Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

While Joe Romm and Mark Serreze bloviate about the current Arctic sea ice being “lowest in history”, science that doesn’t have an agenda (or paying thinktank) attached says otherwise:

More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

File:ArcticSeaIceExtents.jpg

The satellite sea ice record, only a speck in time

From the Hockey Schtck: Paper: Current Arctic Sea Ice is More Extensive than Most of the past 9000 Years

A peer-reviewed paper published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences finds that Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the 20th century was more extensive than most of the past 9000 years. The paper also finds that Arctic sea ice extent was on a declining trend over the past 9000 years, but recovered beginning sometime over the past 1000 years and has been relatively stable and extensive since.

Although it seems like a day doesn’t go by without an alarmist headline or blog posting obsessing over the daily Arctic sea ice statistics (and never about Antarctic sea ice extent which reached a record high this year), this paleo-climate perspective takes all the wind out of alarmist sails. Satellite assessment of sea ice conditions is only available beginning in 1979 (around the time the global cooling scare ended), with only sparse data available prior to 1979. The alarmists at the NRDC fraudulently claim in a new video that due to “climate destruction,” Arctic sea ice reached the lowest in history in 2010 (actually the low since 1979 was in 2007 and 2010 was the 3rd or 4th lowest depending on the source). Probably wouldn’t bring in many donations if they mentioned the truth: the 21st century has some of the highest annual Arctic sea ice extents over the past 9000 years.

The figure below comes from the paper, but has been modified with the red notations and rotated clockwise. The number of months the sea ice extent is greater than 50% is shown on the y axis. Time is on the x axis starting over 9000 years ago up to the present. Warming periods are shown in gray with the Roman and Medieval warming periods (RWP/MWP) notated, a spike for the Minoan Warming Period about 5000 years ago, and two other older & unnamed warming periods. The last dot on the graph is the end of the 20th century and represents one of the highest annual sea ice extents.

Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 45: 1377-1397

Authors: J.L. McKay, A. de Vernal, C. Hillaire-Marcel, C. Not, L. Polyak, and D. Darby

Abstract: Cores from site HLY0501-05 on the Alaskan margin in the eastern Chukchi Sea were analyzed for their geochemical (organic carbon, d13Corg, Corg/N, and CaCO3) and palynological (dinocyst, pollen, and spores) content to document oceanographic changes during the Holocene. The chronology of the cores was established from 210Pb dating of near- surface sediments and 14C dating of bivalve shells. The sediments span the last 9000 years, possibly more, but with a gap between the base of the trigger core and top of the piston core. Sedimentation rates are very high (*156 cm/ka), allowing analyses with a decadal to centennial resolution. The data suggest a shift from a dominantly terrigenous to marine input from the early to late Holocene. Dinocyst assemblages are characterized by relatively high concentrations (600–7200 cysts/cm3) and high species diversity, allowing the use of the modern analogue technique for the reconstruction of sea-ice cover, summer temperature, and salinity. Results indicate a decrease in sea-ice cover and a corresponding, albeit much smaller, increase in summer sea-surface temperature over the past 9000 years. Superimposed on these long-term trends are millennial-scale fluctuations characterized by periods of low sea-ice and high sea-surface temperature and salinity that appear quasi-cyclic with a frequency of about one every 2500–3000 years. The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the western Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene. More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.

Arctic summer sea surface temperatures are also currently lower than much of the past 9000 years

199 thoughts on “Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

  1. As “Interesting Times” goes on, while we eat our pop-corn and comment at WUWT, the real icy issues will begin to take an equally more interesting perspective as your next winter time grows near.
    Igloos anyone?

  2. Thanks to whomever made the paper available.

    Present conditions of polar temperature are several degrees below peak levels reached several times during the last million years. We have been in a cooling trend for about 10,000 years, but still remain well above average temperature. (Incidentally, CO2 has been rising through most of this cooling trend).

  3. As some have posted on this site, the “beginning of the end” of the Holocene interglacial might indeed have been about 1-2 kYrs ago.

  4. No wonder, since the last interglacial was warmer than today for most of the time;
    Greenland ice core says so:

    and instrumental record, which hints the Arctic ice was the same in 40ties

    and known events, like NW Passage open for shipping in 1942-44 just like in 2007-2009

  5. This is all beginning to resemble one of those boxing matches where the hot young favourite is first knocked down, gets up groggy, dazed and reeling, and is then repeatedly hammered mercilessly by the old-timer until, staggering and bleeding, he collapses on the ropes. The last few posts on WUWT have been like a count-down to the end of the CAGW scam and we can all hope it’s carried out on a stretcher soon. Can’t you see the faces of the guys in the red corner? Seven, eight ……….

    Thank you Anthony and all those others who have been the frontfighters in this struggle for the return of real, honest science.

  6. Considering historical records about sea ice extent in the Arctic, this is not surprising at all. I’m sure, however, that the warmers will take exception to these conclusions.

  7. The Titanic just hit an iceberg. Is Captain Smith, er I mean Captain Mann going to go down with the ship or is he elbowing his way to the lifeboats screaming that the data was bad.

  8. How did the poor cuddly wuddly polar bears survive all the time there was less ice? Did they learn to swim? Could today’s bears do the same? b

    Or was nice Mr ex-Vice President Gore (Nobel Prize) doing a bit of scare mongering in his film?

  9. The climate debate should always be framed in this sort of longer frame of reference.
    Again, geologists & geoscientific research has much to add to the debate.
    As a geoscientist, I have been skeptical from the beginning given the general lack of analysis on this time frame.

  10. The peer reviewd journal “Rolling Stone” disagrees, says ice is disappearing at an alarming rate! “On Thin Ice: The World’s Two Great Ice Sheets Are Melting Faster Than Anyone Believed Possible” Of course the link I checked takes you to a Shania Twain article. Their web science is of course settled.

  11. Nice to see a scientific article here again. Very interesting post, but I find it curious that the graph shows declining sea ice on a rising scale on the x-axis. “ka” means “per thousand years”, I assume? The use of dinocyst diversity and density provides a compelling methodology to support the conclusions, although I have not seen the data. This appears to be solid geological/paleontological paper. Of course, the implications are frightening, as it does sound as if we might be nearing the end of the holocene interglacial. Yikes!

  12. Very interesting but not unexpected. I was talking with a retired scientist with the Geological survey of Canada this summer. In the area she studied she said that the tere were times when the temperature was at least 4 degrees C higher than present. I will try to find the published (peer reviewed paper) when I have a chance.

  13. Interesting. The North West passage has been attempted but seldom completed as recorded at the British Library site
    http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/northwpass/intro.html
    and is still being attempted this year by Paul Allen of Microsoft;
    http://megayachtnews.org/content/yachts/41-motoryachts/1858-octopus-superyacht-northwest-passage.html
    Then of course we have the dichotomy of AGW ice loss assisting the potential extraction of arctic oil;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11395015
    Yet it could be that the best chance of navigable waters has long gone and the next chance is far off. Mother Nature can be so cruel.

  14. It seems that a knowledge of geological history is a necessity today. I don’t want anyone in our school systems, colleges and universities, and scientific specialities without some understanding of Earth’s processes and natural history. This requirement would certainly flunk the entire Climategate crew (CRU).

  15. I see our old friend the misleading baseline on the front chart there, the one that starts at “4” so it looks like 2007 almost saw a complete loss of ice. Sadly, too many people are incapable of even comprehending how they’re being led astray.

    Incidentally, global temperatures are essentially meaningless when baseline is 0C. You need to drop that baseline by about 273 to put things in the proper context.

  16. Slight change in topic, the introduction to the article said “(and never about Antarctic sea ice extent which reached a record high this year)” and I have noticed the recent rather fast drop in Antarctic ice in the WUWT Sea Ice page. I am really curious about this sudden drop and wondering why it is occurring following the record high extent. Seems to be some odd weather about recently.

  17. When global cooling causes humans deaths to increase in serious numbers, who are the first to go? Is it just a matter of being close to the Arctic or Antarctic? Are there large populations on plateaus far from the poles that will suffer greatly? Anyone know?

  18. It is interesting to note that the authors said that the trends in the Western Arctic Ocean were the opposite of those shown in the east. It is a kind of difficult paper to read, however, so I have just skimmed it. But it is not surprising that ice extent (actually SST’s) were higher around the time of the holocene optimum. At that time, because of orbital factors, the northern hemisphere received more insolation.

    Of course this one will probably show up on poptech’s list of papers which disprove AGW.

  19. What I dislike about the historical arguments is that at the end of the day, they largely miss the point –that something else may be causing the 1977-2010 warming, is not to prove that it is. For all we can know from such arguments, perhaps without C02 the 1940-1977 cooling should have continued, and the impact of C02 is actually more than the AGW consensus (to the degree there is one).

    But still, the exercise is necessary, because the AGWers insist that all this is unprecedented, and rely heavily on that supposed “fact” to make their argument. So in the end I hold them responsible for having to continually have these fights over the history.

    What’s sad –and possibly even dangerous– is that by placing so much reliance on those arguments, the AGWers are liable to discredit their cause whether it needs discrediting or not.

    But I continue to believe that another 10 yrs or so of data and research will probably settle this stuff one way or another. In the meantime, I remain reluctant to engage in multi-trillion dollar reengineering of our energy supply on that account. “Peak oil” seems a more credible threat than AGW to me, but of course you’d have to stop demonizing coal and natural gas to do your best to meet that threat.

  20. Get ready for the usual mantra from the alarmist camp when forced to consider this report.

    “Past warming does not mean the current warming is not anthropogenic.”

    Agreed, but it clearly disproves that the current warming can ONLY be anthropogenic.

  21. Serreze and Joe Romm: Let’s quote Chateaubriand when he saw Talleyrand -Diplomat- walking with Fouche -Police Ministre-: “Here comes vice resting on crime’s arm”… LOL

  22. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Mann and Schmidt (etc) to start complaining that these graphs hold no water because they paste instrumental data onto the end of a graph of proxy data. (Hiding a decline, maybe?)

    Altogether now, “three, two, one…”

  23. http://www.c3headlines.com/temperature-charts-historical-proxies.html

    This link contains a multitude of proxies for various areas of the globe, all showing that:
    The MWP was global,
    That global warmings and coolings are on a sinusoidal waveform, and
    That climate does not depend on CO2 levels at all.

    I had stopped worrying about catastrophic GW some years ago, when I had to time to start reading about what was really going on. But then I started worrying about global cooling when I saw this:
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a62f87f3970c-pi

    If one were to plot a line joining the lowest points on the troughs of the cooling periods, one will get a downward trend, with each global cooling period getting colder and colder, indicating that the next cooling could be even worse than the LIA. I hope I’m wrong and that the current global warming stays staedy. If the cold takes hold, I bet Al Gore, Mann, Romm and others of the same ilk would still be touring the icy planet putting the blame on CO2 and global warming.

  24. It is worth noting that the global sea ice anomaly, currently well over 2mm km2, appears to be the largest deviation ever in the 30+ year history of this series.

  25. The Emperor is without clothes and if he isn’t careful he’s about to lose his head and his skin as well.

  26. Re. who will be the first to go, we will all be in danger from cold summers and low harvests. This summer in N. CA local apples and pears were hard hit by late frosts. I have heard numerous friends complain that their tomatoes didn’t get ripe. We picked our grapes but they are still tart. Just a first taste of what might be if it turns colder. S.CA complains they moved from spring to fall without ever tasting summer.

  27. If this had been posted by the other team, I would be very suspicious of the gap. How do we know that the measurements across the gap are properly comparable?

  28. I must admit from the start, that I have just arrived back on my ship (after a couple of sedatives from my doctor (Guinness)), and could not resist mentioning, without reading through this piece, or the comments, that Prof Bob Carter has already made a reasonable case for global cooling. Makes one wonder… peut etre, je reviendrais.

  29. This is good solid science. We need to see much more in the future. I gave up my CJES subscription a number of years ago. I just didn’t have time to read it. It is another piece of the geological jug saw puzzle that informs or should inform, the question of polar ice and Holocene climatic fluctuation. If nothing else McKay et al. demonstrate how much we and that includes not only geologists but climatologists, in fact do not know about the processes and history of them.

  30. Can we discuss this in say 5 years, when the signal will be strong enough to penetrate even (most of) this level of [snip]? Have you seen the graphs for sea ice volume, as opposed to extent? They’re even more telling. We are cooking the planet folks, and it’s not a good thing at all.

  31. ann r says:
    September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm
    Re. who will be the first to go, we will all be in danger from cold summers and low harvests. This summer in N. CA local apples and pears were hard hit by late frosts. I have heard numerous friends complain that their tomatoes didn’t get ripe. We picked our grapes but they are still tart. Just a first taste of what might be if it turns colder. S.CA complains they moved from spring to fall without ever tasting summer.

    I live in SoCal. This year was the first time in the last 26 years that I had to scrape frost of the windshield of my car in May!! And that at only 2400 ft altitude.
    The normal “June Gloom” costal fog has now extended from May to September and has seamlessly merged into late fall coastal fog. Only about 2 weeks total of normal SoCal summer weather.
    My tomatoes did ripen. But not in mid to end of June as normal, but finally in mid August.
    The figs on my fig tree are still mostly green. In a normal year I get 2 crops during summer and fall.

  32. After reading many of the “Aha! Gotcha!” comments from the contrarians here, I have to naturally wonder whether many–or even any–of them actually read the paper. Here, allow me to post a few snippets:

    1) From the introduction: “There is clear evidence that over the last 30 years the Arctic has been experiencing dramatic environmental changes (e.g., Serreze et al. 2000; Comiso and Parkinson 2004). Most notably, there has been a rapid decline in the extent and thickness of sea-ice in summer and more recently in winter as well”

    2) Also from the introduction: “…sea ice has continued its rapid decline, since the AO returned to a more neutral state in the late 1990s, suggesting that anthropogenic
    warming of surface air temperatures is playing a role in the loss (Overland and Wang 2005), as now recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007″

    Too, at least one of the paper’s authors– Ohio State University polar researcher Leonid Polyak–also signed off on a study released earlier this summer which states: ”
    “The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and (is) unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities.”

    Hmmm….

  33. Suprise, the alarmists are saying the same thing, only the interpretation is different.

    Only it is about the Ross Ice Shelf coming and going.

    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/videobreak-rob-dunbar-the-threat-of-ocean-acidification/

    Guy says the Ross Ice Shelf has dissappeared 30 some times in the last few million years. So times were much warmer than today many times in the past.

    Similar to the Chuckchi sea being free of ice, cause the Arctic has been warmer than today many times in the past.

    The alarmists are alarmed and the skeptics say don’t worry, be happy.

    When you guys get to the Cretaceous, your song will be done.

  34. Come on, warmies, forget the skeptics! It has to be arranged: an annual circumpolar Arctic yacht race, planned several years in advance, like all major sports events. Trophies, live coverage, major sponsorships. Branson will come on board with sponsorship, Soros will be good for some cash, Leo will do the publicity shots from a melty ice floe. (Al can just hand out the trophies, since he’s a bit one-way with cash). You have to do this!

  35. I don’t get what’s so comforting about instances when things were warmer millions or thousands of years ago. Why do we want to force a return to those conditions? And what about the rate of change? Has the climate warmed this fast in the past?

