Warming Island: Just another Warmist myth

Guest post by David Middleton

Like a zombie, this island keeps resurrecting itself in the gullible press. Problem is, its been on the maps for 50+ years. From the Guardian yesterday:

New atlas shows extent of climate change

The world’s newest island makes it on to the map as the Arctic Uunartoq Qeqertaq, or Warming Island, is officially recognised

Greenland ice cover in Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

In Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, Greenland has lost around 15% of its ice cover between 10th edition (1999) (left) and 13th edition (2011) (right). Photograph: Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

If you have never heard of Uunartoq Qeqertaq, it’s possibly because it’s one of the world’s newest islands, appearing in 2006 off the east coast of Greenland, 340 miles north of the Arctic circle when the ice retreated because of global warming. This Thursday the new land – translated from Inuit as Warming Island – was deemed permanent enough by map-makers to be included in a new edition of the most comprehensive atlas in the world…

[…]

LINK

Uunartoq Qeqertaq is not a new island. Pat Michaels debunked this particular Warmist myth back in 2008…

March 31, 2008

“Warming Island”—Another Global Warming Myth Exposed

Filed under: Arctic, Polar

In our continuing theme of exposing ill-founded global warming alarmist stories (see here and here for our most recent debunkings), we’ll examine the much touted discovery of “Warming Island”—a small piece of land that has been “long thought to be part of Greenland’s mainland”—but that turns out to have been known to be an island back in the early 1950s.

Another good story out the window.

As was the case of the previous two scare stories we examined that turned out to be untrue (global warming leading to amphibian decline in Central and South America, and the Inuit language lacking a word for ‘robin’), the story of “Warming Island” was also prominently featured in the New York Times. On January 17, 2007, The Times dedicated an article to “The Warming of Greenland” and described the recent “discovery” of islands that were exposed as such when the ice connecting them to the mainland melted away.

[…]

LINK

Uunartoq Qeqertaq was already an island back in 1957…

Figure 5. The map from the Preface of Hofer’s Arctic Riviera, zooming in to show the existence of “Warming Island” and its characteristic three-fingered shape (source: Arctic Riviera).

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Brian H

So now it needs a name change.
I suggest Liars’ Island.

KR

I’ll note that there was a reply to Michaels in the New York Times (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/arctic-explorer-rebuts-critique-of-warming-island/?pagemode=print), although this particular island is not really all that meaningful one way or another.
The 15% ice cover loss in the last 12 years is a rather more interesting data point.

Ray

Wait a few years and it will get covered again… and then they will need to change the name to Cooling Island.

Ray

Oh wait… maybe they should call it Climate Change Island or better yet… Climate Disruption Island. Or just simply, Al Goreland.

Who are you going to believe, the New York Times, or your lying eyes!?

Mac the Knife

Warming Island?? I like it! Every time it warms up a little bit, enough ice melts to ‘reveal’ it as an island. When the ice thickens, people forget that it is an island and assume it is part of the snow/ice covered mainland. Maybe it should have been named “Peek-A-Boo” Island??!!

Mark Nutley

Why let the truth get in the wasy of a good scare :o)

Brian H says:
September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm
So now it needs a name change.

Based on “its characteristic three-fingered shape”, I reckon Middle Finger Island would do.

Ken Hall

“The 15% ice cover loss in the last 12 years is a rather more interesting data point.”
So how much ice loss was there in the years 1925 – 1937? How much grew back from 1940 – 1975? Or how much ice cover loss was there the last time that this unknown Island was uncovered? I think that these would make equally as good data points.
Clearly the inconvenient truth is that the ice one the edges of Greenland has retreated and regrown many many times and this Island’s uncovering has happened many times in the past.

Jimmy

You should take a look at the wikipedia page for Warming Island. As part of the article they have this picture incorporating a couple of overhead views from different years:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Warming_Island_USGS_Landsat.jpg
The picture shows very clearly that in 1985 the island was attached to the mainland via an extensive ice sheet, but in 2002 there was only a narrow strip of ice connecting it, and in 2005 it was a separate island. Just don’t look too close at the dates: the 1985 photo was taken nearly a month earlier in the year than either of the other two.

So some fellow with very little to recommend him for better pursuits in this world got his 15 minutes in the NYT by the age-old practice of “making crap up” and yet now, four years after he was demonstrated to have been just Fofanov we get to rehear all of this garbage as though it magically became true somehow, purely by the passage of a little time?
I’m sorry, if we don’t start actually jailing these people they’ll never stop this stupidity.

DJ

Next Looming Catastrophe…
Warming Island Flooded as Sea Level Rises
…the island that wasn’t is soon won’t be.
Can the Aliens Save It?

