About that Arctic sea ice …

The Register, an occasionally accurate online IT newspaper, has been running a series of warming denial pieces, by one Steven Goddard. Goddard has been trying to cast on temperature and ice data. Unfortunately, he does a whole lot of cherry picking. For example:

A second important issue with NASA’s presentation is that they use the time period of 1951-1980 as their choice of baseline. This was a well known cold spell, as can be seen in the 1999 version of the NASA US temperature graph below.

Why use a graph of US temperatures instead of world temperatures? The “cold spell” is more pronounced in the US graph. In fact, the average for 1951-1980 is almost the same as for the 20th century so it is misleading to call it a cold spell. Goddard prefers to use satellite data, with a baseline that is significantly warmer than the 20th century average, to try to making warming seem less. He does some more cherry picking when he presents a map of GISS temperatures leaving out the sea data and using 250km smoothing (even though the NASA used 1200km smoothing for the temperature graphs) in order to make it look like there are significant gaps in NASA’s coverage. He compounds this by picking a month where this makes it look like there is a warming bias in NASA’s temperatures.

But his most recent effort was even worse, claiming that the NSIDC’s graph of Arctic sea ice extent was wrong and that there was 30% more sea ice than at the corresponding time last year.

i-11712ed7b31cf55b5724628fc6c08efe-20080827_Figure2.png

But it was Goddard who was wrong, as NSIDC’s Walt Meier explained to the Register:

He appears to derive his estimate by simply counting pixels in an image. He recognizes that this results in an error due to the distortion by the map projection, but does so anyway. Such an approach is simply not valid.

If you correct Goddard’s error, you get the same number as the NSIDC. Meier adds:

Besides this significant error, the rest of the article consists almost entirely of misleading, irrelevant, or erroneous information about Arctic sea ice that add nothing to the understanding of the significant long-term decline that is being observed.

Goddard admitted he was wrong but, as noted by Joseph Romm, Kevin Grandia and James Hrynyshyn, the numerous denialists who claimed that Goddard had shown that the ice wasn’t melting have mysteriously failed to correct things.

There are too many to list, so I’ll just point to the Australian bloggers: Jennifer Marohasy “Arctic Sea Ice Refuses to Melt”, Tim Blair “Arctic ice seems to be growing somehow.” and Andrew Bolt “Tim Blair rounds up the local anecdotes of coldening.”. No corrections from any of them.

Incidently, in the graph above, 2005 was the record melt until 2007. 2008 has already passed 2005 and whether or not it ends up setting a new record, it’s clear that the melt in 2008 is similar to 2007 rather than anything ever seen before.

Update: Bolt referred to Goddard more than once:

Steven Goddard checks those predictions that the North Pole could melt clear away this summer, and finds we can (yet again) relax.

Comments

  1. #1 Lee
    August 31, 2008

    So, dipole seems to have been – misrepresenting? – when he said he was doing projection corrections?

    Hiding your code, dipole?

    Meanwhile, sea ice extent has gone flat – perhaps the slush is spreading out? – while sea ice area is still plunging.

    And reading the shite over at Wassup is cringe-inducing. Man…

  2. #2 Robert Grumbine
    August 31, 2008

    Lee, It isn’t a good idea to get terribly wedded to the areas during the melt season. The passive microwave sensors used by NSIDC/Cryosphere Today/NASA/NCEP/… are biased low in area by melt ponds that form on top of the thicker sea ice. They’re all pretty good at doing extent (about equally so — no surprise, as they’re all, ultimately, based on the same algorithm. Differences in details, enough so that you should study them before drawing conclusions, but few enough to show pretty similar answers to an eyeball.)

  3. #3 dipole
    August 31, 2008

    Hank Roberts #93

    let the people there respond as and when they have time to focus on this stuff. Sheesh.

    See my post #25. Cryosphere Today is run by just one person in his spare time? I’m in awe.

    recall they had a server meltdown or something, the imagery producing software was giving wrong answers for quite a while and they flagged that on the site.

    I missed that, but it’s an interesting observation in the current context.

    Sod #98

    dipole, why don t you simply tell us, what you think about so much dishonesty?

    I think Goddard originally found a genuine inconsistency in the published information, and jumped to a conclusion which suited his agenda but which turned out to be wrong and for which he apologised. Of course he spins the facts to suit his case. Just like this site never questions the torrent of absurdities about the predicted/actual effects of AGW.

    Lee #101

    So, dipole seems to have been – misrepresenting? – when he said he was doing projection corrections?

    I said I could count pixels (see code above). I said even if I tried projection corrections I couldn’t reconcile the data. Why would you want the code for a failed calculation? But Tim says:

    If you correct Goddard’s error, you get the same number as the NSIDC.

    Ask him for his source code. Or try reading the thread before posting.

  4. #4 Tim Lambert
    August 31, 2008

    Repeating myself: dipole, Goddard’s error was counting pixels to get an estimate of the change in sea ice.

  5. #5 bi -- IJI
    August 31, 2008

    dipole:

    > Go away bi.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    > I said even if I tried projection corrections I couldn’t reconcile the data. Why would you want the code for a failed calculation?

    So that we can check that it actually failed, and to see what it actually was. Or do you just want us to believe — on faith — that it did fail?

    So where’s your code, dipole? Why are you hiding the code which you were so willing to show just a day ago?

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  6. #6 dhogaza
    September 1, 2008

    Ah, the troll is trolled, and hooked…not here:

    I think Goddard originally found a genuine inconsistency in the published information

    Which was just meant to be a visual aid, not to be treated as FUCKING DATA, you FUCKING FUCKWAD IDIOT.

    Is that clear, or do I have to be more direct????

    The underlying data is, was, and has been, available. Gee, should tell you something, no?