  36. “Look, just because it was cold in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Milan, Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Moscow, Seoul, Toronto, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Chicago, Warsaw, São Paulo, Zürich, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Jakarta, Dublin, Bangkok, Taipei, Istanbul, Rome, Lisbon, Frankfurt am Main, Stockholm, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Athens, Caracas, Los Angeles, Auckland, Santiago, Washington, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Atlanta, Barcelona, San Francisco, Manila, Bogotá, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, Dubai, Bucharest, Oslo, Berlin, Helsinki, Geneva, Copenhagen, Riyadh, Hamburg, Cairo, Luxembourg, Bangalore, Dallas, Kuwait City, Boston, Munich, Jeddah, Miami, Lima, Kiev, Houston, Guangzhou, Beirut, Karachi, Düsseldorf, Sofia, Montevideo, Nicosia, Rio de Janeiro, Ho Chi Minh City, Montreal, Nairobi, Bratislava, Panama City, Chennai, Brisbane, Casablanca, Denver, Quito, Stuttgart, Vancouver, Zagreb, Manama, Guatemala City, Cape Town, San José, Minneapolis, Santo Domingo, Seattle, Ljubljana, Shenzhen, Perth, Kolkata, Guadalajara, Antwerp, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Amman, Portland, Lagos, Detroit, Manchester, Wellington, Riga, Guayaquil, Edinburgh, Porto, San Salvador, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Port Louis, San Diego, Islamabad, Birmingham, Doha, Calgary, Almaty, and Columbus doesn’t mean anything, Those were just regional variations! That’s it, regional variations! Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure! Regional variations! We have this here graph we made up at huge expense PROVING the Earth is getting warmer, you are to blame, and you MUST atone by paying us a carbon tax!” — Officialdom

  37. the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic has been of interest to me for many years.

    http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm

    But history has no place in computer models that first assert that CO2 causes warming and forcings of A, B and C where

    A is “the world is going to end VERY soon.”
    B is “the world is going to end FAIRLY soon.”
    C is “the world is going to end somewhat soon.”

    I for one am not worried that global warming is going to be swept under the rug in a few years, I think the bigger worry is that these same scientists are going to keep their jobs over the next 10 years and start spouting off about global cooling because of “human influences” and politicians will jump on that band-wagon like the opportunists they are.

    We need to throw these bums out now before they continue on their tenured track and continue to spout off on this non-sense with no understanding of the systems.

  38. Can someone respond to Jim Pettit’s comment because that is really disturbing and does NOT build confidence in the skeptic position.

  39. “we are cooking the planet” wial, at 4:22 pm
    Funny, pathetic, sad – all at the same time.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Jim Pettit, 4:28 pm
    Jim,
    In many publications it is expected that a paper begin with a summary of relevant literature. The purpose is to show editors, reviewers, and readers that you have knowledge of the topic about which you write. This does not indicate that you believe everything you have cited. In fact, many research efforts and the papers subsequently published have as their goal to upend previously well accepted notions. Moral: The “few snippets” you quote are not relevant to the findings of the research.

  40. Cliff says: at 5:19 pm
    “Has the climate warmed this fast in the past?”

    Because you don’t say how fast you think it has warmed, your question is impossible to answer. I don’t think the temperature data are accurate enough to prove that Earth has warmed any in the last 50 years. Go back to the little ice age, read of all the well documented events, look at the paintings done then, and so. Earth warmed following that time. Once you have digested that history you will be hard pressed to cite anything in the last 50 years that is comparable.

  41. Cliff says:

    “I don’t get what’s so comforting about instances when things were warmer millions or thousands of years ago. Why do we want to force a return to those conditions? And what about the rate of change? Has the climate warmed this fast in the past?”

    1. It is not intended to be ‘comforting.’ It shows that natural variability is sufficient to fully explain the current climate without the unnecessary addition of a trace gas, less than 3% of which is contributed by human activity.

    2. There is no credible way for humans to “force” the planet’s temperature one way or another, despite the mistaken presumption that the Earth’s temperature can be tweaked until it is just right.

    3. Yes, the planet has warmed “this fast” in the past — and by much more than the current fraction of a degree over a century and a half. In addition to warming faster, it has also gotten cold faster, and by a much greater magnitude.

    Nothing is occurring now that has not happened repeatedly prior to the industrial revolution. The scientific method requires any hypothesis to be falsifiable and testable. The AGW hypothesis fails on both counts, therefore it does not fit the definition of science. It is simply an unverified conjecture.

  42. Ed Forbes says: at 4:27 pm
    “the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic ”

    I went to that link. The map does not include the (artic) Arctic Ocean, rather the “northern coast of Antarctica” is the area in question. I note that the web site is titled World Mysteries. Any ideas?

  43. Cliff : “Can someone respond to Jim Pettit’s comment because that is really disturbing and does NOT build confidence in the skeptic position.

    My feeling is, it’s ok. There are bound to be comments and quotes in all directions here, because they are allowed thanks to Anthony’s proper approach.

    Regarding the quotes from the paper, they include “The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate” and “…sea ice has continued its rapid decline, since the AO returned to a more neutral state in the late 1990s, suggesting that anthropogenic warming of surface air temperatures is playing a role in the loss (Overland and Wang 2005)“.

    1. “late 19th century” is surely too early for AGW to have played a role.
    2. They have not themselves investigated the effect of anthropogenic warming, they cite someone else’s paper. So this paper (McKay et al) doesn’t actually have anything to add specific to AGW.

    Relax, let information come from any angle, then cut the crap and see what’s left. From this paper we get (a) ice loss happening recently, (b) ice loss also happening at a time when there was no AGW, (3) current ice levels above the levels of 9k years ago. Where’s the problem?

    Regarding the other paper cited, “unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities“. Maybe they missed one? The PDO or the sun perhaps?

  44. Cliff – Warm times are so preferable to cold it isn’t funny. And if the solar physicists are right (Livinston and Penn, McCracken, etc) we are heading for a few decades of cold.

  45. Smokey,

    Smokey says:
    September 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm
    Cliff says:

    “1. It is not intended to be ‘comforting.’ It shows that natural variability is sufficient to fully explain the current climate without the unnecessary addition of a trace gas, less than 3% of which is contributed by human activity.”

    I don’t see how that logically follows. The fact that the climate has warmed in the past without manmade GHGs does not mean it’s not happening now.

    “2. There is no credible way for humans to “force” the planet’s temperature one way or another, despite the mistaken presumption that the Earth’s temperature can be tweaked until it is just right.”

    Aren’t the physics of what GHGs do well understood? Haven’t temperatures been higher in the past when CO2 was naturally higher? Is it possible to explain current CO2 levels without manmade sources. The last question I honestly don’t know while the first two are rhetorical of course but you get my point.

    “3. Yes, the planet has warmed “this fast” in the past — and by much more than the current fraction of a degree over a century and a half. In addition to warming faster, it has also gotten cold faster, and by a much greater magnitude.”

    OK thanks for that info. But what folks are worried about is not the last fraction of a degree but obviously the much larger increases projected by the mainstream climate scientists (rightly or wrongly).

    The bottom line is we don’t want temperatures that are much higher, regardless of whether they existed 200 million years ago. So the whole question comes down to manmade versus natural variability. And the mere existence of higher temperatures (or colder ones) in the past does not answer that question.

    Nothing is occurring now that has not happened repeatedly prior to the industrial revolution. The scientific method requires any hypothesis to be falsifiable and testable. The AGW hypothesis fails on both counts, therefore it does not fit the definition of science. It is simply an unverified conjecture.

  46. Smokey, about that last paragraph –

    “Nothing is occurring now that has not happened repeatedly prior to the industrial revolution. The scientific method requires any hypothesis to be falsifiable and testable. The AGW hypothesis fails on both counts, therefore it does not fit the definition of science. It is simply an unverified conjecture”

    Couldn’t one falsify AGW by showing that the warming since the industrial revolution is not attributable to manmade GHGs? Also, it seems that AGW is testable by seeing whether temperatures rise significantly more over the next several decades instead of the cooling that a number of folks here a confident is coming. That test may take a while but it’s a test.

  47. [snip. Accusing our host of dishonesty is not acceptable nor true. Based on that I am deleting your post. Anthony had nothing to do with this. But keep in mind that you are a guest here, and I will delete comments impugning his integrity. ~db stealey, moderator.]

  48. Yes, the planet has warmed “this fast” in the past — and by much more than the current fraction of a degree over a century and a half.

    And please tell the readers what happened to the creatures that were living on this planet at the time. They can also look it up themselves under “extinction events”.

  49. A peer-reviewed paper published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences finds that Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the 20th century was more extensive than most of the past 9000 years.

    I actually only see just now how backwards this is. Again, this is what the paper says: “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

    So, there were times throughout the Holocene when the sea-ice cover was smaller than at the end of the 20th century (mind you, they aren’t even saying ‘beginning of the 21st century’, but that’s a detail). In other words, this happened a few times. The quote from the Hockey Schtick implies that the sea-ice cover was smaller than at the end of the 20th century most of the time in the past 9000 years (which would be impossible, but that’s a detail too).

    Do you see how they twisted that sentence? And that’s the basis of this whole post [snip. Strike two. ~dbs, mod.]

  50. db stealey, with ‘these people are lying’ I mean the folks at Hockey Schtick. The title of this post should be changed immediately, before more people get misguided into thinking the sea ice cover was smaller for most of the past 9000 years. They completely twisted that sentence to mean the exact opposite.

  51. Yo, Gunther:

    The Hockey Schtick simply repeated verbatim what the journal reported, as was clearly stated in the article:

    A peer-reviewed paper published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences finds that Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the 20th century was more extensive than most of the past 9000 years.

    Natural variability completely explains the Earth’s climate, without having to resort to a deus ex machina explanation in the form of a harmless and beneficial trace gas.

  52. Jim Pettit writes,
    “After reading many of the “Aha! Gotcha!” comments from the contrarians here, I have to naturally wonder whether many–or even any–of them actually read the paper.”

    Looks like close to zero, no skeptics here! A few other notes about the paper, added to Jim’s:

    This is not mainly about the Arctic as a whole, but reports on data from a the eastern Chuckchi Sea.

    The authors are cautious about their data, noting possible problems and that some findings run opposite to what has been found in other parts of the Arctic. For example,
    “The difference between the top of the sequence and the ‘‘modern’’ hydrography might well be due to the fact that the top of the trigger core represents a longer time interval than that of the limited numbers of hydrographic measurements, which were made between 1954 and 2001. If both the observed and reconstructed time series are correct, then the last part of the 20th century must have been particularly
    cold compared with the mid- to late Holocene in the Chukchi Sea, which is opposite to what is seen in the eastern Arctic and northern Baffin Bay”

    Note that their reference period for “modern” sea ice and hydrographic conditions is 1954-2001.

    The final sentence of their paper makes clear the different time scales they are comparing: millennial-scale changes appear larger than those in the second half of the 20th century.
    “It is important to note that the amplitude of these millennial-scale changes in sea-surface conditions far exceed those observed at the end of the 20th century.”

    But the second half of the 20th century, and changes taking place over thousands of years, are not what WUWT and many others have been writing about in this season.

    I doubt that the paper’s authors would agree with the tabloid-style treatment their research received here. It would be wonderful if they could pop in themselves, and comment.

  53. So this marks the 4th article from older peer reviewed papers (or another climate science website in one case), this one from 2008, telling us that things were different in the past due to natural variability.

    All four posted right around the time when the annual Arctic sea ice extent minimum occurs, purely a random coincidence, I’m quite sure.

    However, we live in the present, so I would suggest we deal with the present, and likely future outcomes due to AGW.

    Or someone will have to come up with a convincing argument that current Arctic sea ice extent/area/volume declines can be fully explained and modeled using natural climate variability alone.

    I’m waiting desperately for such a paper to be published in the well respected peer reviewed climate science literature.

  54. Gneiss says:

    “But the second half of the 20th century, and changes taking place over thousands of years, are not what WUWT and many others have been writing about in this season.”

    Correctomundo. It is the alarmist contingent — not scientific skeptics — who have been arm-waving over natural climate change.

    If CO2 is the cause of climate change, then produce testable, empirical evidence to support your hypothesis.

  55. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    September 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm
    db stealey, with ‘these people are lying’ I mean the folks at Hockey Schtick. The title of this post should be changed immediately, before more people get misguided into thinking the sea ice cover was smaller for most of the past 9000 years.

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

    Umm…you can go back and refer to the analysis of the graph. Graphs don’t lie.

    Go back and check it:

    “The figure below comes from the paper, but has been modified with the red notations and rotated clockwise. The number of months the sea ice extent is greater than 50% is shown on the y axis. Time is on the x axis starting over 9000 years ago up to the present. Warming periods are shown in gray with the Roman and Medieval warming periods (RWP/MWP) notated, a spike for the Minoan Warming Period about 5000 years ago, and two other older & unnamed warming periods. The last dot on the graph is the end of the 20th century and represents one of the highest annual sea ice extents.”

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  56. arctic sea ice need not be in phase with planetary temperature, nor with NH mid-latitude temperatures. It is known that Russian Pomor fur-hunters and traders navigated russian arctics up to eastern Siberia and Kolyma until mid-17th century, the lowest pint of LIA. Yes, they had egg-shaped boats that could escape being trapped between closing ice, but the fact that at least some seaway existed is indeed interesting.

  57. No, Smokey, the sentence you quote is their words. The people at Hockey Schtick say the paper says that during most of the past 9000 years the Arctic sea ice extent was smaller than at the end of the 20th century.

    But the paper doesn’t say that. It says the exact opposite. It says there have been times when the Arctic sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century. Not most of the time, but a few times.

    Not in the whole Arctic, but in the western Arctic (based on cores in the eastern Chukchi Sea). They even say: “This is in direct contrast to the eastern Arctic where sea-ice cover was substantially reduced during the early to mid-Holocene and has increased over the last 3000 years”.

    Note too that they say ‘at the end of the 20th century’. The situation in the first decade of the 21st century is radically different from the end of the 20th century. The title of this WUWT blog post even says ‘current Arctic sea ice’. That is simply not what the paper states. Not at all.

    The people at Hockey Schtick twisted that sentence, there is no doubt about it. And given the name of their site and the fact that generally they have problems with proxy temperature reconstructions, I’m inclined to conclude that they did it on purpose, probably because they want to divert attention from the fact that there was no recovery in the Arctic this year. Why else would they cite a paper from 2008?

    And thus it is imperative that the title of this WUWT blog post gets changed asap, or else the person who wrote it might look guilty by proxy of spreading the same disinformation as the people at the Hockey Schtick blog.

    Change it into “Surprise: Arctic sea ice extent has been lower than at the end of the 20th century.” Or whatever, but don’t leave it as is.

  58. I run in 5,000 year old “hills” in a state park on the coastal plain of the U.S.A. Except the hills are actually an ancient sea boundary.

    Minoan Warm Period?

    OMG OMG…..the sky is falling the sky is falling…the ice is melting the ice is melting.

    [I think Chicken Little would, if he were alive today, would be diagnosed with Low T Syndrome for sure].

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  59. Cliff says:

    “Couldn’t one falsify AGW by showing that the warming since the industrial revolution is not attributable to manmade GHGs? Also, it seems that AGW is testable by seeing whether temperatures rise significantly more over the next several decades instead of the cooling that a number of folks here a confident is coming. That test may take a while but it’s a test.”

    Your first question has the scientific method backward. The purveyors of the CO2=CAGW hypothesis have the burden of showing that it explains reality better than the null hypothesis: No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.

    Catastrophic AGW is a conjecture lacking empirical, testable evidence to support it. And because the climate null hypothesis has not been falsified, according to the scientific method it is the accepted hypothesis.

    You are on the right track when you say: “…it seems that AGW is testable by seeing whether temperatures rise significantly more over the next several decades instead of the cooling that a number of folks here a confident is coming. That test may take a while but it’s a test.”

    I agree. Let’s stop panicking, and test AGW over the next several decades. But of course that won’t happen, because this issue is about money, not science.

  60. Does no one see how Hockey Schtick twisted one of the conclusions of the paper in such a manner that it says the exact opposite (on three points)?

