The Australian‘s War on Science XXVIII

Today’s salvo in the Australian is a quote from Christopher “White asbestos is harmless” Booker. Booker writes:

Last weekend, US meteorologist Anthony Watts noticed that something very odd had happened to the daily updated website that shows how much sea ice there is in the Arctic.

Without explanation, a half million square kilometres of ice vanished overnight.

This might have brought cheer to Al Gore and the BBC, who have been obsessively telling us that the Arctic ice will soon disappear altogether. They were dismayed enough last winter when, after reaching its lowest point in 30 years, the ice bounded back to near normal.

This winter the freeze has been even faster and greater, making the extent of the ice 500,000sqkm greater than last year. How better to maintain the chosen narrative than to lose a half million square kilometres simply by adjusting the graph downwards?

Let’s see if I can find the post from Watts… Ah here it is. Oh, what does this update say?


I received this email from Stein Sandven at Nansen in response to my query:

Dear Anthony,

The ice area calculation has been too high since about 22 October, causing too steep slope of the 2008 curve. We corrected for this yesterday and recalculated the ice area for 2008. The slope of the 2008 curve should now be correct and can be compared with 2007 and the previous mean monthly ice area.

Best regards
Stein

For my opinion though it seems to be an incomplete answer, generating even more questions.

Yeah, sure it does, Mr Watts.

The update was added on December 13 (scroll down in the comments to Watt’s post to see this).

Booker published his piece on December 21, claiming that there was no explanation when, in fact, there was.

So what does the Nansen graph look like now?

i-a52598ff04c772e2320d7437de729506-ssmi1_ice_ext.png

The difference from last year is not significant, but Arctic sea ice extent is the lowest ever recorded for December 20.

David Appell looks at the figures from IARC-JAXA and the NSIDC and they also show a record low.

Given that there is now no possible cherry pick that the denialists can now use to make it look like Arctic sea ice is increasing, I predict that they will start talking about Antarctic sea ice.

Comments

  1. #1 sod
    December 23, 2008

    but we will have the fastest recovery from this dip in sea ice! again!

  2. #2 Gareth
    December 23, 2008

    I predict that they will start talking about Antarctic sea ice.

    They already have: Monckton to John Key (NZ PM)…

    Both the summer and the winter extent of the sea ice surrounding Antarctica was greater in 2007/8 than at any time since the satellite record began 30 years ago.

    That was last week…

  3. #3 EAT THE RICH
    December 23, 2008

    You are right. But they will find something else…probably “wacky” conspiracies about: “Why weren’t the correct figures put up in the first place?” And no doubt Davey Evans will find a way to weedle in some inanity about his hot spot (or is that wet spot).

  4. #4 ben stewart
    December 23, 2008

    You want wacky explanations? Phillip Stott (and talk radio blowhards in the US) are blaming the arctic melt on… underwater volcanoes.

  5. #5 bi -- IJI
    December 23, 2008

    On a related note: the Google Earth conspiracy. Muhahahahaha!

  6. #6 DavidONE
    December 23, 2008

    Tim,

    If it concerns you, providing direct links to the denialosphere gives them ‘Google link love’ and improves their ranking. Better to use http://tinyurl.com/

    And thanks for the rapid response to Booker’s latest dishonesty. An email will shortly be scorching its way to the Telegraph.

  7. #7 Bernard J.
    December 23, 2008

    DavidONE.

    providing direct links to the denialosphere gives them ‘Google link love’ and improves their ranking. Better to use http://tinyurl.com/

    Bugger, I had not thought about that in posting my own linkings. Thanks for the heads-up.

  8. #8 Tim Lambert
    December 23, 2008

    Putting rel=”nofollow” in the anchor tag works for me.

  9. #9 Dano
    December 23, 2008

    I guess Hansen is in charge of the sea ice data too.

    Is there any doubt that science = doom? Are these socialists trying to hurt car companies in order to get us to walk everywhere?

    Best,

    D

  10. #10 DavidONE
    December 23, 2008

    > Putting rel=”nofollow” in the anchor tag works for me.

    If I’d bothered to switch on my nofollow highlighter, I’d have seen that.

    It’s as good as TinyURL – and better in the sense that the targeted Denier can find out from their logs who has been bashing them.

  11. #11 bi -- IJI
    December 23, 2008

    Dano:

    ————- Algore ————–
    / \
    Al-Qaeda — beards — Michael Moore — fat
    | |
    | polar bears
    B. Hussein O. — 666 ACORN — oak |
    \ | / trees anti-human
    \ | / | / |
    Yuri Phantom tree-huggers |
    Sergeyevich —— Soviet Terri
    Zamenov Empire — under the bed Schiavo
    \ / | | /
    \ / War on under the sheets
    Na zdorovje! Xmas |
    | | the Clenis
    | | |
    Wall Street crisis —- Frank Barney is gay

  12. #12 Chris O'Neill
    December 23, 2008

    I guess Hansen is in charge of the sea ice data too.