    , and jumped to a conclusion which suited his agenda but which turned out to be wrong and for which he apologised.

    Not really. He said he was wrong because images have been processed differently, and of course he thinks it’s reasonable to use these as data rather than the published data.

    That’s STUPID.

    Of course he spins the facts to suit his case. Just like this site never questions the torrent of absurdities about the predicted/actual effects of AGW.

    No, not at all. If you believe this, prove it, with quotes, links, images, etc.

    Congrats, though – you’ve exposed yourself as a denialist, not an objectivist.

  7. #7 spangled drongo
    September 1, 2008

    P. Lewis #87,
    Thanks for that. I gave up and went to bed. Had to work this morning.

  8. #8 spangled drongo
    September 1, 2008

    P. Lewis #87,
    Thanks for that. I gave up and went to bed. Had to work this morning.

  9. #9 spangled drongo
    September 1, 2008

    P. Lewis #87,
    Thanks for that. I gave up and went to bed. Had to work this morning.

  10. #10 spangled drongo
    September 1, 2008

    P. Lewis #87,
    Thanks for that. I gave up and went to bed. Had to work this morning.

  11. #11 dipole
    September 1, 2008

    Tim Lambert #104 says:

    Repeating myself: dipole, Goddard’s error was counting pixels to get an estimate of the change in sea ice.

    Goddard’s video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgjyNlOGWho

    comparing NSIDC and CT extent images on 15 Aug 2007 appears to contradict you, showing serious error in the CT map.

    Do you usually allow potty mouths and attack chihuahuas such free rein on your site?

  12. #12 bi -- IJI
    September 1, 2008

    dipole:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Where’s the code which you were so willing to show just a day ago? And the code which you’re basing all your insinuations on?

    > ██ ███ ███████ █████ █████ ██████ ███ ██████ ██████████ ████ ████ ████ ██ ████ ████?

    Quick, please call us fat, so that Lambert can finally ban you.

  13. #13 dhogaza
    September 1, 2008

    Do you usually allow potty mouths and attack chihuahuas such free rein on your site?

    You’re asking to be banned?

  14. #14 Hank Roberts
    September 1, 2008

    As an aside, recommended reading.

    Have you ever suspected that just possibly a troll has hooked you and is using you?
    This may help:

    http://groups.google.ie/group/alt.troll/msg/c962c12ac7395177

    A few brief excerpts follow:
    ____________
    “… More stunning than what any troll posts is when a grouper admonishes a fellow grouper. That needs to be the goal.”
    ——–
    “… Remember, the goal is not to win an argument. It’s to create an unwinnable one [that] runs almost forever.”
    ——
    “… you don’t win an argument directly by what you post. You win because of what your opponent posts.”

  15. #15 TomG
    September 1, 2008

    Hank Roberts #111….
    Sometimes trolls are useful…at least to me and I suspect not the way they intended.
    I can fairly quickly spot a troll: snide comments, smug attitude, violation of the law of holes, and (curiously) many times terrible spelling. Links to denial sites are dead giveaways…hoo boy!
    They themselves are a drag, but the responses to them usually lead to a wealth of information that I wouldn’t have otherwise knew existed. The more they troll…the more I learn and it’s not from them.
    Google is my Friend.

  16. #16 dipole
    September 1, 2008

    Hank reoberts #111 says:

    possibly a troll has hooked you

    Not quite sure who you are referring to here. But on a related discussion on RealClimate my comment

    So pixel-counting seems quite valid to me, and appears to demonstrate that older UIUC images are simply not accurate.

    was coincidentally the last post before the thread closed.

    On the successor thread (assuming that’s the same Hank Roberts) you refer to the:

    now-discredited pixel-counting method

    and are concerned that:

    the last few postings in the closed thread leave a quite wrong impression.

    Now I point you to visual evidence showing that CT images are indeed missing a lot of ice extent compared to the (presumably accurate) NSIDC images and your response is to characterise me as a troll?

  17. #17 bi -- IJI
    September 1, 2008

    Well, well, well… after dipole goes around yelling

    > Go away bi.

    and accuses people of being

    > potty mouths

    and finally sobs

    > your response is to characterise me as a troll?

    It’s the usual technique wherein one sprinkles a few acts of nonsense here and there, and then later tries to look totally reasonable and innocent and persecuted.

    Strange, because dipole could’ve saved all the trouble by showing us his code. Well, I’ll just say this again to dipole:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  18. #18 dipole
    September 1, 2008

    My projection correcting code is now irrelevant bi. I would have to rewrite it anyway since UIUC have confirmed a different viewing distance to the one I initially estimated.

    It is superceded by the much clearer evidence of Goddard’s animation

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgjyNlOGWho

    comparing the CT and NSIDC images directly. But thanks for the opportunity to post the link again.

  19. #19 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    comparing the CT and NSIDC images directly. But thanks for the opportunity to post the link again.

    Oh my God, a visual aid proves a commie conspiracy, even though the underlying data is freely available and proves that the visual aid is … maybe … too *nice* … to denialists.

    This nanotube straw you’re grasping is … laughable …

  20. #20 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    dipole:

    > My projection correcting code is now irrelevant bi. I would have to rewrite it anyway since UIUC have confirmed a different viewing distance to the one I initially estimated.

    Hey look, a phantom piece of evidence just got superseded by… another phantom piece of evidence! Does anyone like the look of this already?

    And according to dipole, he’ll have to “rewrite” the code. I wonder how long that’ll take? I’m guessing that it’ll take forever to rewrite the code, but dipole will mysteriously find enough time to sling mud and play the persecuted Galileo.

    I say this to dipole again:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  21. #21 Hank Roberts
    September 2, 2008

    Troll is a verb.

    Don’t take it personally, you’re not the tasty bait with the hook in it.

