By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”
It seems that the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) Arctic Sea Ice Volume Model that generated the highly suspect chart above has been corrected to “show reduced errors over the prior version”. According to the University of Washington Polar Science Center website:
This time series of ice volume is generated with an updated version of PIOMAS (June-15,2011). This updated version improves on prior versions by assimilating sea surface temperatures (SST) for ice-free areas and by using a different parameterization for the strength of the ice. Comparisons of PIOMAS estimates with ice thickness observations show reduced errors over the prior version. The long term trend is reduced to about -2.8 103 km3/decade from -3.6 km3/decade in the last version. Our comparisons with data and alternate model runs indicate that this new trend is a conservative estimate of the actual trend. New with this version we provide uncertainty statistics. More details can be found in Schweiger et al. 2011. Model improvement is an ongoing research activity at PSC and model upgrades may occur at irregular intervals. When model upgrades occur, the entire time series will be reprocessed and posted.”
Here is the PIOMAS New Model Version:
and the chart below appears to show the original “Adjusted” version and the new unadjusted version:
Correction: Per this comment the chart below actually represents an “exercise” “not designed to correct potential model biases” when the “model appears to overestimate thin ice and underestimate thick ice.” The impact of this “exercise” is that the “downward decadal trend increases from -2.8×103 km3/dec to -3.5×103 km3/dec” which is the inverse of the impact when they “reduced errors over the prior version” and reduced the trend “to about -2.8 103 km3/decade from -3.6 km3/decade”, however the chart below does not show “the original “Adjusted” version and the new unadjusted version” as was incorrectly stated above.
If you look here you can see how Dr. Jinlun Zhang developed his suspect model. The page states that;
“Satellite sea ice concentration data are assimilated in GIOMAS using the Lindsay and Zhang (2005) assimilation procedure. The procedure is based on “nudging” the model estimate of ice concentration toward the observed concentration in a manner that emphasizes the ice extent and minimizes the effect of observational errors in the interior of the ice pack.”
According to this paper:
“Because of the errors in the summer Gice dataset ice concentration in the interior of the pack (as well as errors in summer ice concentration based on passive microwave observations), assimilation of ice concentration is accomplished in a method that emphasizes the extent over the concentration. The observations are weighted heavily only when there is a large discrepancy between the model and the observed concentration. Each day the model estimate Cmod is nudged to a revised estimate Ĉmod with the relationship.”
So it appears that to develop his model Zhang used an erroneous data set, weighted heavily when observations didn’t fit the model and then “nudged” its output to the results that he wanted.
Zhang has a history of contorting himself to help paint over the gaps in the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative. For example, in this NASA article/press release it states that:
“Jinlun Zhang, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, has pieced together a complex computer model that helps explain why Antarctic sea ice is expanding even with signs that ocean and air temperatures are on the rise.”
and in this paper titled “What drove the dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice during summer 2007?” by Zhang, J., R.W. Lindsay , M. Steele, and A. Schweiger, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L11505, doi:10.1029/2008GL034005, 2008, it states that “Arctic sea ice in 2007 was preconditioned to radical changes” and this contributed to “The dramatic decline”. This is not objective science, rather it’s alarmist rhetoric.
Zhang was already looking for an Arctic Sea Ice tipping points in 2005, i.e. the title of this paper paper was “The thinning of arctic sea ice, 1988–2003: have we passed a tipping point?” by Lindsay, R. W. and J. Zhang, J. Climate, 18, 4879–4894, 2005.
In 2006 Zhang co-wrote a paper with Mark “Death Spiral” Serreze and Keith “the lack of warming … is a travesty” Trenberth, titled “The large-scale energy budget of the Arctic” by Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, A. G. Slater, M. Steele, J. Zhang, and K. E. Trenberth, , J. Geophys Res., 112, D11122, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008230, 2007.
Zhang’s history of global warming advocacy aside, I give him credit for correcting his model to reduce the trend from -3.6 km3/decade in the last version to about -2.8 km3/decade in the New Model Version, so that is now less wrong. Then again, he is probably just hedging because, per this article, CryoSat is now generating maps of sea ice thickness and it is just a matter of time before Zhang’s model will be confronted by empirical evidence.
I wonder if all of the Warmist blogs that have used the old inaccurate PIOMAS chart will post updates/corrections to inform their readers of the good news…
To view more reliable sources of sea ice data please visit the WUWT Sea Ice Page.