctic has lost 57 billion tons a year–plus or minus 52 billion tons. Hmm. I think we need a few more orbits, myself. Having a margin of error as large as the original figure doesn’t inspire confidence.

But to hear some talk, it’s back to the Day After Tomorrow tidal waves drowning New York. You can always tell when they’re trying to scare you–they talk about firm figures for how much ice is melting, without the data needed to put it into perspective. 57 billion tons certainly sounds like a lot of ice. However, as a percentage of the total it is not even an asterisk. Antarctica has 150 million billion tons of ice…
Do you remember that iceberg that calved off Antarctica in March? (Calving is a perfectly normal event, and has nothing to do with climate change.) The one the size of Rhode Island? It was estimated at 860 billion tons.

“A 2008 study estimated that Antarctica loses about 1.6 trillion metric tons of ice each year, but gets nearly that much back as annual snowfall. The icy continent may suffer a net ice loss of about 100-200 billion metric tons per year, but Scambos said the exact figure remains uncertain.” (Live Science, Is Antarctica Falling Apart? March, 2010).

In essence, what we have here is a new satellite using new tools to take measurements. The data recovered is analyzed using guesses and inferences. Their analysis is presented with a margin of error as large as the amount of ice they say is melting from Antarctica.  The loss is is less than 1% of the normal annual melt.

Other measurements, consistent with climate theory, have consistently shown the Antarctic gaining, not losing ice.

So obviously we’re all going to drown, right? Well, when I tried to have a discussion with Michael Tobis in the comments section of his weblog, it didn’t go too well. I’ll let one of his allies offer the final word from those trying to scare us all:

“Tom Fuller seems to have missed the point I made yesterday.

Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up.

Got it now?”

Umm, no. I don’t

Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

===========================================

Addendum by Anthony:

Meanwhile, GRACE data is coming under question, and a new technique yields different results:

The melting of the ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica is about twice as slow as previously thought. The study, conducted by TU Delft, SRON and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The scientists published their findings in the September issue of Nature Geoscience.

We have concluded that the Greenland and West Antarctica ice caps are melting at approximately half the speed originally predicted.’ The average rise in sea levels as a result of the melting ice caps is also lower.

Source below, click on image for original story. Interestingly, the NASA JPL website does not have this announcement on the Global Climate Change section or any other portion of the website that I can find.

click for original story - h/t to Steve Goddard for this link

WUWT has covered the GRACE issue previously:

Amazing Grace

GRACE’s warts – new peer reviewed paper suggests errors and adjustments may be large

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143 thoughts on “GRACE under fire

  1. I recall an article that suggested that the GRACE satellite set still required adjustments to reconcile the space based measurements with the measurements that the guys with the tape measures were getting. The GRACE staff were doing their thing adjusting the measurements they get through intepolation of readings to agree with the observed facts, you know how science is supposed to work.

    I expect eventually they will get the hang of how the brand new equipment is working and then some rellay good science can get going.

    I say really new in spite of the fact it has been orbiting for 8 years. The system of measurements is a new idea well thought out and apparantly working , they now have to get the concept to reflect reality.

  2. According to climate change theory, ice should be increasing in Antarctica–the (very slight) increase in temperatures and the natural increase in precipitation should result in more snow over Antarctica which gets compressed into higher levels of ice. The same phenomenon is both predicted and observed in Greenland, by the way.

    You are making half of this up. You are correct that higher temperatures are predicted to increase accumulation, but higher temperatures will also give increased surface melt towards the margins of the ice sheet and increase the calving rate of tidewater glaciers. Theory doesn’t make any general pronouncement about which term, accumulation or loss, will dominate, and in different outcomes are possible in different times and places.

    REPLY: You make a good case for citations, show yours, I’m sure Fuller will reciprocate. – Anthony

  3. “Tom Fuller seems to have missed the point I made yesterday.

    Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up.

    Got it now?”

    “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    I think that guy may be in trouble…

  4. Tom sez again: “57 billion tons a year–plus or minus 52 billion tons. Hmm. I think we need a few more orbits, myself. Having a margin of error as large as the original figure doesn’t inspire confidence.”

    Amongst many other mistakes you are making in this post, you are repeating this error in your understanding of basic statistics and confidence intervals – which was clearly explained to you over at “Only In it for the Gold”. And yet, you’ve chosen to come here to display your innumeracy to an even larger audience?

    Maybe Mosher will explain this one to you. He does seem to want to keep the outright nonsense to a minimum around here. And this is a doozy.

    You don’t seem to be much of one for references, so I’ll return in kind here: GRACE results do not undermine climate models which eventually call for a loss of ice from East Antarctica. They do somewhat challenge the current models regarding dynamical ice sheet response to small warming. This is nothing to feel reassured about.

    And with respect to David Benson’s attempt at some basic remedial education for you: “Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up.” Tom, you yourself are stating that temperatures are likely to rise by, what, 1.1 to 2.4C or something like this, this century? I’m not going back to check, but something like this is your own forecast. If that is the case, then unless the basic physics has changed so that everything we know from paleoclimate about equilibrium sea level response to temperature change, then we are eventually going to see at least 5 metre increases, and possibly as much as 20 metres. Not tomorrow, not this century, but sometime. Unless you have some special insight as to why “this time it’s different”.

    You don’t seem to be much for references here, so I’ll just make my assertions until you start backing yours up with something other than personal conjecture. You’ve seen my references before, Tom.

  5. Self flagellation is not new. Take a look at this quote:

    Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the president, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of America, and in the streets of Washington? Therefore God said ‘I will set my face against you for your evil, and cut off all of America. For I will punish those who dwell in America, just as I have punished those in Europe, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.’ . . . (With apologies to Jeremiah ch44.)

    This is god (nee Jeremiah) addressing his own people. With priests (Greenies) like this, who needs enemies?

  6. Back in 58, when I started my Surveying classes in the Royal Engineers, we were taught that the shape of the earth approximated an Oblate Spheroid, but that differences in gravity, made the real shape all lumpy and bumpy like having small-pox. This education by the way before sattelites. So GRACE is catching up on old knowledge.

    Ah well why spoil a good story with facts.

  7. Why should we believe any of this data? Antarctica is clearly getting colder and ice is increasing. Some of the alarmists have tried to pawn the increase in ice off as being due to increased snowfall, like Tom tries to do here. But that doesn’t make sense when it’s getting colder down there, as NASA showed up until a few years ago when they made up a new map with made-up data.

  8. GRACE is on a bumpy road with a few kinks to work out.

    It would be nice if GRACE open sourced their systems and software so that people could see exactly how they are manipulating the raw data from the instruments.

    It ain’t “observational data” if it’s been statistically “manipulated” or “interpolated” (aka fabricated).

    Hidden science only leads to unnecessary argument by authority situations that can’t be verified, and as we know so well, unverifiable science isn’t science, it’s something else but it ain’t science.

    GRACE is no exception, it must be audited openly if it’s to be given the gravity of trust it’s people are claiming.

  9. “Previous ideas about massive sea level rise or tipping points leading to unending temperature increases have been debunked.”

    The first bit depends what you mean exactly by “massive”. The second bit is pure strawman. No-one ever predicted unending temperature increases.

    “Conventional theory on climate change points to moderate temperature and sea level rises that can be dealt with using existing technology, although the sooner we start the easier it will be.”

    Apart from again needing to define your terms – how much is moderate? – you are suggesting that “conventional theory” predicts a narrow range of possibilities. It does not. Conventional theory (as summarised in the WG1 IPCC report) is that the most likely value of climate sensitivity is about 3±1.5°C of warming for a doubling of CO2. “Modest” is not an adjective that can realistically be applied to a likely global temperature rise of 3°C.

    Could you say exactly which “conventional theory” you were referring to that predicted “modest” temperature and sea level rises?

  10. Tom:

    Great article — I have a new word to play with “apocaholic” — loved it. I don’t have time to critique anything — but maybe it does not need a critique as you made the case for “can we all check our numbers and methods please? … and that is good enough for me. New methods being compared to old methods often bring out errors — but whenever in the old or the new is what takes time.

    Keep your sense of humor! You will need it ever more!

  11. It is still hard for me to read supposed scientists spout such nonsense as the way, way, way up. Not that it might not happen, it has in the past, it’s the idea that this time it’s man’s fault. Of course, they may also believe that previous events were also man’s fault due to, I don’t know, maybe a fall from grace in the Garden of Eden or the equivalent, i.e. man is inherently bad.

    And they call some people religious nuts?

  12. If Antarctica is losing Ice faster than it makes it, how come the Sea Ice is up at the top of it’s range?
    GRACE may have problems to sort out, but a coldest ever summer melt air temp above 80N and a near-record Antarctic Sea Ice year does not say “Global Warming”.

  13. JRR Canada says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Data? We don’t need….Same old expertise at work?
    ——————————————————–
    Just need skill and some luck, apparently…

  14. Hmmm, they launch a new instrument, and it shows what they wanted it to show…who is surprised.

    In other news real data shows that the ocean is rising at 3.2 mm a year, or it is rising at a rate, yearly, that is as thick as the cloth in your clothing. Could you detect that? Is that really a concern?

  15. This experiment and the NASA press releases concerning it are one of the factors that has led me to believe that NASA is more interested in propaganda then science. It was around 2002 that I really started to pay attention to what they were promoting.