    The tasty bait is the notion of taking imagery ahd getting into deep arguments about what people think must be behind the image, rather than looking at the actual imagery.

    Take an earlier example. Wegman, House Energy hearings, Inhofe.

    They got hugely wrought up about a hand-drawn curve on a page meant to indicate graphically what was then understood about temperature change over time. It was a cartoon, in the literal sense of the word.

    The critics _digitized_the_image_ and then tried to plot the numbers they derived and do science on it.

    That notion captured their attention for literally years. They finally got corrected in the hearings in front of Inhofe’s committee when the National Academy folks told them straight out that it was just a hand-drawn line meant to give an idea of approximately what they’d thought, when the first report was written.

    Same problem here. Don’t get caught up chasing illusions. Don’t chase tasty bait.

    And don’t mistake yourself for the bait or the action of dragging it through the water.

    It’s not about you.

    Learn to ask for the actual data files. Work with those.
    Work with them better.

    Use data. Draw conclusions.
    Getting this backwards is an inordinate waste of time.

  22. #22 Bernard J.
    September 2, 2008

    On the unabashedly wastefully artsy and rabidly commie-left-wing Australian ABC there are two broadcasts called Soundspace and The Night Air.

    I’m not sure on which of these it was, but about a little over a year ago one played a piece which started with a fellow sitting in a room with a recorder. He basically rabbitted on for about a minute saying that every time he rerecorded himself – saying that every time he rerecorded himself… – the quality of the recording diminished and was eventually lost.

    The first repetition of this had me shaking my head in disbelief at the time some artists have on their hands, but after channel surfing I went back because there was nothing else on. Curiously, I couldn’t pick the difference between any successive recordings, but as the piece continued the distortion was quite amazing. I ended up wishing that I’d listened from start to end.

    Same as photocopying a photocopy of a photocopy…, really.

    Dipole, can you really not see the problem inherent with this silly image analysis when the real data are sitting under one’s nose? If there really had been a need to retrieve the data from an image, it would require rather more sophisticated reconstruction that you seem to be referring to.

    If you were able to so quickly write the code the first time round, you should be able to bodge it quickly enough for the minor adjustments that appear to be required now.

    Provide the code, and a valid reason why one would bother with it at all, given the existence of the freely available original data, and tell us why your approach is not essentially indistinguishable from the examples above.

    Otherwise you will simply have to wear the moniker “troll”.

  23. #23 Bernard J.
    September 2, 2008

    BTW, & OT, that ABC piece ran for about 20 minutes. Does anyone here know what it was called and who the recoder was?

  24. #24 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    Bernard J.: Is this what you’re looking for?

  25. #25 Bernard J.
    September 2, 2008

    Thanks Frank, you’re a scholar and a gentleman.

    That’s it. Great to be able to have pinned it so easily.

  26. #26 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    > Thanks Frank, you’re a scholar and a gentleman.

    That’s an overstatement. :) Anyway, I remember hearing a similar work — probably a different recording in a different room.

  27. #27 dipole
    September 2, 2008

    Hello Bernard #119:

    I can tell you are the music/math sort rather a visual guy, so let’s start simple. In fact things got a lot easier in just the last couple of days.

    Here’s a map of Australia. Actually if you are familiar with the layout you probably don’t need to look at all. Don’t worry, it’s a GIF not a JPEG, so no nasty pixel fudging. Anyway, the big area top right is called ‘Queensland’. Speaking informally, we say it’s ‘part of’ or ‘inside’ Australia. We could use the more technical set-theoretic term ‘contained in’ but let’s keep it simple. This isn’t an honours class.

    The next concept is trickier. Not only is Queensland ‘part of’ Australia, but there is ‘quite a bit left over’. To make this precise I would need to know the projection in use and possibly introduce the associated Riemannian metric. By counting pixels (yay!) and using the area element associated to the metric I could figure out exactly how much was left over.

    But I’m going to skip that. I bet you sometimes let your lecturer get away with a bit of hand-waving (I hope you aren’t the nerdy guy in the front row always asking pedantic questions).

    But it’s not really necessary. If someone shows me a map of Queensland and says “Here’s a map of Australia”, I can call BS without knowing anything about differential geometry. And I don’t even have to count pixels! If that’s not clear I suggest you get together with Tim and Hank and dhogaza and bi and think about it a bit. Class collaboration is OK.

    Now let’s try a slightly more difficult example (courtesy S. Goddard):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgjyNlOGWho

    It starts off showing the CT ice extent (think Queensland!) and ends up showing the NSIDC ice extent (think Australia!) for the same day. As you can see there is ‘quite a bit left over’.

    OK you will say – that’s not even a JPEG, it’s a frikkin’…something. But then, we never had to count pixels at all did we? Anyway, Mr Goddard seems to know a lot more about the ice maps than you guys, and I am looking forward to his next article.

    Credits: thanks to the guy with the shiny bald head (Dr Albedo?) on the recent 4 Corners doco for the illuminating Arctic/Australia analogy.

  28. #28 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    dipole:

    Which part of the sentence “Show us the code” do you not understand?

    I say this again:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Until you show us the code, your insinuations are based on nothing but vapourware.

  29. #29 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    OK you will say – that’s not even a JPEG, it’s a frikkin’…something. But then, we never had to count pixels at all did we? Anyway, Mr Goddard seems to know a lot more about the ice maps than you guys, and I am looking forward to his next article.

    Entirely missing the point. The data is available. The DATA. We don’t NEED the map. I don’t CARE about the map. Wanking away at the map is nothing but a DISTRACTION.

    Goddard’s underlying motivation – he’s trying to raise doubts about the data and about the extent and area computations performed on the data, by niggling about with visual aids that, from the point of view of relevance, are meaningless.

