Movie Science: “We need to understand why in the last 30 years global warming is not uniform,”

[Note: part of the answer is in the photo they provide with the press release below, but they don’t see it. – Anthony]

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations

University of Washington Press Office

The rapid melting of Greenland glaciers is captured in the documentary “Chasing Ice.” The retreat of the ice edge from one year to the next sends more water into the sea.

Now University of Washington atmospheric scientists have estimated that up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and surrounding areas may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet. Still, at least half the warming remains attributable to global warming caused by rising carbon dioxide emissions. The paper is published May 8 in Nature.

Greenland and parts of neighboring Canada have experienced some of the most extreme warming since 1979, at a rate of about 1 degree Celsius per decade, or several times the global average. 

“We need to understand why in the last 30 years global warming is not uniform,” said first author Qinghua Ding, a UW research scientist in atmospheric sciences. “Superimposed on this global average warming are some regional features that need to be explained.”

Greenland glacier

Greenland ice canyon filled with melt water in summer 2010. Ian Joughin, UW APL Polar Science Center

The study used observations and advanced computer models to show that a warmer western tropical Pacific Ocean has caused atmospheric changes over the North Atlantic that have warmed the surface by about a half-degree per decade since 1979.

“The pattern of the changes in the tropical Pacific that are responsible for remarkable atmospheric circulation changes and warming in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic are consistent with what we would call natural variability,” said co-author David Battisti, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences.

Researchers say it’s not surprising to find the imprint of natural variability in an area famous for its melting ice. In many of the fastest-warming areas on Earth, global warming and natural variations both contribute to create a “perfect storm” for warming, said co-author John “Mike” Wallace, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences.

The natural variations in the new study related to an unusually warm western tropical Pacific, near Papua New Guinea. Since the mid-1990s the water surface there has been about 0.3 degrees hotter than normal. Computer models show this affects the regional air pressure, setting off a stationary wave in the atmosphere that arcs in a great circle from the tropical Pacific toward Greenland before turning back over the Atlantic.

“Along this wave train there are warm spots where the air has been pushed down, and cold spots where the air has been pulled up,” Wallace said. “And Greenland is in one of the warm spots.”

In previous studies, Wallace and Battisti have documented the existence of decades-long climate variations in the Pacific Ocean that resemble the well-known shorter-range El Niño variations.

This particular location in the tropical Pacific may be a sweet spot for generating global atmospheric waves. A series of studies led by co-author Eric Steig, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, working with Ding and Battisti, showed that waves starting in the same place but radiating southward are warming West Antarctica and melting the Pine Island Glacier.

Researchers can’t say for how long the tropical Pacific will remain in this state.

“Our work shows that about half of the warming signal in Greenland comes from the predictable part – forcing of climate by anthropogenic greenhouse gases – but about half comes from the unpredictable part,” Steig said.

This makes shorter-term forecasts difficult, but helps scientists to make more accurate long-range projections.

“Nothing we have found challenges the idea that globally, glaciers are retreating,” Battisti said. “We looked at this place because the warming there is really remarkable. Our findings help us to understand on a regional scale how much of what you see is human-induced by the buildup of CO2, and how much of it is natural variability.”

The dramatic message of “Chasing Ice” remains true, authors say.

“There’s nothing in this paper that negates the message in the movie,” Wallace said. “Ice appears to be exquisitely sensitive to the buildup of greenhouse gases, more than we ever would have thought.” Natural variations could either accelerate or decelerate the melting rate of Greenland’s glaciers in coming decades, he said, but “in the long run, the human-induced component is likely to prevail.”

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, UW’s Quaternary Research Center, the National Basic Research Program of China and the APEC Climate Center. Other co-authors are Lei Geng at the UW; Ailie Gallant at Australia’s Monash University; and Hyung-Jin Kim at South Korea’s APEC Climate Center.

###

Note the photo provided with the press release, here it is in full resolution: http://www.washington.edu/news/files/2014/05/Greenland2010-5.jpg

And my enlargement of a section of it:

Greenland_UW_melt_pix

Note the black at the bottom of the melt pool, that’s carbon soot. That’s something the UW authors aren’t paying attention to.