    Do none of the people who are responsible for the content on WUWT see that the title from this blog post – that was copied almost verbatim from that twisted Hockey Schtick version of what the paper actually says – is wrong and misleading?

  61. EFS_Junior says:

    “…someone will have to come up with a convincing argument that current Arctic sea ice extent/area/volume declines can be fully explained and modeled using natural climate variability alone.”

    The primary characteristic of climate alarmists is their universal refusal to follow the scientific method. Skeptics have nothing to prove regarding the Arctic or AGW — and the null hypothesis of natural climate variability has never been falsified.

    Next: “I’m waiting desperately for such a paper to be published in the well respected peer reviewed climate science literature.”

    ‘Well respected’?? Are you perhaps referring to the pal-reviewed climate science litrachur? Or to something credible? I recommend reading A.W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion [Montford is Bishop Hill]. You will never again look upon the IPCC/CRU/Penn State fakirs as anything but scientific charlatans trying to control the process for their own status, for their endless taxpayer- and NGO-financed jaunts to fun spots around the world, and for their lucrative financial grants.

  62. Hard to argue with that. I guess that site is representative of the whole arctic. And the warm, ice free conditions thousands of years ago I read about on WUWT just a little while ago seem to be bogus too, according to the graph.

  63. Huh? The exact opposite?? Low T, Günther? ;-)

    Actually the paper says this:

    “Superimposed on these long-term trends are millennial-scale fluctuations characterized by periods of low sea-ice and high sea-surface temperature and salin- ity that appear quasi-cyclic with a frequency of about one every 2500–3000 years. The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the western Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene.”

    “Superimposed on these long-term trends are millennial-scale fluctuations in sea-surface con- ditions marked by periods of minimum sea ice (below modern values) and corresponding maxima in summer SSS and SST (similar to or higher than modern values). These fluctuations appear quasi-cyclic with episodes of reduced sea-ice cover centered at about 7500, 5000, and 2000 years BP, yielding a frequency of *1 every 2500–3000 years.”

    “Super- imposed on these long-term changes are millennial-scale variations that appear to be quasi-cyclic, with minima in sea-ice cover and corresponding maxima in summer SSS and SST occurring about every 2500–3000 years. This type of cyclicity may be associated with regional climate changes.”

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

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  64. Günther Kirschbaum : “… the paper doesn’t say that. It says the exact opposite. It says there have been times when the Arctic sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century. Not most of the time, but a few times.

    At no point does the paper say “a few times“.

    To my eye, Fig.7 on p.1384 in this paper (the chart reproduced in this WUWT post) clearly shows that for most of the time sea-ice (>50%) was less extensive than at end of the 20thC. ie, “most of” is supported by their data.

    The paper also says “According to sea-surface temperature estimates, the last few
    hundred years have been marked by cooler conditions than most of the Holocene
    “.

  65. Title of the top post:

    Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

    Title of the study on which this is based:

    Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea

    Anyone see a discrepancy?

    This following from the study has been mentioned a few times, but appears not to have made any impact on alleged ‘skeptics’:

    “This is in direct contrast to the eastern Arctic where sea-ice cover was substantially reduced during the early to mid-Holocene and has increased over the last 3000 years”

    From the paper, we cannot conclude much about Arctic-wide sea ice cover over the Holocene. Why are people here saying otherwise?

  66. Thank you for finding this paper – I hadn’t seen it previously. Dinocysts for sea ice, temperature and salinity are my least favourite proxy. I have published a couple of papers describing some of the statistical problems with them (mainly spatial autocorrelation in the modern training set leading to over optimistic estimates of model performance and encouraging inappropriate model choice), and have shown they have little if any skill, at least for reconstructing salinity, and probably the other variables. Barry Dale at Oslo also has several papers discussing the ecological problems with them.

  67. Smokey says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    EFS_Junior says:

    “…someone will have to come up with a convincing argument that current Arctic sea ice extent/area/volume declines can be fully explained and modeled using natural climate variability alone.”

    I’m going to try to simplify Smokey’s response.

    For a theory there should be experiments or predictions, the positive results of which should strengthen that being put forward. When an experiment or prediction does not happen as proposed it is the responsibility of those proposing the theory to change it and try again or withdraw. Others do not have a responsibility to come up with anything.

    Why not find and read this booklet to see how this is working out for AGW:

    The Skeptics Handbook: http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

  68. Oh my goodness, some people really don’t see it. That’s scary.

    Mike Jones says: “At no point does the paper say “a few times“.

    Mike, this is what the paper says:

    “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

    Does that sound to you like ‘many times’ or even worse: ‘most of the time’, like it says in the blog post title?

    And to remind you: this paper is about a proxy for the eastern Chukchi Sea. Check this map here. The Chukchi Sea is the grey area. You see how big a part of the Arctic that is?

    But that’s just one of the other incorrectly portrayed details. I’m focussing on the misleading title of this blog post, which is still up. This is not right.

  69. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm
    Does no one see how Hockey Schtick twisted one of the conclusions of the paper in such a manner that it says the exact opposite (on three points)?

    Do none of the people who are responsible for the content on WUWT see that the title from this blog post – that was copied almost verbatim from that twisted Hockey Schtick version of what the paper actually says – is wrong and misleading?

    Its time you took a deep breath, went outside, and maybe smell some flowers or observe nature in action for a change. You are getting bent over backwards on something that is wrong, I did not see that conclusion from the data in the paper, but sure, in your reality you can assume anything you want.

    When you are accusing this article of being incorrect, the burden is on YOU to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are correct. Simply saying that the paper mentions the opposite is not grounds for removing a paper, or even issueing a retraction of any type.

    This is the same “reality dysfunction” that believers in CaGW have. They believe that the burden is on everyone else to prove them incorrect when in fact the scientific method says the opposite. Its up to you to prove the null hypothesis false first. This is just like the belief in God. Its not up to a non-believer to prove God does not exist, its up to the church to prove that he does. Since this can not happen, churches nowadays have taken the logical assumption that you must have faith. But I digress..

    If you really want us to not see you as an arm-wailing loony, then the best bet is to probably see things from our perspective(s) and then prove us wrong. Until you prove us wrong, you are simply forcing your beliefs onto us and by being offensive, you will just get the “troll” brush by the rest of us.

  70. So there’s nothing at all unusual about the climate today for an interglacial period and the only thing at all that might be unusual is CO2 and methane level in the atmosphere which are elevated but do little if anything to change the climate.

    And even the CO2 level is arguable as Beck 2007 survey of historical laboratory measurements of CO2 show 400ppm or higher readings circa 1950 which are actual readings with accurate lab equipment taken in the northern hemisphere not air bubbles trapped in ice in the most extreme isolated place on the earth’s surface.

  71. barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm
    Title of the top post:

    Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

    Title of the study on which this is based:

    Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea

    Anyone see a discrepancy?

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

    No.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  72. Ben D, this is the title at Hockey Schtick: “Paper: Current Arctic Sea Ice is More Extensive than Most of the past 9000 Years”

    This is the title here: “Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years”

    THE PAPER DOES NOT SAY THAT!

    Sorry for the capslock, but I really don’t know how to get this fairly simple and obvious conclusion across. I have explained it several times now.

    Can someone who is responsible for the content on this blog react? Or are you waiting for Smokey, savethesharks and Ben D to wear me down and just keep things as they are? The title is clearly very successful at misleading people into thinking something that the quoted paper is NOT saying. If this is what you want, then keep it this way. If it’s not what you want, change it.

  73. Smokey says:
    September 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Actually they have proved that natural variability can not explain the recent warming trend.

    It’s right there in the IPCC WG1 AR4;

    Chapter 9, Figure 9.5, Section 9.4.1.2 “Simulations of the 20th Century” Page 684.

    Frequently Asked Question 9.2, Can the Warming of the 20th Century be Explained by Natural Variability?

    Pages 702-703, see FAQ 9.2, Figure 1, Page 703.

    That’s all the proof I’ll ever need.

  74. When you are accusing this article of being incorrect, the burden is on YOU to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are correct.

    The Chukchi Sea, the area considered in the study, is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The top post here refers to the entire Arctic ocean. That is an error of 90%.

  75. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    THE PAPER DOES NOT SAY THAT!

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

    The graph from the paper does.

  76. EFS_Junior says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Actually they have proved that natural variability can not explain the recent warming trend.

    It’s right there in the IPCC WG1 AR4;

    Chapter 9, Figure 9.5, Section 9.4.1.2 “Simulations of the 20th Century” Page 684.

    Frequently Asked Question 9.2, Can the Warming of the 20th Century be Explained by Natural Variability?

    Pages 702-703, see FAQ 9.2, Figure 1, Page 703.

    That’s all the proof I’ll ever need.

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

    Of course that is all the “proof you will ever need.”

    Not a very flattering statement.

    You sure you want to reduce that into writing?

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  77. Günther Kirschbaum : “Mike Jon[a]s says: “At no point does the paper say “a few times“. / Mike, this is what the paper says: “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.” / Does that sound to you like ‘many times’ or even worse: ‘most of the time’, like it says in the blog post title?

    Günther, you need to see all of my comment, not just a little bit. After the bit you quote, it went on : “To my eye, Fig.7 on p.1384 in this paper (the chart reproduced in this WUWT post) clearly shows that for most of the time sea-ice (>50%) was less extensive than at end of the 20thC. ie, “most of” is supported by their data. / The paper also says “According to sea-surface temperature estimates, the last few
    hundred years have been marked by cooler conditions than most of the Holocene
    “.

    So you can see that what I did was first of all to point out that your “a few times” statement was technically incorrect. But I then followed that up by checking the paper to see whether your criticism was supportable anyway, in spite of this technicality. It clearly wasn’t, as the chart showed “most of the time” to be a correct interpretation. On top of that, the reference to the Holocene showed that this tallied with their temperature results.

  78. “Cliff says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    And what about the rate of change? Has the climate warmed this fast in the past?”

    Definitely yes. Greenland in Arctic:

    “That faaaast?” See the CET 1690-1730 period and compare with mediocre modern warming 1980-2005.

    Btw, climate is cooling now..

  79. Günther,
    I would hate to spoil savethesharks’ fun getting you all worked up, but yes, you do have a point. I hope that your frustration with this extrapolation from the Chukchi sea to the whole Arctic and “at times” becoming “most” is something like what I feel about the barrage of impending doom stories your champions come up with.

  80. Cliff says:
    September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm
    “I don’t get what’s so comforting about instances when things were warmer millions or thousands of years ago. Why do we want to force a return to those conditions? And what about the rate of change? Has the climate warmed this fast in the past?

    Cliff, I posted this on a previous thread, you must have missed it:-

    BBC Q&A (13-Feb-2010): Professor Phil Jones(PJ) questioned by the BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin(RH).
    RH Q (a) – “Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?”
    PJ A (a)”…in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

    Here are the trends and significances for each period:”
    Period..Len(y)..C/10y.Significance
    1860-80 21 0.163 Yes
    1910-40 31 0.15 Yes
    1975-98 24 0.166 Yes
    1975-09 35 0.161 Yes

    Nothing ‘unprecedented’ about what’s happening today. No need to blame yourself and mankind. Our impact on climate is nothing compared to the energies involved in the system. Relax, have a beer and enjoy the weather, it’s the only weather we’ve got.

  81. So we’re leaving everything as is, do we?

    Well, in that case all I can hope is that people see what is happening here. And perhaps they’ll notice a trend and conclude how trustworthy this blog is as a source.

    REPLY: Maybe I’ll get lucky and you start citing Joe Romm then. -A

  82. @ savethesharks

    THE PAPER DOES NOT SAY THAT!

    Correct The paper does not consider Arctic-wide sea ice cover over the Holocene, just a 10% area of it.

    You say;

    The graph from the paper does.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/seaice4.jpg

    The graph is derived from data taken from the “Alaskan margin in the eastern Chukchi Sea.” The paper is about sea ice cover during the Holocene is assessing an area in the West Arctic ocean that is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The paper also notes that for much of the period, the opposite is occurring in the East arctic.

    It’s there in black and white in the paper. I can understand the frustration with blind opposition to what’s clear to see for anyone with a neutral pair of eyes. I’m not fond of the term ‘denialism’, but I am struggling to come up with something else that fits the latter comments in the thread here. ‘Blind rejectionism’?

  83. Maybe I’ll get lucky and you start citing Joe Romm then. -A

    How nice of you to react. Do you believe the title of your post accurately describes the conclusions of the paper?

    REPLY: Actually Gunther (or is it Neven?) I’ve learned that no matter what title I put down, somebody won’t like it. Tough noogies for you then. And no, I’m not interested in a discussion about changing it to something you like. Your points are not significant. The title is derived from the source, argue it there. If they change it, then I’ll be happy to follow.

    From the Hockey Schtick: Paper: Current Arctic Sea Ice is More Extensive than Most of the past 9000 Years -A

  84. barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    The Chukchi Sea, the area considered in the study, is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The top post here refers to the entire Arctic ocean. That is an error of 90%.

    Other proxies such as ice cores represent only a few square cm (or inches if you prefer). This gives you an “error” of almost 100%. Why does anyone take them seriously? (/sarc off)

    When the Chukchi sea temperatures and ice melt are above normal, the Chukchi sea is a cause celebre for the AGWer – but find an inconvenient proxy result in the Chukchi sea and suddenly its “only 10% of the Arctic”.

  85. When the Chukchi sea temperatures and ice melt are above normal, the Chukchi sea is a cause celebre for the AGWer…

    This is completely and utterly fictitious. A straw man pulled from the contrary air.

    As this has come down to a stand-off between reason and rhetoric, it’s time to move on. Hopefully there will be fewer pins and less dancing in the next thread.

  86. richard telford says:
    September 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm (Edit)
    Thank you for finding this paper – I hadn’t seen it previously. Dinocysts for sea ice, temperature and salinity are my least favourite proxy. I have published a couple of papers describing some of the statistical problems with them (mainly spatial autocorrelation in the modern training set leading to over optimistic estimates of model performance and encouraging inappropriate model choice), and have shown they have little if any skill, at least for reconstructing salinity, and probably the other variables. Barry Dale at Oslo also has several papers discussing the ecological problems with them.

    ##########################

    Thanks for that. I looked at this paper and asked myself. “if it was a tree ring study from Mann, what issues would I look for”

    1. quality of the proxy
    2. the temporal resolution
    3. the spatial area actually reconstructed.
    4. the reconstruction method
    5. the length of the training period.

    Let’s just say 2,3,5 looked suspect. I couldnt find 4 ( the reference to MAT was vague) and I didnt have time to look at 1.

    thanks for the pointers on number one.

    I remain singularly unimpressed with reconstructions, both those that show warmer past periods and those that don’t.

  87. Smokey

    ” No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.”

    that’s because its NOT a properly formulated hypothesis. “natural variability” is NOT a cause. It is the admission that we dont know the cause.

    If you double C02, you will see a 3C increase in temperature, IS a hypothesis.
    it makes a prediction, it attaches numbers. it tells you what to measure.
    your hypothesis does none of these. its unfalsibiable IN PRINCIPLE. that can be fixed, sugesst that you put your hypothesis in a quantified form. otherwise its religion

  88. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    September 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm
    So we’re leaving everything as is, do we?

    To make things easier I have put a red line across the graph and we can compare the past with the present:

    https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B9p_cojT-pflNmMzMjQzZDYtNWIzNS00ZDViLWI3ZGYtZjI5NTVjMzZlYTdm&hl=en_GB

    How much of the last 9000 years proxy curve is above the red line?

    i.e. For how much of the last 9000 years has there been less Arctic ice at the Chukchi sea than today?

    Is it more than half? (Yes, it is.)

    If so, then this could be described as “most” of the last 9000 years.