  30. #30 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    Anyway, Mr Goddard seems to know a lot more about the ice maps than you guys.

    Except for the fact that the map images themselves are absolutely meaningless. A lot of people know more about astrology than I do, too, but I know the most important thing: astrology is a stinkin’ pile.

  31. #31 Hank Roberts
    September 2, 2008

    When all else has failed, look for a file named “README” — here’s one.

    Try really hard to get all the way to the bottom of the little bit I’m going to post here.

    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n3125/README.TXT

    ——-excerpt follows——-

    II. Data Set Structure

    For every day and hemisphere there exist four files:
    1. Sea ice concentrations stored as GEOTIFF file (.tif) in byte format (0 to 255).
    The ice concentrations between 0% and 100% are scaled to the values 0 to 200.
    So every value of the Geotiff byte data represents a range of 0.5% ice concentration.
    A value of 255 is used for false or missing data.
    The value 251 represents land.

    The same polar stereographic projection and map borders as for the NSIDC sea ice data (http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/nsidc0002_ssmi_seaice.gd.html) is used.
    The data is calculated by using exactly that projection but for the GEOTIFF format an other ellipsoid has to be used. Some programs like ENVI are not capable of using self defined ellipsoids like the Hughes ellipsoid used by the NSIDC. For this reason the standard WGS84 ellipsoid is used in the GEOTIFF format. This causes errors in the geolocation of up to 500 meter at the corners of the maps. For most applications this should be negligible.

    The colortable is adapted from the NIC colortable used for sea ice data (http://www.natice.noaa.gov):
    R (red) G (green) B (blue)
    0% to 9% 0 0 139
    10% to 19% 30 144 255
    20% to 29% 30 250 160
    30% to 39% 34 139 34
    40% t0 49% 0 250 0
    50% to 59% 125 250 0
    60% to 69% 173 255 47
    70% to 79% 250 250 0
    80% to 84% 250 125 0
    85% to 89% 250 0 0
    90% to 95% 186 85 211
    96% to 98% 148 0 211
    99% to 100% 120 0 90

    Land (251) 100 100 100

    2. Sea ice concentrations as floating point values (hdf format).
    Missing or wrong data is marked as NaN (Not a Number) values
    using the IEEE standard. The data is stored in the Hierarchical
    Data Format (HDF) using the multi-file Scientific Data Set model
    (short: HDF SDS file) and has the file extension ‘.hdf’.

    Software to read this data and a lot of additional information
    can be obtained from ‘http://hdf.ncsa.uiuc.edu/’. HDF SDS is the
    standard data format for AMSR data and should be compatible with
    the single-file HDF SDS used by the NSIDC for the ‘DMSP SSM/I
    Daily Polar Gridded Brightness Temperatures’.

    3. and 4. Visualization of the data as Portable Network Graphics
    (PNG). They have the file extension ‘.png’. …

    The last two files are more for visualization purposes and not for scientific
    interpretation.

    —————end excerpt————

    Did you read the last line of the excerpt?
    Did you look for the additional information (where I give an ellipsis)?
    Do you know what they’re talking about?

    Show us your good sense.

  32. #32 Paul H
    September 2, 2008

    Has anyone noticed that the Northeast passage is now open for business?

    According to records this hasn’t happened before, I think, anyone have any other information on that point?

  33. #33 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    dhogaza:

    > Wanking away at the map is nothing but a DISTRACTION.

    Indeed it’s a distraction, but it’s a good distraction. :)

    By playing along with his distraction, we’ve managed to figure out that his so-called “source code” which does projection corrections is complete vapourware. dipole was trying to pull an Empty Fort Strategy.

  34. #34 sod
    September 2, 2008

    The next concept is trickier. Not only is Queensland ‘part of’ Australia, but there is ‘quite a bit left over’. To make this precise I would need to know the projection in use and possibly introduce the associated Riemannian metric. By counting pixels (yay!) and using the area element associated to the metric I could figure out exactly how much was left over.

    dipole, this is getting idiotic.

    the best way to get that number, is by getting the REAL data. (area: 1,852,642 km² of 7,741,220 km², from wiki)

    counting pixels from a map, without having projection details, looks pretty stupid to me. trying to get the information from this particular map (notice the big red lines? notice that black colour inside the map?) would give a FALSE result.

    please, stop this nonsense!

  35. #35 Hank Roberts
    September 2, 2008

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

    Here’s Dr. Wegman explaining how he took a hand-drawn curve illustrating a general sense of what was known in 1990 by the IPCC about temperature, digitized it, and considered their numbers proof of a mathematical error ….

    “Could we go to figure 5? To further illustrate this, we
    digitized the temperature profile published in the IPCC 1990 report
    and we did apply both the CFR and the CPS methods to them. The data
    used here are 69 unstructured noise pseudo-proxy series with only
    one copy of the 1990 profile. The upper left panel illustrates the
    PC1 with proper centering. In other words, no structure is shown.
    The other three panels indicate what happens when using principal
    components with an increasing amount of decentering. Again, the
    single series begins to overwhelm the 69 other pure noise series.
    Cleary, this decentering has a big effect….”

    This is the image they were using (provenance explained at RC)
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/ipcc_1990_panel3.jpg
    Fig. 3. The past millennium as shown in the first IPCC report of 1990, before quantitative large-scale reconstructions were available. This curve was based on Lamb’s estimated climate history for central England.

    Provenance explained at Stoat:
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/05/tggws_again_again.php#comment-430132

    Gerald North explains it was hand-drawn for the 1990 report as an illustration, somewhere in the Inhofe hearing transcripts.

    That’s from recent history — one of the great instances of blogging madness based on trying to derive data from an image rather than going to ascertain whether there actually was any data to use.