As I explain here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/03/greenland-ground-zero-for-global-soot-warming/

…it has a big effect on albedo, and thus absorbed solar insolation, likely far more so than CO2 forcing, as explained here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/13/in-the-arctic-nearby-soot-may-be-a-larger-forcing-than-co2/

UPDATE: Here is a map showing albedo change, the text is from the link below:

http://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/greenland-ice-sheet-getting-darker

Map of changes in the percent of light reflected by the Greenland Ice Sheet in summer (June-July-August) 2011 compared to the average from 2000-2006. Virtually the entire surface has grown darker due to surface melting, dust and soot on the surface, and temperature-driven changes in the size and shape of snow grains. Map by NOAA’s climate.gov team, based on NASA satellite data processed by Jason Box, Byrd Polar Research Center, the Ohio State University.

MODISalbedo_greenland2011_610[1]

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pottereaton

Layman trying to ask a common sense question here:
Half the temperature increase? Really? Why not most of it? If the rest of the world is warming at a much slower rate then half that rate, maybe it’s much more than half?

Francisco Fernandez

What I don’t get is, with all this modelling and VERY (sarc) high climate sensitivity, how is it that there’s still life on earth?
Wouldn’t the extintion of the dinosaurs, due to a catastrophic event that obliterated the species, would have caused more damage than mere CO2 <0.04%v/v?
Now, I am not sure if the dinosaur extintion due to the meteorite is a fact or theory. But if it is a fact, shouldn't it shed some light on how resilent the climate is?

steveta_uk

If they’re right, and 1/2 the warming is natural, then that about agrees with the recent lower estimates for sensitivity, and means that the expected 1.5C warming by 2100 is nothing to panic about.
So Steig has joined us at last!

Dung

I do not think that it matters in the short term that we do not understand ‘why’ this is happening. It can not be caused by global warming if the globe as a whole is not warming, effectively it is weather.
The problem we all share with the policies of our governments are being sidetracked by the constant need to understand how and why things happen. In reality we are not going to get some of the answers for another thousand years and we need to focus on ‘what’ happens and accept that the how and why will come later.
What is happening is that we are pumping ever increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere but the world (by our best estimates) is not warming.
Get rid of all this green crap please ^.^

john

Anthony, is it ALL carbon soot? Does wind blown glacial dust, or atmospheric dust, also take on a dark color when submerged? Not disagreeing about albedo effect, just wondering if carbon is the only source of dark coloration at the bottom of a melt pool on a glacier.

James Strom

“Ice appears to be exquisitely sensitive to the buildup of greenhouse gases, more than we ever would have thought.”
“…more than we ever would have thought.” — Is that not an indication that previous understandings were not quite right? It’s impressive that some areas are warming, but it doesn’t necessarily add to confidence.

Hot under the collar

Only half the temperature increase due to natural variations?
Why only half?
Why is it not uniform?
Because climate is a complex phenomena, not understood by climate models.

Paul

Anthony, do we have a good measure of the carbon deposition and volcanic ash over the years. It would be a good test of your hypothesis

Billy Liar

Can someone point to a chemical analysis of the black stuff in that Greenland pond?
I’m sceptical that it is ‘soot’. Oh, and where does the red stuff that you see over arctic glaciers occasionally come from?

christopher hisgen

Dear Anthony,
Apparently the photo of your back yard snow with the soot don’t show up. Before I send out this link to my friends and fiends is it possible to make the photos work.
Cheers Chris Hisgen (BS Honours, Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, Columbian College, George Washington University, 1977)

Paul Woland

Well done WUWT for finally starting to publish research papers that, like virtually all climate-related papers in Nature, attests to the reality of significant temperature increases caused by carbon dioxide emissions.
REPLY: So like the authors of the paper, you missed what was in the photo too? – Anthony

george e. smith

Well I would first want to answer the Question:-
Why is (was) it, that BEFORE the last 30 years, global warming WAS uniform.
It’s not supposed to be; everybody knows that the poles warm faster, because they can’t cool as fast as the tropics do, and because of the equator to polar temperature gradient, heat constantly flows from equator to poles. It’s that second law thingy !
The hottest tropical desert surfaces, radiate at about twelve (12) times the radiation rate of the coldest polar regions.. That’s for +60 dg. C hottest daytime summer desert surfaces, to -94 deg. C Antarctic highlands Winter midnight..