    It started with a nagging feeling of something wrong going back to the late 90s. Then I read a paper “proving” that “Global Warming” was going to increase drought in the South-West even though rain fall would increase. The claim that was being attempted was that transpiration rates would go up faster the rainfall. I grew up in the desert. I spent most of my life as an amateur scientist (stating when I was 8) studying the desert, with my major interest being aquatic life. If these guys knew anything about how the desert works, they would realize that transpiration rates would go down. Plants and fungus change modes in the presence of water.

    Right after this I read the first press release reporting the first results of GRACE, “Antarctica was loosing ice!” The bird had not been in the sky long enough to have collected enough data to even begin to make any conclusions, and the claimed amount, which was promoted as being a huge amount, was in reality so small compared to the normal change over as to insignificant. It was pretty apparent that they were just making stuff up. BTW, at the time, I worked in an industry that uses some of the most advanced mathematical tools mankind has developed. One of these is called an inverse convolution. It is my guess that that is what is used to weasel out the ice content. Without a well defined baseline and a clear quantification of such things as the response of land to geological processes, attempting to do an inverse convolution is impossible.

  16. Large number tend to impress/worry people so I always try to figure out exactly what they mean. For orders of magnitude, given that Antarctica is about 14,000,000 sq km, the loss of 1 mm of ice over the entire continent would weigh about 13 billion tons. So a loss of a 100 billion tons is the equivalent of roughly 8 mm of ice. Given that the average depth of ice on Antarctica is over 2000000 mm, the loss of 100 or 200 billion tons of ice per year is not something to be immediately worried about.
    Somebody should probably check my arithmetic.

  17. Gosh, 57 billion tons of ice lost from Antarctica each year! It will take something in the order of 400 thousand CUBIC KILOMETERS of ice melt to raise global sea levels just 1 meter. There is about 0.9 billion tons of ice in a cubic kilometer, just 6000 years or so, blink of an eye in geological terms.

  18. Is it me? Is it because of my years of working with instrumentation, and measurements in the industrial realm?

    You know what that very linear movement of the sea level looks like.

    INSTRUMENT DRIFT…

    Hummmm…

    Signed, party pooper fuddy duddy.

    Max

  19. The sea will rise 20 metres. “Not tomorrow, not this century, but sometime.”
    But this only IF (big IF) warming continues for centuries to come. In fact, models about Greenland (Ridley et al) show it may take 3000 years of continuous high temperatures to melt down completely. For Antarctica the timescale is much longer, because warming is predicted to be maximum at the Arctic but minimum (or nil) at Antarctica.
    But besides thiese trifles, I think it should be evident that the idea that someting will surely happen “not tomorrow, not this century, but sometime” is not really a scientific idea. For one thing, it is not falsifiable. Anything could happen “sometime”, but for a real prediction one must identify the drivers and derive the timescale, the rate, the feedbacks and so on. Otherwise, the opposite prediction would be equally valid, as well as predicting the Second Coming, or making no prediction at all.

  20. rustneversleeps
    September 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

    You don’t know what you are talking about. According to the palaeontological record, a 6±2°C was related to a 5M raise in sea level, and a global golden age for mankind. So who cares if the sea levels raise. It is not as if there is anything special about the level they are at now.

  21. I prefer to describe ice gain or loss in Greenland or the Antarctic in parts per million. East Antarctic contains somewhere between 23 million and 26 million cubic kilometers of ice, or (assuming density of 0.9 gm/cc), about 21 million billion to 23 million billion tons of ice. Using the GRACE estimated loss of 57 billion tons per yr, that corresponds to about 2.5 to 2.7 parts per million ice loss per year.

    A 1% reduction in East Antarctic ice mass will take 3700 years. Yikes! Time to sell the oceanfront villa in Montecito…

    Even if GRACE is correct (I think the error bars should be +/- 10 ppm at least), the ice loss rates demonstrate yet another problem with the CAGW hypothesis.

  22. Max Hugoson
    September 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Not to get personal or anything, but who did you work for?

    “A computer manufacturing company walked into a bar.”
    “He had a T&M company growing out of his forehead. The bartender asked him ‘What happened to you?’ The T&M company said, ‘I don’t know. It was just a pimple on my but last week.'”

    Could it be that company?

  23. Seems to me that the whole issue of observations is set in mud. IF you can’t trust the elevation from which you calculate the satellite’s height what have you got.
    Since that is the case how does one interpret the data with an occasional check as to its veracity?
    I’d like to see some concrete to establish a benchmark, but even that is impossible since the whole of the Earth is subject to plasticity. Has there been a suitable model generated to account for the Earth’s crust flexibility?

  24. The most obvious problem with GRACE is that it depends upon a model of how fast the land underneath the ice is either rising or sinking. It seems unlikely that the entire continent of Antartica is rising or sinking at the same rate to further complicate the issue.

  25. When it comes to sea level rising, I would like to know what the government of the Netherlands thinks about all this. They have more cause than anyone to be directly concerned for the exact numbers…and strong practical incentives for not wanting to jump on an alarmist bandwagon.

  26. Rustneversleeps,

    apparently you missed the articles where Grace showed large losses of ice from western Antarctic. The numbers were large enough that they sent an onsite expedition to verify the numbers. It was found that the interpretation of the Grace observations missed by a rather large amount.

    In other words, the interpretations of the Grace observations were wrong then and wrong now just as you are. Before you try to slam anyone again you may want to brush up your own ignorance!!

  27. Not tomorrow, not this century, but sometime…

    …we will be hit by an asteroid large enough to cause mass extinction.

  28. Actually, wsbriggs notices something of importance.

    Green religion is exactly equivalent to the fairy tale of the Biblical Flood following the Mortal Sin.

    Big Bang = Creation.
    Civilization = Mortal Sin (eating a fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, a transition from barbarism to decadence, according to Joseph Brodsky; he was joking, they took it at face value).
    Wages of Sin = Death, Great Flood, Plague, Drought, Fiery Hell, add any disaster, salt, pepper, and garlic to your taste.
    Salvation = Just Give Us Money, We’ll Save You! (Church)

    It’s equivalent to some minute details. Grand Priest Gore organizing the sale of indulgences (“carbon credits”). Pachauri looking like an Inquisitor from the Middle Ages who went bad in a broken freezer.

    Christianity is a heresy of Judaism. Socialism is a heresy of Christianity. Green Religion is a heresy of the Socialism.

    All these are manifestations of the same primitive delusion (projection of self on the blank screen of the unknown, according to Jack Vance): there are allegedly invisible forces around us that judge our behavior and decide our fate; most of us aren’t able to discern their will or predict their decisions but mullahs (scientists) are talking to them; they say that if we sacrifice more and more (pay through the nose and self-flagellate, burning a dozen of heretics now and then), these perpetually angry gods may spare us yet…

    Anyway, it’s better to save a few by killing off millions than die altogether, right? It’s better to do something then to do nothing, perish or no perish, right? What are mere trillions of dollars compared to Eternal Damnation?

    Are you a heretic? Your carbon footprint looks suspiciously like a print of a cloven foot! Hue and cry, sick him, tally-ho! Skin him alive, nail him to the cross, burn him alive!

    Wizards and kings are bringing gifts to the Newborn Green Messiah while counting our gold… Carnifexes and extorters are sharpening their instruments, adjusting their data and smoothing their curves. Glenn Beck and Jeremiah Wright, you are history.
    Paint yourself green before it’s too late.

    Across the falling sky is the Toxic Rainbow of Diversity Consensus, and Nancy Pelosi’s toothy smile glimmers through it, like Cheshire Cat’s… Come, kneel, and pray, ye faithful!

  29. kdk33 says:
    “September 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Not tomorrow, not this century, but sometime…

    …we will be hit by an asteroid large enough to cause mass extinction”
    -Except we have the technology to stop it-well maybe the Chinese or the Russians.

  30. This reminds me of a MASH episode (credit imdb.com):
    “M*A*S*H: Mail Call (#2.23)” (1974)

    [Klinger reads Henry a letter from his mom that says his dad’s dying]
    Henry Blake: The father dying, right?
    Klinger: Yes, sir.
    Henry Blake: [takes out a stack of papers and reads them] Father dying last year. Mother dying last year. Mother AND father dying. Mother, father, and older sister dying. Mother dying and older sister pregnant. Older sister dying and mother pregnant. Younger sister pregnant and older sister dying. Here’s an oldie but a goodie: Half of the family dying, other half pregnant.

    [after Klinger tries once again to get out of the Army]
    Henry Blake: Klinger, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.
    Klinger: Yes, sir. I don’t deserve to be in the Army.

  31. Michael J. Dunn says:
    September 6, 2010 at 11:15 am
    “When it comes to sea level rising, I would like to know what the government of the Netherlands thinks about all this.”

    They are happy to tell you. For example:
    http://www.safecoast.org/

  32. Alexander Feht says…. (see above)

    I appreciate the laugh. I prefer the term ‘priestcraft’ when describing the tut-tut remonstrations of ‘those who know more’ and who direct the flock what to think about what they see, or can’t see, or might see, eventually.

    So Antarctic ice might melt to nothing in the next 370,000 years if there are no intervening ice ages and the melting some claim is happening now or melting and accumulation with melting now outpacing accumulation also happening now, as others would have it.

    From this distance, it really does appear that some priests version of reality will have all accumulation, loss, melting and freezing be fashioned into proof that AGW is real, that it is primarily caused, detectably, by CO2 emitted by human industry and transportation. It is, frankly, unbelievable that all permutations can be true, let alone proven so. Why not rather write off Antarctica as ‘unknown’ and concentrate for publicity purposes on the Arctic where Greenland at least sticks to the “All is Going Wrong” line by continuing its millenia-long melt?

