Sea Ice News – July ARCUS forecast published

Credit: Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS).

Figure 1. Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook (July Report) values for September 2010 sea ice extent. Credit: Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS). Click to enlarge.

Download High Resolution Version of Figure 1.

Thank you to all contributors of the July Sea Ice outlook. We received 16 responses for the Pan-Arctic report (Figure 1), with estimates in the range of 4.0 to 5.5 million square kilometers for the September arctic mean sea ice extent. The median value was 4.6 million square kilometers; the quartile values were 4.3 and 4.7 million square kilometers, a rather narrow range given the intrinsic uncertainty of the estimates on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers. It is important to note for context that all 2011 estimates are well below the 1979–2007 September climatological mean of 6.7 million square kilometers.

There continues to be a consensus for continuation of an anomalously low sea ice extent similar to the values for 2008-2010 and below all previous values before 2007. The data show a continuing low value of sea ice extent at the beginning of the summer season and an appearance of a weather pattern (the Arctic Dipole) that tends to favor summer sea ice loss, in contrast to weak and variable summer winds of previous decades. Ocean changes may also be involved. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), arctic sea ice extent for June 2011 was the second lowest in the satellite data record since 1979. These new factors over the last several years seem to be holding the September sea ice extent at persistent low values below 5.0 million square kilometers.

The Regional Outlook can help shed light on the uncertainties associated with the estimates in the Pan-Arctic Outlook by providing more detail at the regional scale. We received 7 regional outlooks. With the exception of the Greenland Sea, all regions are expected to exhibit below-average ice extent throughout the remainder of the season.

This month’s Outlook reports also include a more detailed discussion of sea ice thickness information provided from field measurements and model results. This year, several airborne campaigns have collected ice thickness or surface topography data in the North American Arctic. Such surveys can help inform predictions of summer and fall ice conditions.

There continues to be a consensus for continued anomalously low sea ice extent similar to the values for 2008-2010 and below all previous values before 2007. If the observed 2011 sea ice extent is in the range of 2008-2010 values, similar to the 2011 Outlook projections, it would point towards the absence of “tipping point” behavior after the record minimum of 2007, but would not indicate a return to the previous state observed prior to 2007. The data from 2011 shows a continuing low value of sea ice extent at the beginning of the summer season and an appearance of the Arctic Dipole weather pattern with southerly winds that tends to favor summer sea ice loss, in contrast to weak and variable summer winds of previous decades. Ocean changes may also be involved. These new factors over the last several years seem to be holding the September sea ice extent at persistent low values below 5.0 million square kilometers.

JUNE 2011 ICE AND ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS

The ice extent through May and June was at or below previous record sea ice extents from 2007 and 2010, and converges towards both values at the beginning of July (Figure 2). According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), arctic sea ice extent for June 2011 was the second lowest in the satellite data record since 1979. Sea ice extent was lower than normal in much of the Arctic, and the Kara Sea region had particularly low ice extent. Ice has also started to break up off the coast of Alaska in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. These early open water areas absorb the sun’s energy, which will help to further ice melt through the summer.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Figure 2. Daily sea ice extent as of the beginning of July 2011. The solid blue line indicates 2011; the dashed green line shows 2007; the narrow dark line is 2010 and the thick solid gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. The gray area around the 1979–2000 average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

Normally (i.e., before 2007) light winds prevail during summer in the Arctic. However, throughout the summer of 2007, the persistence of the Arctic Dipole Anomaly (AD) sea level pressure pattern, with high pressure on the North American side and low pressure on the Siberian side, contributed substantially to the record low ice extent in September 2007. In June 2011, similar to June 2010, the AD was present in early summer (Figure 3), but in 2011 the pattern is shifted toward the Siberian coast. This is consistent with developing early sea ice losses along the Siberian coast and the Kara Sea.

Figure 3. Map of sea level pressures (SLP) for June 2011

Figure 3. Map of sea level pressures (SLP) for June 2011 showing an Arctic Dipole (AD) pattern over the central Arctic Ocean, but with stronger pressure gradients shifted toward the Siberian side.

ICE THICKNESS IN THE NORTH AMERICAN AND GREENLAND ARCTIC

The importance of the ice thickness field in controlling summer ice evolution has been well established, including by contributions to the Sea Ice Outlook in past years from ensemble simulations with coupled ice ocean models (Kauker et al., Zhang et al.). This year, several airborne campaigns, including the German-Canadian-US collaborative effort PAMARCMIP (see Figure 4), the NASA IceBridge flights, and others have collected ice thickness or surface topography data in the North American Arctic. Figure 4 shows a comparison between this data and model output by Kauker et al. used in their September ice extent prediction. It is noteworthy that the model over-predicts ice thickness along the North American and Greenland shelf margin. It is not clear whether this difference is also connected to the comparatively high prediction for September ice extent by Kauker et al.’s group; the October retrospective analysis will provide more insight into that question. However, it does appear that the band of thick ice north of the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland has further thinned (see also Figure 5). At the same time, the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas is seeing less multiyear ice drifting in from the Canadian Arctic, with more first-year ice prevalent in 2011 than in past years. As discussed in the Regional Outlook, this has implications for the summer ice season in the region. Overall, while we are lacking ice thickness data over the central Arctic (though with Cryosat in orbit this will change soon: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMAAW0T1PG_index_0.html), there is some indication that the regions of the thickest ice may have seen further thinning. However, at present it is unclear whether any of this will manifest itself in milder ice conditions this year, since the ice with thicknesses well above 2 m (where the biggest changes have occurred) will not melt out completely.

Provided by F. Kauker, OASYS/AWI.

Figure 4. Map of ice thickness based on airborne electromagnetic measurements from 31 March to 28 April 2011 by Alfred Wegener Institute and collaborators (top, PAMARCMIP data binned into 20 km cells). Shown at bottom is the output from the NAOSIM coupled ice ocean model for 14 April 2011. The model simulation does not contain assimilated ice thickness data and shows significant differences in particular in the region north of Greenland. Provided by F. Kauker, OASYS/AWI.
Provided by S. Hendricks and C. Haas.

Figure 5. Ice thickness frequency distribution (preliminary data) for Lincoln Sea transects in Figure 4 (region north of Canada and Greenland) for 2011 and 2009. Note that 2011 thicknesses of multiyear and deformed first-year ice are lower both with respect to the ice thickness mode and the distribution of thick ice. Provided by S. Hendricks and C. Haas.

2011 NORTHERN SEA ROUTE THROUGH SIBERIAN ARCTIC OPENED FOR ICEBREAKER-ESCORTED SHIPPING

On the 30 June the 2011 Northern Sea Route (NSR) “opened” for icebreaker-escorted sea transit along the northern shore of Russia. The nuclear powered icebreaker NS Yamal, with shark’s teeth painted on her bows, left Murmansk to rendezvous with the oil tanker MV Perseverance and escort her along the NSR to her China destination. This year the arctic sea ice is melting so rapidly that the NSR is opening earlier than ever. Updated from: http://articles.maritimepropulsion.com/article/2011-Northern-Sea-Route-n….

CHANGES IN OCEAN HEAT TRANSPORT ON THE ATLANTIC SIDE?

The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean—the warmest water in at least 2,000 years—are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic. The Fram Strait water temperatures today are about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period. http://dirwww.colorado.edu/news/r/9059018f4606597f20dc4965fa9c9104.html

KEY STATEMENTS FROM INDIVIDUAL OUTLOOKS

Key statements from the individual Outlook contributions are below, summarized here by author, organization of first author, Outlook value, standard deviation/error estimate (if provided), method, and abstracted statement. The statements are ordered from highest to lowest outlook values. The full individual contributions are available in the “Pan-Arctic Individual PDFs” section at the bottom of this webpage, and provide more detail.

Kauker et al. (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research); 5.5 ± 0.5; Model

For the present outlook the coupled ice-ocean model NAOSIM has been forced with atmospheric surface data from January 1948 to June 22, 2011. This atmospheric forcing has been taken from the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis (Kalnay et al., 1996). We used atmospheric data from the years 1991 to 2010 for the ensemble prediction. The model experiments all start from the same initial conditions on May 22, 2011. We thus obtain 20 different realizations of sea ice development in summer 2011. We use this ensemble to derive probabilities of ice extent minimum values in September 2011.