Admad

But the science is settled, right? (/sarc off)

JJ

“Our work shows that about half of the warming signal in Greenland comes from the predictable part – forcing of climate by anthropogenic greenhouse gases – but about half comes from the unpredictable part,” Steig said.

He’s claiming that the anthropogenic global warming part is the predictable part? Really?
Did those predictions suddenly come true while I slept? Cause when I went to bed last night, they were dead wrong for coming up on two decades.
And now this guy is telling us that half of the northern polar warming – the warming that is just barely holding the global average at zero warming – at least half of that is natural?
He’s simultaneously proving that “global warming” predictions are more wrong than most people realize, while asserting that very same predictability.
Idjits.

Rick

I noticed the black snow, not the black water. And when you added the blown up section the dirty canyon walls. I had assumed (perhaps in error) that the water was deep there because it is filling a canyon and thus no light there and that’s why it is black.
Either way, I’ve noticed the leave shaped holes in my skating rink after a leaf lands on it and the sun shines.

JimS

During an interglacial period, glaciers should be receding. That is what happens during an interglacial period which is what we are now in, and have been in for that last 11,500 years. If glaciers started growing, then there would be cause for concern. I do wonder though how they arrived at manmade CO2 being responsible for half the warming recently. When glaciers were receding during the Holocene Optimum at a much higher rate than they are now, natural causes were doing 100% of the job, right?

Alan the Brit

Hot under the collar says:
May 8, 2014 at 7:41 am
Only half the temperature increase due to natural variations?
Why only half?
Why is it not uniform?
Because climate is a complex phenomena, not understood by climate models.
More importantly, not understood by those who programme the models! I still gasp at the arrogance of climate modellers, who programme their models to show a given amount of warming for a given amount of CO2 & a pre-fixed climate sensitivity, & they claim that the answer coming out the other end is right!

Dave in Canmore

Billy Liar asks “where does the red stuff you see on glaciers come from?”
That red stuff is a highly adapted bacteria called Chlamydomonas nivalis. The red tint is due to carotenoid pigments which protect them from UV. Where I live in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, these bacteria bloom around August when temps are above freezing.

SIGINT EX

No soot in the pool ! Just a photograph, low sun angle, shadow and diminished illumination against a very bright foreground on top ! Particulate measured in Firn and glacier ice is at the ppm level. Not enough to make a difference.
REPLY: No, sorry, you are wrong. It’s soot, dust, etc. people have sampled the bottom of those pools. Read the links provided before inserting foot in mouth. See map I’m adding from NASA showing deposition – Anthony

Neil

Stupid question: how do you know it’s soot and not some dark tunnel carved into the ice?

Billy Liar

Dave in Canmore says:
May 8, 2014 at 8:09 am
Thanks Dave! I’ve seen it in Iceland in the summer. There’s plenty of black stuff there too but it is all rock flour, not ‘carbon’.

Billy Liar

If the Alpine glaciers can look pink in late summer from all the Saharan dust they pick up I’m pretty sure the Greenland ice cap can pick up plenty of black dust from the glaciers grinding away at the periphery of the island.

Tom O

I get so tired of the overworked “perfect [storm”] phrase. I never realized just how many perfect storms there were until I started following the AGW arguments. And was anyone else impressed by the statement that the tropical Pacific surface temperature was .3c “hotter?” Can anyone REALLY believe a rise in temperature of .3c is truly “hotter?” It’s really silly stuff like that that truly throws a lot of suspicion on whatever else they try to say. Oh yes, and the unpredictable natural variation makes it difficult to make short term prediction but easier to make long range prediction. Huh? Can the author REALLY believe this? Uncertainty only exists on the sort term, it falls out as you get further out? Wow.