    Frankly, priests, the claims are unbelievable, literally. My main objection is that it has confirmed by land thermometers that the temperature of the bulk of the continent has been going down for at least 50 years. It is not a surprise that ice and snow accumulate when the temperature over such a vast area drops, on average, every year. The much quoted article about a warming Antarctic in last years Science (about ‘not bucking the trend’) is nothing less than silly, projecting over cooling land areas, as it does, temperatures from the coasts. An article like that would not have made it into my high school newspaper. Shame on Science! Shame!

    How can these decreased temperatures be argued into ‘increased precipitation from increased evaporation? Look at the ARGO sea temps from around the Antarctic? How can there be increased evaporation from cooling seas – and in the same time period as the GRACE measurements? Increased wind from the decreasing temps maybe? Interpret the mathematical entrails cast upon the screen by GRACE and tell us what it means O priests of climate!

    A ‘grace’ is an undeserved bounty. I am wondering for whom.

  33. John F Hultquist

    That safecoast view of Holland shows it looking in 2050 remarkably similar to that of the 12th century. Sea levels generally have a little way to go before reaching those heights again.

    Tonyb

  34. Max Hugoson says:
    September 6, 2010 at 10:33 am
    Is it me? Is it because of my years of working with instrumentation, and measurements in the industrial realm?

    You know what that very linear movement of the sea level looks like.

    INSTRUMENT DRIFT…

    Hummmm…

    Signed, party pooper fuddy duddy.

    Max

    I have recommended this document in comments here several times in the past

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/ocean/J2_handbook_v1-4_no_rev.pdf

    It is the data products handbook for the Jason-2 satellite system, the latest and greatest of the our measurement systems for determining MSL. It’s worth studying for the large amount of basic information on the multitude of elements involved in attempting to derive what the global mean sea level is, but for the purposes of the discussion of the burgeoning rise in sea level the most pertinent section is 2.3.1 Accuracy of Sea Level Measurements. In particular this sentence ” The sea surface height shall be provided with a globally averaged RMS accuracy of 3.4 cm(1 sigma), or better, assuming 1 second averages.”

    A number of points to consider regarding that sentence

    1) Lay a +/- 3.4 cm error bar across that frequently published graph of rising MSL in the satellite era and it covers the whole graph quite nicely.
    2) The 3.4 cm accuracy is a pre launch specification that is still TBD.
    3) As I mentioned the Jason-2 is the latest and greatest iteration in our efforts, which has significant improvements relative to Jason-1, which was itself an almost order of magnitude improvement over the older TOPEX/Poseidon sats.

    Also, if you peruse the Table at pg 17/67 of the PDF, you’ll see a line for significant wave height which suggests that the system is unable to read the surface to better than 0.4 METERS when waves are present, which makes the bold claims of achievable accuracy seem more than a bit suspect.

    Even I occasionally fall into the trap of granting excess credibility to satellite data, but we would all be well advised to remind ourselves on a regular basis that, although these products of our incredible human ingenuity are published and quoted with amazing levels of precision, they are vastly complex systems which even if they could be operated at levels of physical perfection never achieved in any much less complex human mechanism, would still not be able to provide accuracy anywhere near that precision suggested in the presented data.

  35. I’ll let one of his allies offer the final word from those trying to scare us all:
    “Tom Fuller seems to have missed the point I made yesterday.
    Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up…”

    Well, they *are* — as long as you define a “way” as a “millimeter”…

  36. The problem with gravimetric measurements of ice thickness is the uncertainty in the isostatic adjustments. In Greenland and West Antarctica there are at least some actual data, since there are icefree areas where you can measure the actual up or down movement of the bedrock. There is a lot of uncertainty all the same since the isostatic adjustment can change rather strongly over short distances.
    In East Antarctica it is much worse since there is no icefree areas at all for several million square kilometers. So the isostatic adjustment is modelled. The important input data for such modelling are:
    1. the size of the icesheet at the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago
    2. the timing and speed of the changes in ice cover since then
    3. the viscosity of the earths mantle beneath the icecap

    1. we know reasonably well
    2. is practically unknown
    3. is only known with a very large margin of uncertainty

    In principle it is possible to actually measure the isostatic changes from the gravimetric data if you can simultaneously measure the absolute altitude of the icecap to within a few centimeters and keep doing these measurements in parallell for a few decades. Then – and only then – will we know the changes of the East Antarctic Icecap with the kind of precision already being claimed today.

  37. Thomas Fuller

    You are aware of the many intrinsic problems of satellites aren’t you which I will need convincing have been resolved? This is nowhere better exemplified than those recording sea levels.

    Our global sea level data is drawn from three very incomplete N European tidal station records dating to the mid 1700’s, all from the same ocean basin. AR4 chapter 5 omits to mention about the paucity of global records and makes an estimate of historic levels before stitching the satellite records on to the old tidal records. At the back of the chapter they mention about the inconsistencies in the satellite record which, at up to 5cm, is many times greater than the measurement they are taking.

    I’m sure someone at some point has done an article here on the nonsenses of the sea level record which has (even) more flaws in it than the global surface temperature record.

    Moving away from your satellite references, in the great scheme of things historic sea level estimates are probably just about as bad as historic SST’s, which are an astonishing attempt to turn lead into gold by using a tiny number of data points to try to create a meaningful global record.

    If you’re interested I’ll dig out the references-I’m away from my main computer at present.

    Tonyb

  38. From: RW on September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    “Previous ideas about massive sea level rise or tipping points leading to unending temperature increases have been debunked.”

    The first bit depends what you mean exactly by “massive”. The second bit is pure strawman. No-one ever predicted unending temperature increases.

    Well it is true at some point the temperatures will be so high the CO2 will disassociate into separate carbon and oxygen atoms, without the CO2 causing global warming the temperature increases will stop.

    Thus (C)AGW is a self-correcting problem so it’s nothing to really worry about.

  39. the Eastern Antarctic has lost 57 billion tons a year–plus or minus 52 billion tons. Hmm. I think we need a few more orbits, myself. Having a margin of error as large as the original figure doesn’t inspire confidence.
    ==========================================================

    and not one single person missed it – damn!

  40. Steven quietly hits it on the head and sadly is not heard:

    steven says:
    September 6, 2010 at 11:08 am

    The most obvious problem with GRACE is that it depends upon a model of how fast the land underneath the ice is either rising or sinking. It seems unlikely that the entire continent of Antartica is rising or sinking at the same rate to further complicate the issue.

    This is exactly what Wu et al. are trying to address. The discrepancy between the currently assumed ice loss and their findings is not definitive but it is interesting. The jury on GRACE data analysis is not out.

    Commenting on the paper, David H. Bromwich & Julien P. Nicolas observe that:
    ‘[T]he contribution from glacial isostatic adjustment is more difficult to evaluate because the Earth’s mantle is viscoelastic and therefore responds to changes in surface loading with a long delay. Indeed, the variations of the mass and extent of the ice sheets since the Last Glacial Maximum, about 20,000 years ago, continue to affect present-day changes in bedrock elevation. Assessments of the glacial isostatic adjustment typically rely on deglaciation models—which simulate the evolution of the ice sheets since the Last Glacial Maximum—together with assumptions about the viscosity profile of the mantle. Much is still unknown regarding the history of the ice sheets, and even less is known about the behaviour of the mantle in response to loading and unloading.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n9/full/ngeo946.html

    Now we have this:

    rustneversleeps says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

    […] GRACE results do not undermine climate models which eventually call for a loss of ice from East Antarctica. They do somewhat challenge the current models regarding dynamical ice sheet response to small warming. This is nothing to feel reassured about.

    Which means:

    GRACE results show ice loss trend. GRACE results are based on estimates of GIA (glacial isostatic adjustment). These have been questioned. The revision proposed is that estimates of ice loss might be too high. Perhaps quite a lot too high. But GRACE results still show ice loss trend.

    But perhaps only half as much as we thought.

  41. I’d like to re-emphasize two points, if I may. First, I have no beef with what the scientists are doing. I think it’s worthwhile, I think it should be published, and I think that they understand that this will be an iterative process. Second, the real question is, if Antarctica actually is losing ice, what does that mean for climate change theory, which predicts it should be gaining ice through the first few decades of this century?

  42. @ Mr. Fuller:

    “But for some, the need to believe (and to preach) about a coming catastrophe is so strong that they are willing to overturn their own theories to take temporary advantage of ephemeral observations that will support their apocalyptic vision of the future.”

    What else is new? This has been around since caveman days. And it has always been used for political, religious, and financial purposes ( not a lot of difference in those actually – all 3 are about power ). If I may, I’d suggest reading “Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures”, by Marvin Harris. Pay particular attention to the Mumi.

  43. BBD says: [oops]
    September 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm
    Steven quietly hits it on the head and sadly is not heard:

    Apologies to tty. Please see his informative comment above:

    tty says:
    September 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    The problem with gravimetric measurements of ice thickness is the uncertainty in the isostatic adjustments.

  44. Tom Fuller

    No problem. I was going to work this up into an article on sea levels one of these days although someone must have already posted an article here on this fragile part of a fragile science.

    “We are being bamboozled by science which likes to have a nice graph to explain everything, unfortunately the real world is more complicated than that. Global sea levels are -like global temperatures-a nonsensical artefact dreamt up in a computer laboratory where satellite records are tacked on to manufactured and highly incomplete histroric records from selected tide gauges.. Modern Sea level rises- where happening- are not being seen in context as another of those regular cycles that stretch back much further than the satellite records or tide gauges into the depths of recorded time.