    So yes, lets leave it as it is.

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:21 am
    Smokey

    ” No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.”

    that’s because its NOT a properly formulated hypothesis. “natural variability” is NOT a cause. It is the admission that we dont know the cause.

    We’ve been through this before. Rejecting “natural variation” because we dont understand all the sources of variation, is “argumentun ad ignorantium” i.e. bad epistemology and logic.

    Natural variation is a valid null hypothesis.

  90. ( the reference to MAT was vague)

    Outside of the palaeo community, MAT is better known as k-nearest neighbours (knn; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-nearest_neighbor_algorithm ). In principle it is a good method, but is problematic because it generates local solutions. It is a method widely used by the palaeoceanographic community, perhaps because it typically appears to have the best performance statistics, however this is an artefact of the strong spatial autocorrelation in most marine training sets. For training sets with no spatial autocorrelation, MAT performs about as well as most other transfer function methods.

    I remain singularly unimpressed with reconstructions, both those that show warmer past periods and those that don’t.

    That would be to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Many reconstructions from biological assemblage data are reliable, reconstructing important environmental variables in ecologically sensitive sites. Unfortunately, the techniques are easily used to generate reconstructions that make no ecological sense, especially of spatial autocorrelated environmental fields. Trying to identify which reconstructions are useful and which are not requires further effort, but expect several relevant papers (and a comment on one egregious paper if we ever get hold of the data) in the next year.

  91. phlogiston: September 24, 2010 at 12:11 am

    barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    The Chukchi Sea, the area considered in the study, is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The top post here refers to the entire Arctic ocean. That is an error of 90%.

    Other proxies such as ice cores represent only a few square cm (or inches if you prefer). This gives you an “error” of almost 100%. Why does anyone take them seriously? (/sarc off)

    When the Chukchi sea temperatures and ice melt are above normal, the Chukchi sea is a cause celebre for the AGWer – but find an inconvenient proxy result in the Chukchi sea and suddenly its “only 10% of the Arctic”.

    Oooooohh! That must have hurt!
    Payback is such a female canine.

    /dr.bill

  92. @ Günther
    “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”
    Does that sound to you like ‘many times’ or even worse: ‘most of the time’, like it says in the blog post title
    ————————-
    It just say that the number of times is unknown. There may be a few times, or many times.

  93. I don’t see anything so surprising about the paper. Eyeballing the second graph, which gives data from approximately 9500 to 1250 years ago, we see the following:

    A general decline peaking at about 5000 years ago – representing the remains of the transition from the last glacial maximum to what is known as the Holocene Climate Optimum. Then about a thousand years of strong recovery suggesting colder conditions – certainly in the UK a deterioration in climate is thought to have occurred during the Bronze age – then a decline again through into Roman times – known to have been marked by warmer conditions. The data then stops at 750 AD.

    Someone mentioned the previous Interglacial – the Eemian. About 2C warmer than today and sea levels a good 5m higher. Food for thought!

    Cheers – John

  94. “Hey George!” If George E. Smith is on this thread, a question on solar reflectivity / absorption at the polar ice cap has come up that I think you can answer in this thread over at my place:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/saving-good-ideas/

    If you could pop over and clarify, that would be great…

    Oh, and on the topic of this article, the world was much warmer not too long ago. The wet savanna like Sahara in that period of time says so. I’d expect there was less ice then too…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/cold-dry-sahara-hot-wet-savanna/

  95. Various people in this thread have attempted to interpret what the authors of the paper in question were actually saying (or not saying). Unfortunately, mind reading is just one of the many skill areas in which I am lamentably deficient.

    Consequently, I have taken the radical step of contacting the editorial office of the CJES and asking if any of the original authors might care to share their thoughts with us.

  96. It does not matter what the original authors thought. The paper says a number of things, and you can use any angle you want really with regard to the title. I don’t think Gunther’s suggestion is wrong as a title either, but no one has proven that it should be changed “because it is wrong”. Its not, its an interpretation of the study.

    Let me put it more simply, if people who did not like the title were respectful, I can think of a few in this discussion….I have no problems with them arguing that the study does not say that. This is a scientific blog, so discussing the issues with the research is not an issue with me, but saying that “something is wrong” and not proving it is not really something I like to hear.

    and I must repeat this:

    Because Barry just made my weekly email for the funny comment of the week. Hope you were trying to be funny, because otherwise what should I think? lolol

    Lets be serious for a minute, that 90% error was actually more scientific than Mann!


    barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    The Chukchi Sea, the area considered in the study, is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The top post here refers to the entire Arctic ocean. That is an error of 90%.

    Other proxies such as ice cores represent only a few square cm (or inches if you prefer). This gives you an “error” of almost 100%. Why does anyone take them seriously? (/sarc off)

    When the Chukchi sea temperatures and ice melt are above normal, the Chukchi sea is a cause celebre for the AGWer – but find an inconvenient proxy result in the Chukchi sea and suddenly its “only 10% of the Arctic”.

  97. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    September 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    So we’re leaving everything as is, do we?

    Well, in that case all I can hope is that people see what is happening here. And perhaps they’ll notice a trend and conclude how trustworthy this blog is as a source.

    At least on this blog everyone is allowed to express their views, as long as they are polite.

    Even when moderators snip, there is a record of the snipping with the reason the comment has been snipped.

    Not so at other places.

  98. wial says:
    September 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Can we discuss this in say 5 years, when the signal will be strong enough to penetrate even (most of) this level of [snip]? Have you seen the graphs for sea ice volume, as opposed to extent? They’re even more telling. We are cooking the planet folks, and it’s not a good thing at all.

    I’ve got an even better idea.

    Why don’t we discuss this in 30 years, to really give the AGW hypothesis to prove itself?

    Once again, I have to ask, what possible difference does it make to the average member of the human race if the Arctic ice cap just goes away?

    The paper cited shows there was much lower ice levels in the past and everything seems to have worked out. Polars bears survived. So did those crazy walruses who seem to like to herd up and trample each other.

    Just like people. Maybe the walruses were attending a rock concert or soccer game.

    http://firegeezer.com/2010/07/25/crowd-panics-stampede-kills-19/
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/120+killed+as+soccer+crowd+panics+in+tear+gas+attack-a074879458

    In any event, the grand experiment continues.

    China and India, as well as others, will not curtail their production of CO2 to make AGWr’s happy. CO2 will go up, no matter what the US and other western economies do about their emissions.

    I personally take exception to this “we” stuff.

    First off, the null hypothesis regarding CO2 and the climate, has not been falsified. As this paper demonstrates, along with everything else I have read about the history of climate, natural variability does account for the 20th century warming.

    Second, the “we” is all inclusive. I have no control over what China does. I certainly have no control over the climate. Neither do you.

    The climate is doing what it has always done – change. Just like the weather.

    My personal observations, subjective of course, indicate we seem to be going back to the climate we had in the early seventies here in Colorado. A little cooler and wetter.

  99. One thing we can all be thankful for is that nearly 50% of the political and economic changes the world will need for another Ice Age have already been proposed by the AGW mob. These guys is real smart.

  100. barry says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    “The Chukchi Sea, the area considered in the study, is 10% of the Arctic ocean. The top post here refers to the entire Arctic ocean. That is an error of 90%.”

    So, we should infer that while the Chukchi sea ice was less than present, the rest of the arctic, of which Chukchi is a part, was showing more ice?

    Hmmm!

  101. Steven Mosher,

    “If you double C02, you will see a 3C increase in temperature, IS a hypothesis.”

    Agreed, but what if the prediction is that temperatures will increase by between 1.5C and 6C. Is it still a hypothesis then? You may wish for a hypothesis to be contained within AGW, but wishing does not make it so. The nearest thing to a hypothesis that I have come across has been the prediction that GCM’s have made for a tropical mid troposphere hotspot. Hows that one working out?

  102. I am not terribly impressed by this paper. It seems that their dates all came up wrong, so they “corrected” them by assuming that someone had managed to lose 1m from the top of the cores! This means that there is no overlap between the proxies and any real data. Why then did they not go back and get a core sample to cover the last few thousand years? Because of this I have no confidence that the calibration of the absolute level from these proxies is correct, or that they can be usefully compared with the recent actual observations. That the extent has historically expanded and contracted in the way their graph shows seems a reasonable conclusion, but whether at any given epoch it was greater or less than now is not, in my judgement, and in the absence of proxy-and-direct-observation overlap, sustainable with any certainty.

  103. Paul Birch says:
    September 24, 2010 at 7:16 am

    The radiocarbon correction is standard, indeed required, in marine systems. Over-penetration of the sediment by pistons corers is very common (and very annoying). Neither of these problems is critical.

  104. >>Oliver Ramsay says:
    September 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm
    Günther,
    I would hate to spoil savethesharks’ fun getting you all worked up, but yes, you do have a point. I hope that your frustration with this extrapolation from the Chukchi sea to the whole Arctic and “at times” becoming “most” is something like what I feel about the barrage of impending doom stories your champions come up with.
    <<

    I agree with you Oliver on both the points you make. Günther has a point and if he "gets" your point about his frustration possibly mirroring your (our) frustration over the typical media treatment of AGW, then maybe he will better understand you (us.)

    And Günther, you could learn something from Richard Telford's method of commenting. Because of your vitriolic approach even though you had valid points in hand, you had to plow through moderators' snipping you (justifiably, I suspect), overcome a barrage skeptical sniping and generally make a bad name for yourself before finally getting things explained well enough that people could sort out your main point, i.e., that the study covered only one fringe area of the Arctic and that the title of the main post implied the entire Arctic.

    Using Mr. Telford's approach (see his discussion of the reliability of the method the researchers used) you could have easily made that point succinctly and people would have understood your concern. While Anthony explained that he took the title from another site, I suspect that he might have considered changing it to reflect your concern if it was initially made respectfully instead of "snippably," or perhaps not.

    And Anthony, I disagree with your logic for keeping the title. ClimateDepot, along with other skeptic sites, is quite likely to link to your post directly using the title you've chosen to use. That adds your name to the credibility of the title in a pretty direct way. By the third or fourth iteration, it becomes "Anthony Watts says…." and the original source has disappeared. Just my two cents.

  105. Ed Forbes says:
    September 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic has been of interest to me for many years.

    A truly fascinating read, Ed. Thanks for posting that link.

  106. Vince Causey says:
    September 24, 2010 at 6:56 am (Edit)
    Steven Mosher,

    “If you double C02, you will see a 3C increase in temperature, IS a hypothesis.”

    Agreed, but what if the prediction is that temperatures will increase by between 1.5C and 6C. Is it still a hypothesis then?

    ##########################
    I would say no. That is why smokey’s NULL is not a proper null. Smokeys argument goes like this. Nobody has falsified the “natural variation hypothesis” I’ll do moshers version of that Null to show you how silly it is.
    1. Earths temperature will vary between -273K and 4 trillion degrees C
    (http://www.insidescience.org/research/hottest_temperature_in_the_universe_measured)
    Nobody has disproved that! therefore, C02 cannot cause warming.

    ” You may wish for a hypothesis to be contained within AGW, but wishing does not make it so. The nearest thing to a hypothesis that I have come across has been the prediction that GCM’s have made for a tropical mid troposphere hotspot. Hows that one working out?”

    There is a reason why I am a luke warmer. doh! Part of the complication of AGW hypothesis is that the “IF” is not controllable. In a controlled experiment, you can have this kind of hypothesis.

    1. If you increase the mass of an object, it will fall to earth faster.
    Then, you can actually go out and do a controlled experiment. and find out that your
    prediction is wrong.

    with the climate, you really cant do this kind of experiment. Why, because you cannot control the exact amounts of ALL the forcings and their exact measures. So you end up with a conditional on the conditional. IF C02 and other gases go up like so, and aerosols go like this, and the sun goes like it this, THEN you get a hot spot.

    So, you end up with a model spread of predictions. Kinda like a hurricane model spread. To make matters worse you dont have good observations to compare against, you have spotty observations, corrected observations. So you end up testing something much weaker than a hypothesis. You end up testing two distributions against each other.

    For my sensibility this puts us in the following situation. You have no science, no hypothesis, no theory, which predicts that more Co2 would lead to cooling. You do have physics ( fundamental physics) and imperfect incomplete theories, and gross models ( theory in code) that predict warming. Those theories, predictions, forecasts, are broad, they are confirmed by the observations, they are ( because of their broadness) HARD to falsify, they are not impossible to falsify. They give us limited knowledge of the future, but enough knowledge to warrant CONCERN over the amount of GHGs we put into the atmosphere. Any thinking person, would see that the science is young, imprecise, full of uncertainty. BUT, the fundamentals indicate that we cannot spew GHGs into the atmosphere with impunity and EXPECT no results. we do not expect that MORE C02 will lead to cooling. So, for me, the science give me cause for CONCERN. not alarm. Concern. because I am concerned I argue for better practices in climate science. because I am concerned I criticize bad arguments from skeptics. because I am concerned ( but not alarmed) I argue that there are some things we can do ( like nuclear) that will be good for us, regardless of accuracy of the models, observations, ect.

    That’s basically lukewarmerism. More C02 causes warming, not cooling. We have evidence that warrents ( or justifies) a rational concern for the future. That concern is best addressed by better science, a more educated public, and policies that are focused on ‘no regrets’ decisions taken at a local level.

  107. phlogiston says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:28 am (Edit)
    Steven Mosher says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:21 am
    Smokey

    ” No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.”

    that’s because its NOT a properly formulated hypothesis. “natural variability” is NOT a cause. It is the admission that we dont know the cause.

    We’ve been through this before. Rejecting “natural variation” because we dont understand all the sources of variation, is “argumentun ad ignorantium” i.e. bad epistemology and logic.

    ###################
    Sorry, I do not reject “natural variation” Please read. I say that it is not A CAUSE.
    it is RATHER the admission that we dont have a name for the cause. Further, when I state that it is not a valid NULL, I am being SPECIFIC. You need to quantify it. That means put numbers on it. Third, faliure to reject a natural variation Null, is not proof of its truth. see type II errors. Finally, the warming you see is a result of increased GHGs + variations yet to be explained by discrete physical processes.

    The argument from natural variation, says what? that all variation is the result of a natural process? duh. unfalsifiable, that the warming and cooling is ALL explained by factors unrelated to GHGs? the point is, the hypothesis has not been laid out in a manner that is testable or falsifiable. And worse there is no logical connection with the thesis that increased GHGs cause warming… warming over and above the warming and cooling we see otherwise.
    Simply, the cooling you see after a volcano falls well within the bounds of temperature variation in the last 150 years.
    The cooling you see after a volcano is within the “natural variation” Does it therefore follow, that there is Nothing to explain? that the cooling is “caused” by natural variation?. that aerosals cannot cause cooling, because the cooling they cause is small and within the “natural bounds over the past 4 billion years on the planet”
    The variations that people attribute to sun spots fall within “natural variation bounds” therefore, we can conclude that sunspots have nothing to do with the variation. The PDO falls “within the natural variation bounds”, therefore PDO cannot cause temperature changes. The warming we see falls within the natural variation, therefor C02 cannot cause warming. As you can see there is a large logical lacuna here.

    basically, the argument from natural variation is wrong from the start. It is the appeal to ignorance and the haven of the incurious.

    Anyways, natural variation is not a NULL. It is not stated in the proper form and even it it were it would have no logical consequence in the debate.

  108. phlogiston says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:28 am
    Steven Mosher says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:21 am
    Smokey

    ” No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.”

    that’s because its NOT a properly formulated hypothesis. “natural variability” is NOT a cause. It is the admission that we dont know the cause.

    We’ve been through this before. Rejecting “natural variation” because we dont understand all the sources of variation, is “argumentun ad ignorantium” i.e. bad epistemology and logic.