  36. #36 dipole
    September 2, 2008

    OK bi and dhogaza #125, #126:

    I guess that swooshing sound was the concept of ‘quite a bit left over’ going over your heads. I know some people have problems with the passage from discrete to continuous quantities, so I will try again.

    Bi goes to Bi-Lo and buys (tee-hee) a packet of biscuits. I would like to make a definitive statement like ‘there are 12 biscuits in the packet’. But Tim and Hank and Bernard say it’s impossible to count biscuits since there are always crumbs left in the packet, or on the carpet, or in bed, so the answer wouldn’t be valid.

    Dr Meier of NSIDC suspects the count would be inaccurate because of space-time curvature. Now sod is worried we might count the pictures on the packet as real biscuits by mistake.

    Anyway, dhogaza comes round for tea and biscuits. After he leaves, bi sees that, unusually, there are some biscuits left in the packet. I claim that it is possible to deduce from this that dhogaza did not eat all the biscuits.

    Now I am sure there will be objections, perhaps based on Russell’s paradox, or the fact that I haven’t given the recipe for the biscuits. But that’s the price of hanging out on high class scientific blogs like this one.

    Getting back to Mr Goddard’s animation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgjyNlOGWho

    It starts off showing what dhogaza ate, and ends up showing the whole packet. OK – that’s entropy violation or something. Just run it backwards. So, did dhogaza eat all the biscuits? Or in this case, did CT show all the ice in August 2007?

    Quoted by Hank #128:

    The last two files are more for visualization purposes and not for scientific interpretation.

    Goddard’s expedition was ill-advised, but interesting. I am just amazed how the original story and (nearly) all the posts studiously avoid mentioning the real reason he was wrong – the inconsistency, inaccuracy, or whatever you like to call it, of the CT extent maps in Summer 2007. But so much effort to distract attention from there. It’s an interesting group phenomenon. Your link to the README is bad, BTW.

  37. #37 Hank Roberts
    September 2, 2008

    Links with italic can be fixed. You know how to do this.

  38. #38 bi -- IJI
    September 2, 2008

    dipole:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    * * *

    Hank Roberts:

    Links with italic can be fixed. You know how to do this.

    Perhaps this ‘feature’ of Deltoid should be disabled, like in some of the other blogs on ScienceBlogs. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

  39. #39 dipole
    September 2, 2008

    Run away and play, bi.

  40. #40 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    Bi goes to Bi-Lo and buys (tee-hee) a packet of biscuits. I would like to make a definitive statement like ‘there are 12 biscuits in the packet’. But Tim and Hank and Bernard say it’s impossible to count biscuits since there are always crumbs left in the packet, or on the carpet, or in bed, so the answer wouldn’t be valid.

    The biscuits are the data. Analyzing the data will be valid.

    What you’re analyzing is the equivalent of an x-ray photo of the box of biscuits. No matter how good that photo might be, it will never replace the REAL DATA – the number of biscuits in the box, which can be directly counted by opening it and well counting it.

    No one in their right mind substitutes an x-ray photo when the box can be opened and examined directly. We only do so when necessary (like, killing someone by removing all their flesh might be extreme).

    We just had a recent example in the NFL, where a Giants defensive player hurt his knee. X-rays were negative (“not hurt badly”), and the team was happy. Yet, when they got a better picture (not by flaying the flesh from his skeleton in this case), using an MRI … out for the year.

    The people who generate the maps say “not intended for scientific analysis”.

    HOW FUCKING STUPID CAN YOU BE?

  41. #41 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    Goddard’s expedition was ill-advised, but interesting. I am just amazed how the original story and (nearly) all the posts studiously avoid mentioning the real reason he was wrong – the inconsistency, inaccuracy, or whatever you like to call it, of the CT extent maps in Summer 2007.

    Let’s examine this closely…

    The people generating the images say “don’t use these for scientific purposes”.

    Goddard did.

    Turns out his analysis was bogus.

    We’re not ignoring the “real reason he was wrong”, we’re just pointing out that the people who’ve made the images said DON’T USE THEM THIS WAY.

    You’ve reached the troll level of idiocy at this point.

  42. #42 dipole
    September 2, 2008

    I can’t believe you’re quoting and analysing that last ‘argument’, dhogaza.

  43. #43 dhogaza
    September 2, 2008

    I can’t believe you’re quoting and analysing that last ‘argument’, dhogaza.

    It’s not an argument, dipshit, it’s a *statement*. By the people generating the maps. They don’t attest to the accuracy of them, never had.

    Goddard’s showing that … they were right not to attest to the accuracy of them.

    Oh my! Earth-shaking news. Climate science is a fraud because a web map, with a disclaimer as to its accuracy, is … inaccurate!

    You’re worse than an idiot, dipole. At this point, you are clearly dishonest.

  44. #44 bi -- IJI
    September 3, 2008

    dipole:

    When are you going to finish rewriting your vapourware, dipole?

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  45. #45 bi -- IJI
    September 3, 2008

    (Oh yes, I did say that

    > And according to dipole, he’ll have to “rewrite” the [projection correction] code. I wonder how long that’ll take? I’m guessing that it’ll take forever to rewrite the code, but dipole will mysteriously find enough time to sling mud and play the persecuted Galileo.

    and — no surprise — it turns out that my prognostications were right! Which means I can now once more call myself a Level XI Junior Goracle, tee-hee.)

  46. #46 WotWot
    September 3, 2008

    dipole, you are clearly wrong. If the maps have a clear disclaimer with them that they are “not intended for scientific analysis”, AND there is a link to the original raw data explicitly for the purposes of proper scientific analysis, then your case collapses completely.

    Time to ignore any more of this nonsense from dipole, folks.

