The North Atlantic heat is on

From the University of Colorado at Boulder

Warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic, according to new study

Photo of the German research vessel Maria S. Merian moving through sea ice in Fram Strait northwest of Svalbard. The research team discovered the water there was the warmest in at least 2,000 years, which has implications for a warming and melting Arctic. Credit: Nicolas van Nieuwenhove (IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel)

The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Greenland — the warmest water in at least 2,000 years — are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, says a new international study involving the University of Colorado Boulder.

Led by Robert Spielhagen of the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Literature in Mainz, Germany, the study showed that water from the Fram Strait that runs between Greenland and Svalbard — an archipelago constituting the northernmost part of Norway — has warmed roughly 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century. The Fram Strait water temperatures today are about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period, which heated the North Atlantic from roughly 900 to 1300 and affected the climate in Northern Europe and northern North America.

The team believes that the rapid warming of the Arctic and recent decrease in Arctic sea ice extent are tied to the enhanced heat transfer from the North Atlantic Ocean, said Spielhagen. According to CU-Boulder’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, the total loss of Arctic sea ice extent from 1979 to 2009 was an area larger than the state of Alaska, and some scientists there believe the Arctic will become ice-free during the summers within the next several decades.

“Such a warming of the Atlantic water in the Fram Strait is significantly different from all climate variations in the last 2,000 years,” said Spielhagen, also of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Keil, Germany.

According to study co-author Thomas Marchitto, a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, the new observations are crucial for putting the current warming trend of the North Atlantic in the proper context.

“We know that the Arctic is the most sensitive region on the Earth when it comes to warming, but there has been some question about how unusual the current Arctic warming is compared to the natural variability of the last thousand years,” said Marchitto, also an associate professor in CU-Boulder’s geological sciences department. “We found that modern Fram Strait water temperatures are well outside the natural bounds.”

A paper on the study will be published in the Jan. 28 issue of Science. The study was supported by the German Research Foundation; the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Literature in Mainz, Germany; and the Norwegian Research Council.

Other study co-authors included Kirstin Werner and Evguenia Kandiano of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Steffen Sorensen, Katarzyna Zamelczyk, Katrine Husum and Morten Hald from the University of Tromso in Norway and Gereon Budeus of the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Since continuous meteorological and oceanographic data for the Fram Strait reach back only 150 years, the team drilled ocean sediment cores dating back 2,000 years to determine past water temperatures. The researchers used microscopic, shelled protozoan organisms called foraminifera — which prefer specific water temperatures at depths of roughly 150 to 650 feet — as tiny thermometers.

In addition, the team used a second, independent method that involved analyzing the chemical composition of the foraminifera shells to reconstruct past water temperatures in the Fram Strait, said Marchitto.

The Fram Strait branch of the North Atlantic Current is the major carrier of oceanic heat to the Arctic Ocean. In the eastern part of the strait, relatively warm and salty water enters the Arctic. Fed by the Gulf Stream Current, the North Atlantic Current provides ice-free conditions adjacent to Svalbard even in winter, said Marchitto.

“Cold seawater is critical for the formation of sea ice, which helps to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space,” said Marchitto. “Sea ice also allows Arctic air temperatures to be very cold by forming an insulating blanket over the ocean. Warmer waters could lead to major sea ice loss and drastic changes for the Arctic.”

The rate of Arctic sea ice decline appears to be accelerating due to positive feedbacks between the ice, the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere, Marchitto said. As Arctic temperatures rise, summer ice cover declines, more solar heat is absorbed by the ocean and additional ice melts. Warmer water may delay freezing in the fall, leading to thinner ice cover in winter and spring, making the sea ice more vulnerable to melting during the next summer.

Air temperatures in Greenland have risen roughly 7 degrees F in the past several decades, thought to be due primarily to an increase in Earth’s greenhouse gases, according to CU-Boulder scientists.

“We must assume that the accelerated decrease of the Arctic sea ice cover and the warming of the ocean and atmosphere of the Arctic measured in recent decades are in part related to an increased heat transfer from the Atlantic,” said Spielhagen.

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This statement prompts some things I’d point out that temper it:

“Air temperatures in Greenland have risen roughly 7 degrees F in the past several decades”.

In those remote locations like Nuuk, Greenland, what have we there? Remote pockets of humanity. Humanity building little cities of warmth in the cold Arctic, growing cities:

With 15,469 inhabitants as of 2010, Nuuk is the fastest-growing town in Greenland, with migrants from the smaller towns and settlements reinforcing the trend. Together with Tasiilaq, it is the only town in the Sermersooq municipality exhibiting stable growth patterns over the last two decades. The population increased by over a quarter relative to the 1990 levels, and by nearly 16 percent relative to the 2000 levels.

Nuuk population dynamics

Nuuk population growth dynamics in the last two decades. Source: Statistics Greenland

Nuuk is not only a growing city, where UHI might now be a factor (but don’t take my word for it, see what NASA had to say about it at AGU this year), it is also a place where the official GHCN thermometers used by NASA are right next to human influences…like  turboprop jet exhaust, such as this one in Nuuk’s airport right on the tarmac:

Nuuk Airport looking Southwest Image: Panaramio via Google Earth 

Nuuk Airport, Stevenson Screen. Image from Webshots – click to enlarge 

Hmmm, I wonder what happened in Nuuk? The plot below is from NASA GISS (see it yourself here).  That “instant global warming” line seems out of character for natural variation in Nuuk. Note the data discontinuity. Often that suggests a station move and/or a change in station environment.

Sometimes a line like that with indicates airport construction near the thermometer, something I documented here.

And here’s the interesting thing. Nuuk is just one data point, one “raging red” anomaly in the sparsely spaced hands-on-human-measured NASA GISS surface temperature dataset for the Arctic. The patterns of warm pockets of humanity with airports and GHCN stations repeat themselves all over the Arctic, because as anyone who has visited the Arctic knows, aviation is the lifeline of these remote communities. And where do they measure the weather data? At the airport of course. Aviation doesn’t work otherwise.

See my complete report on the weird temperatures from Nuuk here. And while you are at it, read my report about the weird temperatures from Svalbaard, another warm single data point from NASA GISS. Interestingly, at that station a local citizen did some science and proved the UHI effect at the airport.

Yes these are just two examples. But there is no denying these facts:

  • Remote communities in the Arctic are islands of anthropogenic warmth
  • These communities rely of aviation as a lifeline
  • The weather is measured at these airports, it is required for safety
  • Airports release huge amounts of waste heat, from exhaust, de-icing, terminal buildings, and even tarmac in the sun.
  • The majority of GHCN weather stations (used by NASA GISS) in the Arctic are at airports.

Remember Nuuk and Svalbarrd’s thermometers, and then ask Jim Hansen why NASA GISS, a “space studies agency”, doesn’t use satellite data but instead relies upon a surface record that another division of NASA says likely has significant UHI effects that NASA GISS doesn’t filter out sensibly (they only allow for 0.05°C downward adjustment).

And finally, can you really trust data from an organization that takes incoming data for that station and shifts it more than an entire degree C in the past, making a new trend? See the difference between “raw” (which really isn’t raw, it has a scads of adjustments already from NOAA) compared to the GISS final output in this chart:

The data is downloaded from GISS for the station, datasets 1 and 2 were used (raw-combined for this location and homogenized) which are available from the station selector via a link to data below the charts they make on the GISS website. The data is plotted up to the data continuity break, and again after. The trend lines are plotted to the data continuity break, and there’s no trend in the raw data for the last 100+ years.

The curious thing is that there’s no trend in the raw data at Nuuk until you do either (or both) of two things:

1. You use GISS homogenized data to plot the trend
2. You use the data after the discontinuity to plot the trend

I believe the data discontinuity represents a station move, one that exposed it to a warmer local environment. And clearly, by examining the GISS data for Nuuk, you can see that GISS adds adjustments that are not part of the measured reality. What justification could there possibly be to adjust the temperatures of the past downwards? What justification in a growing community (as shown by the population curve) could there be for doing an adjustment that is reverse of waste energy UHI?

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154 thoughts on “The North Atlantic heat is on

  1. I think I’m not out of line to say that we do not have any good raw global temperature data for the last 100 years with which to make any scientific judgements with … none …. zero … zip … nada …

  2. The article above doesn’t mention Nuuk specifically, but rather the examination of ocean sediment cores “to determine past water temperatures.” How accurate are ocean sediment cores for this purpose?

  3. Oh my, assuming this is true then the heating of the arctic would have nothing to do with traditional global warming theory. They say the warmth should be strongest at the poles because there isn’t as much humidity in the air, since H20’s greenhouse effect greatly overshadows CO2 in other parts of the world.

    If warming in the Arctic is instead caused by warmth from the Atlantic then that sort of throws a wrench in that…

  4. AW, I think you may be jumping the gun on this. Let the report come out and let’s look at the science first. This report appears to be mainly speaking to ocean temps, not necessarily land temps. All your points are valid. My first question to the authors is if the ocean current is warmer than it has been before, how come the Vikings were able to establish a colony there?

  5. The article quoted by Anthony includes the following:

    “The researchers used microscopic, shelled protozoan organisms called foraminifera — which prefer specific water temperatures at depths of roughly 150 to 650 feet — as tiny thermometers.”

    Good. Someone offers a hypothesis. I wait with baited breath while someone who is not associated with them reproduces it. While I am waiting, I would greatly appreciate it if someone on the team that produced the hypothesis would publish a history and criticism of this specific method of temperature measurement. The explanation that foraminifera are tiny thermometers is not something that one can sink his teeth into.

  6. The study is major league BS junk science from the beginning to the end.

    First, Greenland temperature is nowhere of 7 degrees warmer than “several decades ago”

    Reality is, that Greenland temperature is close to the one in 1930 and the cyclical pattern has no relation with the Keeling curve of CO2

    Second, SST in Fram strait is nowhere “out of 2000 years variability” or whatever

    Are these charlatans that sure, that no one can check their ridiculous claims?

  7. Climate science is amazing…
    …they can turn off and turn on the MWP

    whenever it’s convenient for them

    They really can control the weather

  8. Some people seem to assume that water (which is darker than snow) will bring more heat to the arctic by absorbing solar radiation.

    The same dark water is warmer than the snow and will radiate more heat. It will also put a lot more heat into the atmosphere by conduction, convection and evaporation.

    In bright sunlight, a square yard of water in the arctic does not absorb as much heat as a square yard of water at the equator for two reasons:
    1 – The sun’s rays hit the water obliquely. A column of solar radiation that would concentrate its energy into a square yard at the equator would spread the same energy over two square yards (or more) in the arctic. In other words, each square yard gets a lot less heat from the sun.
    2 – The sun’s rays pass through a lot more atmosphere to get to the arctic. The atmosphere does attenuate the energy.

    I haven’t done the math but it is my guess that open arctic waters lose a lot more heat than they gain from the sun. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention properly but I haven’t seen anyone cite work that proves otherwise.

  9. This thing has more lives than a supernatural cat. Take a look at the latest satellite measurement of average global temperature at 14,000 feet. As of 1/24/11, it was approaching the 20-year record low. The temperatures on that same channel during 2010 approached 20-year highs as the oceans did their cyclical flop-over and dumped heat like a house afire, but now we’re approaching the lowest temperatures since satellite recording began. I like the satellite record for the same reasons I do not like the “re-manufactured” land based temperature record.

  10. “Cold seawater is critical for the formation of sea ice, which helps to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space,” said Marchitto. “Sea ice also allows Arctic air temperatures to be very cold by forming an insulating blanket over the ocean. Warmer waters could lead to major sea ice loss and drastic changes for the Arctic.”

    Have these researchers ever noticed during their time in the Arctic what angle the sun reached in the sky at its zenith? Would 30 deg of elevation be about right? Surely a large proportion of the sunlight striking the ocean at 30 deg would be reflected back to the sky. What about cloud cover reducing the incoming light available to heat the water? I imagine that an impartial, & thorough, scientific researcher would be able to establish that over 99% of the heat reaching the Arctic at any time is carried by the oceanic currents. I also wonder if Marchitto has maps showing the movements of the North Atlantic Current over the last 2000 years. Did his drilling program cover enough area to prove ALL the water was colder in the past, instead of the alternative possibility that the current shifted position?