Reminds me of the arrival of a bird that had no name in the Inuit language being proof that the northern climes had warmed. Whoever wrote about it never bothered looking in the Inuit dictionary compiled early in the 20thC. All three of the Inuit languages had a name for the particular bird.

John B

“This Thursday the new land – translated from Inuit as Warming Island – was deemed permanent enough by map-makers to be included in a new edition of the most comprehensive atlas in the world”
Read that sentence. The island has been given a name and included in the atlas becasue it is now “deemed permanent enough” to warrant it – beause of loss of ice. They are not saying it had never been seen to be separate from the mainland, though they do say it didn’t appear on earlier maps (not sketches).
But as KR pointed out, “The 15% ice cover loss in the last 12 years is a rather more interesting data point”. And Ray, there is not one shred of evidence that it is coming back any time soon.

Beesaman

Lots of places used to be covered by ice. Isn’t it time we realised that’s what ICE AGES do?
Or are the warmists really stupid enough to believe a new ICE AGE would be a good thing?
We are probably towards the end of a warming period, get over it!

Anything is possible

KR says:
September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm
The 15% ice cover loss in the last 12 years is a rather more interesting data point.
______________________________________________________________________
I’ll say.
Thousands of the worlds top climate scientists scouring the globe in an effort to find evidence of AGW, and the only person to notice that Greenland has lost 15% of its ice cover is a humble map-maker…..

J. Felton

Don’t buy a house there 😉
Nothing to do with Global Warming, and everything to do with receding and surging ice. I bet when winter sets in it will disappear again.
Reminds me of a island in the Pacific, ( can’t remember the name for the life of me, ) that would reappear and disappear every 80-100 years or so due to underwater volcanic eruptions. The island even had a small village on it at some point, but it didn’t last long.

I always enjoy David Middleton’s articles. This is another good one.
The planet has been warming at more or less the same rate since the LIA, therefore it is reasonable to conclude that glaciers should continue to recede, and ice will melt. But sea levels are not rising at an accelerated rate, nor are global temperatures. So this is just arm-waving propaganda over a conveniently named island. When it re-freezes, we can change the name to “Cooling Peninsula.”

John B

DJ says:
September 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm
Next Looming Catastrophe…
Warming Island Flooded as Sea Level Rises
———————-
Oddly enough, the opposite will happen. As the ice sheet melts, the land will rise due to losing the weight of the ice and the local sea level will fall due to the reduced local gravity (the gravitation pull of the ice sheet keeps local sea level higher than it would otherwise be). Strange but true! And independent of what you or I might think about the causes of global warming.

gnomish

they’re trying really hard to restock their icons, having lost the pachauri glacier, the polar bear and vanuatu.
‘warming island’ is a bid to replace vanuatu + kilimanjaro, obviously.
they’re all over walruses now- but kids don’t take teddy-walrus to bed, so it’s not going to be anywhere near as mojo juicy.
i think the sceptics should take that polar bear and have him write the real estate dealers in vanuatu and see if he can find beachfront for less than 1/4 million – business must be pretty good out there, to judge by the listings.
Theo the WUWT bear – i put my signature on any petition for that!

Wayne Richards

AKA Brigadoon.

As I recall, Michael’s book “Climate of Extremes,” has a lovely, rare, photograph of “Warming Island” in the moonrise on the horizon. Dated from the 1910s.
“Peek A-Boo” Island, indeed.

eyesonu

John B says:
September 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm
DJ says:
September 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm
Next Looming Catastrophe…
Warming Island Flooded as Sea Level Rises
———————-
Oddly enough, the opposite will happen. As the ice sheet melts, the land will rise due to losing the weight of the ice and the local sea level will fall due to the reduced local gravity (the gravitation pull of the ice sheet keeps local sea level higher than it would otherwise be). Strange but true! And independent of what you or I might think about the causes of global warming.
———————-
Really? That sure is strange. You seem to know everything.

Tilo Reber

So, Greenland lost about 15% of it’s ice cover between 1999 and 2011. In that 12 years we gained about an inch and a quarter of sea level. So, if that 15% figure is true, then Greenland could lose all of its ice cover and we would only gain around 8 inches of sea level rise. Either we have nothing to fear from all of the Greenland ice melting or the 15% number is pure BS.

KR

Tilo Reber
See http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/ – if all of Greenland melted we would see 6.5 meters of sea level rise. The 15% is obviously from the thinner snow/ice at the edges of the island.
It does mean that ice is being replaced by darker ground in terms of albedo, though, which is not good.

Gary Mount

Dr. Motl wrote an article about the sea level dropping within about 1700 km of the center of mass of Greenland should all its ice melt.
http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/06/if-greenland-melted-sea-level-in.html

Grant

Well, I ask the question again. What was artic ice extent in September of 1925? Anyone?