  47. #47 Barton Paul Levenson
    September 3, 2008

    dhogaza writes:

    A lot of people know more about astrology than I do, too, but I know the most important thing: astrology is a stinkin’ pile.

    Amen to that. There’s no way I’ll ever accept something as fundamentally stupid as astrology.

    I’m a Taurus, and we’re very stubborn.

  48. #48 P. Lewis
    September 3, 2008

    BPL said

    I’m a Taurus, and we’re very stubborn.

    And that sounds like a load of bullsiht to me. ;-)

  49. #49 sod
    September 3, 2008

    meanwhile:

    arctic sea ice AREA has gotten incredibly close to the 2007 development.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

    looks like dipole achieved his mission of distracting us from the real developments..

  50. #50 dhogaza
    September 3, 2008

    And, Sod, that graph doesn’t run out to september yet. Looks like it’s going to cross last year at the next update unless there’s a sudden reversal.

  51. #51 James Haughton
    September 3, 2008

    Newsflash: Massive Canadian Ice Shelf Suddenly Breaks Up:
    http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50087/story.htm
    Arctic Melting shows severity of global warming:
    http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/50081/story.htm

    If only this was just about winning on-line debates, and not about the planet turning into one big New Orleans, and not in a good way.

  52. #52 Hank Roberts
    September 3, 2008

    Note the time sequence:
    http://instaar.metapress.com/content/645408k4771gj242/

    That collapse was one of the remnants:

    “Over the course of the last century, the 9000-km2 “Ellesmere Ice Shelf” (82-83°N, 64-90°W) fragmented into six main ice shelves now totaling 1043 km2. This ensemble of thick ice environments … provides a cryohabitat for microbial communities ….

    Environmental Gradients, Fragmented Habitats, and Microbiota of a Northern Ice Shelf Cryoecosystem, Ellesmere Island, Canada

    Journal Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
    Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado

    Volume 38, Number 4 / November 2006
    Online Date Tuesday, May 01, 2007

  53. #53 z
    September 3, 2008

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7595441.stm

    who wants to write some code to compare the ice extents in the two pictures by counting pixels?

  54. #54 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    z #150 says:

    who wants to write some code to compare the ice extents in the two pictures by counting pixels?

    I’ll save them the trouble. The Markham shelf would be about a quarter of pixel on the CT maps. Out of 30,000 or so.

    This guy took the NSIDC predictions of an ice-free North pole this year pretty seriously.

    Perhaps he should have counted a few more pixels before he left ;^)

  55. #55 Chris O'Neill
    September 4, 2008

    the NSIDC predictions of an ice-free North pole this year

    Where did they predict that? Of course, if they predicted an ice-free North pole within 20 years, that would be absolutely no problemo.

  56. #56 sod
    September 4, 2008

    This guy took the NSIDC predictions of an ice-free North pole this year pretty seriously.

    dipole, as always, is spreading more false information.

    the source of this fraud is the original Goddard article in the “the Register”:

    http://tinyurl.com/5sma3z

    Goddard is misrepresenting two scientists, pretending they claim that either the pole would melt in 2008 or even that the complete arctic polar ice cap would melt. (that is what you need, to get there paddling….

    here is what they really said:

    “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba,… I would say the ice in the vicinity of the North Pole is primed for melting, and an ice-free North Pole is a good possibility,” Sheldon Drobot, a climatologist at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/06/080620-north-pole.html

    the other source is even worse:

    If Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007,the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away, which is highly possible judging from current conditions,” Orheim said.

    http://tinyurl.com/36yrhh

    instead of excusing himself, for the false claims made by him and Goddard, he is still pushing the same false information.
    pretty sad person.

  57. #57 bi -- IJI
    September 4, 2008

    dipole:

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  58. #58 sod
    September 4, 2008

    PS: i couldn t link anyone of them to the NSIDC, but i didn t take a very close look..

    but i am sure that dipole provide a detailed account and a good source soon

  59. #59 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    Chris O’Neill #152:

    Where did they predict that?

    Here, for example.

    It’s a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice, which was frozen in autumn, will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole, Serreze said.

  60. #60 sod
    September 4, 2008

    this was your claim dipole: (#151)

    This guy took the NSIDC predictions of an ice-free North pole this year pretty seriously.

    now it turns out, they were talking about a 50:50 chance?

    if the two of us toss a coin, and i tell you that it is a 50:50 chance for heads, you will claim that i predicted the result to be heads?

    how about making a comment that isn t simply FALSE, once in a while?

  61. #61 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    sod says #157:

    If the two of us toss a coin…

    Everyone knows a coin toss has 50:50 chance of heads. But when you assign a high probability to some event that is generally thought extremely unlikely then you are making a significant prediction.

    Doesn’t IPCC make its predictions in terms of probabilities? If they are not predictions what would you call them?

  62. #62 Dano
    September 4, 2008

    Doesn’t IPCC make its predictions in terms of probabilities? If they are not predictions what would you call them?

    Try actually learning about the subject.

    If you knew the least bit about the subject, you’d know their name.

    This has been another public service of the Dano Arguments From Ignorance are Not Convincing and Now Your Mommy is Calling You to Clean Your Room So Go Away and Stop Embarrassing Yourself Network.

    Best,

    D

  63. #63 dhogaza
    September 4, 2008

    Dipole’s ignorance makes me smile. To think that cretins like this really imagine that they have a prayer of proving a large number of hardworking professional scientists wrong …

  64. #64 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    Dano says #159:

    If you knew the least bit about the subject you’d know their name.

    I stand corrected. I had no idea the IPCC policed the use of language in their reports so rigidly.

    Certainly a very bad example to use.