  11. Just for interest I google earthed Nuuk and the current sat photo (2009) shows a twin engined plane parked only a few metres from the weather screen (if that is indeed what it is) – nice place to stand when the engines start up if you wanna keep warm!

  12. Thank you for another very interesting article, Anthony. And thank you also for, once again, providing the information which helps us to interpret the antics of Big Warma.

    Is there any official reason given (by GISS) for the adjustments they have made? Or any official information on station moves, etc.? The photos are priceless!

  13. Still, even adding the data after the discontinuity it is disingenuous to state, “Air temperatures in Greenland have risen roughly 7 degrees F in the past several decades”.

    Also, I didn’t realize foraminifera were sensitive to the 10th of a degree. Amazing that they still survive with such sensitivity. Hmm, chemical composition of the shells, too. Calcium carbonate. CaCO3. Wow, and I didn’t even have to look at them. Oh, wait, let me guess, there’s an isotope that occurs when the temp is precisely about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period. Or, maybe the isotopes occur when its 2.5 degrees cooler. I can’t wait for the study to be published so I can find out how cold the MWP North Atlantic was.

  14. I look forward to watching the congressional hearings when James Hansen is asked to explain what those justifications are.

  15. The wild snow & cold from the Plains to the East Coast of the US must be due to Global Cooling.
    I’m going to name my next dog Hansen.

  16. In the current Google view of the Nuuk weather station shows a small twin engined plane 11.5 metres away with the exhausts pointing straight at it. Is it possible that this may affect the recorded temperature?

  17. “The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean adjacent to Greenland — the warmest water in at least 2,000 years — are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, says a new international study involving the University of Colorado Boulder.”

    Just one slight problem. The warming in the Arctic begins before the warm water from the North Atlantic gets there. (The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Index, which is calculated from North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, lags Arctic temperatures by an average of about 7 years.)

  18. CO2 rules! I mean it causes thermometers to be placed by airplanes, it causes UHI, causes warm to be cold and visa versa…ok, enough.

    Great analysis Anthony.

  19. Anthony’s previous work about placement of thermometers creating anomalous warming was groundbreaking and is obviously correct. So the big jump in the last year of measurement of temps at Nuuk may have to do with changing the locations, or more turboprop wash, or for some reason dependent upon location, as Anthony suggests. He’s right to want to know why that last temperature reading went up so fast from the previous year, whether it is real or caused by an artificial, non-temperature based reason.

    The heat island effect may not necessarily be the answer, though. Anthony’s link to an earlier post, showing that NASA has discovered the heat island effect (finally!), shows that cities of a million people or more in the lower 48 have a major heat island effect of 7 to 13 degrees or so. I’m not sure we would see much of an effect in the lower 48 from a city of 15,000 (Nuuk’s population). Perhaps things are different in the Arctic, perhaps 15,000 people create a far larger heat island effect than the same population in the lower 48, I can see that qualitatively, but what about quantitatively?

    Yet this report about increased warming in the ocean, in the Fram staight, uses temperature measurements from water to compare temperature records today with those in water 2,000 years ago? If so, then Anthony’s legitimate point about possible sketchiness of Arctic land based temperatures, due to location of the thermometers or other reasons, wouldn’t be a critique of a study showing warmer water entering the Arctic, would it?

    Another issue, sort of ground truthing: it is quite interesting that while water entering the Fram straight appears to be quite warm, sea levels worldwide may actually fall this year, according to a slightly older post on WUWT. If this turns out to be the case, then for this year at least, there won’t be any net warming in the oceans, because if there was, there would be thermal expansion and thus sea level rise.

    And if THAT is the case, then the warming in the Fram straight may itself be a very weird anomaly, because there would be little to no warming in marine waters elsewhere in the world…

  20. Really, it seems a mixture of two different stories here. The story about the Greenland air temperature warming is a completely different topic than the long term study of the warming of the water flowing into the Arctic. The warming of the N. Atlantic water is far more significant IMO, as it takes a lot more energy to have warmed that water, and could, in some portion, account for some small portion of Trenberth’s “missing heat”.

    Not unrelated, the Global Sea Ice Area, looking at both the Arctic and Antarctic, is right now near its modern satellite record low, with negative anomalies on both poles, which of course means there is a record amount of open water being struck and warmed by sunlight that once was being reflected by sea ice. This is not insignificant as a lot more w/m2 is being absorbed by the oceans, exactly as predicted by GCM’s when looking at the effects of polar amplification of AGW.

  21. You can wave your arms at the paleoclimatological reconstruction but what about the instrumental measurements over the last 150 years. The difference between informed skepticism and knee-jerk denialism is evident in some of the comments above.

  22. The gulf stream heads up there doesn’t it. And why do they let those ice breakers go in there and bust up the sea ice, so it melts faster ?

    Well at least the used real dead proxy data, instead of simulated dead proxy data. Those minifloras don’t migrate like the caribou do they ?

  23. “”””” S.E.Hendriksen says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm
    Nuuk Airport was build 1979 ….. about 4 km Northeast of Nuuk

    Kr
    Santa “””””

    Good to see you out of hibernation Svend. You’ve been sending the folks back east some mighty norty weather lately; even some just today.

    Sooner or later they’re coming to get you.

    George

  24. Paul (12:39 PM) asks:

    “The article above doesn’t mention Nuuk specifically, but rather the examination of ocean sediment cores “to determine past water temperatures.” How accurate are ocean sediment cores for this purpose?”

    I think they are probably pretty accurate if done correctly. Using them, Llloyd Keigwin, in a 1996 article in Science, showed that sea surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea during the Little Ice Age were about 1 degree colder than the current temps of the time at the site. The study also showed that sea temps in the Sargasso Sea were about 1 degree warmer during the Medieval Warm Period than the current temps at the time at the site.

    Another study using ocean sediment cores examined sea surface temperatures during the mid Pliocene, about 2.5 million years ago. That very interesting study is:

    “Mid-Pliocene sea level and continental ice volume based on coupled benthic Mg/Ca
    palaeotemperatures and oxygen isotopes” Dwyer GS and Chandler MA Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2009) 367, 157–168

  25. Fridtjof Nansen in his ‘Farthest North’, a record of Arctic exploration from 1893 – 1896, notes the complexity of sea temperatures when trying to infer the effects of Atlantic water.

    Admittedly his methods were of his time and might be seen as crude today, though they were not that far removed from the ‘bucket’ method of estimating SSTs.

    He found that temps fell from the surface down to 80m, rose from there to 280m, fell from 300m, rose at 326m then fell to 445m where it began to rise, then fell steadily to 3000m, to rise slowly thereafter. (pp 263-264)

    Pretty complex therefore. Hope the foraminifera are up to reflecting this complexity.

  26. With all these records being claimed to be broken it will be fascinating next week to see whether the UAH globally averaged satellite based temperature for the lower atmosphere turns around to join them OR continues to fall like a bomb towards ground zero:

  27. I love these sediment studies. The depositation can’t be linear, how do they determine the age of the sediments? Carbon dating? How many points?

    If they just assume a constant rate of sedimentation wouldn’t the diameter of the ocean floor be increasing by hundreds of feet per millenium? Yes mud flows downhill but it doesn’t deposit evenly along the oceans. How do you know if 10,000 years of sediment didn’t wash into the tropics or vice versa?

    Maybe the answer is real simple. I’ll wait.

  28. The closing paragraph of the press release talks of an accelerated decrease of Arctic ice cover. For an accelerating decrease, then each year there must be a bigger decrease than the year before. How can anyone, let alone a supposed scientist, possibly make such a ridiculous claim?

    Also the precision of the temperature claims leaves a lot to be desired – sea surface temperatures or at what depth, annual average, peak, winter,summer or what?

    And as the the use of foraminifera, I am astounded that any warmist admits to using these as, according to Wikipedia, they are clearly in the pay of big oil – ” The oil industry relies heavily on microfossils such as forams to find potential oil deposits.”

  29. How much is the increase in solar radiation being absorbed in the arctic now? At what angle does open water absorb more than it reflects?

  30. I read somewhere that the arctic ice melting is cooling the ocean and when that water returns to the south it is cooler water than before causing a global cooling of atmosphere temperatures and then the ocean does not heat up as much and when it circulates back north the cooler water lets the ice start forming again and the cycles start over. Hmmm.. I’m not so sure about that.

  31. R Gates, it is winter in the NH right now. Any sunlight reaching water which may have been ice-covered in previous years would struggle to warm a lizard on a black rock.

  32. That graph of population is very misleading. Start at zero and it looks far less of a ‘Hockey Stick’.

    Let’s not get into the same marketing lies that the alarmists use, please!

  33. commieBob says:
    January 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    In bright sunlight, a square yard of water in the arctic does not absorb as much heat as a square yard of water at the equator for two reasons:
    1 – The sun’s rays hit the water obliquely. A column of solar radiation that would concentrate its energy into a square yard at the equator would spread the same energy over two square yards (or more) in the arctic. In other words, each square yard gets a lot less heat from the sun.
    2 – The sun’s rays pass through a lot more atmosphere to get to the arctic. The atmosphere does attenuate the energy.

    And there is also the greater probability that the light will be reflected at that angle.

    And the fact that most of the time the sun is there, there is more ice than water in any case, due to the ‘lag’ that causes the minimum to be in September, not July when it is hottest. When the freezing happens, there is little or no sun at all anyway!

    None of the Arctic ice ‘positive feedback’ theories have been tested and proved AFAIK. They are made up, and then accepted, and then repeated as if absolute incontrovertible truth. This is a regular pattern in Post Normal Climate ‘Science’

  34. Ken Lydell
    Many here will have knee-jerk reactions to your using the term “denialism”. You have not earned the right to call anyone here a denier. You have to prove your point with evidence and courtesy. But courtesy disapproves the use of this hate word here. And we are not deniers. Sometimes we chuckle. But don’t measure our knowledge from that.

    Now check here and here. All the evidence is that Greenland was warmer in the Middle Ages, and was at least as warm in the 1930’s. Yes, records.

  35. If it is this bad, why did the leader of the “free CO2/man made global warming”, Pres. Obama cut NASA’s budget, seems if the planet is going to overheat and die these guys would want a way off this place asap.

  36. Might be that all that cold water welling up due to the La Nina is crowding the warm water into the Arctic.
    There is a lot less of that warm water that croweded into the Arctic via Greenland, now that Winter has taken it’s toll on it.

  37. the sediments may be good at comparing various periods in the past to each other, giving relative warmth and coldness signals. But to make the claim that todays SST is the highest in 2000 years, then they should show that the PROXY, the sediments, show this directly. If instead they translate sediment data into temp data using some overlap period, then use today’s TEMPS to claim this unprecedented warmth, it is not valid. Show us the data.

  38. Nothing to see here. It can all be explained by natural variability.

    Compare the Nuuk temperature record with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amo_timeseries_1856-present.svg

    Notice how temperatures in Nuuk warmed between 1925-60 and again from 1990-present, right in phase with the warm periods of the AMO.

    Anybody seriously think this is co-incidence?

    As for the Arctic Sea Ice, it has been taking a “triple hit” from the warm AMO (since 1990), the warm PDO (1975 onwards) and a high level of solar activity (since 1950).
    Little wonder it has declined.

    It looks as though two of these factors (the PDO and solar activity) are changing into a cooling mode, with the AMO is predicted to do so around 2020. If Arctic Sea Ice continues to decline through all that, then those predicting the “death spiral” may be onto something, but to say that it is occurring already is premature.

    Let’s wait and see………..

  39. Ray Boorman says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    R Gates, it is winter in the NH right now. Any sunlight reaching water which may have been ice-covered in previous years would struggle to warm a lizard on a black rock.

    _____
    Indeed, there is far less insolation in winter than in summer, but that is not the point. The point is that we are seeing near a record low GLOBAL sea ice at the present moment, meaning that, on a global level, between both the SH and NH, a record amount (for this time of year) of sunlight is hitting water that in previous years would have been sea ice.

    Also interesting is that the time frame covered for the study of the N. Atlantic water, (2000 years) would have crossed both the MWP, the “Little Ice Age”, back to the Roman Warm Period. Now, this current warming certainly could be something related to the beginning of a new so-called Bond Event (Bond Event 0), as the timing would be about right. Never the less, as the study notes, it is certainly an abnormality based on what the temperature has been the past 2000 years, and the declining Global Sea Ice area is in line with general warming the oceans.