    This is the latest IPCC assessment which confirms sea level calculations from 1993 are by satellite.(page 5 onwards)
    Link1
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf

    The sea level calculations rely on an enormous number of variable factors including pressure, location, tides, warmth of oceans, structures, storms, wave heights, surges, stasis, location of the gauge/sensor, slope of the underlying strata etc. The accuracy of measurements is said to be 3cm (10 times the level of the alleged annual rise) but in reality is often vaguer than that because of the inherent difficulties of measuring. Observed real world sea levels generally simply do not show the rate of increase suggested by the IPCC (although this varies enormously from place to place for reasons cited above)

    Link 2 The document below was written by many of our old friends including Phil Jones and Mike Hulme-page 19 gives the sea level data
    http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/images/stories/trends_pdfs/Trends_section1&2.pdf

    The information for historic sea levels was ‘extended’ from a paper by one of the scientists at Proudman
    Link3
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/products.php

    Link 4 This is reconstruction of sea level data from 1700 of three extremely incomplete Northern Hemisphere records from which IPCC extrapolate their figures, take them to be a global figure and splice them on to the satellite records
    Link 5 .
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/author_archive/jevrejeva_etal_1700/

    These three are taken to represent global figures since 1700-much data missing and subsequently interpolated.
    Amsterdam from 1700 (Van Veen 1945)
    Liverpool since 1768 (Woodworth 1999)
    Stockholm since 1774 (Ekman 1988)
    It says there are differences even in the same ocean basin between tide gauges of up to plus or minus 6cm rendering their use for a global record to be irrelevant

    Link 6
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/author_archive/jevrejeva_etal_1700/2008GL033611.pdf
    pdf from 1700 link
    6cm margin of error from tide gauges in same ocean basin

    Both the following sites give a good description of the satellite process-which is being constantly refined but doesn’t get more extremely accurate as the inherent flaws in measuring capabilities can’t be fully resolved no matter how many satellite passes are made.
    Link 7
    http://www.tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/issue_pdfs/15_1/15_1_jacobs_et_al.pdf
    Link 8
    http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/Journal/Issues/1999/dec/abs1635.html

    The following sites deals with problems of satellite accuracy and data;
    Link 9
    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/193/2009/os-5-193-2009.html
    Link 10
    This with reliability
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=859
    Link 11
    ;http://lightblueline.org/satellite-tracking-sea-levels-set-launch

    The UK Environment Agency -where possible like to use physical tide gauges as well when developing flood defence schemes, which are both visually observed or can send data electronically. Best of all is gathering information from local people such as the Harbour master or those who work the fishing boats and who know what is really happening.

    The following link leads to a graph produced by the Dutch Govt sea level organisation- and confirm sea levels are stable and are somewhat lower than during the MWP. (This won’t stop them reacting to the IPCC by raising sea defences)
    Link 12
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=61

    Link 13
    We have much observational evidence of historic sea levels (p162 on-including a map in the following link)
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=0Nucx3udvnoC&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&dq=romans+in+iceland&source=bl&ots=5k8qGn7VK4&sig=s4aeHlT8Tivz8rVwcHFRVFZjDp0&hl=en&ei=38FJSr2pKpe7jAfu2rRi&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

    Ancient Greek explorer Pytheas travelled to Iceland and not only discovered the frozen seas lying one days journey beyond, but was the first to quantify the moons action as being responsible for tides, and took physical measurements of heights. Sea level heights are generally said to be lower today than back in the Roman warm period and Mwp.

    Sea castles in the UK built in the 11th century are now above the sea level entrances which ships used to re-supply them.
    This links leads to a 1913 book on Harlech castle-one such building which is now high and dry-nothing to do with stasis or deposition, but that sea levels are lower now than when it was built 1000 years ago. Suggest readers select the b/w pdf
    Link 14
    http://www.archive.org/details/merionethshire00morr

    Extract

    “In 1409 an attack was made upon Harlech, led by Gilbert and John Talbot for
    the King; the besiegers comprised one thousand well armed soldiers and a big siege train. The besieged were in the advantageous situation of being able to receive their necessary supplies from the sea, for the waves of
    Cardigan Bay at that time washed the base of the rock upon which the castle stands. Greater vigilance on the part of the attacking force stopped this and the castle was surrendered in the spring of the year.

    A remarkable feature of the castle is a covered staircase cut out of the rock, defended on the seaward side by a looped parapet, and closed above and below by small gatehouses. This was the water-gate of the fortress,
    and opened upon a small quay below.”

    Link 15 The following pictures show the current location of the sea.

    Link 16
    Sea in far distance from Harlech castle

    and this

    Link 17
    http://www.buildmodelcastles.com/html/castle_history.html
    very good item about Harlech

    Link 18
    http://www.walesdirectory.co.uk/Castles/Harlech_Castle.htm

    Sea levels AND temperatures were higher in the MWP and the Roman warm periods and presumably other extended warm periods (the period 1700 to 1740 is looking increasingly comparable to today).

    The worlds leading sea level expert Professor Morner has called the IPCC figures ‘a lie.’ Google ‘The greatest lie ever told’
    Morner says: “The mean eustatic rise in sea level for the period 1850-1930 was in the order of 1.0-1.1 mm/year,” but that “after 1930-40, this rise seems to have stopped (Pirazzoli et al., 1989; Morner, 1973,2000).” This stasis, in his words, “lasted, at least, up to the mid-60s.” Thereafter, “the record can be divided into three parts: (1) 1993-1996 with a clear trend of stability, (2) 1997-1998 with a high-amplitude rise and fall recording the ENSO event of these years and (3) 1998-2000 with an irregular record of no clear tendency.” Most important of all, in his words, “There is a total absence of any recent ‘acceleration in sea level rise’ as often claimed by IPCC and related groups.”
    He concludes: “When we consider past records, recorded variability, causational processes involved and the last century’s data, our best estimate of possible future sea-level changes is +10 +/- 10cm in a century, or, maybe, even +5 +/- 15cm.” See also Morner (1995); INQUA (2000).”

    I am inclined to agree with Professor Morner that sea level is not really doing very much generally (with exceptions either way in some places)
    Link 19
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/12we18.htm
    The above link dissects the data and states that a rise by 2100 of 5cm is possible…. plus or minus 15cm!

    Morner stresses (as I do) that observational data contradicts the theoretical interpolated and massaged data that is used by the IPCC.
    John Daly also had a good handle on all this.

    Link 20
    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/index.htm

    The sea level is not rising at the rate suggested-it has stumbled in recent years according to many local gauges (what is global sea level supposed to mean with a million kilometres of coastline?)

    To reach a 1 metre increase by 2100 means an average of nearly 11mm a year (only 90 years remaining). There is simply no evidence to show this is happening.

    We must stop looking at just a few years of data as ‘proof’ of rising levels , and instead view things in a historic context, whilst retaining a great deal of scepticism at the notion you can create a highly accurate global figure in the first place, or that tacking dubious satellite data on to even more dubious tide gauge data is any way to create a worthwhile measurement .
    I had intended to cover historic sea levels as a companion to my ‘arctic ice variation through the ages’ series.

    Tonyb

  45. Tom Fuller reasonably asks:

    ‘Second, the real question is, if Antarctica actually is losing ice, what does that mean for climate change theory, which predicts it should be gaining ice through the first few decades of this century?’

    I don’t know either.

  46. “Second, the real question is, if Antarctica actually is losing ice, what does that mean for climate change theory, which predicts it should be gaining ice through the first few decades of this century?”

    When observations contradict theory, either the theory or the observation is incorrect.

    If Antarctica actually is losing ice, decades ahead of predictions, what does that mean for your belief that we face only “moderate” sea level rises? I notice that you haven’t answered the question of which “conventional theory” exactly you are referring to with that claim.

  47. DesertYote: “So who cares if the sea levels raise. It is not as if there is anything special about the level they are at now.”

    umm… perhaps you haven’t noticed all the ports are at sea level, all that expensive beachside real estate, all those fertile river deltas, etc etc.

    If we choose to keep going on the higher temperatures/higher sea level process, there’s gonna need to be a lot of rebuilding going on in the next few centuries as we either retreat to higher ground or build higher and higher sea walls. Not a good legacy for 21st century humans to leave…

  48. We live on a planet in precession (off balance), with a molten core, and acted upon by various gravitational influences. Does the shape and density of the core figure into the gravity anomalies? Or movement of the “core”.
    Movement of magma, might be detected, at the level of sensitivity (I assume is) claimed, and possibly an additional use of the data? I.E. Earthquake/volcano research.
    That being said, I have looked at the GRACE website, and the number “adjustments” that have already been done to the data, give me pause.

  49. The “Drumbeat of the Doomers,” rolls on regardless of the evidence as seen even here in the comments section of WUWT.

  50. 10 microns over a distance of 220 km!? From the space agency that can’t convert Imperial units to metric? Uh, okay.

    I’ve got to believe the variable center of mass of the Earth/Moon system due to the mechanics of the solar system would introduce more than a 10 micron uncertainty in objects 220 km apart.

    I know NASA astrophysicists are much smarter than I, but I didn’t read “reference frame dragging” in the about article, so I have to wonder.

  51. crazy bill says:
    September 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    “DesertYote: “So who cares if the sea levels raise. It is not as if there is anything special about the level they are at now.”

    umm… perhaps you haven’t noticed all the ports are at sea level, all that expensive beachside real estate, all those fertile river deltas, etc etc.

    If we choose to keep going on the higher temperatures/higher sea level process, there’s gonna need to be a lot of rebuilding going on in the next few centuries as we either retreat to higher ground or build higher and higher sea walls. Not a good legacy for 21st century humans to leave…”

    What? You’re against shovel-ready jobs stretching for years into the future?