WattsUpWithThat.com (Public Contribution-Poll); 5.1; Heuristic

Website devoted to climate and weather polled its readers for the best estimate of 2011 sea ice extent minimum by choosing bracketed values from a web poll (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/26/july-arcus-forecast-poll-what-will…). 15.38% chose 5.0 to 5.1 million km2, with second greatest vote of 11.17% choosing 5.4 to 5.5 million sq km2.

Morison and Untersteiner (Polar Science Center, APL-UW); 4.8; Heuristic

The ice extent was below the extent at the same time in 2007 but is now even with 2007. As we argued in June, if loss rates don’t become anomalously large in the next couple of months, the ice extent should be a little greater than the extent in 2007.

Stroeve et al. (National Snow and Ice Data Center); 4.7; Statistical

This estimate uses the same approach as last year: survival of ice of different ages based on ice age fields provided by Chuck Fowler and Jim Maslanik (Univ. Colorado, Boulder). However, this year we are using a revised ice age product, one based on a 15% sea ice concentration threshold rather than the earlier version, which used a threshold of 40% [see Maslanik et al., in review for more details]. The use of a 15% threshold on sea ice concentration captures greater detail within the marginal ice zone, matches NSIDC’s threshold used for mapping overall sea ice extent and should therefore provide a better estimate of the September 2011 ice extent.

Meier et al. (National Snow and Ice Data Center); 4.7 ± 0.6; Statistical

This statistical method uses previous years’ daily extent change rates from July 1 through September 30 to calculate projected daily extents starting from June 30. The September daily extents are averaged to calculate the monthly extent. Rates from recent years are more likely to occur because of the change in ice cover. Thus, the official project is based on the rates for 2002-2010.

Beitsch et al. (University of Hamburg); 4.7 ± 0.5; Statistical

The estimate is based on AMSR-E sea ice concentration data derived using the ARTIST sea ice (ASI) algorithm (Spreen et al., 2008; Kaleschke et al., 2001). To obtain an estimate, the ice area from a central Arctic subregion is regressed with the previous years and their September mean extents. Daily updates can be found here: http://icdc.zmaw.de/cryosphere.html?&L=1

Note (7/13): During the past few days, the estimate dropped to a value of 4.1 +- 0.2 Mio km.

Canadian Ice Service; 4.7 ± 0.2; Heuristic

Since Arctic multi-year ice (MYI) did not experience free passage through Nares Strait throughout the winter of 2011 as it did in 2007 and 2010, a normal concentration of MYI currently exists in the Lincoln Sea area and north of Ellesmere Island at the beginning of July 2011. This factor may be just enough to prevent record-breaking minimum ice concentrations and extents in the Arctic Ocean in 2011.

Blanchard-Wrigglesworth et al. (University of Washington); 4.6 ± 0.5; Model

Our forecast uses a state-of-the-art General Circulation Model (GCM) initialized with average May 2011 sea ice area and volume anomalies obtained from the Pan-arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS). The GCM used is the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)’s Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) [1] at 1_ resolution in all components.

Lukovich et al. (Centre for Earth Observation Science, U. of Manitoba); 4.6; Heuristic-Dynamics

Spatial patterns in difference maps for springtime stratospheric relative vorticity and winds in 2011 relative to 2007 highlight a westward shift in anticyclonic/cyclonic circulation and significant differences over the Beaufort Sea and Canadian Archipelago, with implications for stratosphere-surface coupling and thus surface winds in this region. A combined lack of coherence in ice drift fields and reduced ice concentrations in April 2011 relative to April 2007 suggest that springtime ice dynamical contributions to fall sea ice extent may be associated with sea ice deformation and ridging within an increasingly mobile and fractured ice cover.

Hamilton (University of New Hampshire); 4.4 ± 0.9; Statistical

This is a naive, purely statistical model. It predicts September mean extent simply from a Gompertz curve representing the trend over previous years. Estimation data are the NSIDC monthly mean extent reports from September 1979 through September 2010.

Randles; 4.4; Statistical

A Gompertz fit of the NSIDC September extent figures is used as a starting point. Multiple linear regression is then used to predict the residual from the Gompertz fit. Two predictors have been used which are:

a) The residual of the end of June Cryosphere Today area numbers at the end of June from a Gompertz fit of those end of June area numbers.

b) The residual of the end of June PIOMAS volume numbers at the end of June from a Gompertz fit of those end of June volume numbers.

Arbetter et al. (National Ice Center) 4.3; Statistical

In the July update, using sea ice conditions from the end of May (June used end of April) as well as air temperatures and sea level pressures, the timing of the minimum is moved forward two weeks, although the value remains the same as before. This is because the update predicts slightly lower ice extent through July and August, which does not decelerate until the second week of September, rather than the first as in the June Outlook. The minimum forecast value may be constrained by observations. That is, since the projection is based on the previous 10 years’ observations, the value can be no higher than the highest ice amount and no lower than the lowest ice amount in the past 10 years. The forecasts so far are robust in predicting close to near-record minimums. It must also be noted that the Outlook does not project conditions in the Canadian Archipelago; it has not been determined how much lower the ice extent is because of this. Since the July Outlook also suggests a delayed refreezing of the ice compared to June, the possibility exists that a record low could be seen. In 2010, the July Outlook was the lowest projected value and too low compared to the actual value. A thorough re-examination of ARIFS over the past 10 years could better characterize error in the model.

Zhang (Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington); 4.3 ± 0.5; Model

This is based on numerical ensemble predictions starting on 7/1/2011 using the Pan-arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS). The ensemble consists of seven members each of which uses a unique set of NCEP/NCAR atmospheric forcing fields from recent years, representing recent climate.

Folkerts 4.2± 0.2; Statistical

Various single and multiple regression results with r2 > 0.6 suggest that the September extent will be close to, or perhaps below, the minimum value set in 2007. Analyses based on extent, area, and volume.

Lindsay and Zhang; 4.1 ± 0.4; Statistical

This is quite a bit lower than the prediction from last month.

Peterson et al. (UK Met Office); 4.0 ± 1.2; Model

This projection is an experimental prediction from the UK Met Office seasonal forecast system, GloSea4 (Arribas et al., 2011). GloSea4 is an ensemble prediction system using the HadGEM3 coupled climate model (Hewitt et al., 2011). A more complete description of the GloSea4 system can be found in the June report and accompanying references (http://www.arcus.org/files/search/sea-ice-outlook/2011/06/pdf/panarctic/…)

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112 thoughts on “Sea Ice News – July ARCUS forecast published

  1. Its those high pressure readings in the Arctic that are giving northern Europe such cr** weather recently. They are forcing the low-pressure systems and all their warm and wet weather down over northern Europe (they normally run north of Scotland this time of year).
    I presume this will transport less heat energy into northern latitudes, but I don’t know how significant this is for Arctic temperatures.
    .

  2. lol, somehow, in the midst of this death spiral most are predicting more than 2007….. 4 years ago. Can you have a death spiral that doesn’t spiral? Maybe a death hiccup would be more apt.

  3. OHC in the Arctic and North Atlantic have been plummeting in recent years. Some say OHC in the Arctic is not reliable, but even the Catlin group acknowledge the region has cooled, although they claim it may be a signal of accelerating ice melt; pure speculation.
    Greenland looks to be anomalously cold this summer, and at least one major glacier has been advancing rapidly this summer; seems counter intuitive to the consensus meme.
    The AMO may be at or near its peak, and if natural cycles have not been overridden by AGW as some “experts” claim they have, then we should be seeing it entering its cold phase in the next few years and the “death spiral” go into hibernation for the next few decades.
    The AO has been largely negative the past 5-6 weeks and looks to be trending back into positive territory which could have an effect on end of season melting in the coming months. The sun will soon be exiting its greatest influence, depending on cloud cover of course.
    The Arctic region is changing, but I don’t think in the direction AGW proponents have been predicting. As climate models are heavily relied upon, and have been shown to be way off the mark on several key elements of the climate system, why would anyone place any faith in scientists using them?
    From my perspective, as far as total heat content, 2011 is lower than 2007 and dropping, not increasing, quite the opposite of what we’ve been told is occurring; accelerating. Further, as 2007 Arctic ice extent was highly affected by wind and ocean currents resulting in the lowest satellite era ice extent, has anyone looked at 2011 for these conditions?
    What about soot, the ubiquitous ‘Asian brown cloud’ ? Increasing? Decreasing?