  40. Right, foraminifera – cool, another tree ring adventure (rainfall comes to mind) – gotta love this. So let’s see…. What do they eat? What eats them? If food was not available for a long while (algae and bacteria), or say they bloomed to a huge scale and as we see all the time predators showed up and ate them all would that have something to do with the variability of their existence? OR maybe they just got sick and died :). Naw, I’m sure it’s temperature related (RIGHT). Just three things of the top of my head.

  41. wayne says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm
    “Why is it always Boulder? The mountain water?”

    Coors and graduate students.

  42. Are the little protozoameters sensitive to any other environmental factors other than water temperature?

  43. Would someone explain to me why Atlantic volcanism near Greenland and Iceland has nothing to do with ocean temperature in those areas. Where does that heat go?

  44. (SarcOn) We need to thank our CO2 & Lucky Stars that we live today in 2011 and not way back when in 1066 during the height of the Medieval Warm Period. At least NOW we KNOW that things are going to stay Warm and get Warmer and that someday –the sooner the better– there will be a lot more nice, warm, beautiful, tropical beach front property in the Canadian Arctic selling for pennies. Thanks University of Colorado Boulder! Thanks Robert Spielhagen of the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Literature in Mainz, Germany!! (SarcOff)

    Turn up the heat please, I’m freezing!!!!!!!

  45. Anything is possible said:

    “As for the Arctic Sea Ice, it has been taking a “triple hit” from the warm AMO (since 1990), the warm PDO (1975 onwards) and a high level of solar activity (since 1950).
    Little wonder it has declined.”

    Well said. You got there just before me.

    I would add a comment about the AO though. From 1975 to 2000 the AO was generally positive with more poleward and zonal jets, less global cloudiness and a lower global albedo with more solar energy able to enter the oceans.

    I think that is what skewed the oceans into such a pronounced El Nino dominance during the period and it is that greater ocean warmth feeding up to the Arctic Ocean via the Atlantic that has affected Arctic ice recently.

    We now have a negative AO, increasingly so for some years past in fact, with La Nina now gaining dominance again.

    So, with cooling oceans in the pipeline is the Atlantic going to stay warm ?

    Is AGW alone expected to maintain a flow of warmth into the Arctic whilst all the other oceans cool down ?

    That is what this paper suggests. If only we could make their careers dependent on that proposition.

  46. “We must assume that the accelerated decrease of the Arctic sea ice cover and the warming of the ocean and atmosphere of the Arctic measured in recent decades are in part related to an increased heat transfer from the Atlantic,” said Spielhagen.
    =============
    Seems to be a reasonable statement.
    The study never mentions CO2, or global warming.
    It mentions the ocean absorbing heat from sunlight, yet nothing about changes in cloud cover.
    BTW, is it just me, or has the Gulf Stream gone cold and been pushed south?
    Anthony’s SST info seems to show this? Or is this normal in winter?

  47. “Cold seawater is critical for the formation of sea ice…” said Marchitto.

    What an incredible intellect to content with, but I’ll attempt to limp along.

    It makes me want to believe his positive feedback scenario, except the fact that he also made this point:

    The Fram Strait branch of the North Atlantic Current is the major carrier of oceanic heat to the Arctic Ocean. In the eastern part of the strait, relatively warm and salty water enters the Arctic. Fed by the Gulf Stream Current, the North Atlantic Current provides ice-free conditions adjacent to Svalbard even in winter, said Marchitto.

    So, which is it: melting ice allows the water to heat more creating the positive feedback loop, or more heated water is entering the area melting the ice?

    Methinks the warmer water entering the Fram straight from the Gulf Stream is not at all effected by the melting ice, because, well the melting ice is located at the destination of the warmer Gulf Stream. Any positive feedback from melting in the Arctic cannot possibly effect the waters entering the Arctic.

    What’s at the source of the Gulf Stream? Oh yeah, deep ocean vents and the tropics. Any slight change in the output of the deep ocean vents, and any slight change in the temperature of the Trade Winds and/or Gulf Stream and the Arctic ice would melt.

    And it’s all happened before…

  48. old44 says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    It’s a Piper Seneca and its piston engine exhausts point at the ground and produce no more hot air than a big car.

  49. Once again, a proxy temperature is matched to a 150 record… reminds me of Mann.
    As with all these studies, the devil is in the detail and the PR is not enough to find the critical piece that makes this one click. These kind of statements are particularly worrying showing very little understanding of teh dynamci of atmospheric circulation in relation with some of these observations:

    “Such a warming of the Atlantic water in the Fram Strait is significantly different from all climate variations in the last 2,000 years,” said Spielhagen, also of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Keil, Germany.

    According to study co-author Thomas Marchitto, a fellow at CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, the new observations are crucial for putting the current warming trend of the North Atlantic in the proper context.

    “We know that the Arctic is the most sensitive region on the Earth when it comes to warming, but there has been some question about how unusual the current Arctic warming is compared to the natural variability of the last thousand years,” said Marchitto, also an associate professor in CU-Boulder’s geological sciences department. “We found that modern Fram Strait water temperatures are well outside the natural bounds.”

    Hopefully the paper PDF will be available?

  50. PaulH says: “The article above doesn’t mention Nuuk specifically, but rather the examination of ocean sediment cores “to determine past water temperatures.” How accurate are ocean sediment cores for this purpose?”

    I’m not sure, but this might be a clue as to the accuracy of the cores:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

  51. So foraminifera are little tiny thermometers, and they live between 150 and 650 meters below the surface. Is there a temperature difference between those depths? Since we are looking at sediments to find foraminifera, how can we tell what depth they lived at when they lived? Is all of this so precise that we can state clearly what temperature they lived at or that temps are higher today than anytime in the past 2000 years? Call me skeptical about this detail.

  52. “Cold seawater is critical for the formation of sea ice, which helps to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space,” said Marchitto.

    I have always thought the sun did not shine too much in the arctic during winter, at least not above about 70 degrees. And where it does the light comes in at a very low angle, so it would even be reflected by unfrozen water.

    ?

    I’m a layman. I must be wrong.

  53. Theo Goodwin says: “…The explanation that foraminifera are tiny thermometers is not something that one can sink his teeth into.”

    Those little thermometers read directly in degrees Foraminiferanheit. You just need a microscope to read ’em.

  54. thoughts:

    1. didn’t I just read a study that the southern atlantic has been cooling for almost a decade now?

    2. regarding the posts about “all the sunlight now warming the arctic waters since there’s no ice:” you have it backwards. several studies out that make a compelling case that loss of sea ice results in a net negative feedback. even in summer, the sunlight is so low to the horizon that there is little warming from sunlight. however, having no ice cover does allow quite a bit of heat radiation out during long polar nights and the long, dark polar winter.

    3. What justification could there possibly be to adjust the temperatures of the past downwards? What justification in a growing community (as shown by the population curve) could there be for doing an adjustment that is reverse of waste energy UHI?

    easily explained by a reversed sign in the program loop. instead of subtracting UHI from the base year to current, they are subtracting UHI from current back into the past. this could be why earlier years keep getting cooler and cooler with each iteration. it’s a simple error to make (especially for non-programmer types), difficult to detect without good testing (do non-programmer types test anything?) and doesn’t become apparent until enough time elapses that it becomes OBVIOUS that there’s a problem. Of course, by then they’re in too far to admit that they’ve screwed up. never. ever. let anyone else see the code, and hide behind legal maneuvers that attempt to expose the code via FOI requests, etc. Of course all this is only speculation on my part…

  55. Let’s assume that most of what is reported is true. Specifically, . . .
    The Fram Strait branch of the North Atlantic Current is the major carrier of oceanic heat to the Arctic Ocean. In the eastern part of the strait, relatively warm and salty water enters the Arctic.

    Thus, the comment at 12:53 pm by ‘thegoodlocust’ is most critical. Someone answer locust’s question, please.

    Also, what is the source of this extra warm water? Is there a shift in location of the current? Is the current warmer than normal but from the same source? Is this the missing warmth that has just now been found?

    Nice map here:
    http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/arctic/circulation.html

    This would be a good time to revisit:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/11/sea-ice-news-13/
    . . . especially tonyb’s comment at 2:30 pm
    and then his Link 6, namely
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#comments

    These ought to keep everyone busy for a few minutes.

  56. Scott Covert says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I think your point is important. They are testing sediment in the Fram Strait. Yet the Strait is only 600 feet deep, and the water in huge volumes is rushing in. So the Foraminiferometers (thanks, Red Etin) in the paper are assumed to drop straight down, and not to have been carried there from the direction of the temperate latitudes? Else, a carriage distance is postulated based on present conditions. This seems to be the crux of the paper, and the key assumption—the measurements being based on little dead bodies of past ages carried or deposited in Fram sediment. A corollary assumption is that the current is the same, not variable (because greater current will carry the wee beasties from further south, “increasing” the net derived temperature).

    I imagine that such a technique has improved reliability in a static water column, like the Indian Ocean, but not in areas of high water flux.

    I will wait for the text of the paper to see if my hunches are correct.

    Proxy methodology, though, often depends on at least one debatable assumption, based on my 40 years’ scientific experience. Validation is often impossible, involving comparing side-by-side with other proxies that may be dependent on the same variable(s), dragging along the same systematic errors.

  57. R. Gates says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Ray Boorman says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    R Gates, it is winter in the NH right now. Any sunlight reaching water which may have been ice-covered in previous years would struggle to warm a lizard on a black rock.

    _____
    Indeed, there is far less insolation in winter than in summer, but that is not the point. The point is that we are seeing near a record low GLOBAL sea ice at the present moment, meaning that, on a global level, between both the SH and NH, a record amount (for this time of year) of sunlight is hitting water that in previous years would have been sea ice.

    I’m afraid you’ve lost me. I’ve just looked at the WUWT Sea Ice page and it lists the current anomalies as -0.382 for the Antarctic and -1.263 for the Arctic (both in millions of square km).

    Since it’s winter in the Arctic, we can safely ignore it from the point of view of sunlight since there won’t be any…. and the Antarctic anomaly level is a long way from being a record low:

    Looking at the combined anomaly totals, it looks low… but how close is it really to a record low? The global sea ice graph seems to imply that while the level is low, from the point of view of an anomaly, it’s not particular low:

    More importantly, the global sea ice graph (not anomaly) shows that this is part of a regular pattern, and doesn’t appear to be that significant – I had to look carefully to realise that the current low appears to be lower than typical for this time of the year. Past history also shows that we can expect it to pick up shortly, as it has done so for the last 30+ years on that graph.

  58. CO2 warms the atmosphere, not the ocean.
    What is the mechanism by which CO2 has caused the North Atlantic to become 3.5 degrees warmer in the last century? Even the most wildly aggressive surface temp studies do not warm the globe as a whole nearly that much in that time period.

    If you assume the sediment proxy to be correct, wouldn’t the warmer water flowing north be explained much better by changes in ocean currents from warmer southern waters than by a little bit of possible atmospheric warming for whatever reason?

  59. Billy Liar says: “It’s a Piper Seneca and its piston engine exhausts point at the ground and produce no more hot air than a big car.”

    True, but those engines are only about 40′ from the station. Propwash will carry some of the exhaust straight back across the weather station, along with air drawn from the large expanse of tarmac southeast of the plane. Geometrically, not exactly like a big car.

  60. Article:

    The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean … are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, says …

    Pls, researchers, enough of this pablum; until these cold ‘arctic blasts’ we continue to receive in Texas abate (bursting through like a freight-train through our single-wire barb-wire fence up near Amarillo) I will NOT have any faith or place any credence in your pronouncements …

    .

  61. OK ” ….water temperatures (near Greenland) today are about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period …. ” and that’s when the Vikings colonized Greenland, grew crops and prospered, hence the name of the land. And also during that time, they were growing grapes in Great Britain. My question is, if it is warmer now, why can’t we do that now?? Which beg the question is this modern period really warmer than the Medieval Period? I am a non scientific guy, but common sense tell me Medieval Period was much warmer … can anyone explain common sense is wrong?