  52. The problem isn’t with GRACE. There aren’t a few bugs to work out. The methodology produces solutions that are non-unique. There are an infinite number of solutions to choose from. So constraints are needed. Assumptions need to be made. This is where the danger sets in. Even with a perfect measuring system this problem remains. You can’t measure ice loss from space unless you know exactly what is going on at all depths in the Antarctic. They probably don’t even have an accurate model for isostatic rebound, let alone melting ice, variations in ice density etc.
    Thomas Fuller gets my vote for more guest posts.

  53. crazy bill says:
    September 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm
    DesertYote: “So who cares if the sea levels raise. It is not as if there is anything special about the level they are at now.”

    umm… perhaps you haven’t noticed all the ports are at sea level, all that expensive beachside real estate, all those fertile river deltas, etc etc.

    If we choose to keep going on the higher temperatures/higher sea level process, there’s gonna need to be a lot of rebuilding going on in the next few centuries as we either retreat to higher ground or build higher and higher sea walls. Not a good legacy for 21st century humans to leave…

    Most ports become more serviceable with higher sea levels not less. If you look at most of the coastal construction in the previous century, almost none of it has a planned lifespan of even fifty years and many areas have already been rebuilt more than once. The decline in river deltas is largely unrelated to sea level, but relates to various diversions of river sediments.
    So, even if we stipulate to the dubious present record of sea level rise and accept as given a doubling or even tripling of that number, investing massive amounts in schemes which have almost no possibility of affecting whatever may transpire in the future, in regard to sea level or anything else, is economic and social insanity.

  54. tonyb says:
    September 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm
    ===========================
    Tony, thank you. I agree with Tom, well done.
    Looking forward to your article or post on it.
    What an amazing piece of detective work and an education for me and everyone reading it.
    Thank you again

  55. RE: richard telford, September 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

    “Theory doesn’t make any general pronouncement about which term, accumulation or loss, will dominate”

    As science is a deductive process you cannot of course then say that ice loss or ice gain is evidence for global warming.

  56. John F. Hultquist says:
    September 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    Michael J. Dunn says:
    September 6, 2010 at 11:15 am
    “When it comes to sea level rising, I would like to know what the government of the Netherlands thinks about all this.”

    They are happy to tell you. For example:
    http://www.safecoast.org/

    Thanks, Mr. Hultquist. I went there and rambled about for a short while. They are very consummate bureaucrats, careful not to be alarming, yet not heedless of potential threats. Their attitude seems to be nicely summarized in the following quotation from their synthesis report:

    “With respect to the development of climate change there is a reasonable consensus on the average order of magnitude of sea level rise (5 to 6 mm per year, following the IPCC). However, a Safecoast study (Action 1) concluded that the translation from scientific based climate change scenarios in the various countries and the assumptions actually applied in coastal risk management lack consistency and transparency. Moreover, the actual scenario applications are generally limited to sea level rise and do not incorporate assumptions for future changes in storminess or tidal characteristics. The main reasons for that are the lack of scientific knowledge and the complexity of dealing with these different climate change aspects in a long term policy making context.”

  57. RW says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    The first bit depends what you mean exactly by “massive”. The second bit is pure strawman. No-one ever predicted unending temperature increases.

    Sorry to jump in here so late, but I began reading the comments on this post and I was slammed in the face by this particular one early on. RW, have you lost your marbles? This is absolutely utter and complete BS (and I don’t mean bad science, I mean the kind of BS that comes from the South end of a North bound cow). We have been pummeled ad-nauseum about “tipping points”, “runaway global warming”, absurd comparisons to Venus, Ocean’s boiling away, etc, etc, etc. Your assertion “No-one ever predicted unending temperature increases” is such utter and nonsensical BS it is astounding.

    I’m sorry RW, I can’t even get past the rest of what you were saying as you have lost all credibility with me.

  58. I don’t know a lot about GRACE and the techniques employed by this technology. It all sounds quite intriguing, however, this just seems to me yet another xBox-360 that nobody knows how to operate or interpret. I could not put any serious consideration into any data or results at this stage. I have high hopes that this will turn into something grand, but I am not holding my breathe. Personally, I am getting a little worn by the endless proclamations by various groups and new technologies promising “this time we really have it”, only to find later that it is all just another bunch of garbage. Ah, modern technology, isn’t it wonderful?

  59. In the case of the Greenland ice sheet, the findings of GRACE are supported by GPS measurements of crustal uplift and by laser altimetry. The scientists analyzing GRACE data place a strong emphasis on corroboration (hence calibration) by other methods. I don’t think the GRACE scientists are part of the global network of climate scientists who are working in concert to deceive world and usher in a new socialist one-world government that will outlaw fossil fuels. I’m not sure though.

  60. richard telford says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:32 am
    …………
    Theory doesn’t make any general pronouncement about which term, accumulation or loss, will dominate, and in different outcomes are possible in different times and places.

    In common speak this is what you call covering all bases. It’s also called covering your ar***

  61. Thank you Dave Wendt, Max Hugoson and TonyB. Comments on posts are even better than the main articles. Mr. Fuller has generated plenty of interest and hus contributions should be encouraged.

  62. Grace had graced us before .

    Though one could accept the accuracy of the gravity measurements, how can one believe the assumptions necessary to isolate the gravitational change and attribute it to ice changes is something beyond my comprehension.

    In the map shown in the first link, large gravitational changes are shown all over the globe. Presumably they are tectonic and magma and what not movements of the mantle and further below. Why would the antarctic be different? How in the world anybody with a straight face can support such estimates and get peer reviewed is to be wondered at. Self deluding peers?

  63. Anna V

    Quite so. Hear hear.

    A point I have been trying to make for some time.

    It is not that these new tools are not going to become enormously useful: it is just we haven’t learned how to use them yet.

    Kindest Regards

  64. Scanned the thread quickly, so this may already have been posted.

    Direct link to the Delft paper (PDF) mentioned at the end of the post;

    http://polarmet.osu.edu/PolarMet/PMGFulldocs/bromwich_nicolas_ngeo_2010.pdf

    If anyone has a direct link (PDF) to the Quinn paper;

    Ocean Mass Trends (and Sea Level Estimates) from GRACE Reference
    Quinn, K.J. and Ponte, R.M. 2010. Uncertainty in ocean mass trends from GRACE. Geophysical Journal International 181: 762-768.

    it would be greatly appreciated.

  65. I don’t see the problem! As it gets colder the interior gets less snow. Any dumb farmer knows that the colder it gets the less snow falls. The interior of Antartica is so cold it is a desert where there is no melting only evaporation(sublimation). And a loss of 57 million tons of ice per year,( or maybe not) is a very small drop in a very large barrel.

  66. “REPLY: You make a good case for citations, show yours, I’m sure Fuller will reciprocate. – Anthony”

    IPCC AR4 WG1 chapters 10.6.4 & 4.6

    Awaiting Fuller’s citations.

    REPLY: Sorry, you fail to prove your point, that’s not a specific citation that is point on the issue you raise, there’s lots in those chpaters…not going to let you off that easy. Be specific on points that support your claim. – Anthony

  67. I had an alarm go off if the third line of this article. There seems to be statistically significant correlation between those who claim things have been debunked and those who are ill-informed and self-opinionated. I tend to give low credibility to such texts.

    So it did not come as much of a surprise that Mr. Fuller thinks claims of ice loss come from GRACE data.

    The big problem here is that the satellite data has to be adjusted for mantel rebound from the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. Guess how this is done ? A computer model of course. Based on fairly naive , simplistic models about viscosity of the underlying rock etc. These models are total speculation since there is no hard evidence against which to calibrate them.

    There may or may not be some teething troubles with the satellites but if I wanted to doubt the results of these claims I would look at the models first.

    These claims are not made “based on satellite data” they are based on pure speculation from uncalibrated models.

  68. squid2112 says: September 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm
    RW says: September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am
    “No-one ever predicted unending temperature increases.”

    I agree with squid here. The whole mechanism of positive feedbacks proposed do imply unending increases, effectively. The model predictions I’ve seen are have temperatures going up strongly int 2100 still. I’m interested in where they actually plateau but as they’ve proposed the Earth’s climate is effectively unstable then it looks as though the sea may have to boil away they get to some equilibrium point.

  69. “REPLY: Sorry, you fail to prove your point, that’s not a specific citation that is point on the issue you raise, there’s lots in those chpaters…not going to let you off that easy. Be specific on points that support your claim. – Anthony”

    So I must jump through hoops so Fuller can be spared the embarrassment of either having to admit he made it up or misunderstood the literature?

    REPLY: Pretty much yeah…. actually anybody who makes claims should be prepared to cite *in detail*, not just making vague hand wavings at some huge publication. – Mike

  70. squid2112 and peakbear: no climate scientist has ever predicted unending temperature increases. If you think they have, then you should find it easy to just post a link to a relevant journal article. Simply blustering rudely is highly unconvincing.

  71. Thanks Tom

    By the way I do enjoy your articles and hope you write more. It is good to have different viewpoints to debate, although we might not agree with them. The evidence for a lot of the things being claimed is very flaky and too many people just accept them at face value.
    Tonyb

  72. “Conventional theory on climate change points to moderate temperature and sea level rises that can be dealt with using existing technology, although the sooner we start the easier it will be.”