Tim

“If we can muddy the waters, so that no clear distinction exists between our climate change fraud-science and real climate science, then we can then claim whatever percentage we like as our drivers of change in future – in whatever proportion of science we decide and ascribe it to.”
A nice, flexible PR strategy. A bit like the rubbery and user-friendly term for all seasons : ‘Climate Change’.

richard

To me the dark part looks like a deeper part of the water, i notice that there are no darker parts elsewhere or if it is does the movement of water carry it to one part.
The bottom of the picture shows discoloration of the snow- soot? that has melted and yet everywhere else looks pristine.

As I wrote in my last critique of Years of Living Dangerously
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/06/years-of-living-dangerously-pastor-rick-joyner-models-feynmans-ideal-scientist/
Climate scientists as Los Alamos National Laboratories who concluded:
“we find no direct evidence to support the claims that the Greenland ice sheet is melting due to increased temperature caused by increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide. The rate of warming from 1995 to 2005 was in fact lower than the warming that occurred from 1920 to 1930.” 6 [emphasis added]comment image?w=627&h=338
As seen in their graph, Greenland temperatures show a more cyclical nature with more warmth in the 30s and 40s and in agreement with most tree ring studies.
The retreat of Greenland’s glaciers has been largely due to intruding warm waters driven by changes in natural ocean oscillations. Those ocean oscillations increased the flow of warm Gulf Stream waters that eventually bathe the coast of Greenland and islands in the Arctic Ocean. Those warm currents melted the bottoms of any glaciers that terminated in the ocean.
Greenland’s largest outlet glacier, Jakobshavn Isbrae, drains about 7% of the Greenland ice sheet and generates 10% of the Atlantic’s icebergs. During the Holocene Optimum beginning about 9000 years ago, Jakobshavn retreated further than its present day terminus and remained that way for almost 7000 years. It was only recently during the Little Ice Age, that Jakobshavn rapidly advanced several kilometers beyond today’s terminus.7
The North Atlantic Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation’s influences on warm ocean currents explain both Greenland’s cyclical temperature behavior and current glacial retreat. The glaciers’ most rapid 20th century retreat occurred between 1920 and 1950, followed by an advance in the 1970s and then a renewed retreat in 1998.7,8,9 [emphasis added]
The rapid retreat of Jakobshavn between 1920 and 1940, as well as in the 1990s, corresponds to North Atlantic regime shifts during which warm waters from the Atlantic were pushed into the Arctic. Marine biologists wrote, “The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.”10 Fishery biologists observed that “species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The maximum-recorded movement involved cod, which spread approximately 1200 km northward along West Greenland.” The warm water and associated species lingered for 2 more decades before retreating in the 1960s.
Reference are can be found at the end of that essay http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/06/years-of-living-dangerously-pastor-rick-joyner-models-feynmans-ideal-scientist/

John F. Hultquist

Billy Liar says:
May 8, 2014 at 7:47 am
“Oh, and where does the red stuff that you see over arctic glaciers occasionally come from?

Do you mean the red algae?
http://www.coolantarctica.com/gallery/scenic/icebergs2/Antarctica_iceberg2.htm
I’ve seen some of this in the Canadian Rockies.
———————————————————
“The study used observations and advanced computer models . .”
I have a VIC 20 someplace (haven’t found it recently) and thought it quite advanced at the time I bought it. Same with a multifunction slide rule – but I do know where it is. Now I have a fancy system that’s soooo advanced.
Maybe the writer means the underlying knowledge of the physical science expressed in multiple equations, lookup tables, pseudorandom number generators, and more is advanced. If so, why not explain?
The writer (and researchers?) don’t seem to understand the difference. To quote Shania Twain: “That Don’t Impress Me Much.”

Albedo darkening by volcanic ash on ice is the alternative explanation for the end of precambrian ice-house conditions, instead of high climate sensitivity co2.