  62. Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Lucy,
    I am curious, the website you link to, is that your website? The reason I ask, a long time friend of mine has a daughter who is really quite smart, and who has been asking a lot of questions about “Global Warming”. I wish to direct her to that site you link, but it would reinforce her education, I believe, if she felt it was a woman offering these suggestions for a path of inquiry. Despite 100 years of advancement, many still believe that women do not, or cannot, contribute to the advancement of science. In spite of the evidence to the contrary. I wish to dispel those types of myths for her, by providing a shining example, namely you.
    I have been a long time ‘lurker’ on this blog, and have come to respect your opinions and interpretations of the science at hand. If the website is yours, it closely resembles my own path to understanding ‘The Inconvenient Truth’.

    Roy Weiler

  63. Ken Lydell says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    You can wave your arms at the paleoclimatological reconstruction but what about the instrumental measurements over the last 150 years. The difference between informed skepticism and knee-jerk denialism is evident in some of the comments above.
    __________________
    New here? Check some of the older posts on the reliability of those instrumental measurements over the past 150 years.

    Then ask yourself this: who was measuring the temperature in the arctic on January 30, 1879 and how accurate was that reading?

  64. When warm water is at the poles, the heat will soon be lost to 4°K deepspace. Counting it is pointless.

    @R. Gates says: “…there is a record amount of open water being struck and warmed by sunlight that once was being reflected by sea ice. This is not insignificant as a lot more w/m2 is being absorbed by the oceans, exactly as predicted by GCM’s when looking at the effects of polar amplification of AGW.”

    The solar reflectance of sea ice and open water aren’t that different at the high azimuth angles near the poles. Their ranges of values overlap, depending on age of the ice, time of year, latitude, clouds, wind, and, yes, plankton. And the statement “exactly as predicted by GCM’s” is entirely erroneous. The complexity of ice & water albedos make exactitude impossible. What the GCM’s attempt to predict and reality are quite different. They may get the sign right part of the year, at best.

  65. I don’t get it!

    If the Hypothesis of AGW based on the CO2 Hypothesis is claiming that the more “Greenhouses Gases” (i.e. CO2) we produce the more heat is trapped…then why would they be reporting that the Heat Transfer is based on convection from the ocean?

    Doesn’t that leave humans out of the mix? I don’t get it?

  66. Graeme W says:
    January 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Looking at the combined (Global Sea Ice Area) anomaly totals, it looks low… but how close is it really to a record low? The global sea ice graph seems to imply that while the level is low, from the point of view of an anomaly, it’s not particular low.

    ___
    Oh no, it’s very close to the record low set back in 2006. Here’s a direct link to the data as supplied to me by Bill Chapman from the Cryosphere Today website:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008

    As you can see from the data, Global sea ice area is very very close to a record low period now for the 1979-present. 14.41 million sq. km as of today vs. 14.39 million sq. km in 2006. Keep watching over the next few days to see if it dips under as it well could.

    The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean. The 5 lowest Global Sea Ice Area years on satellite record occurred in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and now, 2011, which is 2nd lowest, and may very well become the lowest of all.

  67. It is worthwhile to pull the GISS data for Nuuk and plot plot all of it (monthly averages rather than annual averages). I did that recently for Nuuk and Coral Harbour (recently highlighted on desmogblog). To do it, I copied the temperatures from Excel into MS Word and replaced the “white spaces” with paragraph marks, then imported the resulting single column of temperatures back into Excel.

    The exercise gives you a better idea of the magnitude of the natural variability and therefore how truly noisy a change of a few degrees is. If Nuuk has warmed at all, the change is meaningless. Coral Harbour is a flat line.

  68. R Gates,

    “The 5 lowest Global Sea Ice Area years on satellite record occurred in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and now, 2011, which is 2nd lowest, and may very well become the lowest of all.”

    O.K. but what does it mean? Lowest since 1979….what does that mean?

    I really want to care……but I just don’t know what I should be caring about?

  69. My question is, what percentage of global surface area does the Arctic sea ice represent? And how much it could it possibly contribute to cooling the planet based on reflecting the Sun’s rays. I think the Arctic is a cold sink because it spends a lengthy period in total darkness, and it has nothing to do with the amount of sunlight being reflected because of reduced summer sea ice. I have a problem with a lot of alarmists naive theory about that point.

  70. thegoodlocust says:

    Oh my, assuming this is true then the heating of the arctic would have nothing to do with traditional global warming theory. They say the warmth should be strongest at the poles because there isn’t as much humidity in the air, since H20′s greenhouse effect greatly overshadows CO2 in other parts of the world.

    Would you mind providing a link to where that has been said in the scientific literature? Maybe it has, but my impression is that such simplistic statements have been made instead by “climate skeptics” misunderstanding how the effects of greenhouse gases play out. They are the only ones who I have seen making claims that one can predict the region warming effects to appealing to such arguments.

  71. Anthony,

    I don’t know how to email you, so I’m just posting here, but I ran across a non-skeptic but honest blog posting on the claims of some scientists that “climate change” is responsible for a reduction in natural vegetative fixing of atmospheric carbon. It’s a good article, and the fellow tracks down the authors of the study and quotes from his email exchanges from them, where they openly admit to publishing results that fail many statistical measures because their findings “are so important to society”. You might want to take a look at this and make a post out of it for your readers.

    http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/08/climate-alarmism-at-science-magazine.html

  72. R. Gates says:
    January 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    “The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean. The 5 lowest Global Sea Ice Area years on satellite record occurred in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and now, 2011, which is 2nd lowest, and may very well become the lowest of all.”
    ================
    O.K., ….and then what?

  73. Someone writes:
    “Which beg the question is this modern period really warmer than the Medieval Period?”

    No, it raises the question. Do not listen to NPR. They will have you speaking and writing gibberish. “Begging the Question” is a classic fallacy, known as “petitio principii” to the Romans. It is arguing in a circle.

  74. Given that the practical issue is whether we invest 99 gazillion dollars in CO2 mitigation, shouldn’t our measurement regime be improved. Why not have electronic equipment that reports a temperature once per second? Just think, if we did, we could see if those aircraft engines actually change the temperature reading. Would that not be worth its weight in gold?

    Oh, by the way, it’s not just the aircraft engines. The thermometers are next to what is most likely the busiest parking lot in the region. And the thermometers are hedged in by asphalt. Please. Give us a break. We should not have to deal with this foolishness. Kill fifty percent of grants for studying warming, convene Warmista and sceptics to design a new measurement system, and implement it. 99 Gazillion dollars demands it.

  75. how did this years” warm” north atlantic flow ever reach the arctic when there is no “warm” atlantic flow to begin with from last year, this is crazy or desperate.

  76. [snip] How would airports interfere with ice core data? And how is it that these airports are melting glaciers?

  77. This is excellent news!

    The television told me Climate Scientists™ now believe (C)AGW is causing all the cold to leak out of the Arctic, because of how (C)AGW has caused there to be so much less Arctic sea ice thus disturbing the atmospheric patterns, thus (C)AGW is causing the record-breaking cold and snowfall accumulations during this Northern Hemisphere winter.

    Now Climate Science™ is telling me how the hottest North Atlantic Ocean water EVAH is pouring into the Arctic Basin, which will accelerate the sea ice melt. With all that heat warming up the Arctic Ocean, with the remaining cold fleeing the Arctic in the air, and all the sea ice going away, it is clear what has happened.

    A Tipping Point has been passed. The sea ice melt is irreversible. Due to (C)AGW, the sea ice went down, which caused the Arctic to lose its cool, which will cause more ice loss. This is obviously a Positive Feedback Mechanism. The (C)AGW-caused boiling hot water from the Atlantic is amplifying the feedback. The Arctic is now a lost cause. It is DOOMED. All the polar bears shall now commence drowning.

    Great! As these Tipping Points keep getting passed, we will accept the futility of trying to fight what recent Paleo-Climate Science™ has identified as building up over thousands of years from mankind’s anti-Natural CO2 emissions. Soon we can focus fully on adaptation. And I can look forward to when my descendants, here on the family estate in central Pennsylvania, can reap bountiful harvests from the lush citrus groves, situated just mere miles from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi Sea.

    As opposed to the summers getting too cool for decent tomato growing, with winters of bone-freezing cold and the endless waves of never-melting snow and ice, as currently provided courtesy of (C)AGW.

  78. R. Gates says:
    January 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean. The 5 lowest Global Sea Ice Area years on satellite record occurred in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and now, 2011, which is 2nd lowest, and may very well become the lowest of all.

    Thank you very much for your response, and in particular, for the link to the raw data.

    However, I have to question the accuracy of your analysis. The albedo of the part of the Earth that doesn’t face the Sun is irrelevant for the analysis you’re doing. On that basis, you should be excluding all of the Arctic that currently doesn’t receive any sunlight. Since the Antarctic anomaly is not particular low (it’s below average, but a long way from a record low), the current situation is not as dire as if both the Arctic and Antarctic were receiving sunlight.

    Also, as the global sea ice graph shows, historically global sea ice should start to recover shortly. I see no reason to believe that this year will be any different. The degree that the total global sea ice coverage is lower than average as a percentage of total sea ice does not seem to lend itself to any feelings of alarm, as shown by the total sea ice graph I linked to above (which I got from the WUWT sea ice page).

    After all, based on the data you supplied, the anomaly in 2010 dropped to over -2 million sq km, and it’s currently only -1.64 (rounding up). So, as anomaly, it’s a long way from being as bad as it has been in the past. And, as I stated above, that’s a global anomaly – the Antarctic anomaly is considerably lower than that, only -0.382, and it’s the Antarctic sea ice that is currently critical if you want to analyse the effects of the albedo, not the Arctic sea ice levels.

  79. KD, an informed skepticism with facts and figures is something I welcome. Knee-jerk post hoc flailing about in an attempt to explain things away doesn’t impress me. The instrumental data warrants examination — not arm waving.

    Many climatologists display contempt towards knee-jerk denialists and for good reason. I despise knee-jerk alarmists for many of the same reasons. Most people can tell the difference between a well-reasoned argument and one that entails a defensive grasping at straws. Can you?

  80. “The researchers used microscopic, shelled protozoan organisms called foraminifera — which prefer specific water temperatures at depths of roughly 150 to 650 feet — as tiny thermometers.”

    Do they use the same tiny thermometers to measure the temperature for today?

  81. R. Gates says:
    January 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    “The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean. The 5 lowest Global Sea Ice Area years on satellite record occurred in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, and now, 2011, which is 2nd lowest, and may very well become the lowest of all.”

    Given that there are several periods of low ice documented in the historical record by early polar explorers, ships and the history of the vikings in Greenland. Given that based on those first person accounts, those low ice events, likely were as low or lower than today’s ice levels. Why should we consider the current level of global sea ice, and the “all time record” in what is a historically very short satellite series to be in any way remarkable rather than just a repartition of a normal cycle.

    It is far more likely that this is just a normal part of the arctic ice cycle than that it is in any way unusual.

    Also albedo is hardly significant in the arctic right now, given that the length of day on the 27th of January from sun rise to sunset is a whopping 2 hours and 31 minutes. Not to mention the minor detail that open water is a better emitter of IR radiation than old ice, open water looses more heat to the night sky this time of year than the arctic ocean would lose if it was covered with heavy ice.

    Snow cover at northern temperate latitudes is far more important to the earths albedo than snow and ice cover in the arctic right now, because of length of day and the suns height above the horizon during mid day at these lower latitudes.

    In short the global sea ice anomoly is not in any way out of the ordinary when you include historical accounts of previous ice minimums from just the last 100 years. The satellite record is simply too short to be of much concern because it hardly covers 1/2 of the apparent natural cycle in sea ice.

    Come back in 70 to 100 years when we have enough data to at least make an educated guess how sea ice behaves on a century time scale. Until then we are simply throwing darts.

    Larry

  82. (bursting through like a freight-train through our single-wire barb-wire fence up near Amarillo)

    I jus’ check’d. The fence is down.

  83. Ronald Reagan, in negotiating nuclear weapons reduction agreements with the former Soviet Union, famously asserted that we should both trust and verify. As we have no reason to believe that the scientists responsible for the study in question were involved in an evil conspiracy to create a climatist global totalitarian regime, let us give them the benefit of the doubt. Let us assume that they were trying to get things right and were competent in selecting and analyzing proxies. In the absence of a failure to replicate their results, let’s give them a pass and trust that they did a reasonably good job. At the same, let’s verify in order to make sure that they didn’t overlook or fail to account for confounding variables. Was the methodology sound? If so, the results are sound.