    Thomas, the problem here is you talk about “climate change” without adding the awkward “anthropogenic”. Yet, in the very same sentence, you then speak of controlling climate, and doing so immediately. There is nothing moderate about trying to control the earth’s climate, whether by emissions trading, taxes, sulphate pollution or expensive and inefficient energy generation. If you are a regular reader of WUWT, you’d have to understand that we can’t let the statement pass. You really need to expand on what you mean by this, with detail and clarity, before proceeding to anything else. No cute stuff.

    The bulk of your article consists of singing to the skeptic choir. Yet that one craftily vague sentence is the venom in an otherwise well-sugared brew. The great danger of “moderate” warmists is that they continue to promote AGW, all the time making noises about reconciliation, communication and the like. While you may be a skeptic-friendly Menshevik, you could be laying a platform for something, and someone, else.

    Seen the Greenpeace ad with the angry kid in the hoodie? He’s not you. He’s what comes after you, after the Mensheviks.

  73. There is an UN organization that is tasked with measuring the rate of decay of the orbital time of the earth. They found out a couple of years ago that this decay rate has reduced, not as expected, and the only reason these scientists can put forward to explain this is an increase of ice mass in Antarctica. Rather like a spinning skater lowering their arms and increasing spin rate. This would seem to me to be a more accurate method than a non-corrected satellite system. Iron the bugs out of this Grace system and then let us see the data.

    REPLY: Ice mass in Antarctica will not change the decay of the orbital time of the Earth, since the Earth doesn’t orbit itself. It will alter the rotational period of the Earth. – Mike

  74. REPLY: Pretty much yeah…. actually anybody who makes claims should be prepared to cite *in detail*, not just making vague hand wavings at some huge publication. – Mike

    IPCC AR4 WG1 section 10.6.4 is a massive three pages long.

    Michael Tobis’s post at http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/09/fullerminations.html also points out Fuller’s faults. Perhaps Fuller will post his citations after reading that.
    Normal scientific practice (the real one, rather than the imaginary versions preferred here) would be for the original author to include citations to back up claims, rather than demanding readers provide citations that refute the claims.

    REPLY: Both sides are expected to be able to justify their remarks. – Mike

  75. Why on Earth (literally) would you try to measure sea level from space? Its going to cost a huge amount to do and give you more variables to consider other than wave, tide and atmospheric pressure. Any change is going to be slow (unless you are expecting a tidal wave of meltwater from the poles) and will settle as an even distribution. Did tide gauges suggest that there was a changing level? If they did, why wasn’t their output sufficient? If they did not, why was this project approved?

  76. My comment at 2:17 was rhetorical which doesn’t help here. So, for info, a rise of 2mm/year over the last 100 years and with a linear trend. All determined low-tech, reliably and cheaply with original data available!

  77. RW says:
    September 7, 2010 at 12:35 am
    squid2112 and peakbear: no climate scientist has ever predicted unending temperature increases. If you think they have, then you should find it easy to just post a link to a relevant journal article. Simply blustering rudely is highly unconvincing.

    I just went and Googled “temperature rises for 22nd century”

    I fail to see where squid2112 and peakbear are wrong. There seems to be no end of people predicting continuous temperature rises.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1755-1315/6/49/492004/pdf/ees9_6_492004.pdf
    discusses some of them.

    How about this absolute corker, which predicts 8° into 2300, and calls it “conservative”:
    http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1102-llnl.html

  78. crazy bill says:
    September 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm


    If we choose to keep going on the higher temperatures/higher sea level process, there’s gonna need to be a lot of rebuilding going on in the next few centuries as we either retreat to higher ground or build higher and higher sea walls. Not a good legacy for 21st century humans to leave…

    It is called hubris. Well, your nickname is appropriately chosen if you really believe that we have a choice and can leave a legacy. Go back and reread Tonyb’s post.

    Ask yourself, did our forefathers have choices? Did they leave us a legacy of spreading deltas and receding sealines?

  79. Owen says “I don’t think the GRACE scientists are part of the global network of climate scientists who are working in concert to deceive”…
    In a GRACE paper attributing a significant “low” over Northern India to water loss the scientists completely ignored the even larger “high” over Southern India, which would suggest an increase in available water if one believed these anomalies.
    Today’s scientists seem to be stuck on describing bad things happening on the Earth such as loss of acquifers, rising sea levels, higher intensity storms etc, rather than trying to describe the Earth more accurately. Why do we only find bad things with our technology? This suggests an underlying political agenda in the approach to these papers.

  80. The answer is simple. I know a bit about GRACE (and her lunar cousin GRAIL) and what you have is people guessing at what the GRAVITY measurements indicate. All GRACE does is measure local gravity levels. This means that GRACE measurements are indicating a loss of mass – not specifically a loss of ice! Given how little we know about the internal dynamics and core of planet, to assume all changes in gravity are due to H2O in some form is a bit presumptuous in my book.

  81. RW says: September 7, 2010 at 12:35 am
    “no climate scientist has ever predicted unending temperature increases.”

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/presentations.shtml

    Hansen, mention often ‘Tipping Points’ and ‘Points of No Return’ – ie linked here in ‘Climate Threat to the Planet’. I would say it is fair to summarize Hansen as the planet leading to a Venus like situation, which I guess isn’t increasing in temperature significantly but would be a pretty academic point to us at those temperatures.

  82. “Tom Fuller seems to have missed the point I made yesterday.

    Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up.

    Got it now?”

    Gob smacked, I’m guessing a climate scientist’s comment. Trouble is what is the counter argument to get your point across to ‘go way, way, way, way, way up’, I surpose if you want to get in on their level ‘go way, way, way, way, way up by inches over decades’ (Is that simple enough?)

  83. “Sea levels are going to go way, way, way, way, way up.”

    When? From all that I’ve seen we (people) have plenty of time. Right?
    They go up! They go down! They move, we move. What’s the problem? It’s always been that way; it will always be that way; right? What’s the big deal? If it’s going to get warmer sooner than later, what’s the problem? If the sea level rises 10m so what? If it’s going to get cooler sooner than later, what’s the problem? If it falls 10m so what? What are you worried about?

    Life’s a beach! The water goes up and down! It always has, it always will.
    Who cares? Really? Who cares?
    Remember, we were kicked out of The Garden, We’re on our own!

  84. RW says:
    September 6, 2010 at 11:10 am
    “So who cares if the sea levels raise”

    “Maybe people who live close to sea level?”

    Even the trees will have time to move. If it turns out that they need to.

    What gets me about the sea-level rising panic is the time frame, and the end point. The endpoint if all the ant/arctic ice melts may be several tens of meters – way way way way way up for sure, but the year that happens will be a long long long long long long time from now.

    I suspect the earth will be entering the next ice-age before significant melting occurs. Then sea-levels will go down and everyone will be happy.
    Right?

  85. Tom Fuller said: “Second, the real question is, if Antarctica actually is losing ice, what does that mean for climate change theory, which predicts it should be gaining ice through the first few decades of this century?”

    Unfortunately, Tom, like sea level changes, we can’t measure the amount of ice in Antarctica accurately enough to know what is happening. The model predictions are flawed because the make the assumption that global temperature will increase, while the reality of the situation is that temperature oscillates up and down. We are now at the threshold of the cool phase of the 200y (ish) solar quasi-cycle, so if the historic pattern continues, expect global temperatures to start falling any time now!

    1410-1500 cold – Low Solar Activity(LSA?)-(Sporer minimum)
    1510-1600 warm – High Solar Activity(HSA?)
    1610-1700 cold – (LSA) (Maunder minimum)
    1710-1800 warm – (HSA)
    1810-1900 cold – (LSA) (Dalton minimum)
    1910-2000 warm – (HSA)
    2010-2100 (cold???) – (LSA???)

  86. crazy bill says:
    September 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Bill,

    I just want to say that cities, towns, civilizations even, have all morphed over time because of a whole range of stimuli. If the waters rise most folk will be able to move even faster and they will minimize any financial losses that may happen.

    Our kids will live in their world, not ours. Yes we may have some effect over their enjoyment of Earth but not in the ways we think. A lot like our parents did to us, only different.

    I don’t think that possible changing sea levels are of any immediate concern to anyone quite frankly because in all truth we can adapt faster than they can change. The oceans are really, really big and change ever so slowly and hey, we may have discovered something else to worry about before they come and steal all of our land.

  87. What is so funny is that when the trolls come out to play they boost WUWT’s Blog Stats and that, unlike the AGW crowd, WUWT tolerates debate.

  88. Mr. Telford, I apologise for not replying earlier to your request for citations. IPCC AR4, Summary for Policymakers: “Current global model studies project that the AntarcticIce Sheet will remain too cold for widespread surfacemelting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.”

    Is that sufficient for now? There are many others available, but I am a bit pressed for time.

  89. AJStrata says on September 7, 2010 at 4:35 am

    The answer is simple. I know a bit about GRACE (and her lunar cousin GRAIL) and what you have is people guessing at what the GRAVITY measurements indicate. All GRACE does is measure local gravity levels. This means that GRACE measurements are indicating a loss of mass – not specifically a loss of ice! Given how little we know about the internal dynamics and core of planet, to assume all changes in gravity are due to H2O in some form is a bit presumptuous in my book.

    Oh, no, no, no. I am sure you have that wrong. After all, the science is settled, isn’t it?

  90. richard telford says:
    September 7, 2010 at 2:16 am

    ….Normal scientific practice (the real one, rather than the imaginary versions preferred here) would be for the original author to include citations to back up claims, rather than demanding readers provide citations that refute the claims.
    ___________________________________________________________
    ROTFLMAO, You were joking weren’t you???