    Natural variation is a valid null hypothesis.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Natural variation is NOT a valid null hypothesis. TFTFY

    You need to quantify the natural variability and it’s causes and effects.

    Saying “I don’t know” which is EXACTLY what you are saying, is like burying one’s head in the proverbial sands of all the Earth’s deserts.

    We know that the sands exist, but we all have the choice of NOT burying one’s head in said sands. I choose to NOT bury my head in said sands.

    You would need to first model all (or most of) the drivers of the natural variability.

    In other words, if you can’t trouble yourself with hypothesis and theories, and come up with your own GCM’s and analyses, like the IPCC has done, you are simply waving your hands in the air and then pointing at nothing, saying look over here, to turn a blind eye as it were, nothing to see here, move along.

    Thus we do understand the major sources of variations, both natural and anthropogenic.

    Therefore, if you are unwilling to accept the current state-of-the-art (SOTA) of climate science, then please do continue on with your argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    Kind of like these posts digging up old science concurrent with the current 2010 Arctic sea ice extent/area/volume minimum.

    Go figure.

  109. Steven Mosher,

    Ok, I guess I can agree with the jist of what you wrote: AGW is hard to falsify, but may be true because CO2 causes more warming. You have chosen to use guarded words, and there is nothing I could disagree with. However, we don’t, none of us, debate climate science in a vacuum; it is more than an exercise in philosophy. All discussions inevitably lead to the subject of mitigation. And the more we move along this road, the more it is beginning to dawn on even the most obtuse – yes, even politicians – that to make the kinds of emission reductions that would actually reduce warming, even by IPCC standards, is an impossibility.

    Ultimately, even luke warmers have to decide what action they want to see happen.

  110. richard telford says:
    September 24, 2010 at 8:52 am
    “The radiocarbon correction is standard, indeed required, in marine systems. Over-penetration of the sediment by pistons corers is very common (and very annoying). Neither of these problems is critical.”

    What is critical is that, because the C-14 dates didn’t tie up even after the standard corrections, leaving them with an assumed loss of 1m from the top of the cores (not merely over-penetration), there is no overlap between proxies and observation. In its absence, the magnitude of the ice extent has been adjusted by line fitting, which is not adequate for robust conclusions. I’m not blaming them – they probably did the best they could with what they had – but it still needs a set of measurements extended to the present epoch to tie down the proxy reliably.

  111. Colin from Mission B.C. says on September 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Ed Forbes says:
    September 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic has been of interest to me for many years.

    A truly fascinating read, Ed. Thanks for posting that link.

    My first thought is that it is a hoax, that is, it was drawn/doctored recently …

    It has been very hard to prove that the Shroud of Turin was produced at a much different date that some of the claims around it … so I would take this map with a grain of salt as well.

  112. John F. Hultquist says:
    September 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm
    Ed Forbes says: at 4:27 pm
    “the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic ”

    I went to that link. The map does not include the (artic) Arctic Ocean, rather the “northern coast of Antarctica” is the area in question. I note that the web site is titled World Mysteries. Any ideas?

    ————

    Should have said 1528 when he made his second world map for a piece of Greenland.

    http://www.diegocuoghi.it/Piri_Reis/McIntosh/McIntosh_PiriReis.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piri_Reis

  113. Paul Birch says:
    September 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    What is critical is that, because the C-14 dates didn’t tie up even after the standard corrections, leaving them with an assumed loss of 1m from the top of the cores (not merely over-penetration), there is no overlap between proxies and observation. In its absence, the magnitude of the ice extent has been adjusted by line fitting, which is not adequate for robust conclusions. I’m not blaming them – they probably did the best they could with what they had – but it still needs a set of measurements extended to the present epoch to tie down the proxy reliably.

    —–
    They are using a giant piston corer in >400m water. This system often over-penetrates. This is what the authors mean by the sediment being lost. They do not mean that the sediment was collected and later misplaced. I can supply many many examples of this problem with this coring system.

    It does not matter much for validating the proxy that it does not reach the present. Telford (2006) and Telford and Birks (2009) and various papers by Dale show dinocysts are a proxy with limited utility for salinity, ice cover and temperature. This is the real problem with the paper.

  114. Hey Günther

    Don’t bother arguing with the ideologues – it’s fruitless. Just because the study is from “site HLY0501-05”, just one piston core close to Point Barrow at 72.69N, and just because the title is deliberately misleading, they will believe whatever they read here and whatever they want to. It’s why they read stuff here, not actual science papers.

  115. EFS_Junior says:
    September 24, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Natural variation is NOT a valid null hypothesis. TFTFY
    You need to quantify the natural variability and it’s causes and effects.

    There is another metaphor to describe this argument: a “jar of fleas”.

    The Russian Tsar Ivan the 4th (“Ivan the Terrible”) used to punish troublesome boyars by demanding that they collect and present to him a jar of fleas. Finding enough fleas to fill a glass jar was of course practically impossible. Therefore, failure to meet this demand was assured.

    It is impossible to “quantify the natural variability and it’s causes and effects”. We are no-where even close to coming anywhere near this. This AGW argument that skeptics need to fully qualtify and characterise natural variability and it sources – i.e. collect their jar of fleas, reveals that AGWers have an oversimplified conception of climate and really do not grasp its fundamental complexity.

  116. Juraj V. writes,
    “No wonder, since the last interglacial was warmer than today for most of the time;
    Greenland ice core says so:”

    No, Greenland ice core does not say so. And the ice core data graph you link twice on this page gives estimated temperatures from 20,000 years ago up to 1855, so it covers neither the last interglacial nor today.

    Judging from Alley’s ice core estimates alongside modern temperature data, it is warmer in central Greenland now than it was during the Medieval Warm Period.

  117. Smokey,

    Me – “Couldn’t one falsify AGW by showing that the warming since the industrial revolution is not attributable to manmade GHGs? ”

    You – “Your first question has the scientific method backward. The purveyors of the CO2=CAGW hypothesis have the burden of showing that it explains reality better than the null hypothesis: No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperatures changes are the result of natural variability.”

    Wait a minute, you’re changing the question from whether AGW is falsifiable to whether it has been proven. Regardless of whether it’s been proven, it is falsifiable for the reason I stated. It could be disproven by showing that warming since the industrial revolution is not attributable to manmade GHGs. Thus, it’s is not an unscientific hypothesis. At most it’s an unproven hypothesis. Therefore, your claim that AGW is not falsifiable is incorrect as I see it.

  118. phlogiston says:
    September 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    EFS_Junior says:
    September 24, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Natural variation is NOT a valid null hypothesis. TFTFY
    You need to quantify the natural variability and it’s causes and effects.

    There is another metaphor to describe this argument: a “jar of fleas”.

    The Russian Tsar Ivan the 4th (“Ivan the Terrible”) used to punish troublesome boyars by demanding that they collect and present to him a jar of fleas. Finding enough fleas to fill a glass jar was of course practically impossible. Therefore, failure to meet this demand was assured.

    It is impossible to “quantify the natural variability and it’s causes and effects”. We are no-where even close to coming anywhere near this. This AGW argument that skeptics need to fully qualtify and characterise natural variability and it sources – i.e. collect their jar of fleas, reveals that AGWers have an oversimplified conception of climate and really do not grasp its fundamental complexity.
    _____________________________________________________________

    So what you are really saying is that you refuse to do the actual science.

    Yet you claim to understand the scientific method, where clearly you do not fully understand the scientific method, as is abundently clear from your posts here at WUWT.

    Nuff said.

  119. Ed Forbes writes,
    “the map re-drawn by the Turk Piri Reis in 1513 with a mostly ice free artic has been of interest to me for many years. ”

    The Piri Reis map is apparently genuine, although the claim that it shows Antarctica (which it doesn’t) has made it popular on some websites about ancient extraterrestrials. It doesn’t show Greenland, either, and certainly can’t tell us that the Arctic was ice free.

    Here’s one good look at what the map actually does show:
    http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/pseudosc/piriries.htm

  120. Steve Mosher,

    See what you did? You went and got folks all riled up over your interpretation of what a null hypothesis is:

    “basically, the argument from natural variation is wrong from the start. It is the appeal to ignorance and the haven of the incurious. Anyways, natural variation is not a NULL. It is not stated in the proper form and even it it were it would have no logical consequence in the debate.”

    Dr Roy Spencer originally stated that the climate null hypothesis has never been falsified, and I don’t think he was appealing to the ignorant and incurious.

    Dr Spencer makes clear the logical consequence of the null hypothesis — and warmists don’t like those consequences one little bit [for those who don’t know, Dr Spencer is an internationally esteemed climatologist.]

    But don’t take it from me what the definition of a null hypothesis is. Here are three different sources that define a null hypothesis [and not one of them is from Wiki]:

    click1
    click2 [replace “alien burglary” with “CAGW.”]
    click3

    There are lots more citations that say essentially the same thing. Also, quantifying a hypothesis with numbers, as you will see in the links above, is not at all a necessary requirement for a null hypothesis.

    The alternative to the null is the CO2=CAGW hypothesis, which has been trying to get a promotion to the status of a theory by falsifying the null, by showing that the new hypothesis explains reality better. But since the climate null hypothesis has never been falsified, the CO2=CAGW hypothesis, rather than becoming a theory, has been downgraded to the status of a conjecture; an opinion lacking empirical evidence or verifiable observations [keep in mind that model output is not evidence, and “adjusted” data is not evidence unless there is full and complete methodology and metadata attached to the adjusted data — extremely rare in the inbred climate doomsayer clique].

    Further, the climate does not need to be understood completely, or even well, to form a hypothesis. If a hypothesis accurately and repeatedly predicts future events, it is well on its way to becoming a theory.

    Since the planet’s temperature is well within its past parameters, the null hypothesis is that the current climate is a consequence of natural variability, just as the past climate was. The hypotheses conjectures about tipping points, runaway global warming and climate catastrophe come from computer models, not from real world observations.

    Michael Mann tried to falsify the null hypothesis by claiming that there was never a MWP or a LIA, and look at all the tap-dancing and hiding out he’s been doing ever since. Your own book exposes his grant-hogging clique as being ethics-challenged.

    Every attempt by alarmists to falsify the null hypothesis of natural climate variability has failed. No wonder they hate it so much.

  121. EFS_Junior says:
    September 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    So what you are really saying is that you refuse to do the actual science.

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

    No. What he is saying that he doesn’t have to prove a damn thing. For “natural variability” it is science business as usual.

    The burden of proof is on all the chicken little warmists out there.

    You guys want to put forth a bizarre hypothesis?? Then prove it with real data and evidence.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  122. jakers says:
    September 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Hey Jakers,

    As I can tell you are a card carrying ideologue, don’t bother arguing with the people who simply want the truth – it’s fruitless. You will get beaten every time.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  123. I am not surprised at all. The scientific evidence has always contradicted Al Gores crackpot theory. They just thought with media biased to their side and having paid off several formerly respectable institutions such as NASA, The Weather Channel, the National Geographic Society, Nature, Scientific American, etc…they would win an a priori argument. Luckily they were wrong.

  124. So, we should infer that while the Chukchi sea ice was less than present, the rest of the arctic, of which Chukchi is a part, was showing more ice?

    No, you don’t get to put words in my mouth. However, you can read the paper for yourself and learn that they said the opposite was occurring (less ice) on the other side of the Arctic (Eastern Arctic) for most of the period. That’s not deterministic, but should put a brake on definitive claims of any kind.

    What I said in one of my posts is that this paper does not give license to claim that the entire Arctic had less ice at times over the Holocene than current – it only refers to an area that is 4% (I said 10% before, mistakenly) of the entire Arctic ocean. I’m not claiming anything about total Arctic ice coverage over the Holocene – rather, I’m saying it is completely fallacious to do so based on this paper. But this is what was done in the top post.

    Why must people invent arguments instead of address the point? Wild straw men abound…

  125. Smokey,

    You say AGW is trying to get “promotion to the status of a theory by falsifying the null”

    You again seem to confuse proof with falsifiability. AGW is a valid theory. It can be falsified. It at most hasn’t been proven with sufficient evidence, although I might note that the majority science view is that it is a correct theory. See NAS reports from this year.

    “Since the planet’s temperature is well within its past parameters, the null hypothesis is that the current climate is a consequence of natural variability, just as the past climate was”

    Again I don’t see how this logically follows. The fact that temps are within past parameters does not mean AGW is wrong. Natural variability alone could have us at lower than normal temps, and then with the addition of AGW that puts us at average temps. You don’t even need higher than normal temps for AGW to be happening. In this scenario, AGW would be real but not harmful.

    “an opinion lacking empirical evidence or verifiable observations [keep in mind that model output is not evidence,”

    You seem to have a really cramped view of what evidence is. Evidence is anything supporting a theory. The evidence does not need to be sufficient to prove the theory to be evidence. Some evidence is better than other evidence, but we don’t disqualify the weaker forms of evidence as not evidence. Its just less persuasive or conclusive.

    CO2 is up. CO2 warms the climate. The climate is warming. And it’s warming in ways consistent with how CO2 warms the climate as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong). And some other mechanisms like solar have been shown to be insufficient to explain the warming (since the 70s at least). That’s all evidence that supports AGW. It may not be enough to prove it beyond doubt, but it’s evidence. Oh, and the models are evidence too. Additional evidence, and perhaps evidence with issues, but evidence nonetheless.

    I guess what I’m saying is you’re overreaching. You should say AGW is unproven or an unpersuasive theory or natural variability is a much better theory. But AGW is not an illegitimate theory.

  126. EFS_Junior says:
    September 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    So what you are really saying is that you refuse to do the actual science.

    Yet you claim to understand the scientific method, where clearly you do not fully understand the scientific method, as is abundently clear from your posts here at WUWT.

    The “jar of fleas” argument was not a council of despair. I do not argue that we cannot understand at least some key elements of the climate system. I have no problem with doing real experimental science – on the contrary, CAGW skeptic arguments tend to be based on experimental measurements while CAGW rests on a foundation of computer modeling. No – the jar of fleas argument was intended to demonstrate that You, Steve Mosher and others here are constructing a set of rules by which it is essentially impossible to falsify the hypothesis of CAGW.

    I have argued on this site repeatedly and at length (to some maybe ad nauseam) about one of the leading philosophers of science, Karl Popper, and his main arguments that (a) a scientific hypothesis or conjecture must be falsifiable (and that means practically falsifiable) and that (b) scientific reasoning should favour deductive rather than inductive logic. Look it up if you want further details, I wont repeat it all again.

    The world is a complex place. Complexity in dynamic systems means more than “Heath-Robinsonian” type complexity – many interconnecting parts but relatively simple linear mechanical relationships between them. Dynamic chaos and non-equilibrium pattern formation are dominant phenomena in many complex natural systems – key examples are living organisms, and climate. Some systems are well described by linear analysis. Others are nonlinear and chaotic and do not allow analytical predictions, although one can determine some characteristics of the system. Take two examples. Looking at the orbit of a comet, a scientist can predict that it will pass earth in August, 2025. But the same scientist looking at climate, cannot say that on August 20, 2025, there will be a thunderstorm over the town of Didcot, Oxfordshire.

    Rene Descartes, who gave us vectorial 3D geometry, famously conjectured that if the properties of every particle in the universe was known, then the future behaviour of the whole universe would also be predicted. This conjecture is false – due to the operation of dynamic chaos and nonlinear behaviour, total knowledge of particles properties at time zero does not necessarily allow prediction of future behaviour.

    The point of this discussion is the argument that for skeptics to falsify CAGW they have to fully characterise climate fluctuation and be able to predict its chaotic and unpredictable dynamics. This betrays an understanding of scientific analysis that is selective at best; and it is a “jar of fleas” argument.