    Although I am a card-carrying skeptic with an ingrained loathing of warmist nonsense, I am inclined to believe that there may be something interesting here. I doubt that it can be explained in terms of CO2 increases or fractions of a degree increase in GMST. Given the woefully inadequate state of climate science I suspect that there may no satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon at present. Ocean circulation systems are poorly understood and the more we know about them the less we understand. Doug Hoffman has done a good job of characterizing the growing uncertainty in oceanography in a review article that you will find most informative. It can be found here: http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/conveyor-belt-model-broken

    If there is a middle ground, a zone of useful engagement in the discussion of climate science, it will be between informed citizen skeptics with expertise in a variety of pertinent disciplines and climate scientists who don’t have a dog in the political fight. There is much to be said about finding a way to create opportunities for constructive engagement. Judith Curry, as I write this, is in Lisbon with others trying to figure out how to make this happen.

    I have had more than a snootful of knee-jerk anything when it comes to climate science. I am sick of it whether it comes from the skeptical corner of the ring or from the warmist corner.

  84. The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean.

    There you go again. There IS no “extra sunlight not being reflected” at that latitude. Even in polar summer, the sun is low to the horizon and weak, and what little sunlight there is reflects off the water at low angles. (Ever see how much light is reflected off the ocean at sundown? That’s the MAX angle you get even in polar summer.) Meanwhile, the now un-insulated water makes a fine radiator of ocean heat to space. Especially during dark (or “evening”) hours and polar winter.

    The poles aren’t a cold sink. They’re a radiator.

  85. The U of Colorado scientists are reporting on Ocean temperatures in Fram strait being at historically record levels. The theory that Greenland air temperatures are a result of the Urban Heat Island effect at Nuuk has no bearing on this finding which is the main point of the paper.
    It is well known that the ocean temperatures affect the climate of the adjacent coastline. That is what the scientists were referring to when they said that the ocean temperature played a role in the air temperatures of Greenland.

    Regarding the jump in temperature that you pointed to at Nuuk, this is reproduced in a small town in Greenland far away from Nuuk, which lends credence to the belief that this temperature jump is a real effect. I pointed this out in a post on a previous thread that you devoted to Greenland temperatures and the UHI effect.

    There are other stations in Greenland that could be compared with Nuuk to determine whether the data is anomalous or not. That is the method used by Climatologists who study this type of thing to sort things out. Those types of studies are what resulted in the corrections to the raw data in the first place.

    Egedesminde, population about 3,000, which is the closest, that has data from 1950 to 2010 has a similar jump in temperature to Nuuk for the last year shown on the graph.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431042200000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    And so does Prins Christi:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043900003&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    There is no evidence that economic growth has swollen the population of these two little towns or created an UHI .

  86. Aaron Stonebeat reckons
    —–

    I have always thought the sun did not shine too much in the arctic during winter, at least not above about 70 degrees. And where it does the light comes in at a very low angle, so it would even be reflected by unfrozen water.

    ?

    I’m a layman. I must be wrong.
    —–
    Actually I would like to see this assertion checked. It’s OK for flat water but I am not sure that it is correct for choppy water.

  87. “Global warming in the arctic” ???????
    Don’t they mean “local warming in the arctic”?
    Or does the arctic cover the globe
    Or perhaps just teleports its commands to the whole globe?
    Or what do they mean by that?

  88. But Anthony –
    “scientists” have told us that the arctic is warming alarmingly!
    Why are you not alarmed?
    Just please do not tell us what you are alarmed about.
    (that could spoil the fun).

  89. Foraminifera?

    Back in my day we used a proxy critter called a Bleak-Fish, Bleak-fish prefer the stable temperatures found in the Policy Waters of the Green Ocean.
    We have records stretching back one Hundred million years, or last Tuesday, depending on whose asking, longer still if theres a FOIA request.
    Bleak fish respond rapidly to changing Policy Temperature, they grow large and plentiful when the temps go up, and tend to die off when the temps go down.
    By drilling deep into he stygian mud at the utter most depths in the Green Ocean, AKA the Misery Sea, we can extract sedimentary cores that contain the fossil record of past Policy Epochs.
    In our research, we found that Blooms of the Payola bacteria, led to the rapid growth of the Bleak-Fish, who thrived in the dense mist of easy nutrition. By Nitrogen, Oxygen, Sodium and Einsteinium dating, we found that the Bleak-Fish currently out number the former, entire total population of Bleak-Fish within the Historical record of life on Earth.
    This Boom always precedes a die off, which will be a world record for sure. Sadly we can’t account how many Bleak-Fish will perish, and it’s a [You Know What Goes Here] that we can’t.

  90. Mark Wagner says:
    January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    “The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean.

    There you go again. There IS no “extra sunlight not being reflected” at that latitude. Even in polar summer, the sun is low to the horizon and weak, and what little sunlight there is reflects off the water at low angles. (Ever see how much light is reflected off the ocean at sundown? That’s the MAX angle you get even in polar summer.) Meanwhile, the now un-insulated water makes a fine radiator of ocean heat to space. Especially during dark (or “evening”) hours and polar winter.

    The poles aren’t a cold sink. They’re a radiator.”

    Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. The tilt angle of the earth is 23 degrees, so during the summer time even open water at the pole
    will absorb. On top of this, the ocean is not totally flat. At small angles of incident light, waviness results in reduced reflectivity because of the steepness of the reflectivity-vs.-incident-angle curve and a locally increased average incident angle. Therefore absorption will be larger in wavy water than in flat still water.

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

  91. @Scott Ramsdell

    Your point about deep ocean currents at the tropics and their connection to the gulf stream and thence the Arctic, is important.

    In these AGW leaning studies the interpretation focuses mypoically on albedo. However, the gulf stream and (possibly) its periodic oscillation in strength can also influence Arctic ice.

    There is another story apart from albedo. Periodic retreat of Arctic ice leaves more open water to be cooled, and this could give an uptick in cold downwellling – such as is known to be happening since 2007.

    Periodic arctic ice retreat could be a trigger for increased downwelling that could entrain global oceanic oscillations. Note that increased vertical ocean mixing always means downward movement of heat and cooling of the upper ocean.

  92. A nice close up picture of the Nuut airport Stevenson screen:

    http://emilhannes.blog.is/blog/emilhannes/image/1022190/

    Seems to be a blog, in Danish.

    Interestingly there wasn’t a land airport until 1979, which suggests a fairly drastic relocation of the screen at that time, unless the airport was built on the site of the heliport. Before the choppers it was sea planes, and before planes ships, no doubt.

  93. Jeff said …..
    we do not have any good raw global temperature data for the last 100 years with which to make any scientific judgements with … none …. zero … zip … nada …

    Yes Jeff, you are quite correct, although I said it a few weeks back!

    It’s fundamental, and needs to be repeated. Insufficient data.

  94. Just read this article and thought I would have a look in Google Earth to see if I could locate the Nuuk airport. There is a lovely shot of a plane right in front of the Stevenson screen with the engine exhaust directed straight at it.

    Who would’a thought.

  95. Temperatures in Greenland:

    http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/klima/klimaet_indtil_nu/temperaturen_i_groenland.htm

    “The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature
    record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the
    warmest decades.” (Extending Greenland temperature records into the
    late eighteenth century B. M. Vinther,1 K. K. Andersen,1 P. D. Jones,2 K. R. Briffa,2 and J. Cappelen3 JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D11105, doi:10.1029/2005JD006810, 2006)

  96. Conradg (5:35)

    Thanks for an interesting link, which details a paper in Science last year claiming that Net Primary Production (plant growth, basically) had fallen during the 2000’s. Trouble is, the key results are very noisy and nowhere near statistically significant, but were published anyway, without qualification, because the authors, and Science, felt it was important for “policy makers” to be warned (alarmed?)

    Well worth a look – here it is again to save you looking back up the page

    http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2010/08/climate-alarmism-at-science-magazine.html

  97. Greenland air temps of the past:

    “…the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995–2005.”
    Petr Chylek et. al.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL026510.shtml

    “The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming.”
    Jason E. Box et. al.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2816.1

    “We found that northern hemisphere temperature and Greenland temperature changed synchronously at periods of ~20 years and 40–100 years. This quasi-periodic multi-decadal temperature fluctuation persisted throughout the last millennium, and is likely to continue into the future.”
    Takuro Kobashi et. al.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/n567324n1n3321h3/

    “The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades.”
    B. M. Vinther et. al.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf
    [pdf]

    1937
    “Particulars are given regarding the big rise of winter temperatures in Greenland and its more oceanic climate during the last fifteen years.”
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.49706327108/abstract

  98. Fed by the Gulf Stream Current, the North Atlantic Current provides ice-free conditions adjacent to Svalbard even in winter, said Marchitto.

    Not this winter!

  99. @ Ken Lydell
    …. Given the woefully inadequate state of climate science I suspect that there may no satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon at present. Ocean circulation systems are poorly understood and the more we know about them the less we understand…..

    Exactly. BTW, did you read the recent “is the enso a nonlinear oscillator” post here. ISTM the chaos theory framework is the way to reach understanding of climate in general and ocean circulations specifically. Th bad news is that a good understanding may well lead to the conclusion that climate change is intrinsically unpredictable, just like the weather.

  100. eadler says:
    January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm
    But if the water is choppy only part of the total area of open sea is absorbing. For every ripple or wave there is a reverse side which is absorbing less sunlight.

    Add to that the fact that choppy water is usually caused by wind, which will probably add cooling due to evaporation.

    Add to that the possibility that not every day in the Arctic is sunny and I would guess that windy days are more likely to be associated with cloud cover.

    This calculation is far more complex than consideration of just albedo and incident light angles.

    And to add another factor. 15% ice cover, which is the common measure of ice extent, is affected strongly by prevailing winds and tides. A quick peep at our host’s sea ice pages shows Ric Werme’s side-by-side comparison of ice concentrations for Jan 2007 and Jan 2011 (about halfway down the page). My unscientific eyes can determine that this year’s ice is considerably more concentrated than 4 years ago, suggesting that the low extent this year does not mean less ice just tighter packing. And don’t forget that 2007 was a record low, so I would say the the ice this years is looking a lot less vulnerable than previous years (I was going to say looks a lot more healthy, but I’m not sure that the impending cold swing is exactly good news).

  101. Roy Weiler says: January 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm
    The lurker

    Try Jennifer Marohasy http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/ (blog button)

    Marie Curie is always a good start for a solid scientific approach. The BBC or ABC did a documentary some 30 years ago on her life work. Also Elizabeth I is impressive.
    Books by Bob Carter and Ian Plimer are good stuff for girls (and women). And the Secret Seven (Enid Blyton) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Seven
    are always good for very young people. !

    Willis E https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/28/the-cold-equations/
    has a tale. [Scientific] fables have since moved on to endocrine and hormonal evidence (HPA axis) and mania/greed (psychology DSM) in politics and academia. Though Willis has a boating background (also tropics) so females and bananas are likely deemed ‘purveyors of ill luck’ in his book. Though rightly so, she shouldn’t have ‘snuck’ on and upset the landing weight with a bag of anti-plague. But they launched with the weight so not clear that the landing weight, less fuel consumed and there were no stopovers would have made that great a difference. But these days they have prescription via the global net and instructions.

    And the Science Academies (Royal Societies) should have reasonable information for your friend’s daughter to pursue.

    Fitzy says: January 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm
    Very witty. Neat.
    And excellent observation.

  102. Ray Boorman January 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm says:

    “Surely a large proportion of the sunlight striking the ocean at 30 deg would be reflected back to the sky.”

    That corresponds to an angle of incidence of 60 deg. According to my old Optics textbook by MH Freeman 10th Edn, application of Fresnel’s equations gives a reflectance of about 10%, assuming a refractive index of 1.33 for water and 1.00 for air.

  103. I was just looking on cryosphere today and it looks as if the usually ice-free west coast of spitzbergen is icing up this winter. Has anyone else noticed this?

  104. Nash – naming Greenland as ‘green’ was political spin to encourage migration, not an indication that it was indeed a green and pleasant land. Also, I live in the Midlands in the UK and grow grapes in my garden – no problem.

    When you say “… can anyone explain common sense is wrong?” – the answer is because you’ve got your facts wrong.