    Evidence given at the Science and Technology Committee inquiry:
    “… the Institute of Physics said: “Unless the disclosed emails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research and for the credibility of the scientific method.

    The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital.’

    Last month, the Information Commissioner ruled the CRU had broken Freedom of Information rules by refusing to hand over raw data.

    But yesterday Professor Jones – in his first public appearance since the scandal broke – denied manipulating the figures.

    Looking pale and clasping his shaking hands in front of him, he told MPs: ‘I have obviously written some pretty awful emails.’

    He admitted withholding data about global temperatures but said the information was publicly available from American websites.

    And he claimed it was not ‘standard practice’ to release data and computer models so other scientists could check and challenge research.” source

    Now WHICH “Normal scientific practice” are you talking about that of the climate scientists or that of honorable scientists???

  91. Bart Verheggen says:
    September 7, 2010 at 6:36 am

    “We’re not nomadic anymore.”

    I was born in Chicago, raised in Arizona, lived for 10 years in the Peoples Republic of California, and now reside in Oregon. Everyone I work with is from somewhere else. So what are you talking about?

  92. @Tom Fuller
    “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and gain mass due to increased snowfall. However, net loss of ice mass could occur if dynamical ice discharge dominates the ice sheet mass balance.”

    Funny you’d choose not include the next sentance which seems to support what Mr. Telford was saying.

  93. Tom Fuller says:
    September 7, 2010 at 7:40 am
    Mr. Telford, I apologise for not replying earlier to your request for citations. IPCC AR4, Summary for Policymakers: “Current global model studies project that the AntarcticIce Sheet will remain too cold for widespread surfacemelting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.”

    Is that sufficient for now? There are many others available, but I am a bit pressed for time.
    ———————–
    Clearly you were too short of time to read the next sentence in the SPM:
    However, net loss of ice mass could occur if dynamical ice discharge dominates the ice sheet mass balance.

  94. “I fail to see where squid2112 and peakbear are wrong. There seems to be no end of people predicting continuous temperature rises.”

    “Continuous” does not mean the same thing as “unending”.

    “The A2 scenario.”

    … does not result in an unending temperature rise. It only takes a moment to check these things.

  95. The whole subject of disasterous sea level rises always reminds me of the Invader Zim episode “Walk for Your Lives” wherein Zim creates an absolutely devastating explosion. Except that the explosion happens so slowly that it’s not really that devastating. Zim is able to walk away from it, think about it, and return to see its progress. May be a bad analogy, but Invader Zim rulz.

  96. Mr. Telford, I did read that. What of it? It could occur? What relevance does that have to discussing past accumulation of ice? We have been discussing history, not futurology.

  97. Tom Fuller says:
    What relevance does that have to discussing past accumulation of ice? We have been discussing history, not futurology.
    ——
    Let me remind you of what you claimed yesterday
    ice should be increasing in Antarctica

    For which you cite the first sentence of Current global model studies project that the Antarctic Ice Sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall. However, net loss of ice mass could occur if dynamical ice discharge dominates the ice sheet mass balance.
    This does not refer to “past accumulation of ice”, this is a model projection. If you wish to dismiss the second part of the quote as futurology, you must also ignore the first. In which case you have not, by your own rules, provided an adequate citation for what is expected by “climate change theory”

    The same phenomenon is both predicted and observed in Greenland, by the way.
    Are you having problems finding a relevant citation for this? Please provide one or retract the claim.

  98. Dave Wendt wrote:
    “Most ports become more serviceable with higher sea levels not less. If you look at most of the coastal construction in the previous century, almost none of it has a planned lifespan of even fifty years and many areas have already been rebuilt more than once. The decline in river deltas is largely unrelated to sea level, but relates to various diversions of river sediments.
    So, even if we stipulate to the dubious present record of sea level rise and accept as given a doubling or even tripling of that number, investing massive amounts in schemes which have almost no possibility of affecting whatever may transpire in the future, in regard to sea level or anything else, is economic and social insanity.”

    Exactly.

    Even with relatively unchanging sea levels, many other factors come into play that require rebuilding port structures. Vessel size changes, traffic changes, river delta changes, changes in sedimentation accretion, changes in laws related to protecting species, changes in container types, age-related rebuilding, bridge relocation due to freeway construction, contaminants, competition, storms of all types, rogue waves, normal erosion from water and wind, and a host of other reasons.

    The mistake people seem to make is picturing things as static, when any builder in shoreline areas can tell you that’s way, way, way (if I may) off the mark.

  99. rustneversleeps says:
    September 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

    ‘Amongst many other mistakes you are making in this post, you are repeating this error in your understanding of basic statistics and confidence intervals – which was clearly explained to you over at “Only In it for the Gold”.’

    I looked in on that. You really have no experience with estimation and evaluation of real world data, do you Rusty? Statistical methods are not iron-clad, cut and dried. They are based on models of how data behave in an idealized world. But, if the modeled statistic has an uncertainty nearly as large as the value it is supposed to be estimating, the likelihood is strong that you have little insight into what is going on in the real world.

    More to the point, if the statistic is 57 +/- 52 within a confidence interval of X%, it is really stupid to say you know with X% confidence that the true value is greater than 5.

    Thomas, I do not know how you kept your cool in that forum with all those jabbering monkeys flinging their feces at you, but it is to your credit. To any objective observer, I am confident you won the debate hands down.

  100. If Antarctica is losing ice, then why do stations near the South Pole keep getting buried and have to be replaced with new ones? It got so bad, the British were planning a station built on skiis, so it could be moved around and kept on top of the ever increasing surface.

  101. Have we, as a species, become so arrogant that we believe that we are able to control the climate of an entire planet? Even if it were possible, what climate would it be? Would it be one for the whole planet or several micro-climates. Warmer in Siberia, rainier in the Gobi, cooler and more rain in the Outback, longer summers in Canada, etc. Who is going to decide? Al and the IPCC? Anthony? Who?

  102. It is hard to understand many of those who are convinced that climate change will destroy civilization.

    It is harder still to come by proponents of this notion, and to understand why, when concern is far and widely expressed in much more nuanced terms, this is any kind of useful starting line for a thoughtful post on the subject.

    By all means, bring on the quotes from anyone not some sort of crank in the bowels of some blog or other, where credible people are announcing that climate change will “destroy civilization”.

    Otherwise, when can we start burning these straw men?

  103. barry says:

    By all means, bring on the quotes from anyone not some sort of crank in the bowels of some blog or other, where credible people are announcing that climate change will “destroy civilization”.

    So, if “climate change” (it used to be “global warming” BTW, and even “anthropogenic global warming”) is not going to destroy civilization, where’s the problem?

    Are you guys scaring up a toothless bogey man for some particular reason?

  104. Thomas Fuller,
    The statement that all other methods of ice measurement besides grace show antarctica is gaining ice is absolutely and utterly a fabrication. Click my name to see a post on the matter. It is very clear that Laser altimetry, radar interferometry and grace data agree well and have done so in the past. Furthermore, the only two studies to show antarctica was gaining ice were done using radar altimetry which has known biases over ice sheets (Thomas et al. 2008) that are known to have contributed at least 75 GT of false-gain over Greenland. It is quite nice to see such a clearly incorrect comment as it is easy to refute. Once again, see the graph at the bottom of the aforementioned link and prepare your correction to the original post.

    Also with respect to the new GRACE estimates, notice that the new grace estimate still shows the EAIS is losing ice… and also that apparently the remainder of the worlds ice outside of a few areas is gaining according to it. Highly suspect to use such a low resolution sensor to detect changes in small regions such as svalbard, alaska, himilayas, Scandinavia, Patagonia and so on… Also note that the radar interferometry estimates for Pine Island Bay and the WAIS from Rignot et al. (2008a and b) still remain the most accurate assessments for WAIS ice losses.

  105. So, if “climate change” (it used to be “global warming” BTW, and even “anthropogenic global warming”*) is not going to destroy civilization, where’s the problem?

    Are you guys scaring up a toothless bogey man for some particular reason?

    Which guys?

  106. RW says:
    September 7, 2010 at 10:49 am
    “I fail to see where squid2112 and peakbear are wrong. There seems to be no end of people predicting continuous temperature rises.”

    “Continuous” does not mean the same thing as “unending”.

    Is this another of those silly games where the trolls redefine the terms so that the sceptics can never be right?

    What is the practical difference, in this case? Some people assert that we are in imminent danger of temperatures rising more or less continuously for the next few hundred years. For all meaningful purposes, that is unending.

    Arguing about semantics ignores the forest for the trees. Some scientists are claiming temperatures will rise dramatically and continuously for the next few hundred years, if we pass some point of no return. It matters not if that rise happens to eventually plateau in the even more distant future, or if the rise is not entirely continuous.

  107. “Is this another of those silly games where the trolls redefine the terms so that the sceptics can never be right?”

    Yes, you and others think you can redefine the word “unending” so that it does not actually mean unending. But you can’t redefine facts. No climate scientist has ever predicted unending temperature increases.

  108. RW says: September 7, 2010 at 10:49 am.
    ““The A2 scenario.”
    … does not result in an unending temperature rise. It only takes a moment to check these things.”
    I did check as I need to read the references I’m linking to to see if they demonstrate my point. What temperature increase does it stabilise at and when?? I see A2 as the scenario where we don’t do anything specific to control CO2 emissions.