  127. richard telford says:
    September 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm
    “It does not matter much for validating the proxy that it does not reach the present. ”

    What matters is that there is no overlap between the proxy and actual observations. Whether the overlap reaches the present or is far in the past is irrelevant, so long as there is one. If you don’t have an overlap, you don’t have a validated proxy.

    Perhaps you are saying that the proxy has previously been validated with other cores and other observations, so the lack of overlap in this particular case doesn’t matter much? If so, I would accept that, with some reservations concerning possible inaccuracies. I didn’t see anything about this in the paper, which did seem to use a graph fitting to align the proxy, but I admit it may have been hidden in the details or references I may not have studied carefully enough. I also understand and accept that you have other issues with the proxy’s “limited utility”.

  128. Cliff,

    You state: “Evidence is anything supporting a theory.” In scientific terms, that is wrong.

    Really, Cliff, you need to get up to speed on this subject. I suggest reading the WUWT archives, and quit inhabiting the RealClimate, climate progress, etc., echo chambers, where you only hear one side of the debate, and where scientifically skeptical views are routinely censored out.

    I provided a link showing that CAGW is an unsupported conjecture lacking testable, falsifiable evidence. By “evidence” we don’t mean any argument that could possibly support the CAGW hypothesis.

    In the scientific method, evidence refers to empirical [real world], testable, falsifiable, replicable data — and the burden is entirely on the promoters of a new hypothesis, not on skeptics — who have nothing to prove.

    Skeptics simply question — and the CAGW crowd lacks convincing answers. Until you get that straight in your mind you will continue to be confused about what scientific ‘evidence’ entails — and about which party has the burden of providing scientific evidence supporting their scary new hypothesis.

    There is no testable, measurable evidence supporting CAGW, or tipping points, or runaway global warming; nor any measurable, quantifiable, scientific evidence showing that the <3% of CO2 attributable to human activity has any effect on temperature.

    The criterion of the scientific method is its falsifiability, and refutability, and testability. Without those conditions there is no scientific method, and any so-called hypotheses lacking those requirements is no more scientific than Scientology. See Karl Popper’s explanation of the scientific method.

    CO2=CAGW is not falsifiable, therefore it is not science. It is a conjecture lacking empirical evidence; a “what if” scenario. Planet Earth is not cooperating with that particular conjecture. So who are we to believe? The promoters of the deliberately scary CAGW conjecture — or planet Earth, and our lying eyes?

    Finally, your assertion that “CO2 is up. CO2 warms the climate. The climate is warming” proves nothing. Postal rates are also up. Both may well be coincidental. Showing a spurious correlation is the way an un-rigorous human mind works, but it is not science. The fact that on all time scales, rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature should tell you that there are fatal assumptions in the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    Do a search of the WUWT archives for “CO2”, and do some necessary reading. It will provide valuable education on the difference between speculation and the the essential role of skepticism in the scientific method.

    Or, you could go back to the comfortable echo chamber at realclimate, climate progress, etc., where the reasonable views expressed on this “Best Science” site are routinely censored out, and their handful of commenters mutually reinforce their belief that a harmless and beneficial trace gas is gonna getcha.

  129. “And it’s warming in ways consistent with how CO2 warms the climate as I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong).”

    There are a number of problems. The output from GCM’s include higher rates of warming in the tropical mid troposphere, which would result from positive water vapour feedback. This has not been observed. The CO2 theory also mandates a radiative imbalance of something like 0.85 watts per meter squared. This absolutely leads to the prediction that heat must accumulate in the oceans (it isn’t accumulating in the atmosphere). Dr. Pielke has estimated that there should be about 1 * 10^29 joules of extra ocean heat accumulated since the year 2000. Despite deploying state of the art sumbersible temperature sensors (Argo network) this heat has not yet been detected. Professor Lindzen has also done some research on the ERBE satellite data and has concluded that the radiation flows are not behaving as models predict.

    The climate is not behaving at all well.

  130. phlogiston,

    “This conjecture is false – due to the operation of dynamic chaos and nonlinear behaviour, total knowledge of particles properties at time zero does not necessarily allow prediction of future behaviour.”

    This is a good point. The concept that position and kinetics of particles is unkowable to an infinite precision, does not merely follow from considerations of our present technology, but is a funamental tenet of mathematics. In can be shown that there exists an infinite quantity of irrational numbers. These are numbers that cannot be expressed with infinite precision – Pi is the best known example. Positions of the majority of particles can only be described with irrational numbers – that is to say, any calculations based on them will only be approximations. The outcome of this is that it is fundamentally impossible to predict the future outcome of particles in the real world, since any errors, no matter how minute, will be magnified with each iteration of the computation.

  131. The output from GCM’s include higher rates of warming in the tropical mid troposphere, which would result from positive water vapour feedback. This has not been observed. The CO2 theory also mandates…

    Warming in the tropical mid-troposphere is not a function of CO2 warming, but atmospheric warming from any cause. Doesn’t matter if the driver is solar or cosmic rays or GHGs. There may be a flaw in the understanding of the moist adibiatic lapse rate, but that is not specifically to do with CO2. However, the data on which the ‘missing hotspot’ is based is problematic.

  132. Dr. Pielke has estimated that there should be about 1 * 10^29 joules of extra ocean heat accumulated since the year 2000. Despite deploying state of the art sumbersible temperature sensors (Argo network) this heat has not yet been detected.

    It may be that the missing heat is in the oceans deeper than sensors can reach. There was a very recent paper positing heating of the oceans between 1000 and 4000 meters. That’s about as deep as we can read at the moment, and the findings only account for a quarter of the missing heat.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/Recent_AABW_Warming_v3.pdf

  133. barry,

    “However, you can read the paper for yourself and learn that they said the opposite was occurring (less ice) on the other side of the Arctic (Eastern Arctic) for most of the period.”

    I presume that what they say is happening on the Eastern Arctic has come from other studies, since their own study was based in one area?

    “it only refers to an area that is 4% (I said 10% before, mistakenly) of the entire Arctic ocean.”

    Isn’t it possible to make sweeping generalisations from a small point in space? Isn’t that what Mann did with his bristlecones? And is it any different from what GISS are doing extrapolating a single temperature station over 1200km?

  134. Vince, deal with or at least acknowledge my main point about the top article – reassure me you’ll have a straight up conversation point for point with no dancing around – and I’ll move on to your point.

  135. barry,

    “Vince, deal with or at least acknowledge my main point about the top article – ”

    I assume you are making the point that because the study only looks at 4% of the arctic, it would be wrong to draw any conclusions about the other 96%. I’m not sure I agree. It has long be accepted to take proxy readings from a single area and draw conclusions for wider areas. Mann did in MBH98. This wasn’t the reason that the hockey stick was criticised. It was criticized on the statistical methods. The assumption behind this reasoning is that if the climate has altered at one point on the earths surface for a long enough period (decades? centuries?) then it is reasonable to attribute this to larger scale climate variations. I don’t see any problems with this, unless it is contradicted by other evidence. You say other studies show the opposite trends for the wider area. In that case, the methodology of these studies should be re-examined. Maybe invalid methods or assumptions were used. or the techniques have become obsolete. Given that warmer periods existed in the past, this is quite likely.

  136. barry,

    “It may be that the missing heat is in the oceans deeper than sensors can reach.”

    I have a problem with this as well. In order for this heat to reach greater depths, it would have to pass by all the Argo sensor’s without being detected, like a thief in the night.

  137. I assume you are making the point that because the study only looks at 4% of the arctic, it would be wrong to draw any conclusions about the other 96%.

    Why assume when you can read my posts?

    The article at the top of this thread does misrepresents what is in the paper. Simple. No need to shift goal posts or pretend that some extrapolation from data in the Cukchi Sea was attempted. This is the thrust of the top post…

    A peer-reviewed paper published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences finds that Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the 20th century was more extensive than most of the past 9000 years. The paper also finds that Arctic sea ice extent was on a declining trend over the past 9000 years

    Not one mention of the area assessed (Cukchi Sea), not one mention that it covers 4% of the Arctic, no attempt to extrapolate, not one mention of the paper advising that that the Eastern Arctic sea ice cover showed opposite behaviour to that of sea ice in the Cuchki Sea over most of the Holocene.

    Distortion by selective quoting. Simple.

    Now you, Vince, appear to be trying trying to redeem the article with a completely false analogy of a different subject altogether.

    Mann’s conclusions on Northern Hemispheric temperatures in his 98 and 99 papers were tentative and based on a range of proxy data from various locations. In order to match what was done in the top post, Mann would have needed to make absolute conclusions about the whole globe and have expressed no uncertainty or failed commented on difficulties and limitations with data.

    Is it possible the arctic had less sea ice at different times over the Holocene than at present? Yes. But you can’t establish that from this paper. Nor did Mann’s early work conclude anything about global temperatures over the last millennium, and those papers of 11 and 12 years ago were qualified and called for more data and study.

  138. In order for this heat to reach greater depths, it would have to pass by all the Argo sensor’s without being detected, like a thief in the night.

    3000 ARGO buoys were deployed over a few years to late 2007. Plenty of huge gaps in that time and even now. There’s no need to be so defensive. It may be that the missing heat isn’t in the deep oceans. I’m just pointing out new science that tentatively concludes there might be. It’s not definitive. There is a strange tendency to be close-minded in so-called ‘skeptical’ blogs.

  139. Smokey,

    “In the scientific method, evidence refers to empirical [real world], testable, falsifiable, replicable data — and the burden is entirely on the promoters of a new hypothesis, not on skeptics — who have nothing to prove.

    But there is empirical evidence supporting AGW. Such as the empirical evidence of warming. The empirical evidence of higher GHGs. The empirical evidence showing solar is not sufficient to explain the recent warming. And the models too are empirical evidence. You feed in historical climate data and without the GHGs you don’t output the warming observed historically. This evidence may not be sufficient proof but it’s evidence that makes AGW more than unsupported conjecture.

    “Skeptics simply question — and the CAGW crowd lacks convincing answers.”

    Not exactly. YOU and some others haven’t been convinced. Others are, including a lot of scientists. See the NAS reports from this year that everyone loves to ignore here. That many scientists believe AGW is true doesn’t mean AGW is true. My point here is only that AGW unquestionably is a legitimate theory.

    “There is no testable, measurable evidence supporting CAGW, or tipping points, or runaway global warming; nor any measurable, quantifiable, scientific evidence showing that the <3% of CO2 attributable to human activity has any effect on temperature."

    Maybe not for runaway global warming. But yes there is measurable evidence that supports AGW as an explanation for the warming observed. Maybe not enough to prove it. But lack of proof does not equal lack of evidence.

    "The criterion of the scientific method is its falsifiability, and refutability, and testability. . . CO2=CAGW is not falsifiable, therefore it is not science."

    As I have repeated and you have not answered, AGW is falsifiable. One could show that the recent warming since the 70s is fully attributable to solar, for example. One could shown that man is not responsible for the measurable increase in CO2.

    "It is a conjecture lacking empirical evidence; a “what if” scenario. Planet Earth is not cooperating with that particular conjecture. So who are we to believe? The promoters of the deliberately scary CAGW conjecture — or planet Earth, and our lying eyes?"

    It looks like the planet is warming to most people. Do you have some data showing otherwise? Really, the whole question here is the cause, AGW or something else. AGW is not inconsistent with what's being observed. That doesn't mean AGW is proven, but again it's overreaching to say what is being observed is at odds with AGW.

    "Finally, your assertion that “CO2 is up. CO2 warms the climate. The climate is warming” proves nothing."

    Well it's not just that. It's also the absence of another suitable explanation so far. For example, solar doesn't cut it. Plus, my point here is not that AGW is PROVEN. It's that you are overstating things to say AGW is unscientific.

    "The fact that on all time scales, rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature should tell you that there are fatal assumptions in the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    Not really. If higher temps lead to more CO2 release for any reason, it's quite possible for CO2 to cause an increase in temp that then results in more CO2 in the atmosphere. That alone doesn't resolve the question.

    "Do a search of the WUWT archives for “CO2″, and do some necessary reading. It will provide valuable education on the difference between speculation and the the essential role of skepticism in the scientific method."

    I am reading here and so far nothing is giving me much reason to doubt AGW. I'm still reading though.

    "Or, you could go back to the comfortable echo chamber at realclimate, climate progress, etc.,"

    Oh, yeah, it's real "comforting" to think AGW is right. I'd love to find something convincing indicating it's not. But the idea that AGW is not scientific when tons of scientists believe it – again see the NAS reports from this year — sorry that doesn't help me at all.

  140. Smokey: “Skeptics simply question…There is no testable, measurable evidence supporting CAGW…”

    The claim: “There is no testable, measurable evidence supporting CAGW” is not a question, rather an assertion supporting a particular position. Therefore, if scepticism is mere questioning, the claim is not a sceptical claim.

    “Finally, your assertion that “CO2 is up. CO2 warms the climate. The climate is warming” proves nothing. Postal rates are also up. Both may well be coincidental.”

    Except that CO2 is a posited causative factor, whereas postal rates=warming is merely correlative. Therefore, CO2=warming is a different, and much stronger, claim.

    When evaluating evidence in science, keep in mind that correlation does not equal causation, and science seeks to establish causation.

  141. Cliff,

    “Not exactly. YOU and some others haven’t been convinced. Others are, including a lot of scientists. See the NAS reports from this year that everyone loves to ignore here.”

    One of the most stubborn myths is the one that states that thousands of scientists have examined the evidence and concluded that AGW is a real problem. I often despair of the number of times, after explaining the counter evidence, when people reply along the lines; well that’s what the vast majority of scientists believe.

    You quote the NAS. Others have quoted the Royal Society. Yet, again, this is not the workings of thousands of scientists examining evidence, but instead, the output of a handful of individuals who sit on the boards. The closest analogy would be an op-ed published in a scientific journal, like new scientists.

    The largest and most listened to voice is the IPCC, and nowhere is the myth of thousands of climate scientists examining the evidence more prevalent. But if you look closely, you find that the overwhelming majority of scientists are researching areas that are peripheral to the main question. The IPCC is spread over three working groups – the second and third are to do with consequences (of assumed climate change) and mitigation respectively. Out of the first working group, only one chapter actually addresses the question. That single chapter references some 500 scientists. So the thousands of scientists have been narrowed down to 500. But it gets worse.

    These scientists have no role in writing the chapter or in drawing the conclusions. Indeed, some of the names among the 500 include well known sceptics such as Christy and Spencer. The writing is delegated to a team of about 50 authors and lead authors, who are selected from volunteers by the IPCC comittee. I am prepared to accept that these 50 scientists believe that AGW is a problem, but there are also dozens of sceptical climate scientists who don’t believe.

    But what about the endorsements from learned societies all around the world? Surely that adds weight. Other that observing that the scholars that sit on the boards of these societies have no role in climate science, I do find it strange that they can make such pronouncements. But I believe the answers can be found in psychology rather than climate science. Ideology plays a large role; as some research recently concluded, belief in AGW and disbelief have a correlation with political beliefs. I think it is reasonable to observe, that individuals with a left wing bias view AGW scepticism as being pro-capitalist to an excessive degree. Group think is also important, as people that move only among circles who hold the same beliefs will tend to echo the same beliefs.

    I often ask myself the question; what work has Lord Rees, an astronomer, done in climate science to make him so certain that the IPCC is right and sceptics are wrong? The only conclusion I can reach is that Rees, being a scientist, accepts the words published by the IPCC who represent other scientists. He is effectively telling us: I am a scientists and I can tell you that the output of these other scientists that have gone through peer review and rigorous vetting to reach the IPCC, must be as robust as they say.