  4. How much does an icebreaker ship breaking up ice contribute to the ultimate decline of sea ice over the summer? it would seem that if a large contribution to the summer decline in sea ice is ice floes drifting out of the Arctic basin, then breaking up ice artificially would have at least impact on the summer icepack.

  5. If the UK Met Office is predicting 4.1, then it the minimum MUST end up MUCH higher. Perhaps 5 isn’t too unrealistic?

  6. The NE passage has been navigable more often than the NW. Probably due to deeper water on the NE side plus a greater ability of warmer water from the Pacific to be blown into that area to reinforce the normal currents. Much depends on winds not climate change.
    As we close onto the time of least ice cover I still guess at 5.5Msq km. But I dare say I will be wrong. Can we also look at thickness as this, to my mind, is far more important than extent. Thick ice will last into next year which is a point that us WattsUpWithThat followers remember but the alarmists seem to forget.

  7. “There continues to be a consensus for continuation of an anomalously low sea ice extent similar to the values for 2008-2010 and below all previous values before 2007.”
    How can they say it is “anomalously low sea ice extent”.When the data only goes back to 1979?

  8. IJIS is looking quite ugly right now. We’re a little below 2007 for the date, and there’s clear daylight between 2010 and 2011, and not in 2011’s favor. If we squeak in above 2007, it is still likely that 2010-like minimum has gone by the boards, and 2008 may as well here in another week at this rate.

  9. Brian,
    The Arctic is a region, it is not the globe. And if CO2 was the cause, the Antarctic would be declining like the Arctic. What is being observed is natural variability.

  10. The sea ice reference page makes interesting viewing just now. Arctic sea ice is at its lowest level for the time of year in the satellite record. The global sea ice anomaly (Arctic + Antarctic) is very close to its lowest value in the satellite record too. And the “floating north pole” webcam appears to be literally floating now.

  11. When are we finally going to lose the ‘1979-2000’ average BS? It is 2011 for Pete’s sake. Can’t we get a ‘1979-2010’ average? Cherries anyone?

  12. sunsettommy says:
    July 14, 2011 at 7:31 am
    “How can they say it is “anomalously low sea ice extent”.When the data only goes back to 1979?”
    Well said. In playing this “Arctic sea ice” game, we are playing the Warmista’s game. The deck is stacked against science and I find it remarkable that so few can see this. No one can predict the behavior of Arctic sea ice. They cannot predict it because no one has a set of physical hypotheses which can be used to explain that behavior. All that we can do is extrapolate (not predict) from past graphs. From that scientifically correct perspective, the behavior of Arctic sea ice is a big yawn.
    Al Gore fetishizes Arctic sea ice. That should be a great warning to all scientists. If the world’s greatest snake oil salesman says that the Arctic is the key then you know that it is not.
    One problem in all this is the consistent misuse of the word ‘anomaly’. An anomaly is a putative fact that Resists All Explanation From Existing Theory. Because no one has ever had a theory that can be used to explain and predict Arctic sea ice behavior, there cannot be anomalous behavior in Arctic sea ice.

  13. If we are going to discuss changes in Arctic Ice as part of a global phenomenon, ie. “global warming”, then it makes no sense to ignore Antarctic ice as part of the discussion. My understanding that total polar ice, north and south combined, has been exceptionally stable for decades. If so then a “global” cause for the current low ice cover in the north must be understood as a regional phenomenon.
    KW

  14. The temperatures of North Atlantic Ocean water flowing north into the Arctic Ocean—the warmest water in at least 2,000 years—are likely related to the amplification of global warming in the Arctic. The Fram Strait water temperatures today are about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period. http://dirwww.colorado.edu/news/r/9059018f4606597f20dc4965fa9c9104.html
    Really? The Norsemen settled Iceland and Greenland, raising cattle around their villages. They lived as Christian Danes and did not rely on local fish or seals (except the poorest of them, and then mostly seals). The climate of the MWP was obviously FAR warmer than it is now. So how do the warmists maintain that today is warmer than the MWP? GISTemp shows the same thing globally. Isn’t there a disconnect here? Or did the Danes breed cold cows and frigid-loving hay?

  15. Smokey,
    Did you miss the part where the article states that water temps in the Atlantic are 2.5 above the Med warm period and that it’s lkely caused by Global Warming?
    It seems that you missed that part.
    This article is bad news for the anti global warming arguements.

  16. Thay are clearly confirming that the causes of increased ice loss are warmer water running under the ice and warmer air advecting across the ice.
    I see the warmer water as a residual effect of the late 20th century high level of solar activity and strong frequent El Nino events.
    The warmer air flow is a result of the now weaker solar activity enhancing the negative AO giving more meridional jets.
    So for a short while at least we have ice loss from the results of past warming patterns in the oceans and from the results of current cooling patterns in the atmosphere.
    In due course the AMO will cool off to reduce warmth from that source and the cooling mid latitudes will in due course reduce the warmth of the air flowing into the Arctic.
    We need to await the two process to come into line with each in a more negative (cooling) pattern before the ice will recover substantially. I guess 3 to 4 years from now.

  17. Since 1979???
    That’s not even one half of the PDO cycle?
    Call me again when we’ve finished at least one whole PDO cycle. Then, maybe, just maybe, we will be able to say something meaningfull about ice in the arctic.

  18. In a recent interview, Lindzen points out that the growth or shrinkage of Ice Age sheets depends on polar summer insolation changes; I’d like to suggest a PSI acronym for it. Anyhoo, anyone know what the state of orbital play is with that? It determines, of course, whether and how much “cover” is left over from one year to the next, or alternatively how much shrinkage has to be made up.

  19. Brian, to be clear, a 2.5 degree difference from an arbitrary mean cannot be caused by the anthropogenic portion of CO2’s lw infrared radiation adding additional heat to the ocean surface. Not enough heat energy in the anthropogenic portion of lw infrared to heat up an ocean, and not enough total lw infrared heat to do it either.
    The likely source of the heat? The heat must have a weather pattern variation link to it allowing solar shortwave to get to the Atlantic ocean surface and heat up that surface (calmer waters, few reflecting clouds, etc). Further, the additional heat may have migrated there from another place as opposed to in-place heating.
    The article uses a correlation (the global land temperature has gone up, and since it is modeled that anthropogenic CO2 has gone up, AGW is to blame, and therefore a rise in SST must also be due to AGW) without a plausible, proofed mechanism.

  20. Back the train up!… The Fram Strait water temperatures today are about 2.5 degrees F warmer than during the Medieval Warm Period. This is nonsense. There was no way to measure the temperature during the MWP. I refuse to believe that paleo temperatures derived from sea sediments in the area have anything like the stated resolution.

  21. Brian says:
    July 14, 2011 at 8:41 am
    “Did you miss the part where the article states that water temps in the Atlantic are 2.5 above the Med warm period and that it’s lkely caused by Global Warming?It seems that you missed that part.”
    I read an article from the University of Colorado which I found here:
    file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/WileyParsons/My%20Documents/7-14%20Warming%20North%20Atlantic%20water%20tied%20to%20heating%20Arctic,%20according%20to%20new%20study%20%20%20News%20Center%20%20%20University%20of%20Colorado%20at%20Boulder.htm
    According to that article:
    “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.”
    So, what good is this proxy? I believe that it is the same proxy that Mann and team just used in the Carolinas to produce fantastic results on sea level changes. In addition, you must keep in mind that Mann and Team believe that there was no Medieval Warm Period; so, if this group is using Mann’s numbers then the temperature estimate that they give is vastly too high. There is not enough of science presented here to make sense of these claims.
    However, the main point remains that our only trustworthy measure of Arctic ice extends just to 1979. There is no serious science behind our existing study of Arctic sea ice.