    How small do you expect the greatest conspiracy of all time to be?

  13. #13 bi -- IJI
    December 23, 2008

    Oops. I think I forgot the Freemasons.

  14. #14 Eli Rabett
    December 23, 2008

    the big news is the sudden dip in the last couple of days. What is going on (note that it brings 2007 and 2008 together. Have to go check the weather stations.

  15. #15 Lance
    December 23, 2008

    “The ice area calculation has been too high since about 22 October, causing too steep slope of the 2008 curve. We corrected for this yesterday and recalculated the ice area for 2008.”

    So please tell me, if you can suppress the self-satisfied cackling long enough, how that qualifies as an explanation?

    If the IRS sent you a bill and when you wrote to them to explain it they just said that your tax refund “was too high” and that they had “corrected” it and that you now owed $2000 would that count as an explanation?

    I suspect you might want to know on what basis they decided to change your return. But since this correction seems to be in your favor you malefactors seem to be content to chortle and preen (which seems to be Deltoid’s raison d’ etre).

    I think Anthony Watts is quite correct when he observes, “For my opinion though it seems to be an incomplete answer, generating even more questions.”

  16. #16 WotWot
    December 23, 2008

    the big news is the sudden dip in the last couple of days. What is going on (note that it brings 2007 and 2008 together.

    Yes, that is interesting. Are there precedents for this kind of dip, at this time of year? i.e. Is it within normal variation?

  17. #17 Dano
    December 23, 2008

    Are there precedents for this kind of dip, at this time of year? i.e. Is it within normal variation?

    2002 was sorta similar, but it’s import?

    We are quite certain that the almost complete lack of increase in ice extent since about December 10 is real. We cross checked using data from the AMSR (advanced microwave sounding radiometer) instrument and we see the same pattern. This gives us independent confirmation. Past 10 days has also seen a very unusual atmospheric pattern. It has been very warm over the Arctic Ocean, and wind patterns have favored a compact ice cover. While the lack of increase in ice extent is certainly quite unusual, I would not read too much into it right now at is appears to be weather related versus climate related. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next week. [emphasis added]

    Best,

    D

  18. #18 Robert Grumbine
    December 23, 2008

    The best thing is to check multiple sources. The number of possible problems is vast, but chances are good that if you look at the Nansen site, and Cryosphere Today, and NSIDC, andNOAA/NCEP … if you see the same things going on at all of them, you’re not looking at a data oops.

    The NOAA/NCEP is less mentioned (with good reason given the ugliness of the graphics and absence of area or extent computations) but has some different features. Start at
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/seaice/nh.html
    which will show the current analysis, let you animate the last 30 days, and look at the ice for the same day last year. I did the latter w.r.t. the above curves, and if the area hadn’t been nearly the same as last year, I’d have been concerned. The maps are extremely similar this year versus last. (No there isn’t really ice around southern Japan, et al., see the comments on how to read the maps, and other materials. The animations are also helpful in figuring out what is storm and what is ice.)

    Cryosphere Today is not entirely independent of the NSIDC figures, but those two are relatively independent of the NCEP or Nansen, and NCEP and Nansen are probably the most mutually independent of the 4.

  19. #19 WotWot
    December 24, 2008

    Thanks for that, Dano.

  20. #20 dhogaza
    December 24, 2008

    So please tell me, if you can suppress the self-satisfied cackling long enough, how that qualifies as an explanation?

    Doesn’t matter. NSIDC shows the same thing.

    They state two things:

    1. Measured temps in the arctic are currently warmer than normal (though I’m sure you’re going to complain that they switched to Magic Communist Warming-Showing Thermometers this year).

    2. Winds are favoring ice compaction this year (the ice area people aren’t showing as extreme a flattening in trend, which supports the compaction notion).

    Neither points are cackling. Neither points are reality-denialying, unlike your post …

  21. #21 Ray C.
    December 24, 2008

    This might have brought cheer to Al Gore and the BBC, who have been obsessively telling us that the Arctic ice will soon disappear altogether.

    But…but…but…AAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRE!

  22. #22 bi -- IJI
    December 24, 2008

    Al Gore is the Jim Crow of Liberal Fascism.

  23. #23 Gareth
    December 24, 2008

    Al Gore is the Jim Crow of Liberal Fascism.

    Aarrgghh!

    [head explodes, and a turkey to stuff. bugger.]

  24. #24 dhogaza
    December 24, 2008

    I think Anthony Watts is quite correct when he observes, “For my opinion though it seems to be an incomplete answer, generating even more questions.”