    Well, I’m sorry. That may be the way it ought to be, or the way Lord Rees thinks it is, but I have seen enough to make me realise, it is all smoke and mirrors.

  142. Anthony,
    Thanks for posting this and I would like to respond to critical remarks (and will have an upcoming Hockey Schtick post with more details and figures from the pdf below):

    1. The multiple comments that the title didn’t include everything else that was noted in the post seems unreasonable to me. Included in the post is the title of the paper and the abstract describing the exact location, states that it concerns the WESTERN Arctic, and a link to the paper itself for anyone who wants to read all the details and caveats. Would you be happy if I just made the title the entire post itself? probably not.

    2. Regarding their discussion of the EASTERN Arctic, one of the same authors published the paper cited in the discussion about the Arctic bipolar behavior east vs. west which is located here:

    http://gizmo.geotop.uqam.ca/devernalA/de_Vernal_et_al_AGU_CH04_2009.pdf

    and which shows in Fig 6 that the “bipolar” east/west behavior began in the 1700’s way before industrialization and the graph cuts off sometime in the 1800’s. Therefore, the discussion about bipolar changes is referring to a time period BEFORE the 20th century.

    also look at Fig 9 showing the WESTERN Arctic back to 16,000 Y BP.

    and the abstract which states bipolar changes are not unlike those seen in the 20th century

    3. Several commenters above have already pointed out that it is the DATA which clearly shows that the western Arctic sea ice extent was more extensive at the end of the 20th century than MOST (i.e. > 50%) of the past 9000 years.

    4. As to the comments that ‘this is only a tiny area,’ of the Arctic, the 6 geoscientist authors thought it was ok to put in the abstract itself that this paper CLEARLY represents the variability of the WESTERN Arctic during the Holocene. Some of the same authors also wrote the paper I linked to above which uses this drilling site compared to a single site in the EASTERN Arctic to assess the bipolar nature of the Arctic (Fig 6).

    Said authors also choose to state in the final sentence on the conclusion:
    “It is important to note that the amplitude of these millennial-scale changes in sea-surface conditions FAR exceed those observed at the end of the 20th century.”

    [I’d like to know why western Arctic Sea Ice conditions over many many periods and FAR worse than the present didn’t cause a tipping point due to decreased albedo at any time, but much better sea ice conditions are claimed to cause a tipping point now. ]

    Said authors also choose to state in the final sentences of the abstract:
    “The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the WESTERN Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene. MORE IMPORTANTLY, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

    5. As to multiple comments along the lines that temperature change in the 20th century cannot be explained by natural processes, I offer the following (inspired by Joe D’Aleo and others) which shows R^2=.96 for ‘sunspot integral’+PDO+AMO vs. temp compared to R^2=.44 for CO2 vs. temp

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/climate-modeling-ocean-oscillations.html

  143. also forgot to mention that the Eastern Arctic sea ice was less than present 6000-7000 yr ago during the Holocene “climate optimum” per this study:

    http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/weather/weather_news/study%3A-less-ice-in-the-arctic-ocean-6000-7000-years-ago

    (and featured here at WUWT) which would coincide with the low extent of the western Arctic sea ice shown in the graph in this study. Thus, there may have been an “ice free Arctic” during the “climate optimum”

    and sorry for the CAPS for emphasis in the last post – not shouting -just the lazy man’s bold

  144. Barry – I agree with you that the paper ..
    http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/mckay_etal_CJES_08.pdf
    .. says that “Cores from site HLY0501-05 on the Alaskan margin in the eastern Chukchi Sea were analyzed” and that the eastern Chukchi Sea is not representative of the whole Arctic. However, they also say that “According to sea-surface temperature estimates, the last few hundred years have been marked by cooler conditions than most of the Holocene” and that “Most of the modern analogue sites that were selected during this process are located in the Arctic (e.g., 36.4% from Beaufort Sea, 30.4% from Hudson Bay, 15.5% from eastern Arctic Ocean, and 4.8% from Bering Sea).“. In other words, the sea-surface temperature estimates were based on a much greater area than just the Chukchi Sea. That probably still leaves it open for you to argue that it did not cover the whole Arctic, but I think I’ll go with Ben D. “find an inconvenient proxy result in the Chukchi sea and suddenly its “only [4%] of the Arctic”“, and with Vince Causey.

    Barry – I think I disagree with you on just about everything else. The lack of ocean heat is getting very difficult to argue against. The idea that such a large amount of heat has found somewhere else to go undetected is not absolutely disproved, but it has now reached the point IMHO that we have to accept that the evidence that there does not appear to be any such heat.

    And on the troposphere “hot spot” you say “Warming in the tropical mid-troposphere is not a function of CO2 warming, but atmospheric warming from any cause. Doesn’t matter if the driver is solar or cosmic rays or GHGs.“.
    Wrong. Very wrong.
    1. The IPCC Report shows clearly in Figure 9.1 panel (c) that it (the hot-spot) is from “well-mixed greenhouse gases“. The other panels clearly show no hot-spot : “(a) solar forcing, (b) volcanoes, .. (d) tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes, (e) direct sulphate aerosol forcing.“.
    2. The effects of solar / cosmic ray / cloud variations, for example, would surely be primarily at the surface and in the ocean surface layer – because sunlight passes through the atmosphere with little loss and delivers virtually all of its heat to the land and ocean. If this is the main driver of climate, then in a warming phase (eg. late 20thC) the surface can be expected to warm more than the [tropical] troposphere – which is exactly what is observed.

  145. Hockey Schtick says:
    September 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm
    also forgot to mention that the Eastern Arctic sea ice was less than present 6000-7000 yr ago during the Holocene “climate optimum” per this study:
    (and featured here at WUWT) which would coincide with the low extent of the western Arctic sea ice shown in the graph in this study. Thus, there may have been an “ice free Arctic” during the “climate optimum”

    This study looks to have been at a single site fairly close to Alaskan coast (72.6N). At 7000 years ago, graph shows about 8 months per year of ice coverage, which, being at the margin of the arctic, hardly seems to equate with “ice free Arctic”. What do you mean?

  146. @ HockeySchtick

    Interesting update at the bottom of your post

    note this is version 2.0 of this post updated to repeatedly emphasize this drilling site was located in the western Arctic.

    It’s not hard to see how the story winds up being so lopsided at WUWT, but at least you corrected the omission at your site.

    It’s also not difficult to see that people are fishing for the conclusions that they want, exemplified by the title of the post here and at your site. Journalism on both sides of the debate does this all the time – takes a tentative, localised finding, and turns it into a sensational distortion. Par for the course, but not terribly defensible.

    The latter paper you cite above concludes thus:

    “At the scale of the Holocene, a few sea ice time series from Arctic seas and the subpolar North Atlantic indicate significant fluctuations of sea ice extent. However, the trends from the early Holocene to the late Holocene appear different
    from one area to another, notably when comparing the western Arctic and the east Greenland coast on one side and the northern North Atlantic and subpolar epicontinental seas on the other side. This implies complex mechanisms involving
    the direct thermal effect of insolation, which was higher during the early Holocene, but also the rate of sea ice formation in the Russian Arctic in relation to freshwater budgets and wind strength, in addition to drift patterns across the Arctic. Improving the spatial coverage of past sea ice records during the last thousands of years would certainly help to develop a more comprehensive picture of sea ice variability on longer
    timescales…”

    It seems that you’re eager to find within the paper a conclusion that the authors think the data is too coarse and too scant to allow. Sea ice coverage may have been less than present at times throughout the Holocene. I would not be surprised to learn that there was less sea-ice in the early Holocene, just after deglaciation, when insolation was greatest over the North Pole. But none of this be concluded from the fragmentary evidence of either paper, particularly when the fragments tell different stories – and headlines and commentary suggesting step far beyond the bounds of neutral reporting. Nothing can be inferred from these patchy reconstructions about the rate of Arctic-wide sea ice decline on decadal scales, either. More study is needed.

  147. Vince Causey says:
    September 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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

    Extremely well articulated!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  148. @Mike Jonas

    1. The IPCC Report shows clearly in Figure 9.1 panel (c) that it (the hot-spot) is from “well-mixed greenhouse gases“. The other panels clearly show no hot-spot : “(a) solar forcing, (b) volcanoes, .. (d) tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes, (e) direct sulphate aerosol forcing.“.

    The panels do not represent equal forcing, but of the estimated forcing of each component from 1890 to 1999. Look again at 9.1, and you will see enhanced heating (brighter yellow) in the tropical troposphere area of the solar panel. The reason TT is only slightly warmer is because the forcing is not nearly as great as for GHGs. Over the same period, aerosol forcing is slightly negative, and you can see that this results in an enhanced cooling of the TT. The results are consistent in sign for each of the forcings, at greater and lesser amplitudes. That’s because the temp change at the TT is almost entirely a result of the change in adibiatic lapse rate in response to temperature change of the total atmosphere. This does not hinge on the type of forcing (as far as we know).

  149. barry says:
    September 25, 2010 at 8:48 am

    There’s no need to be so defensive. It may be that the missing heat isn’t in the deep oceans. I’m just pointing out new science that tentatively concludes there might be. It’s not definitive. There is a strange tendency to be close-minded in so-called ‘skeptical’ blogs.

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

    He is not the one being defensive, Barry. That is crystal clear. Pot/Kettle/Black.

    Huh? “New Science” that “concludes” there might be missing heat in the deep oceans?

    “Concludes?”

    Just who is grasping for straws here?

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  150. barry says:
    September 25, 2010 at 8:48 am

    There is a strange tendency to be close-minded in so-called ‘skeptical’ blogs.

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

    Nice projection technique, but it won’t work.

    All one has to do is weigh the arguments of both sides.

    Have spent a lot of time listening and reading to both sides.

    There is no contest.

    All one has to do is look at the logic of Mike Jonas, Vince Causey, Ben D., Smokey, and others above.

    Like a surgeon’s knife, they cut through the hubris…including that of the Cliffs, Gneisses (lol), Barrys, and EFS_Juniors of the world.

    [And I would say to that last group: Is that the best you can do??]

    Res ipsa loquiter.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  151. Mike J,

    Addendum: Although the SPM2 figure expresses values of various forcings (GHG, solar, aerosol, ozone etc) over a time period twice as long as 9.1 – and can’t be directly compared – it can give you an idea of the sign of each in relation to the 9.1 model estimate graphs.

  152. JK: I read the graph at 7000 years BP to have ~6.5 months with sea ice <50%, and with the other study suggesting persistent ice free conditions in the eastern Arctic for prolonged periods just proposed the possibility of an ice free Arctic for at least part of the year. Just a hypothesis and that is why I used the word "may." Regardless, the point is the western Arctic has had "far" less sea ice than many periods in the past without causing a tipping point.

    Barry: well, I guess you better write to the 6 authors asking for a retraction of their statement as the concluding line of the abstract, “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

  153. HockeySchtick

    Barry, well, I guess you better write to the 6 authors asking for a retraction of their statement as the concluding line of the abstract, “More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

    Why? I have no issue with their paper (how could I? I’m no expert on the subject). But I don’t need to be an expert to see that your commentary is selective and misleading. You have provided yet another example in your last post. All one has to do is read the sentence before the one you quote,

    The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the western Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene. More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.

    As my point is that the study is assessing one region of the Arctic Ocean – and I have no problem with their results for that regio0n – then your treatment that this represents the entire Arctic is shown to be fallacious just by reading the paper.

    Then there’s the conclusion.

    The Holocene record from site HLY0501-05 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrographical conditions in the western Arctic Ocean. The data show a long-term warming that is opposite to what is reconstructed for the eastern Arctic and point to a bipolar behavior of the Arctic Ocean at the timescale of the Holocene. The millennial-scale variability in the eastern Chukchi Sea is characterized by quasi-cyclic periods of high SSS, high SST, and reduced sea-ice cover, which most probably reflects variations in the stratification of the upper water column. Such changes may be related to tidal forcing and (or) large-scale mechanisms, such as AO/NAOlike
    oscillations. It is important to note that the amplitude of these millennial-scale changes in sea-surface conditions far exceed those observed at the end of the 20th century.

    The bulk of this study, and the conclusions it rests on data from one site in the Cukchi Sea. The paper discusses opposite effects occurring elsewhere in the Arctic, and the same goes for their more recent paper. There is no justification whatsoever for a bald assertion that Arctic-wide sea ice cover was definitely less than current – not based on these papers.

    Sea ice cover was likely less in the early Holocene than current. I’m sure you could find a paper making qualified conclusions on that. Even NSIDC points that out. It’s not a particularly controversial item. Why do you hold the idea that less ice cover on the geologic past would ‘take the winds out of the sails’ of ‘alarmists’ (whoever they may be)? In the long-distant past there was no summer sea ice at all, and, there was probably a ‘snowball Earth.’ a few times. What point are you trying to make?

    [clicking links]

    Ah – I see the issue seems to be with an eco-video saying Arctic sea ice is at an “all time low”. OK, that’s a fine example of false rhetoric from the other side of the debate from someone with a different agenda. Truth is obscured in propaganda wars, and this discussion is indicative.

  154. Paul Birch says:
    September 25, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Validation of proxies

    Proxies can be validated in different ways. What I write below is most relevant to reconstructions based on microfossil assemblages, but perhaps also some others. The past environmental conditions are inferred from the fossil assemblages using the relationship between the modern assemblages and the modern environment in a collection of modern samples known as the training set.
    The most important, and often only, validation, is cross-validation of the training set. In the simplest case, one site is omitted from the training set and the remaining sites used to estimate it’s environmental conditions. This is then repeated for all sites, then the predicted and measured environmental variables can be compared statistically. If there is a low error, and high r2 then this is good evidence that the proxy is reliable. The training set used by McKay and others has been cross-validated, and appears to have good performance. However, I would contend that the performance statistics they report are seriously overoptimistic because spatial autocorrelation in their training set violates the assumption of independent observations. This group doesn’t agree with me, but have failed to provide a rational of why their data should be exempt from a problem known to all other statistical fields.
    A second way that proxies can be validated is by comparing the reconstruction with the historical record. This is a powerful test, but the opportunities for doing this are very limited, especially in the ocean where time series of observational data are usually short, and sedimentation rates normally fairly low. Were we to limit use of proxies to sites where they can be validated against the historical record the method would be of little utility. Even if the proxies validated in the period with instrumental data, this would not be an absolute guarantee that it remains reliable throughout the record. What is possible, is to compare the core top reconstruction with the modern value. If it is close it is encouraging, but spatial autocorrelation can bias this test.
    A third way to validate a proxy is to compare it’s reconstructions with reconstructions from other proxies in a multiproxy study. If all the proxies concur (and are independent) it is good evidence that they are reliable.
    Of these three tests, robust cross-validation is the most essential. If the proxy fails this, it is useless, if it passes, we can be fairly confident that it is useful. The other validation techniques can give extra assurance, but are not required. The key word here is robust. If the cross-validation is not robust, then all sorts of junk can appear to be possible to reconstruct.

  155. But…but…Al Gore in 2008 predicted that “the entire north polar ice cap will be completely gone in five years!” And geez, he’s famous, with a Noble Prize and everything, isn’t he. And he done a movie to prove it, too.

  156. Barry says : “Look again at 9.1, and you will see enhanced heating (brighter yellow) in the tropical troposphere area of the solar panel. The reason TT is only slightly warmer is because the forcing is not nearly as great as for GHGs. … the temp change at the TT is almost entirely a result of the change in adibiatic lapse rate in response to temperature change of the total atmosphere. This does not hinge on the type of forcing (as far as we know).“.

    For the benefit of those who don’t have the IPCC Report readily to hand, here is the Fig 9.1 we have been discussing.