  105. rbateman says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    The wild snow & cold from the Plains to the East Coast of the US must be due to Global Cooling.
    I’m going to name my next dog Hansen.
    —————
    aw thats animal cruelty! no dog deserves that abuse:-)

  106. I am always slightly surprised when climate scientists use the Medieval Warm Period as a fashion accessory for their papers – just pop it in, or out, as required.
    I am surprised, too, that the wee shelfish are such accurate thermometers, with the handy ability to station themselves at very specfic depths while they live – do these creatures drop vertically to the sea floor when they die, regardless of ocean currents, and cling to the spot where they landed after death, defying those same currents and the vagaries of tides and weather for centuries?
    Wait! is my Sceptometer attempting to alert me to something? Nah, it’s just the shelfish I ate too many of for dinner last night…

  107. re: Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. The tilt angle of the earth is 23 degrees, so during the summer time even open water at the pole
    will absorb. On top of this, the ocean is not totally flat. At small angles of incident light, waviness results in reduced reflectivity because of the steepness of the reflectivity-vs.-incident-angle curve and a locally increased average incident angle. Therefore absorption will be larger in wavy water than in flat still water.

    I read a published, peer reviewed study about a year ago that clearly outlines why loss of polar sea ice is a net negative feedback. I have to take their word over yours.

  108. Being an amateur not reading all comments , so i could repeat a staement which is already in the pipeline , i would like to draw your attention to the unysis sst anomaly map showing a clear warming locally in the fram strait , not in the midatlantic part of the gulfstream , but solely in the fram strait itself and in northern open water leading to the icecap between canada and greenland . From my simple-minded point of view there is one logic explanation for this fact : A heating of the ocean-floor by volcanism .
    Has there been a survey of the oceanfloor in this area in the recent years ? And has this phenomenon in the arctic been investigated in the recent years ? Throwing around grand theories is a nice occupation when you have nothing to do otherwise , but would not it be better to stay silent until all facts are above the table ? Mother nature may have lots of pleasant surprises for us as long as we do not know all the facts . Incomplete science could even be worse than incomplete accounting .

  109. This is an interesting summary of data from 3 Greenland stations:
    http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=294#comments

    Dr. Box appears to specialize in this particular area.

    Notice the lngterm trend is more modest than 7 degrees F in the last few decades.

    There is also a statement that the temperature reading at Prins Christian Sund is not at an airport. Does anyone know where the reading is actually taken? Also given the number of cruises to this area, I am not sure that the above statement that there has been no change in the local population is actually true.

  110. The researchers used microscopic, shelled protozoan organisms called foraminifera — which prefer specific water temperatures at depths of roughly 150 to 650 feet — as tiny thermometers.

    In addition, the team used a second, independent method that involved analyzing the chemical composition of the foraminifera shells
    ——————————–

    Is anyone else concerned about this definition of “independent”? Using foraminifera to infer temperature in two different ways would seem to require some common assumptions, e.g. that specific foraminifera map to a time period. Thus how can it said to be an “independent method”?

  111. Mycroft says:
    January 28, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Whats the betting Trenberth try’s to jump on this study for his “missing heat”!

    Yep. They must have found it./sarc off

  112. Peter Plail says:
    January 28, 2011 at 2:37 am

    “eadler says:
    January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm
    But if the water is choppy only part of the total area of open sea is absorbing. For every ripple or wave there is a reverse side which is absorbing less sunlight.

    Add to that the fact that choppy water is usually caused by wind, which will probably add cooling due to evaporation.

    Add to that the possibility that not every day in the Arctic is sunny and I would guess that windy days are more likely to be associated with cloud cover.

    This calculation is far more complex than consideration of just albedo and incident light angles.

    And to add another factor. 15% ice cover, which is the common measure of ice extent, is affected strongly by prevailing winds and tides. A quick peep at our host’s sea ice pages shows Ric Werme’s side-by-side comparison of ice concentrations for Jan 2007 and Jan 2011 (about halfway down the page). My unscientific eyes can determine that this year’s ice is considerably more concentrated than 4 years ago, suggesting that the low extent this year does not mean less ice just tighter packing. And don’t forget that 2007 was a record low, so I would say the the ice this years is looking a lot less vulnerable than previous years (I was going to say looks a lot more healthy, but I’m not sure that the impending cold swing is exactly good news).”

    The state of the ice in the Arctic in January is totally irrelevant to whether the Arctic Ocean is absorbing sunlight in the summer months. What is relevant is the ice coverage in the summer time. If you look at summer extent, or area the story is the same. There is a downward trend which has intensified in the 21’st century.

  113. Lets wait for the report. I am interested to see whether they use the the foraminifera over the last 150 years and show it consistent with the observation data (and which observation data; looks a bit rocky with their claims for increases in Greenland temperatures).

    Also, how well recognised and accepted are these two methods of historical measurement?

  114. Ken Lydell says:
    January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I have had more than a snootful of knee-jerk anything when it comes to climate science. I am sick of it whether it comes from the skeptical corner of the ring or from the warmist corner.
    ________________________

    My, that’s quite a chip on your shoulder. You may want to consult your physician to have it removed.

    KD

  115. “”””” eadler says:
    January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm
    Mark Wagner says:
    January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    “The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean.

    There you go again. There IS no “extra sunlight not being reflected” at that latitude. Even in polar summer, the sun is low to the horizon and weak, and what little sunlight there is reflects off the water at low angles. (Ever see how much light is reflected off the ocean at sundown? That’s the MAX angle you get even in polar summer.) Meanwhile, the now un-insulated water makes a fine radiator of ocean heat to space. Especially during dark (or “evening”) hours and polar winter.

    The poles aren’t a cold sink. They’re a radiator.”

    Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. “””””

    Well actually, the very reference you cite (wiki) shows more like 60% reflectivity at 5 deg off grazing incidence (85 deg incidence angle). It gives 505 for the p polarisation and 70% for the s polarisation, and others have pointed out the water ripples are a red herring, because the other side of the ripple gives a compensation.

    There’s one little (fine tuning) adjustment that you need to make to your observations. For the sunlight incident at 85 deg incidence angle; where the reflectance averages about 60%, the incident solar irradiance is only cosine(85) times the surface level insolation; which is 8.7% of the insoaltion at the zenith sun location. So you only have 60% of 8.7%, which is about 5.2%.

    Oh I almost forgot; for direct overhead sun, you have an Air Mass One situation, with just once times the atmospheric thickness of atmosphere to penetrate. For other incidence angles the air mass increases as 1/cos(incidence angle) and for 85 deg incidence angle that is 1/0.087, which is about 11.5.

    So your five degree off grazing incidence sunlight came through 11.5 times the atmospheric air thickness, which filtered out virtually all of the high eenrgy part of the solar spectrum so the reflected emittance is about 5.2% of the AM-11.5 solar irradiance, and only the farred and infrared part of that which is no more than 45% of the total solar spectrum energy.

    So 45% of 5.2% is 2.34% of the incident sunlight tops.

    No matter how you slice it; there simply isn’t very much sunlight in the polar regions to reflect; even at 60% reflectance. This cronic lack of sunlight has a remarkable effect on the local weather and climate; it gets bloody cold as a result of this lack of incoming energy; and even less outgoing.

    And for good measure, even though that AM-11.5 attenuated sunlight is also spread over 11.5 times the surface area, ALL of that surface area is continuously radiating in the LWIR region but at a reduced Temperature of about 270K (-3 deg C) rather than 288 K, so the total emittance is about 301 W/m^2, instead of the 390 you get at 288 K.

    So the whole surface radiates at the full local temperature rate; but the incoming sunlight from a highly attenuated and very small area is spread over that enlarged oblique surface.

    The solart spectrum albedo reflected polar sunlight is peanuts compared to the LWIR emittance from the open water; which as I said is why there is all that ice there in the first place.

  116. Is it true that the name of that place is pronounced “New-ark”. We have a Nuuk here in the USA, which is every bit as dismal as Svend’s place up there in Greenlandia.

  117. “And here’s the interesting thing. Nuuk is just one data point, one “raging red” anomaly in the sparsely spaced hands-on-human-measured NASA GISS surface temperature dataset for the Arctic. ”

    Am I looking at the same picture? There are dark red points all across Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, etc. And wouldn’t the urban heat island effect be even more pronounced in countries that have developed larger cities over the years like the USA, coastal Brazil, southeast Asia, for example? Why would the Arctic areas be darker than more developed areas if this was truly a consistent problem with the land-based temperature data? Or is it not a consistent problem?

    Some of the arguments seem to grasping at straws, but the point made concerning the Nuuk “instant warming” graphic may be a valid one. Maybe the surface stations project should do a global averaging calculation with all the suspected bad surface temperature stations removed? Has that been done? If so, what were the results?

  118. Mark Wagner says:
    January 28, 2011 at 6:02 am

    “re: Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. The tilt angle of the earth is 23 degrees, so during the summer time even open water at the pole
    will absorb. On top of this, the ocean is not totally flat. At small angles of incident light, waviness results in reduced reflectivity because of the steepness of the reflectivity-vs.-incident-angle curve and a locally increased average incident angle. Therefore absorption will be larger in wavy water than in flat still water.

    I read a published, peer reviewed study about a year ago that clearly outlines why loss of polar sea ice is a net negative feedback. I have to take their word over yours.”

    My post was about reflectivity of the open ocean relative to ice. I showed you a graph of the reflectivity of water versus angle and pointed out the earth’s axis is tilted at about 23 degrees. Does the peer reviewed study you read a year ago deny this?

    Do you have a link to that peer reviewed study? Are you sure you have this right? Why should the one peer reviewed study, you read a year ago, be taken as gospel, since the positive feedback for global warming of the polar ice cap is accepted by almost all scientists who study climate. Here is one study which indicates a direct effect of exposed Arctic Ocean on the air temperature above it.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428142324.htm

    Using the latest observational data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting, Dr Screen was able to uncover a distinctive pattern of warming, highly consistent with the loss of sea ice.

    “In the study, we investigated at what level in the atmosphere the warming was occurring. What stood out was how highly concentrated the warming was in the lower atmosphere than anywhere else. I was then able to make the link between the warming pattern and the melting of the sea ice.”

  119. George E. Smith says:
    January 28, 2011 at 11:39 am

    ““”””” eadler says:
    January 27, 2011 at 8:42 pm
    Mark Wagner says:
    January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    “The point is that sea ice represents a part of the total albedo of the earth, and as such, when the Global Sea ice is at or near a record minimum, the extra sunlight that is not being reflected is being asborbed into the ocean.

    There you go again. There IS no “extra sunlight not being reflected” at that latitude. Even in polar summer, the sun is low to the horizon and weak, and what little sunlight there is reflects off the water at low angles. (Ever see how much light is reflected off the ocean at sundown? That’s the MAX angle you get even in polar summer.) Meanwhile, the now un-insulated water makes a fine radiator of ocean heat to space. Especially during dark (or “evening”) hours and polar winter.

    The poles aren’t a cold sink. They’re a radiator.”

    Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. “””””

    Well actually, the very reference you cite (wiki) shows more like 60% reflectivity at 5 deg off grazing incidence (85 deg incidence angle). It gives 505 for the p polarisation and 70% for the s polarisation, and others have pointed out the water ripples are a red herring, because the other side of the ripple gives a compensation.

    There’s one little (fine tuning) adjustment that you need to make to your observations. For the sunlight incident at 85 deg incidence angle; where the reflectance averages about 60%, the incident solar irradiance is only cosine(85) times the surface level insolation; which is 8.7% of the insoaltion at the zenith sun location. So you only have 60% of 8.7%, which is about 5.2%.

    Oh I almost forgot; for direct overhead sun, you have an Air Mass One situation, with just once times the atmospheric thickness of atmosphere to penetrate. For other incidence angles the air mass increases as 1/cos(incidence angle) and for 85 deg incidence angle that is 1/0.087, which is about 11.5.

    So your five degree off grazing incidence sunlight came through 11.5 times the atmospheric air thickness, which filtered out virtually all of the high eenrgy part of the solar spectrum so the reflected emittance is about 5.2% of the AM-11.5 solar irradiance, and only the farred and infrared part of that which is no more than 45% of the total solar spectrum energy.

    So 45% of 5.2% is 2.34% of the incident sunlight tops.

    No matter how you slice it; there simply isn’t very much sunlight in the polar regions to reflect; even at 60% reflectance. This cronic lack of sunlight has a remarkable effect on the local weather and climate; it gets bloody cold as a result of this lack of incoming energy; and even less outgoing.