Somebody

The linear thinking strikes again. They think that Nature is a linear function of causes and so they can do this: Effects(Natural_causes + Human_causes) = Effects(Natural_causes) + Effects(Human_causes), where in this case Effects(Natural_causes)=Effects(Human_causes). Unfortunately for them, even in the stupid computer models they have non linear PDEs. The linearity assumption does not hold. This does not stop them to use it again and again. A recent paper that ‘proved’ global warming is because of the human sin started with this assumption, too. Ex falso, quodlibet.

From the press release above (Note to all: It is not really a “scientitifc article”, just a PR firm’s edited release of a scientific article):

Computer models show this affects the regional air pressure, setting off a stationary wave in the atmosphere that arcs in a great circle from the tropical Pacific toward Greenland before turning back over the Atlantic.

Now, how is this circulation “model” compatible with the long-term and short term polar vortex winds we DO know exist? The polar vortex is a well-known massive circulation pattern coming from the northwest Canada heading down towards the US then turning generally east heading towards the US east coast, right? Thus its Alaska-Northwest territory-midwest-northeast US – Canada east coast- Atlanta ocean path. The polar vertex moves slightly further north and further south as winter storms change – this past winter is was much further south than normal.
But this “perfect storm” blindly crosses the polar vortex and near right-angles. And has never been measured nor observed before? Look, they are modeling the winds starting in an assumed location in the southwest pacific near Papua New Guinna. Then it flows up across the equator – across the southwest US heading northeast, across the US Midwest and eastern Canada, then up further north so that it ends up over Greenland.
So, why is the polar vortex measured and discussed as a meteorological phenomenon, and this New Guinean-Greenland wind pattern never before discussed? Is it only in a model universe, not the measured universe?

Shawn in High River

How do they know that exactly half is due to AGW and the other half is the unpredictable part? How did they come up with that figure of 50% AGW ?

Resourceguy

Since when do they have the detailed knowledge to allocate a rate of melting? The question is posed with the back drop of the multi-decade AMO cycle and solar cycles with variability in each and uncertainty from such long-term cycles with variability. The cheap way out as seen in modeling to date is to dismiss the uncertainty of the variability from these poorly understood long term cycles or to apply constants for them and call it good. Such variability might be used some day to modify the claim to a 60-40 split or a 70-30 split or what have you.

David L. Hagen

Otzi the Iceman revealed by melting of an Alpine glacier shows that the climate in Otzi’s time was substantially warmer than today!
Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages

hunter

In a sense they are back peddling from the apocalypse. Now it is only 50% due to evil humans. Last year it was all human CO2. Is it due to highconfidence that the AGW believers have ‘won’ and will see their self-serviing policies imposed no matter the facts?

Michael Gordon

At the University of Washington it is wise to preface every paragraph with some variation of:
“Nothing we have found challenges the idea that globally, glaciers are retreating”
Then you are safe to challenge the idea that globally, glaciers are retreating.

bubbagyro

Always keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the warm-earthers. They came up with the hypothesis of cAGW, they must defend it. Especially since their “solution” to the “problem” is Draconian, toxic, deadly, and levies the greater share of such “remedial” or “precautionary” measures upon the poor of the world. We do not have to come up with explanations of the natural cycle drivers, or the proper way to measure stuff, or why their calculations and predictions are erroneous (not to mention self-serving)—the warm-earthers must vindicate themselves, not the other way around.

“Half the temperature increase? Really? Why not most of it? If the rest of the world is warming at a much slower rate then half that rate, maybe it’s much more than half?
The rest of the world warms at a slower rate because heat is piped to pole.
If you want to argue for more than half, you have to actually have to DO WORK TO SHOW THAT.
That work, since it involves attribution, can only be done with a GCM. it’s the only tool
science has to answer “what if” questions about a system too large to fit in a lab.