DDP

What’s new? Greenland has repeatedly lost ice, and then come back with a vengence. The last major occasion it did the Vikings decided to leave as the Little Ice Age kicked in and farming and habitation became too difficult to endure or attempt, similarly other Inuit civilisations came to the same conclusion on multiple occasions in the hundreds of years before the Viking’s arrival.

Dreadnought

Warming Island, Schwarming Island.
This reminds me of a somewhat larger island that used to be covered in ice, which then significantly receded during the Medieval Warm Period, such that the Vikings came and settled there and named this lovely place Greenland.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, it then got much colder again, the ice advanced, and they had to get the hell out of Dodge – before they froze their knackers off.
I wonder what caused that cooling – a global drive towards windmills and less cooking fires, perchance? An early, ancestral precursor to The Gore Effect, maybe? Or was it a quiet Sun?
Hmm, makes you think…., for a nanosecond (or less).

Bob Diaz

Sorry, but all of this reminds me of a different island:

Maybe the name should be AGW Fantasy Island…

Siliggy

Perhaps a good name for it would be Krakatoa “According to the legend, a visiting ship’s captain asked a local inhabitant the island’s name, and the latter replied, “Kaga tau” (Aku nggak tau)—a Jakartan/Betawinese slang phrase meaning “I don’t know.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa

phlogiston

Brian H says:
September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm
So now it needs a name change.
I suggest Liars’ Island.

In honour of the Guardian I would call it “Shutter Island” – after people so indoctrinated by AGW that their minds are shuttered against any real data from the real world.

Beesaman says: Or are the warmists really stupid enough to believe a new ICE AGE would be a good thing?
JK: Yes.
Thanks
JK

Peter Sørensen

DMI has an article on their homepage in danish that the map is wrong. The ice has not been reduced by 15 % and the likely reason for the mistake is that the ice edges have a lot of dirty ice that looks like rock from a sattelite so when you compare previos maps with sattelite images things look realy bad….

Crispin in Waterloo

Anything is possible says:
Thousands of the worlds top climate scientists scouring the globe in an effort to find evidence of AGW, and the only person to notice that Greenland has lost 15% of its ice cover is a humble map-maker…..
+++++++
Thanks for pointing out that it is 15% of ice cover and not 15% of ice mass. KR provides the calculation. Thanks KR.
The albedo does change with the ice gone, at least for part of the year. This provides an opportunity to test the idea that an albedo change will cause significant warming. As the ice loss was definitely caused by the AMO and not warming (see temps) then the effect of ice loss from warm ocean currents should show up, seasonally, and soon.
If there is no detectable change in the temperature in the area it is important this this be noted and the ‘albedo effect’ be consigned to its proper place.
The total heating effect of an albedo change for a couple of months at a high latitude is going to be small in my view.
The temperature should also be affected by the drop in CO2 that is being caused in the vicinity by the open water than used to be capped by ice, right? If CO2 is influential, then the regional level should be falling as the ice tends to zero in summer and the temperature reflect this CO2-effect by dropping.
Sounds like negative feedback to me. The water was previously insulated by the ice. Now it will be exposed and sucking up CO2 like crazy. I hope everyone noticed that the temperature in the Arctic has not risen a whit even with all that melting. Just further evidence that it was (mainly) caused by warm water ingress, maybe some cloud cover changes, but not higher temperatures. I am disappointed. I was hoping the air temp at sea level was rising at least a bit.

Bob_FJ

KR @ September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm , I repeat your observation in part, with your bold:

The 15% ice cover loss in the last 12 years is a rather more interesting data point.

And, I repeat a post I made earlier nearby in WUWT concerning the era BEFORE satellite observations, and the recent alarmism/amnesia:

It was interesting to see Jason Box spouting off. [in that video]. In the IPCC report AR4 of 2007, there is an extensive chapter on poor old Greenland melting, in which Box was a co-author. He was also a co-author in one of several earlier papers, Polyakov and others concerning Greenland temperature records that were higher or similar in the 1930’s/1940’s than in 2007. The really odd thing is that there was ZERO mention of this in the alarmism expressed for Greenland in AR4.

Any comments KR?

A well known example of a real “new” island is Blomstrandhalvøya in Svalbard (halvøy = “half island” = peninsula) just off Ny-Ålesund. It was settled by English miners 100 years ago and later abandoned, and it remained a peninsula until the 1990’s when a glacier retreated and revealed that it’s really an island. Its name is still Blomstrandhalvøya even though Blomstrandøya would be more accurate today.

4wdweather

Peter Sørensen says:
September 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm
“DMI has an article on their homepage in danish that the map is wrong”
http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/times_atlas_tegner_indlandsisen_for_lille

KnR

Well now you know why this article was not open to comment , becasue it was BS and you have to say with John Vidal that really is no surprise as that seems to be his area of expertise .