    And for good measure, even though that AM-11.5 attenuated sunlight is also spread over 11.5 times the surface area, ALL of that surface area is continuously radiating in the LWIR region but at a reduced Temperature of about 270K (-3 deg C) rather than 288 K, so the total emittance is about 301 W/m^2, instead of the 390 you get at 288 K.

    So the whole surface radiates at the full local temperature rate; but the incoming sunlight from a highly attenuated and very small area is spread over that enlarged oblique surface.

    The solart spectrum albedo reflected polar sunlight is peanuts compared to the LWIR emittance from the open water; which as I said is why there is all that ice there in the first place.”

    In the Arctic summer the angle is not as shallow as you would have people believe. The 23 degree angle of tilt of the earth’s axis, plus the fact that the Arctic is defined as north of 63Deg, makes the range of effective range of angles of the sun in the Arctic summer region as 0 to 50 degrees. The lower the latitude the larger the area affected.

    There is a lot of peer reviewed literature which says that the decrease in area covered by sea ice is a positive feedback. The authors can’t all be incompetent as you imply.

  120. otter17 says:
    January 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    “And here’s the interesting thing. Nuuk is just one data point, one “raging red” anomaly in the sparsely spaced hands-on-human-measured NASA GISS surface temperature dataset for the Arctic. ”

    Am I looking at the same picture? There are dark red points all across Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, etc. And wouldn’t the urban heat island effect be even more pronounced in countries that have developed larger cities over the years like the USA, coastal Brazil, southeast Asia, for example? Why would the Arctic areas be darker than more developed areas if this was truly a consistent problem with the land-based temperature data? Or is it not a consistent problem?

    Some of the arguments seem to grasping at straws, but the point made concerning the Nuuk “instant warming” graphic may be a valid one. Maybe the surface stations project should do a global averaging calculation with all the suspected bad surface temperature stations removed? Has that been done? If so, what were the results?

    The sad thing is that this question could be answered very easily if the folks doing the world average temperature calculations were actually interested in the truth.

    For a trivial sum (in the context of what is spent on global warming) they could place some automated temperature reporting stations in a circle around some of these isolated human habitats (say 10 miles out) and then compare the reported temps out side the local effect of any urban heat island zone with the reported station temperatures they have been relying on.

    I think back to the International Geophysical Year in the 1960’s and how that same sort of systematic planned experimental testing applied to climate data could resolve many of these nagging questions.

    Same could be done by placing some NIST traceable temperature monitoring equipment in the region around a few of our long lived rural stations and some of our highly suspect urban sites.

    Of course that would definitively answer some of these questions and some folks might not want to risk the answers that might come out of that sort of validation studies.

    Larry

  121. hotrod (Larry L) says:
    January 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    ” otter17 says:
    January 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    “And here’s the interesting thing. Nuuk is just one data point, one “raging red” anomaly in the sparsely spaced hands-on-human-measured NASA GISS surface temperature dataset for the Arctic. ”

    Am I looking at the same picture? There are dark red points all across Siberia, northern Canada, Alaska, etc. And wouldn’t the urban heat island effect be even more pronounced in countries that have developed larger cities over the years like the USA, coastal Brazil, southeast Asia, for example? Why would the Arctic areas be darker than more developed areas if this was truly a consistent problem with the land-based temperature data? Or is it not a consistent problem?

    Some of the arguments seem to grasping at straws, but the point made concerning the Nuuk “instant warming” graphic may be a valid one. Maybe the surface stations project should do a global averaging calculation with all the suspected bad surface temperature stations removed? Has that been done? If so, what were the results?

    The sad thing is that this question could be answered very easily if the folks doing the world average temperature calculations were actually interested in the truth.

    For a trivial sum (in the context of what is spent on global warming) they could place some automated temperature reporting stations in a circle around some of these isolated human habitats (say 10 miles out) and then compare the reported temps out side the local effect of any urban heat island zone with the reported station temperatures they have been relying on.

    I think back to the International Geophysical Year in the 1960′s and how that same sort of systematic planned experimental testing applied to climate data could resolve many of these nagging questions.

    Same could be done by placing some NIST traceable temperature monitoring equipment in the region around a few of our long lived rural stations and some of our highly suspect urban sites.

    Of course that would definitively answer some of these questions and some folks might not want to risk the answers that might come out of that sort of validation studies.

    Larry”

    Larry and Otter,
    In fact the global temperature anomaly has been tracked using exclusively rural stations, that are totally dark at night.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Hansen_etal.pdf
    “A
    [128] Figure A1a shows the global distribution of pitch dark
    stations (night light radiance less than 1 mW m−2 sr−1 mm−1)
    and stations that are dark but not pitch dark (radiance between
    1 and 32 mW m−2 sr−1 mm−1). Figure A1b compares the
    analyzed global temperature change for the case of our
    standard night light adjustment and the case in which pitch
    dark stations are used to adjust the long‐term trend of all
    other stations. As Figure A1b shows, adjustment using only
    pitch dark stations has very little effect on the result. Indeed,
    the global mean warming is slightly larger (by 0.01°C) using
    the stricter night light adjustment. Conceivably, the slight
    warming is a result of the fact that the pitch dark requirement
    removes about three quarters of the airport stations from
    those used. However, we have not investigated which specific
    stations cause the slight change in Figure A1 because the
    change is negligible in comparison with the total temperature
    change and its uncertainty.”

  122. Well my eyesight is not as good as it once was eadler; but I am still able to cut and paste reasonably well:-

    “”””” In the Arctic summer the angle is not as shallow as you would have people believe. The 23 degree angle of tilt of the earth’s axis, plus the fact that the Arctic is defined as north of 63Deg, makes the range of effective range of angles of the sun in the Arctic summer region as 0 to 50 degrees. The lower the latitude the larger the area affected. “””””

    “”””” Sorry but you are wrong about the reflectivity of water versus angle. The reflectivity increases to 50% at a glancing angle of 5 degrees. “””””

    So why are you telling me about what I am trying to have people believe. It was NOT I, who introduced the 5 deg grazing angle incidence; it was YOU.

    I didn’t waste any of my time on the actual geometry; because you were concerned about the very high reflectance (50%) off open water at five degrees grazing angle or 85 deg Incidence angle.

    Now if you really want to talk about more modest incidence angles that are realistic for arctic geometry; note that the Brewster angle for water, is 53 deg, or 37 deg of sun elevation angle, which is within your 0-50 deg range ( the sun can’t possibly have a zero degree incidence angle anywhere in the arctic; so you must be talking of elevation angles. And at the Brewster angle, the p polarisation reflectance i szero, and about 8% for the s polarisation or 4% for the total reflectance.

    So you can have it whichever way you want to eadler You can get 60% total reflectance of damn little, at 5 deg sun elevation angle or you can get 4% of a larger amount. Now 53 deg happens to be the larger of the two non right angles of a 3-4-5 triangle; 53 deg 8 min if I remember correctly (brain is not as decrepid as the eyes) so that means cosine is 0.6 which is the surface obliquity factor; so the sea surface is 1.67 timews the projected area, and also the air mass factor is the same 1.67. Not as spectacular as the 11.5 factors for the five degree incidence but, 4%/ 1.67 is only 2.4% of the AM-1.67 reduced sunlight. Almost the same result as at 85 deg incidence angle.

    As a good rule of thumb, people who deal with optical reflections off Optical Surfaces (I’ve only been at it for 50 years next month) take the total surface reflectance as being essentially constant at the Normal incidence value, up to the brewster angle of Incidence. To be pedantic, at the Brewster angle, while the p polarisation goes to zero, the s polarisation increase to make the total reflectance about double.
    So water has 2% reflectance at zero degrees ((1.333-1)/(1.333+1))^2, and about 4% at 53 degrees. If you go to the trouble of completing the integration for the total reflectance from zero to the Brewster angle, oyu get about 3% average total reflectance for water. Beyond the Brewster angle, although the reflectance does skyrocket up to 1.0, the total flux outside of that for a Lambertian source is rather small.
    In quality imaging optics, incidence angles as large as the Brewster angle ar almost never encountered; possibly in exotic immersion microscope objectives; but then such optics would have fancy anti-reflection coatings, to cut that reflectance. LED lamps run incidence angles up in that range; and they experience efficiency losses as a result.

    And I’m not arguing whether open arctic water is a positive or negative feedback effect; I think there are both effects present; I’m simply saying that high polar ice albedo, is more imagined than real; and for the very simple reason that there isn’t much sunlight to reflect there anyway; which is why it gets cold in those regions. How easy is that ?

  123. I’m not sure what the air/surface temperature record over recent decades at one weather station has to do with the central finding of the research that foraminifera indicate that present sea temperature in the Fram strait region are comparable if not warmer than the temperature in the MWP.
    perhaps Nuuk has a rød sild industry…

    A large proportion of the evidence for a MWP comes from research on foramina, if you dismiss the present data about sea temperatures derived from foramina then the evidence for a MWP is equally suspect.

    Unlike tree rings which vary in response to factors other than temperature, foramina provide a very robust measure of the temperature of the water they grow in. The temperatures derived from foramina are calculated from the ratio of isotopes incorperated into the hard skeleton. Because biochemical processes preferentially use the lighter isotopes and that ratio of depletion of the heavier isotopes and increase in the lighter isotope is also modulated by temperature the isotope ratios provide an unambiguous indicator of temperature. The differential fractionation of isotopes is grounded in very basic physics, there are only two variables that alter the isotopic ratios.
    The temperature and the isotopic ratio of the substrate (seawater) that the foramina grow in.

    So if foramina show the same degree of alteration of the isotopic ratio now as they did during the MWP in that region then there are only two possibilities.

    Either the isotopic ratio of the see water for the elements measured in foramina was very different in the MWP.

    Or the sea in the Fram strait is of comparable if not higher temperatures than at any time during the last 2000 years.

  124. Larry and Otter,
    In fact the global temperature anomaly has been tracked using exclusively rural stations, that are totally dark at night.

    That are not where they are supposed to be. The nominal location of some of those weather stations are not accurate, then they smear the false date over 1200 miles and use that data to make a wild ass guess what the temperature is hundreds of miles from the where they gathered the data.

    You are making the not necessarily valid assumption that what actually happens corresponds to what Hansen “says” is happening.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/31/metadata-errors-in-the-global-weather-station-database/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/19/middlesboro-kentucky-pitch-black/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/07/munging-madagascar/

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/22/arctic-isolated-versus-urban-stations-show-differing-trends/

    Larry

  125. Louise said on January 28, 2011 at 5:03 am:

    Nash – naming Greenland as ‘green’ was political spin to encourage migration, not an indication that it was indeed a green and pleasant land. Also, I live in the Midlands in the UK and grow grapes in my garden – no problem.

    When you say “… can anyone explain common sense is wrong?” – the answer is because you’ve got your facts wrong.

    As your comment wonderfully illustrates, it not only helps to have the facts right, but also to argue with the right facts.

    First off, you have generically said “…the Midlands in the UK…” I am forced to assume you are referring to the English Midlands, and either the East Midlands or the West Midlands, rather than the Scottish Midlands, the Scottish Midland Valley, or other UK areas known as “Midland(s).”

    Next, what variety (i.e. strain) of grapes are you growing? You have sadly failed to mention that specific. There are many varieties available, suitable for many different climates. Further, horticulture has moved onwards since the ancient times when Greenland was far more green, with new varieties developed that do better in cooler temperatures. Thus merely saying “grapes grew then, grapes grow now” is not a valid comparison.

    Also, there is growing grapes, then there is growing good grapes. This article from a garden center in the West Midlands laments how it is almost impossible to grow a good dessert grape outdoors that far north. The author mentions a nice one he had grown outdoors before, with inedible fruit, and talks about growing grape vines for the colorful fall foliage. There is much advice given on growing them in greenhouses and conservatories, which can yield good fruit with the added heat they provide.

    Needless to say, way back when Greenland was far more green, there weren’t that many greenhouses and conservatories around in the English Midlands.

    This definitive-sounding 2005 article from The Guardian recommends specific varieties suitable for the cool English climate, and also highly recommends growing grapes in containers. Then they can be left outside in winter, as “…they need a real winter chill to be fruitful…”, and moved “under cover” inside a greenhouse or conservatory to provide the summer warmth needed for ripening.