“In a sense they are back peddling from the apocalypse. Now it is only 50% due to evil humans. Last year it was all human CO2. Is it due to highconfidence that the AGW believers have ‘won’ and will see their self-serviing policies imposed no matter the facts?”
Huh
1. Its never all been human c02. its co2, land use change, black carbon, methane, ozone,
etc.
2. The argument has been we are 95% certain that Over half of the warming is due to
human influence: human influence is MANY THINGS. the mean estimate for change
in forcing due to humans is 2.3 Watts since 1750. C02 forcing is less than the total.

Patrick (the other one)

Unless I’m reading it wrong, this quote appears to be from Mr. Wallace in an article at CTV News:
“Unless global warming starts to accelerate at a rate far beyond what we’ve seen, it’s going to be a long time before weather statistics change so much from the human signal that it would become clearly detectable in the presence of natural variability.”
Climate change not fully to blame for melting sea ice: study
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/climate-change-not-fully-to-blame-for-melting-sea-ice-study-1.1810977#ixzz318tASJ7j

While it is an improvement they recognize that CO2 is not the be all, end all, it still boggles the mind they can quantify the portions when they cannot quantify the total.

“Neil says:
May 8, 2014 at 8:15 am
Stupid question: how do you know it’s soot and not some dark tunnel carved into the ice?
1. There is no evidence that this photo shows soot.
2. Its assumed and asserted as fact.
3. Note the lack of skepticism about this “evidence”
That said, soot plays a role. thats part of the human forcing equation.
If you want to know how much of a role soot plays you have to run a GCM.
or you can just speculate and assert that it plays a major role.
Science: build a tool to try to understand the role of soot.
Politics: assert that its all down to soot. no comprehensive data, no methods, a few pictures, no testing of the hypothesis.. just assertion.

Extra-tropical climate change Its mostly about how the excess heat is stored and transported from the tropics to the extra-tropics. The polar regions lose more heat than they gain radiatively and it is ocean cycles that drive the rise and fall in temperatures as shown in Greeenland’s instrumental record.
http://www.goes-r.gov/users/comet/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/media/graphics/tropics_surplus_heat2.jpgcomment image?w=627&h=338
The occasional abrupt summer-time warming events are due to stalled HIgh pressure systems. But such events are transitory and tell us no more about CO2 warming or heat accumulation than the warmest historical heat wave in Death Valley in 1913.

Doug Proctor

To say that half is natural, not human-caused, is to say that you are a denier (of consensus, IPCC science). It is to say that any action to reduce human generated CO2 will have half the effect of the IPCC scenarios, and kill both the economics and the actual result of what is proposed “must” happen.

Mosher,
That work, since it involves attribution, can only be done with a GCM. it’s the only tool
science has to answer “what if” questions about a system too large to fit in a lab.

And suppose something important has been left out of the models. Or the models are of insufficient granularity to predict. Or you know – the really big elephant in the model room – suppose they got clouds wrong (and the modelers do admit that they “don’t understand clouds”). .
No what good exactly is a model that is not well matched to the object observed? TBD.
Simon

richardscourtney

Steven Mosher:
At May 8, 2014 at 9:39 am you say

1. There is no evidence that this photo shows soot.
2. Its assumed and asserted as fact.
3. Note the lack of skepticism about this “evidence”
That said, soot plays a role. thats part of the human forcing equation.
If you want to know how much of a role soot plays you have to run a GCM.

Or you could refer to the literature on physical properties of soot..
Soot (i.e. black carbon) has two climatic effects;
(a) it combines with sulphate aerosol to provide a strong warming effect
and
(b) It settles on ice to reduce the reflectance of the ice.
The warming effect was first reported by Jacobson
(ref. Jacobson M Z ‘Strong radiative heating due to the mixing state of black carbon in atmospheric aerosols’ Nature 409, 695-697 (8 February 2001) )
And has since been confirmed by several others.
The Abstract of the Jacobson paper can be read at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v409/n6821/abs/409695a0.html
and concludes its summary saying

The magnitude of the direct radiative forcing from black carbon itself exceeds that due to CH4, suggesting that black carbon may be the second most important component of global warming after CO2 in terms of direct forcing.