    What Lance is missing is that Watts is a total bozo who quite likely gets different answers when he multiplies 1 by 0 vs 2 by 0, that no one worth listening to cares about his opinion, and that the fact that self-proclaimed science genius Lance hangs out at his blog simply strengthens Lance’s crank-ignorant reputation …

  25. #25 anarchist606
    December 24, 2008

    I blogged about the similarities between climate change denialism and creationism; and the evidence that these two ideologies are two-sides of the same coin keeps mounting up…for example a new law called the ‘Louisiana Science Education Act 2008‘ which claims to be about supporting academic freedom has in the details the finger-prints of the ideological lobby groups who are pushing for it. In summary it has nothing to do with academic freedom (which I am all for) and is a trojan horse for right-wing ideological propaganda;

    “The real purpose of the law–as opposed to its ostensible support for academic freedom–becomes evident on analysis. First, consider what the law seeks to accomplish. Aren’t teachers in the public schools already exhorted to promote critical thinking, logical analysis and objective discussion of the scientific theories that they discuss? Yes, indeed: in Louisiana, policies established by the state board of education already encourage teachers to do so, as critics of the bill protested during a legislative hearing. So what is the law’s true intent? That only a handful of scientific topics–“bio¬≠logical evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning”–are explicitly mentioned is a hint.” (my emphasis)

    Oh yes – so not only are the tactics and strategies used by creationists and denialists the same, not only are the funding organisations the same – and some of the ‘experts’ who deny both evolution and climate change are the same.

    Thus a new term of the denialists is born that more accurately reflects their ‘intellectual heritage’ and public relations strategies; Climate Creationism.
    -

  26. #26 Dano
    December 24, 2008

    #19:

    You’re welcome. Of course, this scientist didn’t vote for Algore, Hansen or the Hockey Stick, so he can be believed, unlike those other warmergreenie nazi “scientists”.

    Best,

    D

  27. #27 Eirik
    December 24, 2008

    This is dramatic news. The U.S National Snow and Ice Data Center is also tracking the amount of ice in the Arctic, and I find the similar recent stagnation in Ice extent in their graphs. The ice amount is now all-time-low.

    Take a look at http://www.nsidc.com/arcticseaicenews/

  28. #28 Eirik
    December 24, 2008

    This is dramatic news. The U.S National Snow and Ice Data Center is also tracking the amount of ice in the Arctic, and I find the similar recent stagnation in Ice extent in their graphs. The ice amount is now all-time-low.

    Take a look at http://www.nsidc.com/arcticseaicenews/

  29. #29 Barton Paul Levenson
    December 25, 2008

    bi, your chart is inspired. Thanks.

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    December 25, 2008

    If the denialists are consistent in their logic they will be proclaiming that Arctic refreezing has plateaued, or indeed that it is decreasing – al la the ‘1998’ furphy…

    After all, it is not necessary to wait an appropriate period of time – all one needs to do is to ‘look at a graph’.

  31. #31 TomG
    December 25, 2008

    Bernard…wouldn’t that be twisted logic?
    But,in a very selective way of course….

  32. #32 bi -- IJI
    December 25, 2008

    BPL: thanks! :)

  33. #33 Dave Andrews
    December 26, 2008

    a606,

    “I blogged about the similarities between climate change denialism and creationism; and the evidence that these two ideologies are two-sides of the same coin keeps mounting up..”

    You can read coincidences into almost anything, just like you can’prove’ anything with faulty statistical methodology (a la Mann).

    There are plenty of people who are sceptical of AGW who also have no truck with creationism. Expand your horizons!

  34. #34 bi -- IJI
    December 26, 2008

    Dave Andrews:

    Of course, it’s also a coincidence that Dave Andrews disputes AGW and thinks that Mann et al. (some year or other) is “faulty”. What’s the probability of finding a person who actively disputes AGW but doesn’t dispute Mann et al.? I don’t know, but I know that the probability must be Quite High, because otherwise I can’t form this talking point.

  35. #35 dhogaza
    December 27, 2008

    There are plenty of people who are sceptical of AGW who also have no truck with creationism.

    However, there are no people within either science denialist camp who aren’t fundamentally dishonest, and among the leaders of each camp, the same tactics are used to fool the gullible.

    You’re in the “gullible” rather than “leader” category, Dave Andrews, despite your posting the same rubbish over and over and over again all across the internet.

  36. #36 Dano
    December 27, 2008

    just like you can’prove’ anything with faulty statistical methodology (a la Mann)

    IOW: Algoooooore is fat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Best,

    D

  37. #37 Reality Hammer
    January 4, 2009

    So…none of your computer “models” work but it is the other guy who isn’t dealing with reality?

    Sure it is….

    You just keep “revising” your graphs. I’ll wait for facts that can be backed up by the scientific method.

  38. #38 bi -- IJI
    January 4, 2009

    So every correction of every mistake is evidence of a Vast Worldwide Conspiracy? Who knew…

Current ye@r *