    Lastly, you are arguing about the wrong area. I Googled this 2003 Harvard Gazette article about a definitive published report examining the climate of the past millennium:

    CfA’s Sallie Baliunas, a co-author of the study, refers to the medieval Viking sagas as examples of unusual warming around 1003 A.D. “The Vikings established colonies in Greenland at the beginning of the second millennium, but they died out several hundred years later when the climate turned colder,” she notes. “And good evidence exists that vineyards flourished in Scotland and England during the medieval warmth.”

    You have blandly mentioned growing grapes in your garden in presumably the English Midlands. I have an article from the West Midlands detailing the problems with growing grapes outdoors, let alone good grapes. A similar one from The Guardian highlights the importance of selecting proper varieties for the cool English climate, and basically advises against growing grapes solely outdoors. And there is evidence from the times of old when Greenland was far more green, that outdoor vineyards were flourishing in Scotland, the northernmost and thus likely coldest part of the UK, which very likely were not grown for their decorative foliage but rather for edible fruit, using the varieties available at that time and place.

    If you’re going to attempt debunking the debunking of (C)AGW, please not only have your facts right, but use the right facts.

  126. @- kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    “If you’re going to attempt debunking the debunking of (C)AGW, please not only have your facts right, but use the right facts.”

    Well quoting Sallie Baliunas on vineyards in Scotland during the MWP is probably a bad idea if you want to practice what you preach.

    There is no archaeological or documentary evidence for vineyards that far North, all 46 of the documented vineyards of the period are in the Southern third of England, below Cambridge.

    Even during the Roman warm period there is scant evidence of vineyards and wine manufacture, certainly none further north than the middle of the country.
    In fact while there is evidence of SOMETHING been grown by methods that the Romans used for vines, very little pollen from grape vines is found and no manufacturing tools or utensils.

    It is certain that the present magnitude and regional extent of grape production from vineyards for wine is now greater in Britain than at ANY time during its historical past.

  127. @R. Gates

    Near record in 30 years of satellite observation. There is ample historical evidence it has been this low prior to satellites.

  128. @Billy Liar says: “It’s a Piper Seneca and its piston engine exhausts point at the ground and produce no more hot air than a big car.”

    Not only will prop wash carry that engine heat over to the temperature sensor, it will blow tarmac heat over to the sensor. In fact, every time the wind blows from a certain direction (in sunshine), or swirls a certain way, that UHI effect heat will blow over the temperature sensor. Don’t be such a denialist.

  129. @ Ken Lydell

    Hard to give them the benefit of the doubt when they begin with the patently absurd and false claim that Greenland surface temperature has climbed 7 degrees in recent years.

  130. @ Lydell

    Thanks for your mention of Ronald Reagan. Lately, the assertion has been made he was suffering from Alzheimer’s, already, while still president. And yet, he was a better president than anyone who has followed, especially the current genius. Go figure.

  131. From izen on January 29, 2011 at 7:54 am:

    There is no archaeological or documentary evidence for vineyards that far North, all 46 of the documented vineyards of the period are in the Southern third of England, below Cambridge.

    That does seem to be an important point. But that information should have the full context, as when it is stated elsewhere.

    Reference 1:

    At the time of the compilation of the Domesday Survey in the late eleventh century, vineyards were recorded in 46 places in southern England, from East Anglia through to modern-day Somerset.

    But what is the Domesday Survey (aka Domesday Book)?
    Reference 2:

    Domesday Book is a detailed survey of the land held by William the Conqueror and his people, the earliest surviving public record, and a hugely important historical resource.

    Thus one needs to know about William the Conqueror (Reference 3), and also the history of Scotland (Reference 4). From this, it becomes clear that the Domesday Book didn’t concern Scotland, as the land of William the Conqueror and Scotland were separate entities.

    Thus your ’46 documented vineyards’ is meaningless when trying to disprove the existence of vineyards in Scotland during the Medieval Warming Period.

    Note also the following bits of commentary about the Domesday Book (Reference 5):

    It is obvious that, both in its values and in its measurements, the survey’s reckoning is very crude.
    —–
    To a large extent, it comes down to the king’s knowing where he should look when he needed to raise money. It therefore includes sources of income but not sinks of expenditure such as castles…
    —–
    On the other hand, Darby points out that “when this great wealth of data is examined more closely, perplexities and difficulties arise.”[8] One problem is that the clerks who compiled this document “were but human; they were frequently forgetful or confused.” The use of roman numerals also led to countless mistakes. Darby states, “Anyone who attempts an arithmetical exercise in Roman numerals soon sees something of the difficulties that faced the clerks.”[8] But more importantly are the numerous obvious omissions, and ambiguities in the presentation of the material.

    Thus the presented number of “documented vineyards” needs to be placed in perspective. Some might have wanted to hide assets from “the Conqueror.” There could have been vineyards that weren’t producing income thus weren’t documented. For those reasons and more, that “46” number looks like an undercount.

    Now back to you:

    Even during the Roman warm period there is scant evidence of vineyards and wine manufacture, certainly none further north than the middle of the country.
    In fact while there is evidence of SOMETHING been grown by methods that the Romans used for vines, very little pollen from grape vines is found and no manufacturing tools or utensils.

    Nah, not quite. From a definitive-sounding source (link) comes this bit from “The History of English Wine Production”:

    The Romans liked their wine – whether home grown or imported. After invading Britain in AD 43, wine drinking became more commonplace and whenever Roman villas, houses and garrisons have been excavated, there is nearly always archaeological evidence of wine amphorae and drinking cups, and occasionally grape pips and stems of bunches of grapes.

    Recent archaeological investigations in Northamptonshire have uncovered evidence to suggest that vineyards were established on a commercial scale during the Roman occupation. Initial surveys at a 35-hectare Romano-British site at Wollaston in the Nene Valley (near Wellingborough), has revealed deposits of grape vine pollen dating from this time

    It says at the bottom of the complete history:

    Attributed to Stephen Skelton MW, author of ‘The UK Vineyards Guide 2010’, published by http://www.lulu.com – further information available here

    You may consider that book Reference 6, and for only $34.67 (paperback) you can confirm that is indeed the source. Note the finding of grape vine pollen has been mentioned.

    Reference 7 is “Roman vineyards in Britain: finds from the Nene Valley and new research,” originally published in the September 2000 issue of Antiquity. As mentioned here:

    Antiquity is an international peer-reviewed journal of world archaeology. The journal is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. Antiquity is read by archaeology professionals and enthusiasts worldwide.

    From Ref. 7, concerning those Wollaston vineyards:

    In Britain, Roman viticulture has generally been assumed although the palaeobotanical and archaeological evidence has been ambiguous (Williams 1977). The trenches at Wollaston conformed to a pattern of vine cultivation, pastinatio, described in some detail by Columella and Pliny (Pliny XVII.166). The first vineyard at Wollaston comprised at least 6 km of pastinatio trenches, supporting 4000 vines and yielding 10,500 litres of white wine (based upon typical yield values) with total production from the area being probably closer to 30,000 (excluding Grendon). It would appear that the Nene Valley was a major area of wine production and although it is uncertain who the wine was produced for, links to other trades such as the pottery industries of the Nene valley should perhaps be sought.

    Previously discovered evidence is mentioned:

    With Wollaston providing one model of a British Roman vineyard it is worthwhile considering how widespread viticulture was in Roman Britain. Previously excavated possible vineyard sites include Grendon (Jackson 1995), Stanton Low in Buckinghamshire (Woodfield 1989), North Thoresby in Lincolnshire (Webster et al. 1967) and Gloucester (Medland 1894).

    Thus there is ample evidence of grape vines and vineyards in Britain during the Roman Warm Period, and quite a lot of wine making.

    More on the pollen:

    Samples were taken from a sealed ditch within the area of the trenches (Brown & Meadows forthcoming). An unusually large pollen sum (1000 total land pollen) was used in order to increase the frequency of rare types. [CUT: Info about other pollens found] An unusual feature was a low percentage of Grape Vine (Vitis type) pollen (0.5-0.7% TLP). A second group of four similar trenches were identified 2.5 km away to the south by magnetometry and confirmed by excavation (500 m to the northwest of those identified by Jackson in Grendon). Samples from a well in this area revealed a similar open landscape with both arable and pastoral indicators and Vitis (0.4% TLP). The British palynological record of Vitis type pollen is sparse, occasional grains being recorded from Roman and Medieval levels.

    While it is noted the amount of Vitis pollen found is low, that it was there is still significant. Further research was indicated.

    The project (PALVIT) has two major aims; firstly to increase our understanding of Vitis taphonomy, and secondly to reassess the record of Roman viticulture in the Nene valley and Britain as a whole. This is involving field-studies of Vitis taphonomy, re-excavation and pollen analysis of new areas of the Wollaston complex and a re-evaluation of the published record. Three organic vineyards in Leicestershire, East Sussex and South Somerset have been instrumented with pollen traps of standard design. One of the reasons for undertaking these studies is that there has been confusion over the pollination mechanism of Vitis, and it appears that although it is fundamentally wind pollinated, insects (largely flies and beetles) may play an important role (Branties 1978; Kimura et al. 1998). There is at present little data on typical pollen dispersal distances. Excavations at Wollaston will take place in the summer (2000) and we are currently undertaking a review of the published literature including the incidence of Vitis in British pollen diagrams.

    Thus basically even though the amounts found were small, not enough is known to know if that’s all they should have expected to find from an ancient vineyard.

    Now, you had said:

    Even during the Roman warm period there is scant evidence of vineyards and wine manufacture, certainly none further north than the middle of the country.

    As to the last part, ever hear about Hadrian’s Wall (Reference 8), aka the Roman Wall? Romans to the south, “barbarians” to the north (Scotland), and the Romans were the wine drinkers who brought the grape vines with them. Thus your last part is not only not surprising, it in no way contradicts what I wrote.

    Thus we’re down to the last little bit, where you said there is found “…no manufacturing tools or utensils.” The Romans were there, drinking wine, with their wine drinking-related utensils and other equipment. I don’t know what sort of “manufacturing tools” you’re looking for, the Roman winemaking method (Reference 9) is very basic, even crude. Earthenware jugs that would break. Bits of wood and rope, that can rot, be burned, perhaps reused for something else. If you’re looking for metal, remember that metal was scarce, and metal can be easily reshaped and re-purposed. With winemaking abandoned after the Romans left, I don’t see why you’d expect the equipment to survive the post-abandonment recycling of unused equipment, let alone the decay befalling what was left to rot.

    Now to your last paragraph:

    It is certain that the present magnitude and regional extent of grape production from vineyards for wine is now greater in Britain than at ANY time during its historical past.

    Given the increases in population, increases in developed arable land, better varieties, improved agricultural techniques… Seems possible. And it says NOTHING that indicates the temperatures now are greater than, or even equal to, those in the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.

    So, do you actually have any evidence that challenges what Sallie Baliunas said about winemaking in Scotland during the Medieval Warm Period? Haven’t seen any yet.

  132. “wayne says:
    January 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Why is it always Boulder?
    The mountain water?”

    Haven’t you heard of COORS ?… beer with “pure mountain spring water”

  133. You know, if global warming is a reality, there is no need for temperature to be minutely or grandly adjusted here and there. If the pot is on the fire, it will eventually get hot enough so that there is no doubt about it. This has been going on since about 1980. Surely a third of a century further on, we shouldn’t need such manipulations…..unless things aren’t going where they were supposed to have gone by now.

  134. yes i believe it is global warming vbut these new creatures are melting and survived the last ice age and have lived threw freezing in my belief we find out how they coimmunicate to tell us how they lived threw it and i believe that the people can stop the global warming they lived just like we survive to communicate to tell us something .IT is very important we communicate with wat we think is the oldest before the end of this year. it may sound crazy about my beliefs but these creATURES are not from this world or area there is a reason they need our help and we need there s finding out wat it is the lord will know so lets figure this out.The knwe cretausios shell they found in russian lakes now they have kits you can by from scholastics and other book compaines who sell eggs like in the rock coral and frogds to grow of there own and they are either it or alien vs predator waitin on the right prey so when handling and nt hurting us they ar tryin to communicate okay so we need to do so thankyou and thankyou if you believe me goodbye. email me with anyconserns i would like to know the out come also. jaime rayanne mcclenning jackson 1988

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