David Schofield

“Tilo Reber says:
September 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm
So, Greenland lost about 15% of it’s ice cover between 1999 and 2011. In that 12 years we gained about an inch and a quarter of sea level. So, if that 15% figure is true, then Greenland could lose all of its ice cover and we would only gain around 8 inches of sea level rise. Either we have nothing to fear from all of the Greenland ice melting or the 15% number is pure BS.”
Spot on – that was my first thought. They can’t have it both ways.

Laurence M. Sheehan, PE

I do think that is is the area of ice that is referred to, and not the mass of the ice. Ocean levels are dropping about 5 mm per year lately, and that is because the depth of ice is growing. Great calves of ice breaking from glaciers are signs of advancing glaciers, not retreat of glaciers.
What ever happened to the teaching of the fundamentals of the various sciences in high school since about 1955? Biology, physics and chemistry. Even the teaching of the fundamentals of arithmetic has declined greatly.

jim hogg

Dennis Schmitt’s rebuttal of Michaels seems pretty reasonable. The ’57 map is far from conclusive. A sceptic wouldn’t rely on it. Things are rarely as they seem.

In the North Atlantic is not so much ‘global warming’ as the redistribution of the available heat energy. The N. Atlantic warm drift current splits into 2 branches; http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/ocp07_fig-6.jpg?w=600&h=473
higher the Atlantic inflow across the Greenland-Scotland ridge warmer the Arctic.
In contrast the Arctic’s cold waters overflow will eventually cool US Atlantic coastline.
It is to do with strength of the Subpolar gyre, complex system of currents located to the south of Greenland, that circulates anticlockwise between 50°N and 65°N.
Subpolar gyre is the engine of the heat transport across the North Atlantic Ocean, and is the essential component of the northern Atlantic basin’s climate system.
This is clearly shown in the dataset (I assembled just over a year ago)
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm
and goes back to 1650
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CDr.htm
If correct, it shows that the N. Atlantic area will cool in forthcoming decade or two.

The Engineer

From the DMI article:
“Between 2003 and 2008 around 168 to 268 billion tons of ice (4-6 meters water spread over the whole of danmark – 43.075 km2) has melted around Greenland.

The Engineer

Inland ice area (latest) greenland 2,3 million km3 (PS Antartica 30 million km3)
Assuming 1 metric ton = 1 Kbm is:
Between 168,000 and 268.000 km3 of inland ice has melted between 2003 and 2008.
Between 6,8% and 10,4% of inland ice has melted over 5 years.

stanj

Also from the DMI article:
“There is no scientific evidence that the area of the Greenland ice sheet since 1999 has shrunk by 15% as the latest edition of the ‘Times Atlas shows,” says climate researcher Ruth Mottram, DMI.
In the latest edition of the British ‘Times Atlas’ is the area of ​​Greenland’s ice sheet decreased by 15% during the period from 1999 to 2011. It must reflect the effects of global warming. But there is no scientific evidence for the claim that is overrated and not based on robust measurements.”
(Google translate)

Hans H

The Engineer: You are wrong by a factor of 1000. One billion tons of ice corresponds roughly to one km3. At the current rate less than 11% of inland ice will disappear in 5000 years.

Climate Dissident

Wikipedia claims that the volume of the Greenland icesheet is around 2,850,000 km^3.
10% of that would rise the global see level 72cm (2’4″) That certain didn’t happen.
DMI are claiming up to 268 “milliarder ton” ice loss; one km^3 of water weighs one billion (milliard) ton, so they’re talking about 268km^3 of water (or 300km^3 of ice).
Not 10%, rather 0.01% of the ice sheet was lost between 2003 and 2008.

John B

eyesonu says:
September 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm
John B says:
September 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm
DJ says:
September 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm
Next Looming Catastrophe…
Warming Island Flooded as Sea Level Rises

Oddly enough, the opposite will happen.

Really? That sure is strange. You seem to know everything.
————
Nope, I just read a lot of mainstream science. The link Gary Mount posted addresses this:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/06/if-greenland-melted-sea-level-in.html
I wathed a wonderful lecture on the subject on youtube, but now I can’t find it. Anyone know the one I’m talking about?
And just to complicate matters, melting of the Antarctica ice sheet will cause sea level rise around Greenland.

jono

Now lets see, the word “Greenland” was so named because it was all white ?
The Vikings settled the land because their animals lived under the snow ?
and they stayed put because it was all frozen and a lousy place to live ?
`When will it warm back up to where it was a long time ago` is more to the point.
then we could realy call it Greenland and our children would not be so confused.