    Caption : Figure 9.1. Zonal mean atmospheric temperature change from 1890 to 1999 (°C per century) as simulated by the PCM model from (a) solar forcing, (b) volcanoes, (c) wellmixed greenhouse gases, (d) tropospheric and stratospheric ozone changes, (e) direct sulphate aerosol forcing and (f) the sum of all forcings. Plot is from 1,000 hPa to 10 hPa (shown on left scale) and from 0 km to 30 km (shown on right). See Appendix 9.C for additional information. Based on Santer et al. (2003a).

    Barry, I find it quite difficult to work out what you are getting at. To my simple mind the essentials are quite clear : The IPCC (or their climate models) have calculated where the warming occurs, and Fig 9.1 in the IPCC Report AR4 presents it visually. As you say, the solar forcing is not nearly as great as for GHGs, and the contribution from aerosols is slightly negative (according to the IPCC), in fact all except GHGs (panel (c)) are negligible. If the IPCC are correct about AGW, then the total forcings from all sources are as per panel (f), and therefore examination of the TT (tropical troposphere) should reveal this very specific warming pattern of ~1 deg C per century. Well, the TT has been examined, and that warming pattern is not there. Assuming that it was looked for correctly (a non-trivial assumption I admit) the only possible conclusion is that the IPCC got it wrong. All that matters is panel (f) and the TT measurements. AGW is falsified. Period.

    Discussion of the adiabatic lapse rate is irrelevant, because that is all part of the IPCC case and the IPCC case has just been falsified. I just don’t know how to put it any more clearly.

    Your addendum “SPM2 figure expresses values of various forcings (GHG, solar, aerosol, ozone etc) over a time period twice as long as 9.1” :
    I have seen these figures, they show that CO2 forcing is 1.66 Wm-2 and all the other forcings roughly balance out for a total net forcing of 1.6 Wm-2. SPM2 doesn’t identify the TT component, so I have to assume that Fig 9.1 is the spatial representation of SPM 2 (it certainly tallies with SPM2 wrt the importance of CO2). We have just seen that Fig 9.1 is wrong – it does not actually happen – so SPM 2 must be wrong too.

    Well, if the IPCC have got it wrong, what is the real answer? As Smokey and others have pointed out, it is not up to us to say what does happen and why. It is sufficient to falsify AGW in order to know that whatever it is, it isn’t what the IPCC says it is.

    But I would say that there are clues. In the satellite age, the surface has warmed more than the TT (except temporarily during El Ninos). It would seem that whatever has been warming the globe has warmed it at the surface, not in the TT. That rules out CO2 as the main driver. But we know that the sun primarily heats the surface, not the troposphere. We know that solar radiation taken on its own does not vary enough, but even though the IPCC got their positive “feedbacks” wrong, maybe there are positive “feedbacks” for solar radiation instead. We know that quite small changes in cloud cover have a big effect on how much sunlight reaches the surface (the IPCC spell that out quite clearly). Maybe that would be a good place to look next.

  157. barry said: “There is no justification whatsoever for a bald assertion that Arctic-wide sea ice cover was definitely less than current”

    There is no justification for misquoting and distorting what I said either. At no point did I say “the entire Arctic” or “Arctic-wide” sea ice cover was “definitely less than current” and it was immediately obvious to anyone who read the abstract provided exactly where the drilling site was located. The authors themselves extrapolate their findings to the “western Arctic” as stated in the abstract I provided.

    But thanks for providing the link to the NSIDC which states, “A recent study suggests that 5,500 years ago, the Arctic had substantially less summertime sea ice than today.” Now would their “post” about this unnamed study happen to be referring to the entire Arctic, western Arctic, eastern Arctic, or? Doesn’t say. Do you know what paper they are referring to?

    What point am I trying to make?

    That Arctic sea ice cover has been “far” less than current in the western, or eastern, or both (see fig 6 in my comment above; low at both east & west in the 1500’s-1600’s) portions without causing a planetary-albedo-positive-feedback-tipping-point that is claimed to be occurring now with better sea ice conditions, such as by taxpayer funded ‘scientists’ like Mark “death spiral” Serreze.

  158. HockeySchtick,

    What point am I trying to make?

    That Arctic sea ice cover has been “far” less than current in the western, or eastern, or both (see fig 6 in my comment above; low at both east & west in the 1500′s-1600′s) portions without causing a planetary-albedo-positive-feedback-tipping-point that is claimed to be occurring now with better sea ice conditions, such as by taxpayer funded ‘scientists’ like Mark “death spiral” Serreze.

    I didn’t see that argument in the post at your site. Your thesis there is about the claim Arctic sea ice is at an all time low being incorrect.

    But seeing as we’ve moved on, are you able to cite Mark Serreze saying that low sea ice conditions are currently causing a planetary-albedo-positive-feedback-tipping point? I think that his comments have been limited to the reduction of Arctic sea ice from local feedbacks (like more open water/albedo), and not about observed enhanced global temperature from ice loss at the poles. AFAIK, this is a theoretical component that is difficult to observe currently, and Serreze’s comments have been speculative. EG,

    “Where some of this thinking comes from is growing recognition that as the ice thins, it can become vulnerable to a “kick” associated with natural variability, leading to rapid loss of the remaining ice cover through the albedo feedback process (Holland et al. 2006). The summer of 2007 exhibited a pattern of atmospheric circulation seemingly perfect for melting sea ice. Could this have been the kick that initiates further rapid ice loss? This is the sort of question that can be answered only in hindsight.”

    Published January 2010 – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01408.x/full

    Once again, I don’t think your commentary matches what is being said. Serreze notes that temperatures have gone up (year round, not summer, much) stronger in the Arctic, and that this is nominally consistent with Arctic feedback, but that the seasonal timing and amplitude make difficult positive determination that this is due to an ice albedo effect, rather than other effects at this time.

  159. Cliff,

    In my September 25, 2010, 4:17 am post I corrected your misconception that “Evidence is anything supporting a theory.” As I explained, that is incorrect, and I provided Karl Popper’s explanation to help understand why.

    I just now got back in town, and I’ve read your newest misconception:

    “And the models too are empirical evidence.”

    That is simply wrong. You really need to get up to speed regarding the scientific method. It is the reason we don’t go to witch doctors any more to cure diseases, so it is worth making the effort to understand it.

    Computer climate models are not empirical evidence. Models are simply tools — and they are very inaccurate tools. They can not make accurate predictions, and they certainly have been unable to falsify the hypothesis of natural climate variability, which fully explains the current climate without the need for extraneous entities such as CO2.

    There is a critical difference between empirical, testable evidence, and a tool. Evidence under the scientific method is verifiable, raw [unadjusted], testable physical data and observations — evidence does not consist of the tools that are used, whatever they may be. Alarmist scientists love their GCMs, because their models will say whatever they are programmed to say, just as a crescent wrench can be adjusted to fit different sized nuts.

    The alarmist crowd throws a tantrum when their feet are held to the fire of the scientific method. Why? Because the scientific method does not support the CO2=CAGW conjecture. If it did, the debate would already be over. But as it happens, the more evidence that is found concerning the effect of CO2, the more insignificant it turns out to be. There is zero empirical evidence showing that this harmless and beneficial trace gas is leading to runaway global warming.

    Alarmists constantly attempt to denigrate scientific skeptics by putting quotation marks around the word skeptic, and they never acknowledge the fact that all honest scientists are skeptics, first, last, and always.

    Dishonest scientists, OTOH, deliberately avoid the scientific method. They refuse to disclose their data, methodologies and metadata, so their results cannot be either verified or falsified. And they always begin with the presumption that human-emitted CO2 is the primary cause of any observed warming. Rather than see where the data leads them, they beat it into submission through endless adjustments, until it says what they want it to say. That is their way to grant heaven. But it is not any closer to science than Scientology.

    Understanding what empirical evidence is, and more importantly, what it is not, is essential knowledge required for understanding the scientific method.

    When there is a conflict between the CO2=CAGW model-based hypothesis, and empirical evidence from unbiased physical observations, the alarmists always go with the [repeatedly falsified] model hypothesis, while skeptical scientists accept the raw data — the empirical evidence.

    This skeptical scientist explains why alarmist models vs observations are wrong.

  160. phlogiston says:
    September 25, 2010 at 2:15 am
    EFS_Junior says:
    September 24, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    So what you are really saying is that you refuse to do the actual science.

    Yet you claim to understand the scientific method, where clearly you do not fully understand the scientific method, as is abundently clear from your posts here at WUWT.

    The “jar of fleas” argument was not a council of despair. I do not argue that we cannot understand at least some key elements of the climate system. I have no problem with doing real experimental science – on the contrary, CAGW skeptic arguments tend to be based on experimental measurements while CAGW rests on a foundation of computer modeling. [snip] …

    yadda, yadda, yadda, I know a bunch of dead philosophers, from long ago, I’ll cherry pick a few that fit my biases, yadda, yadda, yadda.
    ……
    _____________________________________________________________
    But briefly, experimental science is the eminent domain of the scientist, not the septic tankers.

    You don’t do ANY experimentation yourselves.

    Just about all (99.44%) of the climate science data is collected by climate scientists, NOT the septic tanlers.

    You are TEAM AUDIT!

    If you don’t like inductive reasoning and theory, that’s your problem, not mine.

    “Oh, lordy, lordy, the world is too complex to model, heaven forbid, at any scale, at any time, at any place. Because I said so, although I could never prove it.”

    The above paraphrased quote about sums up your deeply flawed argument.

    REPLY: Junior, your arguments aren’t going anywhere, and amount to taunts. I’d suggest an extended time out. – Anthony

  161. richard telford says:
    September 26, 2010 at 5:12 am
    “…Validation of proxies”

    Unless there is overlap between proxy data and actual observations – a direct comparison between examples of the proxy and historical records – you do not have a validated proxy. You may have a model or theory which you believe to be robust, but experimental confirmation is lacking. This is quite general, a basic requirement of the scientific method. All the cross-correlations and “training sets” in the world cannot change it. Perhaps you did mean to imply that such direct comparisons have been utilised here, but I’m afraid I found your reply to be ambiguous and needlessly convoluted. So I will ask you straight out: is there a direct confirmation of the dinocysts for sea ice proxy, between actual cores and actual observations? If so, what dates and areas are covered by this?

  162. Paul Birch says:
    September 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Ideally we would be able to validate proxies against historical data, but this is often not possible due to the short instrumental record in many regions. In these cases cross-validation (not cross correlation) is adequate. Cross-validation is a space for time substitution, the idea being that if the proxy can reconstruct the modern environment in different locations, it is valid to use it to reconstruct the environment in the past. There are some problems with this approach, for example when assemblages without good modern analogues are encountered (a particular problem for pollen reconstruction).
    If you want to argue that proxies must be validated against historical records – a demand that severely limit our ability to understand past climate – you need to show that cross-validation is inadequate.
    The dinocyst-salinity transfer function fails robust cross-validation, I would be surprised if the sea-ice transfer function performs well.

  163. richard telford says:
    September 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    “…”

    Kindly just answer my question: is there a direct confirmation of the dinocysts for sea ice proxy, between actual cores and actual observations? If so, what dates and areas are covered by this?

  164. Paul Birch says:
    September 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Passing cross validation is a necessary and sufficient condition. Dinocysts fail this test.

  165. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:44 am
    “Passing cross validation is a necessary and sufficient condition. Dinocysts fail this test.”

    Why are you so unwilling to answer a simple question, without trying to turn it into something else? If you don’t know, say you don’t know. And if you don’t understand the question, ask. The question is not about the robustness, accuracy or uncertainties of the proxy, nor about dinocyst proxies in general, but about whether this particular proxy (dinocysts for sea ice) has been shown to be a valid one by means of actual observations; and it is about the proxy itself, not the use of it in this study.

    So, for the third time of asking: Is there a direct confirmation of the dinocysts for sea ice proxy, between actual cores and actual observations? (This can be answered “yes”, “no”, or “I don’t know”). If so, what dates and areas are covered by this?

  166. Paul Birch says:
    September 30, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Your question is of little relevance. Since the dinocysts have not been shown to pass robust cross-validation, they shouldn’t be used for reconstructing sea ice.
    There are few multi-century observational ice cover records available for validation. There is one north of Iceland that has been used to validate a geochemical marker of sea ice algae, but I don’t think it has been used to test dinocysts.

  167. Barry says “I don’t think your commentary matches what is being said. ”

    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2010/09/serreze-i-stand-by-my-previous.html

    NSIDC director Serreze: “The volume of ice left in the Arctic likely reached the lowest ever level this month.”
    Serreze: “I stand by my previous statements that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is in a death spiral. It’s not going to recover.”

    “The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years.” James Hansen, 2007

  168. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 5:12 am
    “Your question is of little relevance. ”

    No, it isn’t. Stop wriggling and answer it. If you can’t, just admit you can’t.

    For the fourth time of asking: Is there a direct confirmation of the dinocysts for sea ice proxy, between actual cores and actual observations? (Answer “yes”, “no”, or “I don’t know”). If so, what dates and areas are covered by this?

  169. Paul Birch says:
    October 1, 2010 at 3:16 am

    I fail to understand why you are so keen to know if the dinocyst-sea ice transfer function has been validated against historical data (in any case, the answer to your quest should be obvious from my previous). The dinocysts have not been shown to pass robust cross-validation. This is a major problem. If they cannot pass cross-validation, it is pointless to ask if they can be validated. It is like demanding to know if a car with no wheels has an MOT.

  170. richard telford says:
    October 3, 2010 at 3:18 am
    “I fail to understand why you are so keen to know if the dinocyst-sea ice transfer function has been validated against historical data (in any case, the answer to your quest should be obvious from my previous). The dinocysts have not been shown to pass robust cross-validation. This is a major problem. If they cannot pass cross-validation, it is pointless to ask if they can be validated. It is like demanding to know if a car with no wheels has an MOT.”

    You don’t actually need to understand why I’m asking. All you need to understand is the question. If you know the answer, all you have to do is to give that answer. If you don’t know the answer, all you have to do is to say you don’t know. Until you have answered that question, without trying to morph it into something slightly different, I can have no confidence in anything you say about what you claim to be “a major problem”, or in the relevance of whether you consider dinocyst proxies to be robust.

    If I ask whether your car has an MOT, that’s what I want to know. Not whether or not it has wheels. Many cars with no wheels still have MOTs.

    So, for the fifth time of asking: Is there a direct confirmation of the dinocysts for sea ice proxy, between actual cores and actual observations? (Answer “yes”, “no”, or “I don’t know”). If so, what dates and areas are covered by this?

  171. Paul Birch says:
    October 4, 2010 at 4:05 am

    As I alluded to before, I am not aware of any attempt to correlate dinocyst-ice reconstructions with historical records, there are very few places where this could be done. There may be attempts to validate dinocysts against independent proxies. I should imagine if such data existed, the dinocyst community would have used them to rebut Telford (2006) rather than relying on a series of invalid statistical tests.

  172. richard telford says:
    October 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    “I am not aware of any attempt to correlate dinocyst-ice reconstructions with historical records, there are very few places where this could be done. ”

    Thank you.

  173. Surprise … you actually should read this paper.

    It says and I quote…

    …However, sea ice has continued its rapid decline, since the AO returned to a more neutral state in the late 1990s, suggesting that anthropogenic warming of surface air temperatures is playing a role in the loss (Overland and Wang 2005), as now recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007).”

    This paper you are calling the death of AGW actually says it is AGW is occuring … IN THE PAPER ITSELF.

    Pardon me if I don’t jump for joy.

  174. Texanjeff,

    You do understand they are simply laying out the arguments for AGW not endorsing that position? They explicitly reference Overland and Wang 2005 for this argument. Papers do this all the time, they present the opposing argument or the source of debate their paper may be addressing. This has nothing to do with their conclusions.

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