  109. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    September 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    If Antarctica is losing ice, then why do stations near the South Pole keep getting buried and have to be replaced with new ones? It got so bad, the British were planning a station built on skiis, so it could be moved around and kept on top of the ever increasing surface.
    ——————————–
    Snow accumulates in the interior of Antarctica. Hence stations there get buried by ice. Ice is lost from the edge of Antarctica by surface melting and iceberg calving. If the loss from the edge is greater than the accumulation, then Antarctica will loose mass.

  110. Once again, with another example, IF sea level rises, then all we have to do is have a special one time fund raising event, say a cake sale or something, and raise a few thousand trillian dollars (maybe more if the little things are worth less than today) and build sea walls all along the coast line – East, West, and South. You know, like New Orleans. Man made sea walls are superduper strong –if you build them with good steel and cement and don’t have to give kick backs to politicians and unions.

  111. barry says on September 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    So, if “climate change” (it used to be “global warming” BTW, and even “anthropogenic global warming”*) is not going to destroy civilization, where’s the problem?

    Are you guys scaring up a toothless bogey man for some particular reason?

    Which guys?

    Truly, Barry, you are a troll.

    Since you chose to claim that no one of any credibility claims that “climate change” will destroy civilization, perhaps you can tell me why we should bother to worry about climate change.

    Clearly, we can shove as much CO2 as we want into the atmosphere, because, whether or not it is connected to climate change, as you say, no one with credibility claims that “climate change” is going to destroy civilization.

  112. barry says on September 7, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    So, if “climate change” (it used to be “global warming” BTW, and even “anthropogenic global warming”*) is not going to destroy civilization, where’s the problem?

    Are you guys scaring up a toothless bogey man for some particular reason?

    Which guys?

    Truly, Barry, you are a troll.

    Since you chose to claim that no one of any credibility claims that “climate change” will destroy civilization, perhaps you can tell me why we should bother to worry about climate change.

    Clearly, we can shove as much CO2 as we want into the atmosphere, because, whether or not it is connected to climate change, as you say, no one with credibility claims that “climate change” is going to destroy civilization.

  113. This whole thang is built on ” ice melt changes the gavity curves” and an specified rate of “rebound of land masses” when the ice so melts. if you assume the rate of rebound is a known value (that value should be different in different type of rock), and the assumed value is wrong, then all this is just mental ………ing

  114. Truly, Barry, you are a troll.

    Thank you for the heads up, Richard. And my compliments to the moderators.

    Since you chose to claim that no one of any credibility claims that “climate change” will destroy civilization, perhaps you can tell me why we should bother to worry about climate change.

    If your doctor advises you that you will lose your leg if you keep drinking, do you keep guzzling thinking, “oh at least I won’t be dead?”

    The concern about global warming does not and never has hinged on the the absolute mortality of our species. The concern is the stresses put on our civilizations, which could result in significant misery (water and food shartages, massive displacement of people) and rising mortality. Militaries of the world are even now doing war planning based on climate change scenarios – wars over water resources, for example. Perhaps you should educate yourself on what the real concerns are, instead of lamely defending the straw-man, first line of the post above.

  115. I believe what was meant by “Unending” temperature increase is the tendency of the reports from climatologists almost universally show a big graph, low on the left, high on the right (Pick a scale / start/ end point) that plug off into eternity, no reguard for any possibility of natural processes taking over and bending the curve down a bit. No possibility of a change in temperature that goes any way but up. Like the earth jumps up and gets stuck there. There will be ice ages big and small. The earth is a cyclical place and those natural cycles are all but ignored.
    I think we will find that gravity measurements are very usefull for tectonics but not a good proxy for ice melt just like tree rings are a poor proxy for temperature.

  116. RW says:
    September 7, 2010 at 12:35 am

    It seems that some are less interested in learning, and more interested in changing the rules as they go along – to ensure they never lose. They keep moving the bar so that the goal is impossible to obtain, yet they forget the first rule of the game.

    The role of skeptic is not to prove a theory. It is to provide evidence that the current hypothesis is flawed, and therefore useless. That has been done. You have to prove that there is no contradiction in your statements, which you have failed to do.

    The cliche of “the exception proves the rule” applies to social sciences, not hard sciences.

  117. barry says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    “The concern is the stresses put on our civilizations, which could result in significant misery (water and food shartages, massive displacement of people) and rising mortality.”

    But, of course, the economic dislocations induced by hobbling our economies with useless regulations and inefficient energy pipe dreams won’t stress our civilizations a bit. It’s all grassy fields and prancing unicorns if we just bow down and immolate ourselves for the gratification of our environmental overlords.

  118. RW says:
    September 8, 2010 at 12:12 am

    “Is this another of those silly games where the trolls redefine the terms so that the sceptics can never be right?”

    Yes, you and others think you can redefine the word “unending” so that it does not actually mean unending. But you can’t redefine facts. No climate scientist has ever predicted unending temperature increases

    …—…—…

    False.

    EVERY ‘climate scientist” pushing their latest press release-promoted scientific CAGW study – and EVERY politician who pays them their grant money and salaries – ARE claiming unending temperature rises UNLESS we “immediately and this week” pass destructive and murderous energy and economy tax hikes and restrictions.

    The IPCC actually goes a bit further and “promises” in their propaganda that “if” we immediately stop increasing CO2 emissions (immediately), we “might” begin reducing temperature rises in less than 1000 years. Maybe.

    Is that your source for claiming nobody says temperature will rise continuously?

  119. barry says:
    September 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Since you chose to claim that no one of any credibility claims that “climate change” will destroy civilization, perhaps you can tell me why we should bother to worry about climate change.

    If your doctor advises you that you will lose your leg if you keep drinking, do you keep guzzling thinking, “oh at least I won’t be dead?”

    The concern about global warming does not and never has hinged on the the absolute mortality of our species. The concern is the stresses put on our civilizations, which could result in significant misery (water and food shartages, massive displacement of people) and rising mortality. Militaries of the world are even now doing war planning based on climate change scenarios – wars over water resources, for example. Perhaps you should educate yourself on what the real concerns are, instead of lamely defending the straw-man, first line of the post above.

    —…—…—…

    False.

    The concern about global warming does not and never has hinged on the the absolute mortality of our species. False.

    The concern about global warming does not and never has ALWAYS hinged on the the “deliberate” mortality of as many humans as possible. The latest? The Discovery Channel bomber. Mann’s diatribes. Hansen’s extremism. And hundreds of of more public figures who blame humans for the world’s problems, and who want humans removed. (All except the humans needed for room service and daily cleaning in the socialist rooms at expensive 5 star resorts, that is.)

    The murderous IPCC and climate scientist’s predictions and regulations – YES, the restrictions on energy use are the ones you support and the ones I condemn – will commit millions immediately, and billions eventually, to a life of ending squalor, hunger, starvation, contaminated drinking water, and bad food, fuel, and storage due explicitly and deliberately to the IPCC’s determination to harm people.

    Your supposed “concerns” about welfare are simple lies: There is NOTHING in the pervasive energy and environmental restrictions supposedly “needed immediately” to cure (the artificially hyped) global warming that helps anyone. Anywhere.

    So-called war-planning exercises are not true. Every “misery” and shortage you claim are CAUSED by government intervention by corrupt third world dictators who are the ones who will RECEIVE the UN money of cap-and-tax and energy restrictions and artificial price rises – after filtering through hundreds of greedy hands in NGO’s and other governments and enviro agencies! No money for thrid world carbon emissions rebates will get that money. Ever,

    No carbon rebate and carbon reinvestment schemes – all started by ENRON under Clinton – will benefit anyone except rich socialist investors and politicians.

  120. REPLY: Both sides are expected to be able to justify their remarks. – Mike

    Still waiting for Fuller to provide more than an out of context sentence in support of his version of climate change theory.

  121. richard telford,

    Words matter. Please use correct terms. The climate has always changed. Only climate alarmists like Michael Mann try to cover up that observed fact.

    Climate change is not a “theory.” It is an empirical fact long accepted by skeptics. What you refer to as a theory is only a hypothesis: CO2=CAGW. And since it has been falsified — not least by the planet itself — its status has been downgraded to a failed Conjecture.

  122. richard telford,

    My comment was to correct the attempted elevating of a hypothesis to the status of a theory.

    Regarding your question above, the CO2=CAGW hypothesis claims, without verifiable empirical [real world] evidence, that human emitted CO2 will cause climate catastrophe.

    Skeptics simply ask for testable evidence. So far, none has been forthcoming. The burden is on the believers in the CAGW hypothesis — not on skeptical scientists — to provide empirical evidence. The proper question is: why are they unable to provide solid, replicable evidence that a minor trace gas will lead to runaway global warming? So far, that hypothesis is based on speculation.

    Understanding that distinction is critical to understanding the scientific method.

  123. I love this question-
    richard telford says:
    September 11, 2010 at 11:34 am
    What evidence would persuade you that you are wrong?

    Please, may I answer for me?
    What would convince me the globe is getting warmer (enough to notice and care):

    crocodilians frolicking on Ellesmere Island! (oh, wait… been there, done that http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060928-hot-earth.html )

    my heating bills going down down down! (can’t a guy dream?)

    palm trees on the beaches of antarctica? (oh, wait…)

    Seriously, though, with respect to the CO2phobia- it’s not what could convince, because a fundamental and inviolable relationship exists between cause and effect. The cause precedes the effect every single time. CO2 in the atmosphere does not precede warming therefore it is not the cause of it. Falsification doesn’t get better than this.
    You may as well ask what will convince a person that black is white. I think it would require some form of blindness.
    My question it response would be “Why would you want to convince somebody of a falsehood?’ When somebody believes a lie, they are damaged. It does them harm. It’s wrong.

Comments are closed.