  65. #65 Eli Rabett
    September 4, 2008

    Dipole, they do a word by word analysis in the final drafting session. So yes, the IPCC does police every word that appears in their reports. Your ignorance is not our problem

  66. #66 Chris O'Neill
    September 4, 2008

    This guy took the NSIDC predictions of an ice-free North pole this year pretty seriously.

    Yes, he wanted to take a 50-50 chance. And your point is?

  67. #67 bi -- IJI
    September 4, 2008

    dipole:

    I’m still waiting for you to finish rewriting your vapourware which provides Conclusive Proof That Lambert The Warmist Was Wrong?. Or are you simply rewriting it into more vapourware?

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  68. #68 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    Eli Rabett says: #162

    Your ignorance is not our problem

    All I can say is thanks for filling in this particular gap in my knowledge. I just searched the Garnaut review and sure enough, no use of the word ‘prediction’ anywhere (in a climate context anyway)!

    And I was stupid enough to think these guys were making predictions about future climate. But surely this is not just me? It must be a widespread delusion.

    I’m sure I’ve often heard the term ‘prediction’ used in the media in connection with the IPCC’s work, usually passing without correction. Shouldn’t there be a wider education campaign?

    Perhaps I will check some of Tim’s older posts to see if he is sticking to the party line, or if he might be a closet predictor.

    I certainly never meant to cast any aspersions on the efforts of hard-working climate scientists. I was merely standing up for the rights of pixel-counters, an oppressed minority in many parts of the world.

  69. #69 sod
    September 4, 2008

    dipole, i appreciate your (at least proclaimed) willingness to learn. but i do doubt that you fully understand this.

    the IPCC (and others) is avoiding the term “prediction” exactly because of people like you. people misrepresenting the science. people who ignore the terms “probably” or “50:50 chance” or “might happen” and who are transforming their arguments into false statements, that they then will claim to be wrong.

    and the IPPC is not using the term “prediction” for scenarios, because of their structure. they are based on assumptions (changes in human CO2 output, volcanoes, …) that the ICC does not “predict” but ascertain as a fact for the scenario structure. so the results of such a scenario can t be “predictions”.

  70. #70 Dano
    September 4, 2008

    Thank you dipole, for changing the subject in such an obvious and ham-handed manner. I guess they don’t teach rhetoric in Simpletonia.

    Best,

    D

  71. #71 Dano
    September 4, 2008

    Sod:

    IPCC uses projections, which are outcomes of scenario analysis.

    Scenario analysis is used because of the difficulties in predicting the future. Predictions cannot assess emergent phenomena, whereas scenarios can. Unfortunately, the IPCC has done a poor job of explaining to the world what exactly is scenario analysis and their projections. More here.

    Best,

    D

  72. #72 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    As the author of comment #157, I think it’s you that has the trouble with probability theory, sod.

    The Garnaut Review was commissioned by the Aus government to justify introduction of emissions trading. It seems even the authors of that review cannot figure out what the IPCC is talking about:

    The (IPCC) decision framework is rarely made explicit, and sometimes is not clear.(p27)

    In fact the whole notion of ‘probability’ makes little sense in this context, and I suspect the IPCC have to invent their own Newspeak so that they can ignore the usual conventions in matters of probability and statistics.

    But that’s all a bit o/t isn’t it? I haven’t looked at their use of GCMs, for example, in enough detail to debate the matter with any authority anyway.

    I will stick to pixel counting for the moment thanks.

  73. #73 dhogaza
    September 4, 2008

    Meanwhile, the NSIDC extent graph has taken another downtick. I’m really starting to think that the flattening out a few days back really was related to our unseasonably cold weather here in western Oregon late last week and Sunday (a strong high is building over the PNW and up into the gulf of alaska and we’ll be having unseasonably warm weather the next few days).

    Shifting winds, shifting ice …

    It’s not at all hard to imagine last year’s record being broken in the next couple of weeks.

  74. #74 dhogaza
    September 4, 2008

    In fact the whole notion of ‘probability’ makes little sense in this context

    Dipole’s made me smile again …

  75. #75 bi -- IJI
    September 4, 2008

    dipole:

    > I will stick to pixel counting for the moment thanks.

    So are you now abandoning your heroic effort to rewrite your projection correction vapourware?

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

    Show us the code.

  76. #76 WotWot
    September 4, 2008

    dhogaza #170

    Meanwhile, the NSIDC extent graph has taken another downtick.

    [snip]

    It’s not at all hard to imagine last year’s record being broken in the next couple of weeks.

    If that melt rate continues (more-or-less) then it is only going to take 5-6 days.

  77. #77 pough
    September 4, 2008

    I have to admit, the record looks closer to being broken/matched than I thought it would. There’s still a very good chance it will remain higher, though, in my opinion. But still… do stoats have sweat glands?

  78. #78 dhogaza
    September 4, 2008

    Sweating or not, I think it’s a mite bit closer than he thought it would be when he made the bet.

  79. #79 Gaz
    September 4, 2008

    Dipole says (#165)

    “I just searched the Garnaut review and sure enough, no
    use of the word ‘prediction’ anywhere (in a climate
    context anyway)!
    And I was stupid enough to think these guys were making
    predictions about future climate.”

    Dipole, if you’d read the Garnaut report as far as the second paragraph on page one you would not have made that stupid assumption.

  80. #80 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    doghaza says #170

    Meanwhile, the NSIDC extent graph has taken another downtick.

    Would that be this one?

    2 Sep 4,924,219

    3 Sep 4,927,031 (+2,812)

    Source

  81. #81 dhogaza
    September 4, 2008

    Would that be this one?

    Well, no, after all I said the NSIDC extent graph, and gave a link. Why would you link to something else and ask if that’s what I meant?

    But you know, dipshit, if you take a nice CLOSE look at the graph you linked to, you’ll see it’s the same, and shows a steep downtick. It’s just harder to see because of the horizontal scale.