  22. Arctic sea ice is one of those “duh” issues. Yes, it has been warmer and there is less ice. What a strange coincidence. Any relationship to CO2 is pure conjecture. Is there an effect? Maybe, maybe not. It will take many more years to determine if one believes in the scientific method.

  23. Another inconvenient data point for (us) skeptics is that the world-wide Ice total April peak significantly lower than all other years except for 2002 and 2007 on this plot.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    (note, it looks lower than it really is because we have only encountered the spring peak and have yet to experinece the Nov (higher) peak.
    If we believe the Earth is entering a cooling phase, who predicted this in advance?

  24. From Theo Goodwin on July 14, 2011 at 10:15 am:

    I read an article from the University of Colorado which I found here:
    file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/WileyParsons/My%20Documents/7-14%20Warming%20North%20Atlantic%20water%20tied%20to%20heating%20Arctic,%20according%20to%20new%20study%20%20%20News%20Center%20%20%20University%20of%20Colorado%20at%20Boulder.htm

    And did Mr. Parsons find out that you were looking around on his M$ Windoze hard drive?
    To avoid angering Mr. Parsons, try reading it here instead:
    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/9059018f4606597f20dc4965fa9c9104.html
    Warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic, according to new study
    January 27, 2011

  25. “…However, the main point remains that our only trustworthy measure of Arctic ice extends just to 1979. There is no serious science behind our existing study of Arctic sea ice…”
    But I thought we had Ice Core records that went back thousands of years.
    Wait – that’s the Antarctic.
    So ask the climate scientists what the longest ice record that ANYONE ever got from an Arctic ice core. If there has been an ice cap for thousands of years, there should be an ice core showing it, right?
    That alone would show the variability of arctic ice.

  26. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:44 am
    Kadaka,
    Thank You. That’s what I get from not watching what I am doing.

  27. henrythethird says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am
    I was referring to sea ice extent, not temperatures. Anyway, they are talking about the Fram strait, whose other end is the Nares strait. Ice cores might not work for the Fram strait. The Fram strait and surrounding coast lines probably have a mixed history as ice coverage goes.

  28. “Or did the Danes breed cold cows and frigid-loving hay?”
    If only they had known about the foraminifera shells (accurate to 2.5 F) on their doorstep they would not have resorted to using seaweed to forecast the local weather. Perhaps they used tree rings for temperatures, or maybe they just threw them on the fire.
    In India they use bull sh#t for cooking…………….

  29. Brian says:
    July 14, 2011 at 8:41 am
    “Smokey,
    Did you miss the part where the article states that water temps in the Atlantic are 2.5 above the Med warm period and that it’s lkely caused by Global Warming?
    It seems that you missed that part.”
    So Brian, how in hell’s name did they measure temps to 0.5°C in the MWP? Don’t be soooo naive.

  30. Was this post written by R Gates? He is the one who has been endlessly repeating the “warmest in 2000 years” Mann-associated sediment data – while avoiding mentioning that it is sediment proxy data. Sediment proxy data is highly variable and one proxy alone not solid evidence of a trend. Other sediment proxy data from the north Siberian coast (WUWT post – search for “9000 years”) showed the opposite – water temperatures currently near their minimum for the Holocene.

  31. henrythethird,
    The GISP-2 ice cores from Greenland show continuous ice cover for hundreds of thousands of years:
    http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Climate%20Change/alley.png
    However, the Arctic has been ice free during historical times, and it was undoubtedly ice free during warmer episodes such as the MWP, the Minoan Warming, Holocene Optimum, etc:
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/lappi/gisp-last-10000-new.png
    It’s regional variability, and the null hypothesis remains un-falsified.

  32. Smokey: what is the null hypothesis? To TEST a null you have to specify a null with NUMBERS.
    so what is that null? with numbers, so we can test or falsify it.
    Do you believe like Lindzen, Spencer, eschenbach, and watts, that GHGs do in fact warm the planet? To be sure, these 4 hold that the warming effect is smaller than the IPCC holds. But do you or do you not believe that radiative physics is correct? You know the physics guys like me used to build things that protect our wonderful country?

  33. Steven Mosher says:
    July 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    “Smokey: what is the null hypothesis? To TEST a null you have to specify a null with NUMBERS.
    so what is that null? with numbers, so we can test or falsify it.”
    The null hypothesis is that natural variation includes “today’s warming.” We will have to argue about the number, as different folks disagree. (Actually, no one knows diddly about what causes the numbers or the numbers themselves. In that context, it is unreasonable to ask for the numbers. When are the Warmista going to engage in the activity of science and create some physical hypotheses that can be used to explain warming?)
    “Do you believe like Lindzen, Spencer, eschenbach, and watts, that GHGs do in fact warm the planet? To be sure, these 4 hold that the warming effect is smaller than the IPCC holds.”
    They believe that the warming from GHGs will not be dangerous.
    “But do you or do you not believe that radiative physics is correct?”
    I take it that Arrhenius’ physical hypotheses are highly confirmed. But from those hypotheses, it is not possible to infer dangerous warming. (Actually, it is not possible to infer any warming at all because whether there is warming or cooling depends entirely on the forcings, such as the effects of CO2 on cloud formation, but Warmista have not developed one reasonably confirmed hypothesis about cloud formation and, as a matter of fact, have not even tried to do so. You have to get up from the computer, don’t ya know?)
    “You know the physics guys like me used to build things that protect our wonderful country?”
    So, when did you go to the other side?

  34. @Steven Mosher:
    Deliberately spelling Eschenback and Watts with small caps on their last names – shows an intent of insult to me. Can’t have merit and conduct oneself that way … just my opinion.

  35. Hi Anthony & Mods,
    Just wanted to point out an article typo in the article’s text caption for figure 1 – the date ought to be 2011, not 2010.

  36. Steven Mosher,
    I’ve given you the definition of the null hypothesis, and explained it regarding the past parameters of temperatures and trends at least a dozen times now. I’ve given Dr Spencer’s explanation of the null hypothesis, along with his statement that the null hypothesis has never been falsified. I’ve pointed out that Trenberth wants to change the definition of the null hypothesis because it stands in the way of his wild-eyed eco-alarmism. Otherwise he wouldn’t care, would he?
    But none of this sinks in, because you’re a models guy, not an empiricist. I’ve also stated on many occasions that CO2 has an effect. Why do you still question it? I’m in complete agreement with the folks you mentioned, and for the same reasons they’ve given. My position, as I’ve stated repeatedly here, is that CO2 may result in ≈1°C for 2xCO2, ± a fraction of a degree either way [maybe a little more, and just as likely, maybe a little less]. Like the folks you mentioned, I absolutely reject the preposterous ≥3°C model-based sensitivity number bandied about by the self-serving UN/IPCC. [You might have noticed that planet earth doesn’t agree with the IPCC models, either.]
    Furthermore, I have repeatedly stated that more CO2 is harmless and beneficial on balance — based on verifiable, real world observations. Conversely, there is no evidence showing global damage as a result of more CO2; thus, it is a harmless trace gas. And since the evidence and the models disagree, I prefer to go with the evidence. The beneficial effect of more CO2 is indisputable, as is the net beneficial effect of a slightly warmer planet. I have been entirely consistent in my position. Why doesn’t it sink in?
    BTW, thanx for mentioning that you’re a physics guy. I thought I’d read somewhere that you were a Professor of English, or something similar. But that could not possibly have been correct, could it?☺

  37. I hate to mention it, but currently both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice appears to be at a “record low for this date”, or close to it. Pretty short “record”, so I don’t think this “proves” much, but the “see-saw” (sea-saw?) appears to be broken right now.
    Melting sea ice won’t raise sea level, but one might expect melting sea ice to indicate melting land ice as well, and one might expect this to cause a spectacular increase in the rate of sea level rise. This doesn’t seem to be happening. Something’s wrong with my expectations!
    Best,
    Frank

  38. I have been following IJIS and Arctic Roos daily, and the collapse of ice in the Arctic this summer is stunning. (by the way, I`m not a believer in agw) The ice is plummeting like an elevator. Sadly, I believe this summers minimum will break the `07 record minimum by a good margin.

  39. Welcome to the new Arctic Sea Ice norms for the next 20 years or better.
    It has everything to do with pumping precious warm water up to the Arctic, where the heat energy is used up in melting the ice and escapes to space. Then there’s that darn Arctic Dipole shoving the ice around and making the job more efficient. This is cooling at its worst, for each winter renews the pack ready to divert more of our planets warmth out to space. Not to mention the disruption of weather patterns necessary for good ag. yields plus unseasonalbe precip. and tornadoes. Helped in part by jets stream further south than what they have been for many decades.
    The Arctic can dish out a yearly supply of ice: We in the Temperate Zones have to live with the cooling that is ships down to us. We cannot live in the Arctic, so we’re between a rock and an icy place.
    In this less than zero-sum chilling game, we in the Temperate Zone are the losers.

  40. henrythethird says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am
    I believe that the longest ice-core record from the Arctic comes from Greenland and is comparable, for the most part, with the Antarctic Cores.

  41. People always complain about the record only going back to 1979 for the Arctic, but then fail to mention same about the Antarctic, I wonder why ?
    To me it smacks of not liking the results and so coming up with any stick to beat it with.
    Andy

  42. Frank Kotler says:
    July 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm
    “ . . .one might expect this to cause a spectacular increase in the rate of sea level rise. This doesn’t seem to be happening. Something’s wrong with my expectations!”

    Snow is ice and there is a lot of it where folk’s expectations (a few years ago) were wrong also. One example:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015604936_apwacrystalmountainski.html
    The resort says the longest season in its 48-year history was made possible by record-breaking snowfall . . .

  43. Theo Goodwin says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:15 am
    “There is no serious science behind our existing study of Arctic sea ice.”
    ___
    This is an absurd statement, and I would hope that the majority of those reading it, regardless of your particular position on the subject of anthropogenic global climate change, realize what an absurd statement it is.

  44. There is far more heat radiating from the poles than they receive from the Sun. Much like heat from Earth’s surface is transported by the mass flow of buoyant heated air up to where it radiates to space, heat from lower latitudes is transported poleward by atmospheric and oceanic mass flows toward the poles. Air temperature at the surface is a result of the compression of the cooled air falling to the surface.
    If there is a greenhouse involved other than gravity, its effect must be slight.
    .

  45. AndyW says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm
    They should (sticks) come in pairs with which to beat a drum with.
    One stick rises, the other falls.
    You mean all this time AGW has been beating a drum solo?

  46. @R. Gates,
    Until GCM’s are not so heavily relied upon, conclusions made about the future of Arctic ice will not be serious science. They cannot model the atmosphere or the oceans correctly for the rest of the globe, including precipitation and cloud cover, so what would make anyone think the Arctic is any different?

  47. THanks for posting. Starzmom has a point – how much ‘damage’ to the ice integrity do ice breakers make? It must be a fair bit.
    I like the idea of the Arctic radiating heat into space, a rate that would increase as the ice decreases. Is that in the GCMs – presumably it would be a very efficient heat transport route?

  48. Smokey says:
    July 14, 2011 at 7:59 am
    if CO2 was the cause, the Antarctic would be declining like the Arctic. What is being observed is natural variability.
    Not true. Mainstream predictions, as reported by the IPCC, are that the arctic will warm more than the antarctic and lose ice faster. And as for “natural variability”, to what natural variability do you attribute a linear trend of over 30 years, as long as satellite records have been available?

  49. John B says:
    July 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    And as for “natural variability”, to what natural variability do you attribute a linear trend of over 30 years, as long as satellite records have been available?

    As a wee snippet out of a much larger, longer natural swing, such as has been occurring for as far back as you care to take paleo proxies.
    Note also that most such proxies for the deep past suffer from “low band pass filtering”, which is to say their resolution is inadequate to record even extreme jinks up and down from the mean if they occur and alternate quickly. But there are numerous hints that swings of even 10K or so over periods of a century or less occur at the transition points between glacial and interglacial episodes, e.g.
    And, finally, beware of “trends”. They are not physical processes, but patterns in the eye and brain of the beholder.

  50. John B,
    Read what Brian H wrote above. It is the truth. The planet has been warming at the same rate since the LIA – since well before the industrial revolution. I understand that your mind is made up and facts don’t matter, but for the benefit of readers who wonder if the current Arctic ice decline is anything other than natural variability, this chart by NickFromNYC shows that nothing unusual is occurring.
    The global warming alarmist crowd tries to deceive the public with scary charts that misrepresent reality. They are deliberately trying to manipulate the public by playing mendacious chart games. This is how they try to fool people.
    Don’t be fooled. There is nothing unusual happening. Nothing. It is all just natural climate variability, nothing more or less.

  51. I honestly thought Grimsvotn would really be something and the ice wouldn’t melt so much, what a dud! Then I see David Archibald with his predictions again. When it’s too, too, too triple digit hot and humid to sleep go to WUWT for entertainment. The humidity from the winds of change blowing across the great waters of this planet since the 2008 Kamchatka & Alaska stratosphere eruptions sharpened the temperature gradients from polar to equator. Eyafjallajökull melting 100 million cubic meters of ice. I’m almost convinced the ‘Dust bowl ’30s’ are going to return in a couple of years or so. Oh, nobody pays no attention to me, what the heck am I doing? The most beautiful woman in the world, see ya, I’m going back to bed.

  52. Ed Mertin says:
    July 16, 2011 at 3:00 am

    the 2008 Kamchatka & Alaska stratosphere eruptions sharpened the temperature gradients from polar to equator. Eyafjallajökull melting 100 million cubic meters of ice. I’m almost convinced the ‘Dust bowl ’30s’ are going to return in a couple of years or so.

    Your brain will pain less if you keep your ideas more consistent.
    Since the tropics barely budge in temps from Ice Age to Hot House, the “sharpened temperature gradients” necessarily mean colder poles. Which is indeed likely to mean drier times, but not hot “Dust Bowls”.
    And your 100,000,000 m^3 of ice? Precisely 1/10 of a km^3. Trivial.

  53. Smokey says:
    July 16, 2011 at 1:12 am
    John B,
    Don’t be fooled. There is nothing unusual happening. Nothing. It is all just natural climate variability, nothing more or less.

    And you know this how?

  54. rbateman says:
    July 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm
    They should (sticks) come in pairs with which to beat a drum with.
    One stick rises, the other falls.
    Actually both are falling a the moment
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png
    and
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png
    The Antarctic has always gained over the recent record in past years to the maxima but this year it is hitting the buffers, why? To me this strange behaviour is more interesting than the Arctic at the moment.
    The global ice coverage is looking very ugly
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    It last looked normal in the 20th C … why the change?
    Andy

  55. @Smokey
    Not a true believer at all. I just favour genuine research over anecotes and cherry picks.
    Why do you always feel the need to pepper your posts with ad homs like “true believer”? Interesting.

  56. John B,
    Natural variability is the climate null hypothesis, which has never been falsified. Yet you insist on believing, based upon zero verifiable, measurable, empirical evidence, per the scientific method, that CO2 constitutes a major problem. Thus, true belief.

  57. Smokey, IPCC 4AR summarises the “verifiable, measurable, empirical evidence per the scientific method, that CO2 constitutes a major problem”, and there is a wealth of newer evidence, post 2007. For reasons best known to yourselves, you and other so-called “skeptics” discount it all, even though you don’t actually agree with each other on anything else.
    If you are a genuine skeptic, and not just a “true believer” in Anything But CO2 theory, ask yourself what evidence would make you change your mind.

  58. Smokey, would you consider this as evidence?
    http://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/reprints/Overpeck_etal_EOS2005.pdf
    “The Arctic system is moving toward a new state that falls outside the envelope of glacialinterglacial
    fluctuations that prevailed during recent Earth history. This future Arctic is likely to have dramatically less permanent ice than exists at present. At the present rate of change, a summer ice-free Arctic Ocean within a century is a real possibility, a state not witnessed for at least a million years. The change appears to be driven largely by feedback-enhanced global climate warming, and there seem to be few, if any, processes or feedbacks within the Arctic system that are capable of altering the trajectory
    toward this “super interglacial” state.”

  59. Smokey says:
    July 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    John B,
    Natural variability is the climate null hypothesis, which has never been falsified.

    As has been pointed out to you before your null hypothesis of natural variability is impossible to falsify and so is not a valid scientific hypothesis.

  60. John B says:
    “Smokey, would you consider this as evidence?”
    No.
    As the author states, “Models predict…” &etc. Models are not evidence.
    The Arctic may well be ice free at some future point, as it has been repeatedly during the Holocene, when CO2 was ≤300 pmmv. There is no evidence – none, per the scientific method – that CO2 was the cause then, or is the cause now. Occasionally the Arctic becomes ice-free. It is due to regional variability; it is not caused by “carbon.”

  61. Smokey said: “It is due to regional variability; it is not caused by “carbon.”
    And that assertion is based on what? It seems to me you apply a serious double standard to evidence, depending on whether or not you like it’s conclusion.

  62. Phil. says:
    “As has been pointed out to you before your null hypothesis of natural variability is impossible to falsify and so is not a valid scientific hypothesis.”
    Wrong.
    Kevin Trenberth would never have attempted to unilaterally change the definition of the null hypothesis to suit his climate alarmism if the null hypothesis wasn’t falsifying his own alternate hypothesis. If the null hypothesis wasn’t valid, Trenberth would have simply said so. But he would have gotten plenty of pushback from honest scientists like Dr Roy Spencer, who wrote, “No one has falsified the hypothesis that the observed temperature changes are a consequence of natural variability.”
    Trenberth knows that the null hypothesis threatens to derail his gravy train, because it is a function of the scientific method. He is quoted as stating that “the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.” Of course, that approach would turn the scientific method on its head, by attempting to make scientific skeptics prove a negative. Trenberth knows that there is no observed, testable, measurable evidence showing that human CO2 emissions control the climate, or that they cause any global harm, so he self-servingly trashes the scientific method.
    To falsify the null hypothesis, simply provide testable, verifiable evidence showing that the current climate parameters exceed the parameters during the Holocene. If you could do that, you would be crowing that you had falsified the null hypothesis. But failing that, you are now trying to claim the null is not falsifiable. That dog won’t hunt at the internet’s “Best Science” site.

  63. John B,
    It is not I who believes in the evidence-free magical juju of “carbon.” On the other hand, empirical evidence of natural climate variability is traceable back hundreds of thousands of years. Currently we are in a “Goldilocks climate”: not too hot, not too cold, but ju-u-u-st right. [Charts on request.]
    Based on verifiable observations, the rise in CO2 has not caused any global damage or harm. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that it is harmless, no? And there is ample evidence that the rise in CO2 has enhanced agricultural productivity. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that CO2 is beneficial, no?
    The evidence that CO2 is good, and the lack of evidence showing that CO2 causes global harm both support the conclusion that CO2 is both harmless and beneficial. QED

  64. Smokey said: “Trenberth knows that the null hypothesis threatens to derail his gravy train, because it is a function of the scientific method. He is quoted as stating that “the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.” Of course, that approach would turn the scientific method on its head, by attempting to make scientific skeptics prove a negative.”
    That is not true at all. Trenberth is really just restating that AGW is “settled science”. As another example, when talking about gravity, general relativity has become the null hypothesis. So if you propose an alternative theory of gravity, it has to make predictions that general relativity cannot, i.e. it must falsify the (new) null hypothesis. Trenberth is saying that AGW has passed enough tests to become the accepted explanation and, therefore, the null hypothesis against which other explanatons (solar, cosmic rays, “natural variability”, whatever) should be judged. You may disagree that AGW has reached that level, but the idea of the mainstream explanation becoming the null hypothesis is perfectly normal in science.

  65. Smokey said: empirical evidence of natural climate variability is traceable back hundreds of thousands of years. Currently we are in a “Goldilocks climate”: not too hot, not too cold, but ju-u-u-st right.
    Correct! The climate has been varying but relatively stable for the period that humans have been around. The AGW hypothesis is that the climate is now changing outside of that range and at an unprecedented rate, i.e. the “hockey sticks”, dozens of independently researched hockey sticks. The hockey sticks are a small part of the evidence you say doesn’t exist. (if you reply, please try and steer away from terms like “hokey schtick”, they really don’t add anything)

  66. John B says:
    July 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    Trenberth is saying that AGW has passed enough tests to become the accepted explanation and, therefore, the null hypothesis against which other explanatons (solar, cosmic rays, “natural variability”, whatever) should be judged. You may disagree that AGW has reached that level, but the idea of the mainstream explanation becoming the null hypothesis is perfectly normal in science.
    =============================================
    You’re probably correct there, Trenberth concludes that AGW has passed enough tests – the ones he made up himself. Unfortunately for him, and your argument, AGW didn’t pass any tests relative to the null hypothesis, which is why he needs a new null hypothesis.
    Can you not see that ?

  67. John B,
    Flat wrong about Trenberth. You’re presuming to interpret what he said – while I provided his verbatim quote. There is no wiggle-room in it. He wants nothing less than to upend the scientific method by forcing scientific skeptics [the only honest kind of scientist] to prove a negative. That is why Trenberth is mendaciously attempting to put the onus on skeptics, instead of frankly admitting [contrary to your assertion] that the CO2=CAGW conjecture has been repeatedly falsified. It is based on wildly inaccurate computer models. [Chart on request.]
    And your claim that Mann’s Hokey Stick [and its equally bogus spaghetti chart imitations] represent reality enters the realm of pseudo-scientific true belief. Even the journal Nature has backed away from MBH98. And the UN/IPCC will no longer publish Mann’s original Hockey Stick chart; they can’t, because it has been so thoroughly debunked by McIntyre & McKitrick.
    As I have patiently explained to you numerous times now, Mann’s bogus ‘Stick is a fabricated artefact of the improper methodology he used. When the proxy data is corrected, and the true proxy record is used, the sharp upswing in temperature vanishes and the MWP reappears. When the proper trend line is used, the sharp upswing in temperature vanishes completely. Mann’s Hokey Stick is pure bunkum. [Corrected charts on request.]
    Your claim that “the climate is now changing outside of that range and at an unprecedented rate” over the Holocene is equally bunkum. No temperature or trend parameters have been exceeded. None. You are simply wrong about that. [Charts on request.]
    Folks in the CAGW cult are no different than Harold Camping’s followers. They operate on blind faith, not on verifiable facts. So, should we listen to evidence-free true believers? Or should we listen to credible climatologists like Dr Spencer and Prof Lindzen? I, like most thinking skeptics, prefer to look at the facts, instead of trying to argue using evidence-free PNS rhetoric. [Charts and backup statements on request.]

  68. John B says:
    July 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    ” As another example, when talking about gravity, general relativity has become the null hypothesis.”
    There should be something akin to Godwin’s Law in regard to bringing up Relativity to give your arguments a patina of scientific respectability, attempting to borrow against the gold standard of arcane physics it represents. When you do so, you automatically lose the argument at hand. I humbly suggest we call it “Bart’s Law”.
    Especially since, it’s a major fail in any case. General Relativity is known to be incomplete, because it does not mesh with the much more thoroughly vetted Standard Model. So, the account is actually overdrawn from the get go.

  69. @Bart “Especially since, it’s a major fail in any case. General Relativity is known to be incomplete, because it does not mesh with the much more thoroughly vetted Standard Model. So, the account is actually overdrawn from the get go.
    Which actully makes the alalogy even better, to anyone who understands science. Yes, relativity is incomplete, but it is the best explanation of gravity we have got and it is darn useful (think GPS for example). Ditto our knowledge of AGW.
    @Smokey, IPCC no longer publish Mann’s hockey stick because they publish a chart containing dozens of similar plots, Mann’s being one of them. You know that. And what is it makes Lindzen and Spencer “credible” in your eyes, other than that you like their conclusions? [We’ve all seen your charts]

  70. C’mon, John B, admit that the IPCC cannot use Mann’s original Hokey Stick chart because it was debunked. Admit it! What’s losing one small argument, compared with forfeiting probity?☺

  71. Smokey, what nonsense. The Mann plot is still there. It is now portrayed amongst all the other similar plots to show that whenever you look at paleoclimate, the same picture emerges.
    Show me where the IPCC admit they cannot use Mann.

  72. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 1:22 am
    “Which actully makes the alalogy even better, to anyone who understands science. Yes, relativity is incomplete, but it is the best explanation of gravity we have got and it is darn useful (think GPS for example).”
    Your cutoff for where the theory is useful is entirely arbitrary, based on the application on which you are focused. At high energy and small scales, it is useless.
    But, at least it does have confirmational real world evidence backing it up in a specific regime. AGW, not so much, so the analogy is completely irrelevant. You might as well say, Volta showed frogs legs are stimulated by electricity, therefore AGW is correct.
    You are trying to hijack the subtle reasoning which went into the construction of the General Theory of Relativity for your own ends on a completely independent topic. It doesn’t wash. Epic fail. Move on.
    Science is not about constructing a plausible narrative, and declaring it Truth without supporting evidence. You do not understand Science.

  73. @Bart
    I understand science pretty good. No, you can’t just make up a narrative, there has to be supporting evidence. AGW does have supporting evidence, lots of it, you know where to find it. Many here just choose to ignore it. Mainly it seems because they don’t like the political consequences of accepting it (IMHO).

  74. @Bart, again
    And that is why there are no relativity “skeptics”, because it has no ideological consequences. Which sciences do attract “skeptics”? AGW, obviously, but also evolution and geology. In those two cases the reason is religion, though the “skeptics” try their best to look like they have scientific objections. I think “skeptics” are divided into those who know what they are doing and those who genuinely believe the science is faulty. Of course, on the AGW side there are many who believe the science is sound without understanding it, perhaps also for ideological reasons. There are cranks on both sides, but eventually the truth will out, hopefully before it is too late. If the “skeptics” are right, that means before we waste trillions of dollars. If AGW is right, it means before really bad things happen to the climate.
    John

  75. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 10:41 am
    At least select some of the evidence that convinced you of AGW so we can see where you are coming from and are not just a useful fool.

  76. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 10:41 am
    “I understand science pretty good.”
    It would be better if you understood it well.
    “AGW does have supporting evidence, lots of it, you know where to find it.”
    So does the hypothesis that the Sun revolves around the Earth. So does phrenology. The difference between Science and Pseudoscience is in the predictive value and lack of difficult-to-resolve inconsistencies in the former. Science does not seek out confirmational evidence to the exclusion of contradictory evidence. Science is open in its methods and sharing of information, so that others may readily replicate the findings. Science does not mock unbelievers, nor label them “deniers” to associate them with the most heinous acts in all of recorded history, nor issue other juvenile taunts. Science does not rely on consensus or other irrelevant logical fallacies – it rests on the evidence.
    We have experienced a greater than 10 year hiatus in the upward march of global temperatures recorded in the latter couple of decades of the 20th century. Moreover, there are reasonable and readily observable natural cycles evident in the data which explain not only the upward march, but the recent hiatus. By any reasonable standard, the AGW hypothesis has failed.
    The fact, which is beginning to dawn on everyone, is that the seemingly unusual short term rise was part of a ~60 year cycle in globally averaged temperatures which recently reached its peak, and will soon accelerate its decline, as it has in temperature records spanning the last two millennia. AGW is a dead man walking. We’re just waiting for the final collapse and death rattle.

  77. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 10:55 am
    “And that is why there are no relativity “skeptics”, because it has no ideological consequences. Which sciences do attract “skeptics”?”
    John, seriously… stop talking about Relativity. You only reveal you know nothing about the subject. Relativity was met with some of the most ferocious skepticism imaginable in its day. It survived the tests, which is why latter day skeptics can be relegated to the status of cranks. Will AGW survive the tests, and be looked back upon similarly in 100 years? No. It has already failed the tests.
    Geology, too. The theory of plate tectonics took decades to be accepted. Lots of theories, which were accepted by the “consensus” view, were swept away by that.
    “If the “skeptics” are right, that means … we waste trillions of dollars.”
    And, you think this would have no deleterious impact? It means war, famine, and upheaval across the globe. Other than that, I guess no big whoop.
    “If AGW is right, it means before really bad things happen to the climate.”
    Hardly. It means longer growing seasons, less severe weather, and maybe Al Gore has to move his California coastal domicile a few meters inland. Maybe.

  78. Gary Pearse said “At least select some of the evidence that convinced you of AGW so we can see where you are coming from and are not just a useful fool.”
    OK, start here:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spm.html
    Yes, it is the IPCC report summary for policymakers. If you haven’t read it, do so. But don’t stop there, as it only summarises the research. It’s not hard to drill down to the next level.
    The whole point of the “consensus” view, is that there is weight of evidence, not just cherry picks. I am loath to link to specific charts for fear of accusations of cherry picking myself, but here is one that is relevant to Smokey’s claim that Mann has been rebutted and can no longer be used by the IPCC:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/figure-6-10-l.png
    Note that the “M” of MBH1999 is Mann. He is still in there, amongst a dozen or so other plots that show the same thing when compared to the instrumental record.
    And so on…

  79. @Bart
    You misunderstood my point. Those who still criticise geology and evolution do so for religious reasons, not scientific reasons (e.g. they believe in Genesis and the flood). Many, perhaps not you, criticise AGW because they hate Al Gore.
    And yes, wasting trillions of dollars would be a very bad thing – if you are right. Not doing anything would be a very bad thing – if AGW is right. Surely we can both agree on that.

  80. “You misunderstood my point. Those who still criticise geology and evolution do so for religious reasons, not scientific reasons (e.g. they believe in Genesis and the flood).”
    I don’t misunderstand it. I don’t see any point at all. If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about religious folk, that’s your own neurosis with which you have to contend.
    “Many, perhaps not you, criticise AGW because they hate Al Gore.”
    You have to admit, that’s a pretty compelling reason.
    “Surely we can both agree on that.”
    No, we don’t. I frankly do not see any net ill consequence of more uniform and life-friendly temperatures around the globe. If we had it in our power to induce global warming, I would be in the “pro-” crowd. Unfortunately, it is clear we presently can have virtually no impact on the vast regulating feedback network which comprises our climate system.

  81. Bart, It seems you hold both the “it’s not happening” AND the “it won’t be bad” positions. Most skeptics pick one or the other.
    Your comments regarding Al Gore appear to indicate that your position is not scientifically motivated, which is sad.

  82. John B says:
    “The Mann plot is still there.”
    No it isn’t. The chart posted about was called Dr. Mann’s “original” hockey stick chart:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ed/Hockey_stick_chart_ipcc_large.jpg
    That chart isn’t used anymore because it used cherrypicked proxys. The more accurate proxies were hidden in a file called Censored. Dr. Mann’s chart cut out the medieval warm period and little ice age too. So the ipcc stopped using it.
    If you think the ipcc still uses Dr. Mann’s chart tell us where we can find it in their latest report. And some advice, if I was you I’d stop debating Bart. He’s running circles around you.

  83. Bart, The authors of the paper you link to, that supposedly will lead everyobne to realise “AGW is a dead man walking”, conclude that:
    “Depending upon the assumed importance of the contributions of ocean dynamics and the time-varying aerosol emissions to the observed trends in global-mean surface temperature, we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.”
    Up to one third due to natural variability. i.e. at least two thirds not a consequence of natural variability.
    And the authors also provide this clarification on Judith Curry’s blog (emphasis mine):
    “Therefore, the estimated global warming due to human activities over the past 25 years ranges from about 0.10 K to about 0.15 K per decade, depending on the assumed partitioning of the MDV between natural and anthropogenic aerosol-forced variability” refers to the past 25 years, also referred to as “the past few decades” in our article.
    Our ST component accounts for a larger component of the 50-year trend. Our intent was not to contest the IPCC’s attribution of the “late 20th century” (i.e., 50-year) trend, but, rather, to question whether the acceleration in the rate of greenhouse warming was as pronounced as implied by results presented in AR-4, and particularly by the graph showing linear trends for the most recent 100, 50, and 25 years. The papers of Delsole and Shukla and by Semenov et al., referenced in our paper, makes the same point, but based on different kinds of evidence.
    .
    Since there are people who will read about our article on your web site who do not have direct access to our article (or are not likely to take the time to access and read it carefully), it might be worth your making this clarification on your blog.

    So, even if they are right, it’s not much of a coffin nail, is it?.

  84. @Rocky H
    I said the Mann “plot” is still there. It is, on the IPC 4AR chart I linked to, as the line labeled “MBH1999”. They don’t use the original chart because there are now so many other studies to show. Hence the “spaghetti chart”. Why would they continue to show only Mann when all the other corroborating studies became available?
    If you can show me where the IPPC state that they had to stop using Mann, as you and others assert, I would like to see it.

  85. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm
    “Bart, It seems you hold both the “it’s not happening” AND the “it won’t be bad” positions.”
    No, I hold the “it’s too bad it isn’t happening” position.
    “Your comments regarding Al Gore appear to indicate that your position is not scientifically motivated, which is sad.”
    Lack of a sense of humor is often associated with zealotry.
    “Bart, The authors of the paper you link to, that supposedly will lead everyobne to realise “AGW is a dead man walking”, conclude that…”
    John, learn to think for yourself. These guys are several years behind on the learning curve. Plus, they don’t want to be sent to the back of the line at the gravy train.
    What is portentous is that the dyke is developing cracks. It doesn’t take long after that for the whole works to crumble.

  86. (Sloop) John B, of course you’ll be pleased to know that none of the paleoclimate temperature reconstructions which show a pronounced hockey stick shape can be validated prior to 1500ce without the use (and abuse) and severe overweighting of questionable, or outright invalid in the case of stripbark pines, proxies. Not to mention that most proxies haven’t been validated as accurate temperature proxies in the first place. So we essentially have nothing which tells us that today’s temps or rates of change are unprecedented during this interglacial (Holocene). Without validation, agw alarmism is no better than telling me it’s going to flood because it’s been raining for a day.

  87. Bart, you cited the paper as evidence. I show you it’s nothing of the sort, so you trash it. If it is rubbish, as you now seem to think, then it doesn’t represent a crack at all. Which is it?
    Jeff, So all the paleoclimate reconstructions are rubbish, but “facts” like Eric The Red calling the place Green-land (yes, people really cite this as evidence) is a slam dunk for the world being warmer in the past. A hint of double standards, maybe?
    You guys seem to have turned cognitive dissonance into an artform 🙂

  88. Jeff, So all the paleoclimate reconstructions are rubbish, but “facts” like Eric The Red calling the place Green-land (yes, people really cite this as evidence) is a slam dunk for the world being warmer in the past. A hint of double standards, maybe?

    Regardless of what Eric the Red might have called it, the fact is they did settle there for quite a long time. Couldn’t have done so if it wasn’t warmer than it is now. Also, I didn’t use the word rubbish, please don’t put words into my mouth, or include arguments I didn’t make (re: Greenland). I submit there is no research which says tree rings, lake sediments, etc, make good thermometers. If you know otherwise, please enlighten us.

  89. John B says:
    “I am loath to link to specific charts for fear of accusations of cherry picking myself, but here is one that is relevant to Smokey’s claim that Mann has been rebutted and can no longer be used by the IPCC…”
    And:
    “I said the Mann ‘plot’ is still there. It is, on the IPC 4AR chart I linked to, as the line labeled ‘MBH1999’.”
    Probity is your weak point, John B. Using devious rhetorical gimmicks like now claiming “plot” means something other than Mann’s explicit, original hokey stick chart, which was what you responded to, puts you in the Steven Schneider category: misrepresent, lie, deceive; say anything in order to promote the CAGW agenda. In this case you were trying to imply that Mann’s original chart is still being used by the IPCC. It is not, and you’re fooling no one.
    The fact is that the UN/IPCC loved Mann’s original hockey stick chart! It was more visually arresting, and much more alarming than it’s pale imitations that the IPCC now uses. Any fool can see that this chart is scarier than this confusing mess, which is in direct violation of the K.I.S.S. principle. Compared with Mann’s original chart, what the IPCC now uses tends to make peoples’ eyes glaze over. Unlike Mann’s first chart, the current mishmash has to be studied before any alarm sets in.
    Yes, the IPCC absolutely loved Mann’s original chart. How many times did they publish it before it was debunked? Six? Seven? Maybe more. But now they can no longer use their beloved Michael Mann chart. And since the IPCC’s stated agenda is to confiscate the West’s wealth under the false guise of “climate disruption,” they would certainly continue using Mann’s frightening [but bogus] chart — if they could.
    But they can’t. Why not? Because MBH98 and Mann’s hokey chart have both been debunked. If that is not clear to you, maybe that explains why you’re impotently arguing your bogus ‘facts’ with everyone else here.
    If you’re not being a willing fellow traveler and useful idiot, wake up, and look at the true UN/IPCC agenda:

    “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”
    ~ Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair, IPCC

  90. Smokey,
    My first mention of Mann was directed to you:
    “@Smokey, IPCC no longer publish Mann’s hockey stick because they publish a chart containing dozens of similar plots, Mann’s being one of them. You know that.”
    Nothing devious about that. They no longer publish his original chart but they still publish his results. Perhaps their intention is to inform, not alarm. The new chart says, “look, a dozen hockey sticks, all pointing in the same direction”.
    This idea that the IPCC
    cannot use Mann’s original chart. Did you make that up yourself? I don’t think I have come across that particular argument elsewhere.

  91. “look, a dozen hockey sticks, all pointing in the same direction”.

    None of those reconstructions are really independent. They all rely on the same bad proxies, with no research to back up the claim that they accurately represent temperature as opposed to a number of other factors. Take a look at Mann 2009, without Bristlecone pines and upside down Tiljander varves, there is no hockey stick.

  92. I suppose anyone who hasn’t figured out that Trenberth is a data analysis nincompoop might still believe in the abomination of science that is the hokey stick.

  93. The IPCC replacing Mann’s hokey stick chart with newer spaghetti charts is like the Louvre replacing the Mona Lisa with Norman Rockwell paintings. They would never do it unless they were forced to.

  94. Smokey says:
    July 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm
    The IPCC replacing Mann’s hokey stick chart with newer spaghetti charts is like the Louvre replacing the Mona Lisa with Norman Rockwell paintings. They would never do it unless they were forced to.
    So, you did make it up then?

  95. Smokey, you are just getting silly now. They publish his result, right there in amongst all the others that have come along between the third assessment report and the fourth. To anyone who cares about weight of evidence, it is a much stronger statement.
    They don’t publish Mann’s result on its own because it is better to show the corroboration of all the paleoclimate reconstruction studies. Prove me wrong!
    I’m still interested to know if anyone else shares your view that the IPCC “cannot” publish Mann.

  96. John B says:
    July 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    “Bart, you cited the paper as evidence.”
    As evidence the tide is turning. Go back and reread for comprehension.

  97. And John B Doesn’t want to confront the fact that no hockey stick reconstruction can be validated prior to 1500ce, a known cold period in history.

  98. I am still watching current atmospheric pressure systems, including wind direction speed and strength, and subsequent ice movement. Temperatures seem to be following normal patterns so I consider this to be a stable metric. The current weather pattern parameters still lead me to go with greater than 5.5 extent (based on 15% concentration or better). We are now past the point of being midway regarding Summer temperatures above freezing so I don’t see any reason to revise my estimate. We do not appear to be having an anomalous “flush” down Fram Strait.

  99. Re: the lack of an anomalous “flush”. It would be an interesting metric to try to quantify over time. I wonder how that could be done? It may lead to yet another metric of natural Arctic oscillations.

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