That is strong warming and it is localised to regions near its emission (n.b. it is local and NOT global warming) because the aerosol is washed out by rain in about 2 weeks.
Black carbon which falls on ice increases radiative absorbtion by the ice and not every surface is coated with ice..
Simply, the known properties of black carbon provide spatial variation to temperature changes (i.e. warming or cooling).
Richard

Brad

Patrick (the other one) says:
May 8, 2014 at 9:32 am
Unless I’m reading it wrong, this quote appears to be from Mr. Wallace in an article at CTV News:
“Unless global warming starts to accelerate at a rate far beyond what we’ve seen, it’s going to be a long time before weather statistics change so much from the human signal that it would become clearly detectable in the presence of natural variability.”
Climate change not fully to blame for melting sea ice: study
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/climate-change-not-fully-to-blame-for-melting-sea-ice-study-1.1810977#ixzz318tASJ7j
That quote is not in the UW press release.
Also missed from Patrick’s link is this quote from Wallace: “The ice melt is dramatic,” he said. “I would not claim to make any statement about the ice melt.”
Have to wonder why he said that…

Duster

Dung says:
May 8, 2014 at 7:37 am
I do not think that it matters in the short term that we do not understand ‘why’ this is happening. It can not be caused by global warming if the globe as a whole is not warming, effectively it is weather….

It matters a great deal. The importance is that the article is an acknowledgement – an indirect one – that we do not, in fact, know how the climate works. If we really don’t know how climate works, and we don’t, then just what is being employed to “inform” policy decisions. Ask yourself, “if we don’t know how the climate works by it self then how can we possibly know what effects we are having on it? The persistent publication of global mean temperature changes glosses over that fact that some areas may be cooling while others warm. If the sum of the total is positive, the argument is that the globe is warming. Then, since the globe is warming and there is not much change in the solar constant, the argument is that changes must due to effects here on the deck. The investigators look around here on earth and ask, “what’s the biggest change here, and with wide-eyed astonishment conclude, ‘why, it’s us, the human race!'” The approach is superficially more sophisticated [e.g. Trenberth’s energy budget], but that is the reductio ad absurdum.
Socially, there’s a great deal of comfort to be had by some in the belief that “we did it,” and the consequent, “if we did it, then we can ‘un-did’ it.” Politically it offers a safe harbor for politicians that don’t want to go out on a limb. “We have met the enemy and he is us” is a good lead in for an “if we all work and sacrifice together” argument to distract people from real issues like poisoned rivers, unbreathable air, kidnapped girls, slavery (the PC term is “human trafficking” these days), North Korea, Ukraine and a host of other issues here at home that are far more intractable in the lack of near-term solutions that don’t involve lots of bullets and explosives.

Brett Keane

Poor old Mosh, still trying to sell us GCMs, when even the IPPC has given up on them. And as for Greenland ice’s death spiral, the only deaths are among poor deluded greenies who try to cross it. It is not heat prostration that gets them. Brett Keane

Mark Bofill

Steven Mosher says:
May 8, 2014 at 9:39 am


1. There is no evidence that this photo shows soot.
2. Its assumed and asserted as fact.
3. Note the lack of skepticism about this “evidence”

Science: build a tool to try to understand the role of soot.
Politics: assert that its all down to soot. no comprehensive data, no methods, a few pictures, no testing of the hypothesis.. just assertion.

Steven, I don’t get how you make up your mind what to open fire on. Does it really matter that the jeopardy contestant didn’t phrase his answer in the form of a question in this case, does it really affect the point? Say AW said ‘hmm, betcha that’s soot’ instead of ‘that’s soot’. Is difference in phrasing a substantial issue?
I’m grouchy today, so no doubt I’ll realize later the problem is on my end. shrug

Quinn the Eskimo

Mosher: You don’t get 50-50 attribution for free because 50-50 is itself an attribution. The IPCC attribution analysis makes the Monty Python Witch Trial look logically rigorous by comparison, but at least they don’t pretend to start on the 50 yard line.