  82. #82 dipole
    September 4, 2008

    Why would you look at graphs when the raw data is available?

  83. #83 FDB
    September 5, 2008

    Now should you really be saying that Dipole, when here you’ve been defending someone who looked at fricking pictures of graphs when the raw data was available?

  84. #84 Chris O'Neill
    September 5, 2008

    Why would you look at graphs when the raw data is available?

    Raw data:

    2 Sep 4,924,219

    3 Sep 4,927,031 (+2,812)

    4 Sep 4,868,125 (-58,906)

    And the point of weather trolling is?

  85. #85 Bernard J.
    September 5, 2008

    Dipole.

    You’ve cocked up with your reliance on distorted image pixel-counting (where’s the code?), with your (not) reading Garnaut, and most recently with trying to play clever games with raw data – it took Chris all of four hours to rub your nose in that pile of do-do, and I’m surprised that you didn’t anticipate the strength of the trajectory…

    I’m calling ‘troll’ too, and I hope that the thread can be pulled back on-topic, and most especially to the fact that the decrease in the ice extent is ignoring the Denialists’ triumphant declarations even a month ago that “it warn’t warmin’ no more”.

    Damn that inconvenient integration thing, huh?

  86. #86 dhogaza
    September 5, 2008

    Why would you look at graphs when the raw data is available?

    Because the plot is a direct graph of the raw data.

  87. #87 dhogaza
    September 5, 2008

    Actually it’s a running five-day average, but the graph is useful. It’s intended to be useful.

  88. #88 bi -- IJI
    September 5, 2008

    The code that does projections is not here,
    For ’tis just vapourware to provoke fear;
    And though dipole doth ride the Horse of Gish,
    Yet Empty Forts can’t hide their lack of fish.

  89. #89 pough
    September 5, 2008

    07-09-01 +3,907

    07-09-02 +6,093

    07-09-03 -37,031

    07-09-04 -51,875

    …and then the negatives continued until the 17th

    08-09-01 -72,188

    08-09-02 -33,437

    08-09-03 +2,812

    08-09-04 -58,125

    If my calculations are correct, 12 days with an average loss of 28,000 or so will get us to the same point as last year. Average over the last 12 days has been 52,604. My calculations might be wrong, though, because I hate Excel.

    Not that I think much of this speculation has any worth. This is weather. It could suddenly change, one way or the other.

  90. #90 Bernard J.
    September 11, 2008

    I note that the trajectory of the Arctic sea ice extent seems to be starting to plateau several hundred thousand square kms above last year’s record low.

    I wonder how long before the denialists claim evidence for cooling? Even as they’ve been holding their collective breaths for the last few weeks…

  91. #91 sod
    September 13, 2008
  92. #92 Bernard J.
    September 16, 2008

    With respect to the Arctic sea ice area, I’d be interested to know what the degree of accuracy is for the measurements, so that the annual difference between maximum and minimum area might be compared over the years.

    It seems that this year has seen the greatest loss so far, when considering the winter maximum and the summer minimum.

  93. #93 sean egan
    November 11, 2008

    Will arctic extent cross the the baseline 1979-2000 and produce a positive anomaly? Not happened yet, we currently better than all of the last 5 years and Oct in on the decadel trend which is a nice recovery after 2007.
    “http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm”
    “http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_record_extent.png”
    Yes I know it is not the summer minima, and we have seen predicting the minima even a few months is problematic, but is would still be a excellent.

  94. #94 sean egan
    November 15, 2008

    I have another go at the NSIDC link, but it has gone south the last couple of days.

    N_timeseries

  95. #95 sean egan
    November 15, 2008

    I give up after this

    N_timeseries

    Sean

  96. #96 Bernard J,
    November 17, 2008

    Sean Egan.

    Your point at #190 about the Arctic sea ice extent rising above the 1979-2000 baseline seems to be that such an increase would imply that the climatic regime at the pole is back to hunky-dory on the concern-o-meter, and thus that there would be no further problem. You even use the phrase ‘nice recovery’ in this apparent context.

    The trouble is, if there really is nothing to worry about with respect to melting ice, we should be excited about rises above the baseline only if such occur about as frequently as dips occur below below it. Given that the values for the last seven years of melting have spent rather a lot of the time below the baseline, it would require a majority of the values for the next decade to rise over the baseline for ‘a excellent (sic) nice recovery’ to be a serious proposition.

    If you expect to make a ‘hallelujah’ announcement as soon as the ice extent trajectory crosses the baseline, you will be ejaculating prematurely in response to noise, and not to signal.

  97. #97 sean egan
    November 24, 2008

    Bernard,
    No serious papers are claiming the large number of extinctions so far is due to the warming. Nor is mankind really suffering from the warming at present levels.

    However, we both know the climate models suggest the climate will change future, and greens project from this there will in the future be a large number of extinctions due wholly or largely due to warming, and this will add to the present species lose, plus humans in some areas will have less advantage conditions.

    So clearly if the ice stops declining, it would be very good news. It is not particularly desirable to turn the clock to a colder climate, even if it ia arguablely a more natural state.

  98. #98 Bernard Jr
    November 26, 2008

    With respect to the Arctic sea ice area, I’d be interested to know what the degree of accuracy is for the measurements, so that the annual difference between maximum and minimum area might be compared over the years.

  99. #99 sean egan
    December 17, 2008

    Bernard J #195
    less than we thought. Arctic summer 2008 has been recently been recalculated. Full story at http://wattsupwiththat.com

  100. #100 bi -- IJI
    December 17, 2008

    So, Goddard was wrong, but that’s OK. Because even though we’ve been wrong every time in the past, this time round we’re definitely right!

    [insert conspiracy theory about ninja inquisitors here]