New study suggests Arctic ‘tipping point’ may not be reached

This is interesting. While there’s much noise from alarmists that we are on an “Arctic death spiral” the team for this paper’s press release today found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago. The paper references changes to wind systems which can slow down the rate of melting (something we’ve seen on the short term, even NASA points this out for recent historic ice retreats).  They also suggest that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely saying that even with a reduction to less than 50% of the current amount of sea ice the ice will not reach a point of no return (i.e. a tipping point). From the University of Copenhagen:

Large variations in Arctic sea ice

During the last 10.000 years the North Pole ice cover has been even smaller than it is today. Credit: Svend Funder/University of Copenhagen

For the last 10,000 years, summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant. For several thousand years, there was much less sea ice in The Arctic Ocean – probably less than half of current amounts. This is indicated by new findings by the Danish National Research Foundation for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen. The results of the study will be published in the journal Science.

Sea ice comes and goes without leaving a record. For this reason, our knowledge about its variations and extent was limited before we had satellite surveillance or observations from airplanes and ships. But now researchers at the Danish National Research Foundation for Geogenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen) have developed a method by which it is possible to measure the variations in the ice several millennia back in time.

The results are based on material gathered along the coast of northern Greenland, which scientists expect will be the final place summer ice will survive, if global temperatures continue to rise.

This means that the results from northern Greenland also indicate what the conditions are like in the ocean.

Less ice than today

Team leader Svend Funder, and two other team members and co-authors of the Science article, Eske Willerslev and Kurt Kjær, are all associated with the Danish Research Foundation at the University of Copenhagen.

Regarding the research results, Funder says, “Our studies show that there have been large fluctuations in the amount of summer sea ice during the last 10,000 years. During the so-called Holocene Climate Optimum, from approximately 8000 to 5000 years ago, when the temperatures were somewhat warmer than today, there was significantly less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, probably less than 50% of the summer 2007 coverage, which was absolutely lowest on record. Our studies also show that when the ice disappears in one area, it may accumulate in another. We have discovered this by comparing our results with observations from northern Canada. While the amount of sea ice decreased in northern Greenland, it increased in Canada. This is probably due to changes in the prevailing wind systems. This factor has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.”

Forsker betragter det nordlige ishav

View of the northern ice sea (Photo: Svend Funder)

Driftwood unlocks mystery

In order to reach their surprising conclusions, Funder and the rest of the team organised several expeditions to Peary Land in northern Greenland. Named after American Polar explorer Robert E. Peary, the region is an inhospitable and rarely visited area, where summer blizzards are not uncommon.

” Our key to the mystery of the extent of sea ice during earlier epochs lies in the driftwood we found along the coast. One might think that it had floated across sea, but such a journey takes several years, and driftwood would not be able to stay afloat for that long. The driftwood is from the outset embedded in sea ice, and reaches the north Greenland coast along with it. The amount of driftwood therefore indicates how much multiyear sea ice there was in the ocean back then. And this is precisely the type of ice that is in danger of disappearing today,” Funder says.

After the expeditions had been completed, the team needed to study the wood they had collected: wood types had to be determined and it had to be carbon-14 dated. The driftwood originated near the great rivers of present-day North America and Siberia. The wood types were almost entirely spruce, which is widespread in the Boreal forest of North America, and larch, which is dominates the Siberian taiga. The different wood types therefore are evidence of changing travel routes and altered current and wind conditions in the ocean.

Beach ridges and wave breaking

The team also examined the beach ridges along the coast. Today, perennial ice prevents any sort of beach from forming along the coasts of northern Greenland. But this had not always been the case. Behind the present shore long rows of beach ridges show that at one time waves could break onto the beach unhindered by sea ice. The beach ridges were mapped for 500 kilometres along the coast, and carbon-14 dating has shown that during the warm period from about 8000 until 4000 years ago, there was more open water and less coastal ice than today.

https://i1.wp.com/nyheder.ku.dk/alle_nyheder/2011/2011.8/havis-i-arktis-ustabil/ishavskort.jpg/

Part of map showing the northern ice sea. The red marks illustrate beach ridges. Click on the map to view and download in full resolution. (Illustration: University of Copenhagen)

Point of no return

“Our studies show that there are great natural variations in the amount of Arctic sea ice. The bad news is that there is a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. And there is no doubt that continued global warming will lead to a reduction in the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The good news is that even with a reduction to less than 50% of the current amount of sea ice the ice will not reach a point of no return: a level where the ice no longer can regenerate itself even if the climate was to return to cooler temperatures. Finally, our studies show that the changes to a large degree are caused by the effect that temperature has on the prevailing wind systems. This has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of the ice, as often portrayed in the media,” Funder says.

Research could also benefit polar bears

In addition to giving us a better understanding of what the climate in northern Greenland was like thousands of years ago, it could also reveal how polar bears fared in warmer climate. The team plans to use DNA in fossil polar bear bones to study polar bear population levels during the Holocene Climate Optimum.

The team’s findings are to be published in the journal Science.

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114 thoughts on “New study suggests Arctic ‘tipping point’ may not be reached

  1. Amazing how all the experts are finally catching up to some common sense. Maybe some of the warmers can now admit there was a warmer time and yet it got cold, then warm, then colder, then warmer, then….

  2. New paper finds Arctic sea ice strongly linked to varying storm activity

    Warmists often claim changes in Arctic sea ice are a consequence of allegedly-anthropogenic global warming. However, a paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that “dramatic interannual changes” in Arctic sea ice extent are due to varying storm activity in the months of May-July, which impacts “cloud cover and ice motion, and consequently sea ice melt.” The authors find fewer cyclones in the Arctic Ocean “appear to favor a low sea ice area at the end of the melt season.”

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-paper-finds-arctic-sea-ice-strongly.html

  3. The warmists will claim that the 50% less ice from long ago was good solid ice where the ice we have today, even if it is twice as much is rotten ice.

  4. Nice science. It displaces and discards a sh**-load of hand-waving that has been “informing” the AGW alarms and alarums.

  5. The thing that is in a “death spiral” is business as usual and this will automatically reduce all types of emissions.

  6. For the last 10,000 years, summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant. For several thousand years, there was much less sea ice in The Arctic Ocean – probably less than half of current amounts.

    ====================================
    Come in Mr R Gates are you there?

  7. The bad news is that there is a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. And there is no doubt that continued global warming will lead to a reduction in the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

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

    Holding on to every last vestige of myth.

    All in all, though, this is a smoking gun….and a DAMNING study.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  8. We’ve seen the Watts effect on solar activity; now there’s the Watts effect on Arctic sea ice. After covering the sudden slowing of the sea ice shrinkage the other day, today’s numbers are back down by a significant amount (approx 80k km²). Knew it was too good to last.

  9. This is consistent with extensive studies that have been done in the past showing the Arctic has been much warmer in the past without killing of the Polar Bears or ruining the livelihood of the Inuit (despite present whining). Figure it out: they survived, they are still here aren’t they? And what’s more, all that warmth in the Arctic didn’t cause Greenland to slide into the ocean. So much for catastrophic sudden sea level rise…

  10. Well done Svend Funder, team members and co-authors Eske Willerslev and Kurt Kjær, and the the Danish Research Foundation at the University of Copenhagen.

    This study shows there are honest and reputable scientist who release the truth no matter where it leads, or the coming condemnation from the brought and sold huskers, masquerading as so called scientist.

    There is a cascading mountain of evidence already and coming forward daily to show that climate is driven by natural variability and not CO2 or models.

    This Arctic ice paper and others research paper are proof positive that the AGW hoax is all but dead. The warmist have been pounding the nails into the their own coffin to the point that most people walking around don’t believe them in spite of all the evidence readers of WUWT and other skeptical sites have known and tried to convey for years.

    The whole CAGW industry is based on manipulation of data, models, projections, all for with predetermined outcomes. 30 pieces of silver, bribes and dishonesty has never been more prevalent or readily taken.

    Instead this Arctic ice study is obviously based on real hands on scientific evidence and integrity!

  11. So we know why sea ice might have been lower during the Holocene optimum…it was pretty much the forcing caused by Milankovitch cycles…bit to what would skeptics attribute the current down trend? You see, climate, unlike weather isn’t a random walk, and big changes in things like sea ice extents being smaller for thousands of years require some kind of forcing mechanism. We know what caused the Holocene optimum…so what about our current downtrend? Skeptics have no answers, but global climate models do.

  12. Smokey says:
    August 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm
    Gates, you’re babbling.

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

    Yes…a total failure of logic and reason. Lets let him/her talk himself/her out.

    No need to waste too much more time, though.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  13. R. Gates says:
    August 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Skeptics have no answers, but global climate models do.

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

    A closed mouth….gathers no FOOT! (Proverbs)

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  14. Smokey, you have been asking for scientific hypotheses, but when some are offered, you call it “babbling”?

    R Gates hypothesized (paraphrasing): sea ice was lower during the Holocene optimum due to forcing caused by Milankovitch cycles”
    That seems a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. A quick check around the internet seems to confirm that the energy to the northern hemisphere was indeed larger 9000 years ago than now. I don’t know all the details or answers, but I don’t see any “babbling” here. Do you have a better hypothesis? Can you provide evidence against this hypothesis or for your hypothesis?

    R Gates hypothesized (paraphrasing): big, long-term changes in sea ice extents require some kind of forcing mechanism.
    That is pretty hard to argue against. Do you have a hypothesis for how large changes happen without some sort of forcing?

    R Gates hypothesized (paraphrasing): Skeptics have no answers as to why the sea ice is declining.
    I don’t know about that. What do the climate-change-skeptics say is the cause? What evidence backs up their hypotheses? I suppose there is the answer that it is “natural variation”, but that would require clear evidence that recent sea ice ( in the last few hundred or even few thousand years) did indeed vary to current or lower levels. (And no, the Holocene optimum doesn’t count, unless you also refute that hypothesis above that changes in insolation caused the earlier reductions).

  15. Guys, I hate to say that you are all wrong; but I will point to you why. On the polar caps, the amount of ice doesn’t depend on temperature, but on the amount of raw material in the air to renew itself every winter. Water freezes on zero degrees C. On the polar caps average temp is -25C to -35C.

    2] Most of the water from the Russian rivers drains into the Arctic. That freshwater spreads on the top of the heavier salty water and protects the ice from the salt. More of that water is used for irigation and industry = less of it for protection of the ice.

    3] Sahara’s dry heat increases = more evaporation in the Mediteranian – not many tributaries to compensate. The deficit is; increasing the speed of the Gulf Stream. I.e. more water is siphoned from the Mexican Gulf – mexican siphons more water from Arctic – Arctic increases intake extra warm /salty water from north Pacific via Bering sea. Think what that does to the ice from below.

    4] Sahara dry heat increases; with speening of the planet eastward = that dry heat goes west into Atlantic and destroys the raw material that belongs to Arctic to replace its ice. Less raw material = less ice. Ice on the polar caps is not created by snow or rain; but by dry-freezing the moisture from the air. Less moisture in the air = less ice. Same as your old freezer needed defrosting – lots of ice, with zero snowfall and rainfall in your kitchen. More humidity in the kitchen =more ice to defrost

    5] the biggest new evil: those nuclear ice crusher ships cost lots of rubles and dollars to build and maintenece. They are not made to make 100m coridor only. When lots of coridors are made by them, to take the shonky climatologist / bias media and other spectators further north… Ice is britle as glass – the ruff water brakes million times more – that ice flaws south and melts in warmer waters. But that is good… they think that ice is white, less ice to reflect the sunlight = hopefuly a smal GLOBAL warming? They are wrong and back to front on that one also. Because they forget that is 6 months of darckness, very cold darckness. White ice is full of air as insulator – less ice to insulate the water from the tremendous winter coldness = water absorbs much more coldness – as on a convayer belt is taking it south. If you want to learn the real truth http://www.stefanmitich.com.au To understand why Europe / USA is getting much colder winters, why those ice crusher ships are trigering midi ice age and much more – get on my website. If you are a good boy, I will send you a coppy of my book. STOP BARCKING UP THE WRONG TREE, ALL OF YOU !!! Keep this article as a record. I, and the laws of physics, we are never wrong.

  16. Yes Leon, Watts said to take no notice of the JAXA graph because it wasn’t averaged, but when it suits out it comes – and enlarged too. If the 2007 record is challenged they’re all ready to laugh it off.

  17. R. Gates says:

    August 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm
    “..so what about our current downtrend? Skeptics have no answers…”

    It’s natural variability, get used to it.

  18. “R. Gates says:
    August 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    So we know why sea ice might have been lower during the Holocene optimum…it was pretty much the forcing caused by Milankovitch cycles…bit to what would skeptics attribute the current down trend? You see, climate, unlike weather isn’t a random walk, and big changes in things like sea ice extents being smaller for thousands of years require some kind of forcing mechanism. We know what caused the Holocene optimum…so what about our current downtrend? Skeptics have no answers, but global climate models do.”

    Er, whats up with that Doc?

    The Milankovitch/natural cycles caused a GREATER loss of polar sea ice during the Holocene optimum and yet the supposed CAGW effect causes a SMALLER loss and natural cycles have nothing to do with it? Some kind of forcing mechanism like NATURAL cycles maybe? I dont know if you have spotted the inconsistency yet but the models you are so fond of are false, they do not represent reality. Work on the assumption that the models are false and you see other factors at work, you see that the faith in modelled reality does not represent observed reality. How many times have the models been ‘corrected’ in the attempt to make them fit actual reality?

    The only thing that climate models have achieved is to present a false version of reality, they do not work because they do not include the real drivers of natural cyclic climate variation(NCCV). If the Milankovitch cycle a primary factor in the Holocene optimum then could the same cycle be responsible for the now past mild warming?

  19. I’ll look into this study in depth soon, as it is interesting, but at least one dubious assertion jumped out at me because of my own odd expertise. I wonder what their proof is that driftwood cannot stay afloat for two years? In the flotsamist community there is overwhelming anecdotal information that it can. For over nine months I have been doing a buoyancy experiment on small pieces of driftwood that were non-buoyant sinksam (flotsam and jetsam’s benthic sibling) when collected, then were dried out for six months before being put back into sea water. Though most resank fairly quickly, a handful lasted six months, and I’m looking right now at a two inch disk in the test chamber, merrily floating high enough in the water to last a good while longer. The fact that these pieces originally sank at some point after entering the ocean, then were highly rounded by their journey along our coast, driven along the bottom by the longshore current, before being ejected onto a small beach by a phenomena known locally as “Neptune’s Vomitorium, may have made their surfaces more resistant to subsequent waterlogging. However, logs heavily bedecked by gooseneck barnacles and other marine hitchhikers, being slowly rotated around the Pacific for years in the North Pacific Sub-tropical Gyre are wellknown.

  20. There can be no “tipping point” of any relevance for arctic sea ice during the interglacial. Every bit that vanishes leaves that much less contribute to albedo feedback…and its going to tend to be in areas with less and less direct sunlight as the coverage decreases. The “tipping point” was reached waaaaaay back as the interglacial started when there was about ten times as much sea ice that extended to within 50 degrees of the equator. Even in the dead of winter much of that sea ice contributed to earth’s albedo.

    The only substantial (natural) albedo feedback available is desert albedo feedback…but having he deserts shrink due to higher rainfall and increased drought resistance (caused by CO2) would be a GOOD thing.

  21. The concept of a ‘tipping point’ is extremely dubious per se.

    The tipping point might mean ‘unable to recover within 20 years’, ‘unable to recover within 1000 years’ or ‘unable to recover within 100,000 years’.

    The first is irrelevant geologically whereas the third is significant since that is the length of time of a ice-age-interglacial cycle. The second is significant for human beings in terms of a requirement for long-term adaptation, but is consistent with return to equilibrium sometimes occurring over millenia not decades.

    Perhaps before any more soundbite-catching use of the term ‘tipping point’ takes place, climate scientists might like to expound on what a useful, workable definition of the term actually is?

  22. The jetsam of: “Our key to the mystery of the extent of sea ice during earlier epochs lies in the driftwood we found along the coast.” ……..Driftwood – how scientific can that be?

    ““Our studies show that there are great natural variations in the amount of Arctic sea ice. The bad news is that there is a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. And there is no doubt that continued global warming will lead to a reduction in the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.”…

    Agreed absolutely, since the LIA, global warming has been shown to be beneficial and rather significant for the NH.
    For this, we have cause to give thanks to mother nature and we are most grateful for her benificence, though we know, she is apt to change her mind – at any time, Caprice be thy name.

  23. Lloyd Burt says: The “tipping point” was reached waaaaaay back as the interglacial started when there was about ten times as much sea ice that extended to within 50 degrees of the equator.

    Good point. This is one reason why one shouldn’t use data from the previous glacial period to estimate climate sensitivity. A cold climate like during the past glaciation is far more unstable than the current warm climate.

  24. Behind the present shore long rows of beach ridges show that at one time waves could break onto the beach unhindered by sea ice. The beach ridges were mapped for 500 kilometres along the coast, and carbon-14 dating has shown that during the warm period from about 8000 until 4000 years ago, there was more open water and less coastal ice than today.

    So it was warmer, and the sea levels weren’t significantly higher than today! Another nail in the coffin of the CAGW claims.

  25. let’s see. 5.000 years ago, summer was shorter but warmer, spring began colder but ended warmer etc .This must have something to do with climate change.

  26. R. Gates says: “Skeptics have no answers, but global climate models do.”

    Climate models have no basis in reality, R. Gates. Have you investigated them? Do you understand that? The model mean of the IPCC hindcasts/projections for the past 30 years do not come close to simulating satellite-era Sea Surface Temperatures. The following posts were cross posted here at WUWT. Do you recall them?
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/part-1-%e2%80%93-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-versus-ipcc-hindcastprojections/
    AND:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/492/

    And skeptics do have answers. Unfortunately for alarmists such as you, I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic global warming signal in Sea Surface Temperatures for the past 30 years, and the oceans cover 70% of the planet. Here’s the latest of my posts on the multiyear aftereffects of ENSO:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/enso-indices-do-not-represent-the-process-of-enso-or-its-impact-on-global-temperature/
    It’s written at an introductory level so it should be pretty easy to understand.

  27. RE: timetochooseagain says:
    August 4, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    “…the Arctic has been much warmer in the past without killing of the Polar Bears or ruining the livelihood of the Inuit (despite present whining)…”

    Actually there have been people thriving, and then getting pretty much wiped out, in the Arctic for roughly 5000 years. The Vikings were not the only culture driven off by a turn towards Little Ice Age conditions. The non-Viking (Thule or perhaps late Dorset) sites on the Southeast coast of Greenland were also abandoned, including a few which held Viking trade items, (or else items scavenged from abandoned Viking sites.)

    The ancestors of the Inuit (Eskimo) are called the “Thule.” There is dispute about how closely related earlier peoples are to the Inuit.

    The earliest peoples in Greenland are called the Independence I, and the Saqqaq. If you search and study, you notice there’s quite a lot of variance in the ideas about where, when and how these cultures came and went.

    Even if winter nights were warmer in the Holocene, they were just as dark and long as they are today. It is interesting to note that the Independence I culture apparently burned driftwood to stay warm, if not to have light. There must have been a lot more driftwood along the arctic coasts than there remains today.

    Perhaps that culture ran into problems when it burned up all the driftwood, but in no case that I know of did warming harm a culture. It is always the cold that crushes them. The Inuit seem to be the most superbly adapted arctic culture ever, and best at enduring the cold. Their demise may not be warming, but welfare.

  28. Let’s face it, this whole arctic tipping point idea is based on the daft concept that some (less physically minded) proponents of global warming theory are under the impression that if you put more CO2 in the atmosphere it will just get hotter and hotter and hotter. That just isn’t true. Even in the best case the CO2 cannot trap more energy in the atmosphere than is reaching the Earth from the sun. So if it doesn’t get hot enough during the day to melt ice now, then you can put as much CO2 into the atmosphere as you like and you still won’t melt it. There just isn’t enough energy reaching the poles from the sun to cause appreciable melting.

    It’s really about time the physicists knocked this one on the head since it really should be easy to prove.

  29. How long before the attack dogs start trying to link these authors to ‘big oil’
    If you can’t argue the science kill the articles publication or smear the authors.

  30. It is good to get continued confirmation of existing studies on the Arctic, It won’t make any difference, the major news media will not pick it up and run with it to challenge AGW and it will be forgotten, as the propaganda machines get into action ready for Durban in November and the Rio Earth Summit next June.

    http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/voyage/subset/greenland/environment.html
    Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
    Cores taken from the ocean bottom west of Iceland show evidence that the ocean conditions between the 8th and 12th centuries were relatively calm and that little sea ice was present to hinder navigation. The build-up of sea ice beginning in the 13th century correspond with evidence from ice cores whose layers of annual snowfall show isotopic evidence that the 14th century had the coldest climate known in Greenland during the past 700 years. Such conditions would have severely strained the farming resources of the Western Settlement and could well have caused its collapse.

    Climate and People in the Prehistoric Arctic – Robert McGhee
    http://www.carc.org/pubs/v15no5/5.htm (Canadian Arctic Resources Committee)
    By about 7000 years ago the massive glaciers of the last Ice Age had retreated to the mountain peaks of the eastern Canadian Arctic. Tundra vegetation had become established, and was grazed by caribou, muskoxen, and, in some areas, by bison. The gulfs and channels between the arctic islands had long been at least seasonally ice-free, and provided a home to populations of seals, walrus, and whales. There is considerable evidence that for the next 3500 years the arctic climate was noticeably warmer than today, the tree-line was north of its present position, sea ice was less extensive, and animal populations were large and well established.

  31. The driftwood originated near the great rivers of present-day North America and Siberia. The wood types were almost entirely spruce, which is widespread in the Boreal forest of North America, and larch, which is dominates the Siberian taiga.

    It would be interesting to see if the study could be used to show that during the warm period, trees grew larger and farther north where the wood had increased probability of finding its way into Arctic waters.

    Warm weather is good for plant growth and agriculture.

  32. The thing is that Gates etc make one massive assumptive error. They class the decline over the last 20 or so years as a long term trend. Its not, its a gnats chuff in an amphitheatre.

  33. “The warmists will claim that the 50% less ice from long ago was good solid ice where the ice we have today, even if it is twice as much is rotten ice.”

    In the immortal words of the late great Marty Feldman, “Ix-nay on the otten-ray”.

  34. Tim Folkerts,

    I would answer your questions as I usually do, but many other commentators have already provided excellent refutations.

    However, one thing needs to be corrected in your post. You use the mendacious term “climate-change-skeptics”. Scientific skeptics have never denied that the climate changes. That belief is held by Michael Mann’s followers, who credulously believe there was no MWP or LIA, because Mann’s debunked chart omitted those historical events.

    If you want to have credibility here, you had best stop parroting the “climate-change-skeptics” nonsense.

  35. Folks – this is one study. The hand waving and comments like ” It displaces and discards a sh**-load of hand-waving that has been “informing” the AGW alarms and alarums.” is way too premature.

    Just like you’d (fairly) jump all over a single study claiming to prove the Arctic reached a tipping point claims that this single paper somehow debunks all the other Arctic science is just silly.

  36. R. Gates says:
    August 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm … Skeptics have no answers, but global climate models do.

    Answers are cheap. Correct answers are going to cost you.

  37. Bystander-“claims that this single paper somehow debunks all the other Arctic science is just silly.”

    Your claim presumes that “all the other Arctic science” comes to a different conclusion, and that this is somehow a strange, outlying finding that the Arctic can and has undergone big changes in the past that didn’t plunge the world into Armaggedon.

    I hate to break it to you but this new finding in fact is strengthing a wealth of previous evidence, not just for the “Holocene Opitimum” in the Arctic, but for the fact that said Optimum didn’t cause any catastrophic destabilization-if it had, we wouldn’t be here to observe that it didn’t. According to popular alarmist theories, the Greenland ice sheet should have slid into the ocean (it didn’t) the polar bears should have perished (they didn’t) and the Inuit should have suffered (they radiated). One of the best examples of an earlier study showing the extensive Arctic warming in the early to mid Holocene would be this:

    MacDonald, G.M., et al., 2000. Holocene treeline history and climate change across northern Eurasia. Quaternary Research, 53, 302-311.

    But there are MANY more.

  38. “So we know why sea ice might have been lower during the Holocene optimum…it was pretty much the forcing caused by Milankovitch cycles”
    WRONG!!
    The huge temperature swings over very short periods of time (10-20 degrees in less than a century) that were discovered in isotope studies of the Greenland ice cores caused a major change in hypotheses of what causes ice ages. These multiple, abrupt, high intensity, climate fluctuations proved that they could not be caused by Milankovitch cycles because Milankovitch cycles are slow, long term changes incapable of causing such sudden climate fluctuations. This is true of the early Holocene–a sudden global cooling and warming that lasted only a few hundred years occurred 8,200 years ago so the ‘early Holocene climatic optimum’ was caused by the same process that caused many severe, abrupt climate changes in the late Pleistocene 10–15,000 years ago–NOT slow, long term Milankovitch changes.
    What this means, of course, is that we must look elsewhere for the cause not only of these ancient climate changes, but also for the cause of modern climate changes.

  39. *****
    The good news is that even with a reduction to less than 50% of the current amount of sea ice the ice will not reach a point of no return: a level where the ice no longer can regenerate itself even if the climate was to return to cooler temperatures.
    *****

    Ridiculous. How are the Arctic landmasses gonna stop cooling to -40(F or C) or colder during the winter? And -40 air is gonna freeze ocean on/near the shore. Once that starts, it’s impossible to keep the adjacent open water from freezing if the frigid air continues forming. And so sea-ice expands.

    At present winter temps, the Arctic ocean is gonna freeze in winter, unless there is some unprecedented warm-water flow (much more than now) into it.

  40. Cassandra King,

    When you say…”Some kind of forcing mechanism like NATURAL cycles maybe?”

    This says nothing. You need to be specific when talking about forcing…i.e. where is the extra insolation or trapping of heat coming from? Milankovitch, Volcanoes, large comet strikes, and yes, even anthropogenic gases such as CO2, black carbon, and sulfates can be forcing, but “natural cycles” are not a forcing, as it says nothing. The climate (unlike the very short term weather) is NOT a random walk (as 800,000 years of ice cores clearly tell us). What most fail to realize is that we can tell you a lot about the climate of 800,000 years ago, but almost nothing about specific weather in two weeks…this is the difference between a random walk (i.e. natural variability) and something like the climate, which changes from SPECIFIC changes in the heat balance of earth.

  41. About 5000 years ago the current Inuit crossed the Arctic from Alaska and found an existing people, the Dorset present. They were impressed with these people who existed from Greenland down into Newfoundland, where, among other things, they produced soapstone bowls for trading purposes. The Dorset people lived in a difficult environment of much ice that limited their numbers and prevented village style lives. Apparently they lost the ability to make boats and bows and arrows over time, living by spearing their food from the edges of the ice. When the Inuit arrived in boats – the Northwest Passage was open enough for the migration – the Dorset were in terminal decline and disappeared soon after, probably without the help of the Inuit, who would have found the Dorset people no threat and no challenge to the resources of the region.

    The arrival of the current Inuit depended on an opening of the NW passage, of seas open enough for the Inuit to use their kayaks etc. not just for travel but for the type of fishing and seal-hunting that fed their lifestyle. This article talks about a major melt of the Arctic ice at the same time as the Inuit arrived: the same fact by different routes.

    The cyclicity of our climate is far greater than the accounts given by the IPCC/Hansen. But then, the point is not really about the climate, it is about creating a “just” and “moral” society on a global basis. CAGW is the trigger, but socio-political engineering is the reason.

  42. Bob Tisdale says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

    “Climate models have no basis in reality.”

    Respectfully Bob, I disagree. They are some of the most complex mathematical models we’ve ever created and are firmly based on our known laws of physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, etc. Are they a perfect presentation of reality? Of course not! And as we learn more about the climate, they are always being improved. They are the best way for us to have a control and tests of input to earth’s climate, unless you happen to know of a duplicate earth somewhere we can use.

    I think most climate scientists are well aware of the limitations of global climate models, but to suggest they have “no” basis in reality is an extremely skeptical position which I completely disagree with.

  43. @R. Gates
    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have been undergoing the strongest grand solar maximum in thousands of years?
    I think milankovich cycles drives the long term trend of climate, while solar activity affects the short term climate.

  44. Don Easterbrook,

    I disagree with your assessment. Glacial and interglacials (including the last several) are generally caused by Milankovitch cycles. The Holocene Optimum is no different. Now, under the initial forcing of Milankovtich cycles, a whole host of other feedbacks can be initiated, such as outgassing of CO2 from the oceans, changes in ocean currents, chemistry, etc. Also, because the climate exists on the edge of chaos, we know that sudden changes in climate can also happen as secondary effects to the solar insolation changes from Milankovitch. For example, as earth was coming out of the last glacial period (based again, on Milankovitch cycles) we know that the earth was suddenly cast back into a glacial period for over a thousand years. This Younger Dryas cooling was likely caused by the sudden release of a great deal of fresh water from glacial melt, which altered deep ocean circulation. This sudden cooling happened even thought the Milankovitch cycle was trending toward warming. As stated, it took over a thousand years for the earth to get back on track to the longer-term warming that the Mllankovitch forcing was moving it towards…and of course, that longer-term Milankovitch warming resulted in the Holocene Optimum which really followed pretty rapidly geologically speaking after the extreme cooling of the Younger Dryas. Of course, the planet has generally been cooling very slowly since the Holocene Optimum, with the exception of course, our modern warming.

  45. R Gates; You are hopeless. But I would say that we a trend of a little warming since 1970 is not climate. What you are taking about is over a much larger time period there for the so called forcing are clearer. But when we are talking about 50-100 years it really is such a short period of time compared to the time frame of what you are talking about that we cannot easily see the small natural changes that have lead to the very slight warming we observe during this short time period, but, CO2 is not the cause. But you are hopeless and nothing anybody says will get through to you.

  46. tommy says:
    August 5, 2011 at 10:41 am
    @R. Gates
    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have been undergoing the strongest grand solar maximum in thousands of years?
    I think milankovich cycles drives the long term trend of climate, while solar activity affects the short term climate.

    ___
    I would not disagree with your assessment of the relatively long-term/short-term effects on climate with regard to Milankovitch cycles and solar forcings. Up until the past few decades, I would say these two were the long-term/short-term drivers of climate, but with GHG’s now breaking away from their entrainment to the Milankovitch cycle based on human activity, all bets are off…i.e. enter the Anthropocene.

  47. Tom T says:
    August 5, 2011 at 10:54 am
    R Gates; You are hopeless.
    ___
    Nope, I still have lots of hope.

    Be in regards to your ad hominem, best to stick to the science.

  48. Don Easterbrook says:
    August 5, 2011 at 7:24 am

    What this means, of course, is that we must look elsewhere for the cause not only of these ancient climate changes, but also for the cause of modern climate changes.
    _____
    One additional comment about this, similar effects can have different causes, and the earth of today is completely different than the earth has been for at least 800,000 years…i.e. based on the GHG concentrations. I have absolutely no doubt that the 8.2 ky event, and other such Bond Events and D-O Events have a strong solar component, but these are little ripples compared to the larger Milankovitch forcing, and it is likely that GHG concentrations can reach a level to overshadow solar forcing. Based on the current trajectory of GHG’s, we’d have to look back several million years, to the Pliocene to find a similar Milankovitch cycle/GHG concentration on this planet. And, not surprisingly, that’s exactly what climate scientists are doing in order to get a grasp of where we might be headed:

    http://micropress.org/stratigraphy/papers/Stratigraphy_6_4_265-275.pdf

  49. RE: Doug Proctor says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:06 am
    “About 5000 years ago the current Inuit crossed the Arctic from Alaska and found an existing people, the Dorset present….”

    Actually the current idea is that the early Inuit (“Thule”) arrived roughly 1000 years ago, but debate is welcome, if you wish.

    Here is a fairly decent diagram of the “current wisdom,” regarding the chronology of early arctic peoples:

    http://www.avataq.qc.ca/en/Institute/Departments/Archaeology/Discovering-Archaeology/Arctic-Chronology

    I was hoping this link’s study of the beaches up in North Greenland might get past the search for a “tipping point,” and mention the discovery of a few archeological sites, though North Greenland is one of the harshest parts of the arctic, and may have never had much appeal to sensible people.

    I wish scientists would study ancient people more, and CO2 less. There is something heroic about the peoples who wandered that landscape.

  50. @R. Gates:

    Can you show that the real climate works the way the climate models work? No?

    When Bob Tisdale assets these models have no basis in reality, perhaps that’s exactly what he means. Yes, the models use facts such as the freezing point of water, but that does not mean the models realistically model the behavior of the actual climate.

    But you’re deliberately missing the point by redirecting the conversation elsewhere.

    BTW: What answers do we skeptics need to offer? We won’t know the answers until we finally stop trying to push the wrong answers (AGW) upon the public and start looking for better answers.

  51. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 10:53 am
    Don Easterbrook,

    … Of course, the planet has generally been cooling very slowly since the Holocene Optimum, with the exception of course, our modern warming.

    Correction – with the exception of modern post LIA warming and MWP warming.

    Tried to sneak that one under the radar?

  52. I think basic logic combined with un biased paleo studies all point to periods that had lower sea ice minima during the peak of the Holocene optimum. Even if AGW is a reality it has really only been a slight recovery from the general long downward slope leading to the cliff at the pending end of the interglacial.

  53. R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 9:05 am
    Cassandra King,

    When you say…”Some kind of forcing mechanism like NATURAL cycles maybe?”

    This says nothing. You need to be specific when talking about forcing…i.e. where is the extra insolation or trapping of heat coming from? Milankovitch, Volcanoes, large comet strikes, and yes, even anthropogenic gases such as CO2, black carbon, and sulfates can be forcing, but “natural cycles” are not a forcing, as it says nothing. The climate (unlike the very short term weather) is NOT a random walk (as 800,000 years of ice cores clearly tell us). …

    It always amazes me the effect of the word “natural” on the AGW camp – something like the effect of salt on the back of a slug. You guys really hate it.

    So you are joining Steve Mosher who takes Lindzen’s (ironic) static “climate perfection of the early 29th century” as the null hypothesis, and refuse to accept the possibliity of oscillations in a climate system that has been shown by voluminous published research to behave like a nonlinear oscillator.

    But then a few posts further on you appeal to chaotic dynamics:

    R. Gates says:
    August 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

    … Also, because the climate exists on the edge of chaos

    If you constantly refer to climate as chaotic, then please accept the implication of this that nonlinear oscillations are overwhelmingly probable in such a system.

    How then can you say that in the climate system which is chaotic / nonlinear and characterised by nonlinear oscilators such as the ENSO system, that the expectation of oscillation as a null hypothesis is unacceptable? Or in simpler terms, that you wont accept the possibility of cycles as being natural.

    In climate, oscillation is the null hypothesis, NOT stasis (which is a bizzare and never observed phenomenon).

  54. @phlogiston says:
    August 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm
    (Response to R. Gates)

    Yeah, but.. but… this time it’s different! ;o)

    P.S. Loved your last sentence there. Well said.

  55. R. Gates – Simple question: do you believe that AGW will overcome the pending end of the interglacial, thereby stalling or eliminating it?

  56. I think that when we talk about the long term changes in climate then we have to be talking about geological ages,the ice is so thick in Antartica because for millions of years it has been three degrees colder then it was in the previous geological period.When certain people try to say that we maybe warming the Earth to the same extent that was present in the previous geological era in a shorter time fail to recognise that we would have to provide that extra heat for millions of years to get rid of the ice in Antartica when in reality our supply of fossil fuels will run out in a few hundred years and that over a geological period any increased co2 will be turned into rock and it is likely to remain cold.

  57. When it comes to arctic ice why does the danish folks seem to be so objective and know so much … oh right, they’ve ruled and respected Greenland for a thousand years.

  58. As you may have heard there was a tragedy in the Norwegian Arctic yesterday where one person (a 17 year old on an eco-expediition) was mauled to death by polar bears and others injured.
    The BBC reported that Norwegian arctic experts were saying that there was more sea ice than expected giving the bears more freedom to roam in search of prey.
    Add that to the cause of the tragedy: the camp’s perimeter trip wires (designed to fire blanks to scare away the bears) had frozen and so failed to operate.

  59. Anthony writes The paper references changes to wind systems which can slow down the rate of melting

    Considering the fact that the IPCC GCMs project a 7 million km^2 September minimum for 2011, I’m not so impressed if any researcher claims that there are effects that winds can ‘slow down the rate of melting’.

    I would be much more impressed by research that explains why on Earth the Arctic summer minimum is reducing so much more rapidly than anyone anticipated (including WUWT reader polls
    ).

    Also, I’m not sure why Anthony hails a paper as contradicting “noise from the alarmists” when it starts with the sentence Global warming will probably cause the disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean during this century and that does not even mention the words “Tipping Point” anywhere in the publication.

  60. Philip Foster says:
    August 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Unfortunately all the youngsters involved have been, for several years, ‘educated’ in the UK which means that they will have had an unrestricted diet of CAGW rammed down their throats since they started. Tragically, this probably means that they all assumed that there would be no polar bears left, and no sea ice for the deceased bears to cross anyway.

  61. Re: “Arctic ‘tipping point’ may not be reached”

    The arctic warming during the Holocene Climate Optimum was caused by a huge solar forcing. That solar forcing has since receded allowing ice to accumulate again. But today’s melting of the arctic is not due to solar forcing, but a small anthropogenic CO2 forcing. However the change in albedo when the arctic melts will result in a forcing greater than our anthropogenic CO2 forcing. This is the point of no return – the tipping point which climatoligists are so worried about – because they know that once this point is reached, any reductions in CO2 emissions will not be able to overcome the albedo forcing.

    Any suggestion that once arctic sea ice completely melts, that it can not return again, can definitely be viewed as a tipping point, but as indicated by Dr Svend Funder’s paper, a large change in forcing can let arctic ice build up again. Unfortunately we are not expecting such a large change in forcing to happen any time soon.

  62. Inda House says:

    “… today’s melting of the arctic is not due to solar forcing, but a small anthropogenic CO2 forcing.”

    Evidence, please.

    And there is no “tipping point”:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14408930

    Finally, Inda House says: “Unfortunately we are not expecting such a large change in forcing to happen any time soon.”

    Question: Why “Unfortunately”? Is it because you want a climate catastrophe so you can say you were right? Sorry, but it just isn’t happening.

  63. SteveSadlov says:
    August 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    R. Gates – Simple question: do you believe that AGW will overcome the pending end of the interglacial, thereby stalling or eliminating it?
    ________
    Based on my latest readings on Milankovitch cycles, our current interglacial is not in any danger of coming to an end for quite some time. The latest estimates show that we could be in for the longest interglacial based on the sum total of Milankovtich cycles in 500,000 years. So I would disagree that there is some “pending end” of the interglacial looming, so your question is probably not meaningful.

    But not to totally dodge your question however, if Milankovtich cycles were indicating a glacial period immediately ahead, I would doubt that CO2 levels alone could forestall this as solar insolation on the NH oceans is a powerful forcing effect from Milankovtich, and this would be a hard thing to overcome from CO2 greenhouse effects alone.

  64. Smokey. I used the word ‘unfortunately’ because a forcing to cool the arctic would slow the melting, which would be welcome. Such a forcing could be a reduction in solar irradiance or a reduction in greenhouse effect.
    Just as a matter of interest, what is your scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect, and are you against the theory?

  65. Inda House,

    First, the use of proper terminology is essential. The greenhouse effect is a hypothesis, not a theory. A theory makes predictions that are at least somewhat accurate, consistent, testable and verifiable. Models of the greenhouse effect have failed to make accurate predictions. The putative greenhouse effect is entirely model-based, which is in turn based on radiative physics. But it has not made accurate, testable predictions, so it is actually more of a conjecture than a hypothesis.

    That said, however, there may well be a greenhouse effect, even though there is no testable evidence. But if it exists it is minuscule, accounting for only a part of the small, 0.7°C temperature rise over the past century and a half. The whole “carbon” scare is wildly overestimated and irresponsibly hyped, since there is no verifiable evidence showing any global harm from the rise in CO2. On balance, more CO2 is probably a net benefit to the biosphere. And even if it were to double, it would still be a very tiny trace gas.

  66. India House,
    As you may have noticed already, Smokey uses strawman arguments and opinionated rethoric to fool himself into sustaining his biased view of reality.
    Of course, ignoring the fact that the greenhouse effect causes this planet’s surface to be some 30 C higher than it would be without it, and then calling this effect ‘minuscule’ simply underlines that he has a predetermined agenda of what the outcome of the experiment on planet Earth that we are currently conducting.

  67. Rob,

    It is you who relies on a strawman argument, not I. I was answering a specific question asked of me by Inda [not India] House. My answer explained the putative greenhouse effect, specifically regarding CO2. You are presuming facts not in evidence. There is no empirical, testable evidence, per the scientific method, proving a greenhouse effect. As I stated, it may exist. But there is no empirical, testable evidence; the greenhouse effect is a hypothesis, not a theory.

    Further, at ≈1 Bar of pressure on Venus, which corresponds to earth at sea level, there is NO “greenhouse effect.” None. And the dense atmosphere on Venus is over 96% CO2, whereas on earth CO2 is only 0.00039 of the atmosphere. The temperature of Venus is completely explained by its closer proximity to the sun. If CO2 caused heating, Venus would be much hotter.

    Instead of going off about agendas and rhetoric, try to get up to speed on the science. A good place to start is by searching the WUWT archives, keyword: CO2.

  68. R. Gates, you better be sitting down. I agree with you on the M. cycle and that any AGW from increased CO2 would not negate this known cycle. Common ground. Whoda thunk it possible.

  69. Smokey. Thanks for your informative answer, you’ve obviously been studying. Climate scientists quite often talk about longwave radiation heating the atmosphere. Which do you believe, that the 700c/cm radiation passes through the atmosphere without interacting with CO2 because its only a trace gas, or that the 700c/cm lines have been saturated, and therefor adding more CO2 makes no difference now?

  70. Pamela…yea, Whoda thunk! From the longest term perspective, Milankovitch cycles will always trump. The only exception would be if the cycle is interrupted by some major shock, such as volcanic eruptions, comet strike, or the sudden release of a large amount of fresh water in to the ocean, as in the case of the Younger Dryas and perhaps even the 8.2. ky event. Where we differ is that I feel there is better than even chance that human activity can influence the climate during these interglacials (thankfully, we haven’t yet experienced a glacial period as an industrialized species to know if we can impact the climate during one of these.) Of course, you and I could be wrong and AGW could turn out to be strong enough to dramatically alter the character and timing of the next glacial period, and by the time it arrives. we may even intentionally decide to use geoengineering to attempt to prevent the worst of the next interglacial. There’s even been a couple of science fiction books about this very thing I believe.

    Anyway, I shall cherish this moment, brief and small as it is, of our common ground…

  71. Inda House,

    Glad you found my answer so informative. I assume by that that you don’t disagree. However, I answered your question, and now it’s my turn to ask a question before you get to ask another one. This is, after all, a discussion on the internet’s “Best Science” site, not a martinet’s quiz on climateprogress. So, here is my question:

    Given that there is no testable, verifiable evidence of any global harm from the ≈40% increase in CO2, and given that agricultural productivity has risen in lock step with the rise in CO2, and given that one-third of the world’s population subsists on less than $2 a day and depends on rising food production to avoid starvation, and given that the climate null hypothesis has never been falsified… would you agree that, on balance, the evidence [or lack thereof] indicates that the added CO2 is both harmless and beneficial?

    If not, please provide testable, empirical evidence to the contrary, per the scientific method [and keep in mind that models are not evidence]. Thanx in advance.☺

  72. Inda House (sorry for previous mis-spelling)
    Since Smokey seems to be more interested in testing your opinion rather than answering your science question, let me give it a try.

    Your question was Which do you believe, that the 700c/cm radiation passes through the atmosphere without interacting with CO2 because its only a trace gas, or that the 700c/cm lines have been saturated, and therefor adding more CO2 makes no difference now?

    In the 700/cm band, CO2 absorbs/emits radiation strongly. IOW, it has a short optical depth.
    Because of CO2 in our atmosphere, if you were to look at our planet from space in the 700/cm band, you would be able to see only down to some 15 km altitude. At 15 km altitude, temperature of our atmosphere is around -50 C, and the CO2 at that altitude radiates thus much less than the surface would radiate. Radiation to space of planet Earth in IR (including the 700/cm band) is visualized very clearly in this graph :

    Notice the large dip in space-bound radiation in the 700/cm band ? That is CO2 in the (cold) upper troposphere that you are looking at.
    Consequently, Earth does not cool very well in this band, which means that the surface needs to warm up before the planet as a whole reaches radiative equilibrium again. This is known as the greenhouse effect of CO2, and this large dip in the radiation spectrum is the key reason that the planet surface is so much warmer than our distance from the Sun and plain Stefan Bolzmann black-body radiation would suggest.

    If we were to increase CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as we have been doing for the past 150 years, the altitude where CO2 becomes opaque (as seen from space) will increase. Due to the lapse rate, the temperature of CO2 radiating to space will drop, and thus the amount of energy radiated will drop as well. This means that the surface has to again increase in temperature to compensate for the reduced emissions from high altitude CO2. In a nutshell, that is the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Notice that, because radiation happens from the upper troposphere, water vapor has little influence and there is no ‘saturation’ point for increased CO2, unless the radiating altitude reaches the tropopause.

    Does this help ?

  73. Smokey. CO2 is harmful if it causes global warming, so to answer your question I need to prove that it does. If you build a dam across a river, the potential energy will increase behind the restriction and will continue to do so until the water flows over the dam at the same rate as it did before you built your dam. However, the potential energy will have increased. As you must be aware, it’s no different to restricting the flow of energy leaving planet earth, you don’t need to be a scientist to know that, however, within the previous question I asked you, are 2 very good objections to this ‘proof’, which is why you shouldn’t avoid answering my question. You might just prove that AGW is a myth. So please state which objection you agree with: That CO2 is a trace gas and therefor there is not enough to restrict LWR, or, that CO2 has saturated it’s vibrational frequencies, so adding more won’t make any difference.

  74. Rob says:

    “In a nutshell, that is the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

    Did someone strike up Send In The Clowns?? Rob still doesn’t understand that AGW is not a “theory,” it is an evidence-free conjecture. See here. Wake me when CAGW can make a reliable prediction. Rob’s talking points come straight out of Skeptical Pseudo-Science, and they ignore the fact that the comparison with Venus completely debunks his entire globaloney scare. That’s why he doesn’t respond to the Venus comparison: it totally destroys the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    Rob has provided exactly zero evidence for his CAGW fantasy. In place of scientific evidence, he offers only computer model conjectures. But models aren’t evidence, they are only tools – very inaccurate tools, which can not make reliable predictions.

    Science is based on the Scientific Method. But climate alarmists run and hide from the Scientific Method like Dracula hides from the dawn. The Null Hypothesis is a function of the Scientific Method, and it has never been falsified; the Null Hypothesis debunks the wild-eyed runaway global warming scare. Where are those 20-meter sea level rises? Answer: they are only in the cognitive dissonance-afflicted fevered imaginations of the CAGW True Believer Cult.

    If Rob is a sock puppet running interference so ‘Inda’ can avoid answering my legitimate question, it isn’t working. Or, if Rob is operating on his own, he’s living in his own bubble universe: nothing unusual is occurring. The climate is well within its normal historical parameters, despite the red faced, spittle-flecked squealing of the Cult of Doom, whose influence is rapidly dwindling. Sucks to be them, and they know it. Best that Rob steps aside, and allows Inda to respond to my fair question, as I responded to Inda’s. I’m still waiting for Inda House’s answer to my question.

  75. Inda House says:

    “CO2 is harmful if it causes global warming…”

    That is a baseless opinion. Warmth is good; cold kills. More CO2 is, on balance, a good thing for the biosphere. That fact is undeniable.

    You have provided zero empirical evidence showing that CO2 causes global harm – the central conjecture of the climate alarmist crowd. In fact, CO2 is a harmless trace gas. And it is undeniably beneficial. But those afflicted with cognitive disonance cannot accept those simple facts.

    And you still have not answered my question.

  76. Hi Smokey, thanx 4 pointing me 2 the very concise Crossfit journal article. I’m getting a much better understanding of where your arguments are coming from now. Your frame of reference is very interesting. Just as a matter of interest, do you tilt towards Creationism more than Darwinism?

  77. IndaHouse says:

    “Just as a matter of interest, do you tilt towards Creationism more than Darwinism?”

    No.

    And you still haven’t answered my question.

  78. Hello Smokey & Rob. Thanks 4 both answering my comments.
    Rob: I’ve played with the web-based models, which plot the spectrum of out going radiation, & I’ve seen the satellite plots, which actually measure this. Is a 99% correlation good enough? A rhetorical question.
    Smokey, as you are so passionate about this topic, I’m sure you’ve already played with the models and compared it with the actual satellite measurements. Smokey, I think we have a lot in common. We both enjoy warm weather, and both realise that carbon, when placed correctly in the biosphere is a good thing.
    I think the question of how harmful CO2 is comes down to how much warming we think is acceptable. Could you both give a figure in degrees centigrade of what rise in temperature you think would be damaging. Is it one degree, two, 10, 20 etc. Please don’t beat around the bush. Answer the question quantitatively, and then if you like, try and support your argument. For example, my answer would be one degree Celsius over the next 400 years. It’s probably a bit extreme, but being a vegan, I wouldn’t want to see any pressure put on our fellow organisms to adapt!

  79. We both enjoy warm weather, and both realise that carbon, when placed correctly in the biosphere is a good thing.

    Hmm, sort of a CO2 Feng Shui? Fits right in with the Hockey Stick, just as bogus.

  80. Jeff Alberts,

    Fits right in with the vegan thingy, too. Me, I love red meat and roaring down the freeway in my 271 horsepower carbon-spewing monster.☺

    As for the temperature, warmer is better. So long as the climate is within the natural parameters of the Holocene, everything is fine. Warm is good; cold kills.

    So my question to the vegan in the house: what is the correct temperature for the planet; and who determines it, and on what presumed authority?

  81. Smokey says:
    August 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Fits right in with the vegan thingy, too. Me, I love red meat and roaring down the freeway in my 271 horsepower carbon-spewing monster.☺

    Heh, 362hp for me. Nothing like it!

  82. Smokey asked.

    “So my question to the vegan in the house: what is the correct temperature for the planet; and who determines it, and on what presumed authority?”

    Didn’t think you’d answer my question. Mmm, 271 HP, a beautiful Ford Mustang by any chance? I love big Mustangs.

    I’m European, and even though I try and push for just a 1.5 C limit, democratically elected governments are aiming at 2 C. (It’ll probably be China and India who have the final say though)
    There, that answers your question, but I guess your next question is who will pay for this when governments have no money?! Let me explain.

    For example I just had a $18000 Solar PV installation fitted. The government paid half because I’ve recently had my house insulated, also paid for by the government. The government also guaranteed $1600 per year for 25 years as an incentive. There is a further guaranteed 60 cents per kW/h feed in tariff when I sell what I don’t use to my electric company (a 70% subsidy). All tax free, and that’s only half the story. When the smart grid arrives I’m gonna get a Tesla Roadster. The government will pay me to attach it to the grid to smooth out renewable energy fluctuations. Who pays? Well, green taxes of course. A 271HP mustang pays $210 green road tax, which will increase to $3000 as more green energy comes on line. Green petrol tax is expected to raise $30bn next year.

    But the best part is being a vegan. I don’t cook because I only eat fresh fruit and veg. That’s a saving of $100 per month which I sell to the Electricity Company, $70 of which is subsidised by people who drive lovely big Mustangs.

    I’m sure Steven Chu, your Secretary of Energy will introduce the European model to the US soon, I mean, he gets it, after all he is a physicist.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/feb/06/solar-power-bright-investment
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-1704964/Petrol-price-fear-under-22bn-green-tax-plan.html
    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy/Sell-your-own-energy/Feed-in-Tariff-scheme#tarifflevels
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/HowToTaxYourVehicle/DG_10012524

  83. First off, it’s not a Mustang. And freeloading off the taxpayers has a long EU history. Sounds like Inda’s got both front feet in the public trough. If that kind of policy was widespread, whole sovereign nations would implode economically.

    …oh, wait…

  84. The funny thing is, it’s the countries in Europe that have invested heavily in renewable energy, which haven’t lost their AAA credit ratings.

  85. Inda House says on August 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    The funny thing is, it’s the countries in Europe that have invested heavily in renewable energy, which haven’t lost their AAA credit ratings.

    Which countries are those? France? Spain? The UK? Please tell us those countries that have invested heavily in renewable energy and have retained their AAA ratings so we can go and check their progress.

  86. The US has heavily subsidized wind and solar. Credit rating downgraded this week. Of course, it’s not all due to the insane subsidies of ‘green’ power, which wouldn’t exist commercially without a big government crutch. But it’s the exact same statist mindset behind all the financial chicanery.

  87. Actually, I’m very fond of America. I studied music in LA, it was an amazing two years. What I love the most about Americans is their go for it attitude. Americans can really get things done, but it will take innovation for you to get off your addiction to foreign oil. I do worry about America, it stands for so much, but has so many problems at present. Your biggest problem is how you borrow from China, which prop up your economy, allowing ordinary Americans to purchase Chinese goods. So the money flows back into China, and yet you Americans still have to pay it back. The Chinese are really taking the Mickey. To make matters worse this money is spent on consumerism, instead of investing in your educational establishments. Bright young people, studying Hi-Tech, Quantum Mechanics, Nuclear Power, is where innovation will come from. Knowledge is the new currency. I hope America gets its act back together soon.

  88. Inda sez:

    “…it will take innovation for you to get off your addiction to foreign oil.”

    Actually, all it would take is political will. America has more oil reserves than all of Saudi Arabia, but the enviro-tyrants stridently oppose any attempt to make use of all that available oil. Allowing drilling would result in world oil prices dropping precipitously. But the enviro-cult wants very high oil prices to justify their wildly expensive, totally inefficient windmills. Fossil fuels are the gold standard of energy efficiency, and they are far more “green” than any alternative, when all costs and subsidies are accounted for.

    And saying, “…allowing ordinary Americans to purchase Chinese goods” sounds a bit Totalitarian to me. I am an ordinary American, and I will buy whatever I feel like buying, with my own money. I just bought a made-in-China granite counter top for $89. Fifteen years ago I bought an almost identical one for over $400. What government has the intrinsic right to tell me how I can spend the money I earn? And no one is forcing China to buy U.S. debt. They’re doing it for their own self-serving reasons.

    Those who presume to be wiser than “ordinary” folks are always the same ones who want to forcibly micro-manage everyone’s life for them. No, thanks. We’ve already had too many Kim Jong-ils, Hitlers, Pol Pots, Maos and Uncle Joes over the past century. Their Totalitarian mindset is always the same. And yes, Hitler was a Leftist. The victors simply re-wrote history.

  89. Smokey : America has more oil reserves than all of Saudi Arabia
    Now that we have (once again) established that Smokey is living in a make-belief world, what remains is the mysterious entity called “Inda House” who claims to be European and vegan, and seems not to mind that the Smokey entity does not answer his questions.
    Inda House, where do you live where you get a “guaranteed 60 cents per kW/h feed in tariff” and “The government paid half because I’ve recently had my house insulated, also paid for by the government” ?

    And since everyone seems to be talking off-topic here, what do the WUWT moderators do [snip ~ try to keep touch ~ ctm]

  90. “You see, climate, unlike weather isn’t a random walk”

    The paleo record resembles a drunk walking down a hallway. Most of the time the drunk leans against one wall or the other for stability (22C or 11C), but on occasion moves over to the other wall for no apparent reason. Between the walls the drunk is unstable. As you reduce the time scale the pattern is maintained, suggesting a fractal distribution.

    Climate science assumed that climate is more predictable than weather, that the Law of Large Numbers operates on climate. However, that is only an assumption and likely a naive one at that. Time series rarely obey the LLN. The Law of Large numbers relies on a constant mean and deviation, which is unlikely to be true in the case of climate.

    A coin toss averages out over time because the coin is constant. The coin doesn’t change, thus the more times you throw the coin, the more likely the number of heads and tails are to even out. However, the planet is not constant. Over time the earth changes, life changes, the distribution of the land mass changes, the tidal and radiation influences on the earth from the cosmos changes.

    So in effect climate is a coin toss in which the coin is constantly changing. Sometimes it favors heads, sometimes it favors tails, and there is no way to know in advance which is favored due to the overall complexity of the system. For all intents and purposes climate follows the Uncertainty Principle. We can know how much temperature will change, but not when, or we can know when it will change, but not by how much. But we cannot know how much it will change and when it will change at the same time.

  91. “For example I just had a $18000 Solar PV installation fitted. The government paid half because I’ve recently had my house insulated, also paid for by the government.”

    Indeed, but to give you this money the government borrowed it in your name from the banks and unless the government can grow the economy at a rate equal or greater than the interest rates, this money will remain a mill stone around your neck for the rest of your life. Every year the taxes you pay that could have gone to build roads, bridges, educate your children, provide for your old age, that money will instead flow to the banks. In 20 years time (or less), when your PV installation is on its last legs and must be replaced, the debt will still remain. Where will you get the money to replace the PV installation?

  92. ““CO2 is harmful if it causes global warming…”

    Not if you live in a place where the temperature is too cold to support human life without fire or its equivalent. Which coincidentally happens to be the entire surface of the earth outside the tropics.

    An unprotected human will die of exposure if the temperature drops much below 27C for any length of time. The current global average temperature is 14.5C and the paleo record over the past 600 million years shows that the average temperature rarely exceeds 22C even with CO2 levels well above anything that could be reached by burning all known fossil fuel reserves on earth..

  93. ferd;
    Very nice three-fer. Thanks.
    But humans are tougher than you state. The natives of the Tierra del Fuego lived virtually without fuel, furs, or fibres for clothing and warmth, scavenging a little driftwood for their cliff fires. (Hence the name.) They are cold-adapted, and survive naked in freezing temperatures. Ask a Norwegian what the temp is when he changes out of his short sleeves!

  94. Smokey said: America has more oil reserves than all of Saudi Arabia

    Rob says:

    “Now that we have (once again) established that Smokey is living in a make-belief world…”

    Rob, get up to speed on the real world:

    World Oil Reserves:

    – 1.3 Trillion barrels of ‘proven’ oil reserves exist worldwide (EIA)

    – 1.8 to 6 Trillion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Oil-Shale Reserves (DOE)

    – 986 Billion barrels of oil are estimated using Coal-to-liquids (CTL) conversion of U.S. Coal Reserves (DOE)

    – 173 to 315 Billion (1.7-2.5 Trillion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada (Alberta Department of Energy)

    – 100 Billion barrels of heavy oil are estimated in the U.S. (DOE)

    – 90 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the Arctic (USGS)

    – 89 Billion barrels of immobile oil are estimated recoverable using CO2 injection in the U.S. (DOE)

    – 86 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (MMS)

    – 60 to 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in U.S. Tar Sands (DOE)

    – 32 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in ANWR, NPRA and the Central North Slope in Alaska (USGS)

    – 31.4 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the East Greenland Rift Basins Province (USGS)

    – 7.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the West Greenland–East Canada Province (USGS)

    – 4.3 Billion (167 Billion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana (USGS)

    – 3.65 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Devonian-Mississippian Bakken Formation (USGS)

    – 1.6 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Eastern Great Basin Province (USGS)

    – 1.3 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Permian Basin Province (USGS)

    – 1.1 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Powder River Basin Province (USGS)

    – 990 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Portion of the Michigan Basin (USGS)

    – 393 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. San Joaquin Basin Province of California (USGS)

    – 214 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Illinois Basin (USGS)

    – 172 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Yukon Flats of East-Central Alaska (USGS)

    – 131 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Southwestern Wyoming Province (USGS)

    – 109 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Montana Thrust Belt Province (USGS)

    – 104 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Denver Basin Province (USGS)

    – 98.5 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Bend Arch-Fort Worth Basin Province (USGS)

    – 94 Million barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Hanna, Laramie, Shirley Basins Province (USGS)

    For Comparison:

    – 260 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in all of Saudi Arabia (EIA)

    – 80 Billion barrels of oil are estimated in Venezuela (EIA)

    Thanx for your baseless opinion, Rob. Run along now to Skeptical Pseudo-Science for some new talking points, that’s a good boy.☺

  95. Smokey America has more oil reserves than all of Saudi Arabia, but the enviro-tyrants stridently oppose any attempt to make use of all that available oil.

    Where the ‘oppose’ argument refers to this picture :

    which shows “no” (drilling?) zones in Alaska, California, and the Eastern seaboard.

    Smokey then presents a list of ‘resources’, which are mostly insignificant compared to Saudi Arabia’s resources, except for the first three :

    – 1.8 to 6 Trillion barrels of oil are estimated in the U.S. Oil-Shale Reserves (DOE)

    – 986 Billion barrels of oil are estimated using Coal-to-liquids (CTL) conversion of U.S. Coal Reserves (DOE)

    – 173 to 315 Billion (1.7-2.5 Trillion potential) barrels of oil are estimated in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada (Alberta Department of Energy)

    Now note that each of these three are NON-traditional reserves (none of them are ‘oil’ yet), NONE of which are in the “no” drilling zones identified by Smokey and ALL of these resources have presented major technical and economical difficulties for exploration in significant quantity.

    So rather than trumpeting America’s superior “oil” resources which turn out to be “not yet oil” resources, and pointing at “no” zones that do not include your “not yet oil” resources, and blaming “enviro-tyrants” instead of the oil/gas industry’s failure to exploit these resources, why don’t you get off your butt and actually create technology that turns these stuff into ‘oil’, so that I can then burn it up in my truck ?

    Because until we do so, or until we start switching to plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, America is still addicted to foreign oil.

    Meanwhile, I hope you don’t mind that I am on the waiting list for an American made plug-in hybrid, which will run on 100% American made electricity, at 1/4 the price of that foreign oil.

    And while we are at it, I wonder where your vegan friend “Inda House” went who does not mind that you don’t answer his questions, thanks you for providing links that you did not present, and claimed that he gets “guaranteed 60 cents per kW/h feed in tariff” and “The government paid half because I’ve recently had my house insulated, also paid for by the government”…

  96. Rob has stopped making sense, but for those who wonder why the U.S. – with much greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia – produces so little oil, the reason is a government controlled by enviro dictators, who are about as anti-American as North Korea.

    It is the government, not demonized oil companies, that is solely to blame for our high energy prices. It is simple supply and demand: artificially restrict the supply, and prices skyrocket. The government, controlled by anti-American enviros, is the reason for $3 – $4 gas and escalating electricity rates.

    I’m amused by Rob’s holier-than-thou belief that his new electric buggy will save him money. It won’t. He’s not factoring in all his costs, nor Obama’s promise that “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket.” And I can assure Rob that whatever CO2 savings he achieves with his expensive new toy will be emitted by my 271 HP carbon belching hot rod, doubled and squared. Rob doesn’t understand that CO2 is harmless and beneficial, and that more CO2 is better for the biosphere. Like much of the public, Rob has been brainwashed by eco-propaganda to the point that he can no longer think rationally. Cognitive dissonance has set in.

    The fact is that the government, led by President Urkel, demonizes oil companies in order to take the spotlight off of the plain fact that the government is completely to blame for high gas and electricity prices. There is plenty of oil available. Oil companies want to develop those resources. But the government says NO. Anyone with common sense can see who is causing the problems.

  97. Inda House says:
    August 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    The funny thing is, it’s the countries in Europe that have invested heavily in renewable energy, which haven’t lost their AAA credit ratings.

    Inda, even if true, that’s at least two non-sequiters, which further hurts your cred. S&P downgraded U.S. Gov’t debt because of the failure of Obama and the Democrats in the U.S. Senate to even take up the House-passed CCB bill – they rapidly voted to not take it up because of massive public support of both CCB, 63%, and a Balanced Budget Amendment alone at ~75%, nor have they taken up the Ryan Budget or indeed any budget for well over two years, except for voting down Obama’s 97-0 – which might have led to at least the enactment of some parts of it, or to the existence of the right parts, specifically involving some form of “balancing the budget”, and specifically without increasing taxes, a.k.a. “revenues”. I heard S&P’s Beers, on Fox, specifically not bite on “increased revenues” as necessary to the U.S. keeping its triple A rating, and Eric Bolling of Fox also reported that, according to his off-camera talk with “the S&P official”, an adequate implimentation of a “Balanced Budget” bill would have prevented the downgrade.

    Regardless, the downgrade had nothing to do with investments in “renewable energy”, which have been proven in Europe to be a further massive waste of gov’t money and don’t work in any significant way no matter whose money is used. So that any similar U.S.gov’t funding would only tend to make downgrades even more likely.

  98. Inda House says:
    August 6, 2011 at 8:16 am
    Inda House says:
    August 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Re: “Arctic ‘tipping point’ may not be reached”

    ….But today’s melting of the arctic is not due to solar forcing, but a small anthropogenic CO2 forcing. However the change in albedo when the arctic melts will result in a forcing greater than our anthropogenic CO2 forcing. This is the point of no return – the tipping point which climatoligists are so worried about – because they know that once this point is reached, any reductions in CO2 emissions will not be able to overcome the albedo forcing.

    Inda, all you’ve done is to repeat Climate Science’s basic “metaethic”, as the term is used in pre-Postmodern Philosophical considerations of “ethics” – thus the ‘thinking’ which stands behind, ‘justifies’, or will at least somehow lead to the real world of particular individual, societal, or in the case of CO2 = CAGW “science” the Governmental policy actions Climate Science wants us to take to allegedly prevent The Tipping Point Event.

    And it’s also the “thinking” and tactic which underlies and largely constitutes Climate Science’s simplistic and unscientific method of proof itself!

    But as actually shown in practice, essentially your and Climate Science’s verbiage above is really no more than just another one of those fairly common Apocalyptic “beliefs” we hear from Religions and Cults which turn out to be unhinged from the real world.

    Thus “the physics” used in the GCM’s dictated that a “tipping point” was already reached as per the 2007 Arctic ice extent, but this did not pan out empirically.

    Therefore, to next simply “wait until it does” while always claiming that “it will happen” as an allegedly rational or scientific method – or to make ad hoc excuses referring to items such the ‘bad data’ or the ‘hidden heat’ – instead of immediately trying to correct “the physics” which lead to the incorrect prediction[s], is not a feature of real scientific prediction or its method, anymore than always moving the unfulfilled date of a Religious or Cultist prescribed Apocalypse to “later” is.

    Therefore, as we’ve seen over and over again in the practice of “Climate Science”, the “worried climatologists” you refer to, along with their “science”, have about the same credibility as that Camping[?] guy or anyone else holding onto a belief simply because they personally “never feel falsified”! Which amounts to Climate Science’s “CO2 = CAGW” being the same kind of fairly common Conspiracy Theory which contradicts the facts of the real world to the practical extent that it can never be disproven! And therefore the “belief” functions so that it doesn’t make any factual claim to begin with, and is therefore literal nonsense as compared to real world factual statements.

    Hansen himself even ups the ante by entering into the de-realization of Climate Science’s CO2 =CAGW verbiage further by making the mutually contradictory claims, as to our actual experience in the real world, that while fossil fuel CO2 will produce “the destruction of Creation”, it will also prevent future glaciations! As you, too, seem to imply! The lost ice and snow albedo effect, otherwise preventing or inhibiting warming, will simply never return, right? That is, absent the intervention of some other major cooling ‘forcing’ – which you also deny as a real possibility when a Maunder Minimum has in fact recently been predicted as at least a scientifically credible possibility applying to the near future!

    Inda, continuing on within the real world of known events, when have CO2 concentrations ever not followed atmospheric temperature elevations up or prevented their decline – just as is also the case concerning our current warm period coming out of the LIA, which now also involves at least two signifcant divergences of CO2 and temperatures – at the very onset of the warming and its current stasis?

    And when have there ever been any demonstrable or likely CO2 mediated “tipping points” ever, as there should have been according to “the physics” involving even relatively small CO2 concentrations and their “forcings” – just as you in fact argue?

    Or if there have been some tipping points leading to warming in the past, given that they have never been known to rival the ill-effects of glaciations, why do you think that preventing them by forcing all of Humanity right back to the Stone Age is a rational plan?

    [And why hasn’t water vapor, easily the most potent and available ghg, not produced its own equally drastic Tipping Point Events or forcing runaways?]

    In other words, Inda, smack in the face of the problems with Climate Science’s “no return”, Apocalyptic Tipping Point Event concept and its record of a complete failure on the part of its CO2 = CAGW “physics” to have been successful in producing even one empirically correct prediction, the question is:

    Why do you instead seem to advocate as a kind of Categorical Imperative that,

    “We must all act so as to become either enslaved by CO2 strictures, or even possibly anti-evolutionarlily regressed to an earlier age of severe or even “catastrophic” undevelopment, including essentially that a lot of us must commit suicide forthwith, ‘before it’s too late!’, or else we’re all gonna die due to the dreaded [but never occurring, always future] Tipping Point Event!”?

    No,Inda, all you’ve got going for you above is only another Apocalyptic Doomsday concoction of unhinged